In, “I can’t believe I’m typing this” news, according to a New York Post article wealthy parents in Manhattan have been hiring the disabled in order to skip lines at Disney World. The disabled pose as family members so that they can all skip lines. At theme parks across the country, disabled guests are often permitted to bypass lines completely or enter rides through station exits.
The practice was uncovered by Dr. Wednesday Martin, a social anthropologist who was working on a book about the lives of the wealthy families of New York City’s Park Avenue.
“My daughter waited one minute to get on ‘It’s a Small World’ — the other kids had to wait 2 1/2 hours,” crowed one mom, who hired a disabled guide through Dream Tours Florida. “You can’t go to Disney without a tour concierge,’’ she sniffed. “This is how the 1 percent does Disney.” – New York Post
Via a black market network of sorts, the wealthy were hiring the disabled tour guides for $130 an hour or $1,040 for an 8-hour day. Considerably less than the $310 to $380 per hour for Disney’s VIP guide and fast passes.
Disney is reportedly vowing to take action according to a CNN article. In response to the story, Disney had this to say:
“It is unacceptable to abuse accommodations that were designed for guests with disabilities,” spokesman Bryan Malenius told CNN Wednesday. “We are thoroughly reviewing the situation and will take appropriate steps to deter this type of activity.”- CNN
Bad, Bad, Bad
This is one of the worst stories (that didn’t involve an injury) that I’ve covered on the site. This is a pretty sick practice and I’m interested to see how Disney will combat it. I’d imagine that the ride operators would eventually start seeing the same disabled guides returning to ride with different family members.
You’d think that doing this would be universally panned, but some are actually okay with this stating that the disabled are at least earning some income. I say, wrong is wrong. The parents who are hiring the disabled are wrong as are those who are hired as their using their disability to take advantage of courtesy that the park is offering. A tour company was implicated in the story and they may be at fault too. In summation, this is bad on all three fronts from my point of view.
Lines stink. I get it. They’re a part of visiting a theme park. If you want to avoid or minimize wait times, either plan to visit during a time when lines will be the shortest or pay for a fast pass or some other line skipping pass. Otherwise, face the wrath of the lines. At least you have smart phones these days as a way to help pass the time.