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Disabled no longer able to skip lines at Disneyland because of abuse

Posted by on Sep. 23, 2013 at 4:10 PM
  • 147 Replies
1 mom liked this

Disneyland: Disabled Will No Longer Skip Lines

Visitors will be issued tickets with a time they should return to the attraction

By Brandon LowreyJonathan Lloyd and Vikki Vargas
|  Monday, Sep 23, 2013  |  Updated 1:01 PM PDT

People with disabilities will no longer go straight to the front of lines at Disneyland and Walt Disney World under a policy change park officials say is a response to growing abuse of the system.

What do you think about Disney's decision? Join the conversation

Under the change, visitors with special needs will be issued tickets with a return time and a shorter wait similar to the FastPass system that's offered to everyone.

The current approach to accommodating disabled park-goers "certainly has been problematic, and we wanted to curb some of the abuse of this system," Disneyland Resort spokeswoman Suzi Brown told the Orange County Register.

"We have an unwavering commitment to making our parks accessible to all guests," Disneyland Resort spokeswoman Suzi Brown said in a statement. "Given the increasing volume of requests we receive for special access to our attractions, we are changing our process to create a more consistent experience for all our guests while providing accommodations for guests with disabilities."

The change takes effect Oct. 9 for guests with park-issued disability cards. Disney officials said more details will be released after park employees are briefed on the new rules.

Currently, visitors unable to wait in the regular line can get backdoor access to rides or go through the exit and wait in a shorter line.

Anne Hardstaff has a card because of her arthritic knee condition. She will need to use the new time reservation card, starting next month.

"I can't stand for a long time," said Hardstaff, of Australia, who visited the Anaheim, Calif. park Monday. "You can imagine the line. You wait 20, 30 minutes -- I can' do it."

Brown compared the change to making a reservation and boarding at the appointed time.

The move was in part a response to the phenomenon of disabled "tour guides" who charge money, sometimes hundreds of dollars, to accompany able-bodied guests and allow them to avoid long lines.

The park said others who don't have a disability have been able to get an assistance card since no proof of disability is required.

Some families of children with epilepsy and autism criticized the change, saying their kids' disabilities make it too hard for them to wait in standard lines.

Rebecca Goddard takes her sons, age 4 and 6, to Disneyland once a week. Her sons have autism and can't stand in lines longer than a few minutes before they start pushing other people.

"My boys don't have the cognition to understand why it's going to be a long wait," Goddard told the Register. "There are so few things for my boys that bring them utter joy and happiness - to mess with it just makes me sad."

The advocacy group, Autism Speaks, consulted with Disney officials on the change and urged parents to see how it unfolds. Brown called the program "in line with the rest of our industry."

"Change is difficult," said Matt Asner, executive director of the Southern California chapter. "I didn't want it to change, but I understand there was an issue that needed to be dealt with."

I have a child with disabilities and I agree with the policy. Most of the people with these disabilities are very capable of standing in lines like everyone else.

by on Sep. 23, 2013 at 4:10 PM
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Replies (1-10):
by Anonymous 1 on Sep. 23, 2013 at 4:11 PM
Our Six Flags has had that for years now.
by on Sep. 23, 2013 at 4:11 PM
25 moms liked this

i think anyone outraged at disney by this should turn their outrage toward the assholes who've abused the policy.

some of whom are on this site, as i've seen repeated references to ladies here employing this technique.

by Lauren on Sep. 23, 2013 at 4:11 PM

About time! That seems like a great change. Now people will stop hiring disabled "tour guides" to skip lines.

by LMAO on Sep. 23, 2013 at 4:11 PM

That's a tough one.,

by Emerald Member on Sep. 23, 2013 at 4:13 PM
That seems like a very good solution.
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by Anonymous 2 on Sep. 23, 2013 at 4:14 PM
16 moms liked this

Her boys go to Disney World every week? Hmmm sounds more like they are spoiled and good at getting things their way instead of unable to wait for anything.

by on Sep. 23, 2013 at 4:15 PM
10 moms liked this

Half the fun of the rides is waiting in the line. I really hate to say that, but it really is. There is so much to see and do in the lines themselves that you miss so much of it if you skip to the front, use fast passes, etc. They really paid extreme attention to detail. I'm sorry, I have a kid on the spectrum, if she couldn't handle waiting in line with everyone else, we simply wouldn't go. We have to teach our children how to live in society without accommodations all the time because when they are grown and on their own, they won't get accommodations everywhere. It's part of life.

Having said that, most every park I've been to has some sort of fast pass program. Find out about, learn about it, utilize it. Problem solved.

by Desiree` on Sep. 23, 2013 at 4:16 PM
4 moms liked this

 With so many, "disabled", now they'd have to let everyone go to the front of the line and what good would that do? 

by Anonymous 3 on Sep. 23, 2013 at 4:16 PM
10 moms liked this

If you can't stand in line without getting upset and pushing people then you don't need to be there. Quit coddling people! I agree with the policy.

by Gold Member on Sep. 23, 2013 at 4:16 PM

I dont see a problem with the new policy. They still dont have to wait in the long line, they cant walk on whenever they want. They have to go at a specific time.

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