Tuesday, September 24th, 2013
People with disabilities have long been able to go to the front of lines at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resort, but the company has announced that starting next month, the policy will change. The reason cited was that the policy is abused too often and is rendered ineffective. More from CNN.com:
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Under the current policy, Disney visitors can get a guest assistance card that grants quicker access to rides, often entering through exit doors to bypass the main lines.
There were widespread reports of able-bodied people abusing the policy.
Some wealthy park visitors were hiring disabled people to pretend to be family members so they could skip lines, the New York Post reported in May. Social researcher Wednesday Martin learned about the practice while researching a book about New York’s Park Avenue elite, the Post reported. “It really is happening,” Martin told CNN’s “Starting Point” in May.
Starting October 9, guests with a new disability access card will be issued a ticket with a time to enter an attraction, based on the current wait time, so they don’t have stay in line. Disney fan site Miceage.com broke the news of the policy change last week.
No proof of disability is required under either the current or new policies. Asked why Disney couldn’t keep the current system and require disabled guests to provide proof of disability, Disney spokeswoman Suzi Brown said, “Due to confidentiality laws, we’re limited in the information we can ask.”
“We have an unwavering commitment to making our parks accessible to all guests,” 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. We engaged disability groups, such as Autism Speaks, to develop this new process, which is in line with the rest of our industry.”