A Letter To Moms Who Fake Disabled Family Members To Cut Lines At Disney World

Dear Moms Who Fake Disabled Family Members At Disney World,

I couldn’t believe it when I read the newspaper story. “This is a new level of low,” I emailed the friend who had sent me the link.

It seems that, according to social anthropologist Wednesday Martin who interviewed you for her book Primates of Park Avenue, you have been paying big bucks to a company that hires out tour guides with disabilities so you can pretend they are part of your family. That’s enabled you to skip lines to attractions at Disney World and slip in via alternate entrances reserved for people who use wheelchairs or motorized scooters, or who have other special needs.

This is wrong on so many levels.

Perhaps you think it’s a victim-less thing to do. But the exposé will surely have an impact, in some way or other. Disney World is known for being wonderfully hospitable to people with special needs. When our family visited the park a few years ago, the staff could not have been more accommodating. Yes, we were given a special pass that enabled us to bypass most lines. This is because my son, Max, isn’t able to stand for long periods of time (he has cerebral palsy) and because large crowds freak him out. Getting this pass was a pretty straightforward process; who knows what new regulations might be put in place. This is good because it could help keep out fakers like you, but it may make things more difficult for those families who legitimately need and deserve these passes.

It’s also disturbing that people with disabilities are allowing themselves to be hired out for this purpose. Perhaps they need the work, but it demeans them as human beings. I am ALL for parks hiring people with disabilities to be actual tour guides. But when a company is supposedly hiring out tour guides with disabilities for the sole purpose of beating lines, that is shameful all around.

Last, have you considered what you are teaching your children by doing this? I’ll just remind you of one of the fundamental laws of parenting: Children learn not from what parents say, but from their actions. You are giving your children a spectacular lesson in how to be deceitful. You are showing them how to sneakily get around rules. You are teaching them to use people for their own selfish gains.

Please, sprinkle some of that Disney magical pixie dust on your souls and quit this.


A mom of a kid with special needs

From my other blog:

Please, spare kids with special needs the pity

Should people who steal handicap parking spots be shamed on Facebook? 

How did you tell friends and family your child had special needs? 

Image: Flickr/Loren Javier

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  1. [...] knew someone, as a teen, who’d rent a wheelchair to cut lines at theme parks. Last May, the news broke that wealthy parents were hiring people with disabilities so they could bypass [...]