Disneyland Disabilities Policy Changed in Response to Abuse of System

Tuesday, 24 Sep 2013 10:37 AM

By Michael Mullins

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Disneyland's disability policy, as well as that of its sister park Walt Disney World, has been changed in response to growing abuse of the system.

Disabled individuals will no longer be able to go straight to the front of the line under the new policy, park officials say.

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In an interview with the Orange County Register, Disneyland Resort spokeswoman Suzi Brown said that the approach for accommodating disabled park-goers has "certainly has been problematic, [and] we wanted to curb some of the abuse of this system" with the new policy.

Instead of having front-of-the-line privileges, disabled individuals at Disneyland and Walt Disney World will be issued tickets that have schedule time periods for each ride attached to them, still allowing those with special needs to avoid long lines.

The policy, which will go into effect on Oct. 9, will be similar to the park's existing FastPass system, NBC Los Angeles noted.

Disney's current FastPass system allows park goers to reserve a seat on a ride for a set time.

Unlike the FastPass system, however, the service for the disabled is available at no additional cost.

"We have an unwavering commitment to making our parks accessible to all guests," Brown added 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."

One of the most blatant examples of abuse was by a group of scheming, wealthy New York City elites earlier this year.

In a May New York Post article, wealthy Manhattanites admitted to signing up with "black market" tour guides for thousands of dollars. The guides hooked them up with motorized scooters and handicapped signs to avoid seemingly endless lines.

These Disney World guides have also arranged for disabled people to pose as family members so entire groups can cut lines, the Post reported.

"This is how the 1 percent does Disney," one anonymous Manhattan mother who hired an illegitimate tour guide told the New York Post. "My daughter waited one minute to get on ‘It’s a Small World’ — the other kids had to wait 2 1/2 hours. . . You can’t go to Disney without a tour concierge,"

The illicit guides, which were reportedly obtained through Dream Tours Florida, cost approximately $130 an hour or $1,040 for an eight-hour day, the scammers told the Post.

One week after the New York Post article was published, the company stopped offering tours at the amusement park, local NBC affiliate WPTV reported.

At the time, Dream Tours Florida reportedly posted on its website: "Due to inaccurate press and slander, Dream Tours is not offering VIP tours at this time. Our focus has primarily always been providing magical vacations for adults with special needs and helping their dreams to come true."

But the company has recently resumed offering tours at the amusement park, its website says.

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Related stories:

Trapped on Disneyland's 'It's A Small World' Ride, Disabled Man Awarded $8,000

Space Mountain Reopens at Disneyland After 3-Week Safety Closure

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