Disney’s Disability Dilemma


So the link above brings you to an article about Disney’s new policy change on their disability program. Based on what I’ve read, the policy used to be that those with a disability are able to bypass the lines and head straight to the front. Unfortunately, it was discovered that wealthy guests would hire people with disabilities so that they would pose as part of the family in order to avoid the lines. In another article on the same topic, there was even a comment made by someone who abused the system. A rich mother said, “My daughter waited one minute to get on ‘It’s a Small World’- the other kids had to wait two and a half hours. This is how the one percent does Disney.” It amazes me at how ridiculous people are. I have no right to tell others how they should spend their wealth, but to abuse a system and ruin it for everyone else just because you and your daughter can’t wait two hours is plain insanity. And then to brag about it on top of that is plain stupid.

Well now thanks to people like the woman quoted above, Disney’s new policy change starting in October is that those with a disability card will have a specific time stamp on the pass (based on the current wait time), and I’m guessing they have to wait until that time in order to access the ride. More details will come later once the policy is implemented, but I find it frustrating that such measures have to be taken. My friends and I had a discussion on this topic, and we question how effective such changes will be. The article brought up why doesn’t Disney require disability guests to prove that they have a disability. Well, the problem isn’t whether someone really has a disability or not. The issue is if that disabled person really is part of that family or are they hired. Obviously, Disney can’t interrogate and start accusing families left and right on whether a member with them is related to them or not, so how discouraging can these new rules be to the real liars? A friend of mine brought up the idea of Disney only allowing certain disabled people to go straight to the front of the line. Like those in wheelchairs can wait a bit longer vs those who have trouble standing in line for long periods of time. Well then that raises up more issues on where to draw the line, along with the fact that it can count as discrimination against certain types of disabled people. There is also the issue of disabilities that aren’t visible, so how do we account for that?
What are your thoughts and ideas on this issue?

5 thoughts on “Disney’s Disability Dilemma

  1. As per what your friend said, I believe that categorizing disabilities and stratifying the wait times for each of them would eventually turn into a rather arduous process for Disney employees. Disney has the best idea out of the imaginable so far, but I agree that such a situation is downright ridiculous. Unfortunately, like Moya points out, for the disabled, going to and from ride lines where the wait time is variable is “another complication” that makes it harder on those that are truly disabled. It seems as though these kinds of issues are what propel the social idea that the disabled are not deserving of special privileges or attention. This is especially the a problem when, like you mentioned, a certain disability is not visible. Oftentimes, outsiders will then be led to wrongly accuse a disabled individual of “faking it”. Ideas, comments?

  2. This problem is similar to the Four Legged Impostors article that was posted recently. People are abusing the privileges that are solely dedicated to disabled people and are ruining the entire system. It is sad and unfair because these privileges did not come easy, and now they are being taken away (or modified to the disabled person’s disadvantage). The new policy that Disney is implementing will not be as effective as its previous policy because disabled people will still have to wait in line – just not as long as everyone else has to wait. Also, it only allows them to go on rides during a specific time frame which can be a hassle. I think Disney should just make a policy similar to the fastpass concept for disabled people. However, this would require people to prove their disability.
    I think no matter what Disney does, there will always be those kinds of people who want to get around things and find loopholes just to make their lives easier…that’s just how life works unfortunately.

  3. I also agree on the claim that identifying and measuring the degree of disabilities of disabled people in order to prevent the pretenders from abusing this privilege would be a laborious task for Disney employees. I believe that the solution that Disney has made was a considerate one; they are attempting to discontinue rewarding dishonest people in their parks while simultaneously minimizing the reduction of privileges from truly disabled people. No perfect solution has been made, nor do I think it exists. There will always be some sort of problem to be dealt with, and I think Disney deserves the benefit of the doubt due to its consistent efforts in the past to make its parks accessible to disabled people. I cannot speak from a disabled person’s standpoint, however I think that some disabled people can benefit from this new program while Disney is continuing to accommodate all of its guests to the best of its ability.

  4. I also agree that it is a great shame that people would have the nerve to fake injury or pay for a disabled person to be a part of their family just to skip the lines of an amusement park. Following what has been said before me, I do not think there is a solution to this problem; people will always find loopholes to cheat the system. Although some may disagree, I think that the new policy is very reasonable given the situation. From my experiences in Disney, the same type of time stamp is offered to everyone, disabled or not, in the form of a “fast pass.” Many times, one can get his or her time and go on rides in the area with shorter lines and gain access to the time-stamped ride immediately without a wait. Instead of getting the pass from a machine, the disabled person could get it from an attended office so that someone could monitor who is or is not eligible. Ideally, these passes could be all taken in the beginning of the day and have times on them, allowing the family to plan their day accordingly. While the previous system had a greater benefit for the disabled, I believe that Disney seems to be creating a fair alternative under the current circumstances.

  5. It’s crazy to think that some people would go through such great lengths just to avoid waiting in lines. Hiring a disabled person to pose as a family member is completely absurd. It degrades the disabled while teaching children that it’s ok to lie and to use people’s disabilities to ones advantage. Although it is unfair to all of the families that didn’t abuse the system, Disney made the right choice in changing its policies in order to stop the wrongdoers. There is no way to prove someone is disabled without breaking confidentiality laws, so this is the smartest solution to the problem. The only thing we can do now is see how the new process plays out in the real world.

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