Disney will change its Disability Access Service and from Oct. 9th on visitors will be issued tickets with a return time and shorter wait time similar to the FastPass system.
The currents system allows visitors unable to wait in the regular line to get backdoor access to rides or go through the exit and wait in a shorter line. According to Disney, this led to a growing abuse of the system: a phenomenon of disabled “tour guides” who charge money, sometimes hundreds of dollars, to accompany able-bodied guests and allow them to avoid long lines occurred as well as the ability of getting an assistance card without any disability, since no proof has been required. This has been revealed by social researcher Wednesday Martin, while researching a book about New York’s Park Avenue elite.
However, the new system still does not require a proof of disability. This is due to confidentiality laws, as Disney spokeswoman Suzi Brown states. But “[w]e 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.”
While Disney is still committed to make a park visit for all guests as smooth as possible, a petition to ask Disney executives to reconsider the policy change has already generated more than 20,000 signatures at Moveon.org. So this change has been received with mixed feelings. There are those, who think this will make it more difficult for people with disabilities to visit the parks and those of course, who can fully understand the measures taken by Walt Disney Parks. But what’s your opinion about this? Please share in the comments section below.