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Handicapped Disney Tour Guides

Who's at Fault When a Tour Company Offers Handicapped Disney "Guides"?

There's a new secret way to cut the lines at Disney, but it involves a serious moral sacrifice. The NY Post reports that a wealthy set of visitors has been hiring disabled "tour guides" to accompany their families to the Orlando theme park, affording them access to handicapped entrances, thereby bypassing the lines for rides. The tour company, called Dream Tours Florida, was uncovered by Dr. Wednesday Martin, a social anthropologist who discovered the disturbing trend while researching her book, Primates of Park Avenue. "It's insider knowledge that very few have and share carefully," Martin said. Apparently, you need a referral to even get through to the business, as Dream Tours' number is unlisted. Disney allows each wheelchair or scooter-bound visitor to bring up to six guests to an accessible entrance for each attraction. A woman who employed Dream Tours' services told the Postthat she hired a guide to accompany her family of four through the park in a motorized scooter with a "handicap" sign on it, and the group received special access throughout the park. We're pretty sure that we can all agree that this practice is reprehensible, but whom do you think is most at fault? Sound off!

anniemanka anniemanka 4 years
TreasireBrown You know one day a woman came up to me while I was taking my daughter to the circus. She was three years old, blonde, brown eyes, a beautiful little girl. This woman said to me in front of my daughter, "Your daughter is just beautiful! It's just to bad she is not normal!" Yes that came from an adult. Though physically disabled my daughter was advanced mentally. She was upset by this comment. She also smiled when I said to this woman, "You know, my daughter is beautiful and I thank you for that comment, however, she is normal, what is your disability that you make such an ignorant comment?" I now find myself wanting to say the same thing to you.
anniemanka anniemanka 4 years
It's unfortunate that it would be difficult to catch the people doing this. I have two paralyzed children in chairs and am also disabled myself requiring use of a scooter through the parks. Both Disneyland and Disneyworld have always been very accomodating. It amazes me how many people get upset when handicapped children are given the benefit of skipping the line by entering through the exit. What people do not realize is, many of these children do not have the physical capability to go on many of the rides. Most of these children have issues that forces them to go to the park entrance to the procedure room for catherizations, bowel extractions, medications, tube feedings etc...They are also prone to pressure sores from the chairs and the heat. Their time is limited in the park yet they pay the same price as anyone else. There is no price cut for children or families with disabilities. These people that are hiring disabled people as guides should be ashamed. Not only those people but the adult people with disabilities if they really are disabled should hide their heads in shame. What message are they sending their children? They are as bad as the people with the TSA and the treatment of children and people with disabilities in chairs. Disney should keep up the help and assistance they provide for people with disabilities and not let this deter them from having this program. I would hope it would not end because of this. The tour companies known to be practicing this should be banned from both parks. We can no longer do the parks as Disney has become way to expensive for the average American family. The large population of park goers are from the UK or Australia or people who live in Florida and get the discount. I also would like to comment on people who use mobility scooters in stores who don't need them. I went to Walmart one day last week to pick up a few items. When I arrived there were no scooters. I sat in the lobby for almost an hour waiting for one to become available. Three scooters came out from the store at the same time. Three very heavy set young girls in their twenties, hopped off the scooters and ran to their pick up truck laughing as they went. Yes they had a disabled placard on the truck also, probably belonging to a family member who was truly disabled. There are the majoity of people who care, many who will offer to assist. Yet there are those many, who will enter a building before a child in a wheelchair and let the door close on him rather than being kind and holding it open so they too could pass. What is this world coming to? i
KimiBeltram KimiBeltram 4 years
I don't need to know a person's life story to be alright with seeing them enter through a shorter line and if a little girl behind me in line was having a meltdown I would gladly invite her group to go ahead of mine. Going to these parks is anticipated as the happiest day of a child's life so we all need to have a better attitude when it comes to guests with lives more difficult than ours. These are the same people who can't comfortably dine with their children, the same people who can't enjoy the parades because people stand in front of their view, the same people who are asked to leave a show because their autistic child is bothering the other guests, the same people who have to wake up two hours earier than you so they have time to tube feed a sick child, and they are all trying to enjoy their vacation just like you. If you pretend you need special treatment than I pity you. If you get angry every time you see a group head to the shorter line I pity you even more.
Lola1962 Lola1962 4 years
OMG!! I can't believe some of these comments!! I have been taking my kids to Disney World since they were toddlers and I PLAN AHEAD!! I am fortunate that daughters do not require handicap access to rides, so I took them when the park first opened, I took them during less busy months, etc. Families that truly need that service should enjoy the benefits. But, for the mom who thinks that her screaming toddler should receive preferential treatment, you are a horrible parent. Teaching your children that screaming will get them ahead is deplorable! Disney World can be overwhelming, instead, you should be teaching your child patience or don't take THEM!! My daughters are teens now and go off on their own and they know to expect lines. To say that a disabled child shouldn't go due to their limitations is horrible. Maybe you secretly work for that disgusting tour company.
MarilynDenny MarilynDenny 4 years
JasmineZoschak, not every disabled person has head, back, or neck injuries. My husband has multiple sclerosis, and while he looks like a perfectly healthy young guy, if he walks more than a block he has to use a cane. If he's on his feet for more than a couple hours he has to lie down for half a day. Some disabilites are invisible to the casual observer. We never plan to go to a Disney park simply because of too many people, but if we did, we'd have to use his disability to our advantage or we wouldn't have more than an hour in the park with our children, which wouldn't be fun for anyone.
AliEdapal AliEdapal 4 years
1) What about the people who are hiring themselves - that is also lack of morals . . . ??? I mean for the company to exist they have to have people prepared to hire themselves out. 2) Surley Disney can't be held responcible for the choices people make in explioting a service they offer - which when used correctly is a kind and helpful service 3) I agree with people here who are saying that the service should be used for real cases of need not just because their children become chaotic when they have to line up!!!
ErikaBeck ErikaBeck 4 years
On an eighth grade class trip, we rented a wheelchair because we thought it would be fun to push each other around. When Disney staff guided out out of the line and towards the front, we found an unexpected benefit to renting a wheelchair. We were never asked if we were handicapped. I didn't feel guilty because our intention wasn't to cut lines. My question is; why hire a person when you can just rent a wheelchair yourself?
Emilys-Mum Emilys-Mum 4 years
wifeofefi... My then 2-3 year-old daughter was being taught no such thing! It's impossible to explain such a thing as patience to a child that young and have it stick. And I don't threaten my daughter, like you obviously do your children, there other ways of dealing with "situations." One of the problems at Disneyland is that you can't bring your stroller with attached toys into the lines, so children have to stand or be held by a parent and have nothing to do, thus making it worse for everybody. I fully support allowing parents with young children or children and adults with any kind of disability to be alowed preference. Many don't even understand where they are or the concept of patainece, but what they most likely all understand is the thrill, no matter how short, that they get when they are on a Disney ride. Too bad that there is no real way to control the lines to rides anymore. I miss the days when you needed to use tickets for each individula ride, thus making the lines shorter.
wifeofefi wifeofefi 4 years
Emilys Mum...most pre-school age kids are impatient and will have a melt down at some point while waiting in long lines. Rather than your daughter learning to be patient, what you are teaching her is that all she has to do is throw a tantrum and she will get whatever she wants. My family just went to Disney World in April during spring break. Some of the lines were ridiculous! My boys got tired and bored and cranky waiting, too. But, they waited their turn like everyone else and behaved themselves or they WOULDN'T GO ON THE RIDE AT ALL! As far as this company's practice goes, I am concerned that their tour guides aren't truly disabled. If they were a legitimate, listed tour guide service hiring disabled people and charging the same fees to use them as they would able bodied tour guides, then good for them. I'd be willing to guess that they just put their employees in wheelchairs and charge outrageous fees to use their services. Wrong on so many levels.
CarolMorrisey CarolMorrisey 4 years
Cheating is always reprehensible, and pretending to be handicapped is a lie. But maybe the theme parks could do something about the long waits in line which cause the temptation to cheat. One reason I probably won't go to such a place is that I would feel I wasn't getting my money's worth if I had to spend most of the time waiting in line.
April14377653 April14377653 4 years
I know I'm going to have comments re my post, but what is wrong with the disabled person using their 'disadvantage' to an 'advantage' here? Doesn't America have a teensy tiny issue with employment, homelessness and the worthless dollar? Isn't life hard enough in a chair? Why condemn them for making it pay for them(selves)? Without my degrees, I wouldn't have any real skills. In a chair, I wouldn't even be able to work as a cleaner or kitchenhand. I don't like queue jumpers either, but people have to make a living!
ChristineAmirault ChristineAmirault 4 years
TreasireBrown your not just mean and an idiot but your a very ignorant as well!!!! As a parent of an autistic child ,they have every right to go to whatever parks they want just like you!!!!! Just because they are different and have times waiting in lines etc doesn't mean ignorant idiots like you need put them down or try to keep them from living their lives and having fun too!!!! Shame on the fraudulant company and people who use them!! Disney can and will provide you with any hal you may need with your disabled party!
CoMMember136417550956851364176009 CoMMember136417550956851364176009 4 years
As a frequent Disney visitor, I have found each and every visit to be a magical experience and kudos to Disney and the cast members for making the place such a wonderful place to be. Shame on the people who rob the experience from others who are truly disabled and the honest people who wait their turn in line. But hey they magic of Disney really belongs to those good people not the frauds.
TreasireBrown TreasireBrown 4 years
I know. I'm mean. But if your autistic kid can't wait in line. Don't take him to Disneyland.
Emilys-Mum Emilys-Mum 4 years
They also give out special passes to families with kids or other famiy members deemed as "disruptive to others in line, thus making their park experiance less enjoyable". My husband and I get this pass at Disney city hall, whenever we go to Disneyland, cause our pre-school age daughter becomes very impatent in the long, hardly moving lines and starts acting up. I don't think that there's anything wrong with butting ahead of others to get my screaming child away from them and on to the ride a bit sooner. If I had to wait in line for an hour or more, having to listen to my own child or someone's scream, I would totally lose it!
amberamos84617 amberamos84617 4 years
When I was six months pregant with my son I developed a condition called Symphisis Pubis Disorder, a misalignment of the pubis bone. Unfortunately we'd had a trip to Disneyland planned for quite some time. I rented a wheelchair for the last day we were there, having spent the previous two on my feet. I would use it for getting around the park and stand in line with my daughter. I didn't want to take advantage.
LorettaErie LorettaErie 4 years
All are to blame. That's horrible, and morally wrong. What kind of an example are these parents? I have a handicap nephew who has problems getting annything without a million questions. These people can just hire someone and boom they're royalty!! Wrong absololutely wrong. And the parents, well they need to be charged with fraud.
SaraDrost SaraDrost 4 years
I went to DisneyWorld in a wheelchair shortly after back surgery and, assuming because I look young and fit, got many questionable looks from other park-goers. After reading this, can't say I blame them. Makes me very sad.
StephanieSanchez40776 StephanieSanchez40776 4 years
I worked as a Cast Member sometime ago, and if you think this is the only thing going on then you are just kidding yourselves. The wealthy are trying to save time and the not so wealthy are trying to save money. I have seen perfectly able-bodied people rent a wheelchair. I have been told by parents that their loving and adorable five-year-old is two and just big and well spoken for there age. I was verbally assaulted by a park "guest" when his ticket was declined because it wasn't his ticket. As a visitor to Disney I had my child's stroller stolen right out of stroller parking, never to be seen by us again. There are many genuinely honest people who go to Disney. And there are a few who make life difficult for everyone else. Cast Members jump through hoops for barely minimum wage to make sure each person's experience is as good as possible. If you are going to go to Disney then be among the honest and respectable people who understand that it is NOT all about them.
DebbieMarinoKembro DebbieMarinoKembro 4 years
I worked as a Cast Member for WDW for over 14 years and the part that I find strange is ANYONE can rent a wheelchair for the day for $25. Yes there are some rides with wheelchair entry that bypasses the line but it isn't all of them. Yes hundreds of ppl take advantage of it every day. Yes Disney is doing what they can to make every guest experience as wonderful as they can. That being said...... They also of private family tours that enable a party of 12 or less to bypass all lines and have a guide for the small.fee of $2000 a day. The wealthy are accommodated without need for outside company tours.
KatrinaMoore56145 KatrinaMoore56145 4 years
The theme park here in the Chicago area has a policy where disabled individuals, and those in their party, can go to the exit and have a time assigned to them that is the same wait as everyone else. That way they are not waiting in line, but they aren't skipping ahead either. There are few exceptions that in lude smaller rides, and you can't wait for two rides at once. They also make provisions for autistic children so that their families can go directly on the ride to ease the visit for those visitors. It allows my mom who had ankle surgery that did not heal properly, and therefore cannot walk or stand long, to really enjoy her time with my young son.
KulloEgeltonPamela KulloEgeltonPamela 4 years
I too have a disability and would hate to think my children or grandchildren would think of this as an asset. Because I cannot stand in lines for long I would not to hold up the joy of the others. Because of my mobility issues I would not be able to join them on most rides I would not wish this on anyone and am disgusted by those who think it is okay to use these people in this manner. What message are they giving their children? If the disabled were hired as tour guides all the more power to them. Little employment opportunities are offered them requiring them to accept whatever limited options offered. They become victims and are possibly embarrassed by their disability being used to someone's advantage. Disney probably has these policies in place in order to support all the Children's Wish Programs out there. I do not feel blame should fall on them. They attempt to provide dreams for challenged and termanily ill kids. This shame is not theirs.
ErinLawson40578 ErinLawson40578 4 years
As a disabled person myself, this disgusts me. It also disgusts me that just because I am disabled people THINK they have to give me special treatment. Obviously, I can not stand for long periods of time. However, I don't feel it's right that I can just cut in front of other people based on my disability. I appreciate that they will go out of their way to make me more comfortable. But, I want to be treated just like everyone else. I'm disabled, not dead.
HollyLee HollyLee 4 years
Disney should not have to screen for decency in that manner. My late mother-in-law had a stroke so had some residual disabilities. Due to Disney's policy to let wheelchair bound patients go to the front of the line, she was able to have an amazing time with her 13 yr old granddaughter on their visit to Disneyland in CA. They hit every attraction together and created memories that will last her granddaughter a lifetime. This is especially important to me as my mother-in-law passed away a few years after that wonderful trip.
JasmineZoschak JasmineZoschak 4 years
The truth is you don't have to hire anyone. I have been to Disney and watched many people take advantage of the service for the disabled. I have seen families trying to get a obvious mentally handicap teen to go again on a ride so they could skip the line. Then there are quite a few people who rent a wheelchair because they "can't walk long distances" or just don't want to and used the disable service. No one like to wait in line with a small child. It is not easy for anyone. I have been to Disney 7 months pregnant with a 1 year old. I waddled around Disney and did everything I could to keep my 1 year occupied in line. A lady said " you should get a wheelchair". I told her, " No, I can walk and it is good for me". At the end of the day my feet hurt and my ankles were swollen, but I knew I did the right thing. Disney should instituted some changes, because sad to say many people take advantage of the services for the disabled and lack intergity and class. If a ride is not recommeneded for people with heart conditions, back or neck injuries should a disabled individually really ride it? Many times I witnessed family using the disabled person to cut the line for high impact coster rides. To solve the problem, have the able members get in line just like everyone else and have the disable person wait maybe with another person from thier party for thier party to come thru the line and then ride the ride together.
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