To Disney themeparks, and the new changes

23 Sep

Disney has changed the way visitors with disabilities can bypass the long lines.  Thanks to the jerks who abused the system, the old ways are now gone.

The old way was going through the exit to a short line of other people with disabilities, or something similar.  We’ve done this ourselves at LEGOLAND Windsor when we visited.

The new way is now going to the ride, getting a ticket for a specific time to come back to, and then come back at that time to get on the ride.

Which means walking away from the fun ride to return later.

Walking away from it.

Disney, can you see a problem here?

Sure, many people with disabilities have the ability to understand this.  And for them, I’m sure this will work just fine.  They can easily plan out their day even, and could get more out of their time at one of your parks than I probably would going on my own.

But what about those children who don’t understand this concept?  Who don’t have the cognitive abilities to understand this new plan of action.

Imagine me, with my daughter.  “Oh look!  A Tinkerbelle ride!  Okay, we’ll come back in three hours.”

<cue screaming and tantrum as I drag my unfulfilled child away from said Tinkerbelle ride>

You’re asking us parents to basically show our kids something fun then walk away from it.  “Later” is not in many of these kids vocabulary.

Every day, we cause our children upset over something they don’t understand, whether or not we want to.  It could be something as simple as “No, you can’t eat that, we’re about to have dinner.”  The last thing we want to do when taking our kid to Disneyland/world/universe is denying them over and over and over.

Yes, you had to do something, people were abusing the system.  But the ones getting punished are the ones the service was intended for.  And we parents just may not have it in us to endure it.

See, we spend our children’s lives waiting.  Waiting in doctor’s offices, waiting in therapy clinics, waiting at schools, waiting outside of schools, waiting at home for the school to call, waiting outside at churches, at movies, at sports events as our child tantrums or settles down from being overwhelmed by it all.  One of the few “perks” we get in life is the whole “fast lane” pass at theme parks, where for once, we don’t have to wait.

Theme parks are sensory overload enough for kids like ours.  Waiting can be asking too much of them, when they’re already holding on by a thread because of all that is going on around them.  Now they have to walk away and wait longer?

Yeah, that’s going to work.

I hope you give out free drinks with the wait time, because I for one will need one if I have to drag a screaming Maura away from the thing she wants to do.



7 Responses to “To Disney themeparks, and the new changes”

  1. sadaft September 23, 2013 at 3:27 pm #

    I caught those stories this summer about the scamming families at Disney and it was sickening! I just could not understand it. If you have the money to hire a physically challenged person to fake walk you through the rides, why not just get the Disney perk packages they offer with a tour guide and do it legitimately!

    An ex-boss I know hired one of the private Disney guides for an exorbitant rate, but claimed it was the most amazing way to “Do Disney” with his toddler. I wouldn’t know.

    Thanks for following up with the Disney protocol now. I just can’t believe the gall of people and how they ruin the system for people who actually need it.

    You’re right, you know. That delay time translates into a lifetime for kids .. even so-called “normal” ones like mine, who can barely grasp the concept of the fast pass. Since my parents semi retired to Florida, we’ve been lucky enough to visit Disney several times.. (certainly way more than when I was a kid!!)

    I wonder if Disney management will get feedback from affected parents and come up with a better solution. It really seems to be punishing the wrong people.

  2. Nicole September 23, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

    It is really sad Disney had to do this. We went to Disneyland about a year and a half ago. The pass was a lifesaver. My daughter was having difficulties just being there with all the people and business, never mind actually standing and waiting somewhere for any length of time – and she just doesn’t understand that at all. Though when I went to “City Hall” when we got there, I came armed with a doctor’s note, my daughter’s service dogs papers, etc., and no one ever asked to see a thing. Maybe they could have just cracked down on the paperwork you needed (I laugh to hear myself recommending more paperwork) to obtain a pass. I don’t know. And we were thinking of going again next year. That seems very unlikely now.

  3. Helen September 23, 2013 at 3:38 pm #

    Another way that we saw the system abused this summer (albeit at Universal) was Grammy getting the pass, then giving it to her family so that they could ride. Grammy didn’t even go on the rides. I think that they could also crack down by making sure that the person who is issued the pass is actually on the ride. That one was quite frustrating. I do think that there is great value in the passes for those who really do need it and it is unfortunate that they have had so much abuse of this system.

  4. Carolyn Peterson September 23, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

    I am so saddened by this as I was planning on taking my children ( 11 year old special needs and two boys ages 8 and 6 to Disney this Spring for the first time. If u have one child this maybe could work but what about families with multiple children. What if I’m waiting in line with my boys for some thing else when it’s my time?? There are doing this to discourage people from using this. It’s really a shame.

  5. nanis September 23, 2013 at 6:53 pm #

    I actually think you should send this letter to the Disney company. There might be a way to schedule your rides ahead of time or something. I am furious at those who abused the system, but Disney might be open to other ideas.

  6. Joy M. Newcom September 23, 2013 at 7:35 pm #

    Man, I hope Disney listens to you. You are right on with this.

  7. itsybitsymom September 24, 2013 at 9:53 pm #

    I read your post in disgust this morning and then out of the blue a friend send me this petition about the same thing!

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