In May, the New York Post featured a story about how "Rich Manhattan moms hire handicapped tour guides so kids can cut lines at Disney World". The moms – and others across the country – turn to "disabled" Disney tour guides who pose as family members and escort the families past the long lines at rides using a special handicapped pass that permits the guide and an additional 5 people to bypass the lines and get right on the ride.
The "black-market Disney guides" run $130 an hour, or $1,040 for an eight-hour day.
"My daughter waited one minute to get on 'It's a Small World' – the other kids had to wait 2 1/2 hours," crowed one mom, who hired a disabled guide through Dream Tours Florida.
– New York Post
The Today Show has followed up and now Disney will be cracking down on these practices.
We find it deplorable that people would hire the disabled to abuse accommodations that were designed to permit our guests with disabilities to enjoy their time in our parks. We have initiated a review of this abuse and will take appropriate steps to deter this type of unacceptable activity.
As deplorable as it is to exploit the "disabled" just to line jump at an amusement park, what's worse is the effect it may have on actual disabled people and their families. The majority of my clients are severely and catastrophically injured – many of them are confined to wheelchairs or must use artificial limbs. The effort required to do normal, everyday activities is substantial. I know how fatigued and worn out I get spending the day at an amusement park with my family. I can't imagine what it must be like for them. When people abuse policies like Disney has in place, it's the real people who get hurt.
© Copyright 2013 Brett A. Emison
Follow @BrettEmison on Twitter.
Brett Emison is currently a partner at Langdon & Emison, a firm dedicated to helping injured victims across the country from their primary office near Kansas City. Mainly focusing on catastrophic injury and death cases as well as complex mass tort and dangerous drug cases, Mr. Emison often deals with automotive defects, automobile crashes, railroad crossing accidents (train accidents), trucking accidents, dangerous and defective drugs, defective medical devices.