Disability scam ruins it for everyone at Disney

24 September 2013

Being at Disneyland, standing in an endless queue of idiots overseen by a guy dressed up as Goofy, is often a disability in itself. But able-bodied cheaters are pretending to be with disabled punters to skip the queues and are spoiling the Disney ‘magic’ for everyone.


At the moment, disabled people get priority through a backdoor system which allows them to join shorter queues for rides. But Disneyland and Walt Disney World say that approach has been ’problematic.’

It’s all down to a popular scam which involves disabled tour guides, who are paid to accompany able bodied people so they can get easier access to the rides. The practice is popular with rich, awful families, with the genuinely disabled guides commanding hundreds of dollars for the low down and dirty service. Nobody has turned up with seven disabled dwarves yet, but if the scam continues, it's only a matter of time.

So from the 9th October, disabled people will have to carry Disney approved disability cards. The card will work like a restaurant reservation, with a shorter wait time and a return time.

However, I'm not convinced that this scheme is the most jazzy Disney-esque solution to the problem. How about issuing a magically extending Pinocchio nose that starts to grow every time a punter cuts in with a paid-for wheelchair companion?

TOPICS:   Consumer Advice   Scams


  • John
    Now why didn't I think of that?
  • Terry
    Not really a scam, they aren't breaking any of the rules.
  • Dick
    I don't get why disabled people cannot queue the same as able bodied. Why should they get shorter waiting times just because they have a disability? Some of them even bring their own chair so it's not like they have to stand in the queue.
  • Obi K.
    If anything, able bodied people have more to lose in terms of wearing out their currently-working bodies, so should have THEIR queuing time cut down
  • Ian
    There are many disabilities which make it difficult for the disabled person to stand in a queue, for instance many autistic persons have very real problems waiting in queues of hundreds of people, you will I am sure find that the vast majority of disabled persons and their carers are quite prepared to follow a time ticketed system and thus wait the equivalent length of time as those fortunate to be able to queue.
  • Dave
    While i agree that there are people with genuine disabilities that are unable to stand for long periods ,i have been a frequent visitor to many Disney parks around the world and have seen people in wheelchairs along with what seems like their entire able bodied families escorted to the front of queues that I've spent 30 minutes in. I have also seen , and i realize this may be an extreme case,a small severely disabled child in wheelchair with oxygen bottles,the works,his family wheeled him to the front of a ride then one stayed with him to one side while the rest enjoyed not having to queue like the rest of us.Disney have to start regulating this.
  • Quietus
    To a degree, I agree with Dick. There are a lot of people who are perfectly able to wait in a queue, yet don't. I have no problems with them having special access, because it's simply practical for their chairs and whatnot, but that doesn't affect the queues. It gives the impression that many of them will preach equality, yet when the occasion suits, they remember that they're disabled.
  • Teavin S.
    Haha - they "remember" they're disabled? Ohh, that reminds me - I better go and claim my disability benefit for my bad back - just after I finish this round of golf.
  • Pedant's C.
    Many of the queues at DisneyWorld are not suitable for wheelchair access as they have many stairs in them. Newer rides seem to be more wheelchair friendly and for those you do join the normal queue (Toy Story Mania for instance).
  • Quietus
    @Teavin Having reread my reply, what I was implying seems pretty clear in context. People come across as doing everything to forget they're disabled, and preach about equality, then when it suits, they're suddenly disabled again. (As I mentioned above, I'm not saying this applies to all disabled people)
  • Tits M.
    I often bring a small window with me, covered in saliva. Works at Alton Towers too.
  • Me
    Waiting for the word of the scholar: Chewbacca
  • Greg
    This all stems from basically disabled people being ignorant. Just cos you can't do the 100m hurdles, doesn't mean you should be exempt from common courtesy and skip the queue for Nemesis. Fuck you.
  • Fred
    Thanks Greg for that insight into your shallow gene pool. I am disabled and walk slowly with a stick. I have real pain standing for more than a few minutes so being able to have shorter time waiting or no stairs allows me to enjoy the rides like everybody else. Making concessions for people with real disabilities merely allows us to enjoy the same as everyone else not have extras!
  • Paula
    @Fred. Perhaps @ Greg would like to cut his legs off and give them to you and then you'd be happy to queue all day and he could "jump the queue" instead. Think how fabulous it would be to be for you able to walk properly and not stand in pain ever again. Then @Greg can try and struggle back to the car park at half his usual speed, take loads of meds to dull the pain and generally have a less decent life than he's used to. People make me sick. Disabled kids have constant pain and day to day trouble that other families know nothing about. Give them a break for gods sake. Scummy people playing the system have ruined it for little children who have very little in their lives to look forward to. Any parent of an able bodied child on here look on while your child runs in the playground while mine can't, gets included in sleepovers whilst mine doesn't because other parents don't know how to handle it, has fun planned into their days whilst mine has to do an hours physio daily and yours generally have a great time whilst mine has a shit one. Then tell me that making it more comfortable for them to ensure they get the most out of disney isn't a small tiny sacrifice to pay. Forgot, your all self centred and only think about yourselves. As long as your ok, no worries. let's hope that you never have anything happen to your child that you have to worry about how you help them cope with having a disability.
  • Sam
    Greg, what a pathetic excuse of a human being you actually are! I seriously cannot believe you have write that ridiculous comment. How dare you!!!!!!! As Paula had said, let's hope you never have to cope with having a child with disabilities, suffering in pain everyday and having to deal with scumbag attidueds like yours!!!!!!!!! Get a life!!!!
  • Maria F.
    Holy cow? WTF? My 3 year old son has Cerebral Palsy affecting his arms and legs. He's uanble to sit or stand but is mentally unaffected and LOVES the excitement of kids rides. He has a twin sister and we have a 5 year old too. He cannot stand or walk. Most rides require you to leave your buggy or wheelchair outside the queing areas as there is not enough space to take it into the queue. That requires us to have to carry him round the queue as well as making sure that we don't lose the girls (at that age they can just wonder off). Carrying a small child who is unable to mold to you or hold on to you for extended periods of time leaves your arms so tired they shake, you worry you're going to drop him, he gets upset because he's tired and uncomfortable. You get near to the front but the queue stops as the ride is full. The emotion affects his muscle tone which makes his whole body stiffen so it's even harder to hold him. Are we having fun yet kids? The girls want a drink but you don't have any hands free to help get a drink out of your bag. The girls start to cry. Your back starts to scream in pain. Yes, we do this just to get to the front quicker and spoil it for other families? Fuck off.
  • LL J.
    The main problem is all the shrieking. Acting as if certain concessions for the disabled are a right when in fact they are a favour performed for them by a sympathetic society at large. If you act all entitled then people will feel less sympathetic, and less inclined to help make life easier for you.
  • Paula
    @LLCoolJ. Who is shrieking. The parents of kids with disabilities who have commented have said exactly why this means so much to them to help their kids. I detest these people who hired themselves out. It takes the piss completely. I don't want societies sympathy, I just want life balanced out a bit when every day is a struggle. If my child queues for an hour it means he has extreme pain in his legs and hips and the day has to be cut very short or he has to be jammed in a wheelchair all day with no chance of getting out to walk like all the other kids, albeit in a frame. Queuing for hours damages my child physically and access for all was the foundation for Disney. Walt would be turning in his grave. There has to be a better way of digging out the charlatans and letting disabled kids experience Disney in a pain and distress free way. Personally the new system still stops queuing so it will still be abused. It will stop some people as it requires more effort but not all. What it does is penalise those in real need who will have to walk back and fore to kiosks and this is difficult when you have a child with mobility problems especially. Universal has a good system that you go to the ride, if the queue time is less than 15 mins on the main line you go through the disability entrance. If it's more than 15 mins you book at the ride for a return time. At least then you don't have to go back and fore to a central point.
  • Nikolas R.
    Hey greg when you where born you obviously chose leg's over a brain!! I bet you would not say such a thing to my face!!
  • Sally71
    We have recently returned from America, and we were appalled at the amount of people on motorised scooters (that could be hired for $25) that were given priority in the queue. Most of these people were just over weight and again all their entourage were also sent straight to the front. I have a serious back injury but would not lower myself to their level and queue jump and stood in queues for up to 90minutes. There needs to be some sort of policing as genuine disabled people should have priority but not with 12 family members too.

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