Disney No Longer Lets Disabled Kids Cut the Line for Rides Because Some People Have No Soul

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Oct. 9 2013 9:59 PM

Disney No Longer Lets Disabled Kids Cut the Line for Rides Because Some People Have No Soul

81617799
Two children wait eagerly to ride the Dumbo ride at Disney World's Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida.

Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

As of today, if you’re disabled you can no longer go straight to the front of the line for all of your favorite rides at Disney World. It may sound like a callous joy-revoking move from the home of the Magic Kingdom, but, then again, the reason for the change is pretty appalling. Families, fully capable of waiting in line like everyone else, were scamming their way to the front of the line by, wait for it, hiring disabled–or perhaps more appropriately "disabled”–tour guides. The TODAY show went undercover this summer to expose the practice.

Here’s what they found:

Last May's investigation began with ads found on Craigslist in which tour guides bragged about their "disabled passes": "Let's cut the Disney lines together," "access to special entrances." Going undercover at Disneyland, the TODAY producer and his family hired two of those guides, with home video cameras rolling.
"I'm here to make sure everyone has fun at Disneyland and we get on as many rides as possible," one of the guides, named Mara, told the producer and his family. "I have a special card that's going to help us beat the lines." And she charged $50 to do it, getting them straight past long lines at such attractions as the Mad Tea Party ride.
Advertisement

The producers paid between $50 and $200 for an escort for the day with a disabled pass. When confronted one of the guides told TODAY: "We live in a capitalist country, and I don't feel like it's morally wrong."

As a result, Disney’s implementing a new program for disabled customers where they “will receive a return time for attractions based on the current wait time,” according to the Disney website. “Disney Parks also hopes it will help control abuse that was, unfortunately, widespread and growing at an alarming rate.”

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Frame Game

Hard Knocks

I was hit by a teacher in an East Texas public school. It taught me nothing.

Chief Justice John Roberts Says $1,000 Can’t Buy Influence in Congress. Looks Like He’s Wrong.

After This Merger, One Company Could Control One-Third of the Planet's Beer Sales

Hidden Messages in Corporate Logos

If You’re Outraged by the NFL, Follow This Satirical Blowhard on Twitter

Sports Nut

Giving Up on Goodell

How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.

How Can We Investigate Potential Dangers of Fracking Without Being Alarmist?

My Year as an Abortion Doula       

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 15 2014 8:56 PM The Benghazi Whistleblower Who Might Have Revealed a Massive Scandal on his Poetry Blog
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 15 2014 7:27 PM Could IUDs Be the Next Great Weapon in the Battle Against Poverty?
  Life
Outward
Sept. 15 2014 4:38 PM What Is Straight Ice Cream?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 1:51 PM Why Not Just Turn Campus Rape Allegations Over to the Police? Because the Police Don't Investigate.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 15 2014 11:38 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 4  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Listen."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 15 2014 8:58 PM Lorde Does an Excellent Cover of Kanye West’s “Flashing Lights”
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 15 2014 4:49 PM Cheetah Robot Is Now Wireless and Gallivanting on MIT’s Campus
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 15 2014 11:00 AM The Comet and the Cosmic Beehive
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 8:41 PM You’re Cut, Adrian Peterson Why fantasy football owners should release the Minnesota Vikings star.