Disney alters queue policy for guests with disabilities

Posted | Contributed by Jason Hammond

People with disabilities will no longer go straight to the front of lines at Disneyland and Walt Disney World under a policy change park officials say is a response to growing abuse of the system. Under the change, visitors with special needs will be issued tickets with a return time and a shorter wait similar to the FastPass system that's offered to everyone.

Read more from AP via KNBC/Los Angeles.

Jason Hammond's avatar

I actually saw this on the news and had to laugh a little. I've always speculated that something like this could happen. But, I never actually thought it would happen a degree that would require intervention.

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Jeff's avatar

Correct me if I'm wrong, but haven't they done something similar at Cedar Point for years? I swear I recall a friend with a broken leg go to the entrance, get a time on a little form, and go back at that time.

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Jason Hammond's avatar

Cedar Fair has gone back and forth on how to handle ride access for those with special needs. As of this year, regardless of what your needs are, they are now following these procedures. I believe until recently, they were still giving instant access (once per ride per day) to people with Autism. I'm not sure about other conditions.

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In general, I think this method makes a lot more sense than some of the other ways this has been handled.

rollergator's avatar

Given all the legalities involving ADA, and the somewhat-recent stories of people abusing the system (millionaire moms "renting" a disabled person for their Disney visits)....this was inevitable.

I applaud Disney on two fronts - one, for implementing the fairest system available, and two, for acting with extreme haste (at least in Disney terms).

Bakeman31092's avatar

Yes Jeff that's what CP does, or at least has done in the recent past. My wife has had various knee problems so on a couple of occasions we rented a wheelchair. We would go up to a line and the ride host would check the time and add the current wait time to it. We weren't allowed to get another time for another ride within that window. In fact, if you wanted the front seat, you were supposed to tell them up front, at which point they would add another 15 minutes to the wait and make a note of it on the form.

Did they assign you an enforcer to make sure you didn't get in line for another ride during that time window? Or did you get a Scarlet Letter?

Good question. I bet Disney figures out a way to build that info into their Magic Plussity-plus bracelets.

Jeff's avatar

Here's the Orlando version of the story:


I'm a little surprised at the people in the comments for the AP/KNBC story who think Disney is run by a bunch of insensitive bastards. Seems like the solution is fair and equitable. With some exceptions, most of the people I've ever known with mobility issues don't want special treatment, just fair treatment.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy


I actually still have my Handicap Pass from Disney World 2012, while some of the rides and shows we went up exits, many rides we simply went through the FlashPass lines, and were allow to go right in. WDW rides have a person right at the entrance to do FlashPass. Also we got one pass for our entire stay.

At Great America, this would be a better way, going up the exits sucks because we have to go against the crowd, it would be better to go through the Flash Pass entrances. I also think if you are a Season Pass holder that you be given a ADA pass instead of getting a new one everytime you come to the park.

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Vater's avatar

Not sure why that's surprising. In a world where people who don't agree with homosexuality are automatically labeled homophobes or anyone who didn't vote for Obama is racist, for example, it only seems natural for people to jump to the unfair conclusion that a corporation like Disney is insensitive to the disabled if they change the queue policy.

rollergator's avatar

Wouldn't it be "more fair" to Disney to say that they WERE sensitive to the negative publicity surrounding the abuses of their previous policy...?

Timber-Rider's avatar

I think it's a good idea for parks to try to limit the amount of handicapped people getting front of the line access, especially when a lot of the people who are taking advantage of it are not handicapped at all. If I recall, Cedar Point only allows one non handicapped person to ride with a handicapped person, and then switch off, so their party can stay together, somewhat similar to their parent swap. But with Fast Lane, I bet they eventually change their policy to have people who use the parent swap option, pay extra.

As for handicapped trickery. I know a guy who used to go to Cedar Point with his friends, and they would get a fake cast, and a wheel chair, and cut in the lines all day. Though they got caught once, because the guy who was wearing the cast got tired of wearing it, and switched with his friend. And, a ride that they had been on before, the ride op remembered them, and kicked them all out of the line, and reported them.

But actually hiring a handicapped person to go with your family to Disney World, has to be about the most disgusting thing I have heard. How much are they paying these people? And, where are they finding them? That seems like a crazy thing to do, while spending time with your family. To me, that is just one more person to keep track of. And, what if that person had a medical emergency? What would a family who did the hiring do in a situation like that? Do these people even use their brains?

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sws's avatar

Timber-Rider said:

But actually hiring a handicapped person to go with your family to Disney World, has to be about the most disgusting thing I have heard.

This coming from the guy who first introduced us to wet Tighty-Whitie Twister?

OhioStater's avatar

And, what if that person had a medical emergency? What would a family who did the hiring do in a situation like that?

Fire them, of course.

Last edited by OhioStater,

How very Mitt Romney-an of you, Kevin. ;)

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OhioStater's avatar

It's fine. I have binders full of handicapped folks waiting for a job.

rollergator's avatar

So the real story here is that Disney is putting handicapped people out of work? (*wink*)

You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

Raven-Phile's avatar

Nah, I hear they're always hiring at the popcorn factory. Someone's gotta add those chemicals, you know.

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