Posted Friday, July 11, 2014 11:27 AM | Contributed by Jeff
In a 93-page filing with the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California this week, Disney rejected charges brought in a lawsuit earlier this year by the mothers of 16 kids and young adults with developmental disabilities who said they were not properly accommodated by Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. The families alleged that visits to Disney theme parks became marred by long waits and unhelpful interactions with staff after the company made broad changes last fall to its approach for accommodating park visitors with disabilities.
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I'm all about advocating accommodating kids with ASD, but this lawsuit is nonsense. Granted, my kid actually queues like a pro (his meltdowns come when a ride is down, or worse, goes down right before he boards, but the park has always given us FP's to ride anything else in those situations), and we don't use the system, but we're very familiar with it.
The way you approach the system is pretty obvious... Have one person in your party go to the attraction entrance, get the return time, and spring it on your kid when it's time. Diana has talked to parents who have used the system and they like it, and have no issues with it.
The way the system works, as you describe it, Jeff, sound fair and reasonable enough to me. Add FastPass to that, and you would have most of your wait times eliminated.
They need to fight this. Their system is fair. This lawsuit is a result of the "me" generation that thinks the sea should be parted for them wherever they go. Everyone is going to have some kind of a wait a theme park even if you are using Fast Pass, special boarding pass etc. The park has a system to give them less of a wait in line. They have reasonably accommodated. If you don't want to deal with that, go to the lake and have a picnic.Last edited by super7*, Friday, July 11, 2014 12:57 PM
Having just returned from a trip, the system is working fairly well, but Disney may have an issue from the legal end of it. We witnessed drastically inflated wait times during our trip. Here are two examples.
At Rock n Roller-coaster, the wait time was posted at 140 minutes, the stand-by line was almost inside the building. After riding with our FP+, the time was posted at 45 minutes. There's no way the 140 was an accurate time given the people in the queue.
At Pirates, the wait time was posted at 60 minutes, we chose to wait, letting our son stay in his stroller with headphones, but boarded the ride in 31 minutes. The line operator, when asked if the time was accurate told others that it was closer to 30 minutes.
All in all, I think the system is working, and we managed very nice days, with very little ASD related issues. I think the addition of FP+ is really helping, as we can plan on a morning or afternoon start, and not be fighting to get a FP before they run out.
I've been following this story over the months, and I do think Disney did a good job addressing the abuse potential of the previous system while finding a decent balance between all the parties concerned. There's no way to craft a system to make every last family happy.
I clicked through to the 8th April article about the suit. I'm afraid I don't have much sympathy for the parents quoted in the article. It seems to me that what Jeff says above -- obtain the DAC and ride times, then tell the child "we're riding x" when it's time to ride -- easily addresses their complaints.
IMO (and Disney's, apparently) - the old system was simply unsustainable. Too many people were taking advantage of the system, fairly or unfairly. The new way simply makes it fair for everyone...not sure how any reasonable people could disagree...*shrug*.
I think that reasonable people do agree: the new system does make it fair for everyone.
But there are some -- some who are unreasonable, some who don't want to adjust to change, some who feel a sense of entitlement about the matter -- who just don't want to give up what they're used to.
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