Disney wants new hearing on autism lawsuits

Posted Friday, October 12, 2018 10:38 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Walt Disney Co. is fighting to stop trials for 30 lawsuits in which people with autism contend the parks didn’t accommodate their disabilities because they had to wait in line for rides. Disney filed a petition this week asking for a rehearing following a court’s decision in August that ruled the plaintiffs’ complaints should be heard at trial, according to documents from the U.S. Court of Appeal’s 11th Circuit in Atlanta.

Read more from The Orlando Sentinel.

Friday, October 12, 2018 10:44 AM

Disney nails it here:

The court’s ruling “assumes that Disney somehow has the ability, let alone legal obligation, to prevent meltdowns with instant and unrestricted ride entry,” Disney said in court documents.

“To impose such a standard on Disney and — inevitably — the many other places customers have to wait — sports arenas, restaurants, grocery stores, malls, doctors’ offices, movie theatres, and other theme parks — is thus not only untenable but also incompatible with the way places of public accommodation have operated for decades,” Disney said.

This is a parental responsibility that the current system accommodates. It's entirely about setting expectations in advance, and in fact having that specific structure generally appeals to kids on the autism spectrum. If I pull my kid off of computer games arbitrarily, he flips out, but if I tell him he has to take a break at noon, he's good. Fastpasses are great because they set an agenda that he can roll with. If I were to use the system (and we do not, as we don't feel that helps our kid adapt), we would simply get the reservation for a ride he wants and then tell him about the time he can ride. He would get that contract and be happy to adhere to it. We'd never set the expectation that things are on demand.

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Friday, October 12, 2018 12:20 PM

It's essentially entitled consumer syndrome where these parents are using the autism as the scapegoat for why they specifically "need" the accomodation

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Saturday, October 13, 2018 12:40 PM

It's sad that there are parents out there abusing the system! There are those out there that DO need more than others due to child on severe end of the Autism range.

We've learned to check with places ahead of time to know what we are in for before getting there. If it is going to be much hassle, then we just don't go. That's why things we used to do (concerts or movies) are a thing of the past.

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