Walt Disney World has changed a policy that previously allowed people with disabilities to cut to the front of the line at attractions within its Orlando and Anaheim parks. The new system still allows people with disabilities to have shorter wait times, but does not allow them to immediately skip to the front of the line. Instead, the new rule mimics the park’s FastPass system, which allows all park-goers to obtain a ticket to be used to gain access to a shorter line at a specified, later time.
The policy for disabled guests was changed due to the many people that have abused the system by feigning disability or by non-disabled individuals cutting to the front of lines with other passengers. NBC mentions “disabled tour guides,” or disabled individuals that charge large amounts of money to accompany non-disabled guests at Disney World so that those can have shorter wait times.
Disney Resort spokeswoman Suzi Brown addressed the complexity of the issue in the following statement: “We have an unwavering commitment to making our parks accessible to all guests. Given the increasing volume of requests we receive for special access to our attractions, we are changing our process to create a more consistent experience for all our guests while providing accommodations for guests with disabilities.”
Many individuals with disabilities were upset by the change, but the organization Autism Speaks has been working with Disney to ensure that the changes meet the standards of the individuals for which that group advocates.