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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

How The 1% Does Disney. . . Really?

The New York Post published an article yesterday about how the 1% does Disney.  Seems wealthy Manhattan moms hire a disabled tour guide from Dream Tours and then use that person’s Guest Assistance Card, which allows the disabled person and up to six guests access to handicap entrances for rides and shows.  Click here to read the entire article.

The gist is that hiring the disabled tour guide is less expensive than that Disney’s VIP tour guides and allows these families to cut to the front of the line.  Various discussion boards have been “hot” since the article appeared yesterday.

Know that Disney offers guests with disabilities, visible or not visible, and with documentation from a physician if necessary, Guest Assistance Cards free of charge and for use throughout the guest’s stay at Walt Disney World. 

Let me begin with Guest Assistance Cards are not a “front of the line” pass.  They do offer guests with disabilities entrances that are handicap accessible.  We have seen those guests wait for ride vehicles that could accommodate their needs—whether it be a wheelchair or the size of their party—for sometimes longer than we have waited as a family.  It’s a Small World and Toy Story Mania both come to mind as there are a limited number of ride vehicles throughout the attraction made to accommodate handicap guests needs.

The article indicates that these guests have no need to use Fastpasses.  Well, that is true as guests with Guest Assistance Cards wouldn’t have a need for Fastpasses.  Yet again, I would argue that they would still have to wait, sometimes longer, than guests using Fastpasses.

The author of the article attempted to contact the tour guide provider with no luck and Disney did not respond.  The article indicates that the phone number was passed around secretly and serves rendered only after the name of the referral was given. 

So, what do the rest of us, the 99% do now?  Well, we give Disney time and space to respond.  Personally, I wouldn’t want to mess with the behemoth that has lists of names of former guests who have been removed from their parks and can never return again due to behavior.  I read a book recently where a friend of the author was caught “jumping the gate” in his late teens, only to be refused a reservation when he called to book his honeymoon stay—his name was still on the “list”—and he then had some explaining to do to his soon to be bride.  My prediction is that this will be handled quietly and will only make the news if the Orlando Sentinel gets a hold of any potential charges filed, etc.

And, we will continue to make room for families and guests with disabilities and special needs.  We will wait patiently as busses are loaded and unloaded and while ride vehicles stop or slow down to meet guest needs.  After all, we are at the most magical place on Earth!

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