Disney World, known for their lengthy lines and crowded parks, is currently investigating a trending scheme happening throughout what is known as the “happiest place on Earth.”
In an attempt to ditch the wait and skip the painful lines, moms and dads alike are paying “black-market” disabled guides over $130 an hour to help families gain special access to rides.
The New York Post decided to write an article on this issue, and although they do not have any sufficient evidence to conclude the rumor true, Disney is taking this matter seriously.
Spokesperson, Bryan Malenius, told Yahoo! Shine, “We are thoroughly reviewing the situation and will take appropriate steps to deter this type of activity.” He added, “It is unacceptable to abuse accommodations that were designed for guests with disabilities.”
Wednesday Martin, social anthropologist and former New York Post contributor, discovered the scheme while conducting research for a new book, “Primates of Park Avenue.”
Martin told the Post, “It’s insider knowledge that very few have and share carefully, so when you’re doing it, you’re affirming that you are one of the privileged insiders who has and shares this information.” These moms and dads are also getting a great deal out of it, a VIP tour offered by Disney, which includes speed passes, starts at over $300.
One mom went on to brag to the Post about her experience with hiring a black-market disabled person, “My daughter waited one minute to get on ‘It’s a Small World’ — the other kids had to wait 2 1/2 hours. You can’t go to Disney without a tour concierge…This is how the 1 percent does Disney.”
According to the park’s official policy, guests that are using a wheelchair or motorized scooter, plus up to five members within their party, are permitted to use auxiliary entrances that are “intended to offer guests in wheelchairs or with trained service animals a more convenient entrance to the attraction” and are “not intended to bypass waiting lines.”
Although this new craze is trending, it certainly is not new. The Wall Street Journal has released a documentary on the trend of travelers requesting the use of wheelchairs in airports as a way of getting ahead of all of the security lines where they then jump up and sprint to their gates once they have clearance. “We call them ‘miracles.’ They just start running with their heavy carry-ons,” wheelchair attendant Kenny Sanchez stated.
Whatever the case may be, this trend is certainly hurting those who are seriously disabled. Disney has no control over who uses the auxiliary entrances, so the only thing they have to go by is their word.