“I’m going to Disney World!” It’s become a cliché response to the question “What are you going to do next?” after a lottery win, an Olympic medal or any other exciting event. For some people with a disability, the prospect of standing in long lines or walking long distances across the park takes a little bit of the magic out of the experience.
The company doesn’t want anyone to miss out on everything that Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resort have to offer, which is why they have a disability program.
In the past, one way in which the parks helped accommodate these individuals was by giving them an instant pass. This pass opened doors, literally. It allowed them to jump to the front of the line by way of exit doors and others located at the boarding point. According to company officials, that policy is going to change.
Disney officials said that the unrestricted line-jumping pass was being abused. It wasn’t by those who were intended to benefit from the pass. Instead, it was those who had a little more money to spend who were using it to get their hands on a pass despite their able-bodied status.
As a response, the company will be changing its park disability program. Instead of giving an all-access pass, those with a disability will receive a pass at the start of the ride with a check-in time. It allows them to wait outside of the line for the same length of time as any average individual in the line itself. Then, at the designated check-in time, they can enter at the boarding point.
Some are afraid that this new policy will make it more complicated for those with a disability to enjoy the park. Others think that the old policy needed change to help avoid abuse, but said that the new policy will likely require some amendments as it is tested.
Disney not only doesn’t, but can’t require proof of disability due to privacy issues. This certainly isn’t the case with the Social Security disability program. In fact, many claims are denied on this basis. A St. Louis SSD attorney can help ensure that all the necessary medical records and other documents are included.
Source: CNN, “Disney tightens up resort disability program,” Katia Hetter, Sept. 24, 2013