Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Playing by the rules

I've always played by the rules.

I'm not quite sure why but I have never been one to act out. My parents always used to laugh when my teachers used to tell them that I needed to stop apologizing when they were reprimanding other students and I did not do anything wrong. 

Here's the thing about rules: if they are reasonable, there's no reason to break them. They are there for a very important reason and they are fair.

Disney has a very reasonable system in place when dealing with guests with disabilities. Say you are traveling with your spouse, 10 year old child and 5 year old autistic child. If that autistic child cannot wait in line, you can go up to guest relations at the front of any Disney theme park. You can give them a description of your child's limitations. They will most likely issue you a Guest Assistance Card. The GAC will outline your child's limitations. Then the guest with disability can show the card to Cast Members at every attraction. The attractions have different rules, but for the most part, you will be granted special access for you and up to six members in your party.

Disney DOES NOT ask you what your limitation is, due to privacy laws.

The problems started most likely when the internet came around. Irresponsible bloggers and others got wind of this process. It has been billed as a "front of the line" pass online. It starts with whispers and now the whole world gets wind of it. "An easy way to skip the lines at Disney."

Here's the issue: there are people who actually need it, like "Make a Wish" kids and elderly guests. Here's the second issue: there are people who don't need it, just like you, who are now waiting longer due to your irresponsible behavior.

I have been annoyed by this since my days working at Space Mountain nearly a decade ago. However, I reached my tipping point a couple of weeks ago on my relaxing ferry ride to work on a quiet Friday. I usually don't go anywhere near the New York Post, but I happened to glance over at a fellow commuter reading this story:

Rich Manhattan moms hire handicapped tour guides so kids can cut lines at Disney World


There are so many things wrong with this scheme I didn't even know where to start. The steam started coming out of my ears. I took to my Facebook page. Then the Today Show came out with this "undercover" video, which made me even more sick to my stomach.

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"This is how the 1% does Disney." Really? If you were truly the 1%, maybe you should've thought about hiring a Disney VIP Tour Guide.  That's right, there are Cast Members who truly have a front of the line pass without exploiting people with disabilities.

This shameful scheme is now public knowledge. It is my biggest worry and concern that now that people know about it, Disney will change their policy. As someone with an invisible illness, I don't want to see guests who actually need the GAC ridiculed by the standby guests.

I know I've been on my high horse, but I beg of you to please think about your actions. Remember what you are teaching your children. If I complained about waiting in line when I was a child, my parents would say, "There are no lines at home." Your children should be grateful for your Disney vacation.

A Disney vacation is a great time to teach some important lessons:

  • You are not better than anybody else. 

  • There are no shortcuts in life. 

  • You should be grateful for your health and good fortune.

  • There are a LOT worse things in life than waiting in line at Disney World.

  • What goes around, comes around.

 What do you think? Sound off in the comments below.


Sarah said...

Preach it sister. This is horrid. Also with your tendancy to apologize I hereby make you an honorary Canadian :). I count myself blessed that we are able to stand in the long lines disney can have. Firstly because of our ability to physically do so and secondly because of the blessing of financially being able to afford the take our children. I wholeheartedly agree no shortcuts. Those who need them deal with life challenges that are far beyond our "trials" of standing in line

Rosanne_Mottola said...

Thanks Sarah! :) And I'm honored (honoured?) to be a honorary Canadian. I totally agree with you and I am so glad you stopped by!

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