Dear gentle readers, this week the Green family finds itself in that vacation wonderland, Orlando Florida. Disney World has done away with its Disability Pass of the past–the one that allowed those of us with special needs children to go directly to the front of the line and get on the ride, with a minimal, if any wait, and get right back on the ride if the child wished to do so, as many of our children do. No, Mr Disney decided to do away with this after finding out that some douche bag families were actually hiring special needs children to go with them so that they might bypass the lines and go directly on the rides. Disney, in its infinite wisdom, decided to punish all special needs children and put a stop to all these passes (unless you are a Make a Wish member and nobody is arguing that they deserve everything available). No, now you have to jump through some Disney hoops…first you have to go to the Guest Services department. Then a very friendly “staff member” makes you tap dance your child’s special needs out–you have to explain exactly what is wrong with your child and why you need a little help. (Ummm because he is autistic and you can see that he is 6 ft and 200 pounds and just standing here talking to you is getting him agitated–just imagine how happy he is going to be to have to wait in your lines now, and how ugly this could get…in front of all the little kids here…do you understand me???…..)Your child has his or her picture taken. You don’t mind that, do you? Well, yeah, actually, I do….but I l let that go….then they print off a paper “pass” with your child’s picture on it, and then they make you sign your name on the back, agreeing to all their new and improved! rules for the special needs community. Here they are….1. You now have to go to each damn ride that you want to go on and be given a time to come back, based on the wait time, minus a whopping 10 minutes. So let’s say the ride wait was 80 minutes long, you would be told to come back in 70 minutes. Yeah, that works really well for an autistic child that wants to go on the Buzz Lightyear ride right now. They do not care. These are the rules, by god (or by Disney!!)! 2. Each park treats you differently. Animal Kingdom was the friendliest. Each person at each individual ride…well, some knew the rules, some didn’t. Some were cool and would let you on if the ride didn’t have a long wait, and some would not let you on if you came back 2 minutes early. I am not kidding on that. Two minutes early. Go back and wait. Seriously. It’s a freaking disability pass!!!!! 3. Because of the new rules, many of the rides were missed and as a result we paid a hell of a lot of money to do a lot less than we ever have in the past. Because of this Disney will not be in our future for a long long time unless they do some major changes.
I have had issues with Disney in the past, for its sexism, racism, marketing to children; but this takes Disney to a new low. Really Disney? Now you are going after the special needs community??? Dear Walt, you suck, and you suck big time. Let’s hope that Sea World proves to be more accommodating.