By Yara Del Rio-Dominguez |Staff Writer|
Disneyland and Disney World Resort will no longer provide visitors with disabilities a Guest Assistance Card, starting Nov. 1, 2013.
Disney’s current policy offers their visitors with a disability, a Guest Assistance Card allowing guests to go to the front of the line on any ride or attraction, reducing wait time depending on their disability at no extra cost.
Last summer at Radiator Springs, a popular ride inside Disneyland California Adventure, guests had no problem maneuvering through the lines.
Disneyland, on the other hand, was intentionally built for pedestrians, therefore guests face difficulty maneuvering through the long awaiting lines.
Anne Hardstaff, tourist from Australia, visited Disneyland this past weekend and brought along a doctor’s note to gain access to the Guest Assistance Card.
Anne Hardstaff told NBC News, “Yes, it is important for to me to obtain a Guest Assistance Card, because due to my arthritis, it is not possible for me to stand for a long period of time.”
CSUSB student, Crystal Quintana, disagrees with Disneyland’s attempt to eliminate their Guest Assistance Card, due to those who have abused it.
Her father who currently is unable to work due to back problems had this to say, “Disney should really take their guests’ needs into consideration, especially those whom are disabled, because Disneyland’s promise of it being the Happiest Place on Earth, will then become the most dreadful place on Earth for those who suffer from a disability.”
Quintana goes on to say, “Disney’s Guest Assistance Card should be closely analyzed, because what one Disneyland employee may judge as an instant access condition may not be the case, because if a person can stand it does not necessarily mean they can stand for a long period of time, and my family will not be returning if Disney revokes their Guest Assistance Card.”
CSUSB student, Annette Armenta, agrees with Disney’s decision to eliminate their Guest Assistance Card.
As an annual pass holder to Disneyland, Armenta views many people who race to the front of the line when they’re with someone who holds a Guest Assistance Card is clearly abusing the system.
“It’s unfair for them to skip the line where we all waited the two hour wait, just because they are with someone who claims to have disability even if their disability isn’t visibly seen,” explains Armenta.
“This past weekend I was in line waiting to meet a Disney character and the man behind me was in line with his autistic son, I offered him the opportunity to go in front of me, but he refused my offer, he said his son must learn he is no different than anyone else and just like everyone, he too will wait in line,” added Armenta.
Armenta elaborates that people should consider passing along these ethical values and use fast passes for rides instead of abusing the Guest Assistance Card.
Disney representatives did go on record to say they are looking into modifying their guest assistance pass, and encourage their guests to use the fast pass program, which allow visitors front line access.