As of Oct. 9, disabled people will no longer be able to skip the lines at Disneyland locations and Walt Disney World Resorts due to so-called “disabled tour guides” who were escorting non-disabled families to the front of the line for a fee.
“Change is difficult," Matt Asner, executive director of the Southern California chapter of Autism Speaks, told the Associated Press. "I didn't want it to change, but I understand there was an issue that needed to be dealt with."
Under the current policy, people with disabilities are allowed backdoor access or entrance through an exit to cut the amount of time they wait. A proof of disability is not required under this system, which has caused able-bodied people to abuse this privilege, NBC Los Angeles reported. Now, families with disabled individuals are forced to suffer.
"My boys don't have the cognition to understand why it's going to be a long wait," Rebecca Goddard, mother of two children with autism, told the Orange County Register. "There are so few things for my boys that bring them utter joy and happiness – to mess with it just makes me sad."
Disabled park visitors will now receive time-sensitive tickets that will allow them to enter an attraction at a designated time. Disneyland spokeswoman Suzi Brown said details surrounding the new policy are being withheld until employees have been briefed.
"We have an unwavering commitment to making our parks accessible to all guests," Brown said in a statement. "Given the increasing volume of requests we receive for special access to our attractions, we are changing our process to create a more consistent experience for all our guests while providing accommodations for guests with disabilities."