Sarah Barnes from Austin writes about their family trip to Disneyland, where an almost-perfect day was marred by two unfortunate (and unnecessary) problems. First, her daughter Meredith, who has special needs, had a lot of trouble standing in Disney’s famously-long lines, becoming anxious to the point of tears. Second, when requesting a special pass from the park, to help them avoid the lines, she was forced to justify Meredith’s need for it to the park staff, by explaining her condition in agonizing detail. Of course, once she convinced them, she found that the “special pass” wouldn’t actually help them avoid the lines.
“This was not happening. Was I really going to have to parade Meredith into the office so a Disney employee could decide whether ‘the happiest place on Earth’ deemed my daughter worthy of a special pass?
We finally got the pass, but the employee said it would not get us on the rides any faster. She explained that if we showed it to the ticket taker, we’d be allowed extra time to board the ride, but that was it.
I would learn later from the folks at Disney guest relations that it’s a ‘common misconception’ among parents that children with disabilities can automatically go to the front of the line. The special needs pass is just to alert the staff that your child might need extra help and it provides children in a wheelchair a more comfortable place to wait.
For our family, that was about as useful as Tinkerbell without her fairy dust.”
Meredith’s family managed to make due, and it sounds like they still had a great trip. But think how much better Qless could have made that trip by letting them hit all of their favorite rides throughout the day without standing in line at all. Are you listening, Disney?