Here’s some facts that may calm you down a bit. As with many news stories the story is only partially true.
1.Every news story I’ve read on this it’s an outside company that is doing this NOT Disney. If the story is true Disney will deal with them.
2.Yes Disney has tour guides you can hire, but they are for special behind the scenes tours, like animation, sunrise safaris in the animal kingdom etc and to my knowledge none of them are given by handicapped tour guides. Every tour guide I’ve ever seen has been walking with the guests and the rides are not included in these tours. For foreign visitors they offer free headphone equipped players that translate the rides for the guests.
3.Handicapped people for 99% of the rides must wait their turn the same as everyone else. We took dmil in an ecv (electric scooter) the last time we went. One family member stood in the queue and the rest of us waited in the handicapped entrance until the line walker reached the front of the queue, or we had to be in the queue with the line walker if the ecv could navigate the line. Then we would have to wait for the specially equipped car/boat etc to come around, be loaded, the ecv strapped in (this is why rides stop folks) then do the ride, stop the ride and be unloaded by a cm (cast member). So using an ecv is actually LONGER to use. The only advantage is the ones with the ecv get to wait inside in the air conditioning. The other 1% we’d enter and they’d have us wait until the specially equipped transport arrived. That might be considered line jumping. The ones we went to the front of the queue so to speak were ones that the lines could not be navigated easily with an ecv. They were also generally the lines that were relative short anyway normally. With all the new renovations that have been going on that 1% is disappearing. BTW, this is basically the same procedure for all amusement parks.
4.Please note that neither the woman who “bragged” about this or the tour company could be reached for further comment.
5.I’ve been to WDW over 30 times and have NEVER seen a line longer than 1-1 ½ hour wait, generally they are 45 minutes long (if you don’t use a fast pass) in PEAK season. Off season we generally can nearly walk right on the rides. Yet some of the articles are claiming 2-2 ½ hour waits! When? New Year’s Eve maybe.
6.Disney does NOT have the word “Handicapped” on their ecv’s anywhere. Now the individual company may have that on there, but Disney does not.
7.Disney has what is called “fast Pass” where you can get a ticket from a machine FOR FREE at the actual ride using your entry ticket (which you get back immediately) to do a set time frame to return in. Generally that time frame is about an hour long. Then enter at a certain entrance to ride the ride—thus a line jump of sorts, but anyone can do it for free. They limit the number of fast passes issued per day and you must use it during the time frame that is printed on the ticket. You can use it only once per time frame. Use to be they didn’t enforce the time frame, but they do now. You can only have one fast pass per ticket at a time. So you cannot run around and gather fast passes all morning than jump lines all afternoon. One at a time. Basically you are standing in line while waiting for the time frame, but not really because you can go do something else and come back. It’s like having someone hold your place in line while you go to the restroom, get a coke or such.
8.Disney is now experimenting with a wristband that has a chip in it that will allow you to “book” your fast passes for the day ahead of time, thus saving the mad rush to get to a rides to collect fast passes at rope drop in the morning. It is FREE as well. So far it’s still in the experimental stage. The wristband has all sorts of “extras” on it. You decide what goes on it. Example: You have a child in your party that is having a birthday. If you choose you can put the child’s name in the computer and that it is their birthday. Then all day long the child will be greeted by name and told happy birthday.
9.HOWEVER, Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure does have a special pass you can PAY for as a resort guest to line jump with.
So the story is only partially true. A rich person bragging facts that aren’t quite true.