If you’ve ever been to Disney World or Disneyland, you know that the lines can be extremely long, sometimes requiring at least a two-hour wait in the sun. You might have also noticed that anyone who needs a wheelchair or motorized scooter can jump to the front of the line, along with up to six friends.
That gave the people at Dream Tours in Florida an idea of a way to make money: why not hire out disabled people as ‘guides’ for families, enabling them to jump to the front of the line?
Some wealthy Manhattan moms were thrilled to discover this service.
This Is How The 1 Percent Does Disney
From The New York Post:
“My daughter waited one minute to get on ‘It’s a Small World’ — the other kids had to wait 2 1/2 hours,” crowed one mom, who hired a disabled guide through Dream Tours Florida.
You can’t go to Disney without a tour concierge,’’ she sniffed. “This is how the 1 percent does Disney.”
The woman said she hired a Dream Tours guide to escort her, her husband and their 1-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter through the park in a motorized scooter with a “handicapped” sign on it. The group was sent straight to an auxiliary entrance at the front of each attraction.
This is not how Dream Tours presents itself.
Their website reads: “Dedicated to providing quality based, memorable, and affordable vacations, to people with special needs.”
It’s only if you dig a little deeper and click on”VIP Tours” that you’ll find these disabled guides. Here the company advertises a guide who “will provide significantly reduced wait times through the parks” and special entrance to Fast Pass lines.
According to The New York Post, Manhattan’s private-school set have been passing around this number, endorsing the service, recently. The service asks who referred you before they even take your call.
“It’s insider knowledge that very few have and share carefully,” social anthropologist Dr. Wednesday Martin told The New York Post. She stumbled across the network while doing research for her upcoming book “Primates of Park Avenue.”
The idea of wealthy moms feeling so entitled is despicable, and especially as their children will undoubtedly pick up the same attitude. Those children will also learn that they do not need to respect the disabled, who are mere objects to be used as needed. And what about the kids and families that truly do need special help?
And of course for disabled people to hire themselves out in this way is terribly sad; presumably either the job pays well or that’s the only work they can get.
This situation reminds me of parents at a private school where I used to teach, who would try and cheat the system by telling me that their perfectly normal child was dyslexic and therefore needed to have special accommodations like extended time on tests. Almost always, these were parents who didn’t like the fact that their kid was getting B and C grades, and were looking for a way to ensure all A’s.
In some cases, wealthy parents were able to pay several thousand dollars for an educational psychologist to agree that this was the case, and arrange for those accommodations.
Too much money can turn people into insensitive bullies.
Dream Tours charges $130 an hour, or $1,040 for an eight-hour day. That makes it quite a bit cheaper than Disney World, which offers a VIP guide and fast passes for $310 to $380 per hour.
No More Disabled Guides
Apparently the bad press has worked. If you click on VIP Tours today, this is what you’ll read:
Due to inaccurate press and slander, Dream Tours is not offering VIP tours at this time. Our focus has primarily always been providing magical vacations for adults with special needs and helping their dreams to come true.
That’s good, but why are they not apologizing for their horrible program?
It is unacceptable to abuse accommodations that are intended to help disabled people.
Photo Credit: thinkstock