Ok firstly I want to say that yes this post will probably offend some people, which is not my intent but I know it will. This post is just to voice my thoughts and opinion on something I’m always noticing at the Disney Parks which is that some people, not all, but some DO indeed abuse the disability services the park provide.
At WDW we’ve seen SO many people on the ECVs, some (visably) clearly need them, some probably need them but its not visable and some you can tell rent them so they don’t have to walk and stand in line all day. A lot of people also do not ‘drive’ them responsibily. When my son was 3yrs old he nearly got ran over by a woman on an ECV who believed she was the only person in the park and was going full speed. My husband literally grabbed Gage’s arm and YANKED him out of the way as the woman sped past him, no appology or anything. Gage was in front of her so couldn’t see her coming to move. Then you have people who let their kids play and ride on them while they’re doing something else that doesn’t require being in the ECV. I’ve never rented a wheelchair or ECV as I’ve never needed one…if you have, can you tell me if they require proof of a disability to rent it? The website does not say anything other than the fee and where to get them.
A couple of years ago, my father in-law went to WDW with some of the family while he was terminally ill with prostate cancer and could only do a few hours at a time and such but did not rent a wheelchair or ECV, probably due to pride knowing him, but he did what he could then he’d go for a rest. I wasn’t with them on this trip but I’d have told him to get one just so he wouldn’t be straining himself so much.
Anyway…so then at Disneyland what we saw the most of was people with these blue disbaled cards which got people into the wheelchair queue for rides. It was like “oh Sally broke her leg, lets take the whole family to Disneyland!” Seriously, we saw a group of 20 people queue through the wheelchair line with one person holding a disability card. We watched so many people whip out a blue disability card to go through the wheelchair line who were not in a wheelchair or ECV, some were even kids who were running and jumping around and the kicker to this was it was all for It’s A Small World which at the time was a walk on! There was no regular queue to wait in! The disbaility line was longer than the stand-by line!
My husband and I were watching these people pull out these cards to go through the wheelchair line and yes I know there are many disabilities that are not visable, but surely if you’re running around and jumping about you can stand for 5mins to go onto a ride. So we started joking about us going in and asking for a disability card and what we’d say our concern was. As I honestly have a Plantar Fasciitis in my left foot which does cause me a good deal of pain (the reason I cut short my 10k Race for Life to just 5k), I decided that in the morning I’d ask for a disability card, just to see if I could get one. Although I’d walked around Alabama and PC Beach for 2wks without it bothering me but from all the walking and standing in line at WDW and DLR did cause it to hurt, somedays a lot! But I took some antiflamitory meds and carried on. I went to guest services and said “I’ve heard that people with conditions can get a disability card…what is it and what do you have to do to get one?” The lady informed me that I did not have to disclose what my condition was just tell her what my concern was for queuing up and boarding rides (Due to some law or bill, they can not ask you to disclose any medical conditions) I told her that I had a lot of pain in my left food…and I got one! Didn’t say I’d sprained it or anything, it just hurt…if you’ve been to Disney parks I know you’re feet hurt you too. She also asked if I need to use a wheelchair and I said no but that I have used crutches which is true.
Now I want you to know that I did not use my card, I did not aquire it in order to use it and cut queues. I just wanted to see how easy it was to get one and there you have it. Basically anyone can get a disabled card and queue through the disabled access line for rides. It’s a great service for those who truly need it but its a shame that so many people abuse it as well. I just think of those people who really need a wheelchair or ECV but can not get one because people have rented them for no reason and they’ve run out. Shame. Please think of those who really need one of these devices before you rent one because you want to be lazy or something to carry your shopping in…they can send your shopping to your resort room!