Awesome. Scammers faking disabilities to cut lines

posted at 10:01 pm on May 20, 2013 by Jazz Shaw

Let’s close out the evening with something a bit less storm related, both tornado and political. One item which is, I admit, completely trivial in comparison to the events of the day, but which struck a minor chord with me, comes to us from Yahoo News and a few other sources. It involves people who don’t feel like standing in line at various places such as Disneyland or airports, and employ a number of techniques to fake disabilities for head of the line privileges.

Now this is rich: Disney World is investigating news that a handful of upper-crust Manhattan moms have a pricey, secret way to get their kids to the front of the lines—and it’s not by bribing Mickey Mouse.

Instead, according to the New York Post, the moms pay $130 an hour to hire a disabled, “black-market” guide, who uses her position—sitting in a motorized scooter—to help entitled families gain special access to rides.

“On one hand, you can say she’s a great entrepreneur,” disability activist Kleo King, of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association, told Yahoo! Shine. “On the other hand, she’s kind of pimping herself out. And it’s outrageous she would help people commit fraud.”

The spin of this article, written by Beth Greenfield, will annoy a lot of readers for obvious reasons. She goes to great lengths to portray the perpetrators in Occupy Wall Street terms, describing them as the “privileged insiders” of the “one percent” who are leveraging their wealth to hire disabled people to eliminate inconvenience for their spoiled, Wall Street brats.

Fair enough, and it’s a pretty lousy thing to do, so let’s be honest about that much. But they aren’t the only ones pulling this scam. Here’s an example of the shell game in question which lots of people can play.

Using a false disability claim to skip lines is not a new trick, unfortunately. A recent Wall Street Journal story documented the trend of travelers requesting the use of complimentary wheelchairs in airports as a technique of getting pushed to the front of security lines, only to leap up and sprint to their gates once they have clearance. “We call them ‘miracles.’ They just start running with their heavy carry-ons,” longtime wheelchair attendant Kenny Sanchez noted.

I’ve been witness to this myself on multiple occasions, the most recent being this January. I was flying to Atlanta by way of Detroit. In the Motor City I was waiting with two colleagues when I saw an older – though not that much older than me- couple come to the boarding area. They were a well dressed, genteel seeming African American couple, with the woman pushing the man in a wheelchair. I was immediately moved to feel a bit sorry for them having to cram onto a flight while dealing with the infirmities which can accompany our golden years. After wheeling up and checking with the gate agent, it turned out that they were moved in to early, preferred boarding and upgraded to the front of the plane. It was a feel good moment for everyone.

I was in zone 2 for that flight and happened to follow not far behind them through the entry ramp. Reaching the end, the gentleman hopped up out of the wheelchair, grabbed both of the carry-on bags from his wife (again, a gentlemanly move) and proceeded to move to their upgraded seating, tossing the bags up into the overhead compartment and taking his seat, the wheelchair left forgotten on the jetway.

I was annoyed. No… I was beyond annoyed. The man may have had some medical issues – I have no way of knowing – but he was more than capable of strolling into the flight with a couple of substantial sized bags, tossing them above head level and grabbing a seat unassisted to wait for his free cocktails. That’s a pretty bad move to my way of thinking, and nobody said a word. I guess he was a “miracle” passenger too.


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Scumbags all of them.

Disgusting behaviour…

Scrumpy on May 20, 2013 at 10:06 PM

Sorry, but this can’t be true. I go to WDW a LOT and I often take my mother in a wheelchair. That does not get us to the front of ANY lines. Sometimes the wheelchair line is separate or separate at the end but it is NOT helpful. It’s absolute poison for the Kilimanjaro Safari in Animal Kingdom.

For some shows, it gets you better seats. For others, it gets you terrible seats.

Pythagoras on May 20, 2013 at 10:07 PM

And there’s this:

Throughout Cook County, there’s one handicap placard in circulation for every 13 passenger vehicles.

And with parking-meter rates escalating throughout Chicago, the incentive for able-bodied drivers to use one of those placards to park for free in metered spots can sometimes be too hard to resist, a Chicago Sun-Times investigation found.

CW on May 20, 2013 at 10:07 PM

Growth opportunities in the Obama economy!

slickwillie2001 on May 20, 2013 at 10:08 PM

If Obama’s son had a temporary disability, that’s what he’d do.

Wino on May 20, 2013 at 10:10 PM

Free markets wingnuts!

tom daschle concerned on May 20, 2013 at 10:11 PM

If you want to spend big bucks to skip the lines at WDW, use this:

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/events-tours/vip-tour-services/

Pythagoras on May 20, 2013 at 10:11 PM

… and it’s hard to tell who is real and who is not. One Dallas talk show host related the fact that he has a handicap permit because his wife is disabled. There are times he will drop her off at a shopping center, then go do something else and come back to get her. When he returns, he parks in the handicap space so that her wheelchair will fit the parking space. He related that the looks he gets when parking to go in and get her are pretty devastating; a healthy dude walking out of a handicap space. Legitimate but doesn’t appear that way to the casual observer.

AZfederalist on May 20, 2013 at 10:12 PM

Sorry, but this can’t be true. I go to WDW a LOT and I often take my mother in a wheelchair. That does not get us to the front of ANY lines. Sometimes the wheelchair line is separate or separate at the end but it is NOT helpful. It’s absolute poison for the Kilimanjaro Safari in Animal Kingdom.

For some shows, it gets you better seats. For others, it gets you terrible seats.

Pythagoras on May 20, 2013 at 10:07 PM

It “can’t” be true? Sure it can. Maybe it doesnt always work but doesn’t mean it can’t work.

I was at Disneyland yesterday and I saw people in wheelchairs doing the exact same thing.

I assume they were all actually handicapped and needed the wheelchairs.

MikeknaJ on May 20, 2013 at 10:16 PM

Pythagoras on May 20, 2013 at 10:07 PM

Agreed. Being in a scooter may get you a different access point but doesn’t necessarily accord special privileges. So either these fools are wasting their money, or this story is completely made up.

WaltzingMtilda on May 20, 2013 at 10:16 PM

I’m always struck by how many people are handicapped by their overweightness.

hopeful on May 20, 2013 at 10:16 PM

“On one hand, you can say she’s a great entrepreneur,” disability activist Kleo King, of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association, told Yahoo! Shine. “On the other hand, she’s kind of pimping herself out. And it’s outrageous she would help people commit fraud.”

C’mon now, her back don’t work right to do the shim-shammy, so what is wrong with the flim-flammy? After all, those wealthy travelers have time constraints and don’t want to get the cooties from everyone else.

arnold ziffel on May 20, 2013 at 10:17 PM

Legitimate but doesn’t appear that way to the casual observer.

AZfederalist on May 20, 2013 at 10:12 PM

and for all we know the guy could have heart ailment.

CW on May 20, 2013 at 10:17 PM

I’m always struck by how many people are handicapped by their overweightness.

hopeful on May 20, 2013 at 10:16 PM

Or are they overweighted by their handicap?
:)

CW on May 20, 2013 at 10:18 PM

At least Eddie Murphy made it funny.

Myron Falwell on May 20, 2013 at 10:20 PM

I traveled by air several times with my sister (disabled) and mother (elderly & not capable of walking far). We used two wheelchairs and helpers while I tried to manage luggage and tickets. I couldn’t have done it without that kind of help, and not waiting in line was the only upside in a process that has its own delays built in.

Abusing the system this way is another example of the tragedy of the commons. Public resources are vulnerable to exploitation by the unethical.

novaculus on May 20, 2013 at 10:23 PM

It “can’t” be true? Sure it can. Maybe it doesnt always work but doesn’t mean it can’t work.

I was at Disneyland yesterday and I saw people in wheelchairs doing the exact same thing.

I assume they were all actually handicapped and needed the wheelchairs.

MikeknaJ on May 20, 2013 at 10:16 PM

No, it CAN’T be true at WDW. I know this from experience. It’s NOT better.

See my post about the VIP services. My guess is that the source got that confused with handicap access. In almost every line at WDW the queue is wide enough for wheelchairs and there is absolutely no difference; everybody is simply together. For the few exceptions, they make sure the handicapped access is not quicker.

Disney is not stupid.

Pythagoras on May 20, 2013 at 10:23 PM

I’m always struck by how many people are handicapped by their overweightness.

hopeful on May 20, 2013 at 10:16 PM

Just get the f out of my way with your blubber buggies at Winco, Costco, and Albertsons. I got shit to do and don’t appreciate your nasty looks and poor attitude.

arnold ziffel on May 20, 2013 at 10:25 PM

People need to call others out on this. I know I do…it’s these same people that will try to just walk up and cut a line because no one will say anything. And when they get called on it they just turn and say “oh, I didn’t see the line.” You can tell the difference between those who really don’t see it and be more polite with them.

I’m a younger guy so don’t really have a huge fear of someone starting a fight. I’ve had some people do the “who cares just one person” routine…have to love people these days, no respect for each other!

nextgen_repub on May 20, 2013 at 10:32 PM

Well, what so wrong with that? Obama faked all manner of abilities to cut all the way to the top of the line.

VorDaj on May 20, 2013 at 10:34 PM

Sorry, but this can’t be true. I go to WDW a LOT and I often take my mother in a wheelchair. That does not get us to the front of ANY lines. Sometimes the wheelchair line is separate or separate at the end but it is NOT helpful. It’s absolute poison for the Kilimanjaro Safari in Animal Kingdom.

For some shows, it gets you better seats. For others, it gets you terrible seats.

Pythagoras on May 20, 2013 at 10:07 PM

Sorry, but you just don’t know how to work the scam…you are seeing it from honest eyes, a scammer knows how to work the system and get to the front of the lines and get the best seats.

The problem you have, is that you are honest…and that is why scammers succeed because most of us just can’t comprehend the warped mind that thinks of these things, and then exploits them.

right2bright on May 20, 2013 at 10:34 PM

Yesterday’s San Francisco Examiner newspaper reported that San Francisco has finally decided to reform the city’s policies for handicapped parking placards.

Drivers with a blue placard can park for free at any space in The City and they are not subject to any time limits.

But since 2001 there has been a 100 percent increase of the placards in the Bay Area, leading some disabled advocates to question whether the permits are being abused. Every year, about 1,800 placards are confiscated in The City for fraudulent use, but permits continue to be issued out.

With so many placards — there are twice as many permits as metered spaces in San Francisco — disabled residents are increasingly finding it hard to find a spot to park their car.

http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/transportation/2013/05/drivers-disabled-placards-may-have-pay-meters-sf

1,800 placards confiscated for fraud EVERY YEAR!

Twice as many handicapped permits as metered parking spaces!

Will San Francisco lose its reputation as being a city full of compassionate people when the rest of the country finds out how many people are pretending to be disabled just to get free parking in the city?

Fraudulently claiming to be disabled makes life harder for people who really are disabled.

wren on May 20, 2013 at 10:35 PM

MikeknaJ on May 20, 2013 at 10:16 PM
Pythagoras on May 20, 2013 at 10:23 PM

Maybe it depends on the day and the staff? We’ve been there with a disabled friend who can’t tolerate the heat. Disney employess came up to us as soon as we approached a ride to guide us to the wheelchair entrance. Some attractions we waited on the regular line.

hopeful on May 20, 2013 at 10:35 PM

They were a well dressed, genteel seeming African American couple

and nobody said a word.

We are trained to not say a word out of fear mostly. This is not a jab at Jazz. I wouldn’t say a word either.

VibrioCocci on May 20, 2013 at 10:36 PM

Actually, it is true. I have two prosthetic legs and the absolute worst thing I can do is stand for long periods of time. If you go to guest services you can obtain a pass that allows you to use an alternate entrance, but it’s usually the exit gate and you go to the front of the line. You may have to wait 5-10 minutes, but nowhere near as long as regular lines.

I asked the person at guest services how they keep people from taking advantage of it. She told me that they cannot, by law, ask a person what their handicap is.

I have no doubt that it’s being taken advantage of and it’s going to make it tougher for people who really need it.

I blame the handicapped people as much as those that used them.

So sad.

NC Cop on May 20, 2013 at 10:37 PM

nextgen_repub on May 20, 2013 at 10:32 PM

What gets me is how indignant some get when caught trying to pull one of these stunts.
The nerve of some people telling others to follow rules.

I happen to be at the other end of the age, and I don’t have the patience I had when I was younger, and my diplomacy is not exactly stellar.

right2bright on May 20, 2013 at 10:37 PM

I work in a UAW shop. Getting on disability is the holy grail for these freaks. I hear stories all the time about getting dirty docs to sign off on disability. The number of honest people I talk to is in the single digits. They are all tax cheats. They all scam the system. It makes me want to puke.

tom daschle concerned on May 20, 2013 at 10:39 PM

One solution is one handicapped, one attendant.

Same thing at airports when they do early boarding and a group of six adults/teens brings a baby onboard.

Marcus on May 20, 2013 at 10:42 PM

I’m visually disabled, but not fully blind. However, pre-boarding is a safety measure not just for me but for others on the plane. Too many times, I’ve gotten bumps and bruises (and done the same to others) from not being fully visually aware of my surroundings. A couple of times it could have been worse so I made the adaptation. I know it must look weird, because in other ways I’m sure I probably seem normal. I have no problem getting out of the wheelchair, so there are those that probably look at me as one of the miracle cases.

However nice that getting on the plane 5 minutes early might be, I’m the last one off, last one to baggage, etc. so it’s not really that much of an advantage. The one disclaimer is that long customs lines on international flights tend to be a lot quicker for me, but I don’t do that kind of travel enough to feel like I’ve “come out ahead”.

Chomsky Dance Recital on May 20, 2013 at 10:56 PM

That’s exactly why they do it. They know no one will say anything or do anything. Plus, in your example, you probably would have been racist if you said anything.

rich8450 on May 20, 2013 at 11:00 PM

The problem you have, is that you are honest…and that is why scammers succeed because most of us just can’t comprehend the warped mind that thinks of these things, and then exploits them.

right2bright on May 20, 2013 at 10:34 PM

The problem you have is you haven’t been to Disney World.

Look folks, 20 years ago wheelchairs were a great way to beat the lines in WDW. Disney wised up and you can’t game the system any more.

Pythagoras on May 20, 2013 at 11:01 PM

Just been to Disney in March of this year, Pythagoras. It can and does happen. You can’t just be in a wheelchair, but if you get the special pass from guest services you don’t wait in line. I’ve done it myself.

NC Cop on May 20, 2013 at 11:09 PM

Inversely, my 72 yr old Mom-a-law forgot to hang her placard (gets in the way when drivin ) and got her car keyed pretty good.

People can be douches both ways.

LtGenRob on May 20, 2013 at 11:14 PM

Another scam is young healthy people getting “Medical Marijuana” Cards from sham “doctors”.

As our race to get a pot prescription showed, the irony is that medical pot is readily available to recreational users while it remains inaccessible for many truly sick people who might benefit from it.

My wife still has options. In November, Californians will vote on Proposition 19, a ballot measure that would legalize pot in the state. Whether or not it passes, little can stop her from taking advantage of my shiny new pot card. San Francisco allows medical marijuana patients like myself to name two “caregivers” to buy up for us in case we’re too sick to get to the dispensary. I think I’m feeling another bout of writer’s cramp coming on.

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2010/10/california-medical-marijuana-pot-card

wren on May 20, 2013 at 11:14 PM

It’s almost like Secretaries of State faking concussions to avoid Benghazi testimony.

viking01 on May 20, 2013 at 11:15 PM

It’s just Liberalism in a microcosm, isn’t it? They give well-intentioned advantages to the disadvantaged, the unscrupulous scam the system, and the honest people end up the suckers.

Socratease on May 20, 2013 at 11:17 PM

My Father was a Quad and I would drop him off near the door and we would never use the handicap spaces because people would Park right next to his van in the yellow lines where the ramp would come down.

Patricksp on May 20, 2013 at 11:28 PM

I saw some people in Disney World pull the old I have diabetes trick trying to get to the front of a line in a restaurant, after watching them pitch a fit for a few minutes I walked up to them and offered my brand new unopened package of glucose tablets. They all turned red and walked out. I looked at the host and we both just smiled.

boomer on May 20, 2013 at 11:53 PM

The problem you have is you haven’t been to Disney World.

Look folks, 20 years ago wheelchairs were a great way to beat the lines in WDW. Disney wised up and you can’t game the system any more.

Pythagoras on May 20, 2013 at 11:01 PM

Some rides yes. Some rides no. Faking a disability will still save you a lot of time at WDW. Maybe not as much as 20 years ago, but people still do it for a reason.

Ronnie on May 21, 2013 at 12:10 AM

Patricksp on May 20, 2013 at 11:28 PM

I can’t figure some people out. My cars have disability plates, I’m not getting better, ever. My fiancé takes one to the supermarket, and I go to meet her and the car’s in a handicap space. WTF!

It’s one thing to get out of metered parking, but it’s really something else to park in disabled spots. I try to avoid the van spots otherwise people in chairs have to park way put somewhere.

I never really thought about it until something happened to me. Later I started Rediauto Sport to help out other disabled drivers and some of the stories I’ve heard will curl your toes (if you still have them).

danielreyes on May 21, 2013 at 12:11 AM

The disabled-tour-guide thing strikes me as:

a) A system that provides a thing of value to members of a certain class.

b) An individual with access to that thing of value.

c) Others willing to pay for it.

It’s really no different than corn farmers lobbying Congress for ethanol mandates.

As for the ‘miracles’ – throw ‘em off the plane.

JEM on May 21, 2013 at 1:14 AM

Just been to Disney in March of this year, Pythagoras. It can and does happen. You can’t just be in a wheelchair, but if you get the special pass from guest services you don’t wait in line. I’ve done it myself.

NC Cop on May 20, 2013 at 11:09 PM

Hey, I was there in March. Saw Chubby Checker’s show in EPCOT — awesome!

So, did this work for “Soarin”? Did you do any better than the other wheelchairs at “Spaceship Earth”? Feel free to explain any other ride.

Pythagoras on May 21, 2013 at 2:13 AM

Some folks would say: “Don’t hate the playa’, hate the game.” My wife had a handicap plate on our car and, I never used handicap parking unless she was with me but, I can see the temptation for the less scrupulous. In Lansing, Michigan about 20 years ago. there was a story about the Michigan Lottery office having a huge number of disabled people working there. Seems they just wanted to park out front for free.

Jeff2161 on May 21, 2013 at 4:35 AM

My all-time favorite parking warning sign: “If you aren’t handicapped when you park here, you will be when you leave.”

It was outside the CPO mess on the San Diego Naval Base, about 30 years ago.

Wino on May 21, 2013 at 5:28 AM

They were a well dressed, genteel seeming African American couple

What does their race have to do with anything? Do you refer to couples who are white as the “white couple”?
Strictly from a literary sense the description is unnecessary in the context of this story.

Bradky on May 21, 2013 at 5:48 AM

It’s like the street corner where a homeless, Vietnam vet stood on a with a sign saying “Will work for food“. The next day all four corners had people with similar signs. It didn’t take long to see the ruse and stop helping even the real victim. These scammers will ruin it for everyone. Kind of reminds me too of the feminists back in the 60s and 70s and their vocally obnoxious methods of demanding equal rights. Chivalry flew right out the window.

iamsaved on May 21, 2013 at 7:36 AM

Instead, according to the New York Post, the moms pay $130 an hour to hire a disabled, “black-market” guide, who uses her position—sitting in a motorized scooter—to help entitled families gain special access to rides.

And do we know for sure that this supposedly disabled, “black-market” guide isn’t really disabled but is just a scammer, scammin’ the scammers?

stukinIL4now on May 21, 2013 at 7:50 AM

Cutting lines at Disneyland with a hired person with disability status? Sounds like Disneyland is missing out on a potential market. If they offered express passes to those people, the scammers would disappear or would no longer have the financial incentive. Heck, they could even offer jobs as guides to the disabled for those who pay for the express passes. Oh wait, then the disabled would no longer qualify for disability…can’t have that.

Grabbing a wheelchair to jump to the front of the security line is a natural response to the awful procedures and delays that come with the TSA. Privatize airport security and the line goes away…no incentive to cut in a line that is non-existent. Allow airlines to have a bypass line for their frequent flyers. Problem solved.

As far as the free upgrade, that would have to be taken up with that particular airline. I could guess that the Feds probably offer some sort of incentive to airlines who upgrade these folks, if the airline is doing it out of the goodness of their heart you can hardly be surprised that there are people willing to take advantage…

Yes all those examples are annoying, but they are mostly a result of a lack of a simple market solution or government intervention. There will always be scammers and looters, why give them more opportunities when we don’t need to? The people who should be most offended by this are the truly disabled.

weaselyone on May 21, 2013 at 8:01 AM

No doubt in my mind that these are liberals, through and through.

Midas on May 21, 2013 at 8:24 AM

They were a well dressed, genteel seeming African American couple

What does their race have to do with anything? Do you refer to couples who are white as the “white couple”?
Strictly from a literary sense the description is unnecessary in the context of this story.

Bradky on May 21, 2013 at 5:48 AM

*ponders*

Nope, I’ll allow it. Upon further reflection, it may be relevant after all.

Objection overruled. Proceed.

Midas on May 21, 2013 at 8:27 AM

Wow! I’m disabled, and I was unaware that you could get to the front of the line over it. Oddly, the only folks at the airport that cut lines in my experience, seem to be businessmen that claim they’re late for a flight.

Really! They’re the only ones that cut lines. Just sayin’.

corbeck on May 21, 2013 at 8:58 AM

In my area of South Carolina which is a wealthy beach community, handicapped placard holders are everywhere. The majority of them appear to be just incredibly fat lazy people and they park where they want when they want. I’d mention the racial demographic but that would stir some anger I’m sure.
So right now being a fat slob seems to be a handicap. If being stupid ever qualifies people for a handicapped placard we as a country are trully dumb!

Art on May 21, 2013 at 9:07 AM

Just more evidence of the decline in ethics and morals.

Ward Cleaver on May 21, 2013 at 10:14 AM

So, did this work for “Soarin”? Did you do any better than the other wheelchairs at “Spaceship Earth”? Feel free to explain any other ride.

Pythagoras on May 21, 2013 at 2:13 AM

Why are you being so nasty?
You related your experience. They related theirs.
Evidently, all kinds of things happen there.

Badger40 on May 21, 2013 at 10:51 AM

My ex wife had damaged her ankle right before we went to WDL. She was on crutches, and I knew I’d end up carrying her around all day. So I asked if we could rent a wheelchair when we arrived. They were happy to let us use one, no charge, and everywhere we went there were people running up to us and escorting us to the front of the line. Best seats for all the shows, front of the tram every time, and no waiting for anything.

Granted, there were many rides she simply couldn’t go on so we didn’t cut lines for those, but this story is perfectly valid. Have I done the same thing with just an ace bandage on one of my kid’s ankle? No. Have I thought about it? 2 hour wait for space mountain? You bet I have!

Having ethics sucks sometimes. But this system is easy to game.

runawayyyy on May 21, 2013 at 11:23 AM

I have tended to visit WDW yearly since the kids were old enough to enjoy (about 10 years). Those folks have always catered to the wheelchairs. My experience is that is has gotten worse over the years. Many people whose only disabilities are related to their inability to stop eating, ride the motorized scooters the the front of almost every ride. The attendants cater to them with a smile, while everyone else bakes in the sun. The kids are onto the scam too. Typically one person has a legit broken foot or arm and rides the wheelchair to the front of the line with an entire gaggle of groupies who all appear to have the important job of pushing him around.

I do think that many commoners are taking an “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” approach. Everyone seems to be in a wheelchair down there.

As for the idiots from NY, I hope they enjoy the overpriced “tour guides”. Those suckers don’t realize that you can pull the scam off by simply renting a wheelchair at the park for about $13/day. WDW will not challenge you if you claim a disability.

kpguru on May 21, 2013 at 11:54 AM

I can’t figure some people out. My cars have disability plates, I’m not getting better, ever. My fiancé takes one to the supermarket, and I go to meet her and the car’s in a handicap space. WTF!

It’s one thing to get out of metered parking, but it’s really something else to park in disabled spots. I try to avoid the van spots otherwise people in chairs have to park way put somewhere.

I never really thought about it until something happened to me. Later I started Rediauto Sport to help out other disabled drivers and some of the stories I’ve heard will curl your toes (if you still have them).

danielreyes on May 21, 2013 at 12:11 AM

Do I have handicap plates on my car? No. Do I have a handicap placard? Yes- for the rare times when my dad rides with me. I don’t think it’s left my glovebox more than 5 times in the last several years. My whole point being, I don’t think I could pull that scam. I was told I could apply for plates, my response was leave them for the people who really need them.

BillH on May 21, 2013 at 1:17 PM

So, did this work for “Soarin”? Did you do any better than the other wheelchairs at “Spaceship Earth”? Feel free to explain any other ride.

Pythagoras on May 21, 2013 at 2:13 AM

Why are you being so nasty?
You related your experience. They related theirs.
Evidently, all kinds of things happen there.

Badger40 on May 21, 2013 at 10:51 AM

Sorry; no nastiness was intended. I just want specifics. I know every ride in WDW quite well and I can’t imagine how cutting lines could work. I’m genuinely curious about this.

By the way, I like pushing my mother’s wheelchair around in WDW. When she gets up to wander around a store, I sit. It’s a Godsend. But the wheelchair does NOT help with lines. (By the way the NUMBER ONE trick for WDW is to tie your shoes very loosely. You’ll understand at the end of the day.)

One commenter mentioned that he got a special pass. I believe that but most rides simply don’t have a place for this kind of access (or the place is the normal handicap line and it isn’t faster). Furthermore, the scam angle wouldn’t work. If the same guide kept getting special passes with different “families” they’d get kicked out pretty quick.

Pythagoras on May 21, 2013 at 1:18 PM

BillH on May 21, 2013 at 1:17 PM

Yeah, plates are a little harder to get than placards. Over the years, I’ve had 3-4 placards stolen. I’m told it’s mostly valets who take them but I don’t know.

No one steals your plates. I also find as time goes by I park in handicapped spots less. I’ve met too many people in chairs, paras and quads, who need them more than I do.

Nothing makes you feel better about yourself than working with people less fortunate. There but for the grace of God…

danielreyes on May 21, 2013 at 2:46 PM

What does it allow you to do?

The cards all look the same, but each card has different instructions stamped on. We are aware of 5 different messages; there may be more.
Allows a stroller to be used as a wheelchair in mainstream queues and at alternate entrances. ECVs and wheelchairs can be taken into any building or line without having any pass or card. This allows strollers to use the same alternate entrances.

Allows a waiting spot shaded from the sun if the line is “in the sun for an excessive amount of time.” Fo most of the lines, the largest part of the line inside a building or under a roof or shade. Some of the outdoor lines are even air-conditioned to avoid getting too hot.  This is helpful to people who are sun or heat sensitive.

Allows an alternate entrance waiting area for people who can’t wait in line. This one is mostly used for children/adults with conditions like autism, ADD or other health problems that make waiting in line difficult or dangerous for them or the people with them.  This would also apply to people who suffer from agoraphobia or severe panic attacks that would make waiting in line in close contact with other people impossible. Also, this is used for people who are immunosuppressed and need to avoid infection.

Allows ‘front and center’ seating at shows, for people with severe visual impairments
Kids at WDW thru the Make A Wish or similar organizations. This card allows “front of line” access because these kids are very fragile and have a life threatening condition. These cards are arranged thru WDW and Make a Wish or Give Kids the World as part of their visit.
 For the first 3 categories, you will be asked to use FastPass if available and you are told that the card will not allow immediate access to rides/attractions. You will often still need to wait; it just may be in a different place.

It seems that different cards get different access

danielreyes on May 21, 2013 at 2:53 PM

It seems that different cards get different access

danielreyes on May 21, 2013 at 2:53 PM

Where did you find this?

Pythagoras on May 21, 2013 at 3:10 PM

“I just want specifics.”

Sure. Pirates of the Caribbean, Peter Pan, Aerosmith Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, Haunted Mansion. Is that enough? I’m afraid that’s all we went to on that particular trip.

The special entrance was the exit. So again, please don’t tell me it doesn’t happen.

NC Cop on May 21, 2013 at 3:22 PM

I googled Disneyland disability and one of the local hotels had it. Pixie something or other. Sorry, but I’m on my phone now.

I believe Disneyland Anaheim has really tried to get rid of the scammers.

danielreyes on May 21, 2013 at 3:39 PM

Sorry; no nastiness was intended. I just want specifics. I know every ride in WDW quite well and I can’t imagine how cutting lines could work. I’m genuinely curious about this.

Pythagoras on May 21, 2013 at 1:18 PM

Tell me about wheelchair access to Big Thunder Mountain, for example.

Ronnie on May 21, 2013 at 3:41 PM

Pirates of the Caribbean, Peter Pan, Aerosmith Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, Haunted Mansion. Is that enough? I’m afraid that’s all we went to on that particular trip.

The special entrance was the exit. So again, please don’t tell me it doesn’t happen.

NC Cop on May 21, 2013 at 3:22 PM

If it sounded like I doubted your story, I apologize. I didn’t mean that. As you noted before, there’s a special level of treatment above just being in a wheelchair. This makes perfect sense and is an excellent example of the amazing functionality of WDW.

But the story, as reported, was about someone in a scooter renting them-self out to other families. If all they did was show up in a scooter they didn’t get the treatment you got. As you know WDW is crawling with scooters and wheelchairs. If they try the special treatment you got repeatedly (with different “families”) it will go VERY badly for them. Disney’s amazing functionality includes enforcement. People do get banned.

Pythagoras on May 21, 2013 at 4:07 PM

Tell me about wheelchair access to Big Thunder Mountain, for example.

Ronnie on May 21, 2013 at 3:41 PM

Are you asking me or NC Cop? He didn’t ride that one. The wheelchair access is (pretty obviously) not that huge ramp in front. The best time to ride thunder mountain is after the fireworks. Since they now redo the castle/projector show and then the electric parade after the fireworks, the park stays open and riding rides is a great way to let the exit queues clear out.

If you haven’t been to WDW this year and haven’t seen what they do with the castle just before and after the fireworks, you simply must go see it. It is a technological marvel. They use projectors to change the castle. It’s unbelievable what they can do.

Pythagoras on May 21, 2013 at 4:27 PM

Pythagoras on May 21, 2013 at 4:27 PM

Big Thunder Mountain is one of many rides that have very little wait for people with wheelchairs. There are enough of these rides that scammers can take hours off their wait times.

Ronnie on May 21, 2013 at 4:43 PM