Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Shame On You: Parents who hire disabled tour guides at Disney World

Dear Parents Without A Conscience:
I'm mad. Steaming mad, actually. You won't hear me say that often, but it's the only way I know how to describe my feelings right now. I've been known to write love letters. This is most definitely not one of those. I hear you've been hiring disabled tour guides to pose as family members so your children can jump the lines at Disney World. You know, no big deal. Apparently, you see absolutely nothing wrong with this. And even worse, you're trying to make the whole thing look even more legit by using a service called Dream Tours (not affiliated with Disney), where you can hire a disabled tour guide for as little as $130 an hour. Callie Beusman put it best in her recent article for Jezebel...

It goes without saying that all of this is truly gross. To think it's in any way appropriate, as an able-bodied person, to take advantage of systems that have been put in place to make life easier for those with physical disabilities is disgusting; to do so in order to assert your extreme privilege is despicable. It's wonderful (and necessary!) that there's a Disney tour service out there catering to those with special needs; to co-opt it as a means of further spoiling advantaged rich kids is shameful, oblivious, and demeaning.
One word: Appalling. What sort of message is this sending to your children? Don't get me wrong. I fully take issue with people with disabilities actually doing this for money, but for you to think this is somehow acceptable is just beyond me.

I've tried so hard never to let my disability be the crutch in my life, as if it was something I could easily fall back on and use as a wild card whenever I needed to. You're sadly undermining a lot of the work I and other people with disabilities have done over the years. Work to change society's perception of disabilities. Work to show people that a disability doesn't have to define your life. Thank you for putting us back just a teensy bit in our efforts.
Yes, there are programs and assistance available for people with disabilities -- programs that help them to lead and full, rich and rewarding life. Notice I said programs for people with disabilities, not programs for people just looking to get a free ride on Splash Mountain.

I know it may not seem like it, but you're effectively telling your children that it's OK to abuse services meant for other, more-deserving candidates. Your attitude is, frankly, despicable, deplorable and disgraceful. You should most definitely be ashamed of yourself. I know I am. UN-xoxo

[Photos via We Heart It]


  1. That is insane... And it makes me wonder about what kind of person would start a business like that. No morals whatsoever.. My faith in humanity died a little bit today :/

  2. I am shocked... it's one of those things where I wish that someone would reveal that it's not true b/c I just don't want to believe people could be that insensitive.

  3. Wow. Just, wow. The amount of entitlement people believe they have is insane.

  4. I heard about this on the radio and thought, "Noooo! This can't be true."

    Where the freak are all our morals? Good gracious.

  5. Although I think it's fishy, the disabled people aren't forced into this. It's not like slavery. It's a mutual agreement. I'm a disabled person and don't have a huge issue with this. I am more shocked someone is willing to spend $1000 for this service.

  6. I read this last week and was appalled! Thank you for speaking up so poignantly. I was against it from the beginning but your words resonate stronger. Despicable.

  7. There are people actually doing this? I'm absolutely appalled. I can't believe ANYONE would partake in this type of behavior. :(

  8. You know those people who always have a correlating story to EVERY story you EVER tell? Well, here I go: When I was 14 I went to Disneyland on my cousin's dime and was too "hip and alternative" in my Marilyn Manson shirt to just have fun. So I wandered off like a cool kid (stupid poser dork) and was approached by a Canadian teenage boy with a Filter shirt on. He was on crutches and had been given a wheelchair by the park. Needless to say, I rode Space Mountain a gajillion times. Sadly, he thought that I owed him (or liked him?) and tried to feel me up. So, it almost happened but I didn't prostitute myself for "friends of wheelchair" privileges. So WHO was the one being exploited here? ;)

  9. Ugh, I was so disgusted when I heard about this! I couldn't believe that people would do that.

  10. I couldn't agree more–what a terrible example to set.

  11. Hi Melissa! Thanks for stopping by my blog! Our family recently visited Disneyland and we noticed a lot of wheelchairs in use... then this news story came out and I was so shocked and saddened. :(


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