Black Market “Disney Guides”

May 14, 2013



As most of you have read, there was a news story that had come out regarding what they called “Black Market Disney Guides.”  What is that?  Well, it’s when someone hires a disabled person to act as their Disney “guide” so they can gain handicapped access to the attractions.  Meaning in short, they either are too lazy or feel they are too good to stand in line like the rest of us.  I wasn’t going to comment on this subject, being that the story is everywhere, but I figured since I have an opinion on everything else, I might as well.

The public response in general is that this behavior is an outrage, or some don’t think it’s even true.  I would have to say, based on what I’ve seen and heard, that sadly it’s true.  This Manhatten Mom actually went out there and admitted that she pays someone (in a wheelchair), sometimes over $1000.00 for an 8 hour day, to tag along and use their disability to her advantage.  According to this woman, this has become a common practice.  There’s even a company who promotes this, which I won’t name, because that’s like giving them free publicity.  You know what they say, any publicity is good publicity….. well, not today.

I had posted this article earlier today on our Facebook page, and the majority of our followers thought that this is a horrible thing.  I agree.  People already like to complain about scooters, wheelchairs, even strollers at the Parks.  Some think those who need these items get a bad rap.  If that’s the case, then it’s people like this, people who “borrow” disabled people for the day, that fuel the fire when it comes to these stereotypes.  Sure, there will always be someone who abuses the system.  There’s will always be people who are dishonest, people who think they are “above” the system, people who try to actually cheat the system.  What about those who legitimately NEED to use wheelchairs or need special assistance while on vacation?  Doesn’t this cause other people to be suspicious when they see someone in a wheelchair, or on a scooter?  I think it does.  But again, how do you know if someone is “faking” or not?  You don’t.

In all actuality, it’s cheaper to hire a Disney Guide, a real one, to take you through the parks and give you the special treatment that you’d want.  You don’t have to hire someone in a wheelchair, there’s no point to that.  I’ve heard some say that it’s a “good” thing to do this, meaning, good for the disabled person because it allows them to earn extra money.  To me, that is just exploiting the person, regardless of how you look at it.  Again, this doesn’t look well for people who are honest.  Actually, it’s quite insulting.  Do these people realize that there are so many families with members who have disabilities that can only WISH they were healthy enough to stand in line?  It’s sad, because guests who have a disability didn’t ask for those issues, and probably would gladly stand in line if they were able to.  It isn’t right.

I had given this some thought, and I really don’t know how Disney can remedy this situation.  In the good old days, people went by an “honor system” and trusted that someone would be good on their word.  I myself, am a very trusting person, almost to a fault, and would really love to believe that people have enough integrity to stand true on what they say.  I’ve learned the hard way that this isn’t so, and this story is a reminder of that point.  The woman who admitted to doing this, has a lot of audacity and should be ashamed.  She ruins it for those who are really in need.  I hope Disney can find a way to stop this from happening, so that those in real need don’t get discriminated against.  I know many have opinions on this issue, but these are just my thoughts and opinions on what I’ve read today.  Feel free to share your thoughts as well.

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