Wednesday, September 25, 2013

I will gladly stand in line....

Like many moms of a child with special needs I am a little worried about the changes Disney is having to make to their Guest Assistance Card policy. Here's the thing though...I am not upset with Disney.

 
I'm upset with those who take advantage of a Company's good will. How dare anyone make life more difficult for those who already struggle. To add insult to injury, there are those who state that our children "cut in line".

Really? Hmm...I will gladly stand in line for a ride and have done so before and with Boo. So here is the deal I propose:

How about if Boo stands in line and you stand in her therapy appointment?

How about if Boo stands in line and you clear her airway when she chokes on her drool?

How about if Boo stands in line and you hold her on your hip because she is too week to stand on her own?

How about if Boo stands in line and you hold her down while she undergoes blood work, cardiac testing, MRI's and other medical tortures?
 
How about if Boo stands in line and you spend some time in Our Land?

How about if Boo stands in line and you do not look at her with condemnation because she cannot control her squeals, muscle spasms and vocalizations when she invades your personal space?

When we traveled there last year I was amazed at how well they took our daughter's needs into consideration. Each cast member was trained how to treat all patrons with respect and courtesy. We never expected to "cut in line" in front of those who stood in line, but needed to keep Boo in her stroller/chair until the last possible moment.

Just to be clear, in our experience the only "cutting" in line was when there was no feasible way to get Boo's stroller/chair to the ride through the normal line. We stood in line, like everyone else, in attractions that had a safe method to get her to the attraction. Even when we "cut in line" we did not immediately get on the ride. Rather Disney allowed people who had been waiting to enter the ride and put us on in a reasonable (to me) manner.

When asked if Boo has so many 'issues' why would we even consider taking her to a theme park I have the following response: Well, for one, her sister shouldn't miss out on life events because her sister needs some consideration. And two there is this....





Why shouldn't Boo get to see the Magic of Disney just because she is unable to stand in line?

I agree there is abuse, like all great plans some fool has to mess it up. But it is not Disney's fault. The Company really has no option to try and improve on their system. I applaud them for being proactive and for listening to the parents like me.
 
And I hope those who ruined this beautiful experience lose sleep tonight. 


 

32 comments:

  1. I wish they could all read this, too. Some people just don't get it, and only think about themselves. They don't take the time to learn the whole story, or at least give others the benefit of the doubt. They were so great to us when we brought my grandma in her wheelchair (she had cancer) several years ago. Everyone should be able to have wonderful experiences like this, even if they have to be tailored for special needs. BTW, you made me cry like a baby. ;) For good reason, at least! Great post on an important subject!

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    1. Sorry, to make you cry. You are right. Everyone deserves to see the magic.

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  2. Yes! We used special considerations there a few months ago for the first time, because I decided that my husband not being able to stand in line shouldn't mean my kids don't have the experiences. We watched people abuse it though, and I was mad. I'm all for Disney making restrictions tighter, because those of us who really need it will still be able to I'm sure.

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    1. The abuse is just disgusting to me. It takes insult a whole new level. I am glad you are with me on not blaming Disney and taking a wait and see attitude.

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  3. Well said, Kerri! Some people just don't think beyond their own personal needs. If my kids comment about someone getting special treatment when we go to Disney in the spring, I will paraphrase this post. My kids know Boo anyway, since I talk about you sometimes (in a good way!) :)

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    1. Well, I hope they know Boo by now. Since I expect you to visit the sometime soon and bring with you some babysitters as we sit on the beach :)

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  4. Kerri, you said this perfectly and I agree no child she be withheld the chance to go to Disney and not be able to experience the magic there just because they can't wait in a line. I am glad you called out those who have apparently abused this privilege. Truly isn't right that a few who do just that by abusing the system ruin it for the rest who truly do need this service. Just glad Boo did get to go and that picture of her with the fairy made my heart melt! :)

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    1. Thanks, Janine. That picture is one of my favorites from the trip. I never expected her to be so enthralled. And hey, a little OT there with her touching the hair!

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  5. As always, so very well said. It's unfortunate that the people who do need to read it/hear it the most, never will. Not because they didn't have the opportunity, but because they chose not to open their hearts and mind. It is disheartening to know that so many around us have become so closed off that they have no empathy for anyone else. And I love that picture of Boo. Cuz she's awesome. :)

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    1. Thanks, Melissa. You are right it. I wish those who abuse the system would read this post. Then apologize to those like Boo who will be affected because of their callousness. And I think Boo is pretty awesome too!

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  6. Very well said! That is an adorable picture of Boo! And way to go making sure her sister doesn't miss out - as a sister I know how hard that is, but it helps so much now and in the long run.
    I think what continues to amaze me about people's comments about the Disney program is that people have this idea that we (as parents or our children) get special treatment everywhere. The government is throwing money and services at us, companies everywhere are bending over backwards to help. It is amazes that some people seem to think a special needs diagnosis somehow equals money and gifts.

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    1. Yeah, I missed that memo of the government throwing money at us. It must have been lost in the mail!!!

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  7. I am going to google what Disney is doing to change its policy. They are the ultimate in customer service (I think). Boo can take my spot in line any day!

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    1. Thanks, Kate! I think it would be great for you to stand in line with her it is pretty amazing.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Susan. Please spread the truth :)

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  9. This post is perfect; thank you for sharing. The narrow-mindedness of some people really bothers me, and you hit the nail right on the head. I love that picture of Boo and the fairy, too -- so cute!!!

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    1. Thanks, K. I am sure you feel the same way.

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  10. That picture! It's exactly everything that a Disney trip should be. It brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for this beautiful, powerful post.

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    1. Aw, thanks for stopping by. You are right, that picture is what Disney should be. For the children not really about the adults, right?

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  11. This is a wonderful post! I'm sharing it on FB. You've really hit the nail on the head, so to speak. People just don't get it.

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    1. Stephanie, thanks for spreading the word! I really appreciate it.

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  12. Kerri! Sigh. This post could not have come at a better time for me. We've been talking about taking Tucker to Disney for his 5th birthday (next July). We talked about it before but decided that the expense was too great for a kid who would need to leave after 2 hours to take a break. That the taking a break places while we were there would be too loud and hot and loud and crowded. Now? I'm so sad that if we do decide to go, that he's expected to wait in line, too, just because SOME people suck. Sigh.
    I love the photo of Boo and Cinderella. That's exactly what Disney is supposed to be.
    Hugs and love but not to the people who messed this up. :(

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  13. It is a complete shame that Disney feels compelled to change this just because some idiots abused the system!

    I wondered how Disneyland Paris deals with people with disabilites. So I just checked their website and found out that there are special entrances and certain "amenities" (sorry if this is the wrong word, I hope not) for people with a disability. I wonder if they will change it in Paris, too.

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  14. Living so far from Disneyland, we have never had the opportunity to go. But we have had plenty of opportunities to witness people with no patience or understanding for children with special needs. Sometime, I'll tell you about my son who has special needs himself, who works exclusively with special needs adults and his courage in dealing with ignorant and inconsiderate people in a Subway line. It still makes me cry. Like your post did today. Thank you.

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  15. i haven't been to an amusement park in years, but i do something in my everyday life that i wish more people did in theirs. i let people go in front of me in line. i stop in traffic to let cars in. i let cars merge in on the parkway, even though there have been a half dozen warnings that their lane is going to end. and when i've got a cart full at the grocery store and the person behind me has an arm full, i let them go first.

    i am patient and i try to be kind to strangers. i treat others the way i would like to be treated.

    this is what i'd like to see happen at amusement parks across the country. screw Disney and their no back bone decision to discontinue a policy that helped many families.

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  16. Unbelievable that people complain about cutting...even worse, I have heard of people making up pretend disabilities so that they can "cut in line" too. You're right - Disney needs to figure out a better way.

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  17. Unbelievable that people complain about cutting...even worse, I have heard of people making up pretend disabilities so that they can "cut in line" too. You're right - Disney needs to figure out a better way.

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  18. Thank you for being such an advocate not only for your daughter, but for every family that has to suffer for these changes.
    People are so ignorant to others needs. Why can't we respect one another and help each other instead of pointing fingers and saying it isn't fair.
    What is not fair is that this is a child and wants the same exact experience that everyone else is getting. A child. And adults are complaining. So disgusting.
    Keep raising your voice friend. xo

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  19. I will echo everyone's thoughts that is so well said. Kerri, you continue to amaze me with your thoughtful insights.

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  20. You're one tough Mama,my hat goes off to you. And who the hell are these idiots who take advantage? How can they sleep at night?

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  21. Well said, Kerri! BTW I tagged you to answer six questions about yourself. If you are interested in playing you can find the details at http://www.faithfulmomof9.com/six-questions-about-me/

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Thanks for stopping by and letting me know what you think!