Parents hiring disabled tour guides to cut Disney lines, report says
Updated On: May 15 2013 09:32:50 AM EDT
We've all been in line at Walt Disney World, and we've seen it a million times: A family with a disabled member is ushered to the front of the line.
But what if that disabled person is not actually a family member, but a "tour guide" hired specifically so parents can cut the line?
A report in the New York Post says that's exactly what's happening. It alleges "black-market Disney guides" run up to $130 an hour, which is $1,040 for an eight-hour day.
The report mentions parents bragging about skipping two-and-a-half hour waits by using a company called Dream Tours Florida, which Local 6 found is based out of Celebration.
"This is how the 1 percent does Disney," parents are heard saying.
A guide in a motorized scooter with a "handicapped" sign escorts the family, which is then sent to the front of the line.
Disney's policy does allow guests in wheelchairs or motorized scooters to bring up to six guests to a "more convenient entrance."
The New York Post also reports that this method is insider knowledge and the tour company asks for referrals before accepting calls. It suggests the information is passed around secretly from family to family.
Dream Tours Florida does list on its website that touring with the company decreases line wait times, but, so far, it has denied using disabilities to bypass lines.
According to its website, Dream Tours Florida is "dedicated to providing quality-based, memorable and affordable vacations to people with special needs."
Later on Tuesday, the company updated its website, saying, "due to inaccurate press and slander, Dream Tours is not offering VIP tours at this time."
"I find it hard to stand in line. And for an abled body person to jump the queue going with a disabled group is wrong," said Alan Ogburn who says he occasionally picks up a guest assistance card from Walt Disney World, which allows him and six others to use an alternate entrance on some attractions.
He said he hopes others are not abusing the system, which is designed to help those who have trouble standing in line or boarding a ride.
Watch Local 6 for more on this story.