Comments for Man suing Disney World to allow guests with autism the ability to go to front of the line

Cinderella Castle

Credit: Disney

48 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Truthspitter

    Some people need to learn to be better parents. If you can’t control your kid autistic or not you shouldn’t have bred

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      Mark

      Maybe you shouldn’t! Autism is a mental illness and affects families like any need but we are just as our kids are still human! We are all different thats the world so sorry you think we all need to be perfect!
      You do not know what any of us w kids like this go through the struggles etc its not just a simple fix or handle your kid or else etc. Thats a very rude how about you just respect the world and everyone in it!

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        Michelle

        Well said mark

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        Lady

        Autism is not mental illness. It is a complex set of conditions that are a result of genetic, environmental, familial and some say nutritional factors. Some people are very mildly autistic, some severely. Autistic people have problems with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech, etc., including sensitivity and medical issues. Anxiety and depression are common in autistic people. How do I know this? I am a special education educator and have a child (now a grown man), who falls on the autism spectrum. Having said all this, I do not believe that autistic people should go to the front of the line. It’s important for autistic people to be socialized, to understand they are part of a complex society with rules for standing in line, being patient, being subjected to noisy, chaotic surroundings, communicating with others, etc. Part of being a supportive parent of our autistic son meant explaining in advance what behavior would be expected of him in public places; if he could not handle it, we removed him immediately (I remember a huge meltdown he had at the Terminator ride in Universal Studios as a child!) We did this repeatedly throughout his childhood and by his late teens, he was pretty much desensitized to much of the environmental factors that upset him as a young child. Now as a young man, he works full-time, lives independently, is married and is having a child soon. If we had never challenged his sensitivities, kept him in a protective womb, never let him figure out this world, his life would have been significantly different. He has thanked us as an adult for the efforts we made to help him understand the world around him.

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        Jeanine

        I think people should be more educated about children and adults who have autism then maybe they might not be so heartless and be more understanding about the needs they face at Disney as well as out in the world with all the stimuli. A child or person shouldn’t have to be a shut in because of their disability.

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      A Gibs

      I honestly think they should have autism days instead, the percenge of kids with autism is too high. My daughter emery (who has autism) is sometimes capable of waiting while some with severe cases really cant wait in lines. It’s a wide spectrum. In my opinion like I said, have maybe a day of the week or time of day geared towards those with autism or sensory related disabilities.

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        beegee

        And what about all of the people on vacation that don’t have a family member with autism or other sensory related disabilities? Should they just stay away from the parks on those days?

        Not even possible, IMO.

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          Mim

          Exactly. It’s not like a movie theater that has special needs showings that families can plan for and attend. Disneyland/Disney World is a universal vacation destination for people all over the world so telling them “Sorry, today is Spectrum day, you cannot come in(or you can come in but be aware this is going to be like a regular day) even though you’ve been planning and paying for this for 3yrs” They’d have a public relations disaster on their hands.

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      Bella

      You are so ignorant and YOUR parents should’ve never bred. Your parents should control your disrespectful and hateful mouth.

      Autism can’t be “controlled” and there’s no cure. People with autism deserve to go anywhere they want just like anyone else.

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      J

      Should have to wait like everyone else. If you can’t handle waiting then anywhere in Orlando is not the palce to go. Simple

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    Shaughn Hicks-Jackson

    I don’t understand how the DAS affects his route and stops. My husband used the DAS for our last trip and we had a return time, like a fast pass, except when lines were low and they would just let us go in.
    I don’t think this man is going to win his case!
    On a side note, and I’m asking this for a reason and not to pick on or disparage those with autism, but can somebody please explain to me why a parent would take their child with autism to Walt Disney World or any other theme park??? I hear people say “My child doesn’t like big crowds, long lines, loud noises, flashing lights, etc… So let’s take them to a theme park with big crowds, long lines, loud noises and flashing lights, but YOU will have to adapt to MY child!!!”
    That’s like saying “My child is afraid of the water and seagulls, so we’re going to the beach for a week!” I truly and honestly don’t understand this!!! This is NOT the place I would want to take my autistic child!

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      Jackie

      While agree w you about autism. I just look at it from this if someone is disabled or has a need it shouldnt stop you from going.
      My parents have a hard time walking need to us evc sometimes while other they walk and get das they arent going to let their aliment stop them but they are grateful disney has assistances bc others do not or its limited to medical and thats when i feel bad for people w a invisible aliment like your sp needs kids or even adults they shouldnt be shunned nor should the parents be looked at as they can not control their kid! Its wrong to judge bc to the outside world they have a need to that child they want to go to wdw like everyone else! Just like to someone else if they saw my parents at mk one day walking but bc epcot theres more space in an evc you find that suspicious! We live in a world w huge opinions its hard to judge but its not fair to do to other people we do not know their fight! My nephew is blind hes 20 and acts sometimes like a child esp when fustrated by people whom do not get it but he still goes to wdw bc he loves wdw! As his aunt i worry about him but whom am i to stop him!?

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      Susan

      Why wouldn’t any family like a trip to Disney World? Everyone has a meltdown, child and adult alike.

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        Mark

        Even childless millenials too saw one the other day take not enough of “what they wanted stocked and demanded the cm to go get it she knows its in the back!”… cm tries to explain if its out its out of stock they have to wait to get it from distribution! Guest didnt like this and threaten to speak to manger saw her hrs later at guest relations screaming so much heard her outside and everyone was looking to see whats the new show! 🤣
        But i agree w jackie whom are we to judge ailments and those that might need the assistance!

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          Jeanine Jeanine

          I really don’t see this guy winning that would be challenging the ADA which isn’t going to happen. I use a wheelchair because I cannot walk all day or stand in long lines. I look healthy but I push through so I can enjoy my vacation which is what we all want and need. Just like these children who are on the spectrum. I see commennts constantly on Disney pages that disabled people should stay home. Why I can’t go enjoy the parks… yes I’d loved to go on all the rides I used to. I loved roller coaster that went upside down and whipped you around yeah that’s not happening anymore due to cervical fusion surgery and back surgery but I go on the rides I enjoy multiple times and the shows. Everyone needs time away from it all. I get home and I’m in pain even from the few rides I can go on from getting in and off the rides but I enjoy myself while I’m there. And everyone should be able to. We all pay for admission so no one is better than another. Just my 2 cents on this.

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    Mickey

    I’m sorry, but front of the line privileges shouldn’t be used for individuals with Autism; DAS accommodates people with disabilities effectively. Save using front of the line for children with life-threatening or terminal illnesses where it really should be used for. Disney does a lot (effectively) to accommodate people with disabilities. I know that makes people mad, but a place can only do so much to accommodate everyone. And then, not everyone will be happy with what that place tried to do to accommodate people with disabilities. It’s never a win-win situation. And as for the second part of my answer, these individuals don’t usually have much time left so you should try to make the most of their time left and make it happier if you can. I have witnessed other people at Disney abusing the disability services time after time. You could see that they only wanted to get privileges over others including front of the line privilege when it was offered under the former program. It was that blatantly obvious.. And people, pregnancy isn’t considered being disabled. That pertains to a few questions asked on Disney Parks Mom’s Panel about using DAS… no, I’m not a panelist, but I do, read a lot of the questions and answers there along with, doing a lot of my own research on all things Disney related and especially related to individuals with disabilities. Not everyone who has disabilities that qualify to use DAS uses it. I could get DAS but choose not to. I have disabilities that aren’t seen. I know there are others out there like me who don’t use DAS. What I want to know is who put this man up to wanting to sue Disney over this? This wouldn’t be a typical response or reaction from someone with a disability especially an intellectual disability. I have known a lot of people with intellectual disabilities and none of them would think like this or would even try to sue someone else. That’s just not the way they do things or think about things. I’m not being stereo-typical that’s just been my experience.

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      Harley

      The issue is das isnt what it use to be gac was front of line/alt entrance and people took advantage of it and instead of the 5 people limit either pretended to be injuried or force guest relations by yelling or treating to sue so 20 people could be on gac!
      Honestly das does help my kid has sp needs though not autistic has an almost as invisible that takes affect after a while like autism. Das does help and guarantees fp entrance thats good enough for me not everyone is make a wish and we need to watch our fight… i dont like das compared to gac but i dont want to loose the benefits N have nothing!

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        Jeanine

        I agree Harley front of the line should be for make a wish or terminally ill patients/persons… I have no problem with that. I feel for the children who I can obviously see are having an issue with all the stimuli. My cousin asked me advice before their trip and I told her to bring noise cancelling headphones for her grandson just in case it all is too much. But I love watching the children taking in all the magic. That’s one benefit of being pushed in a wheelchair I can watch all the children’s faces and their joy and excitement. It adds to my day and my joy to the day makes my heart happy.

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        Jan Anderegg

        I work with people who have autism and other disabilities but it looks like that side of this discussion is already well covered.
        Disney changed their policies to prevent abuse of that policy. Isn’t that sad? On my last trip to Disney with my son and grandson, we were talking about this very subject while we waited over 20 minutes while a lady in a wheelchair was loaded onto a bus in front of everyone else. They had trouble getting her on but finally the rest of us boarded. Imagine our shock and disbelief when she screamed out to the bus driver as he pulled away from the curb. “Stop the bus! I left my purse at…(somewhere in the park). The driver stopped the bus and opened the door. What happened next was unbelievable. This woman said to her family, “Go back to the hotel. I’ll call you.” Then she jumped up and ran (yes, ran) through the open door and disappeared into the crowds coming from the park.
        To her, I say, “Karma is real.”
        But to Disney, I say, “It’s not fair to change the policy when it hurts the people who really do need the help. Yes, people abuse it. Let Karma take care of them. Those who really do need help appreciate it immensely.

        1. Avatar

          beegee

          No one “needs” to get on a ride immediately with never more than a 15 minute wait, and no one “needs” to ride the same ride over and over again with the same little to no wait.

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      JaneA

      I definitely agree and understand a lot of what you’re saying. I do however want to clarify on thing: People with Autism spectrum disorders are very capable of thinking for themselves. The challenge is not intellectual, it’s expression and reception. Imagine how much your intellect could change if your brain literally could not process the words being said to you or the nuance of a handshake. It’s often thought of as a wall; you can hear over it, even through it, but you cannot necessarily get through the wall. Google the non-verbal child who wrote a book on how to interact with people with Autism. It’s one thing to be fair with DAS and support the vast amounts of people who need those considerations; it’s another thing to exploit the disabled and use their existence as a money-maker with GAC.

      1. Avatar

        Harley

        What i was trying to get is that just like my kids needs which to some are not visual and in your face till a meltdown which makes people call my kid stupid and me a horrible parents bc they do not understand its the same for autism! Its not fair to judge something you can not see or even if you can… you just never know! Also i am a psych it is considered a mental disability first they could be intelligent or even able body but the everything is all off but just like my kid people w needs are beautiful and need to stop being looked down upon and i am scared more people like this yell and scream it will take our services away or changed! I think gac was better than das but i still appreciate the help! Like jackie above said other theme parks do not have good helpful concerned cms like disney and we need to appreciate disney cares!

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    Bruce

    As somebody with severe aspergers I say No – everybody will fake autism just to get a better position in line. Life seldom accommodates disabilities. Those of us who have them can and must learn coping skills. Before you post a counter opinion, be warned I won’t care what you say about me or my opinion. I can’t.

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      Linda

      What exactly is severe aspergers? Aspergers is high functioning autism, which means you have the ability to wait in line like everyone else. I see a lot of people self diagnosing themselves as autistic, which is what skews the numbers and takes away privileges for severely autistic kids who need it. You have no idea what it’s like to be the parent of a severely autistic nonverbal child.

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    Mandy

    As a mother who took her 3 children to Walt Disney World 2 years ago (1 who is autistic), I do not regret taking them. Yes we had a few meltdowns the first day, my son does not like lineups, loud crowds, etc, but I did all of my research first. I started with the “deadest” park and we worked our way to Magic Kingdom. By the time we got to Magic Kingdom there was no meltdowns, he waited in line, etc.

    The first day there, if he had a meltdown a crew member would come over with stickers and because there was 6 of us in my group, if I needed to leave the line, I could. I never did though. I would just sit on the ground with my son while in line, hug him and explain what was going to happen. People around us never complained though.

    I will be taking my kids again!

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    L

    if someone can’t try and prepare for routine changes, then going on vacation anywhere is going to be a disaster. i understand the circumstances, but those with legitimate issues are always willing to conform to new policy. more often than not the people complain are those who are trying to make the system fit them, instead of the other way around, or at worst, are trying to scam the system from the beginning. autism is a mystery, but his family cannot expect a change to the system that overall works and is fair for everyone just to accommodate them. and if they can’t handle it, then they have the choice not to go. requiring a return time ensures everyone is essentially waiting the same amount of time, instead of some skipping the line, which is what was being so abused with hiring the disabled to be “guides” or faking it. if they really wish to visit disney, then they should go to disneyland and purchase maxpass and create a new routine if they aren’t willing to adopt the new policy at wdw.

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      Jeanine

      I was appalled by that that people were selling their services to people to jump the line but I believe that was before they made all the lines handicap accessible. Which all the seats are mostly in the back of the theater which sucks. So that’s really not a great deal. Yes at that time they had to bring people through the exit that’s how they got on lines quickly. I’ve commented previously about the misconception about the DAS its like an extra fast pass. You go to a ride ask for a return time and they look at the standby time and tell you to come back say the wait is 90 minutes then you come back in 90 minutes and go to the fast pass line. So no one is jumping or cutting anyone. We are actually waiting longer just not in the actual line.

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    Debbie Auliffe

    My daughter is severely Autistic, non verbal and easily agitated. She is the biggest Disney fan ever. When we took her to Disney she just lit up and it was like all her fantasies had come true. Her face was the most amazing thing to behold. We took her back several times . Unfortunately we went back after the change and it was a nightmare. You can not explain waiting to her. We had to leave and it cost us a lot of money. We had come all the way from Canada. Autistic persons have enough struggle in their lives. Could Disney not given them a break?

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      Hillary Pritchard

      No, because the system was abused. So DAS was invented. With this logic, I could say I’m autistic and cut the line since they can’t ask for documentation.

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        Mark

        Actually they are supose to thats the major difference between gac and das they are supose to ask for dr notes its in their training as cms and its online.just bc they do not doesnt mean people can take advantage it like anything depends on cms . My friend was asked for it if your ap it will be still documented but they asked at the beginning.

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          beegee

          No, they are not supposed to ask for a doctor’s note, they specifically say that they won’t even look at one if it’s offered.

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      JaneA

      It’s not Disney who gets screwed, it’s the other guests. Disney is merely in charge of keeping their own peace and doing their best not to be jerks to everyone in the process.

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        Jackie

        Unfortunately those jerks screw it up for everyone and disney then changes things bc they only want to keep people safe and taken care of via guidelines…. i dont know why its so hard! Do not like rules do not go just do not make it worse for us whom deserve the assist!

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    Jo

    Is he suing every major theme park in Florida or just Disney? Disney is not perfect, but they do go out of their way to accommodate people where I’ve seen other companies fall short. They hire people with severe disabilities as long as they have the capability of performing the job they applied for. Fight for your rights in necessities of life. Going to Disney is not a necessity, and you could still navigate with the current system.

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    Hillary Pritchard

    This judge should have thrown this case out as it’s already been to court.

  10. Avatar

    For families that have a child with severe autism, I can understand why the child would need those accommodations. Yet, like every solution, a problem can arise. Someone always finds a way to abuse the system. A person could lie about them/their child having autism to get to the front of the line, and that’s not okay.

    I have Asperger’s, which is a form of autism, and I still follow the rules. Certain children with autism need to be taught how to deal with obstacles such as waiting in line, especially if they are high-functioning. Not everyone needs special treatment because they have a disability. If they are treated like they are special, especially if they are high-functioning, what does that teach the child?

    Unless you have a fastpass, I still think that it is not fair to cut in front of other people. If you have real accommodations, and a Disney Cast Member says it’s okay, then great. But always be aware of the shady kind. Don’t let the ones who lie cut in line.

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      Harley

      I honestly though i hate the change from gac to das was made besides people took advantage so someone whom is able can still learn to wait but at the same time away from a line where after a while might cause a scene.
      Its not cutting its an assistance we still wait just not in the line which like i said could be a challenge. When it was gac it was alternative entrance whatever that was and i think its unfair that we lost it but then i think someone like my kid whom is able body but has needs to learn and grow and eventually not need it! Sadly people like this is how we loose things or wdw changes it again and that wont be fair bc now then wdw looks like other parks whom ?? And then judge!
      But i do believe they should go back to checking drs notes! As i said above they use too esp bc people took advantage of it.
      But i do not want wdw to become other parks where i have to defend my kids needs and have him be called stupid and its his fault so deal w it!

      1. Avatar

        beegee

        It wasn’t taken away solely because of abuse, it was because of overuse. When 30% of a line is made up of people who didn’t wait (with the GAC), then that’s overuse.

        No one “needs” to go through the FastPass line without waiting their turn.

      2. Avatar

        beegee

        And why is it “unfair” that you lost alternate entrance? What was “fair” about you using a GAC to avoid the wait? If your son is able to visit Disney successfully with the DAS, then the GAC was obviously more than he needed, so it’s certainly fair for him to lose that accelerated access.

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    JaneA

    I definitely agree and understand a lot of what you’re saying. I do however want to clarify on thing: People with Autism spectrum disorders are very capable of thinking for themselves. The challenge is not intellectual, it’s expression and reception. Imagine how much your intellect could change if your brain literally could not process the words being said to you or the nuance of a handshake. It’s often thought of as a wall; you can hear over it, even through it, but you cannot necessarily get through the wall. Google the non-verbal child who wrote a book on how to interact with people with Autism. It’s one thing to be fair with DAS and support the vast amounts of people who need those considerations; it’s another thing to exploit the disabled and use their existence as a money-maker with GAC.

    1. Avatar

      Harley

      Both das and gac are free like fps… others charge for their express front of line and like i said above their the ones exploiting and turn to me saying its my kids fault hes sick so deal w it and not give him assistance… wdw doesnt ??? And in that gets themselves in trouble to a pt but also shows they care!
      My son got stuck in a autistic classroom when he didnt deserve to be bc no one cared about him they told him at school he was stupid and wasnt going to amount to much just bc hes got needs they couldnt handle but they handle autism so go figure! While my kid doesnt have it i feel for anyone whom has needs and i feel even more for parents like me bc though our kids have different needs they are still invisible to the public eye until something goes wrong! I always hope and have fate that one day we all wont get looked at and it will be ok! And all our kids will do great things!

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    Cameron De Vil

    Having recently visited WDW with a person on the Autism spectrum, I cannot praise the Disability Access service enough. It meant rather than waiting in hot lines surrounded by lots of people he could wait somewhere quiet and air conditioned, till his return time. Upon reading the article, I question what would happen to the person if a ride broke down, or an area was undergoing maintenance meaning they could not complete their tasks in a certain order? WDW in my experience was very accommodating and non judgemental, not just to my friend but to other people I saw using the service with a multitude of disabilities. I hope this does not affect the service as I am sure it benefits thousands of people. To me this just looks like someone using this as an opportunity to grab some money.

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    Mickey

    This will be an ongoing battle/debate for years and decades to come as places can only become so accommodating to differing abilities. I can say this because as someone who has unseen disabilities, I’ve been mistreated or outright abused in my educational endeavours and employment settings (by teachers, authority figures {principal}, students, employers, co-workers, and customers). The only place that I felt non judged and safe was at home. Disney goes far beyond what others do for people with disabilities. Having said this, this case is about an adult, not child, with Autism. The article never mentioned his family. It stated that the case was filed by someone “on behalf of the young man…” I brought this up because everyone is saying that he is a child and that his family filed the lawsuit . That’s not stated anywhere in the article. I’m only hoping that whoever has his lawsuit is doing this in his best interest of whomever is taking care of this young man. You would be surprised at how many people with disabilities are taken advantage of or are abused unless you personally go through this. I’m a side note, Harley, I know what the difference is and was between the gac and das. Nothing will ever be 100℅ perfect. You will always have people who abuse the privilege and those who think they are entitled to certain things. Also, make -a-wish isn’t the only organization that grants these types of last wishes. Even though, it’s different from das, it still is who should be able to utilize that service of front of the line privileges. No one else should get that privilege. And I agree with others here, vacations are beneficial and educational for ALL to partake in. They can be adapted to an individual’s ability level, if whoever is with them, does this. The family has to be adapting as the person who is differently abled has to as well.

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    Luis

    If A.L. got used to front of the line routine, then making line can be his new routine. Problem solved.

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    Chris Gapske

    Your not going to be able to accommodate every person perfectly.

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    Jeanine

    I think a big part of the problem is people think that all DAS holders go to the front of the line. Which used to be the case before they made the entrances handicap accessible they would have to take wheelchair and EVC’s through the exit door and put them immediately on the ride that way. But all rides have ramps now. So they they give you a return time which is the length of the standby time to return then you get on the fast pass line. So as far as I’ve ever seen is that … get a return time which even for flight of passage which was 3 hours we came back 3 hours later then waited on the fast pass line which was still a good 30 minutes on a ramp … so trying to hold a wheelchair from rolling down a ramp for a chunk of that time isn’t fun for my fiance or me with my feet down so just in case the brakes aren’t the best I don’t go rolling into people… that ramp and Soarin’ are the worst.
    But my point was that many people seem to think that all DAS pass holders instantly jump to the front of the line.
    And when I went in for it the first time they asked me a series of questions, they can’t ask for a doctor’s note because of HIPAA I guess and if you don’t fit their criteria then they won’t give it to you. Like if you can’t stand in line they told someone else next to me to rent a wheelchair or EVC. So they don’t give DAS passes just to anyone who asks for one.

  17. Avatar

    Emily

    *Gotta attempt this comment again…my connection cut off for no reason the last time I tried to submit it:

    As someone on the autism spectrum who’s already been to Disneyland twice (first in 2012 and then 2018), it appears this guy has never heard of FastPass services for select rides at select times. And I was able to qualify for it both times because of my condition. That’s pretty much all I needed to say; it’s just something I needed to point out.

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    demarke

    So the problem is routine? What the hell does he do when a ride is temporarily down, or closed permanently? Sue Disney because they used to have a service he likes but don’t anymore? This case seems absurd to me, they don’t have to wait in line, they get return times for the FP line (and can still use the regular fastpass system), so in the meantime you can grab some food or see a show or ride a no wait ride before the return time pops up.

    If somehow this suit succeeds, we need to find someone with a disability that really liked Horizons to sue Disney to bring that back!

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