Disney World Cast Member Rudely Refuses Accommodation For Autistic Guest

in Walt Disney World

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind at night

Credit: Disney

Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort pride themselves on accessibility for Cast Members and Guests. The Disney Parks offer Disability Access Service (DAS) – allowing Guests to virtually wait for rides instead of queueing on standby- and almost every line at the Parks is wheelchair accessible.

cosmic-rewind-epcot
Credit: Jen Warner

Additionally, wheelchairs and Electric Conveyance Vehicles (ECVs/scooters) are available for rent directly from Walt Disney World Resort or through third-party services in Orlando, Florida.

Related: TikToker Prepares Neurodivergent and Disabled Guests For Disneyland Rides With Video Series

However, this Disability Pride Month, some Cast Members and Guests are speaking out on accessibility issues at the Disney Parks. One Cast Member was nearly hit by a car in her wheelchair after three of the few disability parking spots at Downtown Disney were taken up by a maintenance truck.

Onboard Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
Credit: Disney

This week, a Walt Disney World Resort Guest spoke on Twitter about the treatment she received at a Disney Park.  @MickiKMouse is a Universal Orlando Team Member and an Orlando, Florida local. Her favorite ride is Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, and she went to EPCOT to celebrate her birthday on the Theme Park’s newest ride.

Micki is also autistic and is familiar with asking for accommodations to make her sensory issues as minimal as possible while at the Disney Parks. She asked to skip the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind pre-show as it is too overwhelming, loud, and stressful for her. Unfortunately, a Coordinator Cast Member refused to accommodate her request:

“we know the preshows are medically safe. so if you can’t handle the preshows, you shouldn’t ride the ride” – Joe, the Coordinator at Guardians to me, an Autistic, visibly shaking and trying to skip one (1)room

Micki was visibly upset and tried to explain why she needed to skip the pre-show but could handle the rollercoaster:

yep. that last preshows room. a lot of it is the lights, the stress of the “storyline”, the sounds, and then the stampede into the shrinking hallway. i tried to explain that but i feel like he pinned the lights and assumed that since the ride has lights, i should do both

Instead of listening to Micki, the Cast Member forced her to endure the pre-show and told her to “close [her] eyes for a few seconds” so she didn’t get overwhelmed:

wait wait i got another

“when you enter the second room just close your eyes for a few seconds. when there’s no more light then you can open them”

me: rocking, crying, shaking, plugging my ears and closing my eyes for the whole room

Many other Walt Disney World Resort fans and Cast Members said that Micki should have been able to skip the pre-show, as they’ve done it before, or instructed other Guests to do the same. @JenLynn is a Guest Relations Cast Member at the Disney Parks that told a Guest with epilepsy to ask the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Cast Members to skip the pre-show:

me: a gr cm that spoke to a child and her mom about the child’s epilepsy and what i think they should avoid and saying the guardians preshow….good to know that it’s not likely 🧐

Micki replied that she felt overlooked because she was with another young woman and wasn’t visibly disabled:

from what i’m gathering, a lot of people have been able to skip it. maybe because it was just myself and another young woman, we got overlooked as having a legit disability. but i love that ride so much, i just wanted to ride and not freak out beforehand

Micki emphasized that even though the Cast Member thought she should be able to handle the pre-show if she could take the ride, she knows herself best:
i also hyperfixate. currently, that ride is my hyperfixation. the 2mins i’m on that ride, i feel in control of my surroundings. i don’t in that preshow. the storyline is stressful enough without sensory sensitivities

Micki notes that disability accommodations at Universal Orlando Resort are much better than what Walt Disney World Resort offers. She has worked at both Parks and explained her needs without stating a diagnosis because Cast Members aren’t allowed to ask:

also id like to say that as a neurologically disabled person, accommodations at universal are far and beyond what disney offers. but i guess i don’t agree with a “one size fits all” accommodation. the CM at Guardians today was incredible rude to me

I’m a former CM, current TM and i use one of the levels that uni offers for my specific concerns. i issue accommodations everyday. i felt disrespected. i even explained it about the issues with the queue, without stating a diagnosis cause that’s how it’s supposed to go.

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Disney Genie and Genie+

On Wednesday, Micki said she planned to speak to a Guest Relations Cast Member about her experience to prevent it from happening to another Guest again.

Have you had any issues with disability accommodations at Walt Disney World or Disneyland Resort? 

Please note that the story outlined in this article is based on a personal Disney Parks Guest experience. No two Guest experiences are alike, and this article does not necessarily align with Inside the Magic’s personal views on Disney Parks operations.

 

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