Rich New Yorkers hire disabled "guides" to Disney World in order to skip lines (according to NY Post, anyway)

The (awful and not usually very trustworthy) New York Post reports that rich New Yorkers pay thousands of dollars to an Orlando area service that rents out disabled people to accompany them to Walt Disney World in order to jump the lines. The article says that there's a word-of-mouth underground in New York's priciest private schools, in which parents pass on the details of the service, which is allegedly called Dream Tours Florida:

Passing around the rogue guide service’s phone number recently became a shameless ritual among Manhattan’s private-school set during spring break. The service asks who referred you before they even take your call.

“It’s insider knowledge that very few have and share carefully,” said social anthropologist Dr. Wednesday Martin, who caught wind of the underground network while doing research for her upcoming book “Primates of Park Avenue.”

“Who wants a speed pass when you can use your black-market handicapped guide to circumvent the lines all together?” she said.

“So when you’re doing it, you’re affirming that you are one of the privileged insiders who has and shares this information.”

Rich Manhattan moms hire handicapped tour guides so kids can cut lines at Disney World [Tara Palmeri/New York Post]


  1. Speaking as a disabled person, I am glad to find out that disabled people are cashing-in. I’d consider doing it myself if only it wasn’t Disney World.

    The abled-bodied don’t give a fuck about us otherwise and they resent every dime that they have to put into the social safety net, because its one less dime that they can spend on themselves and on their toys.

    Good for the disabled. Now lets hope that some do-gooder imbecile doesn’t go and wreck it for us.

    1. I’m sorry that you feel that way about able-bodied folks.  Not all of us resent paying into the social safety nets.  I hope that you will have more encounters with decent people that you are obviously lacking right now.

    2. The abled-bodied don’t give a fuck about us otherwise and they resent every dime that they have to put into the social safety net, because its one less dime that they can spend on themselves and on their toys.

      You don’t normally see such blatant bigotry on BoingBoing. I’m so happy for you that you think you know what I give a fuck about when you’ve never met me and don’t know me from Adam. Also, as someone with diagnosed HFA, I’m slightly offended at you’re implication that the sole function of a social safety net to to care for the bodily disabled. Perhaps you shouldn’t assume everyone else is as much of a selfish asshole as you apparently are.

    3. Bullshit. These folks are taking advantage of disabled park patrons most of all. They are diluting the resources available to the disabled. Adding able-bodied people into the disabled queues increases the wait times for the legitimately disabled. The “disabled” person who is running this scam may not even be disabled, as the parks don’t provide proof of disability, and these folks obviously have no qualms about gaming the system.

      You obviously have some very legitimate beefs about the state of available disabled resources. But I don’t think this is a case of a disabled person “cashing in.” And even if it were, they’re doing it to the detriment of other disabled folks. So fuck them.

    4. “The able-bodied don’t give a fuck about us” is obviously not true, while “Some able-bodied don’t give a fuck about us” is obviously true.  My advice is to try to avoid saying things that are obviously untrue, it damages your credibility.

      1.  Some disabled people feel the rest of the world owes them a comfortable living and get grouchy when they get told it doesn’t always work that way.

        Note please I am one of those handicapped folk who does not think the world owes me a living, I paid my own way with a lot of hard work..

    5. Good for the disabled. Now lets hope that some do-gooder imbecile doesn’t go and wreck it for us.

      Seems like if anyone is going to wreck Disney World for people with disabilities it’s the able-bodied people who exploit services meant to help others.

    6. I also thought there was a silver lining. Hey, disabled people get paid to go to DisneyLand. Score!

  2. This is something the 2-5% would do. The 1% would get the official disney guide (and then sleep in the castle).

  3. Does anyone else think that there’s a chance that the guide they specifically mentioned isn’t even disabled?  There’s a vague reference to her having to ride a scooter because of an auto-immune disorder.  I’m not sure I buy that there’s even a disorder, but if there is, that’s a broad category that includes things like Celiacs, which hardly requires a scooter.  I wouldn’t be surprised if the disabled person was just an able-bodied young lady who put a handicapped sign on a scooter.

    I think it’s a scam on many levels.

    1. lupus is an autoimmune disorder, my grandmother died from lupus and near the end she was confined to a bed, so yes having an autoimmune disorder may require the use of a scooter if it’s not at the point that you are confined to a bed.

  4. Am I the only one who thought ‘ka-ching!’ at those wages?  I know an awful lot of people classified ‘disabled’ that are quite able bodied and they could be real unPC for $130 an hour.  A few hundred bucks buys an excellent custom-made pair of musician’s earplugs. 

  5. They’ve taken down the page for their “VIP Tours,” but here’s the Google cache for it:

    The only place I see where there might be implied shenanigans is at the part about special access to fast pass lines; that’s right after the part they’ve put in bold about shorter wait times.

    1. And given that this is a New York Post article, we should be careful with believing their “facts.” Looks like this tour company actually provides good services to folks with special needs who want to attend the park. Maybe they  did see an opportunity to capitalize on this disabled policy loophole by marketing to rich folks who don’t want to wait in line with the unwashed prole masses. But it does look like they otherwise provide some useful  services for special needs park patrons. 

  6. There are a lot of things wrong with this story.

    For starters, over the last decade or so, WDW has changed their queues.  Many of the newer rides (and some of the older rehabbed ones) have had their queues “mainstreamed”, so that everyone gets in the same line.  You can’t just bypass it with a wheelchair or scooter.

    But the “Small World had 2.5 hour line” brag is ridiculous.  Even if you went on the day after Christmas – how does Small World get a 2.5 hour line?  Where would that line go?  The queue itself isn’t that big – it seems like the line would have to string all the way down to the Tea Cups to be 2.5 hours long.  The park gets pretty packed on the busiest days, but Disney eventually stops letting people in.  I would bet that the “brag”  is just one of the people trying to push this “service”.  (Or it’s just this guy trying to sell his book.)

    (Comparatively speaking, Small World is a minor attraction – if there’s a 2.5 hour wait for it, it’s time to leave the park and do something else.)

    Twenty years ago, wheelchairs and scooters were relatively uncommon in the park.  Today, ECV’s are too commonplace for there to be notable exceptions for them.

    1. Agreed. It’s mainly the older rides in MK where this would work. I remember going through the back-doors for Haunted Mansion and Pirates while pushing my wife around in a wheelchair after her surgery.

      Also, when they ask you on Great Movie Ride if you’d be able to walk out in the case of a break down, they mean it. The ride broke down at jewel thief scene, and we all had to walk from there to the end of the ride. My wife was able to walk. However, a few seats behind us, there was a poor woman who had no legs. I didn’t see how they got her out, brought a wheelchair to her I guess.

  7. I have never understood the fascination, even as a child.  As an adult, it just looked like a giant headache.  I imagine it’s like working for a week to earn a rubber mallet to the forehead and calling it fun because a giant mouse did it. To each their own, just not me.

    1. You are required to make pilgrimage at least once in your lifetime to pay homage to the single most lucrative piece of intellectual property in human history.

  8. Sadly, the sense I get is that this disgusting scam (if true) is one of the *less* sleazy word-of-mouth underground networks operating amongst the UES private school set.

  9. A few years back I knew a couple of women who took a nice trip to France.  One of them unfortunately sprained her ankle pretty bad and had limited mobility.  They headed off to the Louvre anyway, crutches in hand, and when spotted by staff was brought a wheelchair and immediately bypassed lines galore.  She was kinda glad she hurt herself.

    1.  They took a trip to Nice and ended up in the Louvre? Boy, did they ever get lost…

  10. There are apps to tell you what the wait times at various Disney attractions are in real time and avoid the ones that aren’t worth the wait.

    Right now, Small World has a 20 minute wait.  Peter Pan’s Flight is 50 minutes for some odd reason.  Space Mountain is 45 minutes (not unusual from my past experience).

    1. Peter Pan always has a long wait. It’s a great dark ride with a horrible vehicle-loading bottleneck.

      1.  yes, when i worked at WDW there could be 150 people in the park and 100 of them would be in line for Peter Pan. i never understood it.

        1. I’ve been to Disneyland probably 20 or 30 times, and I’ve ridden Peter Pan exactly once.  The line is worse than anything else in the park.

    2. I make $85/hour from working freelance on my laptop. Before this job i’ve been out of a job for 5 months but last month my payment with bonus was little over $18000 just for working on the laptop for about 5 hours a day. Here’s the site to read more how you can do it too—->

  11. In the Epcot sphere, the special door was off the gift shop and you went down a featureless hallway to a preboarding platform so you could get on before the cars went to the regular loading platform.  This was with an AT&T employee. 

  12. ‘ “My daughter waited one minute to get on ‘It’s a Small World’ — the other kids had to wait 2 1/2 hours,” crowed one mom, who hired a disabled guide through Dream Tours Florida. “You can’t go to Disney without a tour concierge,’’ she sniffed. “This is how the 1 percent does Disney.” ‘

    What are the odds that any of this is actually true? I can believe that people are manipulative scumbags, but I don’t think I can believe that anyone actually talks like that.

    1. Since it’s from the NY Post it should be assumed to be all or half bullshit, BUT people really do talk like that.

    2. I had the same reaction.  Real people don’t speak fluent exposition.
      I think Tara Palmieri is subconsiously channeling Stephen Glass.

    3.  Is the meta-story here the target of NYPs rabble-rousing?

      I thought the uber-riche were immune from that.

  13. Again there is a special section of hell for these people… I think all you do is wait in a circular line.
    Disneyland has been fighting this, Line skipping requires a pass from guest services, they require doctors info, limit the size of parties and seem to be adjusting rules all the time.  Plus a lot of rides have completely wheel chair accessible lines.  I have seen wheel chairs waiting in the majority of the outside line then being pulled aside before they go into the older line that is not accessible.

    You don’t have to cheat, using fast pass, and single rider lines can get you onto most of the big attractions.

  14. I just looked at the DreamTours site.  They seem to be a company focused on Disney Tours for people with special needs.

    I don’t doubt that someone is abusing the Special Needs system — I just wonder if some shoddy journalism pointed the finger at DreamTours instead of the real culprits, or if someone at Dream Tours was actually abusing Disney’s policies.

  15. The New York Times, a far more reputable paper than that awful awful  tabloid of a paper  has noted that some airline passengers request wheelchairs to get through security more quickly

    “We’d say there was a miracle because they all needed a wheelchair getting on, but not getting off,” said Kelly Skyles, a flight attendant and the national safety and security coordinator for the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, which represents American Airlines attendants. “Not only do we serve them beverages and ensure their safety — now we’re healing the sick.”
    The actual reason, she guessed, is that passengers in wheelchairs are the first to board but the last to debark, meaning what is a shortcut on one end is a time-waster on the other end. As a result, wheelchairs brought to the arrival gate, one for each passenger who used one during boarding, are left unused as their intended occupants walk by. When flying, personal wheelchairs are usually checked like baggage. The ubiquitous airport chairs, pushed by uniformed attendants, are provided by airlines upon request for free, as mandated by the federal Air Carrier Access Act, the 1986 law requiring accommodations for disabled travelers. But the wheelchairs are unlike handicapped parking spaces, which require a permit: airlines as a rule do not ask for proof of disability.

  16. I can’t comment on Disney World, but I heard Disneyland made some changes a few years ago to prevent groups of people from skipping lines by simply renting a wheelchair for one (often able-bodied) person in their party.

  17. Universally pugnacious, purveying enmity. radically Entitled and swiftly tracking Shit into decent environments.

  18. My son is autistic.  There are very few advantages to autism, but skipping lines at amusement parks is one of them.  If disabled people are cashing in and helping others skip lines, I say more power to them.  I hope they are getting paid well.

    1. But how would you feel if those amusement parks suspended that privilege for your son because they found out that most people taking advantage of it were not actually disabled?

      This doesn’t feel very respectful of people with disabilities to me. It’s like a rich guy stuffing a paraplegic person in the back seat of his Bentley just so he can get a better parking space.

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