Thursday, May 16, 2013

Perking along

You too can enjoy the “perks” of the disabled!! All it takes is about $1300 and a complete lack of morals and grace. The parking is great too!

I read this  yesterday about a new “trend” among some of the more wealthy and vapid members of our society. It is all the rage among  a (hopefully) small group of parents to hire a disabled individual at a price of approximately $1300/day to act as tour guide in Disney theme parks. The disabled individual get the disabled access pass from Disneyland/World allowing the family to go to the front of the line and avoid the long waits that are part of the Disney experience.  One of the rich Manhattanites who used this service said, now the 1% can enjoy the "perks" that the disabled get.

Holy Mother of God. I don't know who is worse. The people hiring these guides or the guides pimping themselves out and threatening a program that is actually of benefit to the disabled visitors to Disney theme parks. 

We utilized it once and it was great, I'm not going to lie. I never even would have attempted Disneyland without it.  There is no way Maggie could wait for several hours to go on a ride, even though there are very few rides she could actually handle. She only went on the tamest of attractions because it is difficult to hold her and she cannot protect herself. Even the Pirates of the Caribbean was a little much for her.  My sons were initially excited at the possibility of going to the front of the line to use Space Mountain until I reminded them that Maggie does not have head control. I have a rule: no head control, no roller coasters. They enjoyed space mountain after waiting their turn in line. Maggie and I just strolled around for that hour or so. I'm such a mean mom. 

Even with the access we were allowed,  Maggie melted down in very short order. It was too much for her, as I knew it would be. Still I felt Maggie should get a trip to Disneyland just like every other kid.

The point is, of course, that Maggie is not like every other kid and needed some accommodation to experience the park at all. The disabled accommodation did not make me want to return. In fact, as we walked down Main Street toward the exit I said to Steve, "There. We did it. I'm not coming back here until I have grandchildren." That was about 10 years ago. And we haven't been back since. 

Today Maggie could probably handle it better, though she still would not be able to utilize many of the rides, and we would not be able to lift her on and off the ones that would work, so a return trip is not likely. If we were to even consider returning,  it would only be if Maggie could have to have the same accommodation. If people are taking advantage of Disney in this regard, that will probably disappear. 

Though it was great, and certainly the only reason I tried Disneyland  then or would consider it now, I would not refer to this accommodation as a "perk" of being disabled or having a disabled member of the family.  Learning how to suction and parallel park at the same time while in rush hour traffic?  Now THAT is a perk, but something that attempts to level the very steep playing field is just a kindness and its good business. Families of disabled individuals know there is one place they can go and the disabled individual in their family can have a sporting chance at fun. That brings many of them back again and again and again to spend those dollars saved from not having to pay parking meters.   

Kindness and sporting chances -- what amazing concepts. I hope these greedy/spoiled people don't ruin this kindness for the people who really need it. The bragging coldhearted woman needs to be slapped and someone needs to find this disabled tour guide and put him/her/them out of business. They should all do a little time in the Toon Town slammer.  

My boys and their cousin Pete did some time in the Toon Town Jail some years back. Straightened 'em right up.  

(This picture is probably 1993ish, definitely before Maggie was born. We probably had more fun on this trip without the passes than we did when we went with Maggie.  Just sayin...) 

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