We live in Florida.
We live near Orlando.
What do we do for fun?
For the past 5 years, we have been lucky enough to receive a sticker and a card that allows us to take Jack’s wheels on rides with us, or to use exit ramps as our point of entry to rides. At no point did we ever think that made us more special than anyone else, it just helped us to help him enjoy the little bit of Disney that he can. When he can. Sometimes. This magic card is called the Disney Guest Assistance Card.
A few months ago, we visited for half a day, and I was shocked to find out that they were no longer issuing the card for a two month period (we have annual passes, so they were generous with their dates), but rather for a two week period. Around this same time, there were articles published (which I refuse to link to, because, it disgusts me) about tourists using wheelchairs to get the Guest Assistance Card in order to get in to rides faster/by pass lines all together. That, my friends, is sick and twisted entitlement. Gimme, gimme, gimme. “I want what you have because I’m special too” syndrome.
To those who would do such a thing, I offer you a taste of the fun of Disney with a disabled child.
1. Get up at o’dark thirty.
2. Pack: medicine, water, feeding tubes, blankets, sunscreen, hats, umbrellas, diapers, wipes, masks, gloves, etc. (and there’s LOTS of etc.).
3. Figure out how to get all of that either in a bag or a backpack that will actually hang on the wheelchair. Good luck.
4. Wake the little darling up.
5. Listen to him cry for 45 solid minutes because the routine is changing, and dang it, that’s just not OK.
6. Give up trying to get shorts on him (he doesn’t believe in them anyway), and get him in to the car.
7. Start driving only to remember that you forgot something (repeat this action three times with varying distances of driving).
8. Arrive at the park.
9. Watch people fight and fuss over absolutely anything. And I mean anything.
10. Have people yell at you because you dared to say “excuse me” so you don’t ram them with the wheelchair. That’s always fun.
11. Have random children point and make fun of your child, loudly.
12. Try to find a place to tube feed at noon. Watch people eat their food and stare at you, while complaining that someone would do such a thing in public.
I could go on and on…
But then, it gets better…add in weather. Try to push a wheelchair and carry an umbrella at the same time in one of Florida’s thunderstorms.
So, for you people who think it’s super cool to act entitled so you can get in to rides faster….
I hope you choke on your entitlement. I’d say other things, but my mother is going to read this.
And, Disney…remember that not all your guests are just here for a week. Some of us live here. Some of us will be disabled forever. And some of us deserve a little bit of consideration (especially the ones who cannot speak for themselves).