Shrewdly generous or morally reprehensible? You Make The Call!
Some wealthy Manhattan moms have figured out a way to cut the long lines at Disney World — by hiring disabled people to pose as family members so they and their kids can jump to the front. The “black-market Disney guides” run $130 an hour, or $1,040 for an eight-hour day.
“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.
The woman said she hired a Dream Tours guide to escort her, her husband and their 1-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter through the park in a motorized scooter with a “handicapped” sign on it. The group was sent straight to an auxiliary entrance at the front of each attraction. Disney allows each guest who needs a wheelchair or motorized scooter to bring up to six guests to a “more convenient entrance.”
Not only is their “black-market tour guide” more efficient than Disney World’s VIP Tours, it’s cheaper, too. Disney Tours offers a VIP guide and fast passes for $310 to $380 per hour. —NYPost
Well, it’s better than dwarf-tossing. I guess.
But really, is the professional retention (read: exploitation) of orthopedically disabled people any different in principle than paying for express lanes during rush hour on I-95? Our society has numerous mechanisms that expedite service for additional cash. Here’s one that actually puts money in the pockets of a notoriously under-employed demographic.
The fact that Disney sells a VIP package of its own indicates its approval of a class system based on cold hard cash. You want faster access? Pay us and come right through while the cretins and plebes roast in the sun waiting their turn.
True, the arrangement was established as an accommodation for families with challenges, ensuring that their visit to Disney was as enjoyable and entertaining an experience as any appreciated by “regular” families. So this scheme cooked up by Dream Tours rather games the system. But it doesn’t reduce the number of opportunities available, just expands the user base.
Still, there’s something unsavory here, sort of along the lines of those famous frauds who faked mental retardation so they could win gold medals at Special Olympics events. Like, stay in your lane, guys. And get a life.
And finally, the whole deal is off if it turns out Dream Tours isn’t using genuine cripples.