"Disney Hit With New Autistic Kids Lawsuits; Many More.

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conundrum
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21 Nov 2014, 12:04 am

"...Expected"

https://tv.yahoo.com/news/disney-hit-au ... 59515.html


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21 Nov 2014, 12:30 am

That doesn't surprise me that Disney workers are being that way towards kids on the spectrum and other kids with disabilities. They call those places the happiest places on Earth, but actions speak louder than words. I thought it was their jobs to make all the kids happy. Those videos about autistic children not being to enjoy being at Disney parks aren't even worth my time, so I'm not going to watch them.


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21 Nov 2014, 7:58 am

I'm on the fence about this one. I actually thought about taking my two autistic children to Disneyland last summer, and decided not to, probably would have, with their old policy. That's disappointing (for me...my kids didn't know so they weren't). As unfortunate as that is, I feel like that's just REALITY. There's stuff you can't do if you have an autistic child; there's stuff your autistic child can't do. I have a friend whose child has a severe immunodeficiency due to antirejection meds for a transplant. Her kid can't go to Disneyland either. That sucks, but it's not Disney's fault.

I can see how other people found their old policy unfair too. On your article, one person commented that normally people can ride 3 rides a day, but with the old disabled pass, you could ride 20. So I can totally see why "regular" folks thought "WTF??"

I haven't seen the videos though. I've also never been, so I don't know what the staff are like.


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YippySkippy
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21 Nov 2014, 8:15 am

It costs $100 per person to get into Disney. If you get to ride 3 rides, that's about $33 per ride. That seems like a huge waste of time and money.



androbot01
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21 Nov 2014, 9:07 am

Disneyland is a huge waste of time and money.

I haven't been there, but up here in Ontario we have "Canada's Wonderland." It's a similar park, although not as big. Honestly, though, how far can they go to accommodate autistic people. The entire environment is anathema to me. Noise, crowding, waiting ... for what? It's all an illusion. "This way to the great egress."



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21 Nov 2014, 9:24 am

Yeah of course it's a waste of time and money. A colossal waste! But I wanted to do it anyway! :lol:


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21 Nov 2014, 9:33 am

YippySkippy wrote:
It costs $100 per person to get into Disney. If you get to ride 3 rides, that's about $33 per ride. That seems like a huge waste of time and money.

Last time, I was at Disneyland for 8 hours, and spent a total of 20 minutes on rides. That's just a little over 4.2% of my time actually being happy. The rest of the time was spent standing in line, walking between rides, or spending $12 on a meal that I wouldn't have fed to my dog.


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21 Nov 2014, 11:15 am

YippySkippy wrote:
It costs $100 per person to get into Disney. If you get to ride 3 rides, that's about $33 per ride. That seems like a huge waste of time and money.

Just 10 years ago Disney ticket prices were around 50$.
Unless you have a good schedule like locals do it really is, particularly when the obnoxiously loud Brazilian tour groups cut in front of you in line and start randomly chanting and clapping.



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21 Nov 2014, 1:19 pm

I wouldn't want to be at a park anyway if it was too many people, long lines, etc. and it was going to be giving me anxiety. I think these parents are selfish forcing their kids in a environment that is torturous for them. And last time I went, we had to go for two days because of long lines and we couldn't go on most of the rides until the middle of the night after the light parade because by then there were no lines. I handled it better then because I didn't have much anxiety then.


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BuyerBeware
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21 Nov 2014, 3:15 pm

In the absence of a Disney-related special interest, I'd tend to concur that dragging spectrum kids to DisneyParks is more American Dream fulfillment for the parents than any kind of gift to the kid. Been there, done that (as an adult hauling my own kid-- ADF for my in-laws). I figured out how to cope after a couple of hours, but on the whole the only enjoyment in it for me was MIL's delight. That wouldn't be a positive factor for an ASD kid; absent a special interest, I don't see the attractions making up for the sensory hell either (disability pass or no).

Absent a special interest, the only good reason I can see for hauling a spectrum kid to Disney is when it is the heart's desire of non-spectrum siblings.

I CERTAINLY don't feel that my childhood was in any way impoverished by having missed out on MouseMania. My personal childhood was enriched by hours in the library and watching trains and hearing the same stories over and over and over again and being free to play alone in a room and walk alone in the woods and other low-income HFA kid stuff like that; I think I personally would have been more impoverished by getting dragged to Disneyworld and having parents who were adamant that I get all the "normal kid stuff." I might have felt differently, I guess, if I were the "normal" sibling. I don't know.

That's a toughie. I guess it would depend on the extent to which the ASD child was affected. No way a kid like me should get a pass-- even as a child, I definitely fell into the suck it up and learn to cope/chill the hell out/don't be so judgmental category. On the other end of the spectrum, though, I could see the pass making the difference between "We can just barely pull this off" and "Not even remotely possible."

I don't think Disney is a good vacation destination for ASD kids; I imagine it would be even more profoundly hellish for a more profoundly affected kid. But I also don't feel real good saying I think it's fine for the other kids' choices to be limited by an ASD sibling and the accomodations that are or are not available to said child.

I don't feel good putting Disneyworld on the same level as medical care, or the grocery store, or any of the other things ASD kids and families NEED access to in order to simply exist. There is NO UNIVERSE in which a Disney vacation can be remotely classed as a NEED-- not even in the world of Make-A-Wish can it be considered a NEED. But I also don't feel real good saying that it's OK for a child's sensory sensitivities and frustration tolerance to put it totally out of reach.


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21 Nov 2014, 6:13 pm

BuyerBeware wrote:
In the absence of a Disney-related special interest, I'd tend to concur that dragging spectrum kids to DisneyParks is more American Dream fulfillment for the parents than any kind of gift to the kid. Been there, done that (as an adult hauling my own kid-- ADF for my in-laws). I figured out how to cope after a couple of hours, but on the whole the only enjoyment in it for me was MIL's delight. That wouldn't be a positive factor for an ASD kid; absent a special interest, I don't see the attractions making up for the sensory hell either (disability pass or no).

Absent a special interest, the only good reason I can see for hauling a spectrum kid to Disney is when it is the heart's desire of non-spectrum siblings.

I CERTAINLY don't feel that my childhood was in any way impoverished by having missed out on MouseMania. My personal childhood was enriched by hours in the library and watching trains and hearing the same stories over and over and over again and being free to play alone in a room and walk alone in the woods and other low-income HFA kid stuff like that; I think I personally would have been more impoverished by getting dragged to Disneyworld and having parents who were adamant that I get all the "normal kid stuff." I might have felt differently, I guess, if I were the "normal" sibling. I don't know.

That's a toughie. I guess it would depend on the extent to which the ASD child was affected. No way a kid like me should get a pass-- even as a child, I definitely fell into the suck it up and learn to cope/chill the hell out/don't be so judgmental category. On the other end of the spectrum, though, I could see the pass making the difference between "We can just barely pull this off" and "Not even remotely possible."

I don't think Disney is a good vacation destination for ASD kids; I imagine it would be even more profoundly hellish for a more profoundly affected kid. But I also don't feel real good saying I think it's fine for the other kids' choices to be limited by an ASD sibling and the accomodations that are or are not available to said child.

I don't feel good putting Disneyworld on the same level as medical care, or the grocery store, or any of the other things ASD kids and families NEED access to in order to simply exist. There is NO UNIVERSE in which a Disney vacation can be remotely classed as a NEED-- not even in the world of Make-A-Wish can it be considered a NEED. But I also don't feel real good saying that it's OK for a child's sensory sensitivities and frustration tolerance to put it totally out of reach.


Good points brought up here. My friends went this summer (we were going to go with them) and they each have one profoundly autistic child and one NT child. They ended up splitting up, having one parent taking the NT kids through the park and the other parents taking the autistic kids to the hotel room. Basically, it was a failure on the autism front, and I'm glad I decided not to go, because I don't even have an NT kid. My desire to go, was largely due to me (like I said, I was disappointed- they weren't).

HOWEVER, there are aspects of DL, that my kids would have loved. They have a Star Wars thing now, and OMG my younger kid would have been in heaven. And my older son loves roller-coasters (we've taken him to a much, much smaller theme park). When I was looking at the website, I definitely found enough to stuff to fill a vacation that they would have genuinely enjoyed. Only with a certain level of accommodation. I think the old pass alone would have made the difference between ""We can just barely pull this off" and "Not even remotely possible."". With additional support, such a hotel room on site to take breaks at, familiar food, noise-blocking headphones, etc. it might have been FUN. The question is whether or not it is reasonable to expect that level accommodation? I'm leaning towards not.


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23 Nov 2014, 2:45 am

When my sister and I were little, we got past the long lines at Disney World with doctor's notes (at my dad's insistence). That was way back in 2000. If I go there again, I don't think I'd have the patience to stand in line for very long (not in Florida), even if with accommodations.


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23 Nov 2014, 9:31 am

So I went to the Walt Disney World website and explored a bit ... even that was too much for me. I got totally stressed. If I was ever somehow dragged into such a trip I would somehow engage a plan which saw me (on my own if necessary) visiting one of the nearby conservation areas, like Seminole Ranch. That would be far more satisfying.



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23 Nov 2014, 10:10 am

The article doesn't make this clear, but the old system was horribly abused where, basically, disabled people would charge money to accompany perfectly able-bodied people to enable the latter to skip the queues:

http://www.today.com/news/undercover-di ... 6C10131266
http://gadling.com/2013/09/25/hiring-disabled-disney/

Clearly, something had to be done about this and I applaud Disney for not turning a blind eye. I'm not clear enough on how the new system works to understand what problems these lawsuits are alleging (and the article doesn't tell me that, either).

I can't see any easy solution here. Probably the surest way would be to allow only the disabled person themselves to skip the queues. The rest of their family and friends can queue as normal. Even their carer, if they want to go on the ride, would have to queue. The practical problem with that is that it would require two carers for someone like an autistic child: one to go with them, who would queue for the ride for 2 hours, and another who would actually bring the child when the first carer is at the front of the queue. This would be impractical in many cases.

An alternative would be to allow only the disabled person themselves and one carer, if required to accommodate the disability, to skip the queues. The rest of their family and friends can queue as normal. This may not be enough to stop all the abuse, though, and further checks would be more complex. For example, they could require some kind of an official letter from their doctor saying that their carer is such-and-such and is required for these reasons and insist on ID from both. Then they would ideally keep track of the names of the disabled people and their carers, so that they can detect if the "carer" changes every week and flag that as suspicious. They could go even further and say that only those whose disability affects their ability to queue, as evidence by a doctor's letter, get special treatment. (For example, being wheelchair-bound is not in itself an impediment to queuing.)

This is all possible, but it's a lot of work for Disney, which brings them no extra revenue, so they're understandably reluctant to go to such extremes.


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