Manhattan moms hire disabled guides so their kids don’t have to wait in line.

Manhattan moms hire disabled guides so their kids don’t have to wait in line.

I’m not going to lie, when I saw a news article with a similar title to the one you’re seeing above, I checked the source, certain it must have been the Onion.  Once I realized that it wasn’t, it took me a little while to gain the composure to not write a post laced with expletives.  No one with any shred of a conscience would really do this, would they?  Turns out, I’m either very naive, or there are seriously rotten mommies out there in the world today.

...especially if you have lots of money and no scruples!
…especially if you have lots of money and no scruples!

There are women in this country (well, in Manhattan at least) that pay disabled people to pose as tour guides or family members to travel to Disney World with them for the sole purpose of allowing their over-privileged children the option to skip waiting in lines.  They exploit people with disabilities so their kids don’t have to stand in line.  Not only do these self important parents take advantage of people, but there are actual businesses that hire disabled guides for the specific purpose of giving their customers the ability to line jump.  These “black market” guides bill about $130 an hour, and apparently are touted as “how the 1% do Disney”.

Not just anyone can hire Dream Tours Florida, the super secret company behind this shameful practice.  Apparently they work on a referral only basis, and only those elite enough to have a connection to Manhattan’s private school inside track get access to this secret service.  At the time of the article, both Disney and Dream Tours Florida had declined comment.

This may deviate a bit from our regularly scheduled posting, but I couldn’t let this go without comment.  What kind of adults are these children going to grow into?  My guess?  Either pompous, entitled jerks, or super embarrassed humanitarians.  I really don’t see a whole lot of middle ground here.  Seriously, I really want to know, WHO DOES THIS?  I have several friends with varying disabilities.  I have a hard time imagining them looking at this with anything but disgust, but who knows?  Maybe I’m overreacting?  I’m really stuck on this from a parenting perspective though.  How do I explain to my child that this is not only not okay to buy yourself out of having to follow rules, but also that the people who do are not somehow better or more important than she is?  Or that it is okay to use people for her personal convenience or gain?  That being intentionally deceitful is not okay, no matter who else is doing it?  What will this do to the accommodation of those with special needs in the parks?  Disney has always taken great care of those with disabilities, will this make things more difficult for those with legitimate needs?  Do these families even consider that what they’re doing is exploiting people?

Our family has been very fortunate, and aside from a few minor injuries, we do not have anyone with special needs that require accommodation.  NEVER would I think to do this.  The kids that need that consideration should not have it tarnished or taken away due to the selfishness of others.  Where is the magic of Disney here? Are these moms really so selfish, or are they just blissfully clueless about how privileged they are?

What do you think?  Am I overreacting?  Is this no big deal?