Visit to Disneyland
Handicapped - Complaint
ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA, CALIFORNIA -- We just got back from visiting relatives in CA over the Holidays. We live in NJ. The one thing that I wanted to do while on our [vacation] to CA was go to Disneyland. I have a 13 year old son who has some special needs issues and I thought it was best to get a Doctor’s note to see if we could avoid wait times in line which would make for a more pleasant day for him. Now, my son is very sensitive to the term Special Needs and very much aware of how he is perceived. His special needs have mostly to do with learning disabilities, sensory issues and ADHD. He is not handicapped.
When he heard that we had to wait on a "handicapped line" to get a pass to avoid lines, he freaked out. He almost started crying and wanted to leave the park. He had to have his picture taken, like a mug shot and every time we went on a ride, the employee that we handed the pass to would look at it and ask for the person whose name was on the pass, which was my son. There was absolutely no discretion which made him very self-consciences.
Disneyland should be the ultimate place to forget that you have a disability. I know the park is trying to accommodate everyone and some procedures are necessary since many people take advantage of a special situation for their own benefit. My recommendation is to limit the amount of people that enter the park, and treat people with special needs specially. Call it "Our Special Guests" and get rid of the word "handicapped" and do whatever you can not to make people with disabilities feel singled out. They have to live with this everyday of their lives. I love Disneyland and have been going since I was a kid. I don't know if I will ever get my son to go back. But it be nice to know if he did, it would be a more positive and enjoyable experience.
I hope someone with authority to change things at Disneyland reads this and gets back to me.