Monday, May 17, 2010

Reader Question: Cutting in line at amusement parks or fairs

Here's a reader question from Wilson, in Florida. Wilson says:

"One question I'd love for you to discuss is the "cut to the front" line at Disney World for those in wheelchairs. Your brother loved this ancillary benefit but I wonder how you feel about it... Is it necessary or not necessary?"

We touched on this briefly during one of our "Why Being in a Wheelchair Doesn't Suck" posts, but here's a more serious perspective.

Dan's Take: I personally love the benefit of not having to wait in line for an amusement park ride. Not only that but you get to stay on the ride twice without getting off. With the difficulty it takes to get out of your wheelchair and on to the park ride, it makes perfect sense for this policy to be in place. That being said, I can understand some people's frustrations when they spend 6 hours at an amusement park and can only ride three or four roller coasters due to the lengths of the lines. Meanwhile we can squeeze in ten or eleven different attractions during that time. One thing that people have to take into account is that there are a number of rides that we are not allowed to go on, due to back problems, height, balance, muscle strength, issues with seizures, etc. While I actually don't have a number of physical reasons that I can't wait in line, this is not the case for everyone with a physical disability.

Chris's Take: I can understand why seeing someone being able to cut hours in front of you in line could cause frustrations. Some people with disabilities do not really need to be able to do so. However, in my case, I would need to avoid extensive time waiting for a ride or attraction. I have heart and respiratory conditions, which make it difficult and often dangerous for me to wait in excessive heat or in damp or cold weather. In addition, because I have a muscle related disease, I get tired more easily than almost anybody else. I am even more limited than Dan in what I can do at an amusement park. While this policy does not always seem to make sense to the average amusement park visitor, extreme circumstances dictate that it must still be maintained. The workers cannot decide if one person is more "disabled" than someone else.

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