Harlan Still & Koch

Disney updates its ride scheduling for disabled patrons

Fans of Disney’s theme parks likely know that in 2013, the company changed its policy toward disabled visitors. Until then, patrons with disabilities were often allowed to move to the front of the line at various rides, using a Guest Assistance Card.

Then, starting in 2013, Disney announced that it would no longer offer this accommodation. Instead, disabled visitors and the people they are travelling with would make an appointment at the ride to return later on.

Surprisingly, Disney used old-fashioned cards and writing utensils to keep track of these ride times -- until recently. Starting on Apr. 30, visitors to Walt Disney World will be able to schedule their rides digitally. The park’s employees, known as “cast members,” will scan visitors’ tickets or MagicBands, Disney’s electronic wristbands.

This change follows a similar digitalization at Disneyland, which took place in November. It appears that earlier experiment was successful, judging by the expansion to Disney’s other U.S. theme park.

Hopefully, this will prove to be convenient and useful for many visitors. Because many people living with disabilities have trouble getting around the theme parks, Disney’s policies make it easier for them to enjoy the park, though they still must visit each ride they want to experience to schedule times.

Though accommodations like this can help, disabilities can make it difficult to enjoy travelling and other life experiences able-bodied people might take for granted. For example, a disability that grows worse over time, or is caused by an accident, can take away a person’s ability to support themselves by working.

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