Disney World Cast Member Slammed After Denying Disability Accommodation for Autistic Guest
Disney World is in hot water after allegedly denying disability accommodations for an autistic guest.
A guest who recently went to Epcot took to Twitter to speak about the treatment she allegedly received at the park while riding the new Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind ride while celebrating her birthday.
Twitter user @MickiKMouse is autistic and asked for accommodations before getting in line for the ride, as the pre-show is too overwhelming, loud and stressful for her. However, a ride coordinator allegedly refused to accommodate her request.
She claimed that a coordinator told her, "We know the preshows are medically safe. so if you can't handle the preshows, you shouldn’t ride the ride."
The guest was upset and tried to explain why she required an accommodation to skip the pre-show.
"Yep. that last preshows room. a lot of it is the lights, the stress of the 'storyline,' the sounds, and then the stampede into the shrinking hallway. i tried to explain that but i feel like he pinned the lights and assumed that since the ride has lights, i should do both," she continued.
Rather than taking her needs into consideration, the "discriminatory" Cast Member allegedly forced her to stay in queue for the pre-show and told her to “close [her] eyes for a few seconds” so she wouldn't get overwhelmed.
"Wait wait i got another 'when you enter the second room just close your eyes for a few seconds. when there’s no more light then you can open them,'" she recounted, adding she ended up "rocking, crying, shaking, plugging my ears and closing my eyes for the whole room."
On Twitted, outraged Disney fans and users claiming to be Cast Members told the guest she should have been able to skip the pre-show as other guests have been allowed to before.
As for why she thinks her request was denied, @MickiKMouse shared that she was with another young woman at the time. She also doesn't appear visibly disabled, which is why she believes she wasn't taken seriously.
Claiming she has worked at both theme parks, the guest also noted accessibility accommodations at Universal Orlando Resort are much better than what Walt Disney World Resort offers.
User @MickiKMouse reportedly shared she planned to speak to a Guest Relations Cast Member about her negative experience to prevent the same from happening to other guests in the future. However, it is currently unclear as if she pursued a further discussion with Disney.
Walt Disney World currently offers a Disability Access Service for its guests. The Disability Access Service (DAS) offers a variety of ways to provide an "inclusive environment and accessible experiences" for its guests, per Disney's website. This includes accommodations for guests with disabilities who experience difficulties waiting in long lines.
Guests who qualify for the DAS system can book up to two one-hour return windows for select experiences, among other services.