Disney World slammed for refusing to accommodate autistic guests
Disney World is in hot water after allegedly denying disability accommodations to an autistic guest.
A guest who recently went to Epcot caught on Twitter to talk about the treatment she allegedly received at the park as she rode the new Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind ride while celebrating her birthday.
Twitter user @MickiKMouse has autism and has asked for accommodations before queuing for the ride because the pre-show is too overwhelming, loud and stressful for her. However, a trip coordinator reportedly refused to respond to his request.
She claimed a coordinator told her, “We know pre-shows are medically safe. So if you can’t handle pre-shows, you shouldn’t make the trip.”
The guest was upset and tried to explain why she needed accommodation to skip the pre-show.
“Yeah. That last pre-show room. It’s a lot of the lights, the stress of the ‘script’, the sounds, and then the rush in the narrowing 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 his needs into account, the “discriminatory” A cast member allegedly forced her to stay in line for the pre-show and told her to “shut up. [her] eyes for a few seconds” so that she is not overwhelmed.
“Wait, I have another ‘when you enter the second room, close your eyes for a few seconds. When there is no light, you can open them'”, she recounted, adding that she ended up “swaying, crying, shaking, plugging my ears and closing her 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 like other guests were previously allowed to.
As to why she thinks her request was denied, @MickiKMouse shared that she was with another young woman at the time. She also doesn’t seem visibly disabled, which is why she thinks she wasn’t taken seriously.
Claiming that she has worked at both theme parks, the guest also noted that the accessible accommodations at Universal Orlando Resort are much better than what Walt Disney World Resort offers.
User @MickiKMouse would have shared she planned to tell 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 if she has pursued further discussion with Disney.
Walt Disney World currently offers a Disability Access Service for his guests. Disability Access Service (DAS) offers a variety of ways to provide an “inclusive environment and accessible experiences” for its guests, according to Disney’s website. This includes accommodation for people with disabilities who have difficulty waiting in long queues.
DAS-eligible customers can reserve up to two one-hour return windows for certain experiences, among other services.
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