- Posted September 15, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Where Has the Disney Magic Gone?
We all have bad days, it’s a given, but when your job is to make every moment magical you need to keep it in check, and sadly on my last few visits to Disneyland a few cast members left their magic at home. Most of my trips to Disney have been made with me renting an electric scooter (due to SIX reconstructive surgeries on my ankles in the last 2 years (3 on each) and traveling with my son who has Asperger’s Syndrome. Between my ankles and my son needing special accommodations at times we have been the brunt of some cruel treatment, especially since the article about the upper class NYC moms “renting” people with disabilities to avoid long waits.
Every trip I fill out a bunch of compliments at City Hall. I know people are quick to complain so I like to make sure that someone who goes out of their way is recognized. I try to look for the good, and I try to give cast members the benefit of the doubt, since a lot of the time people are HORRIBLE to them, but these few instances there was no excusing.
Take last October for example – I had invited my parents to join my son and I on our Birthdaypalooza as a surprise for my son. He had been sad that he had been too scared to try a lot of the rides on his first trip and wanted to show GMA & GPA just how brave he really is. Our first stop was CarsLand and RACERS. As we walked through Bugs Land we ran into RED, the big fire truck and we HAD to stop for pictures. Now my son, being the planner that he is ASKED if it was alright if he had one of himself, one with GMA & GPA, and then one with the 4 of us.The photopass photographer said that would be fine since there were very few people in line. As I sat there waiting to jump in the picture one cast member grumbled to another “Jesus Christ don’t they know there is a F@&^$# line.” I was APPALLED to say the least. My 7-year-old son looked up at him in tears and said, “I’m sorry, she said it was ok” and started to walk away. THANKFULLY the photographer stopped him and said it was ok and we had our last picture. I did “report’ him and was given the “I’m sorry for the inconvenience” line and my son was given the 6 Cars buttons that they normally hand out. I felt a little perturbed that nothing more was said, I don’t expect more to be done in terms of FREE things, but a little sincerity would have gone a long way.
My 2nd horrible Disney day was last March. Let me preface this by saying I really had NO BUSINESS going to Disney the week I was allowed to start weigh bearing on my newly reconstructed ankle (which also caused me to get a blood clot the ENTIRE length of my left leg), but I was told by my doctor that I could take a MAX of 20 steps at any given time. I knew most of the trip would be spent sitting in my scooter watching my son, his best friend, and her mom, Danielle, have fun and I was OK with that. On our 2nd day my scooter started dying. We were near Tomorrowland so I suggested that we take it back to the hotel and charge it or switch it out. As we approached the Monorail exit it died completely. Danielle started to push it towards the exit (which had the elevator) at my instruction and was stopped by a cast member that told us we had to take it up the ramp. Struggling to stand I tried to explain my predicament and tell them that I couldn’t walk that far and I was told that since it wasn’t a Disney scooter nothing could be done (I did rent it THROUGH Paradise Pier Hotel who get them from an outside company). Frustrated we started pushing it to the entrance to the monorail station. Now, anyone who has gone on the monorail from the Tomorrowland Station knows that it is like hiking switchbacks up the equivalent of 2 stories. It was not an easy task, and I was in a TON of pain. We were going really slow and a cast member leaned over the rail and started to tell us to hurry because we were holding up the line…as we turned the corner the scooter slipped and started rolling back, almost hitting the ladies behind us. She became visibly angry and started yelling at us. We tried to explain that we had been turned away from the elevator and had no other options. At this point a nice man, about 20 people back, jumped the line and came to our aid.This INFURIATED the cast member, who threatened to call security on him as he took the scooter, undid the chain, and pushed it up the exit onto the platform. As we sat there, waiting for the train to arrive, she kept glaring at us as she whispered to the other cast members. At this point I was in so much pain I was crying. Danielle tried to take her picture as we boarded the train, so we could report the incident, but she kept turning away. When we got back to the hotel, one of the managers called the scooter company and got me a ½ day refund and a new scooter. He was apologetic, but since we never caught the cast member’s name there wasn’t much he could do. I ended up needing to stay in the hotel that night and the following day because of the pain. I also had to call my doctor and get a pain pill RX and had to have several follow up visits to make sure there wasn’t any damage.
My final horror story happened over the week of July 4th. The first incident was when I was getting a “guests with disabilities” fast past to RACERS. As I was pulling my scooter out of the line, the guest behind me loudly asked “Since when did fat and lazy become a disability?” I sat there, almost stunned, as the cast member, who had to verify the FP was for HAYDEN since the line is wheelchair accessible, replied “yeah I know, but there isn’t anything that can be done about people who exploit the system”. ?!?!?!?!?!??!EXCUSE ME?!?!?!?!?!?! So I turned around and asked him when being an ignorant a$$ became a disability. He just glared at me.
I wrote an email to Disney Guest Relations and got a call from their claims department making sure I didn’t want to file a claim for injuries. That wasn’t my point, my point was that these instances are ruining my love for Disney. They have been so hurtful and emotionally draining that I almost sold my DVC membership and canceled my Annual Pass…..ALMOST.
Since writing this it was made known to me that some guests "offended" by Gay Days were given complimentary 3 day park hoppers. And I got an "I hope your next trip is better?"