Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Rich Families Using Disabled Tour Guides To Cut Lines

The New York Post has published an article about a social anthropologist Dr. Wednesday Martin, writer of Primates of Park Avenue, who has uncovered a very disturbing and troubling trend:  Rich Manhattan mothers using disabled tour guides to help their families cut the lines at Disney World. More information and video after the jump.

While many of us who have had the pleasure of going to Disney World are well aware of the ability to auxiliary entrances for the disabled that allow us to skip the line, this is the first instance that there is an organized ring for wealthy clientele that specifically exploits this advantage.  Disney allows each wheelchair or scooter-using guest to bring up to six guests with them to a "more convenient entrance."  This "black-market tour guide" appears to undercut Disney World's own VIP Tours service that offers a VIP guide and fast passes for $310 to $380 per hour.  The disabled guides are reportedly being paid about $130 per hour or $1040 for an 8-hour day.

"My daughter waited one minute to get on 'It's a Small World'– the other kids had to wait 2 1/2 hours," one "rich mom" is quoted as saying. "You can't go to Disney without a tour concierge. This is how the 1 percent does Disney."

The woman said she hired a disabled guide to escort her, her husband and their 1-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter through the park in a motorized scooter with a “handicapped” sign on it. The group was sent straight to an auxiliary entrance at the front of each attraction.

Passing around the rogue guide service’s phone number recently became a shameless ritual among Manhattan’s private-school set during spring break. The service asks who referred you before they even take your call.

“It’s insider knowledge that very few have and share carefully. Who wants a speed pass when you can use your black-market handicapped guide to circumvent the lines all together?...when you’re doing it, you’re affirming that you are one of the privileged insiders who has and shares this information.” said Dr. Wednesday Martin, who caught wind of the underground network while doing research.

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