How the 99% Does Disney

By now, I’m sure you have read or heard about this article. And maybe even this follow-up article. And I’m not just addressing that to the Disney fans…it has been on our local news, on MSN and other national news sites, and even random forums completely unrelated to Disney. It’s been absolutely everywhere and I’m even tired of seeing it and feel ridiculous for continuing the publicity. This article has caused quite a stir for a number of reasons.

Disney fans are pissed. Me being one of them. Let’s say the information in this article is true and this mom really did say all of that and that she is telling the truth.

Holy Mickey Mouse…to be honest, I already knew that people take advantage of Disney’s leniency regarding wheelchair-use or people’s disabilities. (pardon me if any of my vocabulary is politically-incorrect).

For the people that really need it, I think it’s wonderful that Disney helps them have a great experience in spite of whatever condition they may have. To me, Disney is the opitome of customer service and am truly in awe of how they treat their guests. Seriously, whenever I go anywhere else and get treated less-than-stellar, I always have to remind myself that I’m not in Disney World…similar to Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz….“There’s no place like Disney. There’s no place like Disney.”

But then there are others…the people that exaggerate conditions that others don’t even mention, or people that prefer to be lazy and get a wheelchair or scooter and use that to their advantage (and run into me while they’re at it). Drives me crazy!

Ok back to the article, I wouldn’t doubt it if there are companies out there exploiting Disney’s good nature or families with money (I am avoiding using the term mom on purpose) that are able to buy a “better experience”, but this just makes me sad that these people are going to ruin it for the people that really need it. That’s how it always happens. It also makes me sad that there are people in our society that think it’s ok to lie like that.

And now that I have a child, all I can think about is how these people are cheating my son. How they are lying to get in front of him in line, postponing his fun because you have more money than us and apparently no ethics or integrity either.


But let’s say this article is mostly fabricated (which I wouldn’t doubt). There are definitely plenty of items in the article to make me think SOMEONE, whether it be the author or the mom they spoke to, doesn’t know much about Disney. What makes me even angrier is that most of the people that are sharing the article also don’t know much about Disney. So we have a bunch of press and people talking about things that aren’t true. On my local news, their exact phrase was “Disney offers a tour guide service and Fastpasses to skip the lines, but at a major cost.”

Umm, no…Fastpasses are F-R-E-E and you don’t get to completely skip the line. You are given a time to return to the ride and you get to use the Fastpass line to make your wait shorter. Most of the time there is still a line…sometimes there isn’t if you go during a slow period. You essentially still have to wait to ride the line, you are just able to do other things while waiting. The tour service and Fastpasses should not be grouped together…completely different things.

It angers me that people that don’t know about Disney are causing such a stink, making it out to be such a bad place.

I guess the only positive thing that may come from this is that the people that are running this type of immoral service will stop (doubt it) or that Disney will take a look at what they allow people to claim as disabilities or needing a wheelchair (also doubt it – that’s a very touchy subject that could lead to lawsuits, because let’s face it, we are a lawsuit happy country ’round here). On the flip side, I hope this doesn’t prompt a bunch of people to now think of their own ways of gaming the system, whether it be to do something similar to what this article suggests or some other idea that they conjured up based on reading it.

So let me give this article a counter argument, per se. The mom apparently says “This is how the 1% does Disney” (ok, really, do you think they refer to themselves as the 1%? I’m not so sure, but seeing as I am not the 1%, I guess I wouldn’t know – maybe I’ll find out if I win that half a billion dollar Powerball 😛 ).

I was going to talk about how the other 99% do Disney, but I think there really are two separate groups in that 99%…Disney veterans and casual Disney-goers (for lack of better terms).

The casual disney-goers only go once in a while, and may even go just once in their lifetime. Since they don’t spend a lot of time there, they only think about the basics and don’t really plan out their park experience. From there, they can have very different park experiences depending on what they choose to do….wait in line, or not? Eat at noon or 2:00? Some choose to just go with the flow and others try to ask around as to what to do.

The Disney veterans know there’s more to planning than just hotels and restaurants. They know how to useFastpasses to significantly cut their time waiting in line. They know what time to arrive at the park. They know which direction to turn when they hit the hub as the park opens. They know full well that you don’t have to wait in line at It’s a Small World, or any ride for that matter, for 2.5 hours. I could go on and on…but if you are a Disney veteran, than you already know what I’m talking about. And if not, then email me and I’ll tell you how to get started.

I don’t have a bunch of money to pay for front of the line access at WDW (although I’ve paid for something similar to a Fastpass at the Universal Parks before), but I can bet that with my knowledge and planning, I can have a damn good Disney experience without compromising my morals. I know to look at crowd calendars when planning so I go during slow times. I know not to eat in the middle of the lunch and dinner rush. I get to the park early. I use multiple Fastpasses a day. I utilize Extra Magic Hours if I want. I know when parades and fireworks are and I find a good spot early so I’m not the rude person squeezing in front of you at the last minute and I certainly will not allow my kids to do that to anyone else without their permission. After all, I would like to think we are all there to get away from reality for a bit and be happy.

Here is where I am a little different than a lot of people…I definitely do not wait in any line that is or looks longer than 20 minutes. I just don’t. Why? Because I know I’ll be back soon. I know not everyone gets to say that and trust me, I have definitely waited a LONG time in a ride line before when I was with someone that wasn’t sure if they’d ever come back. But that was also many years ago when I hadn’t learned all the tricks and tips I know now. Over the past few years, my love of Disney has led me to read forums, articles (positive ones), tips and more that have helped improve my park experience. I enjoy learning how to make my park experience even more positive. And if something doesn’t turn out perfect, then that’s ok and it helps us learn for next time.


Psst…in other news, I’ve been nominated as a Top Foodie Mom over at Circle of Moms! I would appreciate your vote, which takes just 2 seconds…click the button below and then click on the pink heart underneath my blog description next to my current number of votes. You can vote every 24 hours, too! Voting ends June 4th!

I definitely don’t think I’ll win since I’m only a random recipe and food photo poster, but I hope to at least make top 25 so I get a nifty badge for my blog and some more exposure (you know, in case I don’t win the Powerball that I didn’t even play). We all thank you!



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  • Brittney
    May 20, 2013 at 10:24 am

    I had not heard of this story before you posted it…and I hope its mostly false. I’m a casual Disney goer who will only go a handful of times in my life…but I will do due diligence in planning to make sure we get the best experience possible…and without immoral help!

  • Stephanie
    May 28, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    Hey Lynn – been catching up on your blog (I was off the grid for a bit) but i LOVE your response to this. While by frequency a am technically only a casual disney-goer (until we move to FL, I hope 😉 haha) the husband and I are definitely veteran planners and I learned this form my mom, who passed the art of trip planning on to me as we grew up only doing Disney 4 years. I think Disney is totally in how you plan and approach it too, and just like any other vacation it *does* require lots of planning. Why do you think our next trip will be in October? (low crowds!)

    I think you did a good job vocalizing most/many of my thoughts on the awful article about the 1%. I was infuriated at the article, but you are right I don’t think there is much WDW can do about it without toeing the lawsuit line. *sigh* I appreciate you writing on the subject, and hopefully things won’t get worse for those who truly need disability services in WDW after all this.

    • Lynn Svenson
      May 28, 2013 at 8:58 pm

      Thank you. I definitely debated about whether to write about it, but after several days of hearing about it, I had to!