Do people use wheelchairs at Disney World just to get to the head of the line?

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Alright, it sounds downright awful. The thought of someone feigning a disability just to skip a few—or a few hundred—places in line at Disney World might turn your stomach, but yes, people do it. In fact, they do it a lot more than you might think.

Of course, this isn’t uncommon behavior when we think about humanity over time. This kind of deceptive tactic doesn’t only take place at the place where dreams come true either. People take advantage of others’ sympathies all the time. It might be someone pretending to be handicapped to get a better seat on a plane. This actually requires documentation and people have been known to forge it. Others will disguise their pets as disability and service animals to gain access with them to places that would otherwise be off limits to animals. This is a common problem with emotional support pets, since many organizations will authorize any pet—from a dog to a parrot to a donkey—as an emotional support pet for the right price. Then people take that documentation to an airline or restaurant with them, and it must be acknowledged.

There are common ways that some people take advantage of the “disability card” every day. For example, the woman who borrows her mother’s handicapped tag to hang on her own rear view mirror when she goes shopping. Sadly, this one is very common. People will break the law and steal a spot that a truly handicapped person may need just so they don’t have to walk farther from their car to their destination and back.

So, next time you’re standing in line at Cinderella’s castle or waiting endlessly to take your children on their fiftieth spin on the teacups, you might feel compelled to question whether the guy that passes you by in a wheelchair is truly in need of it—especially if he doesn’t look like it. Well, it’s better to be safe than sorry in this case and just wait your turn. In short, since there are laws against discriminating against the disabled and there’s no surefire way to tell who is or is not really handicapped, the attendants at Disney World can’t turn them away. If they did, you can be sure that on bad apple would spoil this preferential treatment for the whole bunch of people who really do need it.

Cite this page: Danielle Bosley, "Do people use wheelchairs at Disney World just to get to the head of the line?," in, April 5, 2016, (accessed March 21, 2023).