In our continuing commitment to provide information on accommodations for guests with special needs, I want to share with you more information I have received straight from the Disneyland Resort.
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Last week, Meg Crofton, President Walt Disney Parks & Resorts Operations, U.S. and France sent out a letter to organizations that represent the interests of the autism and the disabled communities reassuring them of Disney’s continued commitment to all guests at Disney Parks. I was provided this letter this morning and have been given express permission by the Disneyland Resort to share its contents here on Babes In Disneyland.
Disney Parks holds a cherished place in the hearts of the millions of Guests who visit us each year. We know that is especially true for those of you who have a loved one with a disability. For many families, what would be impossible elsewhere is not only possible, but magical, at our parks and resorts. We are proud to play such an important role in so many of your lives.
Unfortunately, our current program for providing access to attractions for Guests with disabilities has been abused and exploited to such an extent that we are no longer able to effectively sustain it in its present form. After careful consideration, and with the needs of our Guests with disabilities as our foremost concern, we are modifying the current program so that we will be able to continue to serve those Guests for whom the program is intended.
Over the past few days, you have likely heard about these upcoming changes and how they might affect our Guests with disabilities. Our relationship with you is important to us, and we want to take the opportunity to clear up any confusion or misinterpretation.
Our commitment to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all our Guests has not changed. We have long recognized that people may have different needs, and we will continue to work individually with our Guests with disabilities to provide assistance that is responsive to their unique circumstances.
As with any change, there will be a period of adjustment, particularly for those families who have developed and refined their preferred ways of enjoying our parks with their loved ones over the years. I thank you in advance for your patience as we fine-tune our new program to mitigate the current abuse, while still providing the special experience our Guests have come to expect from Disney.
Most of all, thank you for entrusting your treasured time with those you love to Disney Parks.
President, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Operations, U.S. and France
I think the letter clearly spells out the reasons for the need for change to the existing program while reiterating Disney’s commitment to all of its guests–including those with disabilities.
This is a very delicate situation, and I will continue to bring you the most up-to-date, official information as it becomes available. Please know that I am working directly with Disney officials on this–I am not dealing in rumors or getting second-hand information–and you can count on the information I am providing to be the most accurate available.
In the meantime, until more information becomes available, my previous coverage on this topic can be found below:
- The official update on the guest assistance programs at Disney Parks (9/21/13)
- A look at special needs access at Disneyland and Walt Disney World through the eyes of a special needs mom.
- My experiences as a Guest Relations Cast Member with the special assistance program.
- My thoughts of the abuse of the Guest Assistance Card program.
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