Amusement parks exist so people can go to them and spend money. Money to enter, money for food, money for souvenirs. The more people who come to the amusement park, the more money the park makes. It is in the best interest of amusement parks to build things that will attract guests, and so build, build, build they do. But what happens when the parks attract guests who are not among the status quo? Guests who are…let’s say…affected by a disability?
A lawsuit on behalf of disabled amusement park patrons was filed recently in California against Disney, which has amusement parks in California, Florida. At the core of the dispute is an objection to Disney changing its longstanding policy of allowing disabled guests and their families to skip long lines and go directly onto rides. Those days are over, Disney says.
Instead, park guests who are affected by a disability will be given an “appointment time” at which they may to return to the ride and avoid a long wait in line. You can read more about all the finger-pointing and details of the suit here: http://lat.ms/PZ17zl
It takes more than just ramps and lifts and grab bars for a business to deliver on the promise of accessibility. Compliance with the building regulations of the Americans With Disabilities Act by itself assures the physics of “accessibility,” but does not guarantee that accessibility will be applied according to the spirit of the act. Did Disney change its policy because of the intolerance of a vocal majority of patrons, or because it thinks it found a better way to serve its disabled guests?
Read the article and decide for yourself.