Navigating the que: Getting through the lines at Disney

Getting on the ride -
Getting on the ride -

WASHINGTON, DC May 16, 2013 – The New York Post revealed Monday that wealthy Manhattan families have been using the services of a Florida-based company that hires disabled people to be tour guides so they can use Disney’s disability access privileges for parties with disabled people in them to get out of long ride lines.

The company, Dream Tours Florida, charged the spoiled families $130 an hour or $1,040 for an 8-hour day for a disabled person in a wheelchair to pretend to be a family member so the entire party could skip lines. Social anthropologist Dr. Wednesday Martin discovered the scheme, called “Black-Market Disney Guides”, while doing research for a book “Primates of Park Avenue” about the posh Park Avenue lifestyle.

All day yesterday, commenter’s and readers of various sites responded to the one percenters’ egregious and shameless fraud.  According to the Post, the company even provided special wrist bands and it was well known as a badge of privilege that if you were with a guide, you were among the shi-shi, elite.

“It’s insider knowledge that very few have and share carefully,” Martin told the Post. “So when you’re doing it, you’re affirming that you are one of the privileged insides who has and shares this information.”

No words.

For those who do not have the money to fork down on a corrupt way of beating the lines, here are five time-honored and true ways to avoid long Disney lines:

  1. Go late in the evening.  The benefits of going after 5pm are numerous. First, the sun has set so it is cooler. Second, by then the crowds have thinned.  The last time I took my family to Disney World inFlorida, we went to Space Mountainaround 8pm and timed it the exact time the nightly Electric Parade was going on along Main Street. Most people skipped off to see that. Our wait was 15 minutes flat. We were in and out.
  2. Use the “Fast Pass” option. Disney’s amusement parks actually have a system that lets you skip the line legally. It’s called Fast Pass. You go to your ride of choice and are given a pass with a specific later time stamped on it for you to return to the ride.  Go grab a bite, go on a ride with no line or explore other sites and return at the time on the pass. You get to go straight to a special no-wait line – your reward for patience and using the system.

    Essentially, you just have to time and schedule your visit right to get the benefit of this option.

  3. Go early in the morning. The other alternative to going late is going very early when the parks first open. There are usually very few families that can get their kids up and out that early so then again, you will be faced with shorter lines. Also, for beating the heat purposes, since the temperature is usually hottest mid day, you can beat the glaring sun by staring your day super early.
  4. Go during off peak times. March thru May and Early June, and hurricane season in October  (for Disney World in Florida) are the times of the year when the crowds are less. Combine the other tricks with going during an off peak time of the year, and you’re almost guaranteeing a seamless ride process.
  5. Go during the middle of the week. Many people who travel incorporate the weekend and choose Saturday or Sunday to fraternize the parks. That is when locals also are likely to also visit. If you are staying in the area for at least a week, go in the middle of the week to save lines and ensure fewer crowds.

There you have it. Follow these tricks and you can experience shorter lines and you wouldn’t even have to spend a grande and exploit benefits reserved for the truly disabled, in the process.

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Jeneba Ghatt
Jeneba Jalloh Ghatt is a former journalist turned lawyer turned citizen journalist. Currently, she manages her boutique communications law firm, where she has represented small businesses and nationally-recognized civil and consumer rights organizations before the United States Supreme Court, federal courts and the FCC. She also covers the White House and US Congress for the online news site while authoring her own influential blog which is frequently accessed by top policy makers and think tanks, and the investment community. focuses on the intersection of politics and technology and reports on policies and rules in the communications and tech sector. Before opening her law firm, The Ghatt Law Group, which was the first communications firm owned by women and minorities, Jeneba regulated Comcast and Starpower as the Assistant General Counsel for the District of Columbia's Office of Cable Television and Telecommunications, and at one point was the only communications regulatory attorney in the entire city. She is founding member and policy chair for a new trade association, the National Association of Multicultural Digital Entrepreneurs and provides advice and counsel to new businesses in the tech industry, particularly small businesses owned by women and minorities. Born in Sierra Leone, West Africa, but raised in the United States by her Catholic mom and Muslim dad, she started her college career creating web content for one of the earliest websites in history while working part time for the University of Maryland's Office of Technology. Following her graduation from the Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, she founded and co-wrote one of the earliest blogs and since then has gone on to found and author six different widely read and influential blogs. She was one of only 22 writers and bloggers to attend the first White House summit for African American media. She holds a Certificate in Communications Law Studies from Catholic; a Juris Doctor from there as well, and a Master of Law in advocacy degree from the Georgetown University Law Center where she first taught and lectured as a Staff Attorney and Graduate fellow at that law school's Institute for Public Representation. She later went on to teach Media Law at the University of Maryland at College Park and guest lecture at Yale Law School and Penn State University, College of Telecommunications. She is well skilled and versed with social media and manages several Twitter, Facebook, Linked In accounts and groups. She sits on the board of several non profits and trade associations.