The Guest Assistance Card was designed specifically for people who need extra assistance such as guests in ECVs or wheelchairs, guests who may not be able to stand for long periods of time for a variety of reasons. It allows for the disabled person and 5 other guests access to an alternate entrance where available and bypassing the regular "Stand By" entrance.
The TODAY Show recently aired a story in which their National Investigative Correspondent Jeff Rossen went undercover to report on people abusing the Guest Assistance Card at Disneyland.
In order to bypass the long lines, some families are cheating the system by hiring disabled tour guides so they can cut right to the front of the line or use an alternate entrance.
On ads found on Craigslist, tour guides brag about their disabled passes, "Let's cut the Disney lines together," "access to special entrances."
So, the TODAY Show had their producer and his family go undercover with home video cameras, hiring two of those disabled guides to show them around Disneyland.
One of the guides that they hired charged $50 an hour, while the other charged $200. These guides are definitely "cashing in" on their Guest Assistance Cards.
Both of the disabled tour guides that they hired were unapologetic when interviewed by Ryan afterwards.
A statement from Disney said,"We find it deplorable that people would hire the disabled to abuse accommodations that were designed to permit our guests with disabilities to enjoy their time in our parks. We have initiated a review of this abuse and will take appropriate steps to deter this type of unacceptable activity."
Now Disney is cracking down, sending out warning letters to anyone advertising these services online. And if they catch any of these "disabled tour guides" in the act, their disabled passes will be revoked, and they won't be allowed back into the park.
I hope that this doesn't effect honest guests with disabilities in obtaining a Guest Assistance Card. Perhaps Disney will require proof that the others guests accompanying the guest with the Guest Assistance Card is somehow related to them.