Walt Disney Parks and Resorts has been the recipient of 30 lawsuits filed on behalf of parkgoers with severe autism. The suites claim that the theme parks’ system of “appointment times” for those with disabilities failed to sufficiently accommodate the plaintiffs and led to upsetting “meltdowns.”
The 65-page ruling came from the review of 30 consolidated court cases involving Disney parks in Florida and California. The lawsuits allege that parkgoers with autism have suffered “meltdowns” or their routines were disrupted while waiting for rides, and that Disney’s current “appointment time” program for those with disabilities fails to accomodate their needs.
Today, Disney allows visitors with disabilities to get a special card giving them an “appointment time” to get on a ride with little to no wait. The card allows them to get unlimited “appointment times” throughout the day and allows them to get on rides immediately if the wait is less than 15 minutes.
Disney previously had allowed visitors with disabilities to go to the front of the line but changed the program in 2013 amid reports of abuse by people without disabilities.