There has been qite a stir in the SMA community, and special needs kids all over the US, as Disney is changing the way they handled the special needs community... If you want to read about it, go to this article:
This is what we have to say about it:
"Imagine a child who is quadriplegic (cannot move arms, legs, sand or move at all), non-verbal (speaks with grunts), has a ventilator for breathing (either with a bipap nasal mask or a traqueostomy), must be suctioned all the time as he/she cannot control secretions and may choke if not suctioned, all equipment and wheelchair depends on batteries to work... This child cannot be "safely transferred"like any other kid and must stay in his/her wheelchair where all the emergency equipment which is used daily is kept at all times... A wonderful trip top Disney or any other park is a dream that comes true to the child, but the adults surrounding the child have 2 main tasks: Keeping up with the care and ensuring the kid has fun. Notice that the adults barely go by having the fun that normal families have... Our fun is watching the eyes of our kids light up whenever they get to visit these parks... Even if all they get to do is a meet and greet with characters and the most action they can take is a ride that most people think lame and mild such as Its A Small World. There are many things to consider, especially when it comes to special needs... All Special Needs kids have rights that are warrantied and backed up by the government, and that must be kept being reinforced so fairness is at least feasible...
I will leave you with this thought... Sesame Place is also a wonderful park targetting kids... When I visited with my special needs daughter I did not get any VIP pass, or any special thing... But the people who work there are so sensitive to what they have in front of them that my daighter was treated VIP even if we never asked. I was floored by all the positive attention she got, and I will never forget that yes it was difficult to make the day work... but the people around us made it all magical and worth it. That was Sesame Place... I don't see why Disney would have to be any different.
Another point, all special needs kids have all documentation for their conditions... Normally parents carry copies with all paperwork all the time, just in case... All the parks need to do is require that documentation if the severity of a special need is not immediately apparent...Everything else should be common sense.
Kudos to the Sesame Place for being able to have common sense and live up to doing it all for the kids. Disney: Pay attention, and learn!