Blog: Cutting in Line at Disneyland Helps Heal My Child

An eye-opening Disney encounter with an ignorant neanderthal.

Happy New Year! I hope you are all embarking on a new year with resolve, happiness and conviction. You can do anything. Don't let New Years resolutions stress you out.

I had to prove I could do anything today. Here's what happened.

My children's birthdays are the same week as Christmas. So this year we took all their birthday money and Christmas presents from our family and friends and became annual passholders at Disneyland Resort. I feel blessed and fortunate that we can do this for our kids.

Tonight we had no extra therapy after school, all my chores were done, and Daddy was home from work early and could stay home with our sick 4-year-old. I kidnapped my 6-year-old for a quick Disney visit. This completely blew his structure and routine, so I knew I was asking for a major meltdown. But I hoped for the best. His first visit to Cars Land in California Adventure a couple weeks ago brought pure joy and excitement, which is rare since he is autistic and non-verbal. 

In our home we watch "Cars" everyday, which is why my son recognizes the area, and if you haven't been there, I highly recommend it. You really and truly feel like you walked into Radiator Springs, "the cutest little town in Carburetor County."

After watching the Pixar Parade we rode a couple of small rides that I knew he would enjoy, and the smiles and joy I saw on his face were just epic. It filled my heart with nothing but joy. Being that my son has developmental challenges and delays I do get a guest assistance pass that basically lets us go into most rides through the exit and get on without waiting in line. It helps my son with the crowds—standing around for a long period of time would completely ruin his time and the time of everyone around us. So I do feel incredibly lucky that Disney sees autism as a disability and provides us with this pass.

As we used our pass to get on a ride with a 30-minute line, there was this guy.

You know this guy.

He had a big mouth. As a mother you want to punch this guy in the throat for being such a jerk. As we got on the ride, he started exclaiming.

Him: "What, is her money better than mine?!"

The Disney cast member: "Sir, they have a special pass that requires him to get special assistance."

The neanderthal: "Yeah, sure, he looks fine, there is nothing wrong, I'm calling B.S. on his mother and Disney."

And then the white hot rage in my belly came forth, but all that came out of my mouth was, "You should probably stop talking now, because I will own you everyday and twice on Sunday because you know not what you speak and you do NOT want me to humiliate your ignorant self in front of all these lovely people."

And the tears welled up in my eyes and I got on the ride with the most precious gift in my life and put my arm around him and felt horrible that there are humans that are so rude and clueless. If you think autism is a picnic and I fake it to get a Disneyland special access pass, you need to be mentally evaluated. Yes, it makes my life easier at Disneyland to have a pass and it helps my kids enjoy their time at Disney much better.

I would give up the access pass in a nanosecond if my kids didn't have Autism. Their lives are so challenging and difficult, forever

  • There will always be the thug and bully that was raised by the jerk in line who will want to pick on them.
  • There will always be the challenge with their motor skills to do things appropriately.
  • There will always be issues with sensory overload, there will always be social skills issues.
  • There will always be this lack of awareness in others. 

This pass turns a crowded, sensory-overloading nightmare into a "Very Happy Place" for my kids. Not the "Happiest Place on Earth" yet, but it really helps. 

If you are a naysayer that believes I'm faking and want to cut in line because it's easy, I'm sorry you are so ignorant, unhappy and angry at the world. Maybe you should look at your own kids who have no issues (except that jerk they have for a parent) and be grateful and happy because your kids:

  • were potty trained at 3 years old
  • go to school and do homework without a yearly meeting with a team of people trying to decide what is best for your kid
  • play on a sports team, or some other socially-involved club
  • have regular play dates and friends
  • sleep through the night at 6 years old
  • cognitively understand you when you say something
  • can dress themselves, and feed themselves... (shall I go on?) 

Until you've walked five feet in my shoes you and your unhappiness and jaw jacking to embarrass someone in public serve no purpose. 

I look forward to challenging and helping my kids get social skills this year and I have a huge tool that will help me. I hope and pray you can smile at us and know how truly happy we are growing and moving forward with the obstacle of autism. By allowing us to "cut in front" of the line you are helping make that lesson possible.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Julie Kukreja January 16, 2013 at 04:15 PM
Have you counted your blessings? One, you have two children to love unconditionally. Two, you have a husband that can stay home while you sneak out for a fun day. Three, you have season passes. Four, you have a fast pass. Five, to be able to take extra income and use it on season passes means as a responsible parent and homeowner/renter, that you are not living pay check to pay check. Hopefully you have retirement savings on the works, you have college funds, and emergency funds to help your family in case of emergency to be able to use those funds for season passes. These are huge blessings. I'm not saying anything wrong with how you spend money but I'm saying you have blessings to count like we all do. How did you pass these blessings on to others? You could have asked the cast member if this man could join you. They would have let him. Disney prides themselves with guest service. You would have gotten to know each other better and you could have been an advocate for your son's disability. This man would have had a better understanding and next time would be more patient. You would have also brightened his day by helping him get a fast pass for once. There were so many other choices you could have expressed to show your blessings. To say it was an eye opener on how rude people can be even at Disney is so ignorant as you acted the same way. Our society is so self centered and this sense of entitlement is ridiculous.
Julie Kukreja January 16, 2013 at 04:16 PM
I have a problem with this article. It just shows two ignorant people not one. It's not about a woman with a child with disability. It's about the fact that someone, Disney, recognizes that they have the power, like us all, to help make someone's life a little bit easier. Her behavior wasn't role model and she had the power to pay it forward and missed her opportunity. We don't know this guy. Maybe there's something in his life he just wishes was a little bit easier? Maybe he struggles with his boss or relationships? He probably wishes someone would just recognize it and help him. This was his cry for help. Not to just skip line at Disney. It's not about that. Seems like that was the final straw as it was for her as they both blew up. Now it's just about her getting cheers for putting someone else down. So not a role model for her child or any. Her best response should have been: Sir, it sounds like you're having a rotten day. I sincerely hope you find some sort of happiness so you can enjoy your day at the happiest place on earth. Bless others, kill them with kindness and you'll live a richer life and make someone else's day better. Pay it forward!
S.A.P. January 16, 2013 at 07:55 PM
IMO, Oralia is a troll account. Read her other posts. No one could be that ignorant.
Rebecca Goddard January 17, 2013 at 12:25 AM
Hi Julie, You clearly don't know my story if you don't think I have counted my blessings. You can check out my story on www.therealmomsofoc.com. I have survived cancer, 2 children with autism, and the loss of a parent in a very short time, there were many struggles losing jobs etc. We are coming out of a valley, and have 2 children that are challenged, and the mother grizzly came out in me, I apologize to you for my shortcomings. Perhaps given this situation where you were attacked in a large crowd you may have behaved perfectly.
Katrina M January 17, 2013 at 12:32 AM
fact checker, I don't know how to reply to Robert's comment on your post, so I'm just commenting on this thread. Dear Robert, there was nothing EVIL about what that man said. People are in such a rush to get all up in arms and offended over things... The guy said "Why do they get to cut in line?", then "He looks fine, I'm calling B.S." People lie and manipulate all the time to get the things they want. So if you're waiting in line for half an hour, see a perfectly healthy looking kid cutting in front of your anxious child by claiming to have a disability, you might question it too. How many people steal money from the government, or don't use their benefits how they are supposed to?? People shouldn't be berated for asking why their child won't get their turn on a ride they've been waiting for. "Sensitivity" is one thing, but nowadays it's freaking ridiculous. I'm not saying the guy wasn't a bit of a d***, but seriously. Crying and a whole post because a guy dared to ask why his kid doesn't get his turn? Autism is HORRIBLE, and I have tons of respect for the people who deal with it. But it doesn't make you somehow better than everybody who doesn't automatically understand. There are plenty of horrible things that we don't think about or understand. Doesn't make us horrible people.


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