Scammers At Disneyland
It's the happiest place on earth, and one of the most popular. Some 16 million people visit Disneyland, in California each year. And during peak times, the lines can be maddening. In some cases it can take up to two hours for the most popular rides.
But some folks don't have to worry about the wait. We found some families are able to walk right past everyone to the front of the line on nearly all the rides.
So what's going on? INSIDE EDITION found scam artists cashing in on passes designed to help people with disabilities. With one of these passes, you can get right on almost any ride, no matter how long the line is.
Ads posted on Craigslist couldn't be more blunt: promising to, “help families skip the lines,” and ”board rides in as little as five minutes."
To expose the scam, INSIDE EDITION enlisted the help of a Los Angeles area family. They met a guy named Lance inside Fantasy Land. For $360, Lance gave the family a pass that clearly stated it was a “Guest Assistance Card” for "guests with disabilities.”
With it, the family was easily able to breeze past the masses and go right on to the most sought-after rides - Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, the famous Dumbo ride, the Jungle Cruise and more. It saved them hours of waiting.
So how did Lance do it? He said he works at Disneyland as a costumed character and uses his connections to get the disability passes.
But Lance isn't the only one. We also answered an ad from a guy who called himself Sebastian.
He charges $200 for VIP access to all the attractions. Using his own disability pass, he guided our family right onto six rides in just over an hour. They easily zipped past hundreds of guests waiting to board Splash Mountain.
Sebastian told our producer he has been faking an injury for years to obtain the pass, but his story changed when INSIDE EDITION’s Victoria Recano caught up with him outside the park's gates.
“Hi, I'm Victoria Recano with INSIDE EDITION. Is it right for you to be cutting lines for your own financial gain? Do you even have a disability?”
“Yeah, I do,” said Sebastian, “I have plenty but I'm not going to discuss them with you. I don't know you.”
“How many families have you helped cut lines?” asked Recano.
Sebastian said, “I don't help anyone cut lines.”
“So, what exactly is it that you're doing?” asked Recano.
“I'm going to Disneyland and I was having fun with them,” said Sebastian.
Suddenly, our family friendly guide started spewing profanities.
Recano asked, “What would Disney think if they knew that you were doing this, taking advantage of a system designed to help people with disabilities?”
But Sebastian didn't want to talk anymore.
So, what do people with real disabilities think about this?
"If people are going to profit off of this, it's the lowest form of human life in my opinion," said Paul Tobin, president of the United Spinal Association.
A Disney spokesperson told INSIDE EDITION they are cracking down on anyone who misuses their disability passes, and are now plannning to change their rules in a way that will hopefully put these scammers out of business.
A message to all those cutting in line: if you want to enjoy the magic of Disney, you'll have to wait in line, just like everyone else.