I go to Disney World a lot. I have an annual pass, and I even have the disability pass attached to it. For the most part I have never had an issue getting accommodations at Disney World. But I know my experience may not be the same for everyone else, and in the case of Terry Allen — formally known as Magnum T.A. in his wrestling days — he did not receive such a warm welcome, in what was supposed to be a surprise visit for his 9-year-old twins.
Allen is paralyzed on the right side due to a car accident in the ’80s, and uses a modified Segway to help him move around. Unfortunately, when he arrived at the gates of Magic Kingdom, he was turned away. Cast members informed him he would have to leave the Segway in the car, but he was welcome to use a wheelchair or electronic scooter. Disney does not allow the use of any two-wheeled devices in the park. According to Disney:
“For safety reasons, we restrict the use of two-wheeled devices given the unique environment of our theme parks. There are various other options available to our Guests, such as the use of wheelchairs, four-wheeled electric scooters and an electric standing vehicle, which do not pose the same concerns.”
Allen was less than impressed:
“It’s 2017. You can’t tell someone how to overcome their physical challenges. It’s not acceptable. I won’t accept it from anybody because I’ve been there and come from the ground up to where I am today.”
I’ve had my fair share of issues at Disneyland Park with their disability pass, so I am personally not surprised. Disney needs to revise their disability policies, as medical devices are constantly changing and evolving. Allen visited other Orlando area theme parks and had no issues with getting in or around, and frankly Disney World has the space and means to allow a modified Segway in. It is in Disney’s best interest to be the leader in accessibility, and to show the world that everyone should be able to enjoy Disney.