- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The wealthy and elite have found a way to combat long lines at Disney World: Hire disabled people to stand with them so they can cut to the front.

The New York Post reported that upper-crust Manhattanites have been hiring disabled individuals via Dream Tours Florida to accompany them to Disney World and pose as family members. The charade vaults the group to the front of the lines, some of which can take hours to pass through otherwise.

The partnership isn’t exactly parasitic, though. The guides run $130 an hour, or $1,040 for an eight-hour day, the Post reported. By comparison, Disney Tours offers a VIP guide and fast passes for $310 to $380 per hour.

Dream Tours, a Celebration, Fla.-based company, is run by Ryan Clement and his girlfriend Jacie Christiano, whom Mr. Clement says has an autoimmune disorder and uses a scooter, according to the Post. He denied that she uses her disability to skip to the front of long lines.

The company later posted a message on its website that it had ceased offering VIP tours for the time being “due to inaccurate press and slander.”

A social researcher stumbled upon the practice while writing a book about New York City’s Park Avenue elite, the Post reported.

“It really is happening,” the researcher said Wednesday to CNN. “It’s not my job to judge.”

The revelation didn’t sit well in the court of public opinion, however, as social media sites were ablaze Wednesday with condemnation of the tactic.

“Crazy,” wrote one, CNN reported. “Freaky,” wrote another. And adjectives “awful” and “despicable” weren’t far behind, CNN said.