At my local SF park I seen people abusing the system on every visit so anything that cuts down on people scamming to get on rides sooner is a very good policy.
Now only if disney parks would not let people abuse there system to skip ahead in line.
I dont want to sound overly crass, but if kids or adults cant handle some waiting in line then maybe a theme park visit isnt for them.
Ive just seen way too many people abuse these systems and then later laugh about it among themselves as they exit rides or walk in the parks.
If you allow guests with disabilities to move to the front of the line, then you are faced with the daunting task of determining at what LEVEL the disability justifies this privilege. Is it necessary for the physically disabled, who may tire more easily? Or the mentally disabled, who perhaps become distressed by the enormous visual and audio stimulation that a theme park offers? It is at that point in determination that people are able to take advantage of the system.
This is a subject that is sensitive to me because one of my children has a disorder on the autistic spectrum. Granted, my child has a very mild form of autism, probably much milder than the parent in the featured article. But I have never considered his disability justification to move ahead in a line. If he has a day that he is not able to handle a theme park (or a shopping mall, or a restaurant...you get the idea), then we just go home, try again the next time, and call it a lesson learned. Over time I have learned to take measures to prevent meltdowns, but it will always mean more work on my part. My family should be allowed ACCESS to the park and to the rides, just like everyone else. But I don't feel that it gives me the right to have a shorter wait than the other guests.
In summary, I think Six Flags has made a wise decision.
Being part of a group with a person in a wheelchair, it rocked cutting the line at Disney World. However, if you have checked, all the lines are Wheelchair acessable now. Fastpasses are the best alternative to this issue.
Even so, responding to the quote, with fastpasses, you still need to wait a bit in a line. Soarin is a nightmare onto itself!
I know I am in the minority, but fastpass-esque practices seem great to me! I have never, and I mean never, had a problem with any of those "wait for a time" thing.
The terrible point is that people are taking advantage of the system. Now I am not saying that everybody is doing this! Sure, there are people with special needs and they get the most punished here because idiots have ruined it for them! Its just like other policies that change because one person takes total and unfair advantage of it.
Also, let us remember that this is Six Flags, not all theme parks. Honestly, I do not think Six Flags cares as much about the patron/guest as Busch, Universal, or Disney.
I also do not think anybody is ignorant on this site. I think that we have all seen, including myself, people who take total advantage of it. Funny, its mostly at Six Flags. Also, if there is such a problem with them waiting in line (if thats the only option) then take it up with Guest Services. I am pretty sure they can accomidate that special request individually.
Oh and name calling on the site is not nice at all! Let everybody be entitled to their opinion without more or less saying they shouldn't be born or a failure to humanity.
In practice, we hated having wheelchair parties gumming up the works waiting long periods on already crowded load/unload platforms, so we just sent the whole party through with them and loaded 'em immediately. But that did lead to a public assumption that the policy was that wheelchair parties got a free pass.
Now, there were, and are, cases where a person's disability leaves them unable to handle long queue waits. In those cases, if we were making the "wheelchair parties" wait, then someone with the party would have had to explain the situation to a lead and convince him/her to let them through. Which, if you presented a stereotypical autistic-looking kid in a wheelchair (or were wearing a Give Kids the World or Make a Wish button) was usually pretty easy to do.
I have friends who have children with various "special needs" and I really do understand that these children are not capable of standing in a line for a significant time. In the past these families would have to just skip visits to amusement parks. I applaud the industry for helping all of those in need to experience the thrills of going to Disneyland, Magic Mountain, Knott’s, or any of the parks around the US.
I think that we have become a bit desensitized to the situation because we see large groups of people misusing the privilege. I don't think a teenager in a cast really needs to be allowed (with a huge party of friends) to go to the front of the line just because they are using a wheelchair. If people would not take advantage of the loopholes in the system, the people that really need to go to the front of the line would not be seen as a pariah.
I no longer practice this..and I apologize to anyone who has been delayed by anyone doing this. When I see it happen in parks I really don't have the right to get mad, but it is easy to see who the abusers are. I, for one, am glad to see some parks gaining some control.