A federal judge sided with Walt Disney World after the mother of a man with autism sued the theme park claiming it violating the Americans with Disabilities Act when they refused to give her son immediate access to attractions, court papers show.
In the ruling filed last week, U.S. District Judge Anne Conway said that Donna Lorman's request for unlimited access to rides through Disney's FastPass line or at least 10 readmission passes was unnecessary and unreasonable, saying it was ripe for abuse.
"Disney Parks have an unwavering commitment to providing an inclusive and accessible environment for all our guests," a Disney spokesperson told FOX Business Thursday. "We are pleased with the court's decision."
The suit, filed by Lorman, president of the Autism Society of Greater Orlando, in 2014, came after the company changed its policy in 2013 for park guests who are disabled. The change was prompted by reports that tourists were allegedly hiring people with disabilities and children who were terminally ill to help them cut the lines and ride multiple times.
As a response, Disney implemented the Disability Access Service Card, with provides people with disabilities return times for rides so they don't have to wait in a line, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
However, Lorman claimed the new system ensured that people with disabilities would wait "in three lines instead of one and their total wait time is longer than everyone else's."
The new system requires guests to travel repeatedly to designated kiosks to obtain ride return times, wait in line at each kiosk, wait for their return time and then wait at each attraction at the assigned time, court papers show.
Lorman claimed that her son is "mentally and physically incapable of waiting for significant periods of time in the line or queue."
Court papers stated that "the idle, unfocused state which necessarily results from standing in a queue causes persons on the autism spectrum, and other near-spectrum exhibitors, to over-stimulate resulting in meltdown behaviors."
Such meltdowns are "awkward and an uncomfortable experience" for those in the immediate vicinity as well as "humiliating and uncomfortable" for the person with disabilities and their campion, according to court papers. Furthermore, the suit claimed that such meltdowns are also "hazardous" for the person with disabilities and bystanders.
However, Conway expressed that if Lorman's son got special access, others would see it on social media and demand it, too.
"Requiring the modification, based on the history of the former system, would lead to fraud and overuse, lengthen the wait times significantly for non-disabled guests, and fundamentally alter Disney's business model," Conway wrote.
Disney noted that the standby line at Magic Kingdom's popular Seven Dwarfs Mine Train coaster, for instance, would increase by 39 minutes, from 69 minutes to 108 minutes if disabled guests got two more re-admission passes.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.