Yesterday I had a negative experience at the Animation Academy, of all places, that I need to vent about.
As I have mentioned before, I have some orthopedic issues that make climbing or descending stairs unsafe for me. In the Animation Academy, where there are wide stairs with no banisters, even more so. I always politely explain to the CM at the door, as I walk in, that I have issues with stairs and ask to sit in the back row.
So, yesterday, same thing. I approached the CM, very quietly and politely explained things and asked her if I could sit in the back row. She said yes.
However...I couldn't help but hear (and I think they meant me to hear...) a nearby guest who apparently overheard me. She immediately started sucking her teeth and making comments about "fake disabilities" to her companions. Both the CM and I ignored her and I went to my seat, but it stuck with me.
No, I don't look disabled at all. I look damn healthy, in fact. I can do just about anything. I wait on lines like everyone else. The reason steps specifically are problematic is because of the way they put pressure on my knees, which are very unstable, and tend to buckle without warning. By looking at me there's no way to see that I have medical issues. It doesn't mean they aren't there.
It just bothers me to no end, that in a situation like this, there would be negative commentary. I'd waited just as everyone else had waited. I was on my own so I obviously wasn't trying to get a group of people in with me. I was asking to sit in the bloody back row, farthest from the screen, in a room where there were plenty of available seats in every other row for everyone...and someone still resented that.
And yes, I get that scam artists are out there. I know they've made things difficult for everyone, to the point where they necessitated the overhaul of the disabled access system at Disney parks. My plea, though, is again to please, please remember that some of us really do have hidden challenges, and that the "healthy" person you see might be dealing with something you can't see. They do not need to hear nasty comments as they try to enjoy their day at Disneyland. Right?