I received this Chip Panel article from our friend and long time follower DeAnna. I hope it makes you think next time you see those people bypassing you in line.
At Disney World, there are two (2) lines at every ride and exhibit. There’s the LOOOOOONG line, you know……the one that you’re praying is really short before you get there, then you turn the corner and realize it will be at LEAST 45 minutes until you’re boarding a jungle cruise through the “faux” Amazon?
Then there’s the “other” line. The one most people are just vaguely familiar with. The one over to the side and much shorter. The one I’ve actually overheard some complain they’re not in. Let me tell you all about it, but it will require going back just a bit, so be patient for a moment.
My Dad got sick overnight. Doctors couldn’t figure out what was going on. He first suffered severe sinus problems. Then he woke up one morning to realize he couldn’t see anything but weird colors in one eye. Then his ears started stopping up. The doctors said, “It’s stress, take a vacation”. He did that. A few weeks later, he woke up and couldn’t get out of bed. Doctors were baffled. They went from a stress diagnosis to Rheumatoid Arthritis. Now mind you, this man ran 8 miles a day, 5-6 times a week, and ate clean as a whistle (however clean a whistle is). Then more breathing problems began, then the fatigue set in. Doctors, after months of exams and tons of tests, couldn’t figure it out. It took a doctor in another state to finally properly diagnose him. It was a very rare type of cancer that affects all of your major organs. They told him it had spread and he had about 3 months to live. They began treating him with chemo drugs, and a plethora of other medications. They finally got the disease under control, but the damage was done to his lungs, kidneys, and other major organs. Eventually, he had to have a kidney transplant to continue to live, and my mother was a perfect match (they said they always knew that *smile*), so she gave him one of her kidneys. He would live, but life would never be the same as before the disease struck him. He was chronically tired, it was as if his feet weighed 100 pounds each, is the way he described it to me; and he couldn’t walk very far without being winded from the damage to his lungs (part of one had to be removed, and both were scarred from the tumors).
Now, back to the “other” line. My Dad took our family to Disney World from the time my sister and I were very young, and we visited there almost every other year. He hadn’t been in some time, due to his illness, so after he was in remission, I planned a trip for my family, along with my parents, to visit Disney again. I called Disney’s Customer Service Dept. and spoke with such an awesome cast member, who was very sympathetic to my Dad’s situation, and she informed me that we should go to City Hall when we arrived and get a special needs pass for him, which when shown to cast members at each ride/exhibit, would grant him speedy access, so he wouldn’t have to stand in the heat and regular line. Had it not been for this extremely thoughtful process of Disney, we would’ve never been able to take another trip with my Dad. My Dad was very reluctant to accept this, but we insisted, knowing he’d never be able to get through the trip without it.
We arrived at the Magic Kingdom, he showed his letter from his doctor, along with his transplant card, and City Hall issued him the special needs pass. We proceeded on through the park, and showed it to the cast member at the front of each ride, as we were instructed. You can’t IMAGINE how many dirty looks and snide remarks we received because my Dad appeared healthy as a horse on the outside. Because there was no visible problem, people treated us as if we were cheating the system or something. It made my Dad feel so bad, and we tried to shelter him as much as possible from the scowls and remarks.
Overall, we had an awesome trip with him, and he didn’t have to take as many rest breaks due to the special pass, so we were able to see more of the parks. Only 3 years later, my Dad passed away. We were so thankful for our last trip with him. The year after, we planned another trip to Disney, and took my mother with us to get her out of the house, and her mind off of being without Dad. This time, we stood in the LOOOONG line, for there was no special pass, for there was no Daddy. I stood in line behind my Mom, watching her giggling and playing with my son, and I thanked God that I was standing with her in the LOOOOONG line, that she didn’t require the short “other” line.
My reason for writing this is not to tug on your heart strings, but to tell you not to judge others you meet in the park that may be in the “other” line and don’t appear to need to be there. You have NO IDEA what one of the people in that party has endured, what the rest of the family with them has endured. Life is tough for us all – to some it’s tougher. So please think twice before making a remark easily heard by those in the “other” line. Trust me, they’d trade places with you ANY day of the week, to have their loved one healthy.
Every time we go back, I never forget to praise God for the LOOOOONG line, and I pray I never have to be in that quick, short “other” line ever again. Thanks also, to Disney and every cast member who made our last trip with Dad possible.
- The Chip and Company Week in Review For December 27th (chipandco.com)
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