If you go to Walt Disney World, you can expect to stand in a whole lot of lines.
Granted, there have always been ways to skip the lines, although some are or were more exclusive than others:
- FastPasses have been at WDW since 1999. They were a way for theme park guests to avoid long lines for rides and other attractions by reserving a time to come back and wait in a minimal queue, ahead of most people who didn’t have a FastPass and were waiting on a “standby” line. Those ended after COVID hit and, as predicted, are now being replaced with a “pay per FastPass” system.
- Since the early-mid 1990s, you could go on a behind-the-scenes tour. Depending on which tour it was, one of the perks of such tours included being escorted directly onto some rides, bypassing the lines. Here’s video of one of the first such tours WDW ever offered to guests.
- Because many of the early queues at WDW weren’t handicapped-accessible, people who used wheelchairs, walkers, etc., were allowed, with their parties, to bypass the regular lines and enter the ride area through the exit, which was usually more accessible. Over the years, skipping the lines due to disabilities was adapted to include those who couldn’t stand in queues for other reasons (autism, for example). However, queues, ride cars, and the system for people with disabilities waiting (or not) have changed over time and “skipping the wait because you have a disability” is now a comparative rarity. But for years, it was the norm.
Another way to get “skip the line” privileges is if you’re a V.I.P. If someone famous, influential, or just willing to pay for VIP service is at the parks, they’ll have a Disney-appointed cast member to escort them, and they’ll be allowed to bypass the ride queues. For rides that are very popular and offer virtual queues, this legal line skipping can be arranged by their escorts via an app on Disney-owed iPad devices.
That’s all well and good if you’re really a V.I.P. But if not? Well, a 30-year-old Florida man named Rennan Carletto just found out the hard way what can happen.
On a June afternoon, Carletto was discovered by an investigations manager from Disney’s Tickets and Resort Fraud department to be using an iPad with an official WDW app to create unauthorized reservations to skip the lines at several Disney’s Hollywood Studios attractions for a group of people with him.
The manager asked an off-duty officer from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department to meet him/her at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park to investigate (Disney maintains several off-duty officers on the property for emergencies).
Meanwhile, the investigations manager told the Disney staff that was operating the attraction Carletto and the group was about to go on to cancel their reservations and not allow them to ride.
Carletto and his group walked to the park’s parking lot without access to the ride in question. The investigations manager and sheriff followed them and then confronted Carletto.
Carletto claimed he worked for a company called ‘A Class’ and that his boss, “Tony,” had given him the iPad to use at the park and he (Carletto) had no idea it was stolen property.
Local authorities were called to the park and the iPad was returned to the investigator.
Officials told a local NBC affiliate, WESH2 News, that “the investigator has dealt with ‘Tony’ in the past for the same issues but could not provide further information on the man.”
The tablet was later confirmed to be owned by Disney. However, it had not been reported lost, nor could they confirm which department it was from. Since it hadn’t been reported as stolen, Carletto wasn’t charged with a crime. However, he has been issued a trespassing warning for all of WDW’s parks.
And that, my friends, is how NOT to skip the lines at WDW.
Feature Photo: Jedi94 / wikimedia
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary