My Trip - Halloween Time Disneyland - My Most Horrible Trip of my Life


Earning My Ears
Nov 14, 2012
My latest trip was a complete disaster. So much so that I wrote the following letter to Disney:

I am writing to you about my recent experience at the Disneyland Resort parks and Paradise Pier Hotel. I want to preface this with the fact that I grew up a Disney kid, most of my family has worked at the Disneyland Resort over the years, and we have all loved Disney. There has never been a time in my life that I haven’t loved Disney in all it’s aspects, and I am a member of D23.

Now to my recent experiences in the Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks. Disney used to be the “Happiest Place on Earth ,” however, now it has become the most hellish. During our most recent trip, our best experiences were at the Disney branded hotels, and not the parks themselves. Never in my life would I have expected to be treated rudely, and with great disrespect and disregard by Cast Members. I am going to list the incidents, in no particular order, but to use as an example of the hell, and completely unDisney experience me and my family had at the parks. What I find the most distressing is the fact that my reservations clearly stated that we were celebrating our anniversary, and both of out birthdays. This was our first trip in several years, and based of this trip we will never return, and will be quite vocal about how poorly we were treated by both the Cast Members and the other guests in the parks.

1. I went to Chamber Of Commerce (DCA Guest Relations), to get the Disability Access Service. When I walked up the counter, I was prepared with a letter from my Veterans Adminstration doctor, clearly stating that I am unable to stand for more than 10 mins due to my disabilities, just to be clear a document from the federal government clearly stating that I am a disabled veteran. When I greeted the “Cast Member” I was told to forget the doctors letter, it has no bearing on getting the Disability Access Service, and that I needed to explain to the “Cast Member” in exact detail what my needs were, in a tone that showed great disdain for my and my needs. After I clearly explained my needs, I was told to get a cane, or a wheelchair and to deal with it. Never in my life since I have left the service have I been treated with such venomous disregard for my person, let alone my disability.

2. During our stay, we were quite literally ran over at least 20 times each by the scooters, that obviously the Cast members were pushing instead of providing the Disability Access Service. I have an appointment with my Primary Care doctor, due to the fact that I have received so many blunt force trama injuries to my toe, that the end has come off, and I am sure that it is broken. Now I tell you this, due to the fact, that several Cast Members witnessed this behavior, and either did nothing, shrigged their shoulders, and my personal favorite response “ I don’t care!”

3. The interaction with the Cast Members ,was literally atrocious, with literally few exceptions. I will list the few exceptions at the end of this letter as I want them to be recognized as the few bright exceptions in a dismal employment arena.

a. We had several Cast members provide us with bad information, when asked for directions or assistance. We were literally provided incorrect information, or misinformation, or a lack of civility with “I don’t care” I can not count the number of times I heard “I don’t care from Cast Members during my stay. While most times it was directed at me, or my family, it was also directed at other guests.

b. While at Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar, I had the bar manager provide me with disinformation, when I could clearly see he was lying.

c. During the Fantasmic dining experience, when we went for seating, at the show, several of the Cast Members were unkempt, and clearly showed a complete lack of desire to be helpful. Shirts were untucked, they had dirty clothes, and wrinkled.

d. I saw Cast Members laugh at people with disabilities that were struggling in the parks.

4. The entrance for the Hotel guests has been removed except for the Grand Californian Hotel. In our previous stays at the Disney Property hotels, we were afforded the availability of using the Grand Californian Hotel. This has now been removed and the guests of the other hotels are forced to go through the jack booted security, that make TSA and Hitler’s Germany seem tame in comparison. For my family both of us are disabled veterans, and have a problem walking long distances. The park entrance in the Grand Californian, made our stay a lot more comfortable.

5. The security leading into Downtown Disney, I want to reiterate that they make TSA and Hitler’s Germany seem tame in comparison. My party was basically made to made to strip every time we went through the screening process. I fully understand security measures are required to make the other guests safe. I fully understand, as a veteran, the need for full and complete security. However, the need to fully empty ones pockets, including handing over necessary medical equipment during the process, removing ones belt, and being frisked every time we went through the screening, made the entire day unworth the cost of going through security. Having to relinquish my Epi-Pen, which I have to carry due to severe anaphylaxis from bee stings, when a bee is hovering mere feet from me, endangers my life.

I do want to say that we did have a few exceptional experiences with Cast Members.

a. Misty in the Blue Bayou, she went well above and beyond to try and make our miserable stay enjoyable. We did not tell her of our experiences outside of the restaurant, and she was a marvel of the true Disney spirit, so much so that we waited to be seated at her table the second time we ate at the Blue Bayou.

b. Steven at Steakhouse 55, he was a complete joy, and made out Afternoon tea experience, absolutely divine.

c. John, the food Manager at the Paradise Pier Hotel, he tried to help with the poor experience we had with the Chamber of Commerce. He was caring and showed great empathy.

Really, I want to reiterate, I have always been a Disney fan. I have always actively promoted, to my friends and coworkers to go to the Disney Parks. But after this truly hellish experience, I can no longer do anything but tell anyone that I meet to no longer go to any Disney Park or experience. To me this stay seemed that all Disney cared about was money, not the guests, and not how the guests were treated by Cast Members. I fully understand now, why my family members that still live in California are all giving up their annual passes, and preferring to go to Knotts, or one of the varied amusement parks in the area.

I fully intended to celebrate my 50th birthday at Disney Word, as it coincided with Disney World’s 50th anniversary. After this trip I am not so certain I want to step foot in any Disney Park, ever again. While the Disney experience may now be a dream for some, I find it to be a nightmare interaction for me and my family. As a disabled veteran, that was told to go get a wheelchair, and a Disney Fan that was told “I don’t care!” by several Cast Members, as a guests of the parks who’s life was endangered by overzealous security agents, I have lost the Disney spirit that used to be prevalent in my life, and the life of my family.

My deepest desire is that you can correct this, so that other guests aren’t damaged by the seemingly indifferent Disneyland experience. I truly find that Disney is no longer the “Happiest Place on Earth.”

After the letter I got a response which was to call Disney Correspondence helpline. In which I was told I'm sorry, and we need details to forward to the executives. The call endind with them asking if i had any other questions. On my end, I have no other questions, because the call just reaffirmed the fact that Disneyland only cares about the money and not the guests. I won't be returning.


Jul 23, 2012
A bad trip is not fun for anyone, but the issues addressed by the OP have been covered many times on the DLR trip planning board here. Any questions could have been addressed to avoid and prevent the frustration experienced and the negativity that resulted. The changes from the GAC to the DAS program in October 2013 (e.g. CMs are not allowed to ask for or accept any medical letters for DAS, so bringing one was not necessary), the changes in the security locations and rules dating from January 2017 (e.g. the entrance to the GCH has not been open to non-GCH guests or those without a confirmed TS reservation there since January 2017, but anyone can exit DTD to the PPH through the GCH), the new Fantasmic! viewing areas and pros/cons/issues therein dating from July 2017, etc. get discussed fairly often on the trip planning board since they are important topics. The help was available and could have made this a much easier and more pleasant trip.
I hope others reading here will learn from this example and make good use of the help available to them on this board when planning their DLR visit. Knowing what to expect and how to use the resources in the parks can make your trip so much better.
Last edited:


Jan 27, 2011
Wow.. this seems to be a trend that I keep reading relating to DL(Hopefully it was just a bad Trip)...sorry for your experience...and Thanks for your Service to our Country


DIS Veteran
Oct 21, 2008
Unfortunately some rich moms were renting out handicapped kids to get the disability pass and too many people taking advantage of the pass. Most rides are mad to support wheelchairs or scooters in the lines or allow for wheelchair transfers. Universal is the same. Also due to HIPPA laws they dont want to see or ask for notes. Since 911 pretty much everywhere you now get scanned or go through xray. Even if you put up the do t disturb in a hotel room so.eone will be going in to make sure nothing is going on whether you want to or not. Did you know Disney was a selected target hit on 911? It was being checked out in WDW by the guy who shot up the Orlando club. I think with Disney growing so fast and today's work ethics it's hard for Disney to get the associtaes they once could be so picky about.


Disney News and Updates

Get Daily Email Updates