By Hugo Martin
4:22 PM EDT, September 23, 2013
Starting next month, Disney theme parks will change the policy that lets visitors with disabilities skip the long lines for attractions.
Instead of giving visitors with disabilities and their family members a card that allows them to go directly onto rides, the guests will be given a scheduled time period to return to get faster access to the attraction.
In essence, guests with disabilities and their families will get to use a new version of the Fastpass tickets offered for certain rides to all guests.
The new policy will begin Oct. 9.
"Given the increasing volume of requests we receive for special access to our attractions, we are changing our process so that it creates a more consistent experience for all our guests while providing accommodations for guests with disabilities," said Disneyland spokeswoman Suzi Brown.
The change in policy comes partly in response to reports this year that guests at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., were hiring disabled people to accompany them into the park to skip the lines.
A petition to ask Disney executives to reconsider the policy change has already generated more than 20,000 signatures with the progressive advocacy group Moveon.org.
The petition says the policy change might make people with disabilities reconsider visiting Disney parks.
"My son is autistic and we have booked a trip to stay at Disneyland's Paradise Pier Hotel for the Christmas holiday and this will change everything for him," wrote a Morgan Hill, Calif., resident who signed the petition.ALSO: Bill would require a second cockpit door on commercial aircraft
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