Mother visiting Disney World with her disabled son says she was left a rude note for taking up 2 parking spots

·3 min read
Disney World
The Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Roberto Machado Noa / LightRocket via Getty Images
  • Tricia Proefrock and her son visited Disney World's Magic Kingdom in early September. 

  • She said Disney workers told her to use two parking spots after the ones with ramp access were full.

  • But then, she said, a guest left a "parking violation" note to criticize the family.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

A mother who visited Disney World with her disabled son said another guest left them a crass "parking violation" note for taking up two parking spots.

Tricia Proefrock told Fox 35 that she and her 13-year-old son, Mason, traveled to Orlando, Florida, to spend time at the Magic Kingdom. She told the outlet that Mason had Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, a type of epilepsy that can affect a person's ability to walk, talk, and see. As a result, Mason uses a wheelchair, and the family usually parks in Disney's disability lots.

"When the side of the lot with ramp accesses are full, the only remaining spots have no ramp access," Proefrock told Fox 35. "Every single time out of dozens of trips, the cast members" - Disney's term for its park workers - "instruct me to take two spots, by parking directly on the white line. This gives me room to wheel my son out of the vehicle."

Proefrock told Insider that she didn't enjoy taking up two spaces but followed workers' instructions because there were no other options. According to Walt Disney World's website, guests are required to use a permit to park in areas designated for guests with disabilities. 

A photo of Tricia Proefrock and her son, Mason, at Disney World.
A photo of Tricia Proefrock and her son, Mason, at Disney World. Courtesy of Tricia Proefrock

But Proefrock says she discovered a "parking violation" on her windshield when she and Mason returned to the vehicle. The note, obtained by Insider, appeared to have been left by a disgruntled park guest.

"This is not a ticket, but if it were within my power, you would receive two," the note said. "Because of your Bull Headed, inconsiderate, feeble attempt at parking, you have taken enough room for a 20 mule team, 2 elephants, 1 goat, and a safari of pygmies from the African interior."

The note continued: "The reason for giving you this is so that in the future you may think of someone else, other than yourself. Besides I don't like domineering, egotistical or simple-minded drivers and you probably fit into one of these categories."

The note ended by expressing hope that Proefrock experienced transmission failure and became infested by fleas.

Note left on Tricia Proefrock's windshield after she and her son visited Disney World.
A guest left the "parking violation" on Proefrock's windshield while she and her son enjoyed Disney World. Courtesy of Tricia Proefrock

Proefrock told Insider she initially felt "humiliation" and "shame" over the note.

"I was angry because I felt like the situation of taking two spots naturally sets us up to be judged," she told Insider. She added that she always checked "for open ramp spots and end spots, before taking two spots."

Proefrock said she told a Disney employee what happened but little could be done.

"I did let a cast member know the following day at Epcot that I had a ramp, and that someone had left the note the day before," she told Insider. "He was apologetic but could not offer any advice except again, to take two spots."

Proefrock said she shared the story with the goal of inspiring compassion and understanding.

"So, if you see a car taking two spots," she told Fox 35, "maybe instead of wishing us a broken transmission, you can try to think about WHY a wheelchair accessible van in a medical parking section might need 2 spots."

Read the original article on Insider

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