Mom Visiting Disney World With Disabled Son Received Rude Note in Parking Lot

BY SARA SANTORA 
 

Amother visiting Disney World with her disabled son told local media that another parkgoer placed a rude note on her car as a response to her taking two parking spaces.

The park's ramp-accessible parking spots were all full, so the mother was instructed to take two spaces to ensure she could easily wheel her son in and out of her wheelchair-accessible van, according to Fox 35.

Tricia Proefrock told Fox 35 News that the incident occurred last week during a visit to Disney's Magic Kingdom. Her son Mason has Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, a type of epilepsy that can affect a person's ability to walk, talk and even see. Since her son uses a wheelchair, they park in Disney's handicapped section.

However, Proefrock told the outlet that only one side of the handicapped lot has ramp access. When those spots are full, the only alternative option is to take two spaces elsewhere in the lot — something that cast members have instructed her to do dozens of times.

"Every single time out of dozens of trips, the cast members instruct me to take two spots, by parking directly on the white line," she told Fox 35. "This gives me room to wheel my son out of the vehicle."

In a public Facebook post, Proefrock stated that her parking permit was on display, and reiterated that she parked in the handicapped lot.

"In order to utilize the ramp, the cast member instructed me to take 2 spots," she said. "They are considered handicapped spots, even though they don't have ramp access space. So I did NOT park in regular parking."

Proefrock told Fox 35 that she drives a van, and as she alluded to in her post, not all ADA-compliant spaces are van-accessible. According to the ADA, accessible car spaces are designed differently than accessible van spaces.

Per the ADA's design guide, accessible car spaces have "at least a 60-inch-wide access aisle located adjacent to the designated parking space."

"This access aisle is just wide enough to permit a person using a wheelchair to enter or exit the car," the guide states. Of course, these spaces are not wide enough for wheelchair-accessible vans.

Van-accessible spaces have a 96-inch-wide aisle to accommodate a wheelchair lift.

ADA law states that only one out of every eight ADA-compliant parking spaces must be van-accessible.

Unfortunately, Disney World's website does not explain what an individual should do if a ramp-accessible space is needed but not available.

Newsweek has reached out to Disney World for comment.

In response to Proefrock's parking, a disgruntled Disney guest left a fake parking violation on Proefrock's car.

The violation, which was obtained by The Independent, read: "This is not a ticket, but if it were within my power, you would receive two.

"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 notice continued.

The note went on to call the recipient "egotistical" and "simple-minded," and concluded by wishing "transmission failure" upon the recipient.

The fake, pre-written parking citation can be purchased through online retailers such as Amazon and Oriental Trading Company.

Proefrock doesn't know who left the note, but according to multiple reports, she doesn't care to find out. Her main goal in sharing her story is to spread awareness and understanding.

She told Fox 35: "If you see a car taking two spots, 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 two spots.