Disabled man denied access to Universal Studio rides

ORLANDO, Fla. — For Clayton Cangelosi every step is a struggle. Cangelosi has a nerve disorder called neuropathy making it painful to walk, or stand for extended periods of time.

Last week, he bought a two park pass to Universal Studios and spent an extra $50 to rent a motorized wheelchair, but Cangelosi said it wasn't until he tried to get in line for a ride that he was told the scooters weren't allowed in the queue because they are a safety hazard.

When he visited in 2012, he said he was able to ride the scooter through the lines. Universal officials said if that happened it would have been a "momentary exception in an effort to assist him."

"If it's a safety hazard why did they rent it to me in the first place?" Cangelosi said.

This time, he was asked to transfer to a standard wheelchair before he got in line, but he was traveling solo and had no one to push him.

"I don't have the upper body strength in my arms to push myself in a wheelchair," Cangelosi said.

Universal Spokesman Tom Schroder said the policy has been in place for some time because the motorized scooters do not fit the queue lines. He said the policy is "communicated to guests on their rental agreement" and it is on Universal's website.

Schroder also released this statement to WESH 2, "We work hard to accommodate all our guest and all our attractions are as accessible as possible. That said, safety is always our most important priority and there can be many variables to a specific situation. We are going to discuss things with our guest again and we will work to resolve this directly with him."

Since he couldn't ride the rides, Cangelosi asked for a refund but was denied. He said he was offered a discounted park pass instead.

After WESH 2 called Universal, they called Cangelosi to apologize and offered a refund. He says he just wanted to enjoy the park like everyone else.

"I'm not looking out just for myself. I'm looking out for other people," Cangelosi said.


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