Proefrock explained that although she didn't enjoy taking up two spaces, she followed the staff's instructions because there were no other options.
A mother who visited Disney World with her disabled son recently returned home with an unsavory memory after another guest left them a rude "parking violation" note for taking up two parking spots. According to WOFL, Tricia Proefrock and her 13-year-old son, Mason, from Palm Beach Gardens had traveled to Orlando, Florida, earlier this month to spend time at the Magic Kingdom. "It’s the highlight of both of our lives," she said. Proefrock revealed that her son has Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, a type of epilepsy with multiple different types of seizures that affects an individual's ability to walk, talk, and see correctly.
How rude the person leaving this note was/is (as it looks as if they put these notices on lots of vehicles for handicapped individuals since it’s actually printed out & not a jotted note)! https://t.co/kf6c2PBMT1— Oy Vey Bubbe🔯 (@betenoir123) September 13, 2021
The family usually parks in Disney's disability lots since Mason uses a wheelchair. However, during their recent visit, the disability spots with ramp access were all filled and they were instructed by park employees to park across two spots. "When the side of the lot with ramp accesses are full, the only remaining spots have no ramp access," Proefrock explained. "Every single time out of dozens of trips, the cast members 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."
2) I hope they read about why she had to take 2 spaces & was told to do so by Disney personnel! Maybe they need to take a course in handicapped empathy & understanding. I, myself, have gotten similar written notes because I “don’t look handicapped.”— Oy Vey Bubbe🔯 (@betenoir123) September 13, 2021
3) They should have to walk a mile in other’s handicapped shoes & see how hard it is & therefore develop some understanding & empathy. All I can say is “What a jerk!!!”— Oy Vey Bubbe🔯 (@betenoir123) September 13, 2021
Speaking to Insider, Proefrock explained that although she didn't enjoy taking up two spaces, she followed the staff's instructions because there were no other options. However, when she and Mason returned to the vehicle, they discovered a "parking violation" on their vehicle's windshield. The note, which appeared to have been left by a disgruntled park guest, 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 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," it continued. The note concluded by wishing Proefrock and her son transmission failure while driving home and getting infested by fleas. "I sign off wishing you an early transmission failure (on the expressway at about 4.30 p.m.). Also, may the fleas of a thousand camels infest your armpits. With my compliments," it concluded.
Mother visiting Disney World with her disabled son says she was left a rude note for taking up 2 parking spots #SmartNews https://t.co/RN3xL7tE7r— LivLaughLove4804🌴🌞🌊 (@caris19673) September 13, 2021
Proefrock said 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 explained, adding that she always checked "for open ramp spots and end spots, before taking two spots." Proefrock revealed that although she told a Disney employee about what had happened, 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 said. "He was apologetic but could not offer any advice except again, to take two spots."
I actually received this exact same "parking violation notice" in Kaysville Utah. - Mother Visiting Disney With Disabled Son Given Rude Note Over Parking https://t.co/9SGZkq2kMm— Tyrone Perry (@Tyrone_Perry) September 13, 2021
Here's proof. pic.twitter.com/mK7VpBsDQA— Tyrone Perry (@Tyrone_Perry) September 13, 2021
Proefrock clarified that she chose to share the story in the hopes of inspiring compassion and understanding. "So, if you see a car taking two spots," she said, "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."