In the past, Disney programs have allowed theme-park guests with disabilities to skip to the front of the line for many rides. This policy was great for visitors with disabilities and their family members, allowing them faster access to the attraction. Unfortunately, abuse of this system has forced Disney to change their policy in order to protect the individuals with disabilities. This system has been abused by wealthy families who pay people with disabilities to serve as “guides” in order to avoid the long lines during visits to Disney World. The guides are paid upwards of $130 an hour and allow the wealthy families a way to skip the long lines when accompanied by the individuals with disabilities.
To avoid this, the new system will implement a new program reportedly known as the Disabled Assistance System. Rather than bypassing the lines, under this new system guest with disabilities will be able to request access to a ride at special kiosks. They’ll later be able to return to the ride at a specified time and while they won’t have to wait in line, they’ll only be able to request access to one ride at a time. Disneyland understands that the needs of individuals vary dramatically, and that one size might not fit everyone. The changes are similar to their current FastPass system. Disneyland spokeswoman Suzi Brown says, “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”.The new system was implemented on October 9th but has not been easily accepted, even by families who have kids with disabilities. Many parents are upset with the abuse of the system and the impact it will now have on their visits to Disney.
Below is updated information on the new system for Disney:
Disney Parks have an unwavering commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment and accessible experiences for guests.
On October 9, the process that provides access to attractions for guests with disabilities, known as the Guest Assistance Card, will be replaced with the new Disability Access Service (DAS) Card. Guests will request the new card at Guest Relations and DAS Cardholders will receive a return time for attractions based on the current wait time. The DAS Card is designed to provide the special experience guests have come to expect from Disney. It will also help control abuse that was, unfortunately, growing at an alarming rate.
For more information on this new card, please visit http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/disney-parks-disability-access-service-card-fact-sheet/
We believe that the DAS card, with its virtual wait, will accommodate many of our guests with disabilities.
However, we also recognize that our guests with disabilities have varying needs, and we will continue to work individually with them to provide assistance that is responsive to their unique circumstances.
While each situation will be handled individually at Guest Relations, following are two examples of accommodations that could be offered based on a guest’s needs:
• For a Guest whose disability enables them to be in the park for only a limited time, the Guest might be offered an accommodation that enables them to use the DAS Card in conjunction with access to a number of attractions without having to obtain a return time.
• Another potential accommodation, based on a Guest’s unique needs, might include providing access to a favorite attraction multiple times in a row without having to obtain a return time.
If you need more information or have specific questions about an upcoming trip, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are planning a vacation in the next few months, please include a contact phone number and the best time for us to reach you.