News For You

Disney’s New Changes To DAS Park Policy Has Fans Asking For Change

It has been three months since Disney announced changes to its Disability Access Service (DAS) at its theme parks, and now some disabled guests are demanding action. The changes, which went into effect on May 20 at Walt Disney World in Florida and June 18 at Disneyland in California, have sparked significant controversy.

The DAS program is a free service that allows guests with disabilities to get a return time for attractions rather than waiting in a standard line. This service was designed to help those who have difficulty tolerating extended waits in conventional queues due to disabilities. However, recent changes have made it harder for some guests to qualify for DAS accommodations, leaving many who previously enjoyed greater accessibility now feeling excluded.

Charisma Mangahas, a 25-year-old Disneyland annual passholder diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome in 2018, highlighted these issues in a TikTok video that has garnered over 1.7 million views. In the video, Mangahas, seated in her wheelchair and connected to a ventilator, suggested that Disney should allow disabled guests who do not qualify for the DAS program to purchase an annual Lightning Lane pass, enabling them to skip standby lines.

Mangahas shared her frustrating experience with FOX Business, explaining that the new policy changes have turned what was once a helpful service into a source of stress. Previously, DAS was available to “guests who have difficulty tolerating extended waits in a conventional queue environment due to a disability.” Now, DAS is intended to accommodate only those who, due to developmental disabilities like autism, cannot wait in conventional queues for extended periods.

In addition to the stricter qualifications, Disney has also changed the procedure for requesting DAS. At Walt Disney World, registrations must now occur via virtual video chat up to 30 days before a park visit. At Disneyland, guests can either use virtual chat or visit a dedicated “accessibility services” window for same-day requests.

Mangahas described the arduous process she went through to request DAS. After waiting nearly three hours on the phone, she asked her sister to drive her to the park to complete the required interview in person. She waited another hour at the accessibility services booth before speaking to a Disney cast member and a third-party interviewer. Although she was not outright denied DAS, she was offered other accommodations and told she could purchase the Genie+ service, which starts at $30 per ticket per day.

Mangahas is not alone in her frustration. Another TikToker shared, “I have lupus, POTS & PTSD. Due to fainting spells, long waits are hard for me. I’ve been denied just because I don’t look sick. I can’t believe they aren’t helping people who are clearly disabled.” Another user mentioned their mother, who has stage 4 cancer and was previously granted DAS but was recently denied.

An online petition with nearly 24,000 signatures is calling for Disney to stop excluding disabled people from its California and Florida parks under the new policy. The company had announced in April that guests who provide false statements to obtain DAS will be permanently banned from its parks.

Despite the challenges, Mangahas has found some positivity in the support she has received since posting her video on TikTok, describing it as “amazing” and noting that she has made a few new friends through the experience. “It’s the most ambitious thing I’ve done,” she said.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To Top
$(".comment-click-3780").on("click", function(){ $(".com-click-id-3780").show(); $(".disqus-thread-3780").show(); $(".com-but-3780").hide(); }); // The slider being synced must be initialized first $('.post-gallery-bot').flexslider({ animation: "slide", controlNav: false, animationLoop: true, slideshow: false, itemWidth: 80, itemMargin: 10, asNavFor: '.post-gallery-top' }); $('.post-gallery-top').flexslider({ animation: "fade", controlNav: false, animationLoop: true, slideshow: false, prevText: "<", nextText: ">", sync: ".post-gallery-bot" }); });