A Complete Guide To Service Animals at Disney Parks

in Disney, Theme Parks, Walt Disney World

Service Animal

Credit: Posted on Reddit by u/papa_giorgio

While you were out enjoying your vacation at Disneyland or Disney World, you may have spotted a guest with a dog in the park. Or, you may have been the guest that brought your dog to the park. Yes, special pups are allowed inside the Disney parks –Those dogs are service animals.

According to the American with Disabilities Act regulations, a service animal is defined as an animal that is trained to do work, or perform tasks, for someone with a disability. This includes physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disabilities.

And of course, Disney Parks is happy to accommodate the furry guest. “We value all our Guests with Disabilities and services animals are welcomed at most locations throughout Walt Disney World theme parks and Resort Hotels,” is the first statement on the Walt Disney World’s Service Animal page.

Related: Nala the service dog lives her best life at Disney World

However, there are rules in place to secure the safety of the guests and of their furry companions. The owner must maintain the animal under control, and on a leash or harness, at all times. Disney Cast Members are not allowed to take care, watch or control your pet.

Services animals are not allowed on any water attractions, or water features and fountains, or closer than 4 feet to the water on a wet deck. Service animals at Walt Disney World parks are allowed to relieve themselves at any specified outdoor area as long as the owner picks up after the animal. On the Disney World Service Animal webpage, you are able to see a map with the exact location of those relief areas in each park.

For access to service animal relief areas at Disney parks, you can check one of the links below.

In regards to riding an attraction, guests at Disney Parks with service animals should follow the same attraction entrance as guests with wheelchairs.

Related: Woman Faces Scrutiny at Disney Parks for Service Dog That Helps Her Through Trauma

service dogs
Credit: posted on Reddit by r/dogswithjobs

According to Disney’s policies, if you are at a park with your service animal and wish to go on a ride, you should ask a cast member about the available options; usually the Rider Switch option, or a portable kennel. These options are in place in some parks to secure the service animal’s safety.

Parks such as Disneyland in California, all Walt Disney World parks in Florida and Disneyland Shanghai mention the possibility of rider switch options on their website. Parks such as Disneyland Paris and Disneyland Tokyo’s website do no mention this option, so it is a good idea to ask a cast member about this prior to your visit.

For Disney Springs in Florida and Downtown Disney in California, similar rules apply, and like in parks, service animals are allowed in stores and in restaurants.

Here are the following attractions that service animals are allowed, or not allowed, to ride with their owners at Disney Parks around the world:

Walt Disney World – Florida

Allowed with Caution

These are some rides that will accommodate your service animal, but always remember to consult with a cast member at the entrance of the ride.

Magic Kingdom Park

  • Prince Charming Regal Carrousel

Epcot

  • Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival
  • Spaceship Earth

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park

  • Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail
  • It’s Tough To Be A Bug!
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris

View this post on Instagram

my goal in life is to reach this level of happiness “@chesney_thegoldenboy Officially a rescue ranger 🐿🐶 . . . . . . Let's talk about failure. A lot of the times everything people post about their service dog, is mostly positive. Which is nice and all, but personally I don't have a fully trained service dog. And we make mistakes, a lot of the times. I realize lately I have been more on the rainbow and butterflies kinda side, but the truth is Chesney messes up all the time. But you know what? Thats okay. I am so hard on him, because I see all these posts about dogs behaving perfectly, alerting naturally, and just being the perfect service dog. I know everyone says service dogs aren't robots. And that's true, but we don't ever see positive posts about messing up. It's okay if your dog gets frightened and let's out a bark or two. It's okay if they break their heel more than a few times. lts okay if they miss an alert. Because they are still learning. Chesney did great at Disney the other day, but he also greeted 2 people without my permission. He got excited and put his paws on chips lap. Wouldn't stop doing circles through mr. Incredibles legs. He broke his heel, I had to repeat commands multiple times. And probably more. But it changes nothing, because it's okay to make mistakes. Without them I wouldn't know what Chesney needs more work on. Failing is part of succeeding. You can't have one without the other, don't be afraid to share when something bad happens. I will try to post more about things Chesney has done wrong, but I will also focus on the positives as well. Did he put his paws on Chip? Yep, but he got right off and didn't do it to any other character. Did he greet someone without permission? Yep. But he came right back when Icalled him into heel. Did he continue to break his heel? Yep, but it was crowded, hot, and loud. And he came right back when asked. Mistakes are okay, as long as you're working towards fixing them. And working together as a team to be better. Don't be discouraged by others all positive posts, dont feel like you have to hide your dog is still learning. It's okay. We are all in the same boat. Just stick"

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No Service Animals Allowed

Magic Kingdom Park

  • The Barnstormer
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • Space Mountain
  • Splash Mountain

Epcot

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

  • Alien Swirling Saucers
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
  • Rock ’n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
  • Slinky Dog Dash
  • Star Tours – The Adventure Continues
  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park

  • Affection Section at Rafiki’s Planet Watch
  • Avatar Flight of Passage
  • Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain®
  • DINOSAUR
  • Kali River Rapids
  • Maharajah Jungle Trek: Aviary Area
  • Primeval Whirl

Related: Good Boys: Henry the Service Dog meets Dug from “Up” at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

If you need further questions on the entrance of your Service Animal at Walt Disney World parks, you can contact the Walt Disney World Disability Services at (407) 560-2547, or through email at disability.services@disneyparks.com.

Disneyland – California

Restricted locations for service animals

Service animals are restricted from the locations listed below.

Disneyland

  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Gadget’s Go Coaster
  • Indiana Jones Adventure
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
  • Space Mountain
  • Splash Mountain
  • Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

Disney California Adventure

  • Goofy’s Sky School
  • Grizzly River Run
  • Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!
  • Incredicoaster
  • Jumpin’ Jellyfish
  • Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree
  • Radiator Springs Racers
  • Silly Symphony Swings
  • Soarin’ Around the World

For those with service animals wishing to go to Disneyland Paris, Disneyland Shanghai and Tokyo Disney, the same regulations mentioned above apply, yet here are some extra information you need to know, as well as the rides and attractions you service animal can accompany you in.

Related: Snapchat Filter Turns Your Dogs Into Disney Characters

Disneyland Paris

For Disneyland Paris, you have to make sure your service dog has all of its travel documents up-to-date — including proof of vaccination and a document indicating that your pet is a service animal — and present them upon arrival at the hotel and park.

Disneyland Paris also offers a free Animal Care Center for the day if you don’t wish to have your service dog with you all day in the park. For more information on the Animal Care Center, you can click here.

Inside the park, service dogs are accepted at the following places:

Disneyland Paris

  • Sleeping Beauty Castle
  • La Tanière du Dragon
  • Le Carrousel de Lancelot
  • Meet Mickey Mouse
  • Alice’s Curious Labyrinth
  • “it’s a small world”
  • Princess Pavilion
  • Royal Castle Stage
  • La Cabane des Robinson
  • Pirates’ Beach
  • Le Passage Enchante d’Aladdin
  • Adventure Isle
  • Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast
  • Videopolis Theater
  • Disneyland Railroad
  • Starport
  • Mickey’s PilharMagic
  • Les Mystères du Nautilus
  • Phantom Manor
  • Thunder Mesa Riverboat Landing
  • Rustler Roundup Shootin’ Gallery
  • Legends of the Wild West
  • Frontierland Playground
  • Frontierland Theater
  • Horse Drawn Streetcars
  • Main Street Vehicles
  • Statue of Liberty Tableau
  • Dapper Dan’s Hair Cuts

Walt Disney Studios Paris

  • Animagique Teater
  • Animation Celebration
  • Ratatouille: l’Aventure Totalment Toquée de Rémy
  • Disney Studio 1
  • Studio Theater
  • Stitch Live!
  • Stunt Show

Shanghai Disneyland

The same rules mentioned above apply to Shanghai Disneyland. It is important to notice that Shanghai Disneyland offers the Rider Switch option to guests. Here is a list of the attraction that service dogs are allowed and not allowed.

Allows with Caution

  • Fantasia Carousel
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • Hunny Pot Spin
  • Voyage to the Crystal Grotto
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • “Once Upon a Time” Adventure
  • Alice in Wonderland Maze
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Pirates of the Caribbean Battle for the Sunken Treasure
  • Shipwreck Shore
  • Siren’s Revenge
  • Camp Discovery (select experiences)
  • Buzz Lightyear Planet Rescue
  • Stitch Encounter

Not allowed

  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • Explorer Canoes
  • Roaring Rapids
  • Soaring Over the Horizon
  • The Challenge Trails at Camp Discovery
  • TRON Lightcycle Power Run
  • Jet Pack

The Shanghai Disneyland does not provide information, or a map, on where service animals can relief themselves inside the park property. However, there is a not asking for guests at Shanghai Disneyland and at Shanghai Disney Resort to please ask one of the cast members in sight for information.

Tokyo Disneyland

Same rules and regulations apply for service animals at Tokyo Disneyland, however, the park requires that guests with a service dog bring the service animal documents with them, and the service dog must me wearing proper identification as required by Japanese law.

tokyo disney service animal
Credit: Tokyo Disney

As with Shanghai Disneyland, Tokyo Disney’s website does not provide information on relief area location, but it encourages guests to ask a Disney cast member in site for information.

Here are the ride and attractions at Tokyo Disneyland that service dogs can enter:

  • Omnibus
  • Penny Arcade
  • Western River Railroad
  • Jungle Cruise: Wildlife Expeditions
  • Swiss Family Treehouse
  • The Enchanted Tiki Room
  • Theater Orleans
  • Westernland Shootin’ Gallery
  • Country Bear Theater
  • Mark Twain Riverboat
  • Tom Sawyer Island Rafts
  • Woodchuck Greeting Trail
  • “It’s a Small World”
  • Cinderella’s Fairy Tale Hall
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic
  • Goofy’s Paint ‘n’ Play House
  • Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Treehouse
  • Toon Park
  • Donald’s Boat
  • Minnie’s House
  • Mickey’s House and Meet Mickey
  • Stitch Encounter
  • Monsters, Inc. Ride & Go Seek!
  • Showbase

If you are visiting a Disney park and see a service animal with another guest, please remember to respect the service animal and their owner. Do not go to pet the service animal as they are there to do their job, and it can distract them from their owner.

Remember these rules are regulations are in place to accommodate all guests — even the furry ones — to the happiest places on earth. It is crucial to follow them so everyone can enjoy a magical moment during their vacation!

If you have a service animal and have taken him/her to a Disney Park, please tell us your experience! We would love to hear it.

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