New Update: Disney Fans Attack CEO Bob Iger, Abuse Accusations Emerge

in Disney, Disney Parks

A collage featuring Bob Iger in a suit on the left and the disney castle on the right, set against a dramatic cloudy sky.

Credit: Inside the Magic

Disney fans are furious at new changes being made by Bob Iger at the House of Mouse, and the accusations of lying, abuse, and false punishments are getting louder by the hour.

Bob Iger standing by a stone archway with a view of a fairytale castle in the distance.
Credit: Inside the Magic

Disney DAS

Fans of the world’s most iconic media corporation were recently stunned when the Walt Disney Company announced sweeping changes to its Disability Access Service (DAS) program, which will drastically affect the experiences of millions of Guests visiting the Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort, and the Parks around the world.

In an effort to crack down on Guests fraudulently claiming to have disabilities that prevent them from standing in lines, Disney has revamped the DAS system, which is now advertised as “intended to accommodate a small percentage of Guests who, due to a developmental disability like autism or similar, are unable to wait in a conventional queue for an extended period of time.”

An image of a fairytale castle at a theme park at sunset with a bright sunburst in the background and a blue "das" logo with a circular arrow on the right side.
Credit: Becky Burkett/Disney/Canva

Related: Report: Disney to Remove In-Park Disability Access, External Ruling Takes Charge

Reportedly, abuse of the DAS program has skyrocketed a horrific 300% in recent years, with some Guests even boasting of getting away with lying about disabilities to receive a DAS pass.

Disney and CEO Bob Iger have responded with brutal countermeasures, permanently banning anyone who fraudulently tries to claim a DAS pass or cut down on a Lightning Lane wait, narrowing down eligibility for DAS, reducing the overall number of guests in a party to four, and extending the enrollment period from 60 days to 120 days.

Disney Parks also warns Guests:

For Guests visiting from April 9 through May 19, 2024, please note:

  • Pre-arrival conversations to determine eligibility for DAS are available 2-30 days prior to your park visit.

  • In-person conversations to determine eligibility for DAS will continue to be at Guest Relations locations.

  • You can book up to 2 one-hour return windows for select experiences using our DAS Advance planning option.

  • DAS is valid for up to 30 days from the start of the registration. Once the service has elapsed, Guests will need to re-register.

Statue of walt disney holding hands with mickey mouse in front of cinderella castle at disney world, with a clear blue sky background.
Credit: Disney

The company also released an official statement reading, “Disney Parks have an unwavering commitment to providing a welcoming, inclusive environment and accessible experiences for our Guests. As part of this commitment, Disability Access Service (DAS) is a program offered at Walt Disney World theme parks to assist Guests who have difficulty tolerating extended waits in a conventional queue environment due to a disability.”

DAS Defenders Protests Against Bob Iger

While all these DAS pass and Guest Relation changes are intended to help both visitors to Walt Disney World and the Cast Member staff that works across the Parks, they have also infuriated and disappointed people who feel shut out by the company.

Bob Iger against the Disney logo with broken glass overlay
Credit: Inside the Magic

According to Business Insider, a Guest named Savannah (who requested to have her last name withheld) spent thousands of dollars and months planning a visit to Walt Disney World, only to have it dashed by the new DAS pass rules. Savannah says, “For me and my husband, this is a once-in-a-lifetime trip…I have had physical issues for the last 10 years that have prevented me from doing a lot of things.”

Related: Dear Disney, Please Fix the DAS Program By Doing This One Simple Thing

Apparently, the DAS pass system was a lifeline for the fan, until it wasn’t. Savannah continued, “I got that glimmer of hope…Everything finally lined up, and I was sitting on cloud nine. Then, Disney dropped that bombshell.”

A bustling night-time scene at a theme park with visitors strolling down the main street, lit by the glow of ambient lighting, with a fairy tale castle illuminated in the background, creating a magical atmosphere.
Credit: Inside the Magic

Now, Savannah and 140 other Disney fans are protesting. The Disney group, which calls itself DAS Defenders, has made a formal statement to Bob Iger and the rest of the Mouse C-Suite, arguing that the new DAS pass rules are discriminatory and only punish people who actually need them rather than the people accused of abuse and lying.

It reads, in part:

Historically, Disney has been a symbol of inclusion, acceptance and joy for disabled individuals who often face discrimination, lack of access and challenges in managing complex conditions. However, with these recent changes, Disney has eroded that legacy by rolling back accommodations that have existed for years, leaving many disabled people feeling abandoned.

By limiting the DAS program to developmental disabilities only, Disney is effectively telling us that we are not welcome or recognized in their parks anymore. The new policy fails to meet the genuine needs of all disabled guests. It is ableist and belittling.

Disney is dedicated to providing a great experience for all guests, including those with disabilities, which is why we are so committed to delivering a wide range of innovative support services aimed at helping our guests with disabilities have a wonderful time when visiting our theme parks.

Punishing disabled individuals for the actions of able-bodied individuals who abuse the system is not a solution. These changes fail to adequately address abuse. People who abuse the system will still lie. This only punishes the disabled people who truly relied on DAS and will not be able to attend the parks at all without it.

DAS Defenders goes on to assert that Disney’s new rules exclude individuals with the following conditions:

  • Cancer
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Lupus
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Long COVID
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Narcolepsy
  • Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS)
  • Ehlers-Danlos
  • Mast Cell Activation Syndrome
  • Dysautonomia
  • Low vision and blindness
  • Brain, heart or lung conditions
  • Panic disorders
  • Immune disorders
  • Severe allergies
  • Heat and sun sensitivity
  • Rare diseases

Savannah now says that she feels dehumanized by Disney and that she would not have spent her money and time planning for Disney World if she had known this would happen: “I absolutely would not have gone to Disney. I would not have chosen to spend my money there. I would have spent my money at Universal [Studios], where they still treat me like a person.”

What do you think of the Disney Disability Access Services changes? Tell Inside the Magic in the comments below!

This article has been updated to include the full text of the DAS Defenders letter:

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