Disney World’s Most Irritating Policy Change Is in Effect as of Today

in Disney, Disney Parks, Theme Parks, Walt Disney World

A serene morning at a magical theme park, featuring a statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse, with a majestic castle standing tall in the backdrop amidst a clear blue sky.

Credit: Disney

After weeks of anger, petitions, and legal arguments, May 20 is finally upon us. The new Disability Access Service (DAS) program at Walt Disney World is now in effect.

So, what does this mean for those who used the Disability Access Service at Disney World? First of all, it means that fewer people will be eligible for a DAS pass, and despite the anger, the new system will be much more stringent.

A sign that reads "lightning lane" in red letters on a white background. A clock is positioned next to the sign. This entrance also services those who use a Disney Das Pass.
Credit: Five Fires via Twitter

Related: ‘Misplace Entitlement,’ Legal Expert Destroys Arguments Against Disney’s DAS Changes

The Old DAS System

Under the old system, guests could get a DAS Pass the day they arrived at Disney World. After a meeting with a cast member, guests with a condition that would not allow them to stand in line for long periods of time, and their entire party would be allowed to skip the line.

Guests would receive a return time, and their party would be allowed to enter the attraction through the Disney Genie Plus Lightning Lane line.

A lengthy Lightning Lane line for Walt Disney World Resort's Splash Mountain.
Credit: Donna A.

Related: Disney World’s Newest Policy Starts Soon, and Guests Are Not Happy

For a while, the Disability Access Service Program worked well, allowing guests who needed it to skip the line. This was especially helpful for guests with “invisible” conditions like IBS not to wait in long lines.

However, the old DAS pass was ripe with fraud. Guests who did not want to pay for a Disney Genie Plus Lightning Lane pass would use the Disney DAS system to avoid paying. DAS defenders found this practice infuriating, as it detracted from those who actually needed the system.

Cast members attributed DAS abuse to the long Lightning Lane lines at some Walt Disney World attractions, forcing the Walt Disney World Resort to make these changes to the program.

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Credit: Nicholas Fuentes, Unsplash

The New DAS System

Under the new system, guests must have a video conference with a cast member before arriving at Disney World. Disney is working with Inspire Health Alliance to help determine guest eligibility.

Disney World has also narrowed the definition of what qualifies for the DAS program. Disney has said that the program is meant for guests with “developmental disorders like autism,” which makes it challenging to wait in long lines.

Those participating in the new DAS program are only allowed up to four guests: the DAS Passholder and three additional party members.

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Credit: Disney

On its website, Walt Disney World lists these as the main things to know about the new program:

DAS is intended to accommodate only those Guests who, due to a developmental disability like autism or similar disorder, are unable to wait in a conventional queue for an extended period of time.

DAS doesn’t provide immediate access to experiences, but rather allows Guests to request a return time for a specific experience that is comparable to the current standby wait.

The Guest for which DAS is being requested must be present during registration and must experience the attraction when redeeming a DAS return time at Walt Disney World theme parks.

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Credit: Disney

This new Disability Access Service program will go into effect at the Disneyland Resort on June 18.

So, despite the anger over the changes, the new Disney World DAS program is here to stay.

How have the changes to the DAS program affected your Disney World vacation? 

in Disney, Disney Parks, Theme Parks, Walt Disney World

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