Thursday, June 13, 2024
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Disabled Disney Guests Told to Ask for Callback Times at Each Ride & Practice Waiting in Line Instead of Getting DAS

Travel agent Jamie Santillo took to Instagram this week to talk about her upsetting experience with the updated Disability Access Service (DAS) at Walt Disney World.
DAS Complaints
Santillo shared the following video about no longer qualifying for DAS despite having a heart condition and a defibrillator. The Cast Member Santillo spoke to offered Santillo a return-to-queue option where someone in her party would wait in line and then she would meet up with them when it was time to ride.
The Cast Member also suggested getting a callback time from a Cast Member at each attraction. Santillo asked, “Well, isn’t that what DAS does?”
The Cast Members said, “Overall, yes. With this, you just can’t preselect rides.” With DAS, guests can select return times from the My Disney Experience app. The callback option offered to Santillo would mean speaking to a Cast Member at each attraction, potentially explaining her disability repeatedly, and leaving whether she gets a callback time up to each Cast Member. It’s also worth noting that most attractions Cast Members won’t have received specialized training regarding disabilities.
Watch Santillo’s full video or read her caption below.
I no longer qualify for the Disney DAS Pass I have been on pins and needles for the new DAS changes to take effect at Disney World May 20 with the hopes that Disney wasn’t going to alienate those who don’t fall under the neurodivergent umbrella. Unfortunately, that’s EXACTLY what happened. First you must agree to their terms and conditions, as well as ensuring that your tickets/reservations are confirmed and everyone who will be going with you (up to 3 in addition to you can be added to the DAS) is also linked on MDE. Once that is completed, you can request the call. I spoke with a very nice woman who asked why I was applying for DAS. I explained that I’d used it for years. I have a heart condition and a defibrillator, and being overheated isn’t good for me. She asked questions like, “What do you do about the heat on a daily basis?” and “How do you go to the grocery store?” She offered me a wait in queue option, where someone in my party would wait in the line, and then I could meet up with them when it was our time to ride. She also suggested getting a call back time from a cast member. For that, I said, “Well, isn’t that what DAS does?” She said, “Overall, yes. With this, you just can’t preselect rides.” So, by the end of the conversation, it was deemed that I did not qualify for DAS and that the intent for the program is to support those with Autism and similar. Disney’s website says that, “Waiting in line is a regular part of the Walt Disney World Resort experience”, and that neurodivergent guests should “practice waiting with the Guest with a neurodivergent disability at home or in lines at places they might already frequent to get ready for their trip”. That statement to me is just awful. That is like telling me… Hey, practice not getting overheated so your heart behaves so you don’t need the DAS Pass and can wait in the traditional line.
Changes to DAS went into effect on May 20. The service now significantly restricts who qualifies, which Disney states is due to overuse in the past few years. DAS is now specifically intended to “accommodate only those guests who, due to a developmental disability like autism or similar,” cannot wait in a conventional queue for an extended period of time.
To sign up for DAS, guests must participate in a live video chat with a Cast Member as soon as 30 days before their park visit. In-park sign-up is no longer available. The guest will discuss their needs with the Cast Member, who determines if they are eligible for the service. The maximum party size that can use a DAS pass is four people — the disabled guest and three family members. DAS is now valid for 120 days.
It was shocking to see the following “Practice waiting in line” imaging and dialogue on the Disney World “accessibility” section of their site in lieu of receiving a DAS pass. At first I thought people were exaggerating, but sure enough it’s there. — Jon Yslas (@MidwayEchoes) May 22, 2024
Santillo isn’t the only guest sharing complaints about the service on social media. Many have called into question the new policy and shared how it makes the parks inaccessible to them.
I used to get das pass becoming i have vertigo from a an accident i was in standing or being crowded brings it on and caused panic attacks they use to give it to me no problem now im afraid if i go and ask for it and explain my problem there just gonna fight it — mintytruffle (@Willowfairies) May 21, 2024
Guests describe their experiences with complex needs due to disabilities like POTS, multiple sclerosis, and PTSD.
It’s so crushing. I’ve had an annual pass since 2009 (they won’t refund my pass that I renewed in Feb), I got married there, I worked at Epcot for 4.5yrs… I recommend joining this FB group bc it’s become like a big support group for those with disabilities. Disney DAS Defenders. — 💖🌈🧚🏻‍♂️ MegoPaints 🐕‍🦺🎨🖼️ (@MegoRexx) May 23, 2024
Before the changes went into effect, a group of disabled people calling themselves “DAS Defenders” started a petition that now has over 15,000 signatures calling for Disney to not exclude most disabled people from the service.
Disney magic should be for everyone but Disney’s recent modifications to the Disability Access Service (DAS) program have excluded many members of the disabled community and their families. For years, Disney has been a beacon of inclusivity and joy for disabled individuals, offering a safe haven where they could enjoy moments of connection and adventure while having their accessibility needs met. “Stop excluding disabled people from Disneyland and Disney World with new policy” petition
Many have pointed out that Disney added “Inclusion” to their “keys,” the five foundations of Cast Member training, but they now feel the DAS updates don’t include them.
A Walt Disney World spokesperson said when the changes were announced, “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.”
The DAS updates will go into effect on June 18 at Disneyland Resort.
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