Disney has always been synonymous with enchantment, magic, and creating unforgettable memories. It’s a place where dreams come true, where families can bond over shared experiences, and where people of all ages can relive their favorite childhood stories. Walt Disney World Resort, located in Orlando, Florida, is a sprawling complex that encompasses four theme parks, two water parks, a shopping district, and countless dining and entertainment options.
In order to ensure that Guests with disabilities or special needs can fully enjoy all that Walt Disney World has to offer, the Walt Disney Company has implemented the Disability Access Service, also known as a DAS Pass.
Are People Abusing ‘Disney Access Service’ Passes?
For so many Guests, having a DAS pass is a game-changer at Walt Disney World or Disneyland Resort. These passes open up opportunities and experiences to Guests that generally would not be able to happen for them. However, there is a dark side to the DAS pass.
The Disability Access Service is designed to provide individuals with disabilities a way to enjoy the parks without waiting in long lines. Unfortunately, there are some Guests who lie and “abuse” the DAS pass as a way to cut lines for free. This behavior is absolutely unacceptable and rightfully upsets fans.
The problem is that now, Guests are trying to “expose” those who abuse DAS. By doing so, they often end up saying ableist comments toward those with invisible disabilities.
Cast Member Under Fire for Ableist Comment
One Guest who uses DAS was excited to ride Flight of Passage in Disney’s Animal Kingdom when they overheard a nasty remark from a Cast Member. This remark ended up significantly affecting the Guest’s Disney experience. They explain;
“I use DAS for neurological issues. Invisible, but I also wear a knee brace because I’ve had multiple dislocations and quite honestly I’m in a fair bit of pain walking around, but I walk around Disney about the amount I walk daily on the job so it’s not something I’d get DAS for.
Yesterday, I was at Animal Kingdom and getting on flight of passage. Same as always, I tap my phone on the thing and wait for the circle to go green before going forward. Then I hear “wow, they’re getting loose with the DAS passes these days” from behind me. They probably thought I couldn’t hear them because those same neurological issues mean I wear headphones most of the time, but I still felt awful abt it the rest of the way up.
PSA: you never know another person’s reality. I’ll probably be over it by tomorrow but it really left a sour spot on the day and, ironically, I did in fact end up leaving early because I wasn’t feeling it.”
Fans Rally in Support of Heartbroken Guest
After hearing this story, hundreds of fans commented on the post in support of this Guest. This post ignited an important conversation about not making assumptions about people’s disabilities. It is Disney’s to verify that a person is in need of a DAS pass, and it is not okay for any Disney Park Guest or Cast Member to question a DAS user once that pass has been distributed.