Walt Disney World Resort recently denied a Guest with a disability not allowing their emotional support animal inside.
Walt Disney World Resort is known as “The Most Magical Place on Earth.” After this encounter, I doubt this Guest can say the same about Disney.
Disney World has four theme parks: Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. If you’re visiting Disney World with a disability, Disney allows service dogs to go on certain attractions, and when the service animal cannot go on that attraction, Cast Members will stay with the animal and watch it in the kennels set up just for service animals.
Guests bringing service animals to Disney are considered medical equipment that the Guests need to function. Guests should not approach a service dog, for it is working. If Guests spot another Guest experiencing an emergency, find a Disney Cast Member, and they will get help for them.
In a Reddit Thread, one Disney Guest recently discussed how their emotional support animal was denied at Disney Parks. One reason emotional support animals are not allowed at Disney World is that service dogs are extensively trained to perform tasks and will not interact with other dogs. Unlike an untrained emotional support animal who is friendly- they want to play with the other dogs or interact with them. Another reason is that Disney knows that animals are animals and accidents can occur, and denying emotional support to animals prevents as many animal accidents from happening.
However, it seems that another set of dogs were permitted and these pups “got into a big fight,” according to another Guest.
“At Disney in a store..watched 2 pit bull “service dogs” get into a big fight and the owners were right there and traveling together, so it wasn’t like the dogs didn’t know each other.”
Disney has a pass called Disability Access Service, or DAS. This is for Guests who have a disability or someone in their party who does. Disney does their best at accommodating Guests with disabilities. Tips for Guests to know about DAS is that it is intended for Guests who have difficulty tolerating extended waits in a conventional queue environment due to a disability. DAS doesn’t provide immediate access to experiences but instead allows Guests to request a return time for a specific incident that is comparable to the current standby wait. This allows the Guest using DAS to enjoy other experiences in the park instead of physically waiting in the standby line.
When a Guest requests to use DAS, they must be present during registration (in person or live video call) and when redeeming a DAS return time at Walt Disney World theme parks. Safety for Guests and including service animals, is Disney World priority.