Disney makes changes to accessibility for people with disabilities at theme parks
A masked family walks past Cinderella’s Castle in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Joe Burbank / Orlando Sentinel / TNS)
Big changes are happening once again in Disney’s system of providing accommodations for people with disabilities in its theme parks.
The company said this month that it was “making some improvements” to what’s known as the Disability Access Service Program, or DAS. The move comes nearly eight years after an overhaul of Disney’s access policies that led to lawsuits from families of people with intellectual disabilities.
The Disability Access Service program allows people with disabilities who find it difficult to tolerate long waits to get a return time for rides and other attractions so they don’t have to physically queue.
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Visitors had to wait to arrive at disney world Where Disneyland look for accommodation. However, with the changes rolled out this fall, Disney says people will be able to register up to 30 days before arrival via live video chat with an actor. At that time, individuals will also be able to select two experiences per day through the DAS Advance scheduling option and they will get a one hour return window for those activities on the day of their visit.
Additionally, the Disability Access Service schedule will be changed to allow visitors to get a return time for rides and other experiences through an app rather than having to go to each attraction or kiosk. .
The updates are part of a larger redesign taking place at Disney World and Disneyland this fall. The company is phasing out its FastPass system, a free offer that allows visitors to skip the lines for a limited number of attractions, in favor of a paid model.
Disney is also launching a digital tool called Disney Genie which is designed to offer a personalized itinerary complete with current and expected wait times for attractions.
Disney made major changes to its disabled access system in 2013. Previously, visitors with disabilities to theme parks could receive a Guest Assistance Card that often allowed them to skip the queues for them. rides. Disney said it ended this option because it was “abused and exploited”.
The disabled access service has been set up in its place. This led to lawsuits from dozens of families of children with autism and other disabilities who claimed that more restricted access was a violation of their rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The first of the lawsuits went to trial last year and a federal judge ruled in favor of Disney.