Just got off the phone with a trusted source at Disney who works in the Public Relations Department. She’s officially confirmed to me that beginning October 9th, the new Disability Assistance System will be implemented at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim, and Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
According to my source, Disney is still finalizing the details of the new program and the special needs community’s needs remain a top priority for the parks.
Okay, so now we at least know for sure that big changes, they are a comin.
Now, what I have to say next is extremely important, so listen up:
I know many of you are feeling super frustrated right now and I don’t blame you. Thanks to a bunch of jerks abusing a system that has worked for so many wonderful families such as yours, Disney was forced to try and alleviate the fraud while simultaneously finding a new way to keep the parks accessible and user-friendly for special needs guests.
Now, we may not agree with the rumored details of this new program, but we do have to agree on this: Disney employees – especially cast members – are undeserving of abusive behaviors geared towards them, no matter how annoyed, angry, or frustrated anyone may feel. If you decide to visit the park and find that the new system truly makes the experience terrible, there are ways to air out your grievances without taking it out on the innocent employees that work hard to make the day magical for everyone they come across (no small feat, for sure).
So, let’s agree to be suspicious of this new system, and extremely annoyed with the fact that changes even have to be made in the first place.
But more importantly, let’s agree to move forward as a special needs community with tact, grace, and a true desire to make the world a better place.
Trust me when I tell you no one will be listening to our constructive criticisms and important suggestions for change if they’re too busy running away from our pitchforks and torches.
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Disabled Assistance System per Disney:
How will the new Disney program work?
The Disability Access Service Card will offer Guests a return time for an attraction based on the current wait time. Guest Assistance Cards will continue to be in effect until Oct. 9. We look forward to sharing more information as we get closer to implementation.
Did Disney receive assistance in developing the Disability Access Service Card?
Yes, Disney is engaging disability groups, and Autism Speaks was instrumental in providing feedback as we developed this new process.
Why is Disney making these changes?
Given the increasing volume of requests Disney receives for special access to our attractions, we are changing our process beginning Oct. 9 so that it creates a more consistent experience for all our Guests while providing accommodations for Guests with disabilities.
Who will be eligible for a Disability Access Service Card?
Our goal is to accommodate Guests who aren’t able to wait in a conventional queue environment due to a disability (including non-apparent disabilities).
Will Guests on wish trips also use Disability Access Service Cards?
No. Guests who are visiting through wish-granting organizations will have access through a separate program.
What should Guests do if they have concerns?
Guests should contact Guest Relations to discuss their assistance needs.