Scandal At Disney Parks: Fraudsters Beware, Mickey's Got A New Trick Up His Sleeve

By Alan Hume | Monday, 15 April 2024 05:15 AM
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The Walt Disney Company has announced a tightening of its Disability Access Services (DAS) policy in response to a surge in fraudulent claims.

The company has stated that any guests found to have made false statements to obtain DAS will be permanently barred from its parks.

The DAS policy, which is offered free of charge, allows individuals with disabilities to receive a return time for attractions, thereby avoiding the need to wait in standard lines. Previously, the service was available to "guests who have difficulty tolerating extended waits in a conventional queue environment due to a disability."

However, the company has now revised this policy. According to the Disneyland and Walt Disney Resort websites, "DAS is intended to accommodate a small percentage of Guests who, due to a developmental disability like autism or similar, are unable to wait in a conventional queue for an extended period or time."

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The company has also warned that "any previously purchased Annual Passes, Magic Key passes, tickets and other park products and services" belonging to customers found to have lied about disabilities "will be forfeited and not refunded."

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The new policy changes will come into effect on May 20 at Walt Disney World in Florida and June 18 at Disneyland in California. Until then, the existing DAS procedure will continue.

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In addition to these changes, Disney has also altered the procedure for requesting DAS. From May 20, all DAS registrations at Walt Disney World must be made via virtual video chat, with in-person registration no longer available at theme park Guest Relations locations. At Disneyland, from June 18, guests can apply for DAS either through a virtual chat or a dedicated "accessibility services" window for same-day requests.

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The company has also indicated that those who currently have DAS will need to reapply for the service. Furthermore, DAS is now limited to a guest's "immediate family," or a group of no more than four unrelated people.

These changes come as Disney has been grappling with the challenge of reducing wait times and improving access to park attractions in the face of increasing attendance and group-sourced exploits. The company's efforts to tighten its DAS policy reflect its commitment to ensuring a fair and enjoyable experience for all guests, particularly those with genuine disabilities.

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