Disney Under Fire For Disability Policies

A longtime lover of the Disney theme parks is upset over the company’s recent overhaul of policies for guests with disabilities.

Charisma Mangahas, who has Guillain-Barré syndrome, says she was recently denied Disability Access Services at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. The Magic Key (annual pass) holder created a video that’s gotten 1.7 million views on TikTok and been shared across other social media.

“She’s not the only one who no longer qualifies for Disability Access Services,” according to USA Today.

A petition on Change.org has garnered nearly 26,000 signees who are calling for "‘immediate action.’”



Disney’s Disability Access Service allows guests to wait for rides outside of a traditional line by joining the queue virtually and waiting out the time elsewhere in the park.

In the video, Mangahas says no matter how severe a disability is, Disney has its own standards to determine whether guests quality for services.

“She recounts that upon requesting a DAS pass, a Disney employee told her the services mainly apply to ‘severely disabled’ people (she looks down and indicates herself while saying the phrase) or ‘cognitively disabled’ people,” according to People

DAS passes will now only be available to "guests who, due to a developmental disability like autism or similar, are unable to wait in a conventional queue for an extended period of time,” according to Disney’s website. The change in policy took effect  May 20 at Walt Disney World and June 18 at Disneyland, after being announced April 9.

Mangahas told Fox Business she had used the DAS pass before, "but now with the policy changes, all I’ve experienced with DAS is stress.”

“In addition to the specification for those who qualify for DAS, Disney also changed the procedure for requesting the service,” according to Fox Business. “Currently at Walt Disney World, all DAS registrations must occur via virtual video chat as soon as 30 days in advance of a park visit."

Mangahas says she waited on the phone for nearly three hours for the online process before she asked her sister to drive her to the park to do the required interview in person. 

“Instead of DAS, Charisma was offered the option to return to the line at a later time, something Disney has told other guests since the DAS changes went into effect,” according to Disneyland News Today. “By choosing this option, members of Charisma’s party would wait in line for the attraction and she would meet up with them when it was time to ride.”

Rather than be separated from her group, Mangahas says in the video she’d like to purchase Genie+, a paid add-on service that gives guests access to Lightning Lane entrances at select attractions and experiences. However, due to the expense of Genie+, she estimates that it would cost her $400 per month if she went to Disneyland Resort with a group once per week.

Next story loading loading..