Disney is doing some serious crackdowns with the new DAS pass rules

Disney has just altered their DAS pass rules, which includes a severe punishment for anyone trying to fake a disability!
Cinderella's Castle at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. Image courtesy Rob Schwarz Jr.
Cinderella's Castle at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. Image courtesy Rob Schwarz Jr. /

Get ready for some changes on Disney Parks' DAS passes, as guests with disabilities now have some new rules to follow! Find out what they are here!

Disney has always prided itself on making sure guests with all sorts of disabilities can enjoy the parks as much as anyone. The obvious ones are guests in wheelchairs or other mobility issues, along with those who are deaf, blind, or such. It's expanded over the years with those with special needs like autism, and Disney is doing well with it. 

Sadly, there are some less-than-honest people who have abused the system to jump ahead in line. It's been difficult to determine, given that many people with legitimate disabilities don't always show them, and to openly ask for proof of some kind not only violates some privacy laws but is downright rude and gives Disney bad press.

Disney has done its best to handle this and try to root out the fakers but it's been tough. This is why, starting this spring, a new policy is being set up that will hope to cut down on these cheaters but may cause some headaches to legitimate guests with disabilities. 

What are Disney's new DAS park rules?

As detailed on the main Disney website, starting May 20, guests at WDW can only enroll in DAS via a virtual video meeting, not in person, as was standard. It's encouraged to do so in the weeks leading up to the trip, although such calls can be made on the day of the visit. 

For Disneyland, there are virtual meetings along with being able to visit in person although the meeting area will be moved on June 18 from Guests Services inside the parks to the outside esplanade area between Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.

Like other park chains, Disney is partnering with a third party, Inspire Health Alliance, who will be part of the meetings and help make decisions on guests' needs, although it will now be done by the full party, not just individuals. While unsaid, it's also clear Disney is leaning on IHA to weed out the folks with actual disabilities over would-be fakers. Disney will be keeping this "in-house," aware of how Universal and Six Flags have both been subjected to lawsuits over outsourcing medical information to another company. 

The new rules also include how service animals are now classified as "a dog or miniature horse," thus cutting down on guests trying to pass a usual pet as a service animal. Disney also promises to increase the number of trained DAS aides from cast members who know sign language to braille guidebooks and maps, sensory guides for attractions, and handheld devices with audio descriptions. 

The Disney park websites have the full list of changes, which include no longer automatically qualifying, for example, ADHD, which would make people want to skip longer lines or other "on the border" disability claims. While the law prevents Disney from asking for medical documentation, these meetings will determine who truly needs DAS and who just wants to avoid waiting in line longer without paying for Lightning Lane. 

Of course, this leads to a big change, the one Disney hopes gets the message across: Anyone who is caught lying about a disability to get a DAS pass will be permanently banned from Disney parks. This "one strike and you're out" policy is the biggest move Disney has made yet for would-be DAS scammers. 

This can be complex for some guests, and as someone with a family member needing a scooter at the last WDW visit, it's understandable to be viewed with suspicion. However, it's a sadly needed update to the policy thanks to folks trying to fake some symptoms to jump ahead in line. The full details can be read on the Disney sites, but it's a real shame that the guests who genuinely need a DAS pass have to put up with more hassle, thanks to folks wanting to cheat a bit on a park visit.