News from Disney for People with Disabilities – Guest Assistance Card Being Replaced by Disability Access Service Card

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Scootering Through Epcot

Scootering Through Epcot

As a Disney Social Media Mom, I’m often given information regarding changes at the Disney Parks to share with my readers.  Today I received an email regarding some changes that are coming down the road that will effect guests with disabilities, visting Disney Parks.  It’s been a difficult subject, with news stories in the past about people who tried to unfairly take advantage of the accommodations made for guests who truly need special assistance.

I recently traveled to Walt Disney World with two members of my party that had limited mobility and rode scooters.  We found the parks to be easy to navigate, and the bus and other transportation services exceptional.  We were all physically capable of standing in line (walking distances was the challenge) so we didn’t ask for a Guest Assistance Card.  I’ve heard though, that it has made it possible for many, many children who otherwise would not be able to visit the parks.  They can not only visit but comfortably enjoy the magic.

Disney A_39 B and Chef at Park Faire

I’ve also personally experienced traveling to the parks with a child who had severe, multiple food allergies.  The assistance and accommodations made for her were incredible.  They allowed her to eat at Disney restaurants and not only be healthy but also feel like a princess!

I trust that the same consideration and quality of service that has been a hallmark of Disney will also be present when the determine their policies for guests with disabilities.

From Disney:  “Disney has an unwavering commitment to making our experiences accessible to all Guests.  After careful consideration, we will be replacing the Guest Assistance Card with the new Disability Access Service Card on Oct. 9 to create a more consistent experience for all our Guests while providing accommodations for Guests with disabilities. Until Oct. 9, we will continue to use Guest Assistance Cards.”

Frequently Asked Questions about the Disability Access Service Card:

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.

Disclosure:  I was provided the above information from Disney.


  1. 1
    Joyce Raymond says:

    I just love Disney Parks! I am fortunate to have visited Disney World several times and Magic Kingdom in California once. One time I went with a 4 yr. old little girl and her family through Make a Wish. There is no way to put into words what an incredible experience Disney and Make a Wish (as well as other major attractions” provide for these children and their families. I am now disabled now and if I were fortunate enough to go back to Disney I’m glad to know that I would have a way to enjoy myself. It’s unfortunate that some people would actually use deception to avoid having to wait. Trust me, I would gladly swap places and wait in any line, and they can have my disability!

    • 2

      What a wonderful comment, Joyce! Thank you for sharing your experience. I saw Make a Wish kids while we were there and it’s heartbreaking, yet hopeful at the same time because people care enough to give them a dream-come-true.

  2. 3

    Thanks for writing the article about the handicapped. I think it’s great that they have the Disability Access Cards.
    gayle recently posted..SUSANNA’S CHRISTMAS WISH by Jerry S. Eicher

  3. 4

    I’m glad they are making some changes that address growing concerns about accessibility in the park (whatever that entails to each person). It’s just like any other facility that catering to a special group is a hallmark of what makes a socially responsible and conscious foundation. Just from my own experience (even though I don’t have a physical disability), I know for a fact that even small accommodations made for those who are immobile, disadvantaged or otherwise needing of assistance can make a huge difference in the overall experience. The last time I went to Disney was more than a decade ago and I don’t think these services were even on the radar at the time. But it’s nice to know that if I befell an illness or had some kind of requirement for assistance, Disney would be able to accommodate me so I would enjoy the park in the best way possible.

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