• Disney is changing its theme park policies for guests with disabilities.
  • The updates address who can use Disability Access Services, among other changes.
  • Guests attempting to misuse the program will receive a lifetime ban.

Disney has updated its theme park policies for guests with disabilities as it tries to crack down on those misusing the program.

The new policy comes as Disney confronts a rise in the number of guests exploiting the program. A spokesperson confirmed for Business Insider in November 2023 that there had been an increase in people taking advantage of its disability policies to skip lines and avoid crowds.

Disability services have become the most requested service at the Florida and California parks, according to The Washington Post. The company reported that use of the services has more than tripled over five years.

Disneyland. Foto: MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

Changes to the company's Disability Access Service arrived on the official Walt Disney World and Disneyland websites this week.

Under the policies, guests who are disabled can now "request a return time for a specific experience that is comparable to the current standby wait," Disney wrote in its explanation. The service is meant to help guests navigate the often crowded lines and wait times for attractions.

The new policies outline more specifically who can rely on the program. Guests who lie to take advantage of it will receive a lifetime ban, Disney said.

Disney's policies previously said that the Disability Access Service was intended for "guests who have difficulty tolerating extended waits in a conventional queue environment due to a disability," which is a broad definition, according to Fox Business.

Now, they say the service 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 of time."

Walt Disney World and Disneyland will change its DAS policy. Foto: Joseph Prezioso/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The new policies will begin at Walt Disney World on May 20 and June 18 at Disneyland.

Representatives for Walt Disney World and Disneyland did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

Fans of Disney have varied opinions about the new policies. Dennis Speigel, founder of International Theme Park Services, told Orlando-area NBC affiliate WESH 2 that he thinks the new changes will be beneficial.

"I have used it wonderfully, and I have seen the abuse that has occurred at different parks and at Disney through the years as the program has grown," Speigel said.

However, others are concerned the new policy changes will make it harder to navigate the parks.

"There's so many other health issues that may be affected by this," Stacey Crane, a Disney guest who previously qualified for the service due to stomach issues, told The Washington Post. "I'm just nervous to see how it's going to pan out."

In November, Disney also cracked down on "third-party tour guides," some of whom helped guests with disabilities navigate the parks.

Read the original article on Business Insider