Disney Fan with Guillain-Barré Syndrome Who Was Denied Disability Pass at Disneyland Speaks Out

On TikTok, Charisma Mangahas, whose condition requires a tracheostomy tube to help her breathe, offered Disney an alternative to denying visitors the pass

<p>AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images</p> Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland

AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland

Another Disney fan is speaking out about being denied a Disability Access Service (DAS) pass under the theme park's recently updated guidelines.

Charisma Mangahas, who has Guillain-Barré syndrome and uses a tracheostomy tube (also called a trach tube) to help her breathe, spoke out about her experience being denied the service and offered Disney an alternative option to having employees assess guests' health conditions individually. She shared her idea in a TikTok video posted in late June that has gotten over 1.7 million views.

"I was recently denied the Disability Access Services here at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure," she says in the video, recorded at the theme park while she is sitting in her wheelchair, with a Stitch plush perched on her shoulder.



"I wanted to make this video to show that no matter the severity of the disability, Disney has [its] own standards [it] created that determines whether or not you apply for [its] specific disability service," she says.

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 Disney's website, 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."

The change in policy took effect on May 20 at Walt Disney World and June 18 at Disneyland, after being announced April 9.

<p>AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images</p> General views of the Disneyland Resort

AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

General views of the Disneyland Resort

According to Mayo Clinic, Mangahas' diagnosis of Guillain-Barre syndrome occurs when "the body's immune system attacks the nerves" and can cause "weakness, numbness or paralysis." Symptoms of the condition include an unsteady walk, difficulty breathing, and trouble with facial movements, including speaking, chewing or swallowing.

She also has a trach tube visible in her post. This device allows a patient to breathe after they have a tracheostomy procedure involving making a hole into the windpipe.

"I do understand," Mangahas says of the theme park's policies. However, she goes on to describe an alternative idea she had to the controversial new policy, under which many people who previously qualified for disability services at Disney are no longer eligible.

She proposes that Disney offer people with disabilities the option to purchase an annual "Lightning Lane" pass, which would allow them to skip lines for a fee. She said it would help people with disabilities who benefit from not having to wait in line without leaving each determination up to employees.

Mangahas explains that she was offered the theme park's queue attraction re-entry service, which allows a person with a disability to exit the line and return when its their party's turn to ride, but requires that "the rest of the party will remain in the queue" while the person with the disability waits apart from them, per Disney's website.

Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort
Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort

In April, shortly after the new DAS policy was announced, PEOPLE spoke to Natasha Caudill, has a rare eye disorder called achromatopsia, about being denied. (Per Cleveland Clinic, this condition limits people's ability to see color vision and also causes other vision issues, such as rapid eye movements.)

"I wish Disney was more upfront about the change. Disney World offers such a welcoming atmosphere, but as a disabled person, I just don’t feel as welcome now," Caudill said.

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Disney didn't immediately reply to PEOPLE's request for comment about Mangahas' video.

When reached about Cauldill's story in April, Disneyland officials told PEOPLE, "Disney is dedicated to providing a great experience for all Guests, including those with disabilities, which is why we are so committed to delivering a wide range of innovative support services aimed at helping our Guests with disabilities have a wonderful time when visiting our theme parks."

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