18yo daughter traveling to WDW with service dog for first time

HappyontheLake

Four cruises down, next one in July 2019
Joined
Oct 6, 2010
My 18yo daughter, and 5 of her best friends, will be traveling to WDW next spring break. They will be staying in Beach Club Villas (we are DVC members). I will be there in another villa with my sister, another daughter and 3 of her best friends (yes I am brave to be at WDW with 10 teenage girls at the same time -- my husband has opted out and is going on a "guys" trip).

Back to the purpose of my post -- she has invisible disabilities (PTSD, bipolar, life threatening allergies) and her service dog, whose training will be finished this summer, will be dual service. Max is being trained as both a PSD and allergy detection dog. I have read WDW rules about service dogs and attractions they are not allowed on (makes perfect sense -- duh) but my question is logistically how is that handled if the handler is capable of enjoying the ride but the group does not want to split up to stand in line? Can they get DAS and do rider switch on those attractions? That way her group can do 4 riding in group 1 and 2 riding in group 2?

With a service dog -- do you recommend taking park breaks for their benefit? Any hints? Secrets? Words of wisdom? Things you wish you had known before hand?

Thank you for reading all of this and helping out a service dog newbie (well parent of a service dog newbie)
 

Mrsjvb

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 5, 2007
there are kennels at the attractions where SD are not permitted. DAS will not be issued unless she cannot wait in lines at all. rider switch is an option in some cases

as for the pup: it gets bloody hot . make sure she has PLENTY of water for her dog. they make great little portable pet bowls for this. also, look into the protective socks to prevent burns on their feet( I do believe there is also a protectant lotion available but that can be licked off ) do table service meals so the dog can rest in relative comfort in air conditioning. and obviously, do a Pluto Character Meet n Greet. Pluto LOVES doggies.
 

gap2368

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 27, 2015
a
My 18yo daughter, and 5 of her best friends, will be traveling to WDW next spring break. They will be staying in Beach Club Villas (we are DVC members). I will be there in another villa with my sister, another daughter and 3 of her best friends (yes I am brave to be at WDW with 10 teenage girls at the same time -- my husband has opted out and is going on a "guys" trip).

Back to the purpose of my post -- she has invisible disabilities (PTSD, bipolar, life threatening allergies) and her service dog, whose training will be finished this summer, will be dual service. Max is being trained as both a PSD and allergy detection dog. I have read WDW rules about service dogs and attractions they are not allowed on (makes perfect sense -- duh) but my question is logistically how is that handled if the handler is capable of enjoying the ride but the group does not want to split up to stand in line? Can they get DAS and do rider switch on those attractions? That way her group can do 4 riding in group 1 and 2 riding in group 2?

With a service dog -- do you recommend taking park breaks for their benefit? Any hints? Secrets? Words of wisdom? Things you wish you had known before hand?

Thank you for reading all of this and helping out a service dog newbie (well parent of a service dog newbie)
s the PP said there are kennels at the ride where SD can not go on.

just because you have a service dog does not mean you get a DAS. to get a DAS you must go to GR and explain her needs in line ( or she can) and why she cannot wait in line. the DAS is for 5 people plus the DAS holder. if she gets a DAS then GR can add all of you to the DAS but when you go to the ride some of them will not let you all ride on the DAS ( I have seen this at space mountain and a few others). if there is a ride you all must ride together I would suggest getting an FP for these rides if you can. or if you think your 18 will want to go off with her friends and leave mom and other sister and your sister then there will be no worries about the too many people ( if you do get a DAS). I find not relying 100%von the DAS helps me the most ( and I know other people that are the same ways) so taking a break for her and the dog would be a good idea depending on how many days you are there it might be a good idea to head back to the room for a break and a swim. I use foot barry for my dog on hot days and it works fine ( he was a search and rescue dog)

Make sure she brings her epi-pen with her ( along with a backup or two) first aid has them too but I would not count on being close enough to be able to use first aids ( my Dr had a patient go into anaphylactic shock and die at Disney
 
  • HappyontheLake

    Four cruises down, next one in July 2019
    Joined
    Oct 6, 2010
    there are kennels at the attractions where SD are not permitted. DAS will not be issued unless she cannot wait in lines at all. rider switch is an option in some cases

    as for the pup: it gets bloody hot . make sure she has PLENTY of water for her dog. they make great little portable pet bowls for this. also, look into the protective socks to prevent burns on their feet( I do believe there is also a protectant lotion available but that can be licked off ) do table service meals so the dog can rest in relative comfort in air conditioning. and obviously, do a Pluto Character Meet n Greet. Pluto LOVES doggies.
    Hopefully March won't be too hot -- but she will carry the portable bowls and water. She will have the protective booties, she will be using them for science labs at school (to prevent chemical transfer) and of course she will do a Pluto Meet and Greet!

    I didn't realize that there are kennels at those rides -- I will need to find out more about them.
     

    HappyontheLake

    Four cruises down, next one in July 2019
    Joined
    Oct 6, 2010
    Make sure she brings her epi-pen with her ( along with a backup or two) first aid has them too but I would not count on being close enough to be able to use first aids ( my Dr had a patient go into anaphylactic shock and die at Disney
    She will have EpiPens in her bag, there will be EpiPens in her dog's Vest, and she always makes sure every member of her group knows how to use them and when to use them. We almost lost her in October because her EpiPen wasn't handy and she knows to never let that happen again (One fire ant bite sent her into anaphylactic shock, they were doing homecoming dance pictures and the epipen was too far away)
     

    grrrl

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 18, 2017
    Bringing my service dog for the first time as well. I have never had an issue getting a DAS pass. Has there been issues?
     

    kaytieeldr

    Post hoc, ergo propter hoc
    Joined
    Jun 11, 2005
    Guests aren't given DASsimply because they have a service animal. It depends on each individual's needs, why they can't wait in line.
     
  • SueM in MN

    combining the teacups with a roller coaster
    Moderator
    Joined
    Aug 23, 1999
    This is a good article about dogs and heat.
    http://petslady.com/articles/10_tips_protect_your_dogs_paws_hot_pavement_57624

    Dog shoes can be good for some dogs and will protect their feet, but not all dogs can get used to them.
    The other issue with shoes is that dogs get rid of heat by panting and from their feet. If shoes are used, they need to be removed often for short periods to help the dog to regulate their temperature.
    We use Musher’s wax for our dogs. It does provide protection, plus moisturizer. That was what our service dog trainer recommended.

    Even if the dog is a pro by then, he will still need frequent rest periods - to cool off and drink and also because Disney is a very stimulating place.
    Especially if it’s hot and you will be going during one of the busier times.

    There is a boarding kennel on Disney property where he could take a day off if needed
     

    cobright

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 6, 2013
    This is a bit of a word wall. My advice comes from discussing this very matter with my PTSD support group not too long ago.

    TL ; DR version is that if your dog is not perfect the chances of getting booted from WDW are higher than pretty much anywhere else. Still unlikely, but most of the people in my group who have dogs (7 of them) have either been given a one day removal or have come very close to getting a removal because of their dogs behavior. None of the offending behavior included biting, snapping, or overtly threatening behavior. In most cases it was because the dog barked at something strange, or growled.

    (early note: I don't know what the state of preferred dog pronouns is. I've never met a dog that cared if you called it a him or her. I will probably just pick pronouns at random here, I mean no disrespect)

    Proof test the dog's behavior in similar settings. Daughter and dog are new to each other, even after a year and there are few places that will be as chaotic for a dog as a WDW park. Sometimes a growl is all it will take to get the pooch booted. Your dog growling lets Disney off the ADA hook and it's very simple math deciding on letting a 'maybe but probably not violent' dog stay in the park. Thing is, some dog's normal vocalizations sound a lot like growling. Find out now and work on that with the dog if needed.

    Training standards like the IAADP Minimum Training Standards for Public Access or the AKC's Canine Good Citizen Program are good checklists for pooch behavior. IAADP forbids testing dogs by spooking them or attempting to trigger a prey response, AKC specifies a 'reaction to distraction' test, a trainer I know who specializes in dogs for people with PTSD, nightmare, and panic disorders tells me he thinks dogs should be against both. He says it's a 'petite cruaute', a little cruelty, in French, but being separated from your dog when it is most important is crueler to the dog. He'll have someone the dog knows and has played with pitch a tennis ball while the dog is at heel, if the dog breaks training he's not ready. Same thing with startling the dog, like the AKC program suggests dropping a crutch nearby when dog's not looking. Maybe have someone sneak up on the dog dressed as a 6 foot tall mouse.

    Point is, unless you're daughter's life is in danger at the time, the dog's vocalizations cannot be frightening to others. I don't agree with this very subjective standard, but if keeping dog and daughter together is the goal, this is the safest approach. A single "bark" if not too loud is generally tolerated if it is not directed at a person (or heavens, a child) that is too close. You want doggo to refrain from any noises sharper than a "WUFF" if at all possible. Whining and whimpering doesn't scare people but I don't know any trainer that encourages either. The tricky one is the growl. Lots of dogs just growl a lot to communicate. For a service dog this needs to be trained out of it. Because, while even a loud "bark" can often be received as a happy or excited noise, growling always gets adults nervous. Kids, too often don't understand growling and will continue antagonistic behavior, but adults (especially parents) are keyed into that sound and will report a dog the first time they hear it. I get it, it's a common warning sign that a dog has had enough or is maybe just a bad dog who likes to bite kids (they do exist ... pretty rare), nobody wants to take the time to listen to you say, "Oh that's just the sound she makes when she's worried about me, or when she sees balloons."

    Say poochy is okay with fireworks (and s/he'll need to be) but gives an excited single bark when the first loud one goes off, that's fine. If he barks throughout the fireworks show ... someone's gonna get nervous and complain. Or worse, they'll just get pissed that your dog barked while they were watching a show and punish you by describing it to a CM as aggressive. Wish I could do that every time a kid cried through a show. Especially my own kid ...

    Put a "Working Dog" vest on the pooch all you like, kids will still approach wanting to pet it. Don't think for a minute you will be able to warn every attempt off in time. Be absolutely certain your dog is up to it.
     

    DisneyOma

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 27, 2015
    how is that handled if the handler is capable of enjoying the ride but the group does not want to split up to stand in line? Can they get DAS and do rider switch on those attractions? That way her group can do 4 riding in group 1 and 2 riding in group 2?
    This part is confusing to me - you say they don't want to split up, but then you mention rider switch, which splits the group up?
     
  • yoopermom

    Come join Bravo by the fire...
    Joined
    Sep 27, 2000
    While extremely well trained to provide a service, it is still a dog, and I don't think I have *ever* seen more stressed service dogs than at WDW (I have obedience judge credentials, so tend to watch service dogs with interest to see their training, etc.) I'm not saying *not* to take it, I'm just saying that the dog looks to you to keep it safe and happy, and that is difficult to do at such an overstimulating place as WDW. Are you ready to put the dog's needs first? If it needs food, water, pottying, a "time out" away from the stress, the owner needs to put aside her own desires to enjoy the parks, and tend to the dog's needs. You also need to think "worst case scenario" and have plans in place for vet or kennel, if need be.

    God bless service animals for what they provide, but we need to take care of them, as well.

    Terri
     

    StitchesGr8Fan

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 17, 2009
    She can have all 5 of her friends tired to her DAS, so why would they need to split up? And the DAS holder must ride, so no, they can’t do a swap.
     

    lanejudy

    Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Oct 27, 2011
    Just a note... OP's question was asked/answered a year ago; presumably the daughter's trip has come and gone.

    The thread was bumped by this [current] question:

    Bringing my service dog for the first time as well. I have never had an issue getting a DAS pass. Has there been issues?
     

    cobright

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 6, 2013
    Just a note... OP's question was asked/answered a year ago; presumably the daughter's trip has come and gone.

    The thread was bumped by this [current] question:
    Oof. It was the March posting date that got me.
     

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