Post # 1
Fiance and I went to Disneyland over the weekend. We were standing in line for a ride when we noticed a woman up ahead had a young Chihuahua in her arms. It had to be around 4-6 months old.
I couldn’t believe that someone would sneak their dog into the park, let alone go on a ride with it. Fiance told me that Disneyland allowed animals. I was completely confused.
How could that be? I understand they allow service animals (ex: seeing eye dogs), but this was no service animal.
I quickly made my way to the front where the ride operators were. There were 4 Disney workers there. I asked them if animals were allowed on rides because a woman had a Chihuahua and they had just let her on the ride.
They said it was allowed and she must have had a service animal. They showed no concern over it whatsoever. They were being very dismissive.
My family has owned Chihuahuas my whole life. My mom has 4 and I have one. I know their temperaments and personalities very well. There is no way that a sane person would put their poor pet on a ride. Chihuahuas especially are very anxious/nervous/easily scared dogs. The breed doesn’t even matter at this point because no animal lover/logical person would think this is okay.
I looked up Disneyland’s service animal policies online. It clearly states SERVICE ANIMALS ARE NOT PERMITTED TO RIDE. And it states service animals must be kept on leashes/harnesses.
I am so disgusted with the behavior of the Disneyland workers and this person in question because now they will not be held accountable. God only knows what other rides this stupid woman went on with her pet.
I’m wondering, is there anything I can do about it now? Surely I can call some supervisor. I’m sure they must have film access to this, right?
Post # 3
I get you’re upset because she broke the rules. Rules are there for a reason and you don’t want big or aggressive dogs running around childrens’ theme parks. And I’m fully on board with no dogs except service animals and even those not riding rides! I’m with you! Nothing I say after is to disagree with you or your experience with the dogs… this is just my thoughts and experiences…
On the other hand it didn’t hurt anyone. Sort of a what’s done is done is what I see. Sure I might email Disney and be like “lady got on Y ride with Z dog at Q time on R date. I’d appreciate it if your staff followed your theme park rules consistently.” but I’d leave it at that. I wouldn’t even bother if it wasn’t a ride that went upside down or did crazy things where the dog was at risk of falling out (then I definitely would).
It’s a tiny dog really. You can hold a pure bred full grown one like a football (american style) safely. My aunt raised, bread, and sold the dogs from the time I was a small child til she died (about 30 years)… while they have a rep for being spazzy (like my friend’s dog.. ugh I hate that thing! but friend is spazzy too) they really aren’t as bad as the media makes them out to be. Sure the dogs are small and yippy (little doggy syndrome… they make a lot of noise to scare something that threatens them or if they feel threatened) but other wise fine ESPECIALLY with their well adjusted human holding them. And this is coming from someone who doesn’t even really like them.
My grandmother’s boyfriend had one that looked like a mogwai from the Gremlins movie (coloring). It was a “teacup” size and he’d put it in his shirt pocket and take it everywhere with him. As long as it was there or he was holding it it was fine, otherwise it turned into a spastic little monster… but then so was he.
I get you’ve experienced some of this breed, but they are actually pretty calm and mellow in the right circumstances. And they can be very emotionally stabilizing to some people and very calm with their human in control. While not usually (though they have been) service dogs, they pretty much provide that function for a lot of elderly people. Again… this from someone who doesn’t even like them.
I mean they are like cat toys! 🙂 Very much hoping you at least smiled at that! I’ve had mostly big cats (Maine Coon and the like) so they really were like cat toys to me … less than half the size of most cats I’ve owned. Still hoping you at least smiled :).
Post # 4
@petalpetal: I’d call and ask for management, or find somewhere online.
I agree that behavior is abhorrant. I can’t believe the staff would be so negligent. Dogs don’t belong on rides, poor thing.
Try one of the numbers there, and if it isn’t the right one the rep should be able to give you the correct number to call, or a contact.
Post # 5
@MrsTangerine: It’s completely negligent and animal abuse.
Dogs have absolutely no place being on a ride, which is why it’s not allowed. But alas, the Disney staff has failed in that department.
You’re right. I do have an extensive experience with this particular breed, my family and I have owned eleven Chihuahuas between us. I’m well aware of the different personality types and behaviors of the breed.
The lights, noise, and overall ride experience can be very disturbing and uncomfortable for them. You wouldn’t bring an infant on most rides at Disneyland (and aren’t allowed to on most rides), so why would someone think it’s okay to take a poor animal on one?
Also, this woman wasn’t an elderly woman (not that it would even matter in this case). She looked to be in her 30’s.
@Baimee: Thank you for your input on this! I will definitely be calling in and seeing what I can do.
I can’t believe the staff was so unconcerned and didn’t even know the rules and guidelines of their job.
Post # 6
That is so bizarre. I can’t imagine the dog enjoyed his day at the Magic Kindgom.
Post # 7
- Wedding: May 2014 - St. Francis of Assisi Church & N.O. Board of Trade
Having worked at Disney World (and on a ride), I can comment a little. We did allow animals on our ride, it was a slow moving ride with no drops or anything. I doubt they would be allowed on Splash Mountain, but I can’t say for sure.
I was really confused when I saw chihauhuas with “service animal” designation too. But since i was at a ride, I assumed they were OK’d at the entrance of the park and didn’t question it. I believe they are technically a service animal, which is not limited to a seeing eye dog. I know there are some that are “therapy” animals and others for seizure detection (I really am no expert at all, but just some things I’ve heard). If they had the dog trained or classified as that, then they were okay to be in the park. To me, chihauhaus don’t sound like the best for a comfort animal but maybe it works.
You could try to call and complain, but since it really didn’t affect your ride experience at all, I wouldn’t be too hopeful. They’ll probably explain the policy to you, but they don’t have any access to film from a few days ago.
Hope that helps answer your question some, since I was confused about it the first time I saw it too!
Post # 8
Wow. Who would do that? That’s so dangerous for the dog.
I have a friend that has a chihuahua that is designated as a service animal, haha. She (my friend) has some anxiety and apparently her dog helps calm her down. The dog wasn’t specially trained or anything, she just bought it from a breeder like you would any other dog. When she got it she didn’t have any intentions for it to help with her anxiety either, but I guess it does. Her therapist just wrote her a perscription of some sort (?) and gave her some kind of documentation to show people that it is constituted as a service dog.
My friend has joked that she just wanted to be able to take her dog everywhere and that it has nothing to do with anxiety, which knowing her is probably closer to the truth lol
Post # 9
@petalpetal: Wow that poor dog must have been terrified (assuming it was rollercoaster type thing, if it was a boat ride I don’t see the big deal). I would strongly disagree with bringing animals on the rides.
However, you don’t know that it wasn’t a service dogs. There are many different types of “services” dogs are used for. Any type of dog. Such as depression or PTSD. Not saying that this lady DIDN’T in fact just sneak her little tiny dog around in her purse, I wouldn’t put it past people, but I’m saying you don’t know.
Post # 10
What kind of ride was it on?
I don’t really think it is a big deal. I understand the workers being dismissive towards you because really, it was none of your business that another guest had a dog, which could very well be a therapy dog. Like @Miss Pyramid: said, the workers probably assumed the dog was approved and admitted at the entrance and they weren’t going to question her.
Post # 11
Ya, I saw a dog getting on a ride at Disneyland so I casually asked the guy why and he said he was traiming the dog to see if he would be a good service dog for children… I was like oh ok? It was a young dog but a large breed so the staff definitely knew the dog was there. When the got on the ride the dog just laid down by their feet.
Post # 12
Other than guide dogs for people with visual impairment, no animals should be anywhere near Disneyland or, for that matter, any other theme park. What sort of fool would even contemplate taking an animal on a ride? The very idea is about as sensible as taking a dog to a fireworks display. Over here, dogs are not allowed into theme parks as a rule and certainly, you can’t bring a dog into one and claim it is some sort of ill-defined “service dog”.
Post # 13
- Wedding: May 2014 - St. Francis of Assisi Church & N.O. Board of Trade
Also to clarify, in general, it’s not Disney’s policy to question someone that may need assistance in any way. The dogs that I saw had tags to designate service animal, either on their harnesses or their carriers (so I assumed they were cleared somewhere, not snuck in) and it IS against policy to ask why a person may need that dog there. We were not at all supposed to ask about anyones medical conditions.
Also, all of the animals that I saw were very well behaved, and we had wheelchair accessable boats, and anyone with a service animal was directed to those, since there was more room for the dog. I think the only condition was that they had to stay on a leash/harness and remain laying down the whole time. I definitely would have thought the dogs would have been running around with all the noise and people and excitement, but they were all very calm and obviously were service animals. Again, this was about the slowest ride you can get on, but that’s my experience with it.
Post # 14
I have a service dog and have been to theme parks and taken him on rides. I obviously don’t take him on rides that will hurt him or anything, only easy ones and someone holds him if I want to go on another one.
That being said, I am not blind, nor do I have a physical disability. I am bipolar, and my service dog happens to be large. I have seen other service dogs that are chihuahuas, yorkies, and every other small dog under the sun. The trainer who trained my dog even trained a miniature horse.
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, no business, store, restaurant, or even theme park is allowed to question past asking if it is a service dog. That woman could have served in the military and had PTSD or some sort of psychiatric problem. You really don’t know her situation. I understand being upset because you feel like the rules were not being followed, but it’s not really fair to make a judgment about animal abuse or cruelty when that could have been a fully trained service dog, and therefore would be trained to stay calm on rides and under the seat of airplanes and other situations that any “normal” dog would be terrified of.
Post # 15
@Steampunkbride: Why are guide dogs ok, but other service dogs not?
Post # 16
I would call the park and talk to a supervisor. That’s all you can really do. Maybe they will talk with their workers about it so that things are scrutinized a bit more carefully…
I think it’s terrible. I feel so sorry for that poor little puppy.