While at Walt Disney World in June, I had my 85 year old mom with me. Mom can no longer walk through the parks all day and uses a scooter. I had noticed on the last trip she was with me, about a year ago, that going in and out of the rides, from full sunshine to shady darkness, sometimes bothered her eyes taking her quite a few minutes to adjust to the change in light. I also knew this year that she would not be able to stand or wait in any lines and would need to take the scooter as far into the attraction as possible.
On our first day in the parks, I took mom and her scooter and headed into Guest Relations to ask about a Disability Access Service Card. I wasn’t sure whether or not we would be granted use of the service but I have to say – it was an easy and quick process, and I was pleasantly surprised at how understanding the Cast Members were. I explained that mom could not stand in lines and would need to take the scooter as far into the attraction as possible and that the change in light from full sunshine to shade seemed to bother her vision on our last visit. I was afraid the change in light would make her unsteady. Without hesitation we were granted the service. The Cast Member asked how many people in our party (8) and explained the service would be valid for 14 days. The standard guideline allows for the service to include a party of 6 but since 2 of our party were children (one an infant only 6 months old) they allowed our entire party to be included. I was thrilled with this special allowance. After taking moms picture, and connecting all members of our party, a few clicks on the computer and a brief explanation on how to use the service – we were on our way. In prior years, guests would receive a physical paper pass but with the systems now in place, the pass is added directly into your My Disney Experience Account and handled electronically.
Previously known as the Guest Assistance Card (GAC), the Disability Access Service is designed to accommodate guests who aren’t able to wait in a conventional queue environment due to a disability (including non-apparent disabilities). DAS will be issued at Guest Relations main entrance locations and will offer guests a return time for attractions based on the current wait time. As soon as the Guest finishes one attraction, they can receive a return time for another. This service can be used in addition to Disney’s FASTPASS+.
At each attraction we wanted to use the service for, I would take mom’s MagicBand to the FastPass line telling the Cast Member we would like a return time using the DAS. Mom’s MagicBand would be scanned and we would receive a return time for our party. Although I was able to receive a return time for our group, the person the service is assigned to (mom) must board the attraction with the group when it’s time. There were several times throughout each park that we were able to board the attraction immediately.
In most cases, the Cast Member would issue a return time for the attraction based on the current wait, minus 10 or 15 minutes (this is at the CM’s discretion and the return times can sometimes vary). For instance, if it’s noon and you’d like to ride the Jungle Cruise and the current wait is 50 minutes, you will receive a return time for 12:40. You can get a snack, visit another ride, or use your regular FastPass+ during the wait time to keep busy. The DAS can be used in addition to your FastPass+ allotment for the day, and was good for the length of our trip.
When visiting Walt Disney World and you are unsure of whether or not you or a member of your party will be able to use the service, go and ask. The fact that my mom would get unsteady (a little disoriented) with the change from sun light to dark coupled with her age making it difficult for her to stand in line was enough for the service to be issued. Without a doubt it made our trip much easier and much more enjoyable for mom.
The DAS Process
To help you as you plan your visit, below is a brief description of how the DAS process works:
♦ You arrive at a Walt Disney World® theme park. Please note: All accommodations will be discussed and provided in person upon arrival. Stop by a Guest Relations Main Entrance location to discuss your specific needs.
♦ Guest Relations Main Entrance locations: City Hall at Magic Kingdom® park, The Guest Relations lobby (near the Main Entrance) at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® theme park, The Guest Relations lobby (near the turnstiles) at Disney’s Hollywood Studios®, The Guest Relations lobby (near Spaceship Earth) at Epcot®
♦ Guest Relations Cast Members will work with you individually to provide assistance. Based on your specific needs, DAS or other accommodations may be provided. The goal of DAS is to accommodate Guests who aren’t able to wait in a conventional queue environment due to a disability. A Guest whose disability is based solely on the necessity to use a wheelchair or scooter does not need DAS. Depending on the attraction, Guests utilizing a wheelchair or scooter will either wait in the standard queue or receive a return time at the attraction comparable to the current wait time. If you have additional needs, please discuss them with Guest Relations.
♦ If DAS is provided, the Guest or a guardian will participate in a registration process, which requires having a photo taken of the Guest who requires DAS. If preferred, a photo may be taken of a guardian. Valid theme park ticket media will need to be presented for each member of the party to electronically associate them to the DAS party.
♦ The Guest Relations Cast Member will then review the DAS process and ask for a Guest to accept the terms and conditions.
♦ DAS is good for up to 60 days, based on ticket entitlement*. Once the service has elapsed, it is no longer valid and you will need to return to Guest Relations. *Annual Passholders can obtain DAS for up to 60 days.
♦ Now it’s time to head into the park and enjoy your day! Simply visit an attraction to receive your first return time, which will be comparable to the current wait time for the attraction. Once the return time is issued, you are free to enjoy other theme park activities—such as visiting with a Character, grabbing a bite to eat, enjoying entertainment or even riding another attraction while you wait.
♦ Return times are valid until redeemed prior to park closing.
♦ You can only have one active return time at a time. As soon as you finish one attraction, you can receive a return time for the same or a different attraction.
♦ Another member of your travel party can obtain a return time. However, the Guest in possession of DAS must board the attraction with his/her party.
♦ You must have a valid theme park ticket for every member of your party wishing to ride an attraction with you to receive a return time. The return time will be electronically associated to each party member’s valid theme park ticket.
♦ You can use DAS in conjunction with Disney FastPass+ Service.
♦ Are you park hopping? DAS issued at Walt Disney World Resort is good at Magic Kingdom park, Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park, Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
♦ Have additional questions? Please return to Guest Relations. The Guest Relations staff will discuss the personal accommodations you may require and may suggest additional accommodations that can be used in conjunction with DAS. All accommodations will be determined in person at Guest Relations.