As a certified accessible travel agency, we are always staying up to date on all the ways we can help make your families vacations the most memorable ever. Whether that is the best wheelchair accessible hotel rooms, the most accommodating cruise lines or how to win at Disney, we’ve got you! In today’s post we are heading to Disney World to talk about the Disability Access Pass (DAS). What is it? Who qualifies? How does it work? Yep! We are going to talk about it all.
WHAT IS THE DAS PASS?
According to Disney itself, the “Disability Access Service (DAS) is a system that is in place to assist Walt Disney World Resort guests that may not be able to comfortably wait in a traditional queue environment. The DAS is not a “front of the line” pass, but rather a tool to provide the maximum amount of flexibility to guests with disabilities.”
HOW DOES DAS WORK?
As stated above, the DAS pass is not a way to get to the front of the line whenever you want, those are days of the past. Rather, a way to get in the queue without physically having to stand in line. Let’s give an example; Space Mountain has a 60 minute wait, by utilizing the DAS portion of your “My Disney Experience” App or visiting a cast member at the DAS distribution line (more details on these later), you are able to be given a “return time” that will be the length of the standby wait time. The joys of this is that instead of having to stand in the line, you can go on another attraction, grab a snack, see the parade or people watch in the comfort of the shade until it’s time to return to Space Mountain and take your spot in the Lightning Lane. Again, you are not skipping directly to the front of the line, but getting into the much shorter queue bringing you to the front of your selected attraction quicker.
WHO QUALIFIES FOR DAS AND HOW DO I GET IT SET UP?
Cast members will not ask for proof of a disability, instead, they will ask what kind of accommodations you are requesting because of your disability or condition. You will only need to pre-register for DAS once as it is good for the entirety of your trip for up to 60 days. This is important to know as you will have to go through this process each time you return for a new Disney World vacation. There are two ways to get signed up for your DAS pass.
- Pre Arrival Video Chat
- When you are within 2-30 days of your Disney World visit you can request a live video chat to pre-register for the DAS pass. Here are some things to keep in mind when using this method.
- The live chat is only available between the hours of 7:00 AM – 11:00 PM Eastern time.
- The guest requesting DAS or their parent/guardian MUST be 18 years or older.
- The guest requesting DAS must be present for the live chat.
- A Disney account is required for live chat. If you do not already have an account, you will be prompted to create one beforehand.
- If your DAS request is approved, the traveler will need to have their photo taken during the live chat.
- Once DAS is approved, you may pre-select up to 2 attractions each day as part of your DAS Advanced Planning Option. These attractions are in addition to the return time reservations you can make on the days you are in the parks. We highly recommend you utilize the advanced planning option, as it will get you the most use out of your DAS pass.
- When in the parks, you can use your “My Disney Experience” App to make return time selections throughout your day.
- Up to 6 family or friends traveling together can be linked to the DAS pass. This makes it easy for everyone in your party to be able to ride the attractions at the same time. Make sure all of you are linked together in the “My Disney Experience” App before you arrive at the parks in order to all use the DAS.
- Guest Relations
- Visit the Guest Relations booth inside each of the four main parks (Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, EPCOT, Animal Kingdom). The person requesting the DAS pass must be present.
- If the DAS pass is approved, the visitor requesting DAS will have their photo taken.
- Cast Members can help link up to 6 additional guests to the same DAS pass.
- Once you have entered the parks, you can make your return time selections in the “My Disney Experience” app.
Disney trusts their visitors to be honest and truthful about their need for a DAS Pass. This being said, they do not mess around if they find out a visitor has been lying about their need for a DAS Pass. According to Disney, “If Disney determines that any of the statements a Guest made in the process of obtaining DAS are not true, the Guest will be permanently barred from entering Walt Disney World Resort and the Disneyland Resort, and any previously purchased annual passes, Magic Key passes, tickets and other park products and services will be forfeited and not refunded.”
HOW DO I RESERVE MY RETURN TIME?
There are two ways to reserve a return time to an attraction.
- The first option (and the one we recommend) is to utilize your “My Disney Experience” App.
- After you have entered the park, open your “My Disney Experience” and select the “more” option from the bottom right of your screen, then select the DAS icon.
- Browse the different attractions and their return time windows and select which selection you are in the mood to ride! Please note that you can only have one DAS Pass reserved at each time.
- When it is your return time, head to the attraction and proceed to the lightning lane entrance (previously FastPass+) and scan your magic band. Please note that you do not have to return to the ride as soon as your window opens up. You are able to return to the attraction any time after the ride window begins until the park closes. But, it is important to know you may only have one DAS Pass return window at a time.
- The person who the DAS Pass is for must scan their magic band first at all scan points, then the remaining group members can scan their bands and proceed forward.
- Once you have gone through all magic band scan points (some attractions have more than one), you are welcome to make your next DAS return time selection. We recommend you make your next return time while you are still in line for your previous attraction. That way, you are utilizing your DAS Pass to its full capacity for a smoother park experience.
- Visit the DAS Distribution Cast Member.
- Any member of your travel party can request a return time with the Cast Member, the person with the DAS pass does not have to be present.
- The cast member will determine the current wait time and assign a return time for you and your party.
- The return time will be linked to you and your party’s magic bands.
WHAT IS DAS ADVANCED SELECTION?
For guests that pre-register, you get the added bonus of selecting two attraction return times before you even step foot in the park. Because these selections are only available at the date and time chosen, these advanced selections are different in the way that you do have a limited amount of time to return to the attraction (unlike return times made with a cast member or in the app the day of). If your party does not return to the attraction in the time assigned, the pass will expire.
TIPS AND TRICKS
Here are some tips and tricks that we learned on a recent visit to Disney World. Not to be vain but…we feel we crushed the DAS Pass and want to share all of our insider hacks with you!
- For rides that consistently have a long wait time (we are looking at you Seven Dwarfs Mine Train), we found it easiest to sign up for a return time via the “My Disney Experience” App right before we headed into a meal. We had reservations at “Be Our Guest” and knew our meal would take around 90 minutes. By the time we finished our meal and were ready to ride, our return time was just about ready for us!
- As we mentioned above, we suggest reserving your next return time while still in line for the previous attraction. That way you are already set up for your next ride before even leaving your current one.
- While it may be exciting to see a short return window, we suggest you do not take up that precious return window slot. If an attraction you want to ride has a low wait time in the app, head that way and enter through the standby line.
- Rides typically have much shorter wait times during the nightly fireworks shows. If you are not wanting to see the evening entertainment, use this time to check off a few attractions that have had longer waits throughout the day.
- Wear your patient pants. As amazing as the DAS Pass is, remember you are still at one of the worlds most visited theme parks. There may be times where the waits are so long that even with the DAS Pass you may feel like you are waiting longer than you would like. Enjoy the time you have with the friends and family you traveled with and maybe look for some hidden Mickey’s while you wait.
- Occasionally, attractions will be down for weather or technical difficulties. This happened to us a few times on our recent trip. If a ride is down during your return window, a “multiple experience” pass will automatically be issued to you in your “My Disney Experience” App. This pass will allow you to return to the attraction at any time before park close once it is back up and running or once the weather turns. If you do not want to wait, you also have the option to use this pass for any of the attractions listed in the email you will receive. Use this pass wisely as it can be a golden ticket when you receive one.
- If attractions do go down for whatever reason while you are in the parks, please be kind to the Cast Members. They do not have any control over the weather or technology and are working as hard as they can to get everything running smoothly for you to enjoy. By treating them with kindness and respect, you are more likely to have a more enjoyable vacation.
Well, there you have it folks! The 411 on the Disney DAS Pass. You are now ready to rock the parks even if a condition or disability made it hard for you to imagine ever enjoying a Disney World vacation. Disney is one of the most accommodating companies we have ever experienced in our travels and are willing to do whatever they can to assure your party is comfortable, happy and having the time of your lives.
Do you have any questions about the DAS Pass? Or, are you ready to plan your own Disney World adventure? Let us know in the comments and one of our Disney Vacation Specialists will be more than happy to reach out and get your magical vacation countdown started.
Until next time, friends…stay safe, stay positive and be kind.
The Adventures by Jamie Team