Growing up in Florida I’ve been a Disney lover my entire life. I’ve been to every park at Walt Disney World, Disneyland California, and Disneyland Paris and keep going because I love soaking up the magic each and every time. However, my whole life, and with that my Disney experience, changed in October 2016 when I tore my ACL and had to learn how to be disabled at Disney. The Disability Access Pass helped me to continue to enjoy the magic.
As much as a shock was to my regular life I also had to learn how to still navigate trips to my favorite place, because with this injury I needed some extra magic in my life. Little did I know that almost 2 years and 5 surgeries later I am still having to make those adjustments to my life. There are so many things that I wish I had known when this all started and so I’m sharing them with you.
What is the Disability Access Pass?
The first thing you need to know about being disabled at Disney is the Disability Access Service. The DAS allows those who cannot wait in the normal queue the chance to receive a return time based on the current wait time.
In order to get a DAS pass, the person needing one must go to Guest Services in the Park and have the pass activated along with their photo taken. Then you would also have the rest of the party linked to the DAS so that once a return time is obtained everyone in the party can go together.
Where to Get a Disability Access Service Pass
Disney has recently changed the process of how to get the Disability Access Service Pass. You have 2 options you can either preregister via video chat with a Cast Member prior to your visit or register in the parks.
Eligible Guests can now pre-register for DAS Advance virtually with a Cast Member, using live video chat. If the service is for a child, the child must be present.
Please note that you may pre-register as soon as 30 days in advance of a park visit, but no less than 2 days before arrival.
During the registration chat, you will be able to work with a Cast Member to book up to 2 one-hour return windows for select experiences using our new DAS Advance planning option (you may also make additional DAS selections on the day of your visit). Please note that all park visits must be within 30 to 2 days of the live chat.
You can also pick up a Disney World Disability Access Service pass (DAS) at any Guest Relations building at the parks.
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
- The Guest Relations Lobby (near Spaceship Earth) at Epcot
It takes just a few minutes of your time. Everyone you want on the pass must be present with you.
Who Can Get a Disability Access Pass?
The Disability Access pass is available to anyone who would have difficulty standing in a queue for an extended period of time. The DAS allows people who have anxiety, autism spectrum disorders, and other invisible disabilities to enjoy attractions while avoiding triggers that long queues might cause as well as those who physically cannot stand in a line for an extended period of time.
A Guest whose disability is based on the necessity to use a wheelchair or scooter does not need DAS. Depending on the experience, Guests utilizing a wheelchair or scooter will either wait in the standard queue or receive a return time at the attraction that is comparable to the current standby wait.
- The person with the DAS must be part of the party experiencing the attraction.
- The DAS return time works similar to a Genie+ return time and you go to the Lightning Lane entrance.
- You can return anytime after your designated return time but you cannot get another return time until the first one is used.
- A DAS is good for 14 days, so if your trip is less than 14 days you only have to go through the process once.
- Annual passholders can obtain DAS for 60 days
Sometimes I felt nervous but there really was not any need to be. The Cast Members are so helpful and can answer any question you may have about the DAS or any accessibility issues you think you may encounter.
When you get your DAS, be sure to pick up the Disability Map of the park, there’s one for each park. This will tell you if there is a special entrance if you’re in a wheelchair or scooter, if you have to transfer, and other accessibility information that can help you through your day including special places reserved to watch parades or shows.
The Disability Access Service can really help you enjoy the magic and make the most of your time at Walt Disney World!
How to Use Disney’s Disability Access Service
If you have preregistered you will already have 2 selections picked per park day that will be listed in your My Disney Experience App. After those initial two selections, you just select your next attraction via the app.
When you are in the park, tap on the Disability Access Service (DAS button)to enter the self-selection flow. This tool can also be accessed from the attraction detail screen.
You go to the Lightning Lane and scan your MagicBand or ticket and wait in the shorter line. Once you scan into your ride you can start another selection.
Wait Times. The DAS pass does not eliminate wait times completely. The Lightning Lane can still be up to 20 minutes long. Check out this list of things to do while waiting in line to help bypass the time.
Choose Rides Nearby. I suggest selecting the rides that are in close proximity to each other so you are not crisscrossing the park all day. There are lots of things to see and do during the wait times. One of the services a concierge vacation planner like Favorite Grampy Travels provides is helping you craft the perfect touring plan for your family.
Waiting for the Return Time. During your wait, you are free to do anything you like. The best options are to ride a close ride with a low wait time, rest in the AC, or grab something to eat.
Wait Times are Forgiving. Unlike the Genie+ service, you do not have to worry about getting to your DAS return time. It is good until the end of the day. Just remember that you may only have one DAS return time at a time.
Use Genie+. The DAS is supposed to be used alongside the Genie+ Service. So please make sure to grab your Lightning Lanes in the morning when planning out your day.
Disabled at Disney: Reminders
The most important things to remember about enjoying the magic when you’re disabled at Disney are:
- Get your DAS pass as soon as you get to the park
- Pick up a Disability Map of the park you’re in
- Plan your day to allow extra time
- Stay aware of the people around you
- Ask questions to see if you can get on a ride
- And have fun!
Hi, I’m Julie! My motto is “Adventure is out there and nothing is impossible”. I love all things Disney, from parks to movies, and even runDisney. I’ll be sharing my love and experiences of Disney as well as places out and about in Florida. I hope you enjoy the journey with me! Follow more of my journeys on Instagram!