Visiting Disney can be an overwhelming experience for anyone. Especially so when you have autism, sensory processing disorder, and/or any other sensory-related or hidden disabilities. Disney wants to make sure everyone enjoys the parks and that all have access to rides while minimizing any potential impact ones disability may leave on the experience.
Is it Easy to Get Disney’s Disability Access Service Pass?
Head over to any Guest Experience Team location or Guest Services at the front of the park. The DAS pass is based on the needs you have because of your disability not what disability you have. These guest service cast members are able to add the DAS pass to your magic band. You need everyone with you that will be attached to your party. Each pass can accommodate up to 6 guests at a time which means the person with the disability and up to 5 additional family members. This number can be adjusted at any time by the guest services team, and one thing to note is that ride attendants are NOT able to adjust who is on your pass. The DAS pass is good for 14 days for regular tickets and 60 days for Annual Passholders.
Who is Disney’s DAS For?
The biggest purpose of the DAS pass is to help those that have a hard time waiting in a line. This can be autism, sensory processing disorder, anxiety or just muscle weakness. There are many other things that can qualify you or someone you love for this pass. The biggest reason this exists is to make sure that those who can’t handle the line for whatever reason get equal access to the ride experience, even on extremely crowded days. For example, someone with sensory processing disorder or autism may not be able to handle lines with shows or merge points. The pass allows them to preload or loads another way to help them still have an enjoyable experience.
How Does the Disability Access Service Pass Work?
The DAS pass provides a simulated wait time. Anyone in your DAS pass party can check-in at the FastPass booth, or other places around the park (only at Hollywood Studios and the Magic Kingdom currently) and get provided a time to return to the ride. This return time is usually 10 minutes less than the current wait time. Once that time has elapsed you can then get into the FastPass line which is typically a 10-15 minute wait. This simulated wait means that you are still waiting the same time as those in the regular line, just that you are able to go enjoy a show or dinner instead of the line.
When you return to the FastPass line for your designated time the person who the DAS pass is for scans their band first and then rest of the party taps on after. This keeps your party together and allows for the ride attendant to know you are all with the DAS individual without any issues. If your child has DAS and you want to ride a ride that they are not tall enough for the DAS will not work. You can not use the pass for ride swap as the DAS holder must RIDE the ride with the group.
You can only obtain one pass at a time. However, you can still book your three FastPasses. What we like to do is book our FastPasses and as soon as we get to the park we head to the ride we couldn’t get a FastPass for and grab our DAS. The DAS is good for anytime after that return time for the rest of the day which allows us to return at our pace. Once we have used that DAS then we can go grab another.
Why Does Disney’s Disabilities Access Service Pass Exist?
Most rides today are wheelchair accessible which is where this pass comes in. A physical disability may not be what qualifies you as this pass is specifically for non-wheelchair bound individuals. There are some scenarios that would allow a wheelchair-bound individual to qualify, but it would have to be not related to the physical reason they are wheelchair-bound. The DAS pass is truly built for those that have hidden disabilities.
Does Disney’s DAS Allow For Other Accommodations Too
Getting a return time is not the only accommodation that is allowable with the DAS pass. Certain rides have a very rough queue line with low light, flashing lights, noise, etc. These rides often, but not always, have an alternate way to get on. At Haunted Mansion, for example, they will send you at your return time to the exit to get on your doom buggy where everyone else gets off. This allows you to avoid the stretching room and queue merge altogether which can be overwhelming for many. This has been extremely helpful for several of our friends on the spectrum.
Disney’s Disability Access Service Pass is Confidential
The pass isn’t anything you have to be very obvious about to other guests. When you return to ride the person who holds the DAS pass goes first and taps their band on the FastPass Magic Band Reader and then the rest of your party follows behind. No one else even knows if you have a FastPass or DAS. This is great for those who might feel weird for needing it. Having anonymity is great for families that do not want those around them to know that they have someone in their party with a disability.
When getting your pass you do not need to present proof of your disability in any way. You simply request the type of accommodations that you need.
Please Do Not Abuse It
There are a lot of people who really do need and depend on this pass to have an enjoyable trip to Disney. Please remember and only get this pass if you need it. If you need it please get it! This is here to make you and your family’s trip much more enjoyable.
How has having the DAS pass helped you? What are your favorite rides and experiences?