Whilst in Walt Disney World, we utilised the Disability Access Service (DAS pass) to help manage my asthma in the very high humidity. Now let’s face it, Disney is known for its outstanding customer service; and when it came to assisting with my medical needs, there was no exception.
I first heard about the DAS pass from a friend who visited WDW back in May. The DAS pass is not just for visible disabilities but also any non-apparent ones. I had not anticipated that my asthma would affect our stay. However, I had struggled with the humidity last year in New York, which is nothing like 90-100% humidity Florida receives.
What is a DAS pass?
The Disability Access Service is designed to accommodate all guests and make everyone’s stay as inclusive as possible. It enables you to queue virtually for rides and attractions; it is especially for those who are unable to queue in the conventional queue environment.
For example, for those with autism or spectrum disorders who are unable to wait in line or asthma, like me, and find it difficult in the heat and humidity. It allows you to receive a return time for rides without having to physically queue in person.
However, if you only have physical mobility issues and are able to queue using a wheelchair, scooter (etc) then the DAS pass might not be offered to you as it is only for those who cannot queue conventionally under new Disney policy. Although, make sure that you discuss your personal needs with a cast member before writing off the idea completely.
How do I get the pass?
We stopped by Guest Services/Relations on our first full day in the parks just to enquire about the service. I am not a believer in utilising something unless it is necessary. This was very much essential for me as without it our holiday could have been a very different story. The cast members were great is setting me up on the DAS pass system alongside all the other members of my visiting party. I explained the issue and we went from there. For anyone wondering, they expect you to explain what is wrong/happening (so that they can advise and help you most effectively) but do not delve into anything you’d rather not share.
Aside from the 10-minute queue for Guest Relations in Magic Kingdom, the actual setting up process was quick and easy. They took a photograph of me, linked my party to the pass and set up our first return time; and voila, we were off on our adventures once more.
You do not need to provide evidence of your disability nor are the cast members allowed to ask directly about your diagnosis. It is actually illegal for them to do this! The only thing that they ask is that you explain why you need the DAS pass.
How does the DAS pass work?
When using the Disability Access Service, you simply put your name for a ride and return anytime after the return time given. For example, we wanted to ride Flight of Passage but the ride time was 210 minutes. This was far too long for me to be outdoors as there was a long wait before the indoor queueing section. We headed to the attraction entrance and asked the cast member for a return time (or DAS pass). They set it up for us and linked it to the magic bands. We then left and returned 210 minutes later via the Fastpass entrance once it was ‘our turn in line’.
Basically, you can use it for all attractions and character ‘meet and greets’ that have a Fastpass+ option available. You go to the ride entrance, ask a cast member for a return time and they will set it up for you. Once your wait time is up, simply return to the ride and enter via the Fastpass+ entrance.
It is really important that the DAS pass holder taps in their card or magic band first. It will flash blue (not green). A cast member has to physically accept it on their iPad before the rest of the party can tap in. This is really important because if anyone taps in before the DAS pass holder then it can cause confusion due to the fact that the light will not go green!
Once everyone has flashed green with the signature ‘ding’ noise then you are good to go! Upon exiting the ride you can make your way to another entrance and put down your name for another return time.
A few things to note are that the DAS pass holder must be the one (in our experience) to request the return time and you can only load in one return time at a time.
A DAS pass does not interfere with your Fastpass+ reservations and therefore, they can overlap which is handy to know. It also includes everyone in your party and not just the DAS pass holder; so you can still experience Disney together as a family or group.
How long does it last?
We were told in August of 2019 that our DAS pass was valid for the length of our park tickets (14 days). I know that many people have had different experiences with this so it is worth asking. I recommend that you set it up on your first park day!
Overall, I would recommend that you get a DAS pass if you, or anyone in your party, needs it. It made our stay far more enjoyable and plain sailing without making me feel singled out from everyone else.
If you have any questions about the Disability Access Service then please leave them in the comments below or contact me here. I hope this post was helpful to you and I wish you are wonderful Disney vacation!
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