My Personal Experience with Using Disability Access Service, DAS, Pre-Registration at Walt Disney World and Disneyland
The Disability Access Service at Disney Parks, or the DAS Pass, is available for those guests that cannot wait in traditional line queues for extended periods of time. This does not include people with mobility issues, requiring a wheelchair or ECV. Many line queues are actually ADA Compliant. This is for the Guest with cognitive disabilities, like autism or ADHD. Or diseases like Crohn’s Disease, where a Guest has to have immediate access to a restroom.
How to Qualify for DAS
In order to qualify, you will be required to explain why you, or your child, cannot PHYSICALLY tolerate long lines. For example, a child with autism or sensory issues may become triggered by crowds and the loud noises they come with. Or a child with ADHD may not be able to physically stand still, and could become aggressive when forced to do so. Whatever the reason, be prepared to explain it in as much detail as you feel comfortable with. Disney cannot and will not accept a Physician’s Note, so don’t waste time with that. Just kindly and clearly explain your needs. Approval and denial is entirely at cast member discretion.
What is the Difference Between DAS and Genie+? Do I Need Both?
DAS is a free service only available to those guests with cognitive disabilities, like autism, or disabilities that keep them from waiting in traditional lines, like a person with Crohn’s disease who could need a bathroom with little to no notice. Genie+ is a paid service that anyone can use to skip waiting in line. That’s the first difference! The second difference is how/when you obtain the return times.
Genie+ – Walt Disney World
In order to obtain a return time, or Lightning Lane, for Genie+, you need to first BUY it. Then, you need to get onto the My Disney Experience App at 7:00 am every day and start booking your Lightning Lane return times. (This is for guests that are staying on-site at a Walt Disney World Resort). Next, this is only for those attractions that have the Lightning Lane included in Genie+. If it is an Individual, i.e. paid, Lightning Lane, that is a different process. If the attraction doesn’t have Lightning Lane but there is a line, you just wait.
Genie+ – Disneyland Resort
Now, on the West Coast, you can only buy Individual Lightning Lanes or book Lightning Lane return times once you tap in to the park. PERSONAL OPINION: Genie+ is MUCH better on the West Coast. Don’t shoot the messenger!
do i need both?
The answer to this one is complicated. So, if the person that the DAS is registered to is NOT riding, and you want to ride, you will need Genie+. So if your 4 year old with autism has the DAS, and you want to ride Incredicoaster, you will either need to wait in line or get Genie+. If the person that the DAS is registered to is fully intending to ride every single ride, you can double up with Genie+.
But if the wait times and crowds are low? You might not need it. It will all depend on how much you want to do and how quickly you want to ride. We use the waits, sometimes, to sit down and rest, use the bathroom, or get snacks and drinks. It will all be a matter of preference!
DAS Pass – Pre-Register
Before you use it, you must register for DAS and get approved. You can do this in two ways. First, you can pre-register by taking part in a video chat here for Disneyland and here for Walt Disney World. With pre-registering, you can get your pass between 2-30 days before your first PARK PASS RESERVATION (not the first day of your stay, unless that is also your first Park Pass). Once approved, you may also reserve up to two one-hour return times per day with the Cast Member on the video chat. The Attractions eligible for pre-registration are LAND and WORLD.
das pass – on-site register
You may also choose to wait until you arrive, and obtain your DAS Pass on-site. To do so, you will need to visit Guest Relations (Disneyland – City Hall, Chamber of Commerce, or any Guest Information Location. Walt Disney World – City Hall at Magic Kingdom or Guest Relations at any park). Once there, the person that needs the DAS will need to be present, you will explain why you need the pass. If approved, the Cast Member will take your (or your child’s) photo and link your party to that DAS Pass. Make sure everyone who will be in your group is all linked together. Then you can obtain your initial return time. You cannot pre-register for more than 1 attraction at that time unless you do so in advance via video chat.
I have had the opportunity to visit both parks since DAS became available for pre-registry, so let’s talk about it. I have sat on hold for the video chat for over 6 hours 3 times and have yet to get an actual person. This isn’t great for people with autism or anxiety who cannot wait. The person seeking the pass needs to be on the call to have their picture taken, too. This means that I cannot just handle it on my own. In both instances, though, we were able to obtain the DAS pass in the parks in under 5 minutes, and that includes the technical difficulties we temporarily experienced at Disneyland, and our first return time.
I don’t know that we will ever go through with the pre-registry, simply because it is so simple to just do it in the parks, and we have become big fans of waiting until we’re there to start choosing our attractions. I’ve heard tales that if you do want to pre-register, early Sunday morning has been the most successful.
They have added the option to obtain Return Times for Disability Access Service on the My Disney Experience App, rather than running all over the park at each attraction. This was a GAME CHANGER. As soon as you tap into your return time, you can obtain the next one. It is exactly like Genie+ except that you cannot stack return times. Like I said previously, if the wait times are low, you will not likely need both. We were able to do everything at Disneyland and California Adventure, including Radiator Springs (twice), Rise of the Resistance, Web Slingers (twice), Guardians (three times), and more!
And There You Have It!
The Disability Access Service process is incredibly simple. Children with autism, sensory processing disorder, and more deserve to have stress-free vacations, too! I really appreciate the opportunity to make things easier for families. I can’t wait to get back to Walt Disney World and use the updated service, just to see how the two locations compare! Are you ready to book your Disney Parks vacation? Contact me today!