Walt Disney World aims for inclusion of all guests, including those with disabilities. One way WDW does this is through the DAS pass system. “DAS” stands for Disability Access Service. The DAS pass system is in place to help guests with disabilities, both visible and unseen, enjoy attractions in a comfortable and tolerable way. Guests with a disability that makes waiting in lines more difficult can secure their place in line without physically having to wait in it. For many of us without disabilities, we assume these programs are in place for those who have mobility issues, and those with vision or hearing problems. It is important to know that some disabilities are not so obvious, and so patience and tolerance should be a common courtesy we extend to all fellow patrons of Walt Disney World. For example, someone may suffer from digestive disorders that limit their food choices and require them to visit the bathroom frequently. Others may suffer from anxiety or claustrophobia, which can worsen in the tight quarters of a queue. Perhaps someone has Type 1 Diabetes and is more sensitive to heat and standing for long periods of time. A parent may be managing a child’s behavior that results from a cognitive disorder and waiting in a cramped line may trigger an outburst. In any of these cases, and many other unmentioned scenarios, the DAS pass system can help.
If you’re not sure if your condition would warrant the use of a DAS pass, consider what waiting in a stand by line for 20-60+ minutes may mean for you. Would this put you at risk of a medical situation? Would it trigger an emotional response that could spiral out of control? Would your child’s behavior be unmanageable or intolerable to yourself and those around you? The DAS pass system is NEEDS-based, not diagnosis-based, so in preparing to speak with a cast member to acquire a DAS pass, consider what you and your family’s needs are because of the condition or disability. Your needs and type of accommodations will be discussed rather than the actual diagnosis itself. You will NOT need a doctor’s note. The person in need of the DAS pass must be with you when you apply, which can be done at Guest Relations or Guest Services at the entrance of each Disney park. Once your DAS pass has been issued, it is connected to your ticket number/reservation and will remain so for up to 14 days or the end of your stay. For annual passholders, a DAS pass verification stays active for 60 days. It will be linked to others in your travel party so that you can experience the park together. The guests in your party must have their tickets/magic bands present at the onsite application. DAS will not be granted before your visit on property. If, for any reason, your DAS pass verification becomes inactive during your visit, simply re-visit any of the Guest Relations to have DAS privileges reinstated.
Guest Relations Main Entrance locations:
• City Hall at Magic Kingdom park
• The Guest Relations lobby (near the Main Entrance) at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
• The Guest Relations lobby (near the turnstiles) at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
• The Guest Relations lobby (near Spaceship Earth) at Epcot
After obtaining your DAS pass, you can enter the park per usual and begin your touring plan. This may, and should, still include Fast Pass+. You can use both DAS and FP+ in conjunction with one another. A member of your travel party can visit your desired ride and ask for a return time using the DAS pass. Any member of your party can obtain the return time pass- the person originally granted the DAS pass does not need to be present. The Cast Member will assess the current standby wait time and provide the party with a return time for the attraction. The time of arrival is based on the current wait. Based on the cast member’s discretion, a 10-15 minute reduction in wait time will be applied. This allows your party to wait in a more comfortable setting, grab a snack, use the restroom, seek out shade and/or wait in a quiet area while the time passes. If you have a regular FP+ during the wait time, you can also check another attraction off your list. Families that are only able to tolerate short park hours for the day will benefit from using their FP+ in between their DAS pass rides. This allows them to fit in the most experiences into their limited hours in the park.
One misconception about the DAS pass is that it allows you to skip the line entirely. While you may not need to physically wait in the traditional line for an attraction, be prepared to wait elsewhere, as it is unlikely that you will simply walk on to a ride. The DAS pass can also be used for character meet and greets that have both a standby and FP+ line. You may still have to wait in the FP+ line when you return at your given DAS pass time depending on how many other guests are arriving then too. This wait time will fluctuate with the crowd level of the day. However, the wait time will still be much less than the standby line by any standard, usually ranging from 5-15 minutes. The return time will be valid until your return to the attraction or park closing. It will expire after you’ve ridden the attraction which it was issued for, or after the park closes. However, only one return pass is granted at a time. You cannot have more than one active return time for a DAS pass holder.
If I can’t walk or stand, will I receive a DAS pass?
The DAS pass is intended for persons who have a condition or disability that makes waiting in traditional lines intolerable. If a person is in a scooter or has a disability accommodated by using a mobility device and has no other condition that would otherwise warrant a DAS, then the mobility device is the accommodation that has been made and there is no need to grant a DAS pass.
How many people in our group will be counted within the DAS pass for one person?
Disney will grant up to 6 people with DAS pass privileges. If there are more than 6 people in your party, speak with a cast member. It is possible they will grant additional people in your group so long as it is within reason and for the sole purpose of enjoying the park together as a unit.
Should/Can I provide medical information and documentation?
A note or evidence from your healthcare provider is not required to obtain a DAS pass. If your condition or diagnosis is not well-known, or if you think cast members will be unfamiliar with your situation, you can certainly bring information as back up, however they will not ask for it. Disney cannot ask for proof of a medical condition since this system provides equal access, not special services, to those with conditions limiting their ability to wait in a traditional line. Additionally, Disney will not give more consideration to those who bring medical documents compared to those who don’t, since this is not a requirement.
If more than 1 person in the party obtains a DAS pass, can you can receive more than one open return times? For example, can we go to Slinky Dog to obtain one, and then to Alien Saucers and wait for two rides at the same time with DAS?
DAS pass can be provided to more than one person in the travel party if their needs warrant it. However, your party cannot have more than one DAS return time in the system. If both DAS pass holders want to go on two different rides during the same time allotment, the other members of the party need to decide which DAS pass holder they are going with and the Cast Member will provide a return time in the system for each person accordingly. If you request another return time for a different ride before using the first one, the system will cancel the return time for the first ride and replace it with the second request.
What is NOT included in the DAS pass?
A DAS pass will not grant you the ability to skip the lines at rides, dining establishments, restrooms, or shopping locations. Lines are a part of Walt Disney World, and depending on the park’s attendance for the day, there may be few or many and long or short lines where ever you go. A DAS pass will simply accommodate those who cannot tolerate waiting in conventional standby queues for attractions by allowing you to wait else where until it is your turn to experience the ride.
What should I do if I am denied a DAS pass or if I have more questions relating to the topic?
Guests with additional questions should discuss them with Guest Relations. For general questions, call (407) 560-2547 or email [email protected] Additional guides provided by Disney are linked below.
Disney consults with several Disability Advocate groups to ensure their offerings meet as many needs as possible in a population that varies greatly. Hearing and vision impaired guests, as well as those who are limited in mobility, are offered separate accommodations to enhance their visit to the parks. Guests with Special Dietary needs can also be accommodated in many dining locations across Walt Disney World Resort. Since the DAS pass system is mostly honor-based, abuse of the service is inevitable to some degree. While these systems and accommodations are not perfect for each and every guest, it shows a decent effort put forth by Disney towards inclusion and respect for all patrons visiting.
What has your experience been with the DAS pass system at WDW? Did you feel it met your needs? For readers who do not need a DAS pass, we hope this article has enlightened you and broadened your understanding of fellow Disney Parks guests and neighbors.
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