Walt Disney World’s approach to assisting guests with disabilities ensures that every guest can enjoy a day at the parks. For families with one or more members needing accommodations, Disney World’s Disability Access Service (DAS) can help make a trip comfortable and memorable for everyone. This comprehensive program is about more than just getting ahead in line; it is designed to ensure that every guest and family has a toadally amazing Disney experience.
Recently, updates were made to the Disability Access Service at Disney World to be even more user-friendly! In October 2021, two new features were added to the DAS program. Guests now have the opportunity to pre-register via live video call and use DAS Advance pre-arrival planning, as well as selecting DAS return times through the My Disney Experience app. These improvements make it easier to get return times right from your phone, and reduce walking back and forth.
Here’s what you can expect from the DAS when you visit Disney World!
What is DAS?
Disney World's Disability Access Service (DAS) provides assistance for guests and families with disabilities to navigate more easily and enjoy the parks. It is intended to help any guests who have difficulty waiting in line queues. Instead of physically waiting in a queue, you receive a return time equal to the current standby wait time. You can spend the time anywhere in the park and then return to enjoy the ride. You enter through the Lightning Lane entrance for barely any time in a physical queue.
You may hear some people refer to it as a disability pass or DAS card. The “pass” or “card” portion of the name is leftover lingo from a time when guests were provided with a paper or plastic card to use in the program. Today, the DAS is fully digital and integrated into your ticket or MagicBand, so no additional card or media is needed. And a new feature includes being able to receive DAS return times through the My Disney Experience app!
Who Qualifies for Assistance from DAS?
Any adult or child with a disability that could endanger them, prevent them from fully enjoying the parks or waiting in a traditional line qualifies for DAS. This includes guests with both visible injuries or disabilities and those with less visible, non-apparent disabilities that could impact their park experience. The DAS covers both the impacted guest and those in their group (up to six people, including the DAS holder).
Guests in wheelchairs can usually be accommodated at the point of entry in most rides, so if your only concern is about lines and boarding with a scooter or wheelchair, you may not need the DAS at all. The DAS is designed to support those guests who have needs beyond being wheelchair-bound or beyond limited mobility. If you’re only worried about getting through the line queue or accessing a ride with a scooter, you can simply head to your chosen attraction. Cast members are well trained and will be able to assist you without the need for the DAS.
How Do I Get DAS?
New to fall 2021, guests can now pre-register for DAS in advance of their trip! Pre-registration can be as early as 30 days in advance, but no less than two days before arrival. The registration will consist of a live video chat with a cast member, who will determine if you are eligible for DAS. Note that DAS is still determined on a case-by-case basis.
Once approved, the cast member will book two Advance Selections for each day of your visit. If you want two selections for each day, the entire length of your trip must be within 30 days. Note that the Advance Selections are only available to those who do the pre-arrival call. The individual who is requesting DAS must be present for the call. The video call is screen reader-friendly and available with text chat for those with visual or hearing disabilities. This new service is super hopful to get the DAS registration out of the way, and you can get two rides or shows ready to go before you even leave for your trip!
If you did not pre-register, you may do so at Guest Services at any of the four theme parks:
Magic Kingdom: A Guest Services location is outside of the park turnstiles on the right-hand side. Already inside Magic Kingdom? Head under the railroad tracks, then veer to the left. Guest Services is in City Hall, the first building you’ll see.
EPCOT: Before entering the park, head to the far right. Guest Services is located outside of the gates near the monorail entrance. If you are already inside EPCOT, there are Guest Relations locations near Spaceship Earth and near the International Gateway entrance.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios: There are two options, one inside and one outside of the park; both are near the park entrance on the left-hand side.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park: Once inside the park, head to the left; Guest Services is in the first building you’ll see as you enter the park.
Frog Family Tip: Save time and possibly some extra steps by locating a Guest Experience Team found in several locations around each park. You'll recognize these stations by looking out for the big blue umbrellas with the words "Guest Experience Team" and the park's icon printed on them. These cast members will be dressed in a royal blue shirt and black shorts or pants. The Guest Experience Team can help you set up or renew a DAS pass. They can also help book, adjust or cancel a return time. In addition, the Guest Experience Team can help answer questions about attraction wait times, showtimes, directions and general questions about the Disney World parks.
The individual requesting DAS must be present when registering, either in the video call or in person. Note that a photo will be taken. Make sure everyone in your party is linked in My Disney Experience so everyone can be included in DAS plans. Once registered, DAS is good for up to 60 days.
What Documentation Is Needed for DAS?
The person requesting DAS needs to be present and you must have your tickets or your Magic Bands to complete the process. Allow about 10 to 15 minutes to complete the process. Guest Relations cast members are well versed and will walk you through the DAS process.
You do not need to have a doctor’s note or even reveal the details about you or the individual's disabilities. You do need to describe the accommodations needed to fully enjoy the park. The more details you provide about your needs, the better DAS will work for you. This is a custom program that will be tailored to meet your specific situation. Your stated needs can range from the need for a quiet area to wait in lieu of standing in line, a pass to bring a stroller right to the loading area of a ride or other specific needs your family may have.
How Do I Use DAS at Disney World?
A new feature allows registered DAS guests and their party members to make return time selections right in the My Disney Experience app. Once tapped into the park, a DAS button will appear in the app. You can access it by clicking on the bottom three lines and scrolling down the menu. Anyone in the party can make the selections for everyone, but the guest with DAS must be present when the return time is redeemed and tap into the ride queue first before anyone else in the travel party. Guests can still visit the attraction, Guest Relations or a Guest Experience Team umbrella to receive return times.
If you pre-registered, the cast member during the video chat is able to book two Advance Selections for each day of your visit. Advance Selections have a set one-hour arrival window. If not used, they will expire. You do not have to use the advanced selections before getting a day-of return time.
Return Times are day-of selections and are available once you are tapped into the park. When chosen, they reflect the current standby wait. If Peter Pan's Flight is a 50-minute wait, your return time for that attraction would be in 50 minutes. Once the return time starts, it can be used at any time until park close. You can only hold one return time at a time. Once you have tapped in at both touchpoints in the queue, you are able to book your next experience.
Return times are not able to be booked during Early Theme Park Entry. If park hopping, selections will become available once you tap into that park. If a posted wait time is 15 minutes or less, guests using DAS and their party are typically given immediate access to the Lightning Lane entrance.
Using the My Disney Experience app to make selections allows for less walking to attractions or Guest Relations to get return times. We are so glad the service is now integrated into the app so all of the planning is in one place!
What Disney World Attractions Accept DAS?
Every attraction in Disney World can accommodate the needs of guests with disabilities; you can hop on over to our full list of Disability Access for Disney World Attractions to get the scoop on each individual ride. Note that the person holding DAS must meet the height requirements of the ride.
How Does DAS Work with Disney Genie?
Genie still operates the same way as before with being able to receive return times equal to the standby wait. You do not need to purchase Genie+ or individual selections to utilize DAS. Any ride with a standby wait time is eligible for DAS return times. With attractions using virtual queues (currently Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind and Tron Lightcycle / Run), all members must have joined the virtual queue first. Once your boarding group is called, cast members will direct you on using DAS.
Note that nearly all attractions are available for advance selections except for those attractions using the individual Lightning Lane. Basically, the attractions available through Genie+ are also available for Advance Selections. The remaining two attractions per park still use DAS, but for day-of selection only. Here are the rides that are only available to book the day of your visit and are not available ahead of time:
- Magic Kingdom: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Space Mountain
- EPCOT: Remy's Ratatouille Adventure, Frozen Ever After
- Hollywood Studios: Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway
- Animal Kingdom: Avatar Flight of Passage, Expedition Everest
All attractions still offer return times with DAS. Unlike Disney Genie+, which currently only allows a ride to be selected once per day, there is no limit to return times for the same attraction.
You can also combine DAS and Genie+ or individual Lighting Lane selections to truly maximize your day! If you purchase Genie+, you can make Genie+ selections along with your DAS return times. You can also purchase individual Lightning Lanes and select an arrival window. All of these options utilize the Lightning Lane entrances. While DAS return times require you to wait the full standby time, Genie+ selections can be made for the next available time window and can be used right away. Purchasing Genie+ is not necessary when utilizing DAS, but there may be days where using both could be helpful, such as peak holiday times.
DAS Stroller Tags
For families traveling with a loved one with autism or a related sensory disability, the DAS offers a way to enjoy attractions without waiting in a crowded, often overwhelming space. Guest Relations can provide you with an oversized red sticker for your stroller that allows you to bring a stroller directly to the loading area. Attractions such as Kilimanjaro Safaris require strollers to be parked at specific points in the line. If you have this pass, your child can stay in the stroller until the loading area is reached. There are a few exceptions to the policy, as sometimes guests with a DAS stroller tag may not be able to enter areas that the stroller can’t safely navigate.
Still Have Questions? Here Are Our Frogtastic FAQs!
Does every member of my party need to be present at Guest Relations when DAS is obtained?
No, the Guest Relations cast member will speak with the guest (or guardian) for whom DAS will be issued. The cast member will ask how many guests are in the party; this number can be adjusted as necessary at Guest Relations.
Once I have registered and received Disney World's DAS, what’s next?
Time to have fun! If pre-registered, you can start booking return times on the app once you are in the park. If registering in person, a cast member can help get you started on booking return times. Go to that attraction during the allotted time and enjoy! Return times are valid until redeemed prior to park closing. Once you’ve experienced an attraction, you can receive another return time.
Where do I receive more return times for attractions?
You can book return times on the My Disney Experience app or in person at the attraction or Guest Relations. You can choose another return time for the same attraction or a different one as soon as you tap in twice in the queue. Another member of your party can obtain a return time, but the guest with DAS must enter the attraction first before the other party members.
Does the guests with the DAS have to board the attraction with the rest of the party?
Yes, the guest with the DAS must enter the attraction. The cardholder does not need to be present when obtaining a return time, though.
What if I’m afraid that Disney World's DAS will not accommodate my needs?
Disney works with guests individually in order to accommodate their specific requests and provides assistance for a variety of needs and disabilities. Oftentimes, accommodations will be made at individual attractions if the system is not working at all. If you have any concerns at all, tell a cast member and they will find a way to work with you!
Do I have to get a new DAS at the start of each day?
No, DAS is valid for 60 days once registered.
How many reservations can I have?
You can only have one active return time at once. This is separate from the Advance Selections, which you can have two per day. You can have both advance selections and return times active at the same time. Both Advance Selections and return times will appear as plans in the My Disney Experience app.
Can I cancel a reservation? For example, I grab a reservation for Haunted Mansion but then decide I want to ride Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at that allocated time.
Yes! Return times can now be modified or canceled in the My Disney Experience app. Anyone in the party may modify the reservation, but the guest with DAS must enter the attraction.
How many guests in one party can be covered under Disney World's DAS?
The maximum is six guests per DAS. If you have special circumstances or any concerns, talk to Guest Relations.
Can I use DAS for fireworks and parades?
There are no specific reserved areas for guests using DAS. If you plan it right, it can really work out to your advantage! Guests using DAS with concerns should visit Guest Relations to see what accommodations can be made for fireworks/parade viewing. There are special viewing areas on parade routes and some shows for guests with disabilities, but those cannot be reserved and are on a first-come, first-served basis.
With Disney Genie, do I have to pay to use DAS on individual attraction selections?
DAS does not require any additional purchase with the Disney Genie+ system. Any attraction with a standby queue can issue DAS return times. Only certain attractions are available for pre-arrival Advance Selections, but all attractions are available day-of.
We hope this overview of Disney World's Disability Access Service answers your questions about the new program. If you've used DAS, we'd love to hear your thoughts about it. Share them in the comments below!