Disneyland Resort makes for a toadally magical family vacation. However, you may have questions or concerns if visiting the theme parks with someone who has special needs. Not to worry, frogs! You will still have a magical time. Disneyland Resort helps guests navigate the challenges of visiting the parks whether you have someone with a chronic illness, a physical disability, an injury, a cognitive disability or a developmental concern like autism. Today, we're going to cover one of the services that the parks offer to those with disabilities — the Disneyland Disability Access Service (DAS).
Whether you are new to Disneyland DAS or have used it in the past, keep in mind that there have been some recent frogciting changes! We will go over what DAS is and how to navigate the new system, which allows park guests to make ride selections from a phone rather than having to visit Guest Relations. So convenient!
Disneyland Disability Access Service (DAS), Disneyland's disability pass, works to meet guests’ needs on an individual basis. Disneyland already complies with the ADA when it comes to disability ride access — so if you have mobility issues or need to transfer from an ECV or wheelchair to ride, you do not need DAS. You only need this pass if you have needs besides mobility that make it more challenging to navigate the parks or to wait in a standard line or area. It's for those invisible disabilities that are not easy for others to see.
The DAS is also ideal for froglets who wander or elope to other locations because of autism or related disabilities since it allows you more control over your wait time and location — and the ability to keep a child in a stroller beyond the usual stroller parking area.
Not sure if the DAS is right for your family? Never fear! We’re here to answer some basic questions and refer you to the right sources at Disneyland so you can have a frogtastic trip.
We'll also discuss other hopful tools and tips that can assist DAS users in managing a day in the park. First of all, arriving before park opening provides access to the shortest lines of the day. The end of the day also sees shorter lines. Both these times of day offer the coolest temperatures if heat is an issue for you. We also use the Disneyland app to scout out the shortest wait times.
Disneyland offers a paid service called Genie+, which replaces MaxPass. Guests who use DAS may also use Genie+ to make ride selections, although they may not need both most days. Our guide to Genie at Disneyland has all the deets. Single Rider is a great tool for parties that are able to split up on rides. These tips may also help you manage your time in the park.
Hop over to our regularly updated posts on visiting Disneyland right now and visiting California Adventure at this time for additional up-to-date tips and information.
Overview of Disneyland Disability Access Service
Disneyland Disability Access Service is specifically for guests who have disabilities that do not allow them to tolerate waiting in a standard line. Instead of waiting in line, the guest and their party use the DAS pass to schedule a return time to ride attractions. The guest may use the Lightning Lane entrance (the old FASTPASS Return entrance), the ride’s exit or an alternate line, depending on the ride. Some attractions have a “secret” entrance designed just for this purpose.
The wait time is comparable to the current attraction wait time. However, guests using DAS are free to wait elsewhere (in a more comfortable environment) or enjoy other park entertainment. Guests may only have one active return time at a time. Once you go on the ride, you can schedule your next return time. You can schedule another time for the same ride or for a different ride. Ride times remain active until used or when the park closes. What should you do while you wait? Look for alternative experiences, such as visiting characters, dining, taking rests in the shade, watching park entertainment or finding rides with short/manageable wait times while you wait for your return time.
Disneyland Disability Access Service is very similar to the disability pass program at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando. There are some minor differences you should be aware of if you’ve used the Disney World disability pass in the past and are now heading to Disneyland for the first time.
Who can use the Disneyland disability service (DAS)?
Many disabilities are not visible to others. DAS is a way to meet the needs of guests with special circumstances that make it difficult or impossible to wait in a standard queue. A guest whose disability is based on needing to use a wheelchair or scooter does not need DAS. If a guest in a wheelchair has additional needs, then that person might benefit from the DAS and qualify. If you have a mobility issue that prevents you from standing in line but are not using a wheelchair, it's possible the accommodation could be to ask you to rent a wheelchair or use a different ride entrance without steps where necessary. You may have a discussion about how Disneyland can address your needs. But the DAS may not be it. It is really designed for guests who do not have mobility issues.
Do I need to bring proof of a disability/special need to Disneyland?
No, you do not need proof of your disability at Disney parks in the United States (but the rules can be different at international Disney parks). Disneyland takes guests at their word and doesn’t have the legal right to ask for it. Keep in mind that the more details you can share with cast members, the better they are able to assist and accommodate you!
If it is difficult to talk about medical issues, write them down so you have something to refer to when discussing them or bring a companion who can help communicate.
When talking to the cast member, it's better to focus on your needs and what is challenging or impossible about waiting in a standard queue, so they can let you know what kind of accommodation they can offer based on your situation.
How do I acquire and use the Disneyland disability pass?
This is where the new changes come in. The changes streamline the DAS user's experience with an option to get the process started before a visit.
There are two ways to acquire the Disneyland Disability Access Service:
- The traditional way of talking to Guest Relations inside the parks
- Advance Live Video Chat (available 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. PST)
Disneyland recommends the advanced live video option. You can find a button to join on this page. You will need to accept the terms and conditions before you can join.
We have used DAS with relatives and friends with certain disabilities and it made their day much easier and in some cases possible. However, the new changes will make the process even easier and save some time in the theme park.
How to Use Pre-Arrival and Planning Via Live Video Chat
Are you an advance planner who wants everything in place before your trip? Then this new service is for you. Guests are now able to register virtually with a cast member between two and 30 days before a visit. This option is only available in English. You'll want to link all the tickets in your party to your account before you call.
During the video chat, you'll be able to select up to two experiences per day using the DAS Advance planning option. These must be booked at least two days prior to the date you want to use them. You'll want to get your park tickets and make park reservations for each member of your party before you call. Because you can only make the reservation for the two days up to 30 days in advance, we recommend calling once it's within 30 days from the end of your trip, so you can reserve for each day during one call.
Here's how it works. The guest utilizing DAS must be present for the call. If deemed eligible for DAS, the guest (and a parent or guardian if the guest is under 18) will participate in a virtual registration process. The guest who will be utilizing DAS must be introduced on the video call, and their photo will be taken. At the end of that process, the guest may select up to two DAS Advance selections for select attractions (subject to availability).
The guest will receive a one-hour return window to redeem each of the advance selections during the visit. The return times will appear under "My Day" or the home screen in the Disneyland app. The DAS return times can only be used during that window and on that date. They cannot be transferred. Only people who go through this advance registration process at least two days before their visit may select DAS Advance.
Once in the park, guests who have pre-registered for DAS and DAS Advance selections may also participate in the existing DAS program, including the option of booking DAS selections using the app. This is a new feature for all DAS users.
How to Acquire DAS Via Guest Relations in the Park
The traditional way to acquire or set up DAS in the park is still available. It only takes a minute, so don't stress if the video chat option doesn't work for you. Look for a Guest Relations kiosk with the shortest line and set it up in person. Here is how to do it.
Visit Guest Relations inside the theme park. At Disneyland, visit City Hall or any of the Guest Relations kiosks. At Disney California Adventure, visit the Chamber of Commerce or any of the Guest Relations kiosks. The kiosks usually have shorter lines than City Hall and Chamber of Commerce. Bring all of the valid theme park tickets or passes for each member of your group with you along with the person inquiring about DAS. You'll also want to link those tickets to your account in the app.
Explain your needs to the cast members. You do not need to have a doctor’s note or even talk about your specific disability (and they will not ask). What you should talk about is the challenges your party member has. Be as detailed as possible so cast members can provide accommodations based on your specific needs. If your child can’t wait in a crowded or noisy place, elopes or wanders when outside of a stroller or experiences sensory overload, then explain these things to the cast member. But DAS is not just for children. Some adults may have medical situations in which they need to exit a line quickly or need to control their environment while they wait.
Someone who abruptly needs to exit a show or attraction because of sensory issues is a risk to themselves and others, so even if your child can successfully enjoy a ride, they may need the extra help of the DAS at shows and other attractions with high levels of sensory input.
Obtain cast member approval. If the Disneyland cast member determines that they will provide DAS, they will have the guest or their guardian register. Provide the valid park ticket for each member of the party upon signing in. The guest will sign and accept the conditions. Once your DAS expires, you will have to re-register for a new one. DAS passes generally expire after 14 days, depending on the ticket. Magic Key holders may obtain DAS for up to 60 days. You may or may not be asked to take a photo. Sometimes you get your photo taken when you enter the park, but if not, then a cast member will use a photo of the guest or guardian. This can prevent misuse.
Begin planning to ride. You may obtain your first ride time immediately upon receiving DAS (as long as the park is officially open). You must have the valid theme park ticket for each person in your party who wants to ride with you at this time. However, you can add or remove people throughout the day if you have people joining you later. If you want to add people to an existing return time, the clock will be re-set and you will then get a new time. Keep in mind that you'll want to link party members to your account in the app AND have them added to your DAS, so it's a two-step process with the party members. If party members are only on your DAS and not linked to your account, you will not be able to book your own return times for them in the app.
Outfit your stroller if applicable: If you’ve been issued a "stroller as wheelchair" pass to prevent wandering, then add this huge sticker to a prominent place on your stroller. Even an umbrella stroller can be used for this purpose, provided you attach the tag. It is the size of a bumper sticker for a car and once applied, it should be left in place for the duration of your trip. This signal lets cast members know your child does not need to disembark until the loading point.
Obtain future DAS return times: DAS return times can be obtained in two ways:
- Use the Disneyland app to select a return time (new).
- Visit a Guest Relations location or kiosk to obtain a return time from a cast member (traditional and the best option if you do not have a smartphone or you want to reserve a ride in the other park before park hopping).
How to Use Same-Day DAS Return Time Self-Selection Tool
In the past, you went to a cast member at Guest Relations or a kiosk to receive a return time every time you wanted to go on a ride. Now all registered DAS users have the option of making a return time (for them and linked party members) in the Disneyland app during the day of their park visit. Once DAS is set up and you have entered the park, a button should appear on the app to allow you to make ride selections from your phone that day.
To find it, tap the three horizontal lines at the bottom of the app. On the next screen, scroll down to Disability Access Service (DAS). This button appears when you are scanned into a theme park. When you tap it, you can view the DAS-Eligible Options. You will be able to select a ride that is located in your current theme park. (If you are hopping soon to the other park, the list of rides for that park will appear a few minutes after scanning in to the other park.) Once made, you can view your plans on the app home screen under "Upcoming Plans," or under the "My Day" tab.
This process toadally cuts down on wait time to receive a return time and having to traverse back and forth between Guest Relations kiosks and rides. Using the Disneyland app, you can book, redeem, change or cancel a DAS return time. This increases flexibility for visitors. Users can select the next return time as soon as they scan into the previous ride, saving time. Unlike the DAS Advance selections, which have a one-hour window, other DAS return times are valid until the park closes or you use it or cancel it. You may only hold one DAS return time at a time.
How to Obtain Additional Return Times at any Guest Relations Kiosk
Once DAS is set up, you may want to get a return time under certain circumstances:
- You do not have a functioning phone or smartphone.
- You like the traditional way of obtaining return times.
- You want to select a ride in the other park before park hopping.
- You will also need to go to a Guest Relations kiosk if you have latecomers you need to link to your DAS party (linking on the app is not enough).
Here's how to do it. Present the park ticket of the guest receiving DAS benefits (the guest with DAS does not need to be present) and ask for a return time for a specific ride. You do not need to present other party members’ tickets to reserve because they are electronically linked to the main DAS user. Let the cast member know if all members want to ride, or just certain members. If you are park hopping, you may reserve DAS return times in either park in person.
The guest and party must report to the ride together. The guest who has the DAS must ride with the guests in their party and must scan their ticket first before other party members or an error message will occur. Each person must scan their park ticket upon entering. You have to enter the ride queue together, but there is still time for your froglet to change their mind.
Some kids love the idea of riding when they are looking at the outside of a dark ride structure but change their minds when confronted with the actual ride vehicle. One adult member of your party will be able to depart from the ride (usually through a hidden exit) and the others can still ride. If an adult has to leave, they will be issued a pass to return (similar to the child switch program, just at the last minute).
How do I find a Guest Relations kiosk?
Look on the park map for the "i" symbol (although a few more items than kiosks will appear). At Disneyland, the kiosks recently moved around to less-crowded locations. You'll find kiosks in front of Plaza Inn, in New Orleans square near Haunted Mansion, in between Fantasyland and Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, across from the Matterhorn, and in Tomorrowland to the left of Alien Pizza Planet. If you are not sure, ask any cast member where the closest Guest Relations spot is, and they will direct you there.
At Disney California Adventure, the booths are located on Buena Vista Street near Carthay Circle, near the entrance to Cars Land and at Pixar Pier across from Jessie's Critter Carousel. The kiosks usually look like a podium with an umbrella and have cast members waiting to serve you and answer any questions.
You can pick up a Guide for Guests with Disabilities from any Guest Relations location. There is one pamphlet for each park. A cast member can circle all the locations for you.
Location Return Times
In addition to getting return times from Guest Relations kiosks, you may be able to acquire a location return time at a few select attractions without having to make the trek to a kiosk. We have done this at Jungle Cruise, Indiana Jones Adventure, Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean. Since those areas can get congested at busy times, it is nice to limit the amount of walking back and forth to a kiosk when you know you will be staying in the area for a while.
Frequently Asked Questions about DAS
You probably have a few questions about using DAS. We have answered some of the common FAQs below.
How many people can ride with a person using DAS?
Generally, the person using DAS can have up to five others in their party (for a party size of six total). Will they make exceptions? They might. Should you expect them to? No. But they may be able to accommodate a larger party at their discretion.
We are using or renting a Disneyland wheelchair. Do we need DAS?
If you use a wheelchair or scooter for mobility and have no other issues that impact your ability to ride, you do NOT need DAS at Disneyland. Guests using a scooter or wheelchair can either wait in a standard queue, use a separate accessible queue or receive a return time that is comparable to the current wait time, depending on the attraction. Many lines in Disney California Adventure are wheelchair accessible. In some cases, modified ride vehicles are available that can accommodate the ECV itself, so the rider never has to transfer at all.
Pick up a Guide for Guests with Disabilities from Guest Relations to get an overview of services, facilities, companion restrooms and the Mobility Access details for each ride. You can hop here to find tips specific for using a wheelchair at Disneyland. We have visited Disneyland with a friend who uses an Electric Convenience Vehicle in the park, but also has some special needs in addition to mobility issues, so she did qualify for DAS. But generally, guests in wheelchairs do not need to use DAS if they have no other concerns.
What can we do while we wait for our ride time?
You can meet a favorite Disneyland character, eat some food, visit another attraction, see a show, go shopping or enjoy park entertainment. You can also take a sensory break or rest. If you have a young child that needs a rest, there are baby care centers in the park that might work for you.
Do I have to ride the attraction at the exact return time listed?
No. Normal return times are valid until they are redeemed or the park closes. If you no longer wish to ride, inform a cast member at a Guest Relations kiosk. Keep in mind that the advance selections made via video chat have a one-hour window and have to be used in that timeframe.
What if we have to leave the line due to disability?
If you have to leave a line, talk to the nearest cast member or Guest Relations kiosk in the park. If you are viewing a show, it is usually best to let the cast member in the boarding area know you may need to leave. Disneyland often puts special needs seats right in front of the action so everyone can see — if someone in your party is sensitive to sensory input, this could be the wrong place for your family. Shows are also dark and difficult to navigate, so it might be better to seat your party near an aisle or exit. The cast member running the attraction can accommodate you if you let them know you might need to leave in the middle of the program.
What if DAS doesn’t work for us?
Disneyland is committed to accommodating guests with disabilities and their varying needs. If you have a truly unique situation, such as a person whose disability limits the choice of attractions or limits the amount of time they can spend in the park, then talk to Guest Relations once you are in the park.
We encountered a situation in which we had entered the designated line using DAS. The ride was held up temporarily, so we were stuck longer than usual in a sunny spot. The heat was too much for our DAS user. We explained the situation to a cast member to see if we could come back later. Instead, we were redirected to an alternate shady location, where we could wait until it was our turn. Always communicate your needs because there may be a solution to your problem.
Can I use DAS with other services?
In addition to using the Disneyland disability pass, you can also use Genie+, Rider Switch and Single Rider to make the most of your visit. Those are just a few of our favorite ways to maximize time at Disneyland. Use Genie+ to shorten your wait for rides that offer the service.
If you are using Genie+, acquire DAS return times for the longest lines of rides that do not offer Genie+. Use Genie+ to select rides that are on the Genie+ service. Use DAS for a second (or third) time on the same ride, because with DAS you can pick the same ride more than once per day. When you arrive at a Genie+ ride, you can let the cast members know if you have any special needs related to DAS at that time. The DAS users share the Lightning Lane entrance at select rides with Genie+ users and people who have paid for individual Lightning Lane selections.
If you have a non-rider who needs supervision (including a small child who is not riding, a person with disabilities who is not riding or a service dog), ask at the ride entrance about Rider Switch. One person can supervise the guest while the rest of the party rides. Then, you can swap out the sitter with the Rider Switch pass so they can skip the line once the rest of the party has exited the ride.
Bring all party members to the line entrance, and a cast member will scan the park tickets for the supervising party so that they can receive a return time without having to wait in line. One tool that works for riders ages 7 and up who do not require assistance or supervision is Single Rider, which is offered at select rides. Single Rider especially comes in handy when visiting attractions such as the Radiator Springs Racers and can significantly cut your time in line.
Can I view DAS times in the Disneyland app?
Yes! It can get toadally confusing to remember DAS return times and dining reservations, especially when you may also using Genie+. That’s just too many times to keep track of! They all start to blend together in your head and mistakes can happen.
Instead of trying to remember everything, use the Disneyland app to manage all of your return times and keep them straight so you don’t miss anything. You can find your DAS return times on the home screen of the app or under "My Day." Tap the three horizontal lines on the bottom right corner of the screen, followed by My Genie Day and My Day. You'll also see any dining reservations you've made in there or any Multiple Experiences passes (which occur if you encountered any ride closures during your ride or ride window with DAS or Genie+) or Rider Switch return windows. Using the app is such an improvement over trying to keep it all in your head.
You'll likely have all your party members’ tickets linked to your Disney account in the Disneyland app from when you made theme park reservations. But if you still need to add members to your party, tap the three lines at the bottom right corner of the app. Tap Tickets and Passes, then the + at the upper right corner, then Link Tickets & Passes. You scan the barcode for the pass or ticket (or type in the number).
Can I make DAS selections for individual Lighting Lane rides?
Yes! You may acquire a DAS return time for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Radiator Springs Racers without paying an additional fee.
How do I redeem a DAS return time?
You'll head to the Lightning Lane or disability entrance for the attraction at or after the specified time. You will scan the ticket, redeem code or MagicBand+ of the person who is using DAS first. Once it's approved by a cast member and the light turns green, you can scan each of the other guests in the party.
Do I have to redeem DAS Advance Selection attractions before I can book a new return time?
Nope. You can hold DAS Advance Selections return times along with one other DAS return time at a time.
How does DAS affect rides with Boarding Groups or virtual queues?
Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway opened with a free virtual queue. However, as of Feb. 22, 2023, it operates with a standby line. Alternatively, you can purchase an individual Lightning Lane to access this attraction. No Disneyland rides use a virtual queue at this time. The World of Color show does utilize a virtual queue. Hop over to our post on Disneyland virtual queues to learn how to join it.
When there is a ride with a virtual queue, you need to join the virtual queue first and then let the cast member know you use DAS when you arrive. A cast member will scan the DAS user first and you will likely enter a separate queue.
How does DAS work when park hopping?
You can use DAS when park hopping. If you are making DAS selections from your phone, you can only view rides that are in your current park. Once you hop, you can see the available rides in that park after scanning your park ticket at the turnstiles (there may be a few-minute delay). If you want to save time by selecting your first ride in the second park before you hop, you can acquire a DAS return time in person at a Guest Relations kiosk for an attraction in the second park.
How does DAS affect shows?
You may be eligible for a separate entry or waiting area for some shows at the Fantasyland Theater. If you feel like you need special assistance, check with a cast member near the entrance, and they can help you. You should also let the cast members know you might need to leave the show prematurely if your froglet or companion has sensory issues. These shows are designed to be high energy and to make an impact, meaning there is a lot going on — music, sound effects, lights, performers, visual imagery and special effects may all happen at the same time — and that can get overwhelming for a child or teen with autism. You should be able to leave the show swiftly if you need to.
Are any other Disneyland disability services available?
There are many types of disabilities, and Disneyland does its best to accommodate them all. The general Guide for Guests with Disabilities covers information for guests with mobility issues, service animals, visual disabilities and hearing disabilities. Disneyland can provide a handheld device for assistive captioning and audio description. It is available with a $25 refundable deposit.
There are also braille guides and portable tactile maps (also available for a refundable deposit). Sign language interpretation is available with advance reservations on certain days. Call 714-781-4636 option 1, option 0 for details. If you aren’t using DAS but have crutches or any difficulty walking, there are more accessible loading areas or elevators so you can avoid going up and down steps.
Be sure to pick up a Guide for Guests with Cognitive Abilities if someone in your group fits that description. There are break areas, companion restrooms and attraction guides available to support these guests.
Disneyland rents strollers, manual wheelchairs and motorized scooters (Electric Convenience Vehicles). You might want to bring a cushion or pad for comfort when using a manual Disneyland wheelchair. We recommend parking at the Toy Story Lot, which offers air-conditioned buses to the parks and can accommodate wheelchairs and other disabilities.
Note that while Disneyland offers both strollers and wheelchairs, it does not offer special needs strollers for rent. These are usually oversized and can accommodate a rider up to 100 pounds. They also have large hoods that allow for the creation of a quiet, sensory-free place if needed. You’ll need to bring your own special needs stroller if you want to use one or rent one off-site for the duration of your trip.
There are several off-site locations that offer rentals. If your child with cognitive or physical disabilities uses a stroller as a wheelchair and must remain in a stroller while in line, visit Guest Relations to receive a special tag. The tag identifies your stroller as a wheelchair so that you may use it in line. (Other guests are required to park strollers.) Many rides require you to park your stroller at a distance from the actual ride entrance and walk — if your froglet is a flight risk, tends to wander or needs the security of the stroller, the DAS stroller as a wheelchair pass will help.
Disneyland Resort can provide dietary accommodations for most food allergies, intolerances and special needs. You may request accommodation in advance when making restaurant reservations. Many locations offer special menus upon request or gluten-free alternatives. The latest dining updates include accommodations for plant-based diets.
What if multiple people in my party have different disabilities?
Talk to Guest Relations when you arrive about each person's needs. If you will all be riding together, you can get by with one DAS. If you will be splitting up for different rides, you may need to get DAS for each person who needs it. The problem with that is that the guests who use DAS cannot be linked to each other's passes. Other party members can be linked to each pass, though. So if you are riding together and can get by with one DAS, it will keep things simpler. Get it for the older or taller person. If, say, an older child and a younger sibling each qualify for DAS, get it for the older child. That way if the youngest is not tall enough to ride or backs out of the ride, the older child and other party members can still go.
Can I bring my service animal to Disneyland?
LLeashed and trained official service animals (dogs or miniature horses) are permitted at Disneyland. There are specific relief areas they may use. They may not be permitted on all rides due to safety reasons; they simply can’t be securely buckled into some ride vehicles. You may use provided portable kennels at large roller coaster-type rides or use Rider Switch. You can also consult the Guide for Guests with Disabilities for more specific details about service animals.You can also leave the animal with a non-rider in your party.
In some cases, service dogs can ride on certain rides, such as many Fantasyland rides. They must sit on the floor of the ride vehicle or fit on an owner's lap.
Are there ways to prepare a person with cognitive disabilities and autism for a visit to Disneyland?
Do research in advance to learn about the parks. If someone in your party has a cognitive disability, there are several ways to prepare them for the visit. You can practice waiting in line before your visit.
Even if you do not wait in a conventional queue with Disneyland DAS, chances are you will have to wait in security lines, character lines, food lines or entrance lines. Even DAS return lines can back up and be longer than usual. Plus, rides break down and can cause a line to be longer than originally posted.
Go over a timeline of the day so they know what to expect. For example, you will park the car and go through security and walk or ride a bus to the entrance. You will go through the entrance to the park and then visit Guest Relations. Give them a map to follow. Talk about things you will see and hear and eat. Bring familiar foods if necessary. Earplugs or noise-canceling headphones can be toadally helpful. A sensory toy or activity can also be helpful, but don’t bring a beloved item that you cannot risk getting lost.
Social stories that highlight the things people do in a theme park can be helpful, and so can watching ride-through videos. These videos will spoil the attraction for you but will be very helpful in letting your child know what to expect on the ride. Every child is different, but many of our young friends with autism prefer rides that can be seen from the outside. Dark rides or those in enclosed spaces may be more challenging, so viewing a ride-through video in advance could help encourage them to ride with the group. Some families like to know how many people can sit together on a ride so they can choose seatmates in advance.
What if I have a guest who is prone to wandering or elopement?
Make a plan in case you become separated. This is especially important if you have a family member who gets easily distracted and tends to wander off. Lost kids are an everyday occurrence at Disneyland, and your risk of separation goes up if your child has autism or a sensory processing disorder. Prevention is best, but it is possible to do everything you can to prepare and still get separated. Plan ahead to be reunited quickly.
Choose a meeting location in advance. You should be specific and the location should be one your child can easily get to. “Sleeping Beauty Castle” is not ideal because it is just too large. A favorite ride or restaurant may be a better choice. Stress the importance of getting help from a cast member with a name tag should you become separated.
Consider creating a name tag with the person’s name, your name and your cellphone number (just in case). You can apply a temporary tattoo to the arm (you can hide it under a sleeve). It can’t be lost and will remain with your child no matter where they go. A pendant or bracelet that contains scannable details helps as well. Our young friends with ASD often tolerate shoe tags. Get a free Disney button from Guest Relations or a store and write your phone number on it.
You should also take a photo of your family before entering the park. That way you'll have a visual of the clothing everyone is wearing that day in case you need it later. Follow these tips for not getting lost at Disneyland.
What can you do to protect guests from overheating?
If your child or party member has a sensory processing disorder that puts them in danger of overheating, there are some steps you can take. You might plan your trip for cooler weather, avoiding July through October. Prepare for warm days by dressing your child in light colors. Bring spray bottles of water, fans and cooling towels to keep cool. You can purchase spray fan bottles in the park. When you take steps to avoid temperature discomfort, you can also prevent sensory overload and meltdowns (not the Olaf kind, but heat does have a way of leading to the other kind of meltdown). Do not overdo it. It is better to take a long break or end the day on a high note than to try to fit everything in. Resist the temptation to take things too far.
After all that, just knowing to check in with Guest Relations upon arrival and where the kiosks are located can help you put your plan for the day in motion. Allow the person to wait in the shade or AC while one runner collects the return times.
What if I have more questions about special needs at Disneyland?
You can call (714) 781-4636 if you have general questions before your visit. Discuss your specific questions with Guest Relations once you are in the park.
Some of these details may feel non-specific. That is because Disneyland offers DAS and other services on an individual basis. Go to Guest Relations with any questions or concerns. A cast member will be happy to assist you. If you have a particularly challenging situation or a disability that is harder to explain, it can be helpful to supply them with as many details as possible.
Restrooms at Disneyland
The multi-stall restrooms have automatic flushers, which can be loud for people who are sensory sensitive. Most companion restrooms have a manual flush. These are also good options for families in which caretakers are a different gender from the person they are assisting. Hop over to our post on the best Disneyland bathrooms for more details and tips.
Other Facts and Details about DAS:
- DAS is valid for up to 60 days, depending on a guest's ticket or pass.
- Once the 60 days period passes, the guest will have to re-register. If you register at Disneyland Resort, the DAS benefits are for Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. Should you travel to a different Disney park you would need to register there as well.
- Be honest. If Disney determines that any of your statements made in the process of obtaining DAS are not true, you will be permanently barred from entering Walt Disney World Resort and the Disneyland Resort. Any previously purchased annual passes, Magic Key passes, tickets and other park products and services will be forfeited and not refunded.
- If an attraction's wait time is 10 minutes or less, you do not need a return time. You can inform a cast member that you are registered for DAS.
- DAS return times and DAS Advance selections can be used in combination with new Disney Genie and Genie+ services.
- Disney Parks updated the Guide for Guests with Cognitive Disabilities. It provides more detailed information and tips for guests utilizing DAS to use in planning a visit. The updated Guide helps guests take advantage of all of the new and enhanced products and services. It also lists out break areas.
- A guest whose disability requires them to use a wheelchair or scooter still does not need DAS.
- Acquire a return time for an attraction in the other park from a guest realtions kiosk before you hop.
Hopefully, we have cleared up any confusion over the Disneyland disability pass and how to use it. Now that you know where to go and what to do, you can hop to it and have an amazing trip to the Happiest Place on Earth!
Are you familiar with using the Disneyland disability pass? Do you have any tips to share about making the most of your visit using DAS? Let us know in the comments below!
Related: Tips for Using a Wheelchair or ECV at Disneyland