by Undercover Diva
In recent years, Disney has had many changes with their procedures on how they help guests with disabilities. After an unrelenting number of people who abused the system, Disney changed from the Guest Assistance Card to try and weed out the abusers and further help those who truly needed assistance. The new Disability Access Service (DAS) has had it’s ups and downs, but Disney worked hard hand in hand with some of the top disability advocates to make sure this was the best system possible. While not everyone is in love with the new system, the cast has tried to keep guests as informed as possible to help ease the transition.
But don’t get too comfortable. Another change is coming to the Disability Access Service, though, not as dramatic as the last. If you couldn’t tell, Walt Disney World has been on a big push to all things electronic, MagicBands and Fastpass+ being the biggest examples of that. Well, now your DAS will be electronic too! Really not much will be changing with the system. It will still work exactly the same, but you will not have to carry around a piece of paper and have to get it filled out. Now all the information will be in your MagicBand or park ticket. Guest Relations are still the only ones who can issue DAS cards, but attraction Cast Members will now only need to touch your MagicBand to one of their devices to give you a return time. Now, you will be able to view return times on your My Disney Experience App as well!
While this new change may require a bit of a learning curve for both guests and cast members alike, I do think it will be a positive change and one that will make it much simpler to assist guests who need a little more attention. Hopefully I can leave you with a few tips to make your first time with DAS or your transition to the new DAS a little simpler.
- The person needing assistance does not need to be there to get a return time. If part of your family would like to go on a ride with a short line while someone runs ahead for a time, that is perfectly acceptable.
- Also, if its time to eat, on member of your family could tell someone what they want and get a return time for a nearby ride and come back in time to eat. After eating hopefully your return time will be close enough you can head over with hardly a wait at all!
- Under the new system, annual passholders will only need to get their DAS re-issued every 60 days, but they will need to go to Guest Relations if they have anyone new in their party.
- Don’t forget to use Fastpass! If you can, plan ahead and pick your FastPasses for early times. Once you have used all three, you can go back to the kiosks and get another one. Don’t worry so much about getting your top three must – do rides, as much as three you know you will want to do. You are able to go back to the kiosks and add one on as many times as you want until Fastpasses run out! Switching off between Fastpass and DAS will help move your time along faster as well.
- When returning to a ride after your wait, remember to have the DAS guest go first. If grandma is the one who was issued the DAS card, she will have to go first, and once cast members recognize she is claiming that time, the rest of the party will get in no problem. But if little Billy wants to be first, the cast member will not be able to recognize what your party is there for and they are going to ask grandma to step up ahead. I know it seems like not that big of a deal, but remembering this will keep you trip running just that much smoother.
- Unlike Fastpass, there is not a 5 minute grace period. You will have to return at your start time, or the system will not recognize that you are supposed to be at that location. Save yourself some frustration from getting turned away and don’t go back until after your time has started.