by Disney Magic Diva
If someone in your traveling party has a hard time standing in long lines, you may think a Disney theme park is not the best choice for a vacation. You’d be wrong. With Disability Access Service, anyone can enjoy the magic of a Disney vacation!
Disability Access Service (DAS) allows guests who have a difficult time waiting in lines to reserve a time for an attraction. It’s essentially a Lightning Lane reservation. Guests who qualify for the service can reserve a time for their travel party to enter an attraction, thus eliminating the need for them to stand in a long line.
Who qualifies for DAS? Anyone with any disability which makes it difficult for them to stand in long lines may be eligible. It’s important to note that guests whose disability requires them to use a scooter or wheelchair do NOT need to register for DAS since most queues are accessible. In those circumstances where the queue is not accessible, guests can speak with a cast member to receive a return time for the attraction based on the current wait time. Likewise, having a mobility device does not automatically disqualify you from being approved for DAS.
There are two ways to apply for DAS: in-person at the park or online in advance of your visit. Once you are registered, DAS is valid for 60 days.
Diva Tip: Before you begin the registration process, be sure to have your travel party added to your Friends & Family list and link valid park admissions for each member of your party. If you don’t, your party will not be included in your DAS selections.
To register in-person, you need to visit Guest Relations at the main entrance of the park. The person requiring the DAS must be present. So, if a parent is registering a child who requires DAS, the child must accompany the parent.
To register in advance of your visit you’ll need some patience and persistence. Between 2 and 30 days prior to your park visit go to the Disney DAS website. Click through the pre-registration process. This involves 2 steps: a live video chat with a cast member, and then, once registered, a live chat with a cast member for DAS Advance planning.
We’ve registered for DAS for 2 different trips in the last 3 months. Both times we’ve done so in advance. To be honest, it’s a daunting process. We first tried to register mid-afternoon one weekday and got a pop-up message that the wait time was going to be greater than 3 hours. So, we tried again right when registration opened the next morning. (Registration is open 7:00 am to 10:00 pm ET, 7 days/week). We kept getting kicked out of the queue for the video chat and having to start the process over again. On the fourth try, and about 90 minutes later, the video chat finally began. Thankfully the second time we registered, the video chat segment went much smoother. Again, we signed on at 7:00 am ET but this time we had the video portion done in about 20 minutes.
The video interview is very short – about 5 minutes. Cast members ask you questions about your disability, and specifically why you have concerns about standing in long lines. They don’t ask for any documentation or medical records. At the end of the interview, they’ll tell you if you qualify.
If you qualify, you’ll be transferred to a live chat to work with a different cast member making DAS Advance selections. The cast member explains the process of making these selections. You are allowed to make 2 DAS Advance selections per day for the length of your stay. They forward a form for you to indicate your top 3 attraction choices for 3 days at a time. You can also indicate preference for morning, afternoon, or evening times. The cast member compares attraction availability with your choices and offers DAS Advance selection options with a 1-hour return window for 2 of your 3 attraction preferences. You can accept or reject these options, or even change your request. Once DAS Advance selections are set for the first 3 days, you’ll receive another form for the next 3 days, and so on until you’ve completed all the days of your stay.
Interestingly, this 3-days-at-a-time was new for our most recent DAS registration. The first time there was no form. We just told the cast member our preferences for DAS Advance selections for the first day, they checked what was available, then we decided. We continued this process for each day of our trip.
Diva Tip: As you accept DAS Advance selections, remember they have a designated 1-hour return window. Be aware of any other reservations you may have for the day. The cast member will not be checking the times they offer against any dining or other reservations you may have. Be careful not to accept a time which will create a conflict.
Not all attractions are eligible for DAS Advance. During the live chat, the cast member will give you a list of the attractions that aren’t eligible. When we registered, 2 attractions per park were off limits (Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Space Mountain, Frozen Ever After, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, Avatar Flight of Passage, and Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain).
Diva Tip: Even though DAS Advance selections cannot be made for these attractions, you are able (subject to availability) to reserve times for these attractions using DAS once you are in the park.
Additionally, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is not included in DAS. If you join a boarding group using the virtual queue and the line is too long, speak to a cast member at the attraction entrance. Once you show your DAS icon in your My Disney Experience account, you’ll be able to use the Lightning Lane entrance.
While the live video interview was relatively quick, the live chat was less magical. The first time we started the live chat immediately after the video. But because of the way the chat was structured (one-day-at-a-time and long pauses in responses from the cast member) it took almost 90 minutes to complete for our 9-day stay.
The second trip’s live chat was filled with technical problems. After the live interview was completed, it took about 10 minutes to get the live chat working. We were able to schedule 2 days, but then the chat disconnected. We spent the next 2 1/2 hours trying to reconnect the link by returning to the DAS home page and clicking “Make DAS Advance Selections.” Finally, the link worked, and we resumed the chat only to have it disconnect again 20 minutes later. Fortunately, we were able to reconnect after about 10 minutes and finish all the selections for our 8-day stay.
Once you are finished making your DAS Advance selections, they should appear in the Future Plans section of your My Disney Experience account. Note they will be labeled “DAS Advance Selection” which will help distinguish them from the DAS selections you make while you are actually in the park.
Using DAS in the parks is really pretty simple. You (and everyone in your party) should see a DAS icon button in the main menu of your My Disney Experience account. Click on the button to see a list of attractions and times available for a DAS selection. It’s very similar to how you would make a Lightning Lane reservation using the Disney Genie+ service.
You can only make one DAS selection at a time. You can arrive at the attraction at the designated time or anytime up until park closing. There’s no one-hour return window like there is with Lightning Lane or the DAS Advance selections. It’s also possible to have a DAS return time which overlaps with a DAS Advance return time.
When you arrive at the attraction, go to the Lightning Lane entrance. The guest who is registered for DAS must be present and must tap in first, then the remainder of the party can tap in. Once you’ve done so, you (or anyone in your party) can immediately search for another DAS selection. There is no limit to how many DAS selections you can make in a day, as long as you make them one at a time.
Any DAS Advance selections you may have made prior to your trip are in addition to the selections you make the day you are in the park. We referred to them as our “bonus” selections, since they had no impact on any selections we made the day of our visit.
If you are park-hopping, you cannot make DAS selections for your second park while you’re still visiting your first park. You must wait until you actually enter your second park to make DAS selections there.
You can purchase Disney Genie+ service and/or Individual Lightning Lane while using DAS. This may be especially helpful if the guest registered for DAS does not wish to be in the park for long days, or isn’t interested in or capable of experiencing certain attractions. For example, if the guest is a young child, you may want to have Genie+ Lightning Lane so other family members can experience attractions more suited to older guests.
Our times using DAS have made our trips much easier. While pre-registering and making DAS Advance selections has its obstacles, it’s certainly worth it once we arrive at the park. This service has enabled everyone in our party to enjoy our vacation together. And that’s where the magic happens.
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