What You Need to Know About DAS

UPDATED February 2018

Doing Disney With a Disability

by | Feb 9, 2019 | Blog, Disney Info | 18 comments

All Disney parks and resorts go out of their way to do whatever they can to assist those with disabilities. As a disabled person who spends nearly every weekend in the Florida parks, I have experienced first-hand how easy and convenient it is to do everything I want to do despite having a vestibular issue that limits both my ability to move through long queue lines and my mobility.

Both Walt Disney World® Resort in Florida and Disneyland® Resort in California offer what is known as the Disney Parks Disability Access Service (DAS) to guests with disabilities that are not apparent – i.e., they are not confined to a wheelchair, scooter, or other mobility assisting device. Note that guests with disabilities related only to mobility are not eligible for the DAS as they are accommodated by other means.

The DAS card is intended to accommodate guests who cannot tolerate long queue lines due to a legitimate medical problem. Those guests and their family members are provided return times for the attractions so that they can wait outside the queue area.

How the DAS Works

Let’s use the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train® attraction at Walt Disney World® Resort as an example of how this works. With my DAS, my wife and I can walk up to the attraction’s stand-by entrance at any point during the day and request a return time. Based on the current wait time for the attraction, the Disney cast member will give us a designated return time after scanning our bands. We can return to the disability entrance at that time, or any time thereafter, and access the attraction through the FastPass line.

In essence, the DAS allows the guest and his or her party to get return times for nearly every attraction in the park, but only one return time can be held at any given time. That means the party must use its current return time before they can be issued another one.

Please note that arrangements are different for Florida and California guests. Guests at Florida’s Walt Disney World® Resort go straight to the attractions to get return times. Guests at California’s Disneyland® Resort must visit Guest Services kiosks throughout the park to get return times.

How to Get a DAS Pass

All of Disney’s Florida parks issue the DAS through Guest Services, which are located at the entrance of each respective park. In order to get a pass, the guest who needs it must go to Guest Services to complete registration, including having his or her picture taken. Once issued the DAS is good for up to 14 consecutive days and can be used at all of the parks during that period. In other words, the guest does not need a separate DAS for every park.

Guests in California obtain the DAS by visiting City Hall at Disneyland Park or the Chamber of Commerce at Disney California Adventure Park upon arrival. Again, the DAS is good for up to 14 consecutive days. Annual passholders in both Florida and California can get DAS passes good for up to 60 consecutive days, depending on the kind of passes they have.

NOTE: Every person in the traveling party who wishes to enjoy attraction with the DAS holder must also be with that person at the time the DAS is obtained. Each party member will have his/her Magic Band or ticket scanned, thus adding them to the DAS.

Additional Information

If a guest or his family believes that a DAS card alone will be insufficient to accommodate the disability – he may need assistance with audio/visual, for example – he need only let Guest Services know when applying for the DAS. The Disney cast member will work with that guest on an individual basis to make whatever accommodations are necessary.

There is no requirement for guests to prove medical disability with a doctor’s note or documentation; Disney takes guests at their word. However, be prepared to discuss how the DAS will enable you to access those attractions that you otherwise would not be able to enjoy without it. Cast members are allowed to ask that, and they will.

On a final note, not having to provide medical proof is both good and bad. It’s good in the sense that those with legitimate disabilities don’t have to be subject to the hassle of carrying paperwork or the embarrassment that may come from having to demonstrate one’s disability. It is bad in the sense that there is room for abuse.

The current DAS system was implemented for the express purpose of limiting such abuse. I would personally encourage all Disney guests planning to use the DAS card to do so only for legitimate disabilities. Abusing a system intended to help those in need only makes things more difficult for guest who truly require assistance.

If you’re planning a visit to any of the Disney parks in the future, and you or a family member have disability concerns, my wife and I would be more than happy to help you plan your trip. We believe our personal experience navigating Disney with a disability can be very helpful for making your trip as accommodating as possible.

Matt and Ellen Gerwitz – Travel Agents from Dreamers Do Travels

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Comments

18 Comments

  1. Leah

    Hi, Thank you for the article! We are headed back in April – spring break – for my son’s 2nd visit.

    We went with our autistic son last year, and we DREADED it. But the DAS was a life Saver. We had hard moments and meltdowns, but he LOVED the rides, which we couldn’t have ridden waiting a long time.

    Speaking of waits — the guest services line was very long last year at MK. Do you know if Hollywood Studios has a more efficient operation of getting DAS started? We want to avoid telling him “okay we’re here!” only to wait another 30 minutes to get him a DAS. I really with Disney would have their guest services folks at their hotels equipped to do this so you can hit the ground running on day 1.

    Reply
    • dreamerstravel

      Hi Leah,

      We’re so glad to hear that you had a good experience with DAS and that your son enjoyed his Disney visit. Here’s to many more enjoyable visits!

      Our personal experience is that the guest services inside Hollywood Studios takes even longer than that of Magic Kingdom. It is located in a rather small area and as such can’t handle as many guests as quickly as they can in MK.

      However, there is an even smaller guest services right outside HS that is usually not busy. (This is because most folks don’t even know that it’s there!) It is found just past the single bag check station on the park side of the bus loop. After you take the tram up to the entrance, go through security. Go past the ticket booths and make a left turn towards the gift shop found there. The external guest services is just past the gift shop. Once completed, you can then turn around and enter the park through the turnstyles.

      Do bear in mind that the person who needs the DAS must be present when asking for it. And, you’re right. Getting to Disney only to have to wait 30 more minutes is torture for a child. For this reason, we have a different suggestion to offer.

      Consider taking a trip to Disney Springs (it’s free to visit and park) the day or night before your first park day. There is a guest services in Disney Springs that is quite large and could surely help you with getting the DAS needed. It has plenty of space outside for other family members to wait and an overall welcoming atmosphere that is much less stressful than standing in line at the parks’ guest services.

      Hope this helps!

      Matt and Ellen Gerwitz

      Reply
      • Danielle

        Great to know about Disney Spring!! I think our first park will be Epcot but it would be nice to have the DAS ready. This is our 2nd trip to Disney but 1st with trying a DAS.

        Reply
  2. Jane

    I’m going to disneyworld next November , I suffer from IBD and SPD also panic attacks I’m just worried how to explain it to a cast member

    Reply
    • dreamerstravel

      Legally Disney can not and will not inquire about your disability. Please do not worry, as no explanation will be necessary! -Liz 🙂

      Reply
  3. Andre

    Hello folks
    Read a lot on this DAS my situation is apparent by looking at me unless you watch mne walk lol I have a spinal deflibulator implants which injects both pain meds and electronic shock to relive pain ( I have a card to show at airports security ) I can control this with a handheld computer wheelchair isn’t an option as I can walk bit standing/waiting and or sitting activated the unit and with the prolong wait times without sounding crazy I will be stoned ( meds injections) and walking like a drunk (electictical shocks ) will this be enough for a DAS card?

    Reply
    • dreamerstravel

      Hello, Andre! Legally, Disney can not ask for proof of disability. Go to Guest Relations during your first park visit at any of the parks and let them know that you’ll need a DAS card to help your vacation go as smoothly as possible. The card will work for the entire length of the vacation.

      Reply
      • Andre

        Thank you and will let you know how it went !

        Reply
      • Andre

        Update! As you know I was concern wether i will be able to stand in line for prolong period and DAS was perfect for me! So we arrive this past Saturday went to city hall (there were around 10 guest ahead of us) just about 5 min a guest relation employee were talking with guest in line then to me and ask how he can help told him my concerns and what if any that can Disney help with my condition he replied “since you are using a cane and the aid of my grandsons stroller (yes he was in it) just goto the cast member at the ride let them know you need assistance and they will 1- give you a time to come back or 2- send you around to the exit allowing to board immediately 3- cut you in line at the beginning ” I asked about DAS he said that’s for people with mental illness!! Anyway I/we were able to enjoy Disneyland without the aid of my pain meds or the use of my spinal cord implants devise to mask the pain! Ps since I also used stroller they lied a ribbon to indicate I was handicapped

        Reply
  4. June Popov

    Hello, we just purchased season passes and now need DAS. We plan on going to the one day prior to set up the season pass accounts and to obtain DAS.

    What is the easiest park to essentially”drive up” to Guest Services and handle everything?

    Reply
    • dreamerstravel

      I’d go with animal kingdom! Get there early morning, and you shouldn’t have any problem getting very close to the entrance.

      Reply
  5. Raelyn Fair

    My cousin had a stroke and is paralyzed on the left side. She can walk a small distance, very small. She would like to experience Disneyland with her 11 yr old son. My question is, some of the ride platforms move while you are getting on the ride, do they stop to allow the disabled person to get on?
    Thank you,

    Reply
    • dreamerstravel

      Yes, they do have the ability to manually stop moving platforms. Most rides are handicapped accessible, so rest assured that your entire family will be able to enjoy a majority of the attractions! We would love to assist further, and our services are always free. We have a wonderful couple that works with us and specialize in assisting guests with all kinds of disabilities. Please pass along their information… I guarantee you won’t be disappointed! They can be reached at
      MattAndEllen@dreamersdotravels.com

      Reply
  6. Susanne

    We are thinking of taking our grandaughter with Down Syndrome to Disney world when she is 15 (she is 14 now). Would we be able to get a DAS card? The issues are waiting in long lines (“I want to go home now.”), need for bathrooms and staying in them a long time, and running away from us (not often, but it has happened) so that we would worry about her getting lost in a crowd. Thanks–

    Reply
    • dreamerstravel

      Absolutely! Head to Guest Relations inside the front of any of the parks, and let them know that a DAS card would be helpful for your family’s vacation. We’d love to help assist you in planning a magical vacation! Our services are always free. Please feel free to email Matt and Ellen (authors of this blog post) at MattAndEllen@dreamersdotravels.com to chat more! They have wonderful recommendations and would be thrilled to help.

      Reply
  7. edie Marie Friedrichsen

    Thank you for your article I just got back from Disney World I took three adults with disabilities and it worked out great the disability access pass is all on the Magic Band now you get the return times and they basically just add another fast past your My Disney Experience account that you can use whenever the wait time has expired and you can use it anytime after that after that time no matter how long it takes you to get back there you just can’t make another reservation until that once completed so it was very convenient my clients had an excellent vacation Disney was very very good to them

    Reply
  8. Mike

    Are there videos and photos of the accessible rides for WDW. Some rides say must transfer ride, but the ride is at ground level, making it near impossible to transfer back up to your wheelchair. I have found a few people take their own photos, but would like to see a comprehensive view of all the rides. Please advise, thanks

    Reply
    • dreamerstravel

      We have found that YouTube is actually a great resource for things like this. Many guests visiting parks take great videos of their experiences, and we’d suggest starting there!

      Reply

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