Thursday, October 16, 2014

What is Disney’s DAS and how does it help?

What is Disney’s DAS and how does it help?
Doing Disney with Disabilities

 The Disney DAS (Disability Access System) is how Disney helps those with disabilities enjoy the parks.

Let’s start off with what it is not. DAS is not a front of the line pass for anybody with any disability. A DAS Card is not issued to all disabled guests. It is not for all guests with mobility issues.

What is DAS? It is a Fastpass type return system for guests with disability limitations that make it difficult for them to be in long lines. For example the DAS system is for guests (young or old) that have cognitive disabilities such as ADHD, Autism and Traumatic (or other types) Brain Injury. If a person gets overly nervous or upset in lines then a DAS Card can truly save the day. It is good for the guest with disabilities and those in their party as long as the person that the DAS card is issued too rides the attraction with the party. You can only have ONE Return Time at a time. Once you use the Return Time you can get another.

So what do you do if you have mobility issues? You may not need to get a DAS Card. Instead just go into the regular queues for all rides. All lines at Walt Disney World parks and at Disneyland Resorts Disney California Adventure are designed to accommodate wheelchairs and ECVs. Disneyland Park has many lines that are NOT equipped to handle wheelchairs and ECVs. There are special secondary lines for wheelchairs and ECVs at Disneyland. My recommendation for those with mobility issues is take advantage of the regular Fastpass and Fastpass+ Systems. Have family and friends go to get passes is possible so you don’t have to wheel around the parks.

The exception to the above statement about mobility issues is Disneyland Park. Built before the days of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) many of the queues do not accommodate wheelchairs and ECVs. They have secondary lines for those with mobility issues and you can get a DAS card to use for those attractions. Some secondary queues do not require a DAS. It is still NOT a front of the line pass and many of the wheelchair lines are longer than the normal standby line. Not all attractions at the Disneyland Resort use a DAS Card for mobility issues. This is especially true for Pirates of the Caribbean and Space Mountain.

So how do you get and use the DAS? Go into any of the Guest Relation buildings at any of the Disney Parks and request one. You will need to discuss your needs with the Cast Member at Guest Relations. They will not look at Doctors notes or medical records so you don’t need to bring them. You just need to tell them why you need it. I’ll be honest if you have ADHD or some other issue that makes it hard for you to stand in long lines let go of some of your emotion control and let them see what might happen if you lose it. Don’t get upset or rude. Just let them see your disability for what it is. DAS cards can be issued for the guest and their party, up to 4 people total on just the word of the guest getting the DAS. For groups over 4 the entire group needs to go to Guest Relations and show the Cast Member how many people are in the party.

You will get to pick your first Return Time for the first ride at Guest Relations. At Walt Disney World the DAS works just like the regular Fastpass. You or a family member takes the DAS card to the ride you wish to go on and obtains a return time.

At the Disneyland Resort there are 10 locations, 5 in each park where you can obtain a return time. You can go to Guest Relations any time to get a return time or to any of the locations in the parks. For Disneyland they are at the City Hall, Central Hub, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland and New Orleans Square. In Disney California Adventure (DCA) Chamber of Commerce, Carthay Circle, entrance to Cars Land, Bugs Land and Paradise Pier.

To use your DAS Card go to the Fastpass Entrance or the Alternate Entrance if you use a wheelchair or ECV. There you can show your DAS card and enter the line. At some point during the ride they will cross out your Return Time so you can get another.

If at any time you find that the DAS Card is not meeting your need go and talk to Guest Relations. Some people with cognitive disabilities have a harder time than others with lines. Disney is committed to assisting those with Disabilities but, Disney can’t help you if you don’t talk to them.

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