Saturday, March 7, 2015

Navigating Disney Parks Disability Access System (DAS) Quick Overview and How/When to Ask for It

Navigating Disney Parks Disability Access System (DAS)
Quick Overview and How/When to Ask for It

The DAS (Disability Access System) at the Disney Parks is to assist those with disabilities have access to the attractions.

In simple terms the DAS system is to help those with Disabilities have the access they need. With the fact that Walt Disney World Parks and Disney California Adventure Park were built after the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) went into effect it means they comply with ADA laws. That means the lines for the attractions and show areas are designed with disabled access in mind. The lines are wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs and scooters and if the loading area is not accessible they have a secondary loading area. Disneyland on the other hand was made before ADA laws and lines do not always accommodate wheelchairs and scooters. Many of these lines can’t be changed due to space limitations. Disneyland has separate lines set up for wheelchairs/scooters where applicable. What does this all this ADA information mean? It means that just because you have a mobility issue you will not automatically be given a DAS Pass. You can sit on your scooter/chair in the regular lines.

So if the DAS is not for “physical disabilities” that require mobility devices what is it for? It is for those with issues that make being in long lines hard or impossible. Mostly it is for those with cognitive disabilities. Autism, extreme ADHD, Panic Attacks and PTSD are several things that fall into the list. But that is not the only thing. If you have a physical disability that makes sitting or standing in one place impossible/dangerous then you can get the DAS Pass.

So how do you get a DAS Pass? Go to Guest Relations in any park. Be ready to explain your disability. Tell them in simple terms why you need help and what your limitations are. BE HONEST!! Do not lie and ask for the DAS when you don’t truly need it. Be persistent if you truly need it. If you tell them you can’t stand for a long time they may well tell you to go rent a wheelchair or scooter so you can sit. Don’t be intimated by their questions nor the fact they may say no at first. They are not there to outright deny you the pass or judge you. They are there to weed out those that are faking and taking advantage to “cut lines”. They are there to find the best possible option for you. As long as you honestly need it and you are willing to explain why you need it they will at least try. If your disability makes you nervous talking in a loud room ask to be taken to a back stage quiet room to discuss your needs.

For further information on how DAS works check out an earlier blog post:
Yes it does repeat some of the same information I just gave but it is important information and people have told me they can’t get DAS when I know they should.

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