Growing up in Florida I’ve been a Disney lover my entire life. I’ve been to every park at Walt Disney World, Disneyland California and Disneyland Paris and keep going because I love soaking up the magic each and every time. However, my whole life, and with that my Disney experience, changed in October 2016 when I tore my ACL and had to learn how to be disabled at Disney. The Disability Access Pass helped me to continue to enjoy the magic.
As much as a shock was to my regular life I also had to learn how to still navigate trips to my favorite place, because with this injury I needed some extra magic in my life. Little did I know that almost 2 years and 5 surgeries later I am still having to make those adjustments to my life. There are so many things that I wish I had known when this all started and so I’m sharing them with you.
What is the Disability Access Pass?
The first thing you need to know about being disabled at Disney is the Disability Access Pass. The DAS allows those who cannot wait in the normal queue the chance to receive a return time based on the current wait time.
In order to get a DAS pass the person needing one must go to Guest Services in the Park and have the pass activated along with their photo taken. Then you would also have the rest of the party linked to the DAS so that once a return time is obtained everyone in the party can go together.
Where to Get a Disability Access Pass
You can pick up a Disney World Disability Access (DAS) pass at any Guest Relations building at the parks.
Guest Relations Main Entrance Locations:
- City Hall at Magic Kingdom park
- The Guest Relations lobby (near the Main Entrance) at Disney’s Animal
Kingdom theme park
- The Guest Relations lobby (near the turnstiles) at Disney’s Hollywood
- The Guest Relations lobby (near Spaceship Earth) at Epcot
It takes just a few minutes of your time. Everyone you want on the pass must be present with you.
Who Can Get a Disability Access Pass?
The Disability Access pass is available to anyone who would have difficulty standing in a queue for an extended period of time. This means it’s not automatically offered just because you might be in a wheelchair or using a cane or walker.
The DAS allows people who have anxiety, autism spectrum disorders, and other invisible disabilities to enjoy attractions while avoiding triggers that long queues might cause as well as those who physically cannot stand in a line for an extended period of time.
- The person with the DAS must be the first to scan their magic band or pass when returning to the attraction.
- The person with the DAS must be part of the party experiencing the attraction.
- You can only hold one DAS return time at a time.
- The DAS return time works similar to a fast pass and you go to the Fast Pass entrance.
- You can return anytime after your designated return time but you cannot get another return time until the first one is used.
- A DAS is good for 14 days, so if your trip is less than 14 days you only have to go through the process once.
- Annual passholders can obtain DAS for 60 days
Sometimes I felt nervous but there really was not any need to be. The Cast Members are so helpful and can answer any question you may have about the DAS or any accessibility issues you think you may encounter.
When you get your DAS be sure to pick up the Disability Map of the park, there’s one for each park. This will tell you if there is a special entrance if you’re in a wheelchair or scooter, if you have to transfer, and other accessibility information that can help you through your day including special places reserved to watch parades or shows.
The Disability Access Pass can really help you enjoy the magic and make the most of your time at Walt Disney World!
Wait Times. The DAS pass does not eliminate wait times completely. The Fastpass line can still be up to 20 minutes long. Check out this list of things to do while waiting in line to help bypass the time.
Waiting for the Return Time. During your wait, you are free to do anything you like. The best options are to ride a close ride with a low wait time, rest in the AC, or grab something to eat.
Wait Times are Forgiving. Unlike the regular Fastpass+ system you do not have to worry about getting to your DAS return time. It is good until the end of the day. Just remember that you may only have one DAS return time at a time.
Use Fastpass+. The DAS is supposed to be used along side the Fastpass+ Service. So please make sure to grab your Faststpasses at your 60 or 30-day window when planning out your day.
Disabled at Disney: Reminders
The most important things to remember about enjoying the magic when you’re disabled at Disney are:
- Get your DAS pass as soon as you get the park
- Pick up a Disability Map of the park you’re in
- Plan your day to allow extra time
- Stay aware of the people around you
- Ask questions to see if you can get on a ride
- And have fun!