Edited by: Chris Dong
& Keri Stooksbury
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Visiting Walt Disney World can be a magical experience for many people. However, those with disabilities can find the long lines and Florida heat a major barrier to an enjoyable park day.
Fortunately, Disney is committed to making sure that all guests have accessible experiences, and its Disability Access Service (DAS) is available for those who cannot wait in long lines.
The “DAS pass” is a program for those who have physical or mental conditions that make queues difficult or dangerous, allowing the entire party to enjoy the parks together.
My wife has Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and heat can trigger pseudo-relapses, so when we visited Walt Disney World in July 2023, we figured it would be a good idea to look into this program.
Let’s take a look at the details of the Disability Access Service (DAS) and whether or not it makes sense for you or a loved one.
Walt Disney World theme parks have the Disability Access Service (DAS), which is a free program designed for guests who cannot wait in long lines due to a disability.
Guests with disabilities who are approved for DAS will have access to a special section of the My Disney Experience app where they can request a return time for a desired attraction.
DAS does not provide immediate walk-on access to rides, it is more of a FastPass/Genie+ hybrid that allows guests to rest or enjoy the park instead of physically waiting in line. They then return to the ride at a specified time to enter the attraction via the Lightning Lane.
Guests can register for DAS up to 30 days (but no less than 2 days) in advance online, or in-person at any Guest Relations location within the parks. Once registered, the DAS pass will be valid for 60 consecutive days.
If registering in advance, guests will also receive 2 DAS Advance selections.
Guests with DAS (and their party of up to 6) will be able to schedule return times on many, but not all attractions. The current list of attractions includes:
As you can see, a lot of popular rides including Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, Slinky Dog Dash, and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad are included in DAS. However, the most in-demand attractions are reserved for Virtual Queues.Hot Tip:
Heading to Walt Disney World? Don’t miss our Disney Genie+ overview!
DAS was created and intended for guests (children and adults) who have difficulty standing and waiting in a conventional queue due to a physical or mental disability — whether the disability is visible or not.
Disabilities include (but are not limited to) conditions that get worse with extended sun exposure or heat, cognitive disorders that make standing in crowded lines potentially dangerous to the individual or those around them, and others.
Guests in wheelchairs or scooters do not automatically qualify for DAS as most attractions are wheelchair accessible and can be accommodated by a Cast Member.
Disney does not provide a list of disabilities that qualify for Disability Access Service nor do they request any type of proof.
However, if Disney determines that a guest acquired DAS using false statements they will “be permanently barred from entering Walt Disney World Resort and the Disneyland Resort, and any previously purchased annual passes, Magic Key passes, tickets and other park products and services will be forfeited and not refunded.”
The process for registering and using DAS is relatively simple.
Once in the park, guests can select their desired attraction via the My Disney Experience app almost exactly the same way as Genie+. So the steps may feel familiar to some.
Guests have 2 options to register for DAS; in-person at the parks or pre-register virtually before arriving.
DAS pre-registration is the recommended method as it can be done up to 30 days before arrival at the parks, leaving fewer items on the to-do list when you arrive in Orlando. However, if you booked a last-minute trip, pre-registration is not available less than 2 days before arrival.
In order to complete a pre-registration, guests will need to already have a theme park ticket, park reservation (for now), and an updated Friends & Family list linked to their My Disney Experience account.
The pre-registration is done online via chat and video call. If deemed eligible, guests will have their photo taken and be able to select up to 2 DAS Advance selections, which are subject to availability.
DAS Advance selections do not interfere with Genie+ reservations, and once physically inside the park, additional DAS reservations can be made 1 at a time. So even if your preferred attractions are not available in advance, there is no downside to selecting another option.
For guests who prefer in-person registration, they can find Guest Relations in the following locations:
If deemed eligible, guests will complete the registration process and have their photo taken.
Once approved, guests will see the DAS option in their My Disney Experience app. There, they will be able to choose from available attractions and request a return time for their party of up to 6 people once physically inside one of the parks.
When a return time is provided, guests can go and enjoy the theme park until their return time has come, and when they return, guests can use the Lightning Lane entrance to enter the attraction.
Once checked in for the attraction, guests will be able to request another return time for a different ride.
Plus, unlike Genie+, there is no limit on how many times you can repeat an individual attraction.
Once you have chosen your advanced selections, added an additional return time, and maybe even a Virtual Queue for the latest and greatest ride, all that is left is to enjoy the parks.
If guests are physically able, they can explore the rest of the park or even visit another attraction that may not have a long line. If not, they can find a cool spot to rest until their time.
When the return time comes, guests will enter via the Lightning Lane and tap their MagicBand+, Key to the World card, connected phone, or watch, and will be allowed onto the ride.
Just note that the registered DAS guest must be the first person to tap into an attraction. That will unlock the Lightning Lane for the rest of the party.
My wife applied and was approved for DAS during our visit in July 2023 and it made her (and the entire family’s) time so much more enjoyable. There was no stress about how long she might need to stand in line or navigate the parks in the Florida summer heat.
She simply selected attractions that worked for her and then found a cool spot to wait until her time was called. This not only made the visit more enjoyable but also extended our time in the park. Stress and heat can trigger pseudo-relapses for her which zap her energy — and would have forced us to end the park day prematurely.
DAS was a game-changer for my family.
Visiting Walt Disney World can be an incredibly memorable and magical experience. However, for some, the heat, crowds, and long lines can intensify existing disabilities leading to a less-than-magical visit to the parks.
Disney wants to avoid that.
The Disability Access Service (DAS) is a great program that ensures that all guests get to experience the attractions without negative side effects.
However, with little to no proof needed to acquire DAS, there have already been reports of people abusing the system — and getting caught and banned.
If these patterns continue, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the program or requirements change. But if you or your child needs DAS, it is absolutely worth checking with Guest Relations to see if you are eligible. And, as always, answer the questions honestly.
If you have any questions about Disney’s Disability Access Service, leave them in the comments!
Disney does not publish a list of disabilities, however, conditions that get worse with extended sun exposure or heat, cognitive disorders that make standing in crowded lines potentially dangerous to the individual or those around them, and others generally qualify.
To get a Disability Access Service (DAS) pass, you will need to pre-register via a video call or in-person at a Guest Relations stand inside the parks.
Disability Access Service is valid for 60 days after registration. After that guests will need to apply again.
According to Disney, “A Guest whose disability is based on the necessity to use a wheelchair or scooter does not need DAS.” Guests using wheelchairs or scooters must either wait in the standard queue or receive a return time at the attraction based on the current wait time.
However, if you are in a wheelchair and cannot tolerate extended waits due to your disability, regardless of a mobility device, you may be eligible.
Up to 6 people can be in the same party and receive the benefits of DAS.
Having Genie+ and DAS is a great combo that will really cut down on your wait times. However, if you are not trying to squeeze in every ride in the park, probably just 1 of the 2 would be fine.
If you have a disability that makes waiting in long lines or in heat difficult, you can explain your situation to Guest Relations. For example “Waiting in line is hard for me because _____”.
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