Disney’s Disability Access Service (DAS) pass has been an asset on each trip with our autistic son. While we’ve heard it called everything from the “Disney Autism Pass” to the “Disney Disability Pass” to the now-defunct “Guest Assistance Card,” the proper name is the Disability Access Service. This article will discuss how Disney’s Disability Access Service benefits visitors with autism. We’ve even included screen recordings and photos of what to expect as you page through the app.
Unfortunately, the Disney Autism Pass does not exist. However, Disney’s Disability Access Service benefits those with many types of disabilities, including autism. The DAS minimizes sensory overload and decreases the stress of crowded lines that may occur with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Using it correctly can help your child have a fantastic vacation! Let’s talk about Disney’s Disability Access Service (DAS) 2022.
Disclosure: I may get a small amount of money from any affiliate links that you click. However, I only recommend products that our family loves.
What are the new Changes to the Disability Access Service?
In August of 2021, Disney announced new changes to the Disability Access Service (DAS). After 22 years, Disney replaced Fastpass with a new program. With the addition of Genie and Lightning Lanes to Walt Disney World, there are a number of tools useful for families trying to maximize times away from crowds.
As always, guests with disabilities can receive in-person itinerary planning assistance at Guest Relations. However, the Genie service can be helpful for some. We find the Genie app useful to see the forecast and wait times for upcoming attractions, join any available virtual queues, join waitlists for restaurants, and chat with a virtual assistant.
But I’ll leave it to the other blogs to cover the ins and outs of the Genie+ app- let’s talk about the exciting new features of the Disability Access Service! They have revamped the process to obtain DAS passes. This page will be updated as changes occur.
Who qualifies for the DAS at Walt Disney World?
If you’re asking, “what disabilities qualify for DAS at Disney World?” The disclaimer from Walt Disney World states, “Any guests who have trouble tolerating extended waits in a traditional queue due to disability.” The disability may be visible or hidden. Unseen disabilities include attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, and sensory-related disorders. Severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or anxiety may qualify in some cases. Talk to the cast members to evaluate if your specific situation is appropriate.
The DAS relates to any health condition that makes it hard to stand for long periods of time or wait in line. However, most mobility-only disabilities are not included in the Disney DAS pass, as most queues are accessible for mobility devices.
Epcot: Guest Relations Lobby (Spaceship Earth)
What is the Disability Access Service (DAS)?
The Disney DAS pass works like a Fastpass (or Lightening Lane?) for those with special needs. It creates opportunities to enjoy headliner attractions when a disability interferes with your ability to wait in a long, crowded line.
The overhaul of the DAS program has finally allowed mobile scheduling. You no longer have to visit an attraction kiosk to request a return time. Instead, the guest will have the option to get a time on the app.
Where do I get the DAS?
If you are wondering how to get a disability pass at Disney World, it is very simple. You can get Disney’s Disability Access Service benefits from Guest Relations at any park. You can also perform Disney DAS registration ahead of time- which still has many technical glitches and long wait times to work out. More about this home registration later.
Magic Kingdom Park: City Hall
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park: Guest Relations Lobby (near main entrance)
Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Guest Relations Lobby (near main entrance)
Epcot: Guest relations to the left of the main entrance or the building on the left near the restrooms before entering the park on the International Gateway
What do I say to Guest Relations to get the DAS?
If you’re wondering what to say to get a DAS pass, tell the truth! First, if you’re lying to obtain the DAS, Disney can permanently bar you from entering Walt Disney World and Disneyland. Plus, you forfeit any money for the park tickets you purchased. Second, tell guest relations that your child has autism (or whatever condition).
Furthermore, ask specifically for the disability access service card. You may be asked, “What is hindering your ability to participate in the standby queue?
The first time we learned about the DAS was because a cast member at Main Street suggested it straightaway. Because of the difference in cast member response, we recommend explicitly asking for it rather than other accommodations (unless those other accommodations will better suit your child).
How does the DAS work?
Based on the current wait time, guests schedule a DAS return time for the given attraction. For example, if Toy Story Mania has a 65-minute wait, you will be given a wait time 65 minutes from now. This pass is good for the entire party traveling with the disabled person.
There are two ways that it can be used:
- Go to the cast member standing with a tablet at the front of the queue. Once the Cast Member scans your magic band (or pass), you get a DAS return time. You can now leave the area and return later.
- Use My Disney Experience (MDE) to schedule the next DAS experience.
Note: While the cast members are happy to help, they are busy! We had a few bouts of technical difficulty in the early days of the transition. However, the cast members were happy to schedule for us if (and this is a big if) the app was not showing the ability to schedule a mobile DAS. Moreover, you should plan to use mobile app scheduling if possible.
Will the Disability Access Service (DAS) Box show up when I enter a Disney park?
Usually yes, the DAS box should show up when you scan into the parks. But sometimes ours was buggy and did not show up in the parks. If you need help troubleshooting making the DAS box show up, look below where it should be in the video that I made. Click ‘Accessibility’ then click Disability Access Service (top of the menu) and sometimes that will trick it into pulling up the DAS box.
Can I register before we arrive in Disney World?
First, you can register before your arrival by live video chat as early as thirty days before your trip. Unfortunately, this chat is only available in English, and folks have reported waiting hours to use this feature. Second, there is a Disability Access Service Advance planning option. You can also choose two attractions per day using the DAS advance planning option.
An advance selection must be made at least two days prior to the trip, and you will not be able to select attractions on the day of your ride. The attraction window will be one hour in length and appear on your My Disney Experience app. Finally, for those children who do not want to plan everything in advance, there is another option. There will also be a same-day DAS return time self-selection tool.
When does Disney’s DAS expire?
It sounds like a lot of work to get the Disney DAS pass, but it’s worthwhile. And once you get it, you won’t have to run out and go through Disney World DAS registration for a little while. valid for up to 60 days from the date of registering for it. You don’t have to waste time at Guest Services each day.
However, it’s important to time your pre-arrival video chat registration for the DAS accordingly. You must be arriving between 2 to 30 days after your video chat.
Disney’s Disability Access Service Benefits
Waiting in line can feel overwhelming or overstimulating. With the DAS, you wait for the same amount of time (minus about five minutes), you just don’t have to do it in the queue. We watch a parade, meet a character, have quiet time in an area away from the crowds, or grab food during our wait time.
The condition is that guests can only have one return time active on the DAS. If you receive another DAS wait time, the first wait time is void. Once you experience the first DAS attraction, you can get a return time for the same or different ride.
What if this doesn’t meet our family’s needs?
Most importantly, if the DAS does not sound like it will meet your family member’s needs, there is hope! Guests should visit Guest Relations to discuss their needs.
We were able to get a “stroller as a wheelchair” when our son was young and overstimulated by crowds, even in the short queue. He did not have to get out of his stroller and felt safe in the cocoon of his own space. Other accommodations may be more appropriate for your child.
How do I know what rides are best for my child?
Walt Disney World provides a unique guide for those with cognitive disabilities, which may help those with Autism Spectrum Disorder. While we love Disney’s Disability Access Service benefits, it doesn’t change any of the sensory experiences on the rides. Also, we created a post on the Top Ten Best Rides to avoid sensory overload.
Use the pre-arrival registration and ride scheduling to your advantage. See if your child wants to review YouTube videos to understand better what to expect in terms of darkness, sounds, and other possible triggers.
What if I arrive early in the queue for the Disney DAS pass?
In our experience, if you are just a few minutes early for your Disney DAS return time, your park pass will make the scanner glow blue. If it is just a minute or two, the cast member will fix it and let you in early. If you are too early, they will have you wait (as we should, it’s the rules!) However, either way, be kind to cast members- they’re treasures!
Does this mean I don’t have to wait in line with the Disney DAS pass?
No, you may still wait in shorter lines with the Disney DAS pass. You will return to Lightning Lane, which may mean a short line. We’ve had to wait up to 20 minutes in this line. Our store features really great fidget toys and other distractors that you can bring for lines.
What if I arrive late for my return time for the Disney DAS pass?
There is no limit to the amount of time you have to return to the ride if you need to leave the park for a nap or sensory time. Return times are guaranteed until the park closes that night. The only way that the time will be replaced is if you select a different attraction. Review the Disney DAS YouTube video I created to check out the details!
To be clear, there is no Disney Autism Pass. The Disney Disability Access Service is adaptable to many disabilities. Between the Genie app and the new changes to the Disney disability access service (DAS) pass, there are a lot of exciting changes.