Disney truly goes above and beyond to make every guests stay magical! Many families with members that have disabilities are on the fence about a Disney vacation. Lindsey shared how magical her recent trip to Walt Disney World was with me.
For all of you that go back and forth on whether or not to go to Walt Disney World because a family member has a cognitive disability, you should GO! Walt Disney World is very accommodating to families that have members with all disabilities.
Our family of four went to Walt Disney World the week of December 11-17th . My oldest son, who is 5, has a cognitive disability. We were all a little worried about wait times and crowds with it being a somewhat busy time of the year. On our first day we went to Hollywood Studios and made a stop at Guest Relations. I walked in and spoke to a cast member about my son and she was VERY understanding and willing to help. She did not ask for any proof or documentation. She gave us what is called a DAS pass. DAS stands for disability access service.
She took a picture of my son and linked it to his magicband. Everyone in your party will be linked to the DAS pass. They will scan your party’s magicband one by one, so when you begin this process make sure everyone in your party is present. The pass is good for the entire length of your stay. With this pass, you approach a cast member working at the entrance of the ride and let them know you want to utilize your DAS pass. You hand them the persons magicband who has the disability and had their picture taken. They will then scan it on what looks like a thick iPhone and let you know when to come back to get on the ride. The time they give you is an exact time. This means you need to be back at that time. They will give you a few minutes to be early or late. Unlike Fastpasses, you do not have an hour window to use it. When it is time to use your pass, you scan your magicband just like you would if you had a Fastpass.
With the DAS pass you cannot go from ride to ride to get multiple come back times. You can only have one comeback time for a ride at a time. Along with your DAS pass you are still allowed to use your scheduled Fastpasses. If you do chose to use your DAS pass very close to a time you have a Fastpass scheduled, the DAS pass will always take precedence. For example, it’s 11:00 and you have a Fastpass scheduled for 11:15 at Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Do not go to Haunted Mansion at 11:05 to get a comeback time for the ride. If you do, the DAS pass will take precedence and you won’t be able to use your Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train fastpass.
Unfortunately, there is no double dipping! The advice I was given by the cast member when I was getting the DAS pass set up, was to make sure I have at least two hours in between my Fastpasses. The only ride in all the parks at Walt Disney World the DAS pass does not work on is the new Frozen ride. If your family is wanting to experience the ride, I would suggest getting a Fastpass.
Now, what if you want to do a ride that does not have the fastpass option? It’s no problem. You approach the cast member working at the entrance and let them know you have the DAS pass. They will scan your magicband and write out a pass for you to come back. When you come back to the ride at the allotted time, you show the cast member your comeback time paper. They will then let you go through the exit to get on the ride.
You can also use the DAS pass with character meet and greet only if there is a Fastpass+ option. You cannot use it with standard character meet and greets. But, there is always what I like to call, “the magic factor.” My son LOVES Chewbacca, but the line was so long and it was towards the end of the day so we opted to look around at the costumes and props. We were approached by a cast member and asked if we were going to see Chewbacca. I explained our situation and that my son wouldn’t be able to keep it together that long. Without thinking twice she said, “Come with me.” We followed her to the cast member that was standing at the entrance to meet him and she whispered something in his ear. When the door opened we went right in and my son was thrilled! I’ll never forget the look on his face! Now, you can’t always bank on things like that happening. Remember because you have the DAS pass doesn’t mean you are excluded from some pixie dust!
I love Walt Disney World and everything that it strives for. They want every family to experience the magic no matter what the circumstance. I will always be grateful that my son will be able to experience it first hand!
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