WDW -Disability Access Service (DAS) Post 1 updated 4/25/14 - stamps at attractions
WDW- Disability Access Service (DAS) FAQs
The DAS program was rolled out at all WDW and California Disney parks on October 9, 2013.
This thread is going to be about Walt Disney World questions and information, not debate on the new system.
Please try to keep questions on the new program on this thread so people are not needing to read or respond on a bunch of different threads.
Because this is a very 'hot button' item, there will be some guidelines for discussion that need to be followed to avoid this thread moving down the same path as others on the DAS.
1) Follow the Disboards posting guidelines
No sarcasm, no personal attacks, no name-calling. In other words, play nice. As Thumper's mom said, "If you don't have something nice to say...don't say nothing at all."
2) Be respectful of others. Many people are afraid of the unknown and are feeling very vulnerable right now. People have different disabilities/needs and different comfort levels about their disabilities. Because this is a new & unfamiliar way of doing things, people are concerned.
3) No debates:
Post 1 is DAS FAQs. It will be updated as more information comes out. If you have a question - check here first. Chances are good your answer is in post #1
Post 2 is Guidelines for discussion, FAQs about the change and other information
Post 3 and 4 are going to be a collection of suggestions or things people feel have been helpful as they navigate the new system.
Walt Disney World - Disability Access Service Cards (DAS) FAQs
The information that follows is not 'official', but is as complete, up to date and accurate as possible.
Some is from documents already released by Disney and some from personal conversations with reliable sources. The Moderators are not employed by Disney and make no claims to be speaking for Disney.
items that are rumor will be labeled as rumor. Anything not labeled as rumor has been confirmed to be accurate, at least at the time of the last update. Disney can always change things, but we will try to keep the information as current as possible.
What is the Disability Access Service (DAS)?
This is Disney's new way of providing assistance to guests with disabilities that prevent them from waiting in a traditional line environment because of their disability.
The quick overview:
No, you can't write or call ahead to get one.
Guest Relations locations inside and outside of the park are open during park hours.
You do need to go thru the security bag checkpoint to get to the outside of the park Guest Relations, but you don't need to actually enter the park. Once you are actually in the park area, look for Guest Relations in the 'wall' of the buildings that make up the outside wall of the park.
BE AWARE: There is no guarantee that a DAS can be issued at park Guest Relations outside of the parks. If it is busy, they try to send as many people as possible to Guest Relations inside of the park.*
Many people visiting the outside of the park location have ticket issues, which need to be resolved before they can enter the park. Those kinds of issues can be very time consuming.
So, if it's busy, they may limit the outside Guest Relations to only/primarily deal with ticket problems.
Outside of the park Guest Relations is to the right when you face the front of the park after you go thru the bag check point.
Inside of the park Guest Relations is on the left in City Hall after you pass under the train station.
Outside of the park Guest Relations is almost straight across from the monorail exit, on the right side of the park entrance. Bag check is closer to the left side of the park entrance; after going thru bag check, go right past the ticket booths and you will find it.
Inside of the park Guest Relations is to the left, after you pass Spaceship Earth.
There is also a Guest Relations booth at the International Gateway. First reports said they may NOT be issuing DAS cards there, but people have posted they did get one there.
DHS and AK
Outside of the park Guest Relations is to the left as you face the park entrance.
Inside the park Guest Relations is also to the left, soon after you pass thru to actually enter the park.
How do I request a DAS?
What about Children on Make-a-Wish, Give Kids the World or other Wish type trips? Will they use DAS too?
Children on Wish Trips will be issued a separate lanyard and card that will provide the accommodations they need. Their lanyard will have some identification and date information.
Nothing will change for them on how they access attractions, only on what they will use.
STILL UNDER CONSTRUCTION.
MORE TO COME.............................
Guidelines for Discussion, history and other things
This forum is a place of support and help, a positive environment.
Discussions on different forums, websites, Facebook, boards, blogs all over the internet have had a hard time remaining positive and many have had to close because of the types of comments.
Because this can be a 'hot button' item to discuss, we are setting some guidelines for discussion on this thread.
1) Follow the Disboards rules found here: http://www.wdwinfo.com/guidelines.htm
No sarcasm, no personal attacks, no name-calling. In other words, play nice. As Thumper's mom said, "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say nothing at all."
2) Be respectful of others. Many people are afraid of the unknown and are feeling very vulnerable right now. People have different disabilities and needs; no one can know someone else's needs
3) No debates:
4) No posting of links to blogs or petitions. If you want to share them, share them by Private Message
The information that follows is not 'official', but is as complete, up to date and accurate as possible. The Moderators are not employed by Disney and make no claims to be speaking for Disney.
The current changes may seem scary, but to me, this is all deja vue.
In 2004, when Disneyland was changing from the Special Assistance Pass to the Guest Assistance Card, the same thing happened.
People wrote articles saying they could not possibly go to Disneyland if the Special Assistance Card went away. There were not as many blogs, but there were discussion boards and petitions begging Disney not to get rid of the Special Assistance Pass and replace it with the Guest Assistance Card.
The reasons for the change then were the same as now - abuse by non-disabled guests and lines for guests with disabilities sometimes longer than regular lines.
2004 article that sounds very familiar to now: http://articles.latimes.com/2004/jul.../me-disabled19
Although the abuse has been in the news recently, Disney has been looking at the problems with use of the Guest Assistance Cards for a long time.
The population is aging and there are more people going to Disney parks with disabilities all the time. They simply could not continue to accommodate them all under the way the Guest Assistance Card was working.
This article explains it very well.
And this picture shows what can happen when a line gets overloaded with guests with special needs.
This is the handicapped line for Small World. Most lines handle guests with mobility devices thru the regular line, but some, like Small World, have a handicapped entrance because the regular line is not accessible.
All the people you can see in the photo are in the handicapped line and their wait will probably is about one hour. The actual entrance of the handicapped line is in in front of the man and woman wearing orange shirts. To their right, you can see someone trying to get out - just behind her is the main ride exit.
The 'regular' entrance is the the left of the picture, where you can see some signs.
This is a picture from the front of the ride at the same time.
You can see the 25 minute wait posted and see how widely spaced people are in the regular line.
This is one of the things that Disney is trying to correct with the new program.
STILL UNDER CONSTRUCTION ..........
MORE TO COME>>>>>>>>>
Suggestions or things people feel have been helpful as they navigate the new system
This post is going to be a collection of suggestions or things people felt have been/would be helpful for navigating the new system.
I will add things to this post and post 4 (planning for expansion) from suggestions made on this thread.
1) My Disney Experience - a smart phone app from the Disney company that has maps, information about attractions, wait times
An internet connection is needed to use some features, like the wait times and interactive maps. Disney has recently added wi-fi in all the WDW parks.
Available in the iTunes app store, Google Play app store and Amazon app stores
Link to WDW version on the Disney website: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/pl...e/mobile-apps/
2) Coming soon - Guide for Guests with Cognitive Disabilities
There will be a WDW version and a Disneyland version.
These are booklets being developed by Disney with information that should be especially helpful for people visiting with cognitive or neurologic disabilities. They will be available as a printed copy at the parks and as an electronic version on the Disney World/Disneyland websites.
Helpful information about attractions will include:
- duration of attraction
- sensory information about attractions (sights, smells, sounds)
These sound like they will be an awesome resource
I will share more about this as I get more information.
MORE TO COME..........
CONSTRUCTION BY YOU AS YOU ADD SUGGESTIONS TO THIS THREAD>>>>>
Suggestions and Tips
DAS card and non line related issue?
The GAC has allowed us to be seated in the handicapped section of shows and the Philharmagic. Any idea how the new DAS would work for that?
My wife and I have the same question. My guess is that we'll find out when the program is officially announced. With all the focus on the controversial aspects of the new program information about the needs of other disabilities hasn't been leaked yet.
Logic says that disability-appropriate seating will remain. With all Disneys efforts to be fair to all, not accommodating the visually impaired would be counter to that.
I am moving the recent posts asking questions about DAS to this thread and opening the thread for discussion.
Keep checking - posts 1-4 will be updated.
What about families with multiple disabled persons
I haven't really seen anything about this mentioned anywhere. My family of 5 has 4 people who could qualify for disabled assistance. The last time we went, summer of 2012, we had 2 GACs. I asked for one for each of my boys, but the guest assistance CM told me to just use the same card for both. I know that isn't the way it should be, but after going back and forth several times I gave up.
Realistically we need 3. My father needs one, as sometimes he and my mother do go off on their own. I also need one for each of my boys. There are certain attractions that one or the other will not ride. For example, the younger one loves Dinosaur, but most of the time, the older one will not go on it. I don't get one for myself because I don't go on anything without at least one of the boys.
The needs are essentially the same for all three. Basically we can't stand in overly long lines for different reasons, several of us also have issues with the sun. We cannot go at less crowded times of year because I work for the school system. Myself and ds 12 have fibromyalgia, ds 15 is autistic, and my father has multiple issues including mobility, anxiety, claustrophobia etc. My father is in an ECV and ds 12 is in a manual wheelchair. We only get so many hours in a park before we have to go back to the room and rest.
I admit that I don't like change. I liked the old system, and the new one terrifies me. I keep telling myself to just give it a chance and see what happens. We have a trip scheduled for Christmas time of this year. We will be staying at SOG. We are planning 3 days at Universal, 2 days at Seaworld, and 6 at WDW. Universal and Seaworld are extra challenging because we can't easily go back to the room for a few hours.
Does anybody know how they are planning to handle families with multiple disabled persons? Will we be able to get 3 DAS cards? If not, what do you do when you have multiple people with issues?
I was one of the reviewers on the original book.
It has a lot of good info, but some people find it very intimidating because of the length.
The Disney information will be shorter, but very helpful.
Most of the information out there is for Disneyland, but I believe one part stated that guests in wheelchairs and ECVs will be directed to the mainstream line, if it is accessible. For those with other issues, wait times will be based on the current wait time, as accessed by a CM.
DL and WDW are basically the same process.
I am also waiting to see how they handle non "wait time" related problems.
My mom while slow and needing more rest stops is fine to walk in normal circumstances on level surfaces, or even slight inclines. Her only problem is steps. She has problems maintaining her knee while walking up or down steps.
I had figured to ask for a GAC so that she could bypass the bridge in TSM and could sit at entrance level of the shows like Indiana Jones/Fantasmic,etc. (not sure what else has steps in DHS and Epcot but I know it's only a few that are not mainstreamed)
I don't need shorter waits(already reserved my FP+) or alternative waiting (standing in line is not an issue as long as she can lean occasionally in longer queues), I just need to by pass the stairs.
I'm still writing post one, but am adding what I know for these questions.
If you are not using DAS, what was the accommodation you got with the GAC?
Was it the waiting space at Philharmagic that you needed or what was it about the handicapped section of shows that you needed?
Not everyone with a condition has a disability. So, your task will be to explain how your conditions affect you in a way that causes a need for accommodation.
They will likely give more scrutiny to people asking to use DAS for more than one person in their group (so, be prepared that you will get more questions about your needs).
The reason for the extra scrutiny is there were people who were asking for GACs for more than one member of their group to bypass the normal 6 person limit for a GAC. There are also people who have written (blogs, etc) that they plan to say more than one member of their party needs to use DAS so that they can have more than one Return Time going at once.
Disney is aware that there can be people with more than one person with a disability in their group, so I'm sure they have considered that there are people who will be parties that have more than one person needing a DAS also. That would definitely be the exception rather than the rule, so don't necessarily expect it.
Plus, some people who had been given GACs may not qualify for a DAS.
What is out there says it would fall under the heading of "Attraction Accommodations" , which is how they are handling things like front row seating for guests with visual disabilities. The attraction CMs are reportedly undergoing specific training for how to do those for their attraction.
Guest would need to explain what they need to the attraction host.
Alternate entries in the situation where the regular line is not accessible is a different situation and is handled differently (I am writing that up now for post 1)
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