Recently I have had a lot of questions about the Disney DAS system.
How does it work? Etc.
And since they have changed the application process and requirements of late, I interviewed a few of my Mom Squad experts who have experienced DAS since its updates and I wanted to share their fit hand perspective on how things worked for them!
What is DAS?
Disney Parks have an unwavering commitment to providing a welcoming, inclusive environment and accessible experiences for our Guests. As part of this commitment, the Disability Access Service (DAS) is a program offered at the Disney parks to assist Guests who have difficulty tolerating extended waits in a conventional queue environment due to a disability. – Disney Parks’ official statement.
So instead of going into lots of lists and unimportant details, I asked some questions of my experts, and here’s what they had to say!!
One of the biggest changes with DAS is the opportunity to register and be approved for its benefits prior to your Walt Disney World visit. So my first question was…
1. How easy was the DAS application process? Did you apply before your trip or did you do it when you arrived?
“The process was so easy! We’ve used DAS twice now. The first time, we didn’t really know it was a thing until my daughter’s pediatrician told us at her well visit the month before we left. So when we got to the park on our first day, we went straight to guest services” and said, “our daughter has autism, and we were told we could get some kind of a pass for her to be able to get a return time instead of waiting. So they did a little magic to our magic bands, handed them back to us, and said we were good. The whole process took 5 minutes and they didn’t ask any questions. This was in 2020 before covid, so we used it in combination with the old fast pass system, and we were able to ride every single ride (that the kids were tall enough for).
The second time was in February 2022, so it was post-covid, the week the mask mandate was lifted, thankfully. So this time we knew about the new genie plus system and had a good idea of how DAS would work with it. We actually applied online this time, and we were so glad we did. It took a little longer than in-person, but well worth it. I did a FaceTime call with a cast member. They were really quick, and I didn’t get put on hold or anything. She did ask to see my daughter to take a pic of her, which was fine. She didn’t ask many questions at all, and once we were all set, she placed me on a brief hold so that I could schedule our rides/attractions, which I didn’t know was possible. So then we went from FaceTime to a regular call, and I was informed that if you apply online, you get 2 additional scheduled rides per day. This was maybe a 20-minute process from start to finish. So for anyone who doesn’t know, DAS lets you have one ride in the queue at all times, so if you have a return time at the haunted mansion at 12:30, you can go rest, or ride something else without a long wait time, but you can’t have another ride on your list until you scan into the current ride. So right at that 12:30 mark, go scan your band at the haunted mansion. As soon as you scan your band, you can schedule your next ride in the app. So you can schedule Peter Pan, or whatever you want, then you’ll at least spend some of that time getting through the haunted mansion if that makes sense.” – Britney H.
“It was super easy. I didn’t do this ahead of time but at the park. Prior to using your pass to get in the gate, go to customer services. We did have a bit of a wait here (15-30 mins) for our turn. A cast member came out to talk to me & Charlie. They talked to Charlie and asked him a couple of questions which I don’t think he answered and then activated our magicbands. He is able to have 7 other people in the group go with him. We were told outside where you get in line, across from it, there would be a cast member and check in with them and they would tell you when to come back and to thru fast pass lane.” – Andrea S.
Another aspect of DAS is being able to utilize it in conjunction with other Disney ride services, so I asked….
2. Did you also use Disney Genie+ in conjunction with the DAS pass? If so, how was your experience? If not, do you feel like DAS alone is helpful enough?
“With our first trip, it was great having the fast passes with the DAS, so we were worried about not having genie plus. Carie advised us that DAS was probably enough, so we decided against it. With the extra 2 scheduled rides in addition to our DAS selections, we were able to ride every single ride at every single park. It was actually about the same as the old fast pass system. The only rides skipped were the ones that were shut down (Everest) and the ones my girls weren’t tall enough for (Rockin’ rollercoaster). DAS is enough! Do not spend money on genie plus. We did, however, pay for the lightning lanes for the rides that would not accept DAS, which included 2 rides from each park (I think this may have changed a little since then). We could not use DAS for 7 dwarfs, space mountain, Flight of Passage, ROR, Mickey and Minnie, Ratatouille, and Frozen. So we paid for each of these rides instead of paying for genie plus. For us, it was worth it to not have to worry about waiting and having meltdowns.” – Britney H.
One of the biggest concerns most parents voice is wondering if DAS is user-friendly and really does assist in making the experience at Disney more enjoyable and smooth for those with disabilities and their families.
3. Did you find DAS easy to use while on property?
“Yes, easy to use and I even checked in with the wrong cast member and came back to ride at the time I was told and the lady told us we weren’t in the queue. Charlie started to panic and cry and the lady was like its ok, you can still go on through.” – Andrea S.
“DAS was very easy to use. You HAVE to use the app and be very familiar with the app. You would just pull up the app, and a DAS icon pops up after you are scanned into the park, you click on that icon and it takes you to the wait times. You choose your ride, choose who will be riding, and select a time. As soon as you scan into your first ride with your magic band or card, choose your next one. Don’t waste time. You can always go to the ride or attraction any time after that selected time, but not before. As for the 2 pre-scheduled rides, you must arrive within an hour time frame or you will lose that spot.” – Britney H.
I also wanted to share a few thoughts that a couple of my Mom Squad highlighted when submitting their answers.
Jennifer is a mom of 3 under 4! Here’s her perspective.
“For our last trip, we just had to go and switch the people associated with it. Also, I know there is the advantage of getting two advanced selections if you do the online DAS registration but I opted not to do that either time and just went to City Hall upon our first park day and was in and out in under 15 mins. Much easier than getting on at 7 am and waiting hours like I’ve seen others say they have with the online. This can also be done at the blue umbrellas around the park as well. That’s where we first got it set up on our first trip.” – Jennifer J.
“DAS is amazing! I’ll try to keep it short, but there is so much to say! First off, we have two daughters, ages 6 and 7, one of which has autism. Autism is truly a spectrum, and each child is different, but one thing they probably all have in common, is that they do NOT want to wait in long lines. We first went to WDW in early 2020 when my girls were 4 and 5 years old. We were really nervous to go to Disney at first, and my husband was actually dreading it, and anticipating the meltdowns, but we learned about the fast pass system and thought maybe we could still have a good time, even if we didn’t get to ride everything. After learning about and using DAS, completely changed everything. We had the best time of our lives, and we rode everything!! No long lines! No meltdowns! All smiles. I would also like to mention that we are not early risers. We got up late every day, got breakfast, and would head out to the parks around 10 or 11 every morning, and stay until dinner time.
Another thing worth mentioning is that if one person in your party has a DAS, everyone will be linked together (up to 6 people). The four of us had magic bands and my parents decided to meet up with us at the last minute, and Carie was able to link them to our party. They were given cards that worked the same way as the bands. They were automatically linked to my park reservations and showed up in the app.” – Britney H.
I hope you enjoyed this personal look into DAS and how it can assist in making Disney a pleasant experience for everyone. I so appreciate the unique perspectives that my Mom Squad had to offer on this subject and I hope it helps to answer some of your questions regarding this amazing service!