Inside: Disney’s DAS Pass: Everything you need to know about the Disability Access Service Pass for your special needs child.
You spend days, weeks, months planning to have a magical day filled with rides, good times, and great memories. You arrive at Disney World only to encounter excessive wait times everywhere. It is just too much for your special needs kiddo. Meltdowns ensue and wreak havoc on your well-intentioned plans.
Mama, I have been there!
Parenting special needs kids can be hard even in familiar settings. But when you take a child with special needs out of their preferred environment, disrupt their schedule, and add in a Disney theme park, it can all be too overwhelming for them and feel like the sky is falling.
But there is hope you can still have some spectacular moments on your family vacation and hopefully eliminate or at least reduce the number of meltdowns due to long waits with the Disney World DAS Pass.
The Disney DAS (Disability Access Service) Pass
You might be asking what exactly is the Disney DAS pass? The Disney Disability Access Service pass was designed to allow guests with disabilities (including non-apparent disabilities) at both Disney World and Disneyland to receive a return time for attractions based on the current wait times.
Now, one thing to note is that the DAS pass. It is not meant to reduce the amount of time the DAS cardholder waits for a ride. It just allows the guest to wait in an alternate setting of their choosing until it is time to return to the attraction and enter the (Fastpass) queue.
I’ll be honest. We have been Disney World annual pass holders for several years, and I didn’t look into it until recently. I weep a little for the times we could have gone and avoided just a few meltdowns with the DAS pass at Disney World.
Instead, we like so many other families with special needs kids who didn’t know about the DAS pass at Disney World just skipped the rides with the long waits, did as many fast passes as we could, and did our absolute best to avoid attractions that would lead to meltdowns.
Since I have only experienced requesting a DAS pass at Disney World, if you are visiting Disneyland, you can check out this post from Undercover Tourist on Disneyland’s Disability Pass.
How Do I Get A Disney Disability (DAS) Pass?
You will need to go in person to your Walt Disney World park of choice and visit Guest Relations. Here you will speak to a Cast Member and let them know you require a DAS pass.
Guest Relations is located at the following locations within Walt Disney World Resort:
- Magic Kingdom Park – Within City Hall
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park – Near main entrance on the left upon entering the park
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Near main entrance (turnstiles) on the left upon entering the park
- Epcot – Lobby near Spaceship Earth
Do I Need Proof Of A Disability or Special Need?
No, you do not. Legally, Disney can’t ask for proof. However, they might ask how the pass would help you, and the more details you can provide the Cast Members, the better they can accommodate and assist you.
Tips When Requesting A Disney DAS Pass
Before our arrival at the park, we prepared some notes to share with the Cast Member on the accommodations our special needs child needed while at the parks.
We made a note of how the long wait times, especially with the crowds and heat, affected our special needs child. Autism At The Parks had some great points to consider when making notes on your child’s needs.
Who Needs To Be Present When Requesting A DAS Pass?
The individual requiring the DAS must be present. Once eligibility is determined, all members of the party will also need to be present.
The Cast Member will go over how the DAS pass works before scanning the magic band (or ticket) and take a photo of the individual (or guardian) receiving the DAS pass. Then all members within the party will have their magic bands scanned as well.
The DAS pass is good for up to 6 guests. If you have a party over 6 guests or have additional circumstances or concerns, be sure to discuss them with the Cast Member.
How Long Is The DAS Pass Good For?
The Disney DAS pass is good for up to 60 days, depending on your ticket entitlement. Annual Passholders can obtain a DAS pass for 60 days. The great news about your DAS pass is once it is added to your magic band or ticket it is useable at all parks.
How Does the Disney DAS Pass Work?
Once the DAS pass has been added to a magic band or ticket, now it is time to have fun! If you are using the My Disney Experience App you will see your DAS attraction return times. The DAS pass can be used to request a return time for the attraction of your choosing.
You can only have one return request at a time and return times are valid until redeemed before closing. Return times are typically the posted wait time minus ten minutes.
Example: It is 2 pm local time, and the Slinky Dog ride has a wait time of 90 minutes. You will receive a return time of 3:20 pm. You can return to Slinky Dog anytime after 3:20 pm and enter the FastPass+ queue.
Now, you can request another return time for your next attraction.
Where Can You Request Return Times?
At Disney World, you schedule return requests with the Cast Member at the front of the queue lines located at each attraction. Some attractions will have a separate Guest Relations kiosk stationed before the attraction with a Cast Member ready to assist.
Currently, the Magic Kingdom Park and Hollywood Studios Park are testing Guest Relations kiosks stationed throughout the park to assist guests with a DAS pass further.
Who Can Request Return Times?
Any member of the party can request a return time for an attraction. The Cast Member will ask who in the party will be visiting the attraction and add them to the request.
What Happens When My Return Time Arrives?
If you are ready to visit the attraction when your wait time has elapsed, head over to the attraction Fastpass+ queue and scan your band. One important note, the individual with the DAS pass, must visit the attraction, and they must enter first.
They will scan their magic band or ticket, and then the remaining party members will scan theirs. After you enjoy the attraction, you can request another DAS return time.
Does DAS work with Disney FastPass+ Service?
Yes, it does! The DAS pass does not count towards your Fastpass+ reservations. You can still reserve your three initial Fastpass+ attractions and receive a return time for DAS pass attraction. More information here on how Fastpass+ works.
We reserve our Fastpass+ reservations for rides our special needs kiddo doesn’t like to ride, but other family members are interested in experiencing.
Example: We schedule a Fastpass+ reservation for Tower of Terror since our DAS cardholder refuses to ride it, but the rest of the family really enjoys Tower of Terror.
That way, when we ask for a DAS return time, those attractions are specific for our DAS cardholder.
Does Disney Rider Switch Work With The Disney Disability (DAS) Pass?
Yes, it sure does! If you have a young child who doesn’t meet the minimum attraction requirements or doesn’t want to ride the attraction, you can ask for a rider switch pass while requesting a DAS return time.
When using the rider switch with the DAS pass, the DAS cardholder, one rider that is “switching” and one other member of the party can ride.
Our Experience With DAS Pass at Disney World
It was mid-morning when we arrived at Hollywood Studios and we headed straight to Guest Relations. We were immediately greeted by a Cast Member who helped us with our DAS request.
With this being our first time requesting the DAS pass at Disney World for our special needs child, we were not too sure what to expect. But our experience was terrific!
We explained we would like a DAS pass and this was our first time requesting one. The Cast Member, with no questions asked, took our daughter’s picture, scanned her band, then the remaining family member’s bands.
She explained how the Disney Disability Access Service (DAS) worked, that it was good for 60 days since we are annual pass holders, then we were done! We had our DAS pass in less than 5 minutes!
Plus, the welcome message in our My Disney Experience app was a nice touch!
Disney World DAS Kiosk Testing
Since Hollywood Studios is testing the blue umbrella kiosks throughout the park requesting DAS return times were just as easy as it was for the initial DAS pass setup. My daughter had an easy breezy day, with zero meltdowns thanks to the Disney World DAS pass.
Now, if only Disney World could do something about the summer downpours…
We even managed to ride Slinky Dog multiple times! It was pretty amazing since FastPass+ reservations for Slinky Dog are near impossible to score.
Final Tips For Making the Most Of Your Disney World DAS Pass
Here are some helpful tips to make the most of your visit and your DAS pass experience at Disney World:
- Research crowd levels before you plan your trip. Try and go when crowd levels are lower.
- Have a plan and discuss with your unique needs kiddo his/her priority for must do attractions.
- Coordinate your FastPass+ and your DAS pass to make the most of the return time wait. If you do not have FastPass+ reservations during your return wait be sure to make plans to help entertain or distract from the extended return time wait.
- Research where the attractions are so you aren’t trekking it from one side of the park to the other during your wait times.
- Plan your DAS pass attractions around dining/snack breaks.
- If it is summer time, be sure to take frequent breaks in the AC! When you can’t be in the AC, invest in some fans or misters to keep cool. Being overheated is a trigger in our family.
- Be patient with Cast Members, the FastPass+ system, and DAS pass system during your visit. With technology or Wi-Fi systems can go down. If that occurs, Cast Members will supply you with paper return times.
- Visit Walt Disney World’s website for more information about the DAS and FAQ here.
The most important thing is to remember to have fun! The DAS pass is a great tool to help with your visit, but it is just that, a tool. Having patience, a plan, and a positive attitude will ensure you and your family have a magical day!
Have you used the DAS pass at Disney World? I would love to hear about your experience below!