What accommodations are there for people with disabilities at Disney Parks and Resorts?
The Disney Parks try to be accommodating for all Guests in order to make the Parks and attractions as safe and comfortable as possible. Visiting a theme park with a disability or with a disabled person can sometimes be challenging to navigate, but Disney tries their best to be accommodating and comforting for people of all walks of life and Guests of all experiences.
In this Guide to Disability Access Service (DAS) at Disney Parks, we go over the ins and outs of the Disability Access Service, a service aimed to help disabled individuals and their loved ones in order to ensure that every person’s visit to the Happiest Place on Earth is a magical one.
If you are visiting Disney Parks and you or others in your party are disabled, here is everything you need to know about the Disability Access Service (DAS), the Disney disability service at Disneyland Resort in California and Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.
Updates Coming Soon to DAS
On August 18, 2021, Disney announced that some big updates are coming soon for the Disability Access Service at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort. These new updates come from the huge announcements Disney made about the Disney Genie, a new vacation planning tool coming this fall to Resort apps.
The new updates to the Disability Access Service will allow Guests to register for DAS directly in the Disneyland app and My Disney Experience app. This is a huge change as it will not require you to visit Guest Relations when you arrive at the Parks, and instead you can get DAS access straight in the Resort apps.
We are also making some enhancements to our Disability Access Service (DAS) program, including new options to enroll in the program pre-arrival and for DAS participants to select attractions directly in the app. These options will be available in addition to our existing, in-person DAS program. Visit our Services for Guests with Disabilities page DisneyWorld.com and Disneyland.com for more details.
Disney also released the following details about the new DAS system launching later this year:
To maximize the benefits of DAS, Guests should plan ahead using available information to develop a tentative plan for their visit. Starting this fall, current and forecasted future wait times can be found in the Disney Genie service app tool, in addition to ride locations and attraction access options. DAS can also be used in addition to Disney’s Genie+ service and individual paid attraction selections (coming this fall).
How do Guests register for DAS?
Starting this fall, there will be 2 ways Guests can register for DAS. The recommended option is to register in advance via live video chat between 2 and 30 days prior to a park visit. If deemed eligible for DAS, the Guest (or a parent/guardian if the Guest is under 18 years of age) will participate in a virtual registration process. The Guest utilizing DAS must be introduced on the video call, and a photo will be taken of them. At the end of that process, the Guest will be able to select up to 2 DAS Advance selections for select attractions (subject to availability).
Guests who do not pre-register for DAS can register in-person with a Cast Member at Guest Relations on the day of their visit.
What is DAS Advance and how does it work?
DAS Advance is a new, enhanced feature coming to the popular DAS program this fall. During the DAS Advance video conference Guests will be able to select and book up to 2 DAS Advance selections for each day of their visit (subject to availability).
If a selection is available, the Guest will be given a one-hour time period during the day of the visit to redeem the selection. Selections are valid for use only on the date and during the one-hour time period chosen and cannot be transferred. Guests who do not pre-register for DAS will not be eligible to receive the DAS Advance selections.
Guests who pre-register for DAS will be able to proceed to the booked attraction to confirm their identity before being able to use DAS, including DAS Advance selections. Guests who pre-register for DAS and use DAS Advance selections will also be able to participate in the existing DAS program, including the option of booking DAS selections using the app when that feature is available this fall.
If you are visiting Disneyland or Disney World before this fall when the new updates will be released, keep reading this article as this guide is still up-to-date. We will update this guide with information on the the new DAS system as soon as it launches and as soon as Disney releases it.
Again, the new DAS system has not launched yet. If you are visiting Disneyland or Disney World anytime soon, keep reading for the current information.
How the Disability Access Service (DAS) pass works
The Disability Access Service (DAS) at Disney Parks is a service aimed to help disabled Guests who are visiting a Disneyland or Disney World theme park. DAS is one of the many ways Disney Parks accommodate Guests with disabilities (whether they have a cognitive disability, a physical disability, or any other disability) visiting the theme parks. The service offers assistance to disabled people by providing an alternative to waiting in a long attraction queue.
Here is how Disney describes the service:
DAS is intended for Guests whose disability prevents them from waiting in a conventional queue environment. This service allows Guests to schedule a return time that is comparable to the current queue wait for the given attraction. Once a return time is issued, Guests are free to enjoy other theme park offerings such as meeting a Character, grabbing a bite to eat, enjoying entertainment or even visiting another attraction until their listed return time. Return times are valid until redeemed prior to park closing.
While Disney offers assistance for many disabled people — including Guests with mobility, visual, hearing, and cognitive disabilities — the Disability Access Service is intended for a Guest whose disability prevents them from waiting in a regular queue.
Eligibility for a Disability Access Service pass
Eligibility for Disability Access Service, the Disney disability service, depends on the Guests’ specific needs. Disney does not outright state who is and is not eligible for a DAS pass, nor does the company outline what specific disabilities qualify. Instead, eligibility for a DAS pass is determined on a case-by-case basis in person at Guest Relations, located toward the front of every Disney Park. If a Guest says that they (or someone in their party) are disabled and unable to wait in conventional queues, and asks to to utilize the Disability Access Service during their theme park visit, then Disney will take their word for it.
Here is what Disney says:
Disney Parks’ goal is to accommodate guests who aren’t able to wait in a conventional queue environment due to a disability (including non-apparent disabilities). Guests should visit Guest Relations to discuss their assistance needs.
Disney also states the following as an answer to the question of whether documentation or a doctor’s note is needed to prove one’s disability:
Disney Parks takes Guests at their word and there are legal restrictions around asking for proof.
Click here for Guest Relations locations at Disneyland Resort.
Click here for Guest Relations locations at Walt Disney World.
Accommodations for a Disability Access Service pass
The Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort official fact sheet for DAS outlines the accommodations made for disabled people visiting the theme parks. While DAS can be accommodating for many Guests with disabilities, there are also other needs that disabled Guests may have when they are visiting. These needs can vary person to person and can also sometimes depend on the attractions Guests want to experience. So, Disney is committed to assisting Guests individually in order to provide them with the utmost care.
According to Disney:
DAS, with its virtual wait, will accommodate many of our Guests with disabilities. We recognize, however, that our Guests with disabilities have varying needs, and we will continue to work individually with our Guests to provide assistance.
In unique situations, our Guest Relations staff will discuss special accommodations for persons who are concerned DAS doesn’t meet their needs (e.g., those whose disability limits the duration of their visit to the park or limits their choice of attractions).
All accommodations will be made in person, on site at Guest Relations. We are unable to provide accommodations in advance of a Guest visit.
How to use a Disability Access Service pass in a Disney Park
Registering for DAS
If you anticipate that you or someone in your party will need to use Disability Access Service in a Disney Park, here is what to do — including how to navigate the Park with a DAS pass, whether you can use a DAS pass for shows and entertainment, and overall how the DAS pass works when it comes to attraction lines and wait times.
Below are the steps for signing up for Disability Access Service on your Disneyland or Disney World vacation.
- Arrive at a Disneyland Resort theme park (Disneyland Park or Disney California Adventure Park) or a Walt Disney World Resort theme park (Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, or Disney’s Animal Kingdom).
- After entering the theme park, visit Guest Relations to discuss your needs and the accommodations that are available for you. Note that all Guest Relations locations are located not far from the main entrance of each theme park.
- Disneyland Resort Guest Relations locations:
- Disneyland Park: City Hall, located in Town Square
- Disney California Adventure Park: Chamber of Commerce, located near the main entrance
- Walt Disney World Guest Relations locations:
- Magic Kingdom: City Hall, located in Town Square
- EPCOT: Guest Relations lobby, located near Spaceship Earth
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Guest Relations lobby, located near the turnstiles
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom: Guest Relations lobby, located near the main entrance
- Disneyland Resort Guest Relations locations:
- Upon arriving at Guest Relations, discuss your specific needs with a Guest Relations Cast Member. Guest Relations works with Guests individually in order to provide them the assistance they need on a case-by-case basis.Perhaps you (or the disabled Guest in your party) cannot wait in a conventional attraction queue and therefore you need DAS. Perhaps there are other needs that need to be accommodated based on a different disability, whether that is a cognitive disability, mobility disability, hearing disability, visual disability, or more. No matter what, explain your needs and situation to the Cast Member at Guest Relations, and Disney’s team will determine how they are able to accommodate.
- If DAS is provided to the Guest, then the Guest or their guardian will participate in a registration process. DAS registration requires providing proof of valid theme park admission and a photo will be taken of the Guest who is eligible for DAS (or of the guardian, if preferred). The Guest or their guardian will also sign and accept the terms and conditions of DAS.
Using Disability Access Service for attractions at the Disney Parks
Using DAS on your family vacation is very simple. It works very similarly to a FastPass (and, actually, it can be used in conjunction with FastPass+/FASTPASS). It allows you to spend your time waiting to ride an attraction doing other things in the Park, such as shopping, eating, meandering the land, meeting characters, and more.
You simply speak with a Guest Relations Cast Member at a kiosk located within or adjacent to the land where the attraction you want to ride is located. There, you will tell the Cast Member that you have a DAS pass and which ride you want to go on next.
You will be given a return time to come back and ride that attraction when it is your turn. Return times are valid until Park closing, so don’t worry about returning to the attraction urgently. But know that as soon as a Guest with a DAS pass finishes an attraction, they can obtain a return time for another.
Note that DAS is valid at any Disney theme park, not just the one where you first signed up for the service. So, if you are visiting a Disney Resort over the course of multiple days, your DAS pass will be valid for the entirety of your visit at any Park you go to.
How to use DAS pass with an attraction that requires a Boarding Group
Even if you qualify and have a Disability Access Service pass, you will still need to obtain a Boarding Group for the attractions that require it. However, there are still accommodations tht may be available to you.
If you want to ride WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure at Disney California Adventure Park or Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Disneyland Park or Disney’s Hollywood Studios Park, then — just like all other Guests — you will need to log onto the Disneyland app or My Disney Experience app at the required time to obtain a Boarding Group (which works as a virtual queue). Then, when your Boarding Group is called, walk over to the attraction and speak with a Cast Member at the attraction if you are in need of further assistance.
Note that there are more disability resources beyond the DAS pass. Questions? Contact Disney Parks at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on disability services at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, visit the official website here.
For more information on disability services at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, visit the official website here.
What is your experience using Disney’s Disability Access Service? Do you have any questions about the Disney DAS pass? Let us know in the comments!