Beginning Monday, April 27, 2015 the current Disability Access Service (DAS) that is currently in place to assist guests will be changing. The system will move away from the typical paper cards and time stamps to using the park-wide digital system.
In an effort to help guests have as fair experience as possible while using this current system, the resort is moving to using Magic Bands or RFID enable tickets to assign return times for the DAS system instead of using the familiar paper cards. While the functionality of the system will change, the policies of the system will not change. This system isn’t intended for guests who want to avoid waiting in lines, but to assist those who truly need extra assistance. This system may also be used in conjunction with the current Fastpass+ system. Walt Disney World actually encourages you to do this. DAS users will still be granted 3 Fastpass+ and can continue booking subsequent Fastpasses in the park while they are available.
The new digital version of DAS will require 4 steps to successful usage:
- Visit Guest Relations at the first park you plan to visit.
The primary guest(s) using the DAS system will still need to have a photo taken that will be linked to their MagicBand or park ticket and those of their guests. Guests will be asked for their party size. You’ll be limited to that number when you return later using the DAS. The maximum number of guests per DAS user will remain 6 per user. One major change for the new digital version is a 60 day term of usage. This will apply to all users. The photo linked to a MagicBand will be valid for one year.
- Visit an Attraction to schedule a reservation return time.
After setting up your DAS registration, proceed to an attraction of your choosing. Visit the regular stand by (not Fastpass+ entrance) Cast Member. The Cast Member will scan the MagicBand or ticket of one member of the party. ANY member of the party may take care of booking a DAS visit. The guest with the disability does not need to be present when making the initial reservation, but must be present when riding. All guests are not required to ride though.
After the Cast Member scans your MagicBand or ticket the DAS system will automatically assign you a return time. The return time will be the current posted wait time at the attraction minus 10 minutes. If the current wait is 75 minutes, the DAS return time will be 65 minutes later. The DAS user and guests may return ANY TIME after that return time all the way up to the closing of the attraction. However, you may only have ONE DAS reservation at a time. (Think of it as a 4th Fastpass+ for terms of discussion.) If you attempt to get another while one is still active, it will over write the previous reservation.
Jot down the return time! It may help you to add it to your phone or jot it on a piece of paper. You will be able to view the DAS return time on My Disney Experience or an in park kiosk, but you will not be able to adjust the time!
- Do something during the waiting period. You can walk around, visit another attraction, meet a character, use your Fastpass+, go shopping, sit on a bench etc… It’s up to you to determine what to do while you wait for that return time!
- Use the DAS reservation. Remember, the original user who registered for the Disability Access System MUST be present at the ride. If the DAS user does not wish to ride, no member of the party will be allowed to ride, so choose the rides that the DAS USER wishes to experience. The user and his/her guests will present themselves at the Fastpass+ return line, scan their MagicBand or ticket and walk on into the experience. Cast Members at the ride will assist with any special vehicle needs.
When a DAS user or his/her guests tap their MagicBand or ticket, it will always light up blue, but that merely to tell the Cast Member to review the DAS reservation and party members before proceeding through the Mickey touch point.
My father used the current DAS system a couple months back and found it really helped him experience more of the park when it was combined with Fastpass+ usage. The paper card seemed pretty easy to use, but everything is moving digital these days, so we all adapt and move forward.
Be sure to pass the word along.