Home Disney News Disney’s New DAS Advanced System is Not Meeting Guest Expectations

Disney’s New DAS Advanced System is Not Meeting Guest Expectations

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Disney’s New DAS Advanced System is Not Meeting Guest Expectations
Credit: Disney

Disney’s DAS Advanced pre-registration system seemed like a major upgrade for guests with disabilities when the system was announced alongside the new Genie+ service.  Here is our not-so-great experience with the service so far.  

DAS (Disability Access Service)

Traditional DAS service. The “old” way. Credit: My Disney Experience

Disney offers DAS as part of its commitment to making experiences accessible to all guests.  DAS is a program offered at Walt Disney World theme parks to assist guests who have difficulty tolerating extended waits in a traditional queue.  The DAS system is not new and is a great option for many guests visiting the parks.  Previously, Guests registered at guest services upon entering their first theme park of the trip. If approved, the access would be good for 60 days.

The traditional DAS system allowed the guest to check in at a ride and receive a return time roughly equal to what the stand-by line time is.  They are not jumping ahead but rather can wait in other areas of the park instead of in the traditional queue.  Rebecca has a helpful guide to DAS which you can read here.  The guide will be updated based on experiences like the one I (Joe) will share below and other information that we can obtain.

New DAS and Genie Launch

Credit: Disney

With the launch of the Disney Genie service, guests now have the ability to request their return time in the My Disney Experience App. It is important to remember that the traditional service is still functioning should guests choose to utilize it.  You can still utilize the “old” system and obtain a return time by physically going to a ride queue if you choose to not use the app.

Also with the Genie Launch came the DAS Advanced system.  Guests now have the opportunity to register via live video chat before their arrival to the parks.  This would be one less thing to worry about upon entering. In addition, guests have the option of booking 2 Advance ride selections for each day in the parks between 2 and 30 days before your park visit. 

Again, this can only be completed through the virtual chat. You will be given one hour return time windows.  Rebecca’s guide has full details on the ride selection process and what rides are included.  

My Experience With DAS Advanced

For our (Joe and Guests) upcoming trip we have someone traveling with us that will utilize the DAS service.  We were excited for the changes and felt that they will be a positive experience.  Unfortunately, it has not started out that way.

Leading up to our 30 day prior to the trip start window we saw some guest reports on our KtP pages of long waits for the chat so we prepared to wait ourselves.  I didn’t realize just how crazy this would be.  When we reached 30 days prior to our check-in, we encountered our first roadblock.  After a 4 hour wait in the queue we began to chat with a cast member. 

BREAKING: Walt Disney World Provides Update on Reservations, FastPasses and Dining will be Canceled

As a longtime Disney traveler, we have booked many reservations.  For example, when booking available dining reservations I am used to being able to book the typical 60 days from the start date of my package reservation through the entire length of my stay.

We assumed incorrectly, because this is not the case for the DAS Advanced registration. We did not fully take notice of the specificity of Disney’s wording.  The day we arrive we do not have a park reservation, because our park visits start the next day. 

So, after waiting for 4 hours, we could not complete our advanced DAS, because we were one day early for the new DAS Advanced requirements. There was nothing the cast member could do to help us.  Not even at least get us registered.  This is very frustrating because after this chat we have tried for over 2 weeks to connect with no luck.

Advance DAS registration now further limited by travel date
credit: Disney

Before I go any further, here is an important tip.  During a phone call with a DAS cast member (not part of the virtual chat team) I was informed that you can only make the 2 advanced selections per park reservation when you are 30 days out from EACH park day, not just your first park day. Essentially, you cannot make all of your DAS Advanced reservations at one time until 30 days prior to your LAST park reservation. Again, this is very different than other Disney reservations.

Pirate tip: Wait until all your park days have reached the 30 day mark in order to make all your selections in one chat.

Essentially, you would need to request virtual chat each day as you reach 30 days out from that park day of your vacation.  Under current circumstances that is not feasible.  If you want to avoid multiple video chats, then I recommend waiting until you are 30 days prior to your LAST park reservation day.  That way you would be able to do the registration and book the 2 DAS Advance selections for your entire trip.  

Credit: Rebecca

This information was contrary to what the first Cast Member told us.  As with many aspects of the Genie rollout, Cast Members do not seem to be on the same page.  I want to be clear that it is not their fault but rather the result of being put in a poor position.

Problems With the Virtual Chat Queue

I wish I had more information to provide you regarding the process of registering via virtual queue and picking your two advanced DAS selections, but I have been unsuccessful connecting with a cast member.  According to guest reports we received, that seems to be going ok IF you can get through. 

However, we are two weeks into trying and have not been successful. What seemed like a great opportunity to provide equity for disabled guests has turned into a stressful time waster for many. This cannot be what Disney had intended, can it?

Rocky Start for new Disability Access Advance Registration
credit: Disney website

Right now we have accumulated about 90 hours of time in the chat queue over the past few weeks.  Each day we open the chat on a computer or phone and check in with it to make sure it does not go to sleep.  Luckily most days we can complete tasks while waiting.  That’s not possible for many families. 

Complicating things is the fact that the guest requiring services is required to be present for the chat.  Multiple hour waits make it difficult for families to coordinate this. It is not possible for people to put their entire day on hold with the hopes of getting through to a cast member.

That brings me to the queue itself.  Guests are left wondering what the heck is going on?  Other Disney queues we have been in will give some sort of estimate on waits or at least give status updates.  They will let guests know that Disney is aware you are still waiting.  There is very little information given in the current system, and at times you are left wondering if you are even still connected to the chat.

Credit: Joe. DAS Chat window for attempting to join DAS Advanced pre-registration virtual chat

During our phone conversation with DAS services, we were told that everyone that gets on the chat will eventually get through to an agent before the day’s end.  We have found this to be untrue.  After waiting for hours on the DAS chat queue, we are sent a message around 9:00 each night informing us that Disney will not be taking anymore chats today. 

What adds to the frustration is the fact that I can’t use any other apps on my phone while waiting in the chat queue, because if I open another app, I am disconnected from the chat.

More exciting changes coming to Disability Access Service DAS
credit: Disney

We have tried several strategies due to the fear of lost connection because, again, the chat gives you no updates.  We tried to keep moving around on MDE to keep the website active.  We tried to send chat messages to the automated system to make sure we were active but nothing has been helpful.  It often gives you the impression that you might be disconnected.

Again, we still have the option to just register the “old way” in the parks at guest services, but you do not get the 2 advanced DAS options if you choose this path.  Unfortunately, this seems to be where we are headed, because we cannot keep putting our days on hold for 8+ hours  in a virtual chat queue only to be disconnected before meeting with a cast member.

Breaking: You can now sign up for Disney's new DAS. Here's how to register
This is not how we feel right now……..Credit: Disney

The process has been frustrating to say the least and goes along with Ashley’s recent article about negative changes at Disney. The DAS virtual queue needs to be improved and the following would help greatly:

  1. Clearly state the language used for this process (especially for new or less seasoned guests)
  2. Indicate an estimated wait time or number in queue (for example: you are guest 100/500 in line)
  3. Indicate that connection is still live by sending period messages etc.
  4. Cut off the number of chat requests accepted each day to ensure that everyone in the queue will be taken care of by 10:00 pm the day they enter the chat queue.
Credit: KtP writer Donna

In theory, the new DAS Advanced system will be a great option for guests utilizing the service.  However, the rollout of the system has been really poor.  Disney may have underestimated demand and it may speak to the overall issues of many businesses having staffing issues.  Either way, Disney needs to make changes soon!

Have you tried the new DAS Advanced pre-registration system?  Were you successful?  Any tips for getting through?  Let us know in the comments and on Facebook!


17 COMMENTS

  1. My sister has tried for 2 weeks to connect with the DAS site. All the problems already listed here. I would guess she has spent more than 40 hours sitting on hold without ever getting a response. Although one time she was disconnected and had to start over… if you call that a response! We are 8 days out from our trip so looks like we will just do it at guest services.
    I am hoping Disney is noticing the comments that say Universal does it better. Sometimes that gets Disney’s attention when they aren’t paying attention to other comments.

  2. So, when I finally got through on live chat after we landed, they said I had been given wrong info and could not reserve his advance reservations even though his DAS was currently active because we would have to renew before the date we were going. :(
    BUT today it worked out! The secret is to just start right at 7:00 am on a day when you have to drive 2 hours to an airport where you have to then wait 2 more hours and then fly 2 hours. Even though had to put it on airplane mode for the flight, after we turned it back on after landing, we wound up finally connecting while at baggage claim. There were several times during the wait where it said we had to go back a page or log back in, but it put us back in the same chat showing chat started at 7:04. I had phone with me anyway. And as it turns out, they do not seem to run out of the advance reservations the way they do with the lightning lane times- we were still offered 3 times for Slinky and Falcon, morning, afternoon or evening. So if you have something lengthy with enforced stillness like a plane flight coming up, try that. And don’t get discouraged about it saying to go back a page or log in again, you still have your place. Good luck.

  3. We were able to do this last Monday. I logged in at 7:45am on my computer. I just left it up all day, and every hour I put in the chat that I was waiting for DAS registration. After 4 hours I got the notice to fill out the form and I submitted (I believe they are checking your reservation dates here to make sure you quality). Then after another 2 hours I got a notice that I qualified and was moved to the DAS queue. Then after another 3 hours I was able to talk with someone, confirm our party, get DAS picture taken (the cast member was SUPER NICE as it took us three times to get the video to work properly), and then she moved us to another queue to make our selections. I waited about another hour and then someone came on and we worked through our selections. All in I was on the chat about 10 hours, again I just pinged the chat each hour to make sure that I stayed connected, and left it up in a window on its own. I did get a few notices (not many, and usually when they switched queues) telling me that there was a wait.

    Something to note: We WERE able to book the advanced registrations for our FULL trip, even though we were only 30 days out for the first 3 days of 7 days. He did not mention just being able to do the first 3 days, he just did them all.

  4. I have so much to say about this! I went thtt egg Pugh the GAC switch to DAS years ago when it took over a year before it worked the way
    Y it was intended! Now we get to go through this. We have tried every single day at different times of the day. Unfortunately this whole idea of my SN son needs to be available during this ordeal with no idea how long it will be is stupid! He has school, special Olympics, therapy. I seriously wondered if I was going to have to run into his therapy session yesterday if I were able to get on! No need to worry!! After I dropped him off at school I sat in the parking lot for another couple hours, before I gave up!
    Please! Take a page from Universal. Call, talk to mom or dad, gather the info, get a code, then go pick it up when you get there. If you really need a picture take it then! As Special Needs parents, we have enough to plan for a 14 day vacation without spending days on end trying to get this! Especially when they used the SAME picture multiple trips in a row!

  5. Because we were at the parks 9/19 (before start of the video chat registration), my son’s DAS is still active, so I spoke to 2 separate cast members who after checking both told me that, since he’s already registered I could do live chat rather than video to make our reservations today (30 days before our next trip), which I need to do because my son is with his dad for a week, as long as we do a video chat to renew his DAS before Nov 18. I figured it would be easier to get through on live chat than video chat. I read a comment somewhere that someone had gotten on a video chat at 6:45 and connected immediately, so even though I am currently on a plane, I bought the internet access and tried to get on before 7. The live chat button remained greyed out until 7, at which time it completely disappeared! I have reloaded a few times, and a couple of times the button reappeared; when I clicked it, a chat window said “Connection unavailable.” I tried closing the chat window to re-click the live chat button, but it had disappeared again! It just reappeared and while it continues to give me “connection unavailable” messages, I am not going to do anything that will close out that button and will just continuously hit that once I send this comment. Disney, you can do better! You may have to let go of a little change to hire more people to do chat, but we all know you have it.

  6. The first day we joined the chat at 7 am. Disconnected at 12 without ever chatting with a CM. Reconnected at 12:30 and held until 5:30 – still no CM. Waited two days and joined the chat at 7 am. A CM responded immediately and sent the form to complete. Clicked the link and it sent me back to the main screen. Tried to get back to the chat but it was gone. Next day (today) got on at 7. Within 10 minutes a CM answered and did the registration through chat – no form. Immediately after a CM called for the video chat. Only took a few minutes and was approved, picture taken and given the expiration date for DAS. Then put on hold to make the preselections. Been waiting now for 6.5 hours.

  7. I find it hard to understand why someone would wait hours to get on line when much less time is spent going to customer service to get the DAS pass. The last three times my daughter and I were there we did not wait more than five minutes to speak with a CM and get the pass. As for getting a return time, my daughter zipped over in her scooter, got the return time and came back. Even when I walked over to get a return time, it did not take hours. Is getting two park passes worth the hours wasted trying to get them?

  8. Some of the problems must be due to middle management not knowing how in demand this service is.

    In the UK official figures put 1 in 4 people are legally defined as disabled and unofficial figures suggest more.

    It seems that there needs to be way more cast members and a better programmed interface.

    We are coming in March from the UK and so in February I guess I will be doing this unless I decide to rent a scooter which is currently exempt from DAS.

  9. They are able to book all reservations each day for each park. I did the virtual chat at the 30 day mark (2 hour wait) and then had another virtual chat ( text only) to arrange all my park day reservations. I am afraid you were given bad info.

  10. Thank you so much for these tips and I think your suggestions are spot on. My mom and I sat in a chat for 4 hours and encountered everything you’re talking about (ie not knowing if we are still connected because there is not a timed message increment like if you were on hold, not knowing how long the wait is). On the other hand we had no idea you won’t be able to make the 2 reservations if you register at the park. We were planning on doing it at Disney springs to save time when we get there because our park day is the second day and it would be nice to have planned rides already. The current system is certainly working against the reason why these families need DAS- they can’t wait in line!!

    • Thanks for the reply! I have heard some guests report that they were given the 2 Advanced experiences in the park when they explained how much trouble they had with virtual chat. Good luck!

  11. Just finished our DAS registration. First day we were nearly finished before the cast member said we had to wait exactly 30 days before our first park visit before registrating. We were checking into our hotel in 30 days but not actually going to the park until the next day. After waiting nearly 2 hours, we hung up and called the next day. Calling at 5:30am TX time, we made it into the queue and were fully registered within 3 hours. You do have to watch your phone/computer because they ask questions and ask you to fill out a form before continuing. I’m retired so not a problem for me. Registration would be difficult to achieve and an irritatingly long process if I were still working. Surely Disney can do better.

  12. We haven’t tried yet, but happy you put out this info, so we know what were in for. We are within our 30 days, but just have to find a day when my husband can be home all day.
    How close can you do the virtual chat to get the 2 passes? Also, can this be done at Disney Springs Guest Services if we can’t get the virtual?

    • Thanks Diane! Good luck! The advanced can be done up to 2 days before the park visit, however I have heard some guests report that they were given the 2 Advanced experiences in the park when they explained how much trouble they had with virtual chat. I’ll have to check on Disney Springs guest services question

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