When you think about Disney World – the heat, the lines, the crowds outnumbering the population size of small countries (not to mention the expense!) – it may all seem totally overwhelming if you have a family member with CHD or other special needs. But, don’t let that scare you off. Disney is super family-friendly and very accommodating to ALL families. One way Disney helps out families with special needs is through their Disability Access Service, often called the Disney DAS pass. It’s a relatively new program and is a modification of the previous Guest Assistance Card program. Evidently, the original program was being widely abused by guests who didn’t actually qualify for it. So now that the DAS is newly available here’s the top questions people are asking about it:
Who is the DAS pass for?
According to Disney’s website, the Disney DAS pass is “designed to accommodate guests who aren’t able to wait in a conventional queue environment due to a disability (including non-apparent disabilities).” So if your child, or someone in your party, is not able to tolerate waiting in line due to a disability this pass is for you.
How does the DAS pass work?
To use the Disney DAS pass, go to any attraction and present your card. A cast member will scan your card and give you a return time based on the current wait time. So, if a ride has a 45 minute wait time you can return to ride in 45 minutes (or any later time). You still have to wait your turn, but you don’t have to wait in the conventional line. The card will only hold one reservation at a time, however, it can be used in conjunction with Fastpass. Anyone in your party can present the card to obtain a return time.
Does CHD Qualify for the Disney DAS pass?
The Disney DAS pass is for anyone who cannot wait in line due to their disability. You do not have to be wheelchair bound or have a physical or visible disability to be eligible. Disney is intentionally vague about who can qualify for the pass and leaves it open for your interpretation. There is no list of “acceptable” disabilities and Disney takes you at your word if you think you qualify for the service. Know one thing though, if your child has any diagnosis that affects them on a day to day basis and/or restricts them in any capacity (especially in the circumstances of heat and crowds) then this pass is for you –and don’t feel guilty about accepting it for one second. For my heart families, if your child has less endurance than their peers and/or is more susceptible to tiring out in the heat, this pass is for you.
How do I get a DAS pass?
At Guest Relations at the front of each park you can talk to a cast member about obtaining a DAS pass. Simply tell them how the pass would help your family member. Pro Tip: There is often a line in the morning so go early. OR, I found out recently that you can also go to the 2nd (and lesser known) Guest Relations location called the “Liberty Square Ticket Office” for those spending their first day in Magic Kingdom. This location is not just for ticket sales! You can pick up MagicBands, get your DAS pass, and add someone to your Fastpass reservation if needed. It’s further from the park entrance but there is usually never a line.
How long is the pass valid?
Once registered, the pass is good for 14 days for any park in the resort. So if you are staying multiple days and going to all the parks, no need to register more than once on your trip.
Do I need a doctor’s note?
No proof or doctor’s note is needed to obtain a DAS pass. There are actually legal restrictions on asking for this kind of proof so Disney will take you at your word.
I hope this info is helpful to you as you plan your family’s trip to the most magical place on Earth! Planning a trip sometime soon? Take a look at my blog on taking your heart warrior to Disney. Enjoy!
Also read: “Does My Child with CHD Qualify for Make-a-Wish?”