Disney Announces Changes for Disability Access Service at Disney World and Disneyland

by | Apr 9, 2024 | WDW Blog

Disney Parks has announced changes to the DAS (Disability Access Service) at both Disney World and Disneyland Resort that will go into effect later this spring.

Both Disney World and Disneyland offer their DAS (Disability Access Service) program. This program is intended to accommodate guests with special needs who may have trouble waiting in a conventional queue for an attraction. Beginning later this spring, Disney has revealed that there will be some changes coming to the DAS program for both Disney World and Disneyland.

Disney DAS Program Changes

Effective May 20 at Disney World and June 18 at Disneyland Resort, Disney will make changes to the program, including how guests will be accommodated when they need help accessing attractions. Previously, DAS was defined to assist guests who could not tolerate long queues due to a disability. Under the updated language, Disney has changed that to accommodate “only those guests who, due to a developmental disability like autism or similar.”

According to reporter Scott Gustin, Disney will work with Inspire Health Alliance’s health professionals to help Cast Members (when necessary) determine a guest’s DAS eligibility. Previously, Disney allowed guests to pre-register for DAS online or in person at the parks. Beginning May 20 at Disney World, in-person registration will no longer be available. Instead, guests can register via live video chat up to 30 days before a park visit. The guest with a disability (or a parent/guardian) will participate in the registration process. At Disneyland, an in-person option will still be available at the ticket booth windows on the esplanade but not in the theme parks.

The DAS registration can have a maximum party size of four people, so the registered DAS guest can have up to three additional party members. Another change is the validity dates for DAS. When the new changes roll out, DAS will be valid for 120 days, a change from the previous 30 days. Once that has lapsed, guests will need to re-apply.

As for attraction selections, guests registered in DAS can make return time selections in the My Disney Experience mobile app on the day of their visit, but not in advance. The return time will be similar to the current standby wait time.

The Major DAS Changes

The new policies for both Disney World and Disneyland are available on their respective website. Here are the major changes beginning May 20 at Disney World and June 18 at Disneyland Resort that you’ll want to note:

  • In-person registration will no longer be an option at Disney World (and will only be available at ticket booth windows in Disneyland)
  • Eligibility of a DAS pass will be bumped from 30 days to 120 days (or the length of the ticket, whichever is shorter)
  • Pre-arrival attraction selections will no longer be a default offering to every DAS guest
  • DAS party size can be up to four (with an exception for families)

Why Disney DAS is Changing

For a guest with disabilities, DAS can help to better navigate the parks, allowing a shorter time in a physical line for those who may have difficulty with staying in the queue. In 2021, teh service changed slightly when it allowed guests to either pre-register for DAS ahead of their trips or visit Guest Services in person.

In recent years, the popularity for the service has grown substantially. Since DAS is intended to accommodate a small percentage of guests who have developmental disabilities, this large growth has complicated the process and increased wait times for those who need it. For that reason, Disney is changing the process to hopefully simplify the registration process and save guests’ time.

Speaking about the changes, a Walt Disney World spokesperson shared, “Disney is dedicated to providing a great experience for all Guests, including those with disabilities, which is why we are so committed to delivering a wide range of innovative support services aimed at helping our Guests with disabilities have a wonderful time when visiting our theme parks.”

 

Posts by Morgan Flaherty

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Morgan is the Staff Editor for WDW Magazine. A lifelong Disney fan, her dream day involves just about anything to do with Animal Kingdom. Along with several years of experience writing about Disney, Morgan has also written as a contributing writer for Well + Good, Scary Mommy, Brit + Co, and Baby Chick.
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Authored by
Morgan Flaherty

Morgan is the Staff Editor for WDW Magazine. A lifelong Disney fan, her dream day involves just about anything to do with Animal Kingdom. Along with several years of experience writing about Disney, Morgan has also written as a contributing writer for Well + Good, Scary Mommy, Brit + Co, and Baby Chick.
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