Big changes are coming to Walt Disney World’s Disability Access Services (DAS) Program this fall–and they’re very welcome changes indeed!
The program serves many Guests for whom a disability makes waiting in long lines difficult or impossible. It currently allows those Guests and up to 6 members of their traveling party to approach the kiosk for an attraction and request a return time so that they do not have to endure the wait. It often works like a call-ahead seating reservation, if you will.
Up to this point, Guests with disabilities have had to first arrive at the park before requesting a return time for an attraction, and that’s after standing in a line at Guest Relations where the Guest with a disability must be present and have his or her photo taken. Once registered in the program, the Guest can then utilize the DAS Program by visiting the kiosk at the attraction he or she would like to enjoy, requesting a return time, having his or her eligibility verified, and then enjoying another activity or attraction in the park until the return time rolls around.
That’s still a lot of waiting!
Thankfully, the changes coming this fall are actually enhancements that will make accessibility . . . well, more accessible!
The ability to request accommodations in advance
Goodbye long lines at Guest Relations! Hello, Cast Member in my home! (Virtually, of course.)
Guests will have the option to make requests for DAS accommodations before they even get to the parks (or Florida for that matter)! There will be the option to register online with a Cast Member via live video chat up to 30 days before the Guest plans to visit the parks.
The ability to select experiences in advance
Goodbye 600-yard dash to the kiosk in the middle of June when the heat index is 106 (and then waiting anyway)!
During the virtual visit with a Cast Member, Guests will also have the option to make requests for as many as two different attractions for each day they plan to be in the parks, subject to availability.
The ability to make selections via the app
If a Guest does not make attraction selections online with the Cast Member during the video chat, he or she can self-select experiences on the day they enter the park via the My Disney Experience app.
It’s important to note that once a Guest makes advance attraction selections, he or she will not be able to make selections once in the parks. Also note that Guests who choose not to pre-register may still register for accessibility accommodations once he or she arrives at the parks.
The changes to the DAS Program are set to roll out this fall, as will the new Disney Genie service app tool. Wait times–both current and forecasted–will be available in the new app tool, which can help Guests in determining which attractions they’d like to experience that day. If a Guest has individual paid attraction selections, DAS can be used in addition to, not in place of, those selections.
If you have any questions about the DAS program, or if you’d like more information, you can reach Disability Services at (407) 560-2547 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.