Disney’s Online Disability Access System (DAS) Plagued With Exhaustive Wait Times

disability access system disney world
Credit: Walt Disney World/ Canva/ shopDisney

Serious changes are coming to Disney’s Disability Access system starting in May. Announced last week, Walt Disney World and Disneyland, both home to the Disney Disability Access Service, will now only allow use from guests with cognitive issues like or associated with Autism.

DAS Defenders challenge Disney disability changes

Credit: Disney

Disney’s Disability Access Service (DAS) system is a thoughtful and inclusive program tailored to enhance the magical experience for guests with disabilities visiting Disney theme parks. This service is a crucial component of Disney’s commitment to ensuring that all guests, regardless of their abilities, can enjoy the wonders of the parks with ease and comfort.

The DAS system operates by enabling guests with disabilities to schedule return times for attractions, thus minimizing their time waiting in line and making the overall visit more seamless. This system is akin to a virtual queue, allowing guests to access attractions without having to stand in long lines, which can be challenging for individuals with certain disabilities.

By using the DAS system, guests can request accommodations specific to their needs, such as extended waits or alternative queue options, to ensure their visit is as enjoyable as possible. For instance, individuals with developmental disabilities can benefit greatly from the flexibility offered by the DAS program, as it caters to their unique requirements and enables them to navigate the parks comfortably.

Related: DAS Defenders Challenge Disney’s Controversial Disability Changes

Overall, Disney’s DAS system exemplifies the company’s dedication to providing accessibility services that meet and exceed the expectations of guests with disabilities. It stands as a shining example of how inclusive practices can create a magical and memorable experience for all visitors to the enchanting world of Disney theme parks.

However, with an onslaught of Disney influencers, the ease of obtaining a DAS pass at Walt Disney World or Disneyland has become familiar to many. Some of these guests have learned that Disney currently does not request official proof to utilize the DAS pass. They can take advantage of this to get what some would consider a free pass to the lightning lane queue.

DAS disney parks mickey mouse walt disney world

Credit: Disney/ Canva

This has pushed the Walt Disney Company to reassess how they manage the Disability Access Service at both Disney World and Disneyland.

Per Walt Disney World Resort website:

“Disney Parks have an unwavering commitment to providing a welcoming, inclusive environment and accessible experiences for our Guests. DAS is one of the programs offered at Walt Disney World Resort theme parks intended to accommodate only those Guests who, due to a developmental disability like autism or similar, are unable to wait in a conventional queue for an extended period of time.”

The abrupt change comes in the verbiage, which now specifies developmental disability like autism or similar. This has left many wondering what this means for them come May 20, when changes go into effect. Particular groups, such as those with bowel issues and some with extreme anxiety, may be concerned as these changes seem to exclude them now verbally.

Related: Disney Just Told Thousands of People With Disabilities That They Don’t Count

The change has impacted Guest Relations at the parks where many go to acquire their DAS Pass. However, the more traditional method of conducting an online video interview with a Disability Access Cast Member has also seen an uptick in wait times.

Recently, as personally my DAS pass has expired, I chose to renew my availability online instead of going through the not-so-private process in person at one of Disney World’s theme parks. After two days and many headaches, I finally acquired my DAS Pass for an upcoming visit. However, the process was more than difficult and incredibly inefficient.

Disney changes Disability Pass Access System

Credit: Disney

Before making any DAS Advance Reservations in the My Disney Experience app, I had to wait for a total of 4 hours to speak with a Cast Member. During this wait, which took place for two-hour increments over two days, my system constantly logged me out, forcing me to sign back in and reconnect. Luckily, Disney’s DAS system holds your place in the queue.

Still, the wait, two hours each time, with the first finally disconnecting and acknowledging that no Cast Member was available to help, ensured that I knew I would be sitting on hold for a while. Notifications regarding high wait times were clear, and multiple messages prompting me to type “yes” if I still wished to speak to a Cast Member happened.

Eventually, on day 2, I reached a Cast Member who took me through the normal process of explaining why I couldn’t wait in traditional queues. Of course, as always, she was fantastic, ultimately securing my DAS.

Related: Reports of DAS Abuse by TikTokers Plague Disney Parks

Upon speaking with a few other Disney fans, some of whom are considering dropping their Annual Pass as they feel they can’t access the fun at the parks without paying extra, it seems like the confusion over DAS is at an all-time high for those attempting to secure their pass.

Currently Disney is only assisting guests visiting between April 9 through May 19, 2024, as the noted rules for DAS selection go into effect on May 20.

About Michael Arnold

Michael is a father, husband, and an Army Veteran. Michael spends his weekends at Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando checking out new merchandise and food. Michael is a graduate of the University of Alabama and has an education background in Public Health. You can find Michael riding Pirates of the Caribbean over and over again or binge watching new Marvel and Star Wars content. Han shot first. Thor is the strongest Avenger. Roll Tide and Wash Your Hands!

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