How the Disability Access Pass works at Walt Disney World is an important question for families attempting a vacation there with autism. This is the pass that helps with the wait times. Are you unsure of where to get it or what is does/doesn’t do for rides? In this basic how to post, I answer the main questions of where, what and how it works. I will answer the park specific questions in additional posts to giving you my best itinerary for each park as well as park hopping . Each park is different but there are some basic similarities you can count on. I can’t do one on Disneyland as I’ve never been there but I can help you out with the Florida parks.
Let’s start with where to get it. You can get the Disability Access Pass (DAS) at any guest relations desk in all 4 major parks. You go into the park then find guest services which is almost always near the front of the park. After standing in line as you will everywhere, you tell the cast member that you have a special needs child and you would like a DAS. Be prepared to have the child with you and to answer specific questions about what your child can’t do in relation to the line. I have Logan with me but allow him to play on his phone seated nearby. If you have a small child then have someone sit with them to keep them occupied .
Here’s what we tell them for Logan.
Logan has autism making him unable to wait for long periods in lines of people. His sensory needs are that he can’t handle the touch and smell of a lot of people in one area. He is physically unable to stand in line surrounded by people to wait for a ride without distress.
You will not be asked to show proof that your child has a disability but will be asked specific questions. Some cast members will also ask you what you expect the pass to do for you. Not all cast members do this.
My standard answer is :
It would make his visit far more enjoyable if we could get a time for the ride then return at said time to go in the Fastpass line. He would then have a minimal wait. He could focus his energy on managing all of his other sensory issues.
First they will scan your child’s magic band. They will take your child’s picture as well as ask you how many people in your party and how long you plan to stay. Every person in your party does not need to be there . You do need to have their magicbands or tickets though. The cast member will scan each of them . You can have up to 6 people linked to the pass including the person with the disability. Scanning them will link the magicband to the DAS pass. If you forget someone or don’t have their band at that time then you can add them later. Stop by guest services again to get that worked out. You only have to get the pass once for your visit.
If you have an annual pass, you simply return for them to rescan to get a new one activated every 60 days. They will scan the magicband of the person the pass is linked to at that time.
Now that you have one, what’s next? You take it to one ride at a time to get a time to return. They scan the magicband of anyone linked to it. It doesn’t have to be the person the pass is for. I can get a time using my band without having Logan with me. The computer takes 10 minutes off the wait time then puts a return time in your My Disney Experience app. You can only have one return time at any given time. When it’s return time, you go to the fast pass lane with your party. The person the pass is for scans their magicband first then the others in the party. You will do the same thing at the second checkpoint . You are now free to get another time after you ride.
The pass doesn’t work for fireworks , shows , or most character meet and greets. Each park is different so check those posts to get the most time and enjoyment out of the parks with the least amount of stress for not only you but your child with autism as well. While these passes are not the ideal solution for people with developmental disabilities, you can make it work with a ton of preplanning and know how. I’m here to show you how to do that.
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