Walt Disney World’s Disability Access Service, or DAS as it’s more commonly referred to, is “a program offered at Walt Disney World theme parks to assist Guests who have difficulty tolerating extended waits in a conventional queue environment due to a disability” per the official Disney World website.
In visits past, Guests would be required to visit Guest Services upon arrival at the parks in order to obtain their DAS pass, which would be linked to their account, would be effective through their stay, and would include an additional 5 party members.
Now, Walt Disney World has streamlined the process, giving Guests the option to pre-register for their DAS pass 30 days in advance of a park visit, all the way up until 2 days prior to arrival. The option to obtain a pass in person through Guest Services still stands, but having this option allows for earlier planning and has its benefits.
Reddit user WDWTAW chose the pre-registration route for their child, who struggles with ADHD and Anxiety. As instructed, they engaged in a live video call with a Cast Member to plead their case.
“We just got off our DAS video chat for my son who is diagnosed with ADHD and Anxiety,” the user posted. “He was denied DAS.”
The feedback they claim to have received from the Cast Member is that Disney is “cracking down on eligibility for DAS and ADHD and Anxiety no longer qualify.” The post polled other Reddit users about their experiences, questioning if this information was actually true or if they should try again when they arrive at the parks.
Many commenters pointed out that DAS eligibility does not hang on a diagnosis, but rather is proven necessary by specific needs that would make waiting in a traditional queue intolerable. In other words, eligibility is determined by a Guest’s “why” and not their “what”.
Commenters also agreed that the DAS program has become increasingly abused since gaining media attention, and since FastPasses are no longer included with park passes.
“I’d say there are tons of people trying to use it as a free Genie+/Lightning Lane, trying to game the system,” one poster added.
Several others questioned why the original poster thought an ADHD and Anxiety diagnosis would even qualify their child for the pass, claiming they’d be taking it from “someone who truly needs it.” Moderators have since locked the thread, prohibiting future comments.
Disney lists the following information on their website as “top things to know about DAS”:
- DAS is intended for Guests who have difficulty tolerating extended waits in a conventional queue environment due to a disability.
- DAS doesn’t provide immediate access to experiences, but rather allows Guests to request a return time for a specific experience that is comparable to the current standby wait. This allows the Guest using DAS to enjoy other experiences in the park instead of physically waiting in the standby line.
- The Guest who is requesting to use DAS must be present during registration (in person or live video call) and when redeeming a DAS return time at Walt Disney World theme parks. The Guest using DAS doesn’t need to be present when a return time is requested at an attraction or any Guest Relations location.
- Once registered, DAS is valid for up to 60 days.
- Two exciting new features have been added to the DAS program: (1) the opportunity to pre-register via live video call and use DAS Advance pre-arrival planning and (2) a convenient way to receive DAS return times through the My Disney Experience app.
Consistent with the comments, there is no mention of a diagnosis as a determination of eligibility.
Do you think the DAS program is being abused at Disney World? Comment your thoughts below.