Do the New Procedures for Disney’s Disability Access Pass Truly Assist Park Goers?


The Walt Disney World website states “Disney Parks have an unwavering commitment to providing a welcoming, inclusive environment and accessible experiences for our Guests.” But do the changes to the DAS system truly uphold this claim?

Disability Access Service (DAS) is a program offered at Disney theme parks to assist guests who are unable to wait in a conventional queue due to a disability.

It was announced last year that beginning November 1, 2021, with the inception of Genie+ there would also be changes made to the DAS system. The announcement revealed that there would be two big changes coming to this system. You can read about these changes in this great article by DIS Content Team member Erica Resnick.

My husband is a kidney transplant patient and due to mobility issues, sensitivity to heat, and anxiety caused by his anti-rejection medication, he has made use of Disney’s DAS system several times over the years and we will be using the revamped system for the first time on our trip to Walt Disney World in May 2022.

We experienced the first change about two weeks ago when my husband was able to have a virtual chat with a cast member in order to register for the DAS Pass.

The details about how exactly this virtual call would play out had been pretty vague in my opinion, which resulted in many misconceptions and honestly not really knowing what to do.

On Sunday, April 10th, I logged into our My Disney Experience account, navigated to the Guests with Disabilities page, and clicked the link to Register for DAS.

I was surprised when a chat box popped up and I was prompted to wait for a cast member to be available to speak to me.

The message did state that they are currently experiencing long wait times (who isn’t?) and that I could expect to wait a few hours…I gave up around the five-hour mark.

I was surprised when I logged into my account a few days later and found that the chat box was still up and had kept the chat thread. And even more shocked to see that a cast member had finally entered the chat TEN HOURS LATER.

I understand that part of the convenience of this new system is that I am waiting virtually at home and not in-park in a physical queue. But to wait that long even in a chat room is ridiculous.

I once again logged in, clicked the “Register for DAS” link, and then started my work day with my laptop set by my side prepared to wait however long necessary.

According to the chat bubble my log on time was 5:15am and just over 6 hours later at 11:20am, a cast member joined the chat and informed me that they were finishing up with the guest “in line” before me and to please provide them with some information while I waited. They asked for the name of the guest requiring the DAS services and how many people would be in our party.

About 5 minutes later the cast member stated that they were ready to join the virtual chat with us and if we were ready. I then handed the laptop to my husband who accepted the prompt to join the virtual chat.

Once on the video call with the cast member, the process was smooth and easy. The cast member asked my husband’s name, asked him if he had ever used the DAS system before and if so when, confirmed how many people would be in our party, and then asked why my husband felt that he needed to use the DAS system.

This part of the process has always been a little bit of a double-edged sword, because of HIPAA laws the cast members can only ask for so much information. This allows people who do not truly need the pass to easily fake their way into it. For our experience, my husband first stated that he has a kidney transplant and before he could say anything further the cast member stopped him and said “I’m going to stop you there because that’s all I need.”

While I understand why Disney can’t ask for any kind of proof, it does make it easy for virtually anyone to make a similar statement without Disney knowing if it’s actually true.

As mentioned in the article linked above, one of the changes within the DAS system is that during this registration time, the guest is able to make two ride selections for each park day. Now keep in mind, premium rides such as Rise of the Resistance and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure are not options for this advanced selection. They can be selected once in the park, but are not available to choose ahead of time.

Disney does have a list of approved ride options on their website.

I had been under the assumption that this cast member would make those selections for us but I was incorrect. We were directed back to the chatbox where a different cast member joined us. At this point, my husband handed me back the laptop as I am the Disney planner in the family 😉

This new cast member introduced herself, explained that she would be assisting us with making our advanced selections, and then asked me to answer some questions. She asked how many people were in our party, the names of each person in our party (please note that each person needs to show under your account so if the other guests have their own reservations you will need to be sure that your reservations are linked ahead of time), what our arrival date was, and then asked me to list each park date, the park I wanted, the top three attractions we wanted in that park (from the approved list) and if we wanted morning, afternoon, or evening.

I provided her with the requested information and within a few minutes, the cast member confirmed that she had been able to get us each of our requests and that we would now be able to see those reservations under our “Future Plans” tab on the MDE app and that they would show as DAS Advance Selection choices.

One important thing to note is that both of your selections have to be within the park that you have a park reservation for. I know that we are going to be park hopping and asked if I could make a selection for an attraction in the park that we will be hopping to and was told that we could not.

Another change within the DAS system is that instead of having to go to each individual attraction to request a return time, we are now able to do it virtually within the app. We were told during our chat that once we enter the park on our first park day we will see that option available within MDE. Also, these two selections do not “count” and we are able to make another selection upon entering the park.

Obviously, we have not been able to use this second part of the system yet. I do have some reservations about it (mainly that MDE barely functions on a good day in the parks) but I am reserving judgment for our upcoming trip when we are able to test it out.

I am so excited for our trip and grateful that I have the opportunity to share this information with our Disney family and report back on how the system works in park.

Be on the lookout for a second part of this article in the coming weeks.

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