Disney’s new Disability Access Service (DAS) replaces the former Guest Assistance Card (GAC) effective Wednesday, October 9, 2013. Lines have been forming early in the day at City Hall in Disneyland park and the Chamber of Commerce at Disney CA Adventure park for guests wanting to obtain a DAS Card and those seeing if they now qualify. A member of the Card Holder’s party will now go to kiosks throughout the Resort for a return time to ride the attraction. Below is a list of kiosk locations.
There will be some guests who used the GAC as a Front-of-the-Line Pass and really had no disability. This is who Disney is trying to stop. One of the reasons why Disneyland had to make changes was the vast quantity of passes issued daily. On average, the Disneyland Resort would hand out 2,000 GAC Cards per day. This allows up to 5 family members to join them or roughly 10,000 people using this system and not waiting in lines of the 60,000 average attendance. In comparison, Walt Disney World hands out on average 250 per day across all four of its theme parks or 1,250 people using it of their 150,000 average daily attendance.
Many guests like and dislike the new policy, but remember the Cast Members you deal with did not create the policy, but are merely to help enforce it. If you have any questions, they are there to help!!! Disney Parks has long recognized and accommodated Guests with varying needs. Guests can visit Guest Relations to discuss their individual situation, and Disney Parks will continue to provide assistance that is responsive to their unique circumstances.
Below are common questions regarding the changes and Disney’s answer to them:
What is a Disability Access Service Card and how does it work?
The Disability Access Service Card is designed to accommodate Guests who aren’t able to wait in a conventional queue environment due to a disability (including non-apparent disabilities). A Disability Access Service Card will be issued at Guest Relations main entrance locations and will offer Guests a return time for attractions based on the current wait time. As soon as the Guest finishes one attraction, they can receive a return time for another. This service can be used in addition to Disney’s FASTPASS Service.
What will Disney Parks do if a Guest is concerned the Disability Access Service Card doesn’t meet their needs?
Disney Parks have long recognized and accommodated Guests with varying needs and will continue to work individually with Guests with disabilities to provide assistance that is responsive to their unique circumstances. Guests should visit Guest Relations to discuss their individual needs.
Who will be eligible for a Disability Access Service Card?
Disney Parks’ goal is to accommodate Guests who aren’t able to wait in a conventional queue environment due to a disability (including non-apparent disabilities). Guests should visit Guest Relations to discuss their assistance needs.
How will Guests get a Disability Access Service Card?
A Disability Access Service Card will be issued at Guest Relations main entrance locations. Guests will participate in a registration process, which also includes having their photo taken.
Why is Disney Parks doing this?
Disney Parks is modifying the current Guest Assistance Card program so it can continue to serve the Guests who truly need it. The new program is designed to provide the special experience Guests have come to expect from Disney. Disney Parks also hopes it will help control abuse that was, unfortunately, widespread and growing at an alarming rate.
Does the Disability Access Service Cardholder have to be present to obtain a return time at an attraction?
No. Another member of the Disability Access Service Cardholder’s travel party may obtain a return time but the Disability Access Service Cardholder must board the attraction with his or her party.
Where do Disability Access Service Cardholders go to receive return times?
At Disneyland® Resort, Guests will go to Guest Relations kiosks located throughout the parks to receive a return time.
Does a Disability Access Service Cardholder have to ride the attraction at the exact return time listed?
No. Return times are valid until redeemed by the Disability Access Service Cardholder.
How long is a Disability Access Service Card valid?
A Disability Access Service card is valid for up to 14 days depending on a Guest’s ticket entitlement.
Is a Disability Access Service Card issued at one Disney theme park valid at other Disney theme parks?
Yes, the card will be valid throughout the resort at which it was issued.
Why doesn’t Disney Parks ask for proof of disability, such as a doctor’s note?
Disney Parks takes Guests at their word and there are legal restrictions around asking for proof.
Is this the only service available to Guests with disabilities?
Disney Parks offer a variety of services to Guests with disabilities, such as Disney’s Handheld Device that offers assistive listening, captioning and audio description. Additionally, Disney Parks has developed a “Guide for Guests with Cognitive Disabilities.” This serves as a tool on how best to experience its theme parks and is expected to be available online by mid-October.
Disney Parks will continue to provide excellent guest service and accessible experiences. Guests should visit Guest Relations at any park should they feel they need assistance due to a disability.
Does a Guest whose disability is based on the necessity to use a wheelchair or scooter need a Disability Access Service Card?
No, a Guest whose disability is based on the necessity to use a wheelchair or scooter does not need a Disability Access Service Card. Depending on the attraction, the Guest will either wait in the standard queue or receive a return time at the attraction based on the current wait time. For some attractions at Disneyland Resort, these Guests will go directly to an alternate entrance. Guests with additional needs should discuss them with Guest Relations.
Will Disney Parks continue to provide a service to wish-granting organizations?
The change will not affect those who are visiting on trips organized by wish granting organizations. There is a separate program for children with life-threatening illnesses.