A Cast Member at Disney has leaked the following information regarding the new Disability Assistance Service (DAS) at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. You see all CM’s started training on Tuesday 09/24/13, as reported on our Official Confirmation of the END of the GAC post.
It appears that the Kiosks are no more, and that this system is being driven my individual needs and not a blanket system like the previous one. While I do see some potential pitfalls, I think this system will be effective in removing some of the flagrant fraud the old system had.
I will be heading to the parks 10/09/13 at rope drop to report live on these changes, and test the system for myself. I will also start working on suggested itineraries utilizing the new DAS system for families with special needs children and for families with mobility issues.
Here is the unofficial leaked training information regarding the new DAS system for the Walt Disney World parks:
-Last day of Guest Assistance Card (GAC) program is Oct 8.
-First day of Disability Access Service (DAS) program is Oct 9.
-Years in the making, but was expedited with the publicity in May.
-Worked closely with AustimSpeaks, park leaders from both coasts, and other disability advocacy groups.
-Sole purpose is the create a consistent similar experience for all guests including making sure guests with disabilities had a much more extreme chance of doing EVERYTHING in the park when the average can hardly do it.
DAS Card Description
-Photo of DAS cardholder will be on the front along with name, date, location issued, and # of guests in the party.
-Guest must also sign a terms and conditions on the DAS card that says they understand how it works, that they won’t abuse it, use it for commercial gain, or give it to someone else. If they breach this contract, they can have it revoked.
-DAS cards can only be issued for up to a 7 day period or until the return time slots are filled up, including for pass holders.
-On the back are lots of return time slots, gone are the different stamps.
-Card will be paper and slightly larger than existing GAC card.
-Make-a-Wish and Give Kids the World guests will not use DAS. They will have a separate lanyard issues prior to their visit that will allow expedited waits. Nothing changes for these folks on how they access the attractions, only what they will use.
-Guests with a stroller being used a wheelchair sticker will not need a DAS unless they have other needs that warrant it. Attraction based procedures will used to accommodate these guests.
-Guests needing Front Row Seating will not need a DAS. Attraction based procedures and accommodation will be used.
-Guests who only have mobility issues will not need DAS. Attraction based procedures and accommodation will be used.
-The card also has a QR code making it easy for Guest Relations to reprint new ones with the information ready to go if needed.
-Guest limit is still only 6.
-After getting a DAS card, guests will approach the attraction they wish to visit. Each attraction will have a cast member at the entrance to assist you. (Not a kiosk.)
-If the wait is less than 10 minutes, they are admitted through an alternate entrance or Fastpass queue.
-If the wait is more than 10 minutes, they are issued a return time on their DAS card.
-Return times will be based on the current posted wait time minus 10 minutes.
-Only 1 (one) active return time can be written on a DAS card placing you in a virtual standby queue. Just like a regular guest in a standby queue, you can’t be in multiple lines at once.
-The DAS card holder (photo and name) does not need to be present to receive a return time which allows families with children with autism a chance to stay clear of the attraction while a member gets the return time to avoid potential meltdowns by not getting to ride right away.
-Once the return time has arrived, you will arrive to the attractions alternate entrance or Fastpass line to redeem.
-Once a return time has been redeemed it is crossed off and no longer active allowing you get a new return time.
-Crossing off a return time also voids or cancels it to the equivalent of getting out of line.
-Fastpass & Fastpass+ are not tied to this program and can be used in conjunction.
-DAS Return Times have the same policy as a Fastpass when it comes to early arrivals, but they do not expire at a certain time of that day allowing those with special needs to not be restricted to returning back by a specific time if it doesn’t work for them. The catch however is that it will still remain active and additional return times can’t be gotten until it is used.
-The DAS card holder (photo and name) must be present and experiencing the attraction in order to use the return time. If the person isn’t present or choose to sit out and let their family ride, they will be turned away and potentially have their card revoked. After all, the card is design to assist the card holder and a few other companions or family members, but it is not designed solely assist the family or companions when the card holder chooses not to or can’t ride.
-If an attraction is broken, they can’t give you a return time. If you return and it’s broken, they will accommodate you by giving you a Fastpass to come back later and clearing your DAS return time to allow you to get another.
-If all your return slots get filled, you have to return to Guest Relations for a new one. (There are a bunch however.)
-Attractions that are not fully accessible through the standby queue may also have return cards. These are only for guests with wheelchairs, scooters, & strollers acting as wheelchairs who do not have a DAS card. Space Mountain is an example of a place that already does this, but additional attractions will soon be getting a similar procedure. The return times for these are just like DAS, but because they are attraction specific cards verses a global DAS card, you are able to grab multiple at once if you visit attractions that require it. Not all attractions will have this.