So we got up and headed out to Magic Kingdom this morning so we could trade in our Guest Assistance Card for the Disability Access Service Card (DAS). We videoed several parts of the day in order to show everyone how it works.
After arriving inside the the gates, we immediately headed over to Guest Relations, inside of City Hall. The line was really no different than most days at guest relations. I would say it was a 5 to 10 minute wait.
As for taking his picture, Carson was not going to get out of his stroller, period. He also had us pulling the stroller umbrella down so he was in his “cocoon”, so I was nervous how the picture would work. But, it ended up being fine! She walked around the counter and with her iPad, took a photo of Carson while he was still in his safe spot.
Here is the exact experience we had with obtaining the DAS:
Of note, when we got off the Speedway, the standby line was out into the “walkway” but the standby time was still listed as 20 minutes, when I know for a fact that was a 40 minute line. Again, I just thought that was weird. That was the second line that I noticed was “miss-timed” but again by less time than what it was really going to be.
Next we headed back to Space Ranger Spin and showed them our DAS card with the return time on it. The CM grabbed a pen and crossed off the times and sent us through the Fastpass line. Again the same procedure took place at the next CM, we showed him our DAS and then were lead through the line. (of note, because we use the stroller as a wheelchair, we were then moved into the wheelchair line and lead to the exit of the ride, where we get on).
After leaving Buzz Lightyear, we headed over towards the Tea Cups, We had been in the park now for just over an hour and a half and Carson was starting to melt down. When we got to the tea cups, the same thing happened there, a 20 minute wait (we were noticing a theme). We went to the CM at the Fastpass line and asked her what we needed to do as we usually use the Wheelchair entrance for this ride. She pulled out those little white cards (same one as from the speedway) and filled it out. She told us that it would be for immediate access as the wait time was short right now. But that rides that have a seperate wheelchair entrance use these little white cards. Which in some ways makes sense. So no more just showing up at the wheelchair entrance and waiting there, you go to the first line, get a card and then go wait at the wheelchair line for rides that have a separate entrance.
We didn’t end up doing the Tea Cups because by the time I was done getting our little card and talking to the CM, Carson was done. So we decided to go look for Katelyn and Becca and say hi!
We found Katelyn working at Poohs Corner and said hi to her and then contemplated using our 4 fastpasses to ride the Pooh ride, but the fastpass line was going to be at least 20 minutes and he was all ready on edge. We decided it was better to not push our luck.
The one really positive thing I learned today; After walking away from Pooh’s Corner we headed into the Courtyard of Fantasyland to look for Becca, someone had said that the DAS would work for Character Meet and Greets, so I wanted to test that. As the old GACs didn’t, I was a little apprehensive. I walked up to Princess Fairytale Hall and the cast member wrote a return time down for us come back and meet Rapunzel and Snow White! That is a HUGE positive for this new system.
Sadly, at this time, it was roughly 12:30pm, we had been in the park 2 hours and Carson was done with a capital “D”. So we said goodbye to Kathy, Scarlet and John and headed out with a return to Princess Fairytale Hall, 4 fastpasses and a Wheelchair return time for Tea Cups. I am hoping things go well enough today that we can head back over there this evening and see the Princesses and ride the tea cups. But this was normal for us. Two to Three hours, one to two rides and we are done.
I am holding off on stating my personal opinions until I have thoroughly tested the system.
Things I noticed or my takeaways from today:
- ALL cast members were very attentive and willing to provide personalized assistance to meet my sons needs
- It is a learning curve, but the CMs are all ready doing a great job
- I don’t think today worked as a true test, as every ride was at 20 minutes for standby…. so we will let everyone know as we test this system with “real” wait times
For those in Wheelchairs – you will not need a DAS if you don’t have any other issues other than mobility. You will go to the alternate entrances and receive the white cards with a time to return or be let in immediately, based upon stand by time.