Disneyland’s Disability Access Service: How Disney Helps People with Special Needs

Disability access service

Disneyland Resort is known for being one of the most popular and magical family vacations. However, if you have special needs, you may be weighed down with questions and concerns.

But try not to worry! Disneyland goes above and beyond to make sure everyone is accommodated based on your individual and unique needs.

Whether you or someone in your party has a chronic illness, a physical or intellectual disability, mental illness, an injury, a cognitive disorder, or autism, the friendly cast members at Disneyland Resort will help you conquer the challenges that may arise when visiting the parks.

In this post, I will provide you with a detailed overview of the main service Disneyland Resort offers to guests with disabilities: the Disability Access Service. This is a service that I use frequently and can’t wait to share with you!

What is the Disability Access Service (DAS)?

The Disability Access Service (DAS ) is designed to help individuals with special health needs who cannot tolerate physically waiting in lines.

Rather than waiting in line, the individual (and their guests) who use this service will receive scheduled return times for each ride or attraction and will not be required to wait in line. The return time will be comparable to the ride’s current wait time.

For example, if It’s a Small World has a current wait time of 45 minutes, a cast member will likely give you a pass to come back in 45 minutes.

Once a return time is issued to you, you are free to do other things (perhaps eat, see a nearby show, or even visit another ride) until it is time for you to return.

You are only allowed ONE active return time at a time. After your first return time pass is redeemed, you may get another return time pass for either the same attraction or a different one. 

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Who can use the Disability Access Service?

Disneyland Resort does not require proof of a medical condition, nor do they have the legal right to ask for it. Therefore, they do take guests at their word and trust that people will not abuse this service.

Please DO NOT abuse this service. This service is important for so many who need it.

With that being said, DAS was created specifically to meet the needs of guests with special circumstances that make it difficult or impossible to wait in standard lines. This includes guests who suffer from:

  • Chronic Illness
  • Physical Disability 
  • Mental Illness
  • Injury
  • Cognitive Disorder
  • Autism

A guest whose disability is based on the need to use a wheelchair, ECV, or scooter DOES NOT need to use DAS. Guests who use a wheelchair, ECV, or scooter will automatically receive a return time, use a separate accessible line, or wait in the standard line, depending upon the ride or attraction. 

For information on renting a wheelchair, ECV, or stroller, click here.

How to register for the Disability Access Service? 

All accommodations must be made in person upon arrival to the parks by visiting any Guest Relations and speaking directly with guest relations staff.

To register for Disneyland Resort’s Disability Access Service, you must:

1.) Enter either Disneyland or California Adventure Park

2.) Stop by Guest Relations. At Disneyland, visit City Hall. At California Adventure, visit the Chamber of Commerce. Both parks also have Guest Relation Kiosks which usually have shorter lines. Search for these kiosks by looking for the (i) symbol on the park’s map

3.) Have your valid park ticket or pass for all who are in your party. 

4.) Explain your needs as descriptively as you can to the cast member so they can provide you with the appropriate accommodations.

5.) Upon approval for DAS, the cast member will register each member of your party, take the special guest or guardian’s photograph, and have you sign and accept the conditions.

city hall

City Hall at Disneyland

 

chamber of commerce

Chamber of Commerce at California Adventure

How to use the Disability Access Service?

1. You may obtain your first ride time immediately after approval of receiving DAS. Be sure to have all valid theme park tickets for each person in your party who is riding with the DAS guest.

2. Obtain additional return times from any Guest Relations kiosk or at the ride itself. 

3. The guest who requires DAS must ride with the guests in their party. Each person must scan their park ticket before entering the rides.

4. Return times are valid until they are redeemed or the park closes. You do not have to be back at the specifically listed return time.

5. If you change your mind about riding a particular ride you requested a return time for, let a cast member know so they can void it and allow you to choose another ride.

6. You can use DAS in conjunction with the FASTPASS, MAXPASS, or Rider Switch service. 

7. Just like some rides, there are separate entrances or waiting areas for certain shows which is more accommodating for people who need DAS or use a wheelchair.

8. You can view DAS return times in the Disneyland App, even if you do not have MAXPASS.

Are there any other disability related services that Disneyland Resort provides?

Yes! Disneyland does their best to accommodate all types of disabilities.

In addition to the DAS program and wheelchair, ECV, and stroller rentals, Disneyland provides accommodations for those with visual disabilities as well as hearing impairments.

For instance:

  •  Leashed service animals (dogs or miniature horses) are allowed at Disneyland Resort. However, they may not be permitted on all rides, and may be required to use portable kennels at certain rides. There are designated relief areas for your animal around the park.
  •  A handheld device for assistive captioning and audio description is available with a $25 refundable deposit. 
  •  Braille guides and portable tactile maps are also available for a refundable deposit. 
  •  Sign language interpretation is available with advance reservation and only on certain days. Call 714-781-4636 option 1, and then option 0 for more details.
kennel

Kennel Club located outside of the park next to the Wheelchair & Stroller Rental shop.

Where to go for more Information

For general questions before your visit, you can call (714) 781-4636. You will not be able to receive accommodations in advance or over the phone as those are only done in person/on-site. But a friendly cast member will be happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have before your trip. 

Hopefully you now have a better understanding of how the Disability Access Service works!

If you have questions or comments, or if you have used the DAS program before and have helpful tips or information that I didn’t cover, please feel free to leave me a comment below or contact me directly!

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