As a frequent visitor of Disney World, I have a lot of experience with accessibly of all of the parks. I have used the Guest Assistance Pass because of multiple chronic illnesses which require me to use a motorized scooter. On my last visit to Disney I used the new Disney Disability Access card and found that there are pros and cons of this system.
Pros of the Disney Access Card
- The card was simple to get. Get your card at Guest Relations in any of the parks. If there is a long line as there is during peak times, look for Cast Members with iPads. They can provide a card for you on the spot. Since I visited Disney World during spring break there was a long line with a lot of impatient people. A Cast Member saw me in my scooter and came right over to assist me.
- The Disney Disability Access card is easily recognized just as the old Guest Assistance Passes. There is no need to explain anything when you arrive at an attraction.
- You can use FastPass+ and the DAS. This means that when you are waiting for your return time for either, you may be able to get on another ride.
- Return times are 10 minutes less than the posted wait time.
Cons of the Disney Disability Access Card
- The waiting is difficult for many of us with disabilities. For those of us facing fatigue, this is not taken into consideration.
- Return times are return times. There are exceptions though mainly for special needs children and those on the autism spectrum.
- The posted wait times for attractions are determined by Cast Members. In other words, wait times may be incorrect. This leads to confusion and frustration.
- Cast Members are still learning the process. You may get different answers from different CMs. For example I was told I needed to get a DAS, but later found out that I did not since I use a motorized scooter.
- You can only get one return visit at a time. Again, this is problematic when you are easily exhausted.
- Wait times are easily changed by visitors. Times are handwritten on your card. I saw one person walk away and write over the time. Cheating is what made Disney change their policy for visitors with disabilities.
- It is hard to keep track of all return times. Your FastPass+ times are easily found on the Disney Experience app, but you cannot add DAS passes. You may need a calculator!
- The system can still be abused. Disney cannot ask the exact reason that you need assistance because of the American Disabilities Act. So cheaters are still out there.
It is always sad when one bad apple causes everyone to suffer as with those who cheated the system. With the older Guest Assistance Pass, I had an even playing field with those without disabilities and that is all I ask for. I didn’t use it to see more attractions than others. I used it to get the same experience as others at Walt Disney World. The new Disney Disability Access system takes that away from me and my family and in my opinion, needs improvement.