Today is the day that the Disability Access Service (DAS) Card is unveiled officially to the public. The internet has been buzzing with articles, rumors, leaks, and even an occasional Disney Parks Blog post about the replacement for the Guest Assistance Card (GAC) that has been widely abused. Now the new system is in place and guests and cast members alike will see how it works when put into practice.
Here are a few things to know about the DAS for those visiting the Disneyland Resort:
- The DAS will be available at Guest Relations as you enter Disneyland and Disney California Adventure for guests with disabilities (apparent and/or non-apparent).
- Guests requiring a DAS will go through a registration process that includes a photo (so bring patience).
- During process of acquiring DAS, guests will be briefed on where kiosks are where they can get assigned return times.
- Any member of the DAS card holder’s party can obtain a return time for the DAS card. The DAS card holder will need to be there to experience the attraction however.
- Guests can return to experience an attraction any time after the allotted time on the DAS card.
- A new return time will be issued once the previous return time has passed and crossed out by attractions cast member.
- A DAS does not equal front of the line access. It does mean that a disability will be accommodated to the best of the Disneyland Resort’s ability. This will be different for different attractions.
- A DAS card can be valid for up to 14 days and will be good throughout both parks at the Disneyland Resort during the time it is issued for. Don’t try to go to Walt Disney World and use it though. Start the process over there.
- Make-A-Wish and organizations like it are separate programs and will be coordinated through individual programs and not the DAS card system.
Contribute to the Magic
It is no secret why the GAC is being replaced by the DAS. The old system was widely abused. Anyone who visited the Disneyland Resort regularly had a very good chance of observing this abuse. Conversely the GAC did a lot of good as well and that was equally evident. Now, with the start of this new program, it is time to help contribute to the magic. As guests and Disneyland Annual Passholders (DAPs) we can choose to either be a part of the solution or a part of the problem. I will contend today that if you aren’t actively part of the solution, you are contributing to the problem. The power of friendships and social connections are strong. As regular visitors to the Disneyland Resort, if we see friends or family members even remotely trying to abuse the new DAS we need to discourage that STRONGLY.
There is a big difference between a need and an inconvenience. This system has been put in place to level the playing field for everyone. Let’s encourage people to play fairly and not cheat the system. We should also encourage those with legitimate needs to use this system and help them experience as much of the Disney magic as they can. Disneyland Resort will do everything it can to share magic but if people abuse it this will lead to resentment and a repeat of what happened with the GAC.
The DAS is now a reality. It’s time to get behind Disney as it tries to help those in need. It is also time to be patient and recognize that things aren’t going to be perfect on day one. As with most things in life, it takes a little practice before things really get polished and running smoothly. Share some grace with the cast members who are trying to implement this new system. They are still learning how this all works just like everyone else. They just had a couple of week head start. Use some patience, grace, and common sense and help make this transition be as smooth as humanly possible. And if you happen to go by City Hall at Disneyland or the Chamber of Commerce in Disney California Adventure, give the cast members a word of thanks and encouragement. Remember that they weren’t the ones abusing the old system, just implementing it.
The magic of a trip to the Disneyland Resort is as much what is brought to it as anything that Disneyland can offer. Disneyland offers the pixie dust to help your experience fly and be magical. If you don’t come at it with the right attitude though, it really won’t matter. Come to the Disneyland Resort expecting to have a good time. Come to the Disneyland Resort expecting to help other people have a good time. After all, positivity breeds more positivity and negativity does the same. Focus on the good things that happen (and will happen) while you are at the Disneyland Resort. You will have a much more fun time!
The DAS is going to be as successful as the cast members and guests at the Disneyland Resort make it. Let’s be a part of its success, what do you say?
Here are a few more resources for those with questions about the DAS:
- DAPs Tips for Disneyland Resort Guests with Disabilities
- Disability Access Service Card Fact Sheet
- Guest Assistance Card Program Update for Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort
- Disney Parks and Resorts Guests with Disabilities Page
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