Many people are still confused about the changes to the Disney disability passes that are being made on October 9, 2013. The Disney Guest Access Card, or GAC is being replaced by the Disney Disability Access Service card, or DAS. While many are still trying to claim the change is a bad thing, here is a quick and easy guide to the perks of the new Disney disability pass system, what has changed from the old system and what has remained exactly the same.
What are the perks of the new system?
· Families on Make-a-Wish Trips and with critically ill children will still have front of the line access
· Because there is no longer instant gratification, there will be less abuse of this system
· When you return to the ride, the Fastpass line will be shorter and you will spend LESS time waiting in line than you did with the GAC
· You can use regular Fastpasses in conjunction with the DAS
· You can ride other rides with short lines or see shows while waiting for your return time
· The return times do not expire, so you do not have to rush back to the ride to meet a time window
· You can sit down and wait for your time in a shaded area or near a restroom for your comfort
· Disney has designated “quiet” areas for families that need a break from the stimulation around all of the parks, adding to the accommodations previously offered
· Disney’s disability policy is now clearly outlined and posted on their website so you can prepare your family before your trip, instead of relying on vague statements
· Disney has now published a guide for people with cognitive disabilities that gives details on rides, stimulation levels and how to plan a successful trip
· This system offers the closest thing possible to equal access to disabled guests. It is no longer an unpublished “perk,” but instead true equal access allowing disabled guests to enjoy the parks in the same manner as non-disabled guests.
· All Disney cast members will be better equipped to assist disabled guests because of the new open policies and discussions that the change has created.
What exactly is different?
· Guests will need to register for the pass and have a photo taken
· You will need to sign an agreement stating you will not use the pass for financial gain or abuse the pass or it will be revoked
· The pass will no longer grant immediate entry to the Fastpass lane, you will be given a return time instead
· The passes will expire after 14 days
What hasn’t changed?
· Individuals in wheelchairs or scooters still will not need the pass, wheelchair and scooter access to rides has not changed
· Individuals with the pass will spend less time waiting in physical lines to visit attractions
· Individuals with the pass will still use the Fastpass lane to access attractions
· You can still use the pass with traditional Fastpasses and Fastpass+
· You will need to visit Guest Relations to receive the pass