When planning our trip to Disney, I wanted to be prepared as much as possible when it came to our son, Michael. I wasn’t sure how well he would do with all the walking, waiting in lines and the heat. Even with my son, Alex, I knew visiting the parks would be a long day – something neither of them have ever experienced. I had heard many things about Disney’s DAS service from other autism families and reading about it on my own. I had great hopes that this would make it easier for Michael and it absolutely did!
Of course, we are talking Disney. I had high expectations and they went above and beyond to make Michael and my family feel right at home. Before I go any further, I want to explain exactly what the DAS is and how it works. This is the information the Walt Disney World site provides:
“Disability Access Service DAS is intended for Guests whose disability prevents them from waiting in a conventional queue environment. This service allows Guests to schedule a return time that is comparable to the current queue wait for the given attraction. Once a return time is issued, Guests are free to enjoy other theme park offerings such as meeting a Character, grabbing a bite to eat, enjoying entertainment or even visiting another attraction until their listed return time. Return times are valid until redeemed prior to park closing. Guests can only have one active return time at a time. As soon as an outstanding attraction return time is redeemed, Guests can receive a return time for the same or a different attraction. This service can be used in addition to Disney FastPass+ Service.”
The DAS pass worked extremely well for our family. Since all accommodations are made in person, I would suggest arriving early at the parks to allow enough time at Guest Services. Once we arrived at the park, we made our way over to Guest Services and spoke with a cast member about accessing the DAS pass. Once the DAS is provided, a photo of the guest requesting the DAS is taken, or the guardian if you prefer. All family members traveling with the DAS passholder must be present with them to electronically associate themselves with the DAS party. We were able to add six members of our family to Michael’s DAS pass. Also, the DAS pass can be used in conjunction with Disney’s FastPass system. I can’t say enough about how well it really worked for all of us. We had little to no wait times on the rides and attractions. If you are traveling with a special needs family member, I highly recommend looking into the DAS pass for your family.
Another concern we had for our boys was all of the walking. I had many conversations with parents of special needs and neurotypical children who suggested using a stroller. I wasn’t sure where to start but, after researching more, we decided to rent a stroller from an outside vendor. First, they were more accommodating, offering special needs strollers. Second, it was more budget-friendly for us rather than renting a daily stroller in the parks. Also, after seeing pictures of the strollers offered at the parks, they didn’t look very comfortable to me.
Although, I started researching stroller rentals early, I didn’t decide on which one until it was too late to reserve the special needs stroller. That was my fault but, after speaking to Kingdom Strollers, and based on the boys’ current weight/height, we were able to choose another stroller. We decided to go with the City Mini Single. It was perfect. The best part about working with Kingdom Strollers is the convenience of having the stroller delivered to and picked up from our vacation home rental.
Included with the stroller was a rain cover and a small cooler that fit perfectly under the stroller seat. We only rented one stroller and honestly, to our surprise, we hardly used it. It was great to have though. I recommend renting a stroller when visiting the parks, especially if you have a special needs child or small children. You never really know how they will do with the amount of walking you will do throughout the day. It’s best to be prepared.
If you would like more information on the DAS pass, please click here.
If you would like more information regarding stroller rentals at Kingdom Strollers, please click here.
Thanks for reading! I hope you have found this helpful for your next Disney trip. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments below. I’ll be happy to help! If you have a friend or family member planning a trip to Disney who may find this information helpful, please share!
If you have enjoyed reading my post, you may also enjoy searching my blog and reading more about our Disney trip under Magic Kingdom Day, Epcot Day, Animal Kingdom Day and Hollywood Studios Day.
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