New DAS System Greatly Improves Disney Park Experience
Disney Genie debuted two days ago, and what magical wishes it granted for users of the Disability Access Service. Though DAS and Genie technically function seperately, the new technology allowed for a massive upgrade in the DAS user experience.
Prior to last week, guests with qualifiying disabilities registered for the DAS pass at Guest Relations or with Guest Experience cast members upon their arrival. From there, they scheduled return times for attractions, one at a time, with either Guest Experience team membes or at the attractions themselves. The process often involved long waits and hustling through congested walkways. Clearly, these two challenges cause much stress for those using the DAS pass.
New DAS Registration
Now, guests pre-register for the Disability Access Service using a virtual chat within the Walt Disney World app up to 30 days prior to arrival. During that call, guests also pick two DAS Advance return times for each day of their park reservations (some exclusions apply).
Guests will still be able to register for Disability Access Services on-site as well, but those DAS Advance selections must be made at least two days prior to use. We found many ideal times were gone quite quickly. We recommend the virtual registration at 30 days if possible. Make sure that your entire travel party is linked under your “Friends and Family” on My Disney Experience prior to the call.
Using DAS in the Parks
The biggest change in using the DAS pass in the parks is that guests now schedule their return times from within the My Disney Experience app. This one is a true game-changer! Any ride that utilizes the Lightning Lane feature in Disney Genie, whether it be Genie+ or the individual Lightning Lane, can be scheduled using the app for a return time later in the day.
The only exceptions to this are rides with a virtual queue, which still require guests to join that in the morning. Currently, only Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure using a virtual queue at Walt Disney World. Guests with a Boarding Group let cast members know that they have Disability Access Services to use the Lightning Lane instead of the traditional line once their boarding group is called.
Booking a DAS Return Time in the App
To book a return time, guests touch the magnifying glass (or search) button in the app. Then, search for the attraction that the person using Disability Access Services would like to ride. Select the attraction. The app will then show the guest two options: a DAS Return time and an option to purchase/use the Lightning Lane depending on whether the attraction utilizes Disney Genie+ or individual Lightning Lane.
Choose the DAS Return time option. The app then asks the guest to select his/her party. Everyone in the party must be pre-registered into the DAS group prior to this step. Also, make sure that the entire party has the new version of the My Disney Experience app, which debuted on Tuesday.
Once guests select their party, hit “Continue.” Review and confirm the selections and make sure to press “Confirm.”
Guests will want to make sure that they see the following screen before moving on with their days. As before, guests can only hold one DAS return at a time. The system does allow guests to book their next attraction immediately after using the prior return. Clearly, it certainly makes for an efficient day.
Using DAS with Genie+
Yesterday, I set out with my favorite DAS user to really explore how to use the system and to answer one question that I often am asked: Is it worth buying Genie+ and individual Lightning Lane with DAS? The answer to that question is a bit complicated. If the DAS user has a problem with crowds and processing the sensory demands of a theme park, then yes, it is absolutely worth combining DAS with at least the individual Lightning Lane purchase. If not or if guests are enjoying a park with fewer attractions, then Genie+ may not be needed.
Using a combination of DAS, Disney Genie+, individual Lightning Lane and the early park entry granted to Disney resort guests, the two of us rode the nine biggest attractions in Hollywood Studios yesterday in under four hours. We even stopped for blueberry Mickey waffles in the morning and Mickey pretzels during the Pixar cavalcade.
To pull this off did take a bit of morning planning. Still, the quiet afternoon spent at the resort pool was totally worth the early wake up and the extra purchases. Disney Genie continues to redefine the park experience. As a family, we cannot wait to keep making the most out of this new service. As always, search out Guest Experience cast members in their royal blue shirts for assistance as needed.