Disney’s Guest Assistance Card (GAC) program is changing, and starting Oct. 9, will be called the Disability Access Service Card (DAS Card).
Instead of gaining unlimited “front of the line” privileges (not how the program was ever supposed to work), guests with special needs will now be given an assigned return time to one attraction at a time. Modifications to the program will ensure that guests who truly need assistance will get it, while giving all guests the magical experience they’ve come to expect from Disney.
To that end, Disney Parks just shared an updated FAQ to help answer remaining questions about the new DAS Card:
What is a Disability Access Service Card and how does it work?
The DAS Card is designed to accommodate guests who aren’t able to wait in a conventional queue environment due to a disability (including non-apparent disabilities). A DAS Card will be issued at Guest Relations main entrance locations and will offer guests a return time for attractions based on the current wait time. As soon as the Guest finishes one attraction, they can receive a return time for another. This service can be used in addition to Disney’s FASTPASS Service and Disney FastPass+ service.
What will Disney Parks do if a Guest is concerned the DAS Card doesn’t meet their needs?
Disney Parks have long recognized and accommodated guests with varying needs and will continue to work individually with guests with disabilities to provide assistance that is responsive to their unique circumstances. Guests should visit Guest Relations to discuss their individual needs.
Who will be eligible for a Disability Access Service Card?
Disney Parks’ goal is to accommodate guests who aren’t able to wait in a conventional queue environment due to a disability (including non-apparent disabilities). Guests should visit Guest Relations to discuss their assistance needs.
How will guests get a Disability Access Service Card?
A Disability Access Service Card will be issued at Guest Relations main entrance locations. Guests will participate in a registration process, which includes having their photo taken.
Why is Disney Parks doing this?
Disney Parks is modifying the current Guest Assistance Card (GAC) program so it can continue to serve the guests who truly need it. The new program is designed to provide the special experience guests have come to expect from Disney. Disney Parks also hopes it will help control abuse that was, unfortunately, widespread and growing at an alarming rate.
Does the DAS Cardholder have to be present to obtain a return time at an attraction?
No. Another member of the DAS Cardholder’s travel party may obtain a return time but the DAS Cardholder must board the attraction with his or her party.
Where do DAS Cardholders go to receive return times?
At Disneyland, guests will go to Guest Relations kiosks located throughout the parks to receive a return time. At Walt Disney World, guests will go to the attraction to receive a return time.
Does a DAS Cardholder have to ride the attraction at the exact return time listed?
No. Return times are valid until redeemed by the DAS Cardholder.
How long is a DAS Card valid?
A DAS Card is valid for up to 14 days depending on a guest’s ticket entitlement.
Is a DAS Card issued at one Disney theme park valid at other Disney theme parks?
Yes, the card will be valid throughout the resort at which it was issued.
Why doesn’t Disney Parks ask for proof of disability, such as a doctor’s note?
Disney Parks takes Guests at their word and there are legal restrictions around asking for proof.
Is this the only service available to Guests with disabilities?
Disney Parks offer a variety of services to guests with disabilities, such as Disney’s Handheld Device that offers assistive listening, captioning and audio description. Additionally, Disney Parks has developed a “Guide for Guests with Cognitive Disabilities.” This serves as a tool on how best to experience its theme parks and is expected to be available online by mid-October.
Does a Guest whose disability is based on the necessity to use a wheelchair or scooter need a DAS Card?
No, a Guest whose disability is based on the necessity to use a wheelchair or scooter does not need a DAS Card. Depending on the attraction, the Guest will either wait in the standard queue or receive a return time at the attraction based on the current wait time. For some attractions at Disneyland, these guests will go directly to an alternate entrance. Guests with additional needs should discuss them with Guest Relations.
Will Disney Parks continue to provide a service to wish-granting organizations?
The change will not affect those who are visiting on trips organized by wish granting organizations. There is a separate program for children with life-threatening illnesses.
As a special needs parent myself, I’ve been following news about the GAC-turned-DAS Card very closely, as I know many of you have. That being said, I’m pretty pleased with how it all looks on paper. Disney’s responses show compassion, concern and effort, which means a lot, especially when you’re planning a trip with a disabled child or family member in mind.
Based on the updated information, do you think the new DAS Card will work for your family?
Photo credits: Pilar Clark
Travelhound Pilar wouldn’t mind being at Walt Disney World eating the ears off a Mickey ice cream bar right about now. But, since she can’t be at her “second home” year round, she curates happy thoughts on Disney Social Media Magic, a virtual springboard where breaking news and other Disneyfied thingamabobs are shared. For more mouse-minded geekery, join Pilar on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and personal site, One Mom Media.