My family and I took our annual fall Disney World trip October 17-19, 2013. This would be our first time using the new Magic Bands and using the Disability Access Service (DAS) card. My daughter is autistic and is unable to wait in lines. In our past Disney trips we always used the GAC and it worked wonderfully for my daughter.
Disney’s new DAS went into effect October 9, 2013. Changes were made due to the abuse of the old GAC (Guest Assistance Card). With the old GAC we would go up to the Fastpass entrance for a ride and we were granted access through the Fastpass. This worked great for my daughter. We were able to ride all her favorite rides within a few hours, then go back to the hotel for down time. With the new DAS a cast member at ride will write on your DAS a time for you to come back. The return time is 10 less than the standby time. You are unable to use the DAS for another ride until your current ride is crossed off. However, you are able to combine this with Fastpass and Fastpass+.
To be honest I was extremely nervous to try the new system on our trip. The first night we arrived at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at the Magic Kingdom. We went to Guest Services to get the DAS. I explained to the cast member my daughter’s limitations. The cast member really did not ask me too many questions. She took my daughter’s picture and entered her information into their system. She gave us our DAS and we went to our first ride. Now before I left home I already picked our Fastpass+ times through the My Disney Experience website. We were staying on property and our hotel was part of the test for the Magic Bands.
The first ride my daughter wanted to ride was Thunder Mountain. The standby wait time was 30 minutes. The cast member wrote on our card for us to return in 20 minutes. My daughter was a little confused why we were not able to go on right then, but she was not upset. We walked around then returned to the ride. After Thunder Mountain we used the DAS for a few more rides and we also used our fastpass+. The crowd level was low due to the special event, so over all our return times were not bad. By 8:00pm we were able to just use the standby lines, which the wait times were all less than 10 minutes.
Friday the 18th we went to EPCOT. We had our Fastpass+ for Soarin, Test Track, and Finding Nemo. We did not need to use the DAS for the other rides because the standby times were less than 10 minutes. The success to this day was definitely having our Fastpass+.
Saturday the 19th we traveled to Hollywood Studios. We had our Fastpass+ for Toy Story Mania, Tower of Terror, and Rock ‘N” Roller Coaster. We did use the DAS for The Great Movie Ride and Playhouse Disney Live. At The Great Movie Ride the standby wait was 15 minutes, the cast member allowed us immediate access. At Playhouse Disney Live the cast member wrote for us to come back 10 minutes before the show started. Using the DAS for the show was very helpful. We returned 10 minutes before the show started and did not have to wait in the long line.
Overall our experience with the new DAS was positive. We did travel during a less crowded time at the parks and using Fastpass+ made our experience successful. I would highly recommend to guests requiring the use of a DAS to utilize Fastpass and if possible Fastpass+ to maximize the success of using the DAS. Our trip was successful and I did leave feeling positive about the changes with the DAS. I am concerned how it will work during more crowed times with longer wait times. For now I am happy that we had a successful trip with my daughter and I am going to stay hopeful for our future trips.
Tonya Vega – (800) 670-4312×142 or Tonyav@travelwiththemagic.com