It’s been a year since Walt Disney World and Disneyland introduced the new Disability Access Service card (DAS) to replace the former Guest Assistance Card (GAC). To understand the importance of this survey, a little history is needed to be reviewed. The GAC was used for years to help guests with disabilities have access immediately to the Fastpass or alternate entry queue at rides and attractions in Walt Disney World and Disneyland. Although the GAC eliminated standing or waiting for long periods of time in lines, it was never a front-of-the-line pass. For many families, the GAC provided access to the magic of Disney that otherwise would not be available because of challenges related to their disability. Unfortunately, some guests misused the GAC. The misuse was covered by the national media and Disney revamped the program and replaced it with the current DAS system.
The abrupt and surprising change from the GAC system to the DAS system by Disney created a firestorm of opinions both in support of and criticism against the DAS. Practically anyone and everyone who was directly or indirectly impacted by the change voiced an opinion. There is even a civil lawsuit currently against Disney objecting to the change from the GAC to the DAS.
Our purpose here is not to discuss whether or not a change from the GAC to the DAS was needed, but to show the impact of the new DAS system upon those who responded to this survey. This survey is the first of its kind that we are aware of.
For those who genuinely needed the old GAC at Walt Disney World and Disneyland, we are not aware of any guests having difficulty obtaining the old GAC or using it at Walt Disney World or Disneyland throughout the history of this website.
When interpreting these responses, we assumed the following factors:
- At least one member of each respondent’s group used the DAS at either Walt Disney World or Disneyland.
- The respondents were honest in their answers.
When interpreting this report, please understand this was not a scientific survey. It was voluntary, containing a few questions to be answered based on personal experiences. What one person may experience and interpret as difficult, another person may not. The response was how the guest honestly felt about the DAS system during their visit to Disney. Perception is reality in this instance.
We will review the questions asked, the response data and then we will provide a conclusion and recommendations
- 59% of those who used the DAS were under the age of 13
- 22% were the ages 13-21
- 17% were 21 and older.
“How would you rate the difficulty of obtaining the DAS pass?”
The following graph reflects (for those who answered) their responses:
- 7% felt it was an Extremely difficult process to obtain the DAS.
- 21% felt it was a Difficult process to obtain the DAS.
- 25% felt it was Not a difficult process
- 18% felt it was an Easy process.
- 22% felt it was a Very easy process.
- 6% had other response.
- 30 received stroller as a wheelchair tag
- 45 received re-ads or paper fastpasses
- 2 received other accommodations
- (Some respondents received both the wheelchair tag and the re-ads or paper fastpasses)
The results to this question are reflected in the graph below:
- 19% felt the DAS was Extremely difficult to use
- 29% felt the DAS was Difficult to use
- 15% felt the DAS was Not difficult to use
- 15% felt the DAS was Easy to use
- 19% felt the DAS was Very easy to use
- 5% responded other
It also cannot be said that the DAS is always difficult to use nor is it always easy to use. 48% of the respondents however, felt the DAS was either difficult or extremely difficult to use while 49% of the respondents felt it was not difficult, easy or very easy to use. This split down the middle is significant when considering that practically half of the guests are having difficulty using a system that is supposed to help them while visiting Disney parks.
Obviously there are still great concerns by Disney guests, many implementation issues and room for improving the DAS system at Disney. This conclusion is strongly supported by the responses to the survey and the comments provided by the respondents in addition to the multitude of comments our website and social media accounts have received this past year. Due to the compelling comments received by the respondents to the survey, we feel it is appropriate and important to write another blog focusing on the comments themselves. Look for a link to that posting soon.
- Allow more than one attraction return time to be listed on the DAS. In addition to Fastpass+ or Fastpass system, allow up to three attractions with posted wait times greater than 30 minutes to be listed.
- Instead of access to the Fastpass/Fastpass+/Alternate entrance time immediately if the posted wait time is 10 minutes or less, change this procedure to a posted wait time of 30 minutes or less. This recommendation was mentioned several times by the survey respondents and they pointed out that this is Universal Orlando Resort’s policy with their Attraction Assistance Pass.
- More sensitivity training to Cast Members and better quality control is needed for consistency purposes when guests request, obtain, use and have questions about the DAS.
- Integrate the DAS into the My Disney Experience app. This change would help eliminate the need to separate families with one member having to leave the group in order to obtain return times at the next attraction. This change would also help eliminate taking the family to an attraction, obtaining a return time and not riding it. This situation can result in meltdowns and sometimes aggressive behaviors due to the guest not understanding why they can’t ride since they are at the attraction. In addition to obtaining return times at the attractions, obtaining a return time via the app or at least with any CM at any attraction who can pull up the app and give a return time would help eliminate and reduce both potential behavior problems and excessive walking back and forth between attractions all over the parks.
And finally, we would like to say a sincere thank you to all those who promoted and responded to this survey.
Special Mouse Podcast's Disney DAS Card Survey Results 050
For more information select the following links:
Disability Passes at Orlando’s Theme Parks
Disability Pass Ranking and Comparison
Our DAS Blogs