Understanding the Disney DAS Pass with Kids on the Autism Spectrum

If you have a child with autism, you know waiting is not something they are very good at. However, a trip to Disney Parks will most often involve waiting. Making a kid at Disney World with autism wait in long lines will surely end in a meltdown. One meltdown can ruin an entire day.

Disney DAS pass

Disney knows that you don’t want to spend all that money to come to their parks, wait in one line, then have to abandon the rest of the day. They have services in place that can help you, your child with autism, and the rest of your family have a magical day at the park.


Disney’s Disabilities Access program was in the news a few years ago due to individuals abusing the services put in place for disabled people. Because of this, Disney changed the way that people can access these services.

Now, Disney has a newer program called the Disability Access Service (DAS) pass. This pass is available at any Disney Park, however, we have only had experience with it at Disney World with our son who is diagnosed with autism.

Disney DAS Pass


As soon as you get to the park on the first day, go to guest relations. Tell the cast member (Disney speak for “employee”) you would like to get a DAS pass. They will probably ask why you need the pass. We told them that our son has autism and has difficulty waiting in line.

You DO NOT have to tell them your child’s diagnosis nor do you need to bring a letter from your child’s doctor stating their diagnosis. It is actually against the law for them to ask you to reveal your child’s disability or prove it with paperwork. You only need to tell them why you feel your child will need this.

Your child’s photo will be taken and linked to their ticket/MagicBand. Everyone else’s ticket/MagicBand that is in your party will also be scanned and linked to your child’s ticket.

You do not have to do this everyday – just the first day of your visit to Disney World or Disneyland. The pass is good for 60 days.

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NOTE: The DAS pass is for all people with disabilities that have a difficult time standing/waiting in line. When we visit with my father, he also gets a DAS pass as he has a pacemaker and a double knee replacement.

Disney DAS pass


So, how does it work? Say you want to go on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride (which is my favorite!) in the Magic Kingdom. When you are at the entrance to the ride, you will see two lines, the “standby” and the “Fastpass+.”

Above the entrance to the standby, there will be a sign that states, “current wait time is: ___”. Let’s say the wait time is 45 minutes. This means that if you were to stand in the standby line, you will have to wait around 45 minutes before you get to the front of the line. Now what?

Don’t stress. There is a cast member at the entrance of every attraction. Find them and let them know you have a DAS pass. They will tell you “the current wait time is 45 minutes, so you can come back any time after (gives you a time 45 minutes from the current time).”

They will then scan your child’s pass/MagicBand, then scan everyone in your party’s pass/MagicBand that wants to go on the ride. You can now go do other things for 45 minutes, then come back, scan your pass/MagicBands at the Fastpass+ entrance, and enter the Fastpass+ line.

Disney DAS Pass


  • When you get your passes scanned and get your DAS return time, politely ask the cast member if you could just get on the ride right now. This works 75% of the time. Cast members do not like to say no to guests. As long as you are friendly and polite, you most likely will be able to go right into the Fastpass+ line.
  • Ask for a shorter wait time. When we went to get on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, the wait was two hours! We asked if we could get right on and was told no. When I explained to them that we would not be able to go on another ride for two hours if we waited and that my son was tired and we were about to go back to our resort, they gave us a 15 minutes wait time. We used the time to get a drink and visit the restrooms, then came back and they let us through.
  • If you are still asked to wait the full length of time, use your Fastpasses to schedule some other rides.
  • We got a DAS pass for the Frozen Ever After ride in Epcot and were told to come back in 90 minutes. It was the last thing we were planning on doing that day in Epcot. After about 10 minutes my son started crying. He wanted to leave, but my other two kids wanted to wait to ride it. We waited 10 minutes, then went back to see if they would let us on. They didn’t say anything, just let us scan our passes and get in line.

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When and where to use your DAS pass

  • We don’t use the DAS pass for every ride.
  • If the wait time is less than 30 minutes for a ride, we will wait in line.
  • The DAS pass is supposed to work anywhere there is a Fastpass+ entry point.
  • It will not work in restaurants, some character meet and greets and shows.

Disney DAS pass


If your DAS pass doesn’t work, it never hurts to ask. If your kid really wants to see Mickey and the wait is an hour, nicely ask the cast member if they can help you out.

Once we were waiting to see Fantasmic! in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. As we were about to get in line there was an announcement that it was standing room only. This wasn’t going to work. We really wanted to see the show so we asked a cast member if there was a way we could use the DAS pass for the next show. She said “come with me” and personally escorted us to the VIP reserved section!

If it wasn’t for the DAS pass, my son would have probably last only two minutes or so before getting overwhelmed and having a meltdown and then we’d have to leave.

If there’s something else that you need for your child that the DAS pass is not addressing, please visit a cast member or guest services. As long as your requests are reasonable and you stay calm, they will do everything they can to accommodate you.

Disney’s customer service is typically top notch and if you feel you need help with something just ask the nearest cast member and they can get you to someone who will help you.

DAS pass helps the whole family

Not only does the DAS pass help my son have a good time at Disney, it helps everyone in the family enjoy it more too. My son is a triplet. His brother and sister do not have autism and although they are understanding of their brother’s issues, it does not mean they don’t get upset when he makes it difficult for them to enjoy themselves.

The last time we visited Disney World was over Thanksgiving. Talk about crowded! So. Many. People. However, we still had a great time and we were even able to stay at a park from open to close one day which was a big deal.

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Disney DAS Pass

Some other tips for visiting the parks

  • Disney offers companion restrooms if you child is like mine and refuses to go into a bathroom alone.
  • If you need a quiet space to relax, there is usually one nearby.
    • Our favorite place in Magic Kingdom to relax is Tom Sawyer’s Island and the Main Street Train Station.
    • In Epcot we like Japan’s koi pond and Morocco’s fountain.
  • Make sure you take lots of breaks throughout the day. A bunch of little breaks may be good for some kids. Other kids might prefer going back to their resort for quite time in the room or a swim in the pool.
Disney DAS pass

Does your child have food issues/allergies?

All food service areas at Disney have an allergy-friendly menu. They are usually located at the register at quick service areas. Your server will be able to get you one at a sit down service.

The item that you ordered from the allergy menu will be put on a separate tray and sometimes be delivered at a separate window/station. Any food item from the allergy-friendly menu is specially prepared so it will take longer for it to be made.

I cannot eat wheat/gluten and always order from the allergy menu and recommend that you ask for the non-allergy food to be served when it is ready and not wait for the allergy meal because, depending on what you ordered, it can take a while for it to be made.

Sick kids at Disney World


There are many other services that are available to disabled guests in Disney World.

  • Handheld devices that offer assisted listening, captioning, and audio description are available in each park
  • sign language interpreting
  • Braille guidebooks
  • Guides for guests with cognitive disabilities that offer tips on how to best experience the parks are available online on Disney Park’s website.

Last word of advice: HAVE FUN!

I know how stressful it can be traveling with a child with autism. You have got to stop and remember to enjoy yourself! Take silly pictures, laugh, try on all the funny hats in Epcot’s World Showcase. Oh, and get yourself a Dole Whip (next to Magic Carpets of Aladdin in Adventureland in Magic Kingdom). ENJOY!

Want more Disney planning help?
Read our guide to the
best hotels at Disney World with Kids on the Autism Spectrum

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Mill Park Hotel Donegal Ireland

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24 thoughts on “Understanding the Disney DAS Pass with Kids on the Autism Spectrum”

  1. Jen

    While it’s likely helpful for people who may not know that Disney offers accommodations for a variety of needs, I think it’s irresponsible to give tips on cheating the system to shorten wait time, putting castmembers in difficult positions where you’re asking them to break the rules and frankly, taking advantage of the DAS so
    You don’t have to play by those rules. “Tips”
    Like these are exactly why Disney changed the previous system had to be revamped.
    I get it, I have an ASD kid and Disney was a Sensory overload many times during our trip, but had we used the DAS I can’t imagine being told to come back in 45 minutes and coming back in 10 insisting to go on the ride.
    If everyone does what you’re suggesting it’s going to ruin it for everyone.
    I think you’re mistaking accommodation for entitlement which is a different thing altogether.

    1. charlene

      you obviously do not have a child on the spectrum.

      1. Ryan

        I have a child on the spectrum and I 100% agree with Jen. Also Charlene, You attacked your opponent’s character or personal traits in an attempt to undermine their argument.

    2. Patti Ruelle

      I didn’t read the whole article but I don’t like the sound of pressuring cast members to do more than give the DAS passes out in the first place- either. My child is severely autistic and had a few minor meltdowns while we were there but the DAS passes were awesome. I think it’s incredible that our family of 5 could all go together too, but it felt fair since we all paid the crazy prices of going to Disneyland in the first place. And none of the other “nt” guests had to deal with our child having meltdowns in the line. It felt fair and I would have even settled for just my kid’s father and I being able to go on with her. But Disneyland is also all about the whole family experience. Honestly the passes are the difference between us never going again and striving to one day save for annual passes.

      The only thing that sucked was the ride we really wanted to go on broke down and we didn’t have time to wait much to go on another because of catching our train. My father DID try to ask them to expedite our time because of that; but it made me uncomfortable. They didn’t do it and I’m fine with that. Stuff happens and if you ask for too much then it DOES ruin it for everybody because they might stop altogether and put something lesser in place to get a tighter squeeze on the rule-benders.

  2. Callie

    I find your experience much different than mine. We live locally and visit the parks probably twice a week on average. While it is true occasionally a CM will say you know what go ahead on in. It only happens probably 10 % of the time. I try not to do anything that is going to make CMs jobs more difficult. I feel like you are giving people unrealistic expectations. Which in turn is going to make a CMs life a pain.

  3. Karen R.

    Jen and Callie,
    Thank you for your comments and I apologize if it took me a while to get back to you. My family moved to a new home last week and it’s been a whirlwind of chaos!
    The tips that I mentioned were actually given to me by a friend that is a former cast member. I apologize if you feel that I am taking advantage of the system in some way – I was simply following the advice of someone who works for Disney. You are both right – people taking advantage of the last access system made Disney change it to the current system. I believe that people were either pretending to be disabled to get the access pass – I even heard of people hiring disabled people to go with them to the park so they could get a pass! That is obviously a huge misuse of the access pass and something that should not be tolerated. I am in no way advocating that anyone break any of Disney’s rules regarding the DAS pass. I was simply following the advice of a former employee.
    Our last visit was over Thanksgiving and it was very crowded so I was really just trying to make sure my kiddo was able to make it through the day. I’m sure you are thinking “Why take a kid with ASD to Disney when you know it’ll be crowded?!” They answer is that we were able to get a ridiculous last-minute airfare deal ($450 for 5 round trip tickets!!) and we have relatives in the Orlando area that we also were able to spend Thanksgiving with.
    There are many times that we use the fast pass and there are many times we don’t use either the fast pass or the DAS pass. There are times we use the DAS pass without asking the cast members anything. But I’m all about the “you gotta go what you gotta do” mentality and by asking the cast members for some flexibility, I was able to get my kids through a crazy day at Disney without a day ending meltdown.

  4. Ilana

    My daughter is 17 years old and suffers from anxiety in crowded places. Would that b something that we could get the DAS card for?

    1. Karen R.

      If you think it will help her then ask for one. As I stated before, you do not need to provide any paperwork, Dr. note, or even tell them her diagnosis. Just explain to them why she needs the pass.

  5. Karina

    Thanks for these tips, my son is 4 years old with heart problems and is also taking diuretics. This is the first time he’s going to Disney this Christmas and I realize how we will do it. And I had no idea about this DAS pass, this really helps Thank you again.

  6. Kat

    I appreciate the read. I have a son who is 4 years old, on the Spectrum but I had no idea about DSA. It is very informative and helpful.

  7. Jerri Garofalo

    We used the DAS pass for my mentally disable 57 yr old bro during our Dec 2018 Disney World vacation. My brother is mentally a 7 year old boy in a 57 yr old body, including other physical issues causing walking and standing problems. Emotional complexities include bipolar and PTSD. Having to stand in long crowded lines is very difficult at any time, but with an array of surrounding posditivd and negative emotions and anxieties making visiting places like Disney world nearly impossible to enjoy.

    We played by the DAS rules and all I can say, “it was a blessing. “ As outlined, it allowed us to virtually have one family member check in to a ride or show and be given a comeback time. At that point we could take restroom breaks, grab a snack, or even go on another ride, or just sit and chill, until our ride time was ready. Then we returned to enjoy things without all the stress. Aprevious trip with him was full of negative experiences due to the roller coaster of anxiety problems, pain and fatigue on his part, and for us trying to find a balance to make for the wonderful vacation we had planned for. Yes, this was such a gift, and we are grateful to Disney’s help and understanding in this area. The world is made of people of all kinds, many with special needs. We all of us, large and small and in between deserve special vacations with wonderful experiences and memories.

  8. Sharon

    We have a 4 year old on the spectrum. Thank you for your information. It gives me hope for our trip.

  9. "Jon"

    I have a niece with a spectrum disorder aka autism and have per personally had a disability in the past.

    Although I don’t need the DAS pass, it’s nice to know that she can get it.

    It’s a shame that people abuse things, lie and steal, even in Walt Disney World and Disneyland but fortunately, these idiots have not totally ruined everything for everyone.

    Thanks for posting this information. A lot of people need the extra help. For those who don’t and abuse this option, that’s too bad, because in many ways, people like them that are the most handicapped of all.

  10. Diana Rollins

    My son is 28 years old and is within the autism spectrum (aspberger’s) He has never been to Disney . We plan to go in March . Will we be able to get a DAS pass ? I won’t need to bring any proof of his diagnosis ?

  11. Ang

    They need to change the system & make people take proof of there disability & use a better system waiting 40 minutes is not good for kids with autism my son hates waiting & will punch & kick us it’s no joke & some people abuse the system making believe there kids have a disability Disney need to ask for proof it’s disgusting

    1. Tai

      That is against the ADA, so that’s never going to happen.

    2. Art

      The ADA requires equal access not better access. Yes. The number 1 reason Disney changed gac was because of massive abuse.
      The number 2 reason was parents thinking thier kid deserves to get on a ride before the average kid waiting in line. Trust me, Every kid hates waiting 40 minutes to get on a ride not just autistic kids. I have 1 child on the spectrum & 1 “normal” child. No one is saying it’s easy to wait the 40 minutes but if you plan accordingly you can use a fastpass or get something to eat while you are waiting for your return time to avoid or lesson a meltdown.

  12. Jacob

    So how does Disney weed out the fakers? They can’t just take everyone’s word for it, otherwise DAS is going to be abused. What processes and measures do they have in place?

  13. Kat Harris

    Our child is 7, ASD and small. We still use a larger size umbrella stroller in the airport and at Disney as he gets tired and does not want to walk or cooperate at times. We get his Dass pass first thing in the park. We also use fast pass. We are DVC members so are able to get into the parks early and head for favorite rides first thing. He loves the trains and people movers and the shows. We pace the shows so that we can rest and cool off and use handicap seating. We take water, sunscreen, caps and a few games or toys or cell phone and snacks and purchase a balloon to tie on the stroller so that it is easy to find. We leave the park after lunch to rest, swim or have a break then return when it has cooled off. Be aware that the parks look different at night when it is dark and it is harder to get around. We usually study our maps and plan our day accordingly due to all of the walking and the heat. We also enjoy Disney Springs, Rain Forest Cafe or the Dino cafe if you need something fun away from the parks..parking is free and there is a lot to see and do. The boat rids are free and it is a cool place to check out

    1. Austin

      My son is 4 years old with non verbal autism,it’s hard to read some of the comments,I get it, hard to weed out fakes,hear things walking through the park a lot about “just tell them you have a certain disability and you get to go straight to the front to of line.its sad! I wish they could ask for ADA but being in medical field it is illegal.i am thankful for what the parks in Orlando do for my son,no sense in my other 2 boys to go without and not get to experience what Orlando has to offer.thank you.

  14. LaDonna Brown

    My son is 28. He still lives at home and goes on vacation with us . He has aspergers. Waiting in line has always been an issue with him. He would make waiting difficult for all of us. My daughter just heard about this and said she wished they would have had this when he was younger because it was what her brother needed. Do you think it will be possible to get DAS for him as an adult? Just looking at him you wouldn’t think he had a disability. We are going this summer and he has already started saying he can’t wait in line.

  15. Allison

    My 4 year old has anxiety and super sensitivity to noises and I’m very worried about the bathrooms at Disney because he won’t go in a bathroom with people in it and holds his hands over his ears even when they’re empty. I don’t plan on getting him a pass but can you elaborate on the companion bathroom? Are they like individual family restrooms and are there a lot throughout the parks?

  16. angie

    Thank you for your blog, the hints and tips were most helpful as i have read alot of very bad reviews about Customer services and a lack understanding about the various requirements a child with ASD my have.
    We have previously been to disney Paris which was wonderful and all of our needs were met, we never waitied in line for more than 30 mins (my sons max) and had quiet special seating so he wouldnt get stressed by crowds in busy shows. In the Uk all theme parks have a fast track entry system so queues are generally no longer than 35/50 mins , typically around 15 or 20 mins.
    To hear of this rather awkward system Orlando use was quite worrying for me given we are going to be spending a vast amount of money on what is supposed to be the holiday of a lifetime. Your blog gave me reasurances that if we are experiencing a melt down that some cast members will be compassionate enough to help you out so your holiday and disney experience isn’t spoilt.
    Regards other peoples comments on “rule breaking” i dont want to undermine anyone, but each child is different and has different needs. Most ASD kids have difficulties with conforming to anything, therefore frequently rules will have to be bent, we need flexibility.

  17. Carrie

    While it may be Disney’s policy to let you break the DAS rules and let you on the ride, it does not mean it’s right. I’m horrified that people are already finding ways to take advantage of the new system. I have now raised a child with Autism and gone to the parks countless times with her starting at age 2. Never have I felt so entitled that I could justify asking for more than other DAS families were being afforded. The point of the new pass is so that you can’t move on to other rides. If the wait is 2 hours, you would normally be in that queue, not able to ride rides. Keep in mind what a normal guest is able to “accomplish” in that day with the crowds. Having an autistic family member with a DAS does not entitle you to doing more, just enables you to do your day easier.

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