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Disneyland Disney World FastPass MaxPass and D.A.S. (Disability Access Services) the Ultimate Guide to How They Work

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  • Disneyland Disney World FastPass MaxPass and D.A.S. (Disability Access Services) the Ultimate Guide to How They Work

    At Disneyland, or Disney World, whether you stand in line (known as "stand-by") or use their FastPass or D.A.S. (Disability Access Services) system, you will not bypass the line. At least not per se.

    What Disneyland / Disney World have done with their FastPass or D.A.S. system, is staggered your ability to go from ride to ride by estimating the amount of time you will spend in line, and allow you to show up for a reserved "return" time to get onto a given ride relatively quickly, but with the inability to make another reservation for another ride until after you would have made it through the line for a ride where you made a reservation, if you had simply arrived and stood in line the entire time.

    What this means is:
    1. Let's say that the "stand-by" normal line time for a ride at Disneyland, say Space Mountain, is 90 minutes (an extreme example, but let's just say).
    2. If you were to arrive and simply wait, it would take you 90 minutes from the moment you arrived to the "stand-by" line, to when you got on the ride.
    3. Instead, for rides like Space Mountain and other select premium rides which tend to have very long lines, Disneyland allows you to reserve a certain time to "return" to the ride and bypass most of the line.
    For example, if the Space Mountain line is 90 minutes, and it is 1pm, you could just arrive, at 1pm, enter the regular "stand-by" line, and get on the ride at 2:30pm.
    Or, at 1pm you could reserve a "return" time to arrive at the line at about 75 minutes after 1pm, or for 2:15pm, and stand in the "FastPass" line for about 15 minutes, and get on the ride at about the same time, 2:30pm
    While it seems like you're bypassing the line, really all you're doing is spending the time that you would be standing in line, away from the ride, doing something else.
    4. The catch, is that you're not allowed to make another reservation for a second ride, until after more or less the same amount of time has passed that you would have spent waiting in line if you'd had no return reservation.
    So in the given example, if you make a "FastPass" reservation for 2:15pm for Space Mountain at 1pm, the system probably won't let you make another "FastPass" reservation for another ride until about 2 or 2:15pm, and that reservation will probably not land until about 3pm.
    You may not, simply make back to back "FastPass" reservations to allow you to jump from one ride to another, irrespective of the actual "stand-by" waits that are happening at that time - there is, in short, no "free lunch" - you will either spend the time waiting in line, or you will wait between rides before you may book another reservation.

    In sum, what the FastPass system does, is allow you to spend time doing other things while the time that you would have spent in line, passes by. But it does not allow you, after all is said and done, to get on any more rides over a given period of time, than you would have if you had simply stood in line for each one - it staggers your reservations to approximate how long it would have taken you to "stand-by" in line if you had in fact stood in line, and then gone to another ride to "stand by" in line again.

    The FastPass system, is simply one in which you trade time spent in line, for a waiting period between FastPass reservations. To make a FastPass reservation, you must take your paper ticket or virtual ticket to either a Disneyland / Disney World information booth, or to the ride for which you want to book a "return time" reservation, and request the return time.

    All Disneyland / Disney World tickets allow FastPass - this is not a privilege. FastPass is included with every Disneyland / Disney World ticket at no extra charge.

    The new MAXPass system allows you you to book the return times - the FastPasses, on your smart phone via the Disneyland app, without having to visit the ride locations or any information booths, but more importantly, to view all available FastPasses for all rides simultaneously. You may also use the MaxPass system to link all of the tickets for all of your guests onto your Smart Phone using the Disneyland app, and as you book the FastPasses, make reservations for all or just some of the members of your party, as you choose.
    As the MaxPass system is rolled out, the cost is $10. per adult ticket as an add on cost.

    The D.A.S. (Disability Access Services) system, allows those with some sort of mobility or cognitive condition (essentially, disability) that hinders their ability to wait long times in lines, to book FastPass return times for all Disneyland / Disney World attractions, not just those premium ones that are normally FastPass eligible. The D.A.S. system does not allow the disabled to jump to the head of the line, avoid waiting in line, or bypass lines, any more than a FastPass, although - again, since the time spent waiting will be spent waiting for your return time to come up versus standing in line, it will appear as though a D.A.S. pass does grant some sort of privileges (and indeed, as far as for viewing parades and special shows, a D.A.S. does, at least with certain Disneyland / Disney World cast members, allow access to the disabled special viewing areas - other Cast members will allow only the obviously disabled such as those in wheelchairs to go into the disabled viewing areas for special events.

    A D.A.S. pass is good for the disabled guest and his party, within reason - parties of up to six are easily accommodated. Whenever the D.A.S. pass is used for members of the disabled guest's party, the D.A.S. issued guest must be present and himself riding the ride.

    One difference between the D.A.S. "return time" reservation booking process, and especially the MaxPass system, is that all return times must be booked at either the Disneyland / Disney World City Hall or information booth - meaning that you must return to see a cast member after each ride, to book a return time for a new ride. On crowded days, the wait to see a Cast member at an information booth or at City Hall can be substantial.

    The greatest advantage to the D.A.S. system is that it operates on its own independent reservation schedule from the FastPass system, such that you may have two sets of reservation return times going, to double effectively the amount of rides you may FastPass during a given time period.

    To get a D.A.S. pass, you do not need to show any kind of paperwork, either from your Department of Motor Vehicles, or from any doctor - it is based on what Disneyland / Disney World cast members refer to as a "conversation" in which your special needs are discussed, and the cast member makes suggestions on how to accommodate you best. For some disabilities, especially mobility ones, Cast members might suggest renting a wheelchair. For cognitive disabilities, for example those who simply cannot stand still, they might suggest that one member of the group stand in the regular "stand-by" line, and then have the disabled member join the line closer to the end of it. Of course, this sort of "join up with your group" is not feasible in some of the closed rides, such as say, Space Mountain, where most of the waiting is done inside the building and not anywhere where you might be able to watch out easily for the moment when your group members gets to the front of the line.

    If you are able to convince a Cast member to give you a D.A.S., you will need to have your picture taken or use the one already attached to your ticket, to make certain that you and only you are booking the return times. A D.A.S. pass allows you to book return times for ALL Disneyland / Disney World rides, not just ones that are FastPass eligible. For the non-FastPass eligible rides, Disneyland / Disney World Cast members will allow you into the line at a certain point that is fairly far along in the line.

    The spirt of the D.A.S. system is to accommodate disabled members to avoid their having to stand in lines, but at the same time being mindful of all Disneyland / Disney World guests who feel that one should be allowed faster line times simply due to a disability. Again, all the D.A.S. system does is mimic the FastPass system, except that it allows access to all rides and events at Disneyland, not just FastPass enabled rides.