Disney World with ADHD
We just returned from a magical 6 days in Walt Disney World, our first trip to WDW since Holdy’s diagnosis three years ago. Our last trip (with the kids) to Disney World had been in 2015, a trip I dubbed “craycation,” because the kids were terrrrrible.
We did, however, take a familymoon to Disneyland in California last February, which was amazing and magical and was our introduction to the DAS (Disability Access Service) Pass. The DAS Pass helped make our trip run so smoothly in California that it was on the top of my list to make sure we secured in WDW. Like, even above Flight of Passage FastPasses.
The DAS Pass is designed to accommodate guests who aren’t able to wait in a conventional queue due to a disability (including non-apparent disabilities). The pass, which gets loaded right onto your kid’s MagicBand, allows guests with special needs to schedule a return time at an attraction so they don’t have to wait in a line for extended periods of time. The guest’s party is also covered under the DAS pass.
Here’s how it works:
When you enter any park, head to the Guest Relations main entrance location. Bring your entire party with you if you’d like everyone to be able to utilize the return time together.
Tell the Cast Member that you’re interested in a Disability Access Service Pass. You don’t need any “official” documentation of a diagnosis (and technically, they can’t ask); they’ll just ask you what your concerns are for your guest.
In my case, I did share that my daughter has ADHD and ODD, does not have a lot of patience, is easily frustrated, and gets anxious in loud and overly stimulating situations, which can all lead to massive meltdowns.
The Cast Member will add the DAS Pass to your child’s MagicBand and will take their photo.
The Cast Member will also need to scan the MagicBand of everyone in your party.
Tell the Cast Member the first ride you’d like a “return time” for. They’ll do some Disney Magic in their little scanny tool thing and tell you what time to show up at the ride.
The wait time they give you is usually about 10 minutes less than the current attraction wait time, but you get to wait elsewhere and enjoy other park stuff (or fill up the refillable popcorn bucket again) instead of standing in line with an antsy child.
When you get to the attraction, you’ll enter either through the FastPass Lane. The guest with the DAS Pass must scan their MagicBand first, and then the rest of the party can scan and enter.
You can only have one active return time at a time, but you CAN use FastPass in addition to the return times.
Once you’ve enjoyed the attraction, you can visit the next attraction you’d like to get DAS Return Time for; you’ll need to take your DAS kid with you. Talk to the Cast Member stationed outside the FastPass entrance (or at the FastPass entrance if no one is stationed outside) and tell them you’d like a DAS Return Time.
We were also able to get some DAS Return Times by visiting the various Guest Relations Kiosks around the parks, but allegedly they aren’t technically *supposed* to give you Return Times there. Every Cast Member did though!
Between the FastPasses and the DAS Pass, we were able to ride everything everyone in our party wanted and not have to wait in a line that was too ridiculous.
Now, that’s not to say that the entire trip was perfect. We still dealt with some minor meltdowns: we were hot, tired, overstimulated, didn’t want to do our homework that school sent along, didn’t want to go to bed, etc. One morning, we almost had a major meltdown over not wanting to take a shower. So we got creative:
But overall, we still had a magical time. I can honestly say we would not have had the same trip had it not been for the DAS Pass.
If your kids have similar diagnoses and you’ve put off a trip to Walt Disney World because of fear of their behavioral issues, I would definitely recommend checking out how you can use the DAS Pass to make your trip (and life) easier.
Your kid, too, can rock WDW like a boss.