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January 8, 2015

Visiting Disneyland Resort with a Child on the Spectrum



Going out into public with my oldest son, who has an autism spectrum disorder, is always a source of anxiety for me. 

He is the sweetest boy, with the biggest heart, yet his lack of comprehension skills, inability to understand social norms, and tendency to have a meltdown for random reasons makes me worry whenever we go somewhere that is usually very crowded and loud, such as Disneyland.

For the most part, he behaves very well, but as any parent with a child on the spectrum can attest to - whatever we can do to help minimize the meltdowns we will do.

That is why whenever we go to Disneyland Resort we be sure to get a Disability Access Service Card.  On previous occasions he would be issued a Guest Assistance Card, but due to "abuse that was, unfortunately, widespread and growing at an alarming rate," as noted on the Disney Parks website, they decided to change the procedures.

About the Disability Access Service Card:
The DAS Card is designed to accommodate guests who aren’t able to wait in a conventional queue environment due to a disability (including non-apparent disabilities). A Disability Access Service Card will be issued at Guest Relations main entrance locations and will offer guests a return time for attractions based on the current wait time. As soon as the Guest finishes one attraction, they can receive a return time for another. This service can be used in addition to Disney’s FASTPASS Service and Disney FastPass+ service.It is very similar to programs that we have used at other large attractions.

Upon arrival we went to get the card at City Hall at Disneyland.  I discussed my son's situation with the cast member, registered him for the card, and his photo was taken.  The cast member then asked my son what ride he wanted to go on first, and he said "it's a small world," so she wrote down the ride and return time on the card, and off we went to enjoy Disneyland!

To use the card for subsequent rides, we simply went to a Guest Relations kiosk found throughout the park and was given a return time for the specific attraction my son wanted to ride.  We then would go to another ride with a minimal wait time, and went to the ride on the card once the return time had passed (you do not need to return at the exact time at the card - as long as you return after the time indicated you can redeem it at any time).

We had absolutely no problems using the pass at all.

I applaud Disney for their efforts in continuing to ensure all guests have a magical experience, including those with special needs.

1 comment:

  1. Thrilled you were able to enjoy the park with the help of accommodation! Thanks for the positive post. ~ Kathy Kelly, Special Mouse Podcast

    ReplyDelete

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