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Thread: Share your personal experience with the new DAS program at the Disneyland Resort

  1. #51

    I have a question about the new system. On our last DL trip, Hubs and I were at the parks for three days. The first two days, my feet hurt really bad, even though I alternated shoes and sat down whenever I could. Halfway through the third day, I was in so much pain, I couldn't stand anymore. It was either get a wheelchair or leave, so we rented me a wheelchair. We were happy to go through the regular lines that accomodate wheelchairs, and a couple of shorter lines that I thought I could handle after having sat for long enough for the pain to subside a bit. I certainly don't want to "cheat the system," and I would never rent a wheelchair for the purpose of bypassing the standby lines. We have a longer trip planned for December (six days), and I'm hoping it doesn't happen again, but I'd like to be prepared for how things will go if it does. I guess what I'm asking is, do they still just have wheelchair access lines instead of having to get one of the new cards?


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  3. #52
    Happiness is that smile MammaSilva's Avatar
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    Based on what you've said, you wouldn't be eligible for the new program, you have a mobility issue that can be resolved by using the chair. The new system will not reduce your wait for those attractions without an accessible line, it will give you the wait time pass and you treat it like a fast pass, come back when it matures and in the window or lose your spot in the virtual line.

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  4. #53

    That makes sense. I don't care about reducing my wait times, I just wanted to make sure that there was still a system in place that if I needed the chair, I could get on rides without having to stand in line. Which, now that I've phrased it that way, seems like a silly thing to do away with. Thanks, MamaSilva!


  5. #54
    Happiness is that smile MammaSilva's Avatar
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    I really have to give the company props, they put a lot of thought into the new system, nothing is going to be perfect when talking about the sheer numbers of guests needing some level of accommodation, there are still going to be attractions with long waits simply because of the load capacity for evac purposes like pirates, splash, space and when it reopens Big Thunder and of course for space considerations like Haunted Mansion. But they have come up with a solution that is reasonable and that's all that is really required by the ADA.

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  6. #55
    Sweet Spot - we miss you! shna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crazy4DL View Post
    Margaret, help! I haven't kept up with this whole new system at Disneyland. If the issue is just needing a scooter what is the process? Thanks in advance for any and all advice. Good to hear that the system is working so well for Missy.
    [derail] HI, RUTHIE!!! I haven't seen you around here in forever. I hope all is well! [/derail]
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  7. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by Rapunzelthorn View Post
    LOL! Love the part about munching a churro! I agree with you. There is an advantage to not having to spend your time standing in line and coming back at an appointed time. I do see that some people really need this accomodation, but yes, it would have advantages to everybody else as well.
    Not only are there people who need the accommodations, but these people live with hardships every day of their lives. Things I do with ease and take for granted are struggles for them. If Disney can give them a magical day, my god I will stand in lines longer (not that I am standing in lines longer, just that I would). These people deserve these accommodations and frankly they deserve more.

    Getting these accommodations is not an advantage for them. It isn't even an equalizer, not even close. I am disgusted by people who would cheat the system, but I understand that this world contains murders, rapists, con men who steal the meager accounts of old people who worked hard for a lifetime to build them and yes, even people who will take advantage of a program designed to give a small measure of relieve to someone. From what I have read about how the old system was cheated and how this system is set up, I don't see how this will mitigate cheating. I hope it does, I just don't see it. And that might be good because if it was explained, that might point out how to those who would cheat.

  8. #57

    I agree with you, Bolivar. Just pointing out that, yes, there are still incentives present in the new program for people who want to cheat the system. I too, hope that some of the new components (photos, card holder present when riding, signing an agreement, etc.) will discourage people from doing so. But certainly, there is still incentive to do so for those inclined.


  9. #58
    True HEARTed! Crazy4DL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shna View Post
    [derail] HI, RUTHIE!!! I haven't seen you around here in forever. I hope all is well! [/derail]
    Hey there!! Good to "see" you. . . life is good. Not as many DL trips anymore due to - the higher prices and trying to get out and visit other parts of the USofA. I did get a WDW trip in a year ago. DL is still my favorite of the two parks. Hope all is well in your world too.

    We are doing a trip to DL soon and I am trying to figure out what to expect of the new rules when using a scooter. I am thinking you have to get a fastpass of sorts but obviously I am going to have to do some reading to get it figured out . . or just figure it out when I get there.

  10. #59
    It was a good day! Malcon10t's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crazy4DL View Post
    We are doing a trip to DL soon and I am trying to figure out what to expect of the new rules when using a scooter. I am thinking you have to get a fastpass of sorts but obviously I am going to have to do some reading to get it figured out . . or just figure it out when I get there.
    It is my understanding, it will be similar to the old way, except a few rides will hand out FP equivalents (ie Star Tours). They have to be used within the time frame listed.
    Planning 3 trips at once...

  11. #60
    Quote Originally Posted by Rapunzelthorn View Post
    I agree with you, Bolivar. Just pointing out that, yes, there are still incentives present in the new program for people who want to cheat the system. I too, hope that some of the new components (photos, card holder present when riding, signing an agreement, etc.) will discourage people from doing so. But certainly, there is still incentive to do so for those inclined.
    I didn't mean to imply that you were saying anything different. Sorry.

    I'm not sure why I quoted you when posting that other then the thought hit me while reading your post.

  12. #61

    There are always going to be people who game the system, because that is what some people live for. You'll find them trying to gain advantage in every other aspect of their lives, too. I don't think the point is to eliminate cheats, but rather to make sure the cheats don't affect the Park experience of others...or ar least keep their impact minimal.


  13. #62
    Registered User Teddi's Avatar
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    I do have one question for parents for something (which I admit is probably small) that has been bothering me.

    I've never had my daughter photographed for the sole purpose of the fact she has a disability before. I'm not saying it's a huge deal, and there it starts and stops, but it just bugs me.

    Does it seem to be embarrassing (especially given the scenario that the child has potentially just spoken in depth about their issues/disabilities to a stranger) to anyone whose seen/gone with?

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  14. #63
    Happiness is that smile MammaSilva's Avatar
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    Teddi I can only speak to our/my daughters experience. I didn't feel it was so much oh they're taking her photo because she's disabled, as much as it was a simple step towards helping make the system work more efficiently. In our case they asked my daughter if it was ok to take her picture, now I will say that the photo is required so if she had been against the idea I'd have had to persuade her that it was ok but thankfully she didn't have a problem with it so long as her friend was IN the photo with her. The first photo they took had myself and her and they showed her the photo and she was but can I please have my friend (I won't post her name) and the CM was like well of course you can, they took a new one right then, showed her the photo before printing it and she was a happy kid. Later in the trip we went to go on an attraction and the CM was like um which one is Missy and we said 'she' is but since both girls were going on the ride it was a moot point and the CM was NOT being rude but doing their job in a very professional manner when he asked. I think that as the parents we can take the issues with the new system and be offended or concerned but keeping in mind that the goal is to create a program that is tailored to each guest and that it is so new that they need to collect data to improve the over all system I'm really ok with the idea of them tracking our information and the photo is one step towards trying to stop or at least slow down the abuse that caused all this to come about in the first place.

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  15. #64
    Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix
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    Heeding my own request and writing about my personal experience with the new DAS this weekend.

    As some of you know, my husband was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at age 24, and now walks with a cane due to permanent balance and stamina issues. Heat and fatigue exacerbate his symptoms.

    Under the SAP (Special Assistance Pass) program, Tony's cane was considered a "visible assistance device" like a wheelchair or crutches, and make him eligible to use the wheelchair-accessible entrance at rides without the need to go to City Hall and get the physical card. Of course, this policy had room for abuse. I knew someone who purchased a cane they only ever used for visits to Disneyland. There was nothing to keep someone from breaking out a walking cast from a previous injury and using it to get special access.

    When the GAC (Guest Assistance Card) was first introduced, Disney decided to crack down on this type of abuse. Tony was told point-blank that his options were to rent a wheelchair or wait in the standby lines. Over time, the policy relaxed to the "cane = wheelchair" practice.

    When DAS (Disability Access Service) was announced, my first thought went back to the launch of the GAC policy, and the issues we had then. Where would Tony fit into this new policy? What access would be available to him?

    I asked several Disney employees, front-line cast members and senior managers alike, and nobody knew for certain. One manager assured me that Tony was eligible for a DAS as they understood the program, but a Guest Relations CM told me that he was "in a gray area," and that the decision whether or not to issue a DAS would be dependent on the conversation Tony had with the CM working that day.

    To me, that isn't a policy, and the utter lack of consistency in applying the guidelines was clearly demonstrated when he did go in to have that conversation with the cast member.

    We started at Disneyland's City Hall Saturday afternoon, and waited in a fairly short line. By contrast to the crowding I saw Wednesday morning when the new policy was introduced, there were CMs in front of City Hall keeping guests outside "for privacy" until there was a CM ready to help you.

    When summoned, we greeted the CM and she asked what we needed. Tony showed her his cane, explained that he had issues with balance when standing, and asked where he fit under the new policy. She told him that he was not eligible for a DAS because his was a mobility issue, and immediately suggested that he rent a wheelchair. When he told her that he did not wish to do so, she pulled out a Disneyland map and began to explain the quasi-Fastpass system they've set up at the nine "E" Ticket rides inside Disneyland.

    She told him that he would use the wheelchair-accessible entrance at every ride except the nine rides circled. At those rides, he would go to the wheelchair entrance and get a return time equal to the current standby time.

    He asked how that would work at DCA, considering all of the queues in that park are wheelchair-accessible, and there really aren't separate return lines. She again said that he would need to use or rent a wheelchair, making a comment that DCA was "doing their own thing." I'll also note that the CM made sure to ask if we knew what Fastpass was and how to use it.

    I asked if we could still sit in the reserved accessible seating for the shows and parades without having the DAS, and the City Hall CM said that we wouldn't need it - his cane would suffice. On my way to City Hall I had made a point of stopping by the reserved parade viewing area on Main Street to ask the CMs how access worked under the new program, and they told me they needed to see the DAS. The City Hall CM told me they were mistaken, and directed me to tell them to check with their lead if they denied us entry to the seating area.

    Since my purpose was to see what Guest Relations told people who didn't put up any kind of challenge, we left it at that and left with the Disneyland map.

    Our next stop was the Chamber of Commerce at Disney California Adventure, where we repeated the conversation with another CM. This time, when the CM suggested Tony rent a wheelchair, we stopped him and asked "is Disney really asking an already-disabled person to use less of their remaining abilities just to qualify for this service?" We explained that Tony spent years having to use a wheelchair on days when his body just would not cooperate, and that he is not going back into a chair until and unless he has no other option.

    The CM seemed to understand the point, and then began to explain the DAS program. He asked how many were in our party, and we very truthfully explained that the two of us were right there, we had two friends who had remained in Disneyland while we sorted this out, and two more friends on their way to the Resort to meet us for dinner. Knowing that officially, the CMs are supposed to count the party at the time the pass is issued, we didn't know if he would issue it for 2, 4 or 6. He issued it for 6, saying that if there were more than that we had to bring them all in to be counted. Pass in hand, we left DCA and went back to Disneyland to find our friends.

    Two Guest Relations CMs, two completely different outcomes.

    Back inside Disneyland, we decided to get a return time for Space Mountain, so went to the Tomorrowland Kiosk. The posted wait was 90 minutes, so they issued a return time for 75 minutes. We got in the standby line for Buzz Lightyear (posted 15 minutes), then went back to Fantasyland to check on Single Rider for the Matterhorn. It had just gone 101, so we decided to go check out the return time system for "it's a small world."

    Confession: Yes, we cheated here. Technically with the DAS we should not have double-dipped and gotten a return time for IASW. I am going to justify it by saying that I really *was* doing research for the site, and that, as far as I can tell, there is nothing in place to prevent DAS-holders from doing this. That's a loophole Disney needs to close. Between DAS, Fastpass and this return time system, some people could conceivably triple-dip, increasing the attractiveness of gaming the system.

    Back to the narrative. The standby was 30 minutes, so they issued the return time for 20 minutes. We spent that time sitting on a bench. When we returned, we were sent down the wheelchair ramp to board the ride.

    We got back off "it's a small world" just in time for "Mickey and the Magical Map," so watched that and headed back to Space Mountain to use our DAS return time. Here we were sent through the Fastpass line. The CMs were very careful to count us and make sure Tony was with the group.

    Our other two friends had arrived by the time we got off Space, so we headed to the entrance to meet them. On the way, we stopped by the Guest Relations kiosk on Main Street to get a return time for Radiator Springs Racers. We knew there was a good chance we'd end up in DCA that night, and being able to book a return time for rides in either park was convenient.

    After dinner, we wrapped up our night with a ride on Radiator Springs Racers, (again, through the Fastpass line, with the same scrutiny paid to make sure Tony was there).

    Some final thoughts:


    • For our specific situation, the accommodation offered at Disneyland would have worked for that park. Access via the wheelchair entrance for less-popular rides combined with a return time for the "E" tickets makes perfect sense, and is a good way of providing access without negatively impacting the wait for day guests.
    • The Disneyland CM was not wrong regarding the suggestions and accommodation offered for that one park, but she was not taking a Resort-wide view of access.
    • That said, it's ironic that the more wheelchair-accessible park is actually less accessible to people with endurance issues who choose not to use a wheelchair. I actually asked if there was a DCA-only DAS available, because we don't NEED the DAS at Disneyland. (There isn't)
    • As noted, our issue is completely mobility and stamina, and our experience should not reflect on the needs of people with other disabilities.


    I'm still working up my editorial about this new program, but I wanted to share our personal experiences since we're asking others to share theirs.

    AVP
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  16. #65
    Happiness is that smile MammaSilva's Avatar
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    AVP, the only difference I'm seeing for your experience and ours as far as the return times and fast pass was that they didn't mention the return times to me as a scooter user. We never took advantage of a triple dip in fact we never 'double dipped' simply because the regular fast pass system is enforced with the expiration time being enforced where the return time on the DAS is flexible. I will say that the only time I was slightly concerned was during the trick or treat party when we had Missy in her chair and went to ride Haunted Mansion with her DAS return time being several hours earlier in the day. The CM asked for her card, opened it, did his thing and showed us the queue to the hearse with a very in character voice and attitude. I have found that for whatever reason the City Hall CM's tend to have a different attitude than the Chamber of Commerce CM's do.

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  17. #66
    It was a good day! Malcon10t's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MammaSilva View Post
    I have found that for whatever reason the City Hall CM's tend to have a different attitude than the Chamber of Commerce CM's do.
    I do giggle at this as I know a few of the Guest Relations CMs and one Saturday we stopped in to say hi at City Hall, and on Sunday, they were at Chamber of Commerce....
    Planning 3 trips at once...

  18. #67
    Happiness is that smile MammaSilva's Avatar
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    I KNOW, it makes NO sense to me, I've seen the same CM's in both locations but for some reason they don't seem as stressed over in DCA

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    Forget about those who don't ~ Believe everything happens for a reason.
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  19. #68
    At home in the hills candles71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MammaSilva View Post
    I KNOW, it makes NO sense to me, I've seen the same CM's in both locations but for some reason they don't seem as stressed over in DCA
    Having read other articles, everyone except MP seems to only focus attention towards City Hall in DL and ignore DCA. Perhaps they don't feel as "under the microscope" as being at CH.

  20. #69
    Happiness is that smile MammaSilva's Avatar
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    That might well be the case. I know that for us, I choose to go into DCA simply because access to the CoC is easier for Missy than the stairs at CH in Disneyland. On our first full day of using the new program we stopped into CoC to get her updated pass and there was a line that was about 20 minutes long, she and our friend went and did other things while I waited in line, we had cell phones at the ready to get her to the line when her presence was actually 'needed'. Later that morning we crossed over to Disneyland and the line at City Hall was completely full out to the tour garden area. I think a lot of guests just knee jerk head to Disneyland City hall making it a more stressful assignment.

    Life is too short to wake up with regrets ~So love the people who treat you right
    Forget about those who don't ~ Believe everything happens for a reason.
    If you get a chance, take it If it changes your life, let it ~Nobody said life would be easy,
    they just promised it would most likely be worth it~ remember, Sometimes Miracles Hide

  21. #70

    I wish I could respond better/less bitter. Im just so angered with parents that refuse to parent their own children and want to call it a disability related issue. We went this past weekend for CHOC and had nothing but massive crowds, everything my son hates...and still was able to enjoy the parks because of the DAS. My views aren't so much a reflection of this board but really ASD parents I personally know/or have had their blogs flood my FB timeline (I cant even tell you the last time they took their child on a vacation to Disneyland) claiming how unjust this system is because Racers cant be ridden 8 times in a row. And if they don't, said child will become violent or will now protest. Or how their typical kids are loosing their perks.

    With Pirates/Mansion with 60/90 min waits we were able to use the new DAS easily. I was able to go to each station after we left one ride and get a new time with easy as the kiosk locations were in a path we'd follow. My son was sometimes with me, or not. He walked the park with headphones and his iPad to easy his sensory needs and keep him calmer. We tried Space Mt and with the overlay he flipped out and the cast member gave us a baby swap ticket and we got on instantly with out a second wait. I enjoyed the fun banter with guest relations cast members that I normally would only talk to if something was wrong. More chances to give feedback on the outstanding people we encountered was far more accessible to! (AJ/Nathan on the Jungle Cruise for not using the gun...I would have kissed if I could, Ronnie on Buzz for letting my son ride it over and over till he was done) I felt that this new system gives the cast members an extra second to assess the needs of the guest needing care and helping them. I couldn't be happier with the change. During one of our "Wait times" my husband unknowingly went to get an ASD staple food of a hot dog and Alice picked our son to play musical chairs. I wanted to break down in tears to see him playing with kids and Alice/Mad Hatter helped him fit in. Gosh how someone can say Disney is making the Land un-autism friendly makes me go insane. This is a moment for sure I would have missed if it wasnt for the DAS card.

    It all started with a mouse, and Tom Sawyers Island. :::wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more:::

  22. #71
    Quote Originally Posted by AVP View Post
    Confession: Yes, we cheated here. Technically with the DAS we should not have double-dipped and gotten a return time for IASW. I am going to justify it by saying that I really *was* doing research for the site, and that, as far as I can tell, there is nothing in place to prevent DAS-holders from doing this. That's a loophole Disney needs to close. Between DAS, Fastpass and this return time system, some people could conceivably triple-dip, increasing the attractiveness of gaming the system.
    AVP
    Am I wrong in the thought that I don't see this as cheating? I've used the new DAS my last 2 trips to DLR (and will again tomorrow when I visit the parks) in coordination with Fast Passes at various rides. I think that's where "planning" goes into the day, knowing which ques are better for me to use the FP or DAS, which ones I can handle standing in & which I can't. To be specific, I got a FP for Soarin' (no stairs, no switchbacks), then a DAS return time for Tower (again, to avoid switchbacks) and while we were waiting for those times to be valid, went on California Screaming (only a 5 min wait at the time so I could keep moving). On Screamin' I made the mistake of taking the stairs (my knees are still angry with me!) because I didn't want to make a fuss about the elevator.
    I don't feel like I did anything wrong there, and I would encourage people who are concerned about long waits between rides (not the ques themselves) to do the same. I'd also like to add that to onlookers, I look like one of those "healthy, able bodied adults" who don't need any assistance (unless they have xray vision, but that's a different story altogether ). By using these aids, I am able to enjoy the parks the same as someone without problems.

    I'm really curious to hear what you guys think. Should someone only be "allowed" to use one method at a time? Or is using multiple systems or "double dipping" a valid means of planning your day?

  23. #72
    Happiness is that smile MammaSilva's Avatar
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    Considering that the CM's were very specific in explaining how to combine the use of regular FP and the DAS to me I don't think Disney considers it cheating. There was no mention of the 3rd option for those without the DAS as part of the equation but I do know that they strongly recommend combining the regular fast pass program to make the day 'better'. For our group if the attraction was something I personally wanted to experience then it would be perfectly acceptable for me to go get a return time for our group since I use a mobility device, just because someone else has a DAS in our group doesn't make us cheaters. I'm not sure how Disney would view it if the same person used all 3 systems but I'm sure we'll find out eventually.

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  24. #73
    CL--DLR Trip Planning and DVC Toocherie's Avatar
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    Color me confused. If someone has a DAS you are only allowed to have one active return time, right? What I'm not following is how one would get a return time for IASW if you already had an active return time. Don't you have to show the DAS (and presumably the CM would see you had a return time already?) Aren't the return time passes given at the rides meant for those that don't have the DAS but have an obvious mobility disability (like myself, who has mobility issues and uses an ECV, but otherwise don't have issues like anxiety or not being able to wait in lines)? Because otherwise the DAS would need to be used. I'm just not following . . . . .

    "Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

  25. #74
    It was a good day! Malcon10t's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toocherie View Post
    Color me confused. If someone has a DAS you are only allowed to have one active return time, right? What I'm not following is how one would get a return time for IASW if you already had an active return time. Don't you have to show the DAS (and presumably the CM would see you had a return time already?) Aren't the return time passes given at the rides meant for those that don't have the DAS but have an obvious mobility disability (like myself, who has mobility issues and uses an ECV, but otherwise don't have issues like anxiety or not being able to wait in lines)? Because otherwise the DAS would need to be used. I'm just not following . . . . .
    I'm following, but since it is a grey area, and might be considered cheating, probably shouldn't discuss...
    Planning 3 trips at once...

  26. #75
    Happiness is that smile MammaSilva's Avatar
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    Being thankful for the gift of time.

    Ok Toocherie, this is what happened with Tony and AVP, Tony uses a cane to assist with his mobility issue, in addition he was issued a DAS card like Missy uses. They got a return time on the DAS card, then used the regular fast pass system to get fast passes for a second attraction which is strongly encouraged by the guest services CM's teaching the guests how to maximize the new system, here's the 'cheat' if one considers it a cheat, I'm still 'out on the fence' over it actually being a cheat. Without telling the iasw CM's Tony had a DAS they used his mobility device (the cane) to get the new return time fast pass that YOU and I qualify for simply due to the fact we use mobility devices (our scooters, but wheelchairs, walkers, canes all qualify on 9 specific rides in Disneyland). So by using the available passes available to both groups Tony and AVP had at one point 3 return time/fast passes for 3 different attractions. They only had ONE for the DAS, ONE set of regular Fast Passes and ONE of the return times for mobility devices. Clear as mud?


    Adding to this, the Fast passes and the attraction specific return passes must be gathered at their locations (fast pass machines, attraction CM's issue the return pass) the only return time that is issued in alternate locations is the DAS card, which can be issued at any of the multiple kiosks in either park. I am on the fence on this situation simply because our personal touring situation has one person who qualifies for the DAS, several who don't and one who uses a mobility device and therefore qualifies for the return time passes. I don't ride most of the attractions with Missy, we have other friends and family more than happy to be her ride partner but there are several of the return time attractions that I would happily ride so I could see going to get return times for 'me' for those and not blocking her DAS for a ride that I wanted to ride, but outsiders might not see the difference.

    Life is too short to wake up with regrets ~So love the people who treat you right
    Forget about those who don't ~ Believe everything happens for a reason.
    If you get a chance, take it If it changes your life, let it ~Nobody said life would be easy,
    they just promised it would most likely be worth it~ remember, Sometimes Miracles Hide

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