Ultimate Guide to Autism Services at Walt Disney World for 2024
Disney World has long been the dream destination for many families, including those whose loved ones are living with autism.
In recent years, the Walt Disney World Resort has made a significant effort to embrace inclusivity, catering to the unique needs of all their guests – particularly those with autism.
But how friendly is this theme park really when it comes to catering to guests with autism? Here’s everything you need to know.
Autism-Friendly Services at Disney World
Disney World goes the extra mile to provide an array of services tailored to accommodate guests with autism and other special needs.
One such unique offering is the Disability Access Service (DAS). But what is DAS at Disney World, and how does it help guests with autism?
The Disney Disability Access Service:
The DAS Pass is designed specifically for guests who may find it challenging to wait in regular queues for attractions. It functions somewhat like a virtual queue, letting guests schedule a return time for an attraction while they continue to enjoy the rest of the park.
Essentially, it eliminates the necessity of physically waiting in a line, making the Disney experience much more enjoyable for guests with autism.
Additionally, Disney World offers sensory-friendly performances of select shows such as the “Stage Disney Junior Play.” These performances have lower sound levels, reduced lighting, and more relaxed show guidelines, allowing guests the freedom to move around and express themselves without any inhibitions.
Peaceful Quiet Rooms:
Perhaps one of the most thoughtful features is the Quiet Rooms. These rooms are available in all four theme parks within Disney World.
They serve as safe havens for guests who may need a breather from the hustle and bustle of the parks. Decked out as soothing spaces, these rooms allow guests to take a respite from the stimulating environment of the park and regroup before they venture back into the fun and excitement.
Pre-Planning Your Disney World Visit with Autism in Mind
It’s never too early to plan your Disney World visit. With the right resources, such as the Disney Experience App, you can pre-register for the DAS Pass and other services even before your visit.
Pre-registering for the DAS Pass:
Guests can pre-register for the DAS Pass on the Disney Experience App using a live video chat with a cast member from Guest Relations.
This service is available 2 to 30 days in advance of your park visit and offers an easier, hassle-free way to organize your theme park visit.
Furthermore, DAS advance selections for up to two attractions each day can be made via the Disney Experience App, helping you manage the current standby wait time and avoid the queues.
Keep in mind that the DAS Pass does not provide immediate access, but rather gives a DAS Pass return time based on the current standby wait times.
Guest Relations Location:
Another crucial part of your planning process should involve a visit to Guest Relations.
Located at the park entrance, City Hall building, and International Gateway among other Guest Relations locations, this team is there to assist guests with any questions or concerns they may have.
In addition, the Guest Experience Team located throughout the park can also be of great help. They can provide more information on DAS advance selections, the DAS system, and assist with any other issues you may encounter during your visit.
What to Expect during Your Disney World Visit
From the Magic Kingdom to Hollywood Studios, every corner of Disney World is made to be as inclusive as possible.
Using the DAS Pass in the Parks:
Once in a park, you can use your DAS Pass to schedule attractions at Guest Relations locations. The DAS Pass return time will be set based on the current standby wait time for the attraction.
After the DAS Pass return time, you can head to the Lightning Lane entrance of the attraction to enjoy it with little to no wait.
Attractions and Shows:
Each of the parks, whether it’s the Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, or Disney’s Hollywood Studios, provides a list of attractions that can accommodate the DAS system.
These include popular attractions such as
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Flying Elephants
- Haunted Mansion
- and Spaceship Earth.
Furthermore, guests can use the DAS Pass multiple times on the same ride if they wish, making the Disney World autism friendly experience even more magical.
The Verdict: Yes, Disney World is Autism-Friendly
In a nutshell, with fantastic services such as the Disability Access Service, sensory-friendly performances, and Quiet Rooms, Disney World goes above and beyond to ensure all guests have a magical experience.
The level of thoughtfulness and consideration towards guests with autism makes Disney World not just a theme park, but a realm of dreams where every child, regardless of their abilities, can experience a world of joy and magic.
So yes, Disney World is indeed autism-friendly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions About Autism Services at Disney World.
What is the Disney World Autism Service?
The Disney World Autism service primarily refers to the Disability Access Service (DAS) that Disney World offers. The DAS Pass allows guests with autism to schedule a return time for an attraction, eliminating the need for physically waiting in long queues.
How can I get a DAS Pass at Disney World?
Guests can pre-register for a DAS Pass 2 to 30 days before their visit to Disney World using the Disney Experience App. You can use a live video chat function to communicate with a cast member from Guest Relations and discuss your needs.
How does the DAS system work at Disney World?
The DAS system at Disney World allows guests with autism or other cognitive disabilities to enjoy the park without the stress of physically waiting in long lines. The guest gets a DAS Pass return time which is based on the current standby wait time. The guest can then return to the Lightning Lane entrance of the attraction at the assigned return time to enjoy the ride.
What are DAS advance selections?
DAS advance selections are part of the DAS system at Disney World. They allow guests to make up to two attraction selections each day in advance of their park visit. This feature helps to manage the current standby wait time and further enhances the convenience of the Disney experience.
How does the DAS at Disney World help with autism?
The DAS at Disney World is designed to help guests with autism who may have difficulty physically waiting in traditional queue environments. This system allows these guests to enjoy the rest of the park while waiting virtually for their turn at an attraction.
Where are the Guest Relations locations in Disney World?
Guest Relations locations can be found at various points within Disney World, including at the park entrance, the City Hall building, and the International Gateway. The Guest Relations team can assist guests with any questions or concerns, as well as help with DAS services.
What other services does Disney World offer for guests with autism?
Beyond the DAS Pass, Disney World also offers sensory-friendly performances with lowered sound and lighting levels. Additionally, Quiet Rooms are available across all four theme parks for guests who need a peaceful space to take a break from the park’s stimulating environment.
Are all attractions in Disney World suitable for guests with autism?
Disney World offers a comprehensive list of attractions suitable for guests using the DAS system. These attractions include popular choices such as “Crush Disney’s Hollywood Studios”, “Peter Pan’s Flight Pirates”, and “Flying Elephant Haunted Mansion”, among others.
Can the same DAS Pass be used multiple times for the same attraction?
Yes, the DAS Pass can be used multiple times for the same attraction, giving guests with autism the flexibility to enjoy their favorite attractions more than once.
Are all theme parks in Disney World autism-friendly?
Yes, all four theme parks in Disney World, namely Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom, have services in place to cater to guests with autism, making the entire Disney World experience autism-friendly.