Unofficial Changes to the Guest Assistance Card

sky over castle

Here is some unofficial information about the new Disability Access Service Card (DAS) that will replace the current Guest Assistance Card (GAC) on October 9, 2013.

My son is autistic so the GAC has been a huge part of our trips to Disney. No one will deny that changes needed to be made to the old beourguestrosewindowsystem. The abuse was crazy. I think that the new Disability Access Service Card (DAS) is a great start and knowing Disney, it will be tweaked as they see fit in the future.  This is a change that has not been taken lightly by Disney and it has been awhile in the making.

The new Disability Access Service Card (DAS) will start on October 9th.

Disney worked closely with AustimSpeaks, park leaders from both coasts, and other disability advocacy groups. It will be used the same at The Disneyland Resort and The Walt Disney World Resort. Its sole purpose is to create a consistent similar experience for all guests from the average guest to one with an extreme disability.

DAS Card Description

  • A photo of DAS cardholder will be on the front along with name, date, location issued, and # of guests in the party.
  • The guest or guardian must also sign a terms and conditions on the DAS card that says they understand how it works, that they won’t abuse it, use it for commercial gain, or give it to someone else. If they breach this contract, it can be revoked and they can be asked to leave the park immediately.
  • The DAS cards can only be issued for up to a 7 day period or until the return time slots are filled up, including for pass holders.
  • On the back of the cards are lots of return time slots. No more different stamps.
  • The card will be paper and slightly larger than the existing GAC card.
  • Make-a-Wish and Give Kids the World guests will not use DAS. They will have a separate lanyard issues prior to their visit that will allow expedited waits. Nothing changes for these folks on how they access the attractions, only what they will use.
  • Guests with a stroller being used a wheelchair sticker will not need a DAS unless they have other needs that warrant it. Attraction based procedures will used to accommodate these guests.
  • Guests needing Front Row Seating will not need a DAS. Attraction based procedures and accommodation will be used.
  • Guests who only have mobility issues will not need DAS. Attraction based procedures and accommodation will be used.
  • The card also has a QR code making it easy for Guest Relations to reprint new ones with the information ready to go if needed.
  • It is still limited to only 6 guests per card including the one it’s issued for.

Space Mountain photo, space mountain ride, The Disney MomsProcedures

After getting a DAS card, guests will approach the attraction they wish to visit. Each attraction will have a cast member at the entrance to assist you. (Not a kiosk as first reported)

  • If the wait is less than 10 minutes, they are admitted through an alternate entrance or Fastpass queue.
  • If the wait is more than 10 minutes, they are issued a return time on their DAS card. The return times will be based on the current posted wait time minus 10 minutes.
  • Only 1 (one) active return time can be written on a DAS card placing you in a virtual standby queue. Just like a regular guest in a standby queue, you can’t be in multiple lines at once. You are free to go stand in line for another attraction, go shopping or eat.
  • The DAS card holder (photo and name) does not need to be present to receive a return time which allows families with children with autism a chance to stay clear of the attraction while a member gets the return time to avoid potential meltdowns by not getting to ride right away.
  • Once the return time has arrived, you will arrive to the attractions alternate entrance or Fastpass line to redeem.
  • Once a return time has been redeemed it is crossed off and no longer active allowing you get a new return time.
  • Crossing off a return time also voids or cancels it to the equivalent of getting out of line.
  • Fastpass & Fastpass+ are not tied to this program and can be used in conjunction. So you can technically be standing in two lines at once.

Here is a difference between a DAS & a Fastpassanimal dog

DAS Return Times have the same policy as a Fastpass when it comes to early arrivals, but they do not expire at a certain time of that day allowing those with special needs to not be restricted to returning back by a specific time if it doesn’t work for them. The catch however is that it will still remain active and additional return times can’t be gotten until it is used.

  • The DAS card holder (photo and name) must be present and experiencing the attraction in order to use the return time. If the person isn’t present or choose to sit out and let their family ride, they will be turned away and potentially have their card revoked. After all, the card is designed to assist the card holder and a few other companions or family members, but it is not designed to solely assist the family or companions when the card holder chooses not to or can’t ride.
  • If an attraction is broken, they can’t give you a return time. If you return and it’s broken, they will accommodate you by giving you a Fastpass to come back later and clearing your DAS return time to allow you to get another.
  • If all your return slots get filled, you have to return to Guest Relations for a new one. This would likely only fill up for someone that is staying on property for all 7 days.

Additional Procedures

  • Attractions that are not fully accessible through the standby queue may also have return cards. These are only for guests with wheelchairs, scooters, & strollers acting as wheelchairs who do not have a DAS card. Space Mountain is an example of a place that already does this, but additional attractions will soon be getting a similar procedure. The return times for these are just like DAS, but because they are attraction specific cards verses a global DAS card, you are able to grab multiple at once if you visit attractions that require it. Not all attractions will have this.

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Easy Ways to Wreck Your Disney Vacation!

Disney Entrance, Disney World sign, Walt Disney World Sign, Welcome to Walt Disney World

By Frances

You go on to a vacation to relax. You want no worries. No cares! There are a few ways that you can cause unwarranted stress & extra worries. Here are some ways that you can easily wreck you Disney vacation or any vacation.

1. You wear the wrong shoes:epcotflowercarsmcqueen

There is nothing like walking 7-10 miles in 4″ heels or in tight sandals. If you use the world cute or little when describing them to your friends, they probably aren’t the best shoes.  Make sure whether you wear Crocs or Nike’s that they are broken in prior to going to the Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort. I’ve had tennis shoes that have left blisters on my little toe before. Make sure you wear good socks and even carry an extra pair in your back pack. Bandaids are also must back for a day at the parks. If you should forget them or even run out,  Bandaids are available at all first aid stations and baby care centers at each park and Downtown Disney.

Mater Bd with Kids2. You don’t have a plan:

I know many people just want to have fun and be care free while on vacation. You can do that with Disney but it could wreck your vacation.

~ Know park hours and plan accordingly. Parks close early on select dates for special events. You don’t want your one magical day at the Magic Kingdom to end at 7pm without your knowledge.

~ Know height requirements for rides and know how tall your child is. You Tube rides to make sure that they are appropriate for your child and for yourself.

~ Know what your must do’s are. Plan to do those early in the day and everything else will be a great bonus.

3. You don’t rest enough:

No matter how in shape you and your family are, you are unable to go 100% through the parks in 90 degree temps walking 10 miles per day. I’ve seen more than my fair share of tired temper tantrums while at WDW and not all of them were small children. My family gets to the parks early and stay till around lunch time. We then head back to the resort to sleep, swim and chill. Around dinner time we will head back to the parks to enjoy a nice evening. If we are staying more than 5 days, we always plan a do nothing day in the middle. Those days we may head to Downtown Disney but it’s mostly full of swimming and chilling. I also try to do a load of laundry or two. It’s nice that the laundry facilities are located next to pools.

4. You go at a peak travel time and go to the park that everyone else is at:Bay Lake Tower Pool, Bay Lake Tower hot tub, Bay Lake Tower swimming, Bay lake Tower slide photo, photo Bay lake Tower pool

Peak times are when kids are out of school. The worst time to go is when kids are out of school and it’s a major holiday. I understand that sometimes it’s just not possible to go any other time. Make sure you have Plan A and Plan B. Parks do close early due to capacity. Get to the park that you want to go to before 10am. If you are dieing to see the Wishes fireworks for the 4th of July or for Christmas (because they are so awesome), you may have better luck sitting on the beach at the Polynesian Resort.

5.  You don’t use hand sanitizer:

You may not want to think about this, but some people don’t like to wash their hands and some people don’t wash their hand enough. A small bottle of hand sanitizer can help keep the colds and germs away. I use them after we have stood in line for while and most times just because I feel like we need it. You can get a small bottle at your local walmart for less than $1. It’s some of the best insurance you can buy.

15 snacks blog pin DoD6. You don’t train for the mileage:

You will walk 7-10 miles on average a day. No, you won’t walk them in 2 hours but you will walk them. Take walks around your neighborhood starting three months out. It can be a leisure stroll.  It’s great family time and it will save you vacation. I’ve even had my kids at 2 years old start strolling with us. Strollers aren’t allowed in all areas and it has saved my back.

Even if you plan on renting a scooter or an ECV, you will become exhausted. I’ve seen this first hand with my parents. If you plan on using a scooter, go walk your local mall. This will only help save your vacation.

7. You don’t wear sunscreen:

No matter if you go in January or July, wear sunscreen. I’ve known people that never wear sunscreen and always tan come home with bad sunburns. You don’t have to wear SPF 50 but you should at least wear SPF 15. You can still get some sun with a low SPF.

8. You want to ride every ride, see every show and do everything:New Fastpass, FASTPASS, Disney Fastpass,

I’ve been to Disney over 30 times and have spent over 250 days at WDW. I have yet to do it all! Every time I go, I do one thing that I haven’t done whether it’s a show that I’ve never seen or a restaurant that I haven’t eaten. Make a list of Must Do’s. Do them and everything else is bonus.

9. You didn’t bring enough CASH!

Disney vacations are can be expensive. Food bills and souvenirs purchases can add up very quickly. Prepay for as much as possible.

~ Use the dining plan. I have been with and without. With the dining plan I eat what I want and don’t worry. Without  the dining plan I eat the cheapest meal possible and still spend as much or more than the dining plan.

~ Make a budget for souvenirs & extras each day. Example: You are at Disney for 5 days. Set a budget of $500 for souvenirs and extras. That’s $100 a day. Don’t allow yourself to spend another days budget going forward but you can use unused for days that have past.

~ Purchase Disney Gift Cards. You can purchase them online with free shipping and at your local grocery stores. Give Disney gift cards to your kids for chores. Ask the Easter Bunny, Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy and Grand Parents to give them for special events and birthdays.

~ Get a Disney Visa. It has reward point that you can use on your trip. You also save 10% off a purchase of $50 or more at stores.

Thank you for following Mouze Kateerz. We value your feedback.

Magical Vacations by Me LogoIf you are looking to book a magical vacation, please contact Magical Vacations by Me at 404-414-6198 or mickeyinfo@magicalvacationsbyme.com

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Inspirations of Cars Land

By Donna

Cars land is one of the most amazing places at the Disneyland Resort. It’s also rumored to be opening at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 2016. Here is a look at where some of the inspiration for it’s design came from.

Drawing Guests deep into Disney California Adventure Park, Ornament Valley is home to Radiator Springs Racers in Cars Land. Taking inspiration from America’s Southwestern vistas (think Monument Valley, Arches National Park and Sedona, Arizona), Disney borrows elements from each. The series of caverns, buttes and canyons creates a ride and queue that is as breathtaking as the real thing.

The famous Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas and the Black Mountains of Arizona lent inspiration to the fins seen here.

The “radiator cap” is similar to the land structure Tucumcari Mountain in New Mexico. The residents of Tucumcari (which Route 66 once ran through) are said to repaint the town’s initial on the side of the mountain each year. (Can you spot the RS here?)

Ornament Valley beckons you from afar…

Thank you for stopping by Mouze Kateerz. We value feedback from our readers and welcome your comments.
Magical Vacations by Distinctive Journeys is ready to help you plan your next magical vacation. Please visit them at Magical Vacations by Distinctive Journeys on facebook, on the web at Distinctive Journeys or 404-414-6198 or Mickeyinfo@distinctive-journeys.com

DonnaDonna is a wife, mom, physical therapist and year-old blogger at DIStherapy. She is a  non-profit caretaker for special needs causes and running for same!  Contributor to WDW Fan Zone, The Magical Blogorail Yellow Loop and Babes in Disneyland.  She resides in Killington, VT and Long Island, NY.

You can visit Donna on her blog at DIStherapy or at DIStherapy on Facebook.

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Sell Your Candy and Help the Troops!

Disney's Candy Cauldron, Downtown Disney candy, Downtown Disney Candy Cauldron

By Frances

When I saw the page “Halloween Candy Buy Back”, I thought it was a hoax. So, I did a little research and it’s absolutely true. I was thinking, how can you make money off of the Halloween candy! Click on the above link. Search your zip code for a local dentist that will buy back your candy for $1 per pound and they will send your candy to the troops. Downtown Disney, Goofy's Downtown Disney, Goofy snacks, Disney snacks

I know that this article is not directly about the Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort or the Disney Cruise Line but I feel strongly about helping the troops out anyway that I can. An added bonus is that I will not be subjected to riffling through the buckets looking for treats for myself that will later trick themselves onto my hips:-)

Thank you for stopping by Mouze Kateerz. We value feedback from our readers and welcome your comments.
Magical Vacations by Distinctive Journeys is ready to help you plan your next magical vacation. Please visit them at Magical Vacations by Distinctive Journeys on facebook, on the web at Distinctive Journeys or 404-414-6198 or frances@distinctive-journeys.com

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Napa Rose’s Glorious Tomatoes: the Bake-It-Yourself Disney Recipe

By Melissa L.

Disneyland Resort is home to some great dining experiences.  One of the signature restaurants here can be found in the Grand Californian Hotel.  Nape Rose is a Disneyland fan favorite, I recreated an appetizer I have never had or seen from the menu here!  Napa Rose’s Glorious Tomatoes recipe can not be found online so I urge any interested readers to pick up my favorite Disney cookbook where you can find the recipe for the Cider Vinaigrette used the in recipe below.

Ingredients

  • 1 heirloom tomato per person being served (recipe assumes 4)
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup basil leaves, torn into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup Cider Vinaigrette
  • 1/2 cup diced onions
  • 3 slices applewood smoked bacon
  • 3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 tablespoons minced chives

Directions

  • Slices tomatoes thickly and sprinkle with salt, basil, cider dressing, onions, and bacon (the tomato slices will look like little pizzas)
  • Stack tomatoes 3-4 layers high, sprinkle with blue cheese
  • Garnish with remaining bacon, cheese, chives
  • Drizzle any remaining smaller pieces with basil, salt, pepper, vinaigrette, and scatter around tomato stacks

Thanks for stopping by for a make-it-yourself Disney recipe, and we hope you enjoy it!
Melissa L.

By profession Melissa is a 9th grade World History teacher, but by nature she is a lover of all things Disney. She has always been a bit of a bookworm and has believed in fairytales since she was a little girl. (Her favorite heroine and princess is Belle.)

When she isn’t teaching, snapping pictures to post on Picturing Disney on Facebook, updating her photoblog Picturing Disney, or prancing around Disney Parks like a kid, she is lives her life filled with love, laughter, and happily ever after in New York with her husband and their adorable dog.

Stop by Picturing Disney, where we keep the Disney magic alive at home one snapshot at a time!

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