A Brief Summary of My Experience with DAS and Magic Kingdom

Danislee

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jul 15, 2009
I'm starting this thread share my experiences so that other might have more information when they go on their trips.

Three weeks ago I came home from my first trip to Disney since February of 2012. I don't remember when I stopped bringing my chair to Disney, but I think this is only my third or fourth without it.

Background: I have cerebral palsy. It affects all of me in a variety of ways, but as far as relevance to Disney, it's primarily, fatigue, balance, spatial orientation, and low vision. My RX is -13 if that helps give anyone a better idea.

My first park was Hollywood Studios. I was not honestly sure if the DAS would be of use to me. Most of my issues were always accommodated via the wheelchair friendly entrances or seating, if available. In Toy Story Mania I always ask to go up the ramp rather than the stairs. Or in Festival of The Lion King, I ask not to have to climb the bleachers. I can do stairs, but I am slow and not great at them.

I still went to Guest Relations when I got to Hollywood Studios, just because I felt it was better to inquire than to not. I told the cast member I did not do well with stairs and that I had poor vision. She explained that the DAS was really meant more for people who could not handle lines for whatever reason, and that most mobility issues were accommodated best through Fastpass. And that as far as vision, asking for closer seating at shows was also available. I thanked her for the information and went about my day.

I did not have any problems at most of the parks. Whenever I asked to avoid stairs, I was accommodated without issue.

On the second day of our trip we went to Magic Kingdom. When my husband and I got near Peter Pan's Flight, I noticed that the queue was different than I remembered. All went well until we turned a corner into the indoor part of the line. It was dark, and I walked into a gate. I was not hurt, but it made me nervous. I tried to look further down the line to see if there was more light ahead, but it was just as dark. My husband turned on the flashlight on his phone, but it wasn't enough for me to feel comfortable. So, we turned around.

I asked the Cast Member at the Fastpass line if there was a more well-lit entrance, and he said that the Fastpass line was the "old line," which is brighter. I thanked him for the information and made the mental note to Fastpass Peter Pan in future.

While my husband was doing Splash and Thunder I decided to try Under the Sea. I had a hard time with this queue as well. It was not as dark (IMO) as Peter Pan, but I kept my hand on the chains or wall as I moved through it to make sure I was staying within the boundaries and going the right way. And I know I must have slowed down because I developed quite a line of fellow guests behind me. (The posted wait was only 10 minutes.) I felt terrible, but thankfully, no one was rude.

Finally, later I rode Haunted Mansion with my husband. I expected this ride and its queue to be darker, but it was darker and narrower than I remembered. I'm not sure if it is different than it was when I last visited. I think part of the problem was that the ride had broken down around when we got in line. There were A LOT of people which probably blocked out more of the available light. And no one was moving.

I panicked (internally) while we were in line. I couldn't see and I couldn't figure out how to get out of the line. I was bumped and bumped into people. I death gripped my husband's hand because I was afraid we I would fall, or we would get separated. And I knew if that happened, I would not have been able to find him. I stayed in line because I did not know what else to do.

And finally, and this may just be one of those things I never noticed while I was in the chair because I didn't have to, but in certain spots it was quite dark in the park itself.

When I arrived home I sent an email to Disney asking if they had a list of rides that had darker queues. I mentioned, briefly, some of the above so they would understand why I was asking.

A woman named Alison emailed me back a few days later and asked if I would call her. I did. She apologized because there was no such list at present, and also asked more about my experience trying to get a DAS and about my difficulties in Magic Kingdom. I explained as best as I could, and she apologized again, and told me that she thought that a DAS might be of use to me in the future.

I told her I did not blame the Cast Member at all. I don't like to push for services I don't think I need, and I hadn't known my vision would be as much of an issue, until it was. And since I had been told no, I didn't, want to ask again for a DAS. Alison was very kind, said she would be forwarding my email on to the Disabilities people, and also mentioning my request for information about the ride queues. She seemed to think it was a good idea that might help others.

My takeaways: I really appreciate Disney getting back to me and being so considerate and acting with genuine concern. I am torn as far as getting a DAS for our next trip. But I am glad I know what my needs are now so that I can explain them better to Guest Relations if I need to.
 

DisneyOma

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 27, 2015
Usually the FP+ queue is parallel to the standby queue, but possibly shorter/less winding. That's about all the help having access to the FP+ through DAS will do for you. It will still be as dark and have some winding areas (except the Peter Pan FP+ one - and the inside of the standby queue is full of interactive stuff, BTW) We've been in FP+ queues that had a 10-15 minute wait during our trips in August.
 

bopper

Which way to the Hundred Acre Woods
Joined
Oct 22, 2004
Is it possible that your eyesight is getting worse? Or would using a wheelchair in line be another way to cope?
 


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