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  • Writer's picturePractically Perfect Pixie Dust

Alternative Disney Accommodations

Updated: Jun 12


With the new more rigorous requirements to qualify for the Disability Access Service at Walt Disney World many guests who previously had qualified for the service will no longer be allowed to make use of this program.  (Click here to read about our initial reactions to the changes and the way they are being rolled out and implemented.) Here are some of the accommodations Disney is recommending instead.  


Rider Switch 

Rider switch is a program available to all Guests. A guest who is not able to wait in a standby queue for an approved reason is able to wait outside of the ride, alone with one other member from their party, while the rest of the party waits in the stand by line and then experiences the attraction. Once those guests return, the waiting members of their party can board the attraction without having to wait in the regular line again.  Rider Switch has been traditionally available for Guests who meet one of the following: 

  • Does not meet the boarding requirements. 

  • Has a service animal that cannot board the attraction or does not want to use a provided kennel. 

  • Meets boarding requirements and does not want to ride but cannot wait outside queue on their own

How to use Rider Switch: Upon arriving at the selected attraction, approach the greeting Cast Member with your entire group and inform them you are interested in the Rider Switch option. Let them know you have a family member with a diability who is unable to wait in the queue and you need to use rider switch instead. They should allow the person with the diability and one other guest wait while the rest of your party manages the line and then experiences the attraction. One they are done the part of your party who have been waiting should be able to return to the attraction, check in with a cast member, and enter through the lightning lane.


Single Rider

Single Rider is a separate line which offers a shorter line with less interactive elements.  Groups stand in the line together but are split up and ride the attraction individually, filling in seats that are left empty due to groups with an odd number of riders. Keep in mind, you will likely not ride the attraction with a member of your party, but enjoy the attraction with other Guests with a shorter wait. Guests must meet the minimum age requirement, which is 7, to ride alone.

How to Use Single Rider: A Cast Member can direct you to the designated queue, where your party will be separated to fill remaining seats that aren’t occupied by Guests utilizing stand by lines. Please note: this service is not offered at all attractions.


Attraction Queue Re-Entry

A guest may briefly step out of the standby line and then rejoin their party in the line. Each location has a slightly different way to support this option based on a person’s disability while the rest of the party remains in line.

How to Use Queue Re-entry: If a problem occurs and you need to leave the line, speak to a cast member for directions on how to re-enter the queue. The guest reunites with their party, theoretically at the juncture where the stand-by line meets the lighting lane, to ride the attraction.


“Stroller as a Wheelchair” Tag

If a guest uses their stroller as a wheelchair for a child with a disability or to transport medical equipment for a child with a disability they may request a “Stroller as a Wheelchair” tag at guest services. Guests will then be allowed to use the stroller in the queue in the same manner as a traditional wheelchair. This is being extended to an adult with a mobility disability who uses a stroller to assist with walking to help facilitate their ability to stand in a standby queue.

How to use "Stroller as a Wheelchair": To aquire a "Stroller as a Wheelchair" tag you will need to go Guest Services just inside the parks when you arrive. If you meet the qualifications they will issue you a tag to attach to your stroller. The tag should be authorized for you entire stay, but they doange the color of the tags periodically. If this happens in the middle of your stay you will need to return to Guest Services to exchange it for the new one. Once you have been approed you make use the stroller in the stand-by queue the same way a wheelchair or ECV would be used.


Noise Canceling Headphones

Noise canceling headphones help limit the amount of sensory input that some adults and children on with anxiety or on the spectrum find overwhelming. Disney will theoretically have these for sale for individuals who need them. 


Genie+  

Genie+ is Disney’s paid service that allows guests to skip the standby queue and more quickly ride attractions via the Lightning Lanes. We have an article with more information on the Genie+ serive and how to use it effectively. here.


***These accommodations are all listed that on the Disney website here.


Return to Line

Some guests who no longer qualify for DAS are being told they can ask at each individual attraction for a return to line time. At each attraction they will have to explain to the CMs why they are unable to stand in the queue and request a return to line time. Granting the request is at the discretion of the individual CMs.


*** We have read on different DAS groups that this is being suggested, but it is not currently listed anywhere on the Walt Disney World website that we are able to find.


Wheelchairs and ECV

Guests with a disability who have an issue with the length of time they must stand in a stand-by line, such as Orthostatic hypotension, but who do not use a wheelchair or an ECV at the parks are being advised to go ahead and rent one to help with their ability to manage the stand-by line successfully. We have a post on renting wheelchairs and ECVs for your Disney vacation here. We also have a section of our blog dedicated to limited mobility travel here.


How is this all working for guests at the parks?

That is the million dollar question. Are guests that no longer qualify for DAS able to use these accomidations in a way that allows them to still have a positive experience at Disney? Currently, it seems that is not the case. We have read that people have been struggling to use the accommodations, such as ride re-entry, successfully in the parks. There seems to be little consistency even when guests have been able to request ride re-entry or rider switch. Again, while we are trying to remain open minded about all of the changes, we have written about our initial opinion here. As we move closer to June 19th, when those guests who were registering 30 days out will be traveling to the park, hopefully there will be more clarity on how these accommodations work on the attractions.



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