The Disneyland Resort offers many services to support their guests with cognitive and physical disabilities. To help you prepare and plan for everything you’ll need, we’ve got the lowdown (and lots of insider tips) on how to make your next trip to Disneyland the happiest visit on Earth!

 

Planning Your Trip

 

Tickets and Annual Passes

  • At one time, Disneyland offered discounted admission tickets to people with disabilities through their Community Involvement Program. That program, which is called My Magical Day, is currently on hold.
     
  • You can purchase one-time or multi-day tickets on Disney’s online reservation system or by calling (714) 781-4636 for mail-to-home orders.
     
  • For frequent park-goers, Disneyland now offers Magic Key annual passes that also offer discounts on food and merchandise throughout the park.
     
  • The Disney FastPass and MaxPass systems have been retired. In the fall of 2021 (likely late October or early November), Disney will begin offering Disney Genie and Genie+, which will make planning ahead and creating a detailed, dependable schedule a whole lot easier.
     
    • Disney Genie will allow you to create a customized itinerary based on the attractions, dining, and entertainment you want to experience, and updates are made throughout the day to optimize your park time. You can either select the exact rides, restaurants, and shows you want or enter more generalized interests like "Princesses" or "Star Wars" for a themed itinerary. The app will also feature a personalized tip board to display current and predicted wait times at the attractions you’re interested in, so you can see when a line might be shorter.
       
    • Genie+ will feature a paid system for accessing rides faster ($20 per ticket per day) and unlimited PhotoPass.

Disney Apps

One of the most important and useful things you can do to prepare for your trip is to download the Disneyland mobile app. Among other things, this will make it easier for you to access the Disability Access Service (DAS) system within the parks. (More on that below.)

COVID-19 Protocols

Face coverings are currently required for all visitors ages 2 and up in all indoor locations, regardless of vaccination status or disability. There are no exceptions. Masks are optional in outdoor areas. All masks, cloth or disposable, should:

  • contain at least two layers of breathable material,
     
  • fully cover the nose and mouth and fit snugly, and
     
  • be secured with ties or ear loops. 

Neck gaiters, open-chin triangle bandanas, costume masks, and masks containing valves, mesh material, or holes of any kind are not allowed. Masks with an integrated transparent plastic panel are allowed as long as they meet the above requirements.

 

Disney’s Disability Access Service

 

Disability Access Service (DAS) allows visitors with disabilities and their party members to “skip” the line by being given a specific time to return (comparable to the current wait), so you can spend the interlude doing something else. Once it’s your time to ride, you will enter either through a shorter queue or via an expedited entrance. 

  • Guests whose disabilities do not affect their ability to wait in long lines can either wait in the standard queue or request a return time from a Cast Member (Disney’s name for employees) at each attraction. 
     
  • Until the DAS Advance system launches (more details below), you can use the DAS program by visiting Guest Relations in the following locations:
     
    • Guest Relations or Guest Information kiosks
       
    • City Hall
       
    • Chamber of Commerce
       
  • Once your registration has been processed (and your child’s photo is taken for ID), it’s good for 60 days. 
     
  • You can only hold one return time pass at a time.
     
  • Two rides do not allow return times: Star Wars: Rise of Resistance and WEB SLINGERS. However, all guests may sign up for the virtual queue system via the Disneyland app. Once you’re assigned a boarding group, you will be called for entrance at that time; if you need DAS assistance, ask a Cast Member at the attraction entrance. 
     
    • The distribution times for virtual queue enrollment are daily, 7:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. These slots fill up almost instantly, and you can only occupy one virtual queue at a time. If getting on these rides is a high priority for your family, make sure to set your alarm, and good luck!
       
  • The Rider Switch program enables one parent or caregiver to ride an attraction while another parent or caregiver waits outside the attraction with the child who does not ride. The first rider then swaps with up to three other members of their party without anyone having to wait in line again.
     
  • Two new DAS Advance features launch this fall (the rumor is November) that could make your Disney day much easier. (Until then, you must still visit Guest Relations when you arrive to register for DAS.) 
    • Pre-Arrival Registration and Planning via Live Video Chat: With DAS Advance, you will be able to register virtually as early as thirty days in advance of your visit and as late as two days prior. You can also pre-select up to two rides per day for return times. 
    • Same-Day DAS Return Time Self-Selection Tool: Instead of having to physically go to a Guest Relations location in the parks to obtain a return time, visitors (and their party members) registered in the DAS program will be able to select return times right from the Disneyland mobile app during the day of their visit. 

 

Accessibility, Sensory, Medication, and Other Needs

 

In addition to downloading Disney’s mobile app and familiarizing yourself with the Disability Access Service, there are a few other things you’ll want to know before you start your trip.

Mobility, Visual, and Hearing Considerations

  • The Disneyland Park Guide for Guests with Disabilities and Disney California Adventure Park Guide for Guests with Disabilities offer a quick overview and keyed map of each park’s mobility, visual, and hearing accommodations. These maps will also be available at Guest Relations and on the Disneyland app.
     
  • This list details the rides and attractions that can accommodate wheelchairs and rides that require a transfer.
     
    • You can rent a stroller, wheelchair, or ECV/motorized scooter at Disneyland’s Stroller Shop located in the main entrance plaza to the east of the Disneyland Park main entrance as well as at the Pixar Pals parking structure. Manual wheelchairs are $15 per day to rent; ECV rentals are $60 per day plus sales tax. Both require a refundable deposit of $20.
       
    • If your child’s stroller will be used as a wheelchair, check with Guest Relations when entering the park at either City Hall to get a “stroller as wheelchair” tag to be placed on your stroller.
       
    • Traveling from the parking lot to the wheelchair rental can be challenging if you’re arriving without your own equipment, as it is a long walk to the rental counter from the parking lot (or the tram when it is running). There are companies that offer rentals outside of the park, so you can arrive with wheels in place.
       
      • Disney let us know that families also have the option of utilizing the turnabout at the park’s main entrance to drop off family members who need to rent mobility devices and are unable to travel the long distance to the entrance from the parking lot. 

Sensory Considerations

  • For a list of which sensory experiences accompany Disney’s attractions, download the Attraction Details for Guests with Cognitive Disabilities guide.
     
    • It includes a handy chart outlining what each attraction offers in both parks so that there are no surprises, including: Scents/Smells, Flashing Lights, Loud Noises, Periods of Darkness, Bumps, Fast, Lifts off Ground, Wet, Element of Surprise, Type of Restraint, and Amount of Time.  
       
    • Disney also offers a downloadable PDF called A Resource Guide For Guests with Cognitive Disabilities Including Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) with answers to commonly asked questions and a preparation guide for your child, including a visual schedule.
       
  • Aside from the above, Disney does not provide a list of attractions that have strobe and lighting effects that could affect individuals with photosensitivity or seizure disorders because Disney says it would be too exhaustive. Strobes and pulsating lights are used extensively in the park, including in exterior building accents and dance clubs, and effects such as simulated lightning, explosions, and chaser lights are used in various attractions and shows.

Quiet Locations for Sensory Breaks

The following break areas can be less crowded and offer a space to unwind. 

  • For babies and toddlers, the Baby Care Centers in both parks are quiet and relaxing environments. Often, there are coloring pages, books, and movies offered to children.
     
  • Disneyland:
     
  • California Adventure:
     
    • The First Aid station on Buena Vista Street next to the Chamber of Commerce.
       
    • Hollywood Land: The backlot area near the Monsters Inc., Mike and Sulley to the Rescue! Attraction can be a great place to take a break from the crowds.
       
    • Pixar Pier: A large area with tiered bench seating near the World of Color viewing area is not used during the day when shows are not being performed, so it offers a great place to take a break. The food seating area at Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta/Paradise Garden Grill is also a good place to relax and is often very quiet.
       
    • A great playground-like experience can be had at Grizzly Peak: Redwood Creek Challenge Trail. Kids can spend hours here climbing, ziplining, and exploring.
       
  • Cast Members at Guest Services can also be good resources for quiet areas. 

Bathroom Accessibility Needs 

  • In addition to accessible bathrooms, Disney offers Companion Restrooms, which offer cots and privacy. For an insider’s look at where you can find the least-traveled Companion Restrooms, go here. Disney’s First Aid stations have several Companion Restrooms available:
     
    • Disneyland: First Aid is located at the end of Main Street, U.S.A., next to the Baby Care Center.
       
    • California Adventure: First Aid is located next to the Chamber of Commerce on Buena Vista Street.
       
  • For small children, Baby Care Centers offer a quiet place to change diapers, eat snacks, and have some moments of calm.
     
    • Disneyland: The Baby Care Center is at the end of Main Street, U.S.A., next to First Aid.
       
    • California Adventure: The Baby Care Center is next to Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop and across from The Bakery Tour in Pacific Wharf.
       
  • Many Disneyland restrooms use automatic toilet flushing equipment, which may be loud. Placing a Post-It note over the sensor can block the flushing mechanism until you are ready. 

Food Allergies

  • Most table service restaurants in the theme parks can accommodate food allergies or intolerances, and advanced requests can be made through the Disneyland Mobile App when booking dining reservations. Here is a comprehensive guide to the Disneyland Resort’s dietary accommodations.
     
  • Guests with food allergies or intolerances are also allowed to bring their own food into the parks. During bag check upon entering the park, let the Cast Member know that someone in your party has a food allergy or intolerance. 

Keeping Medication Cold 

  • Disney’s First Aid stations will store your medications so that they’re safe and ready when you need them. 
     
    • Disneyland: First Aid is located at the end of Main Street, U.S.A., next to the Baby Care Center.
       
    • California Adventure: First Aid is located next to the Chamber of Commerce on Buena Vista Street.

Service Animals

Disney allows service animals in nearly all areas of the park as long as they remain on a leash. Here is a detailed list of the locations in which they are not allowed.
 
Still have questions? Call Disney’s Disability Services at (407) 560-2547 or email Disney Parks Disability Services. Above all, keep in touch with us! We’d love to know how your visit goes. If you have any insider tips of your own to share, please do!

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