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Karen1999 03-17-2014 05:16 PM

Recent DAS experience
 
Just wanted to share our experience with the DAS at WDW last week since reading these boards was helpful with our planning...

We did MK, Epcot, HS, and AK over 4 days with our twin high functioning ASD sons, age 8. We often have sensory issues, but have tolerated some lines at other amusement parks in the past, so wasn't sure how they would be tolerating things this time around. Stayed offsite in a terrific vacation home, so no pre-booking of FP+. My plan at all the parks was to hit rope drop and follow a touring plan, using a DAS if needed. We did the two Universal Parks a few days beforehand, and had a difficult time with the noise in the lines and the pre-ride rooms they place you in. One son especially had a hard time with this, and only rode a couple of rides over those two days, so by the time we requested the DAS, I knew pretty well what our issues were going to be.

We dropped by guest services outside MK the day before we started our "Disney days" to activate our military tickets, and they were happy to go ahead and issue our DAS cards at the same time. Each kiddo got their own since it was likely they would want to ride different rides.

The parks were somewhat crowded but not unbearable. AK was the only one that felt a bit packed by late morning. We hit rope drop every day, rode the popular rides til the lines built up, then the adults took turns entertaining the kiddos between DAS wait times. Touring plans were only useful for telling us what to hit first, as the kids often changed their minds about which rides they previously said they wanted to ride. We didn't utilize FP+ for the same reason. Scheduling rides was just not something that was going to work for us.

All told, the DAS was exactly what we needed. The boys were more than happy to wait near the ride with a snack or go ride something else in the meantime. FP return lines had waits of up to 15 min, but that was tolerable for our guys, especially since they usually kept moving. I had all sorts of anxiety about how it would work for us after hearing mixed reports, but the cast members were very kind, and I have no complaints. :)

aaarcher86 03-17-2014 06:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Karen1999 (Post 50976037)
Just wanted to share our experience with the DAS at WDW last week since reading these boards was helpful with our planning... We did MK, Epcot, HS, and AK over 4 days with our twin high functioning ASD sons, age 8. We often have sensory issues, but have tolerated some lines at other amusement parks in the past, so wasn't sure how they would be tolerating things this time around. Stayed offsite in a terrific vacation home, so no pre-booking of FP+. My plan at all the parks was to hit rope drop and follow a touring plan, using a DAS if needed. We did the two Universal Parks a few days beforehand, and had a difficult time with the noise in the lines and the pre-ride rooms they place you in. One son especially had a hard time with this, and only rode a couple of rides over those two days, so by the time we requested the DAS, I knew pretty well what our issues were going to be. We dropped by guest services outside MK the day before we started our "Disney days" to activate our military tickets, and they were happy to go ahead and issue our DAS cards at the same time. Each kiddo got their own since it was likely they would want to ride different rides. The parks were somewhat crowded but not unbearable. AK was the only one that felt a bit packed by late morning. We hit rope drop every day, rode the popular rides til the lines built up, then the adults took turns entertaining the kiddos between DAS wait times. Touring plans were only useful for telling us what to hit first, as the kids often changed their minds about which rides they previously said they wanted to ride. We didn't utilize FP+ for the same reason. Scheduling rides was just not something that was going to work for us. All told, the DAS was exactly what we needed. The boys were more than happy to wait near the ride with a snack or go ride something else in the meantime. FP return lines had waits of up to 15 min, but that was tolerable for our guys, especially since they usually kept moving. I had all sorts of anxiety about how it would work for us after hearing mixed reports, but the cast members were very kind, and I have no complaints. :)

Thanks for the review! I'm glad it sounds like you had a wonderful trip :)

When they issued the 2 cards did they split up your party or do the full party on both?

Aladora 03-17-2014 06:52 PM

Sounds like a successful trip, yay! :banana:

SueM in MN 03-17-2014 10:14 PM

Glad to hear it worked well for you.

Fastpass Plus works well for people who want/like to schedule things. I know some people with more OCD type personalities who love having their whole day planned. Doesn't work so well for people who are frequently changing their minds.

On our last trip, we were part of the Fastpass Plus test and we were able to use Fastpass Plus along with DAS for our daughter. It worked well for our situation - we used Fastpass Plus to create sort of a time framework of things we for sure wanted to do. Then, we filled the in-between spots with shorter wait attractions, DAS ReturnTimes and other things we needed to do, like eating and bathroom stops.
We Were sake to make some changes to Fastpass Plus on the fly; not sure if that is as available now that Fastpass Plus is more rolled out. If it is, it might work better for guests like the poster I quoted.

bocaj1431 03-18-2014 12:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Karen1999 (Post 50976037)
Just wanted to share our experience with the DAS at WDW last week since reading these boards was helpful with our planning...

We did MK, Epcot, HS, and AK over 4 days with our twin high functioning ASD sons, age 8. We often have sensory issues, but have tolerated some lines at other amusement parks in the past, so wasn't sure how they would be tolerating things this time around. Stayed offsite in a terrific vacation home, so no pre-booking of FP+. My plan at all the parks was to hit rope drop and follow a touring plan, using a DAS if needed. We did the two Universal Parks a few days beforehand, and had a difficult time with the noise in the lines and the pre-ride rooms they place you in. One son especially had a hard time with this, and only rode a couple of rides over those two days, so by the time we requested the DAS, I knew pretty well what our issues were going to be.

We dropped by guest services outside MK the day before we started our "Disney days" to activate our military tickets, and they were happy to go ahead and issue our DAS cards at the same time. Each kiddo got their own since it was likely they would want to ride different rides.

The parks were somewhat crowded but not unbearable. AK was the only one that felt a bit packed by late morning. We hit rope drop every day, rode the popular rides til the lines built up, then the adults took turns entertaining the kiddos between DAS wait times. Touring plans were only useful for telling us what to hit first, as the kids often changed their minds about which rides they previously said they wanted to ride. We didn't utilize FP+ for the same reason. Scheduling rides was just not something that was going to work for us.

All told, the DAS was exactly what we needed. The boys were more than happy to wait near the ride with a snack or go ride something else in the meantime. FP return lines had waits of up to 15 min, but that was tolerable for our guys, especially since they usually kept moving. I had all sorts of anxiety about how it would work for us after hearing mixed reports, but the cast members were very kind, and I have no complaints. :)

Thank you for sharing this. :)

I am glad that your trip went well!

It is good to know that using rope drop and the DAS card when necessary worked for your family. I have a trip planned with just my son, who also has HFA, and I; and, was worried about how things would work for our June trip. I am definitely going to plan for rope drop.

I give you allot of credit for managing a vacation with two kids on the spectrum.
I love my trips with my son. They are some of my best and happiest memories but it is still exhausting and challenging at times. Just imagining a trip with two different sets of anxieties, fears, sensory difficulties, and the many other situations you have to be prepared for makes me anxious. I really am so happy for you that the trip went well.

charmed59 03-18-2014 09:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Karen1999 (Post 50976037)
All told, the DAS was exactly what we needed. The boys were more than happy to wait near the ride with a snack or go ride something else in the meantime. FP return lines had waits of up to 15 min, but that was tolerable for our guys, especially since they usually kept moving. I had all sorts of anxiety about how it would work for us after hearing mixed reports, but the cast members were very kind, and I have no complaints. :)

So with the DAS cards work more like the old fast pass system, that you queue up returns and ride other stuff in between? I wonder why they just don't stay with the old fast pass system and do away with DAS, so you don't have to jump through the getting a DAS hoop.

I'm glad it worked well for your family. The flexibility of not requiring the whole day be scheduled out works better for me too.


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