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Old 03-14-2014, 12:14 PM   #1
aj2hall
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Join Date: Jul 2007
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Our recent experience with DAS

Just wanted to share our experience with the DAS. On our first trip 6 years ago with my 2 oldest, we requested the old GAC but never used it. Just felt reassured to have it just in case we needed it. Our trip 3 years ago with my youngest, it was just the 3 of us, so we felt pretty confident DH and I could handle any issues. This time, with all 3 boys would be a little tricker. We didn't want to take advantage of something, but we also wanted the trip to be as smooth as possible for everyone. After our first day in MK where it was really crowded (touring plans 6 -easy wdw 8 & highly recommended) and a disasterous wait at Peter Pan, (wait time was posted at 15 minutes but turned into 40, DS was overwhelmed and really stressed) we decided to stop at guest relations to ask for the DAS. The cast member was very kind and helpful.

We only used it on a couple of rides at each of the parks, when the stand by lines were really long and for his favorite rides. We spent 2 days in each park, except for HS where we were only there 1 day. In MK, we used it for Pooh, Speedway, Buzz and the Jungle Cruise. In Epcot, we used for Test Track & Soarin. DS was scared of the fast part in Test Track, but absolutely loved the design your own car part. In HS, we only used it on Star tours & Toy Story Mania. In AK, just Kilimanjaro Safaris (DS didn't like the drop in Kali River Rapids, so he only rode it once with a FP)

Overall, our experience was very positive. All of the cast members we asked to sign the card were very kind & helpful. We tried to use it once for Pooh, but the ride was down, so we had to wait until it was fixed so a cast member could sign it. And another time, a cast member didn't have a pen, but he told us just to come back and if he wasn't there to explain to the other CM. Except for those 2 occassions, it worked very smoothly. My parents joined us for 1 day in Epcot and just my Dad for 1 day in AK. We were able to add them to the card which really helped. The card allowed us to walk around with DS, find a quiet spot for a snack or watch a show while we waited for our return time. I know the card was really controversial when Disney first announced the changes, but for our family, it was very helpful and made things easier for everyone.

Also wanted to share our experience at Universal. Universal's child swap is different from Disney's - no height requirement. There were a lot of rides that DS did not want to do, so Dh rode with my 2 older boys, then I rode with them. Ds did not even want to ride ET, which is a very gentle ride, kind of like Peter Pan, but on bicycles. Ds saw a picture of the bicycles and I think they looked less secure to him than a regular car or vehicle. Anyway, we didn't push it. The older 2 boys were able to ride twice, so they didn't complain. We also had express pass because we stayed at one of their resorts, so everything went smootly with minimal waiting. Universal also has stationary seating for Despicable Me & shrek. This was great for DS, he could watch & enjoy the show, but not be overwhelmed.
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Old 03-14-2014, 02:11 PM   #2
2tinkerbell
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Glad you had a positive experience overall. We, too, found the DAS works for us.

I am also glad that you posted this because it seems like all I read about are people's thoughts on how it isn't going to work in their situation.
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Old 03-14-2014, 04:59 PM   #3
dzorn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aj2hall View Post
Just wanted to share our experience with the DAS. On our first trip 6 years ago with my 2 oldest, we requested the old GAC but never used it. Just felt reassured to have it just in case we needed it. Our trip 3 years ago with my youngest, it was just the 3 of us, so we felt pretty confident DH and I could handle any issues. This time, with all 3 boys would be a little tricker. We didn't want to take advantage of something, but we also wanted the trip to be as smooth as possible for everyone. After our first day in MK where it was really crowded (touring plans 6 -easy wdw 8 & highly recommended) and a disasterous wait at Peter Pan, (wait time was posted at 15 minutes but turned into 40, DS was overwhelmed and really stressed) we decided to stop at guest relations to ask for the DAS. The cast member was very kind and helpful.

We only used it on a couple of rides at each of the parks, when the stand by lines were really long and for his favorite rides. We spent 2 days in each park, except for HS where we were only there 1 day. In MK, we used it for Pooh, Speedway, Buzz and the Jungle Cruise. In Epcot, we used for Test Track & Soarin. DS was scared of the fast part in Test Track, but absolutely loved the design your own car part. In HS, we only used it on Star tours & Toy Story Mania. In AK, just Kilimanjaro Safaris (DS didn't like the drop in Kali River Rapids, so he only rode it once with a FP)

Overall, our experience was very positive. All of the cast members we asked to sign the card were very kind & helpful. We tried to use it once for Pooh, but the ride was down, so we had to wait until it was fixed so a cast member could sign it. And another time, a cast member didn't have a pen, but he told us just to come back and if he wasn't there to explain to the other CM. Except for those 2 occassions, it worked very smoothly. My parents joined us for 1 day in Epcot and just my Dad for 1 day in AK. We were able to add them to the card which really helped. The card allowed us to walk around with DS, find a quiet spot for a snack or watch a show while we waited for our return time. I know the card was really controversial when Disney first announced the changes, but for our family, it was very helpful and made things easier for everyone.

Also wanted to share our experience at Universal. Universal's child swap is different from Disney's - no height requirement. There were a lot of rides that DS did not want to do, so Dh rode with my 2 older boys, then I rode with them. Ds did not even want to ride ET, which is a very gentle ride, kind of like Peter Pan, but on bicycles. Ds saw a picture of the bicycles and I think they looked less secure to him than a regular car or vehicle. Anyway, we didn't push it. The older 2 boys were able to ride twice, so they didn't complain. We also had express pass because we stayed at one of their resorts, so everything went smootly with minimal waiting. Universal also has stationary seating for Despicable Me & shrek. This was great for DS, he could watch & enjoy the show, but not be overwhelmed.
We are considering canceling a day on our DVC and booking one day at a universal hotel for the express pass. Do you think it is worth having to switch hotels?

Denise in MI
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Old 03-14-2014, 05:44 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by dzorn View Post
We are considering canceling a day on our DVC and booking one day at a universal hotel for the express pass. Do you think it is worth having to switch hotels? Denise in MI
What time of year are you going? We went in February and didn't have a wait longer than 15 minutes.
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Old 03-14-2014, 06:31 PM   #5
aj2hall
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We were at Uinversal Feb 19-20 and March 2. The first 2 days we had the express pass, but not the third. We bought the 2 day, get one free tickets. In my opinion, the express pass is totally worth it. Unlike FP, it truly is front of the line. The only one time that it was more like FP, we had a 15 minute wait vs 60 for standy by for Despicable Me in the afternoon. Almost every time we saw a posted wait time for Flight of the Hippogriff, it was 25-30 minutes. My kids probably rode it 5-6 times and walked right on with the express pass. The only ride that it doesn't work on is the HP one. But, the early entry at 8 am worked for that. And my older 2 kids were able to ride it twice because my youngest didn't want to. He did like wandering through the castle in line, though.

The night before our early morning flight, we stayed at a hotel with a park & fly package. Then one night at Universal, one night at POR and 10 at on offsite condo. Switching hotels wasn't that big of a deal, I just packed everything for the first few days in 2 suitcases.
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Old 03-14-2014, 09:21 PM   #6
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Thanks for the report.
Glad you had fun.
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