Disney Information Station Logo

Go Back   The DIS Discussion Forums - DISboards.com > Disney Trip Planning Forums > disABILITIES!
Find Hotel Specials & DIScounts
 
facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS UpdatesDIS email updates
Register Chat FAQ Tickers Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read





Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 03-15-2014, 11:58 AM   #1
Aladora
DIS Veteran
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: An island, off the Left Coast of Canada
Posts: 845

Recent DAS Experience - DL/DCA

We just got home yesterday from a 6 day trip to DL/DCA and I wanted to post my thoughts and experiences using the DAS with our ASD son.

I'll preface this by saying that this was our 5th trip with him and the other 4 times we used the GAC so I have something to compare this trip to.

We arrived a bit before 11:00am on Saturday and went right to DCA. Went to GR and there was no one in line. We got the DAS without any issues at all, we were just asked what accommodations were needed and how many people in our group. I did find out that if there are more than 4, they need to see everyone in GR. (This was an issue since the first two days there were just 3 of us but we were meeting up with 2 friends after that so we were told to get the DAS re-issued when the other 2 were with us.) We got our first return time at GR and went on with our day.

Our first morning we were in the parks from 10:50am - 3:10pm and we got return times for RSR, TSMM, Goofy's SS and Soarin' and we rode Mater, Monsters, saw Muppets 3D, LM, Silly Swings and DS rode Jumpin' Jelyfish between our return times without any problems. It truly could not have been a smoother day, with the exception of my blisters! When we left to check into the hotel at 3:!0, we got a return time for RSR. We went to the hotel to rest and were back in the park around 6. Rode RSR and got another return time for TSMM.

There were no lines waiting at the kiosks for RT and except for the extra walking, it was a breeze!

The next morning (Sunday) we went to DL and got there around 8:15am. Rope drop was at 8 but I suspect the time change messed with a bunch of people because the park was SO empty! Went to GR and got our first RT for Peter Pan and went off to ride ST. We literally walked right on! No wait at all and we went immediately to Space and walked on that as well. DS had by this time fallen in love with Space so we got a FP for that and once we could get another FP, we got one for ST. Walked on Buzz then used our RT for PP and got another one for Mr. Toad. Rode that and got another RT for Alice. Once that was done, we got a RT for HM and wandered to New Orleans. All of this BTW was all done by 11:00am. At 11, the park got insanely busy! We got another RT for Space and after we used that, we called it a morning and left the park for a mid day rest. We made sure to get a RT for Buzz before we left and we used that when we got back later in the afternoon. We did F! dessert package that evening and while the seats were nice to have, I'm not sure we will do it again.

We used a combo of RT and FP that afternoon to rise Buzz, Pirates and Space before we called it quits. The kiosks had short lines in DL, no more than 3 people at any time.

Monday (which was my birthday!) was an unmitigated disaster, but not because of the DAS. My husband had obviously gotten too much sun so was sick in the middle of the night. We had arranged to meet our 2 friends at Minnie and Friends breakfast at 10:10 but they GROSSLY underestimated how long it would take to drive, park, get through bag check and then through the gate so they ended up meeting us closer to 10:45. We were seated in an area that the characters seemed to skip so we only saw a few. DH was feeling like hell so he left right after breakfast and went back to the park. My friend's DD is ADHD so is the exact opposite to my son. We say that he is the flower and she is the bee buzzing all around him, driving him nuts! Lesson learnt for the future, we travel best with just the three of us! We ended up riding SM twice and ST once and by then it was around 2 so we left and went back to the hotel to rest. We had reservations at Blue Bayou for 5:10 and we waited for a water side seat. None of us enjoyed the food and to be honest, I doubt we will go back. We enjoyed WCT and CC a lot more.

Tuesday we went back to DL and although we did not ride quite as many rides as the first two days, we still used the DAS in combination with FP and we had a good day. Wednesday was our last full day and we did DL in the morning and DCA in the afternoon. The parks were quite busy but again we managed to use the DAS/FP combo quite well. Between the DAS and FP, we managed to ride Space 4 times!

We were leaving Thursday afternoon so we planned on going back to DL until noon but at 2:45am our son woke us up saying that he had made a mess in the bed. Turned out he had been sick and thrown up all over his bed. Bundled him into bed with us for the rest of the night and in the morning he said he wanted to go back for a few rides. I got him some toast and after half a slice he threw up again so no park for us! He threw up on his last clean outfit, so I grabbed a taxi to Target for new clothes and some Dramamine. We ended up sitting in the hotel room until we had to check out at 11:00am, then getting to the airport 4 hours before our flight.

We have APs so we were SO looking forward to getting to ride BTMRR on our last morning there, we have missed it now 3 trips in a row. Oh well, maybe next time.

So, the good, the bad and the ugly of the DAS in California:

Good: The DAS cuts down on FP lines dramatically. Now, when we go back to a ride the FP line is not crazy long. The kiosks are helpful and if you are smart and do even the tiniest bit of planning, you can ride a whole bunch of rides in a short period of time. DAS/FP combo is great! The CMs were amazing. They were all very helpful and cheerful. I made sure to tell them how the DAS was working for us and they were really grateful for some positive feedback. We never asked for nor were offered any extra accommodations because quite frankly, they were not needed.

Bad: There need to be more kiosks and they need to be more easily identified. All of the kiosks but one had a green umbrella and one had a red one but the umbrellas were not always up so it was a bit more difficult to spot them. They definitely need one in Toontown and one in Frontier or Adventure, my ideal spot would be right around where the Mark Twain is.

Ugly: Really, there was nothing ugly about it. Well, except for my blisters! You will have to think a bit more about what you want to ride but it's really not a lot of planning.

DH says: Here is what to expect when you get the DAS.

1. be prepared when you got to get the pass to be able to explain what your needs are not what your diagnosis is. They just need to know how you need help. Their line if you want to get through lines fast, get a FP. The DAS does not do this.

2. be prepared for extra walking. If you are planning on using the DAS all the time, this will require an extra walk back to the kiosk which sometimes can be efficient. If you are moving from one land to another or one park to the other, you can absorb some of the waiting time be walking to where you want to go but if you are staying in the same land, you will walk to the kiosk, get a RT, wait for the time to be up and ride.

3. He agrees that there are gaps in the spacing for the kiosks.

4. on the plus side, there are fewer DAS than there were GAC which means that when you go to use your RT, there are fewer people waiting. Peter Pan and Pirates are the most noticeable ones. Before with the GAC there would be 10+ groups waiting at the exit for PP which could result in a more than 30 minute wait. We never used the GAC for Pirates because the wait there was always more than the stand by time.

For us, the DAS worked exactly as it should have. For a family with a child with over stimulation issues like our DS, it works. We get a RT, do something else while you wait and then ride. We were able to avoid the crowded, tight lines which are always an issue for our son and because there are fewer people in the return lines, we didn't end up in a crush of people using GACs.

There you go, this ended up a lot longer than anticipated but if there is anything I left out, please feel free to ask questions!
__________________
Susan
When life hands you lemons, ask for tequila and salt!
Aladora is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2014, 01:08 PM   #2
OurBigTrip
DIS Veteran
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 1,181

Great report, and I'm so glad that the DAS worked well for you!

It sounds like you went in with a positive, rather than an adversarial, attitude and a good plan, which makes all the difference in the world.
OurBigTrip is offline   Reply With Quote
|
The DIS
Register to remove

Join Date: 1997
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 1,000,000
Old 03-15-2014, 01:17 PM   #3
aaarcher86
DIS Veteran
 
aaarcher86's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 7,647

Thanks for the update Aladora Glad you had a great time!

I've seen the lack of kiosk feedback before. Hopefully they can add some. Ore in soon and make them more noticeable.
__________________
aaarcher86 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2014, 07:23 PM   #4
SueM in MN
It's like combining the teacups with a roller coaster

 
SueM in MN's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Twin Cities area,Minnesota,USA
Posts: 30,738
DISboards Moderator

Sorry to hear about the illness - the one thing you can't plan for.

But, glad to hear the trip went well otherwise and DAS worked well for you.

Thanks for the reminder about the number for the DAS - I'm not sure if I edited that for the DL DAS thread.
__________________
SueM in MN
Moderator of disABILITIES
Link to disABILITIES FAQs thread

Spaceship Earth: We are all passengers together.
Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans......John Lennon
Be a rainbow in someone else's cloud. Dr. Maya Angelou
trip report link in Memory of eternaldisneyfan, who lived these words: Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns. I am thankful that thorns have roses. Alphonse Karr
SueM in MN is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2014, 09:41 PM   #5
Aladora
DIS Veteran
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: An island, off the Left Coast of Canada
Posts: 845

One more thought...before we went I was quite down about the kiosk idea and I'm pretty sure I posted here a few times about how I wished that DL/DCA would allow us to get RT at the rides instead. I am thrilled to admit that I was 100% wrong, the kiosks were great, I just wish there were more of them! I'm convinced that the sparseness of the kiosks were what caused my feet to hurt so much!
__________________
Susan
When life hands you lemons, ask for tequila and salt!
Aladora is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2014, 11:22 PM   #6
SueM in MN
It's like combining the teacups with a roller coaster

 
SueM in MN's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Twin Cities area,Minnesota,USA
Posts: 30,738
DISboards Moderator

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aladora View Post
One more thought...before we went I was quite down about the kiosk idea and I'm pretty sure I posted here a few times about how I wished that DL/DCA would allow us to get RT at the rides instead. I am thrilled to admit that I was 100% wrong, the kiosks were great, I just wish there were more of them! I'm convinced that the sparseness of the kiosks were what caused my feet to hurt so much!
I think there are pluses and minuses to each way.

And, as was mentioned, other people have also posted that the number of kiosks were an issue. I'm curious about 3 things:
- did you get a printed list of where the kiosks were? And, if it was just a list, do you think a map would have beenhelpfu?

- did the kiosks look kind of permanent, or did they look more portable/movable?

- other people have posted they were able to get a return time for sny attraction at any kiosk. Is this still the case?

And, one more question since I don't know how Fastpass works aT DL - are Fastpass machines at each attraction or do they have other locations goes those? If at the attraction, did that cause any issues for your son?
__________________
SueM in MN
Moderator of disABILITIES
Link to disABILITIES FAQs thread

Spaceship Earth: We are all passengers together.
Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans......John Lennon
Be a rainbow in someone else's cloud. Dr. Maya Angelou
trip report link in Memory of eternaldisneyfan, who lived these words: Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns. I am thankful that thorns have roses. Alphonse Karr
SueM in MN is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2014, 11:50 PM   #7
Aladora
DIS Veteran
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: An island, off the Left Coast of Canada
Posts: 845

Quote:
Originally Posted by SueM in MN
And, as was mentioned, other people have also posted that the number of kiosks were an issue. I'm curious about 3 things:
- did you get a printed list of where the kiosks were? And, if it was just a list, do you think a map would have beenhelpfu?
We were given a list of where the kiosks were located, one side was for DL and the other for DCA. There was no map but they were quite specific, like Tomorrowland, right outside the exit to the Little Green Men Store Command.
Quote:
- did the kiosks look kind of permanent, or did they look more portable/movable?
Totally not permanent. They were just small lecterns with an umbrella in a stand beside. Most of the umbrellas were green but one was red.
Quote:
- other people have posted they were able to get a return time for sny attraction at any kiosk. Is this still the case?
Yes, absolutely. You could even get a RT for an attraction in the other park. You can also get a RT in City Hall in DL and Guest Relations in DCA. (I forget what GR in DCA is called...not City Hall but something else.)
Quote:
And, one more question since I don't know how Fastpass works aT DL - are Fastpass machines at each attraction or do they have other locations goes those? If at the attraction, did that cause any issues for your son?
The FP machines were mostly all near the attraction, Star Tours for instance is across from it, not beside. RSR is really far away though. Not all the rides have FP though, TSMM is one that really needs one, the line is always quite long and the only way we were able to ride it was to use a RT.

We did not have any issues going to get the FP with our son. I started talking to him about the changes all the way back in January. We tried to prepare him as much as possible for the new way of touring and it seems as though we did a good job. Although he did keep calling the DAS his Fast Pass, as in "mom, let's go get my fast pass time for Space!" He was used to the idea of a return time from when RSR did exactly that with the old GAC, you would go up to a podium, show the GAC and the CM gave you a handwritten FP with your return time based on the stand by time and how many other passes they had already given away.

In my opinion, many of the challenges people have or are concerned they may have can all be dealt with by a bit of planning. Think in advance about the order of rides and get a RT for the ones that have longer waits, get FP for those that have shorter waits (or double up on the RT rides!) and then ride the ones with short waits in between. Always have a RT on the go, get one before you eat and if you are leaving the park for whatever reason. Even if you think you might not return that day, get one anyway! Talk to your kids about the changes, even if they don't seem to understand. DS had a meltdown when I first talked to him, he told me that the new way was not fair and he didn't know why Disney hated him. I dropped the topic for a couple of weeks and then brought it up again. And then we talked about it again and again until he was used to the idea. Of course they are going to hate it if they don't know what to expect, especially the kids with ASD, preparation is truly the key. Springing a new way of touring on them while you are in the park is a recipe for disaster, the only way that it might succeed is to talk about it in advance!

Hope that helps!
__________________
Susan
When life hands you lemons, ask for tequila and salt!
Aladora is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2014, 10:17 AM   #8
2tinkerbell
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 325

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aladora View Post
In my opinion, many of the challenges people have or are concerned they may have can all be dealt with by a bit of planning. Think in advance about the order of rides and get a RT for the ones that have longer waits, get FP for those that have shorter waits (or double up on the RT rides!) and then ride the ones with short waits in between. Always have a RT on the go, get one before you eat and if you are leaving the park for whatever reason. Even if you think you might not return that day, get one anyway! Talk to your kids about the changes, even if they don't seem to understand. DS had a meltdown when I first talked to him, he told me that the new way was not fair and he didn't know why Disney hated him. I dropped the topic for a couple of weeks and then brought it up again. And then we talked about it again and again until he was used to the idea. Of course they are going to hate it if they don't know what to expect, especially the kids with ASD, preparation is truly the key. Springing a new way of touring on them while you are in the park is a recipe for disaster, the only way that it might succeed is to talk about it in advance!

Hope that helps!
I am glad that you had a good time and that the DAS worked for you. I know that you were nervous about it. I agree with you that preparation is a key element. I do that everyday with my DD, so why would taking a trip to WDW or DLR be any different.

I agree about the lack of kiosks. Like they need one in Frontierland or Adventure Land. The one for that entire area is by the Haunted Mansion. I realize that you can get a RT from the information booth by the castle, but, not everyone walks that way. I don't recall a kiosks in Carsland? I just know we had a FP for RSR and the line for the other ride DD wanted (tractors - can't remember the name) was only 15 min long so we didn't bother with a RT.

Thanks for your report!
2tinkerbell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2014, 11:14 AM   #9
Aladora
DIS Veteran
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: An island, off the Left Coast of Canada
Posts: 845

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2tinkerbell View Post
I am glad that you had a good time and that the DAS worked for you. I know that you were nervous about it. I agree with you that preparation is a key element. I do that everyday with my DD, so why would taking a trip to WDW or DLR be any different.

I agree about the lack of kiosks. Like they need one in Frontierland or Adventure Land. The one for that entire area is by the Haunted Mansion. I realize that you can get a RT from the information booth by the castle, but, not everyone walks that way. I don't recall a kiosks in Carsland? I just know we had a FP for RSR and the line for the other ride DD wanted (tractors - can't remember the name) was only 15 min long so we didn't bother with a RT.

Thanks for your report!
If I remember correctly, there are 4 in DL and 3 in DCA and you can also get a RT at City Hall in DL and Chamber of Commerce in DCA.
DL:
Main Street, near Jolly Holiday
Tomorrowland, outside the Green Army Men store
New Orleans, on the water side past Haunted Mansion
Fantasyland, to the left of Dumbo

DCA:
Carsland, across from the big Carsland sign
Paradise Pier, across from King Triton's Carousel
Buena Vista Street, near the Carthay Circle Red Trolley Stop.
__________________
Susan
When life hands you lemons, ask for tequila and salt!

Last edited by Aladora; 03-17-2014 at 11:19 AM.
Aladora is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2014, 01:14 PM   #10
2tinkerbell
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 325

Thanks for answering my question.

I see that you can't get it at the information booth at the top of Main Street by the castle. Therefore, they really do need one by JC or POC. I also think that one by TOT would be nice too. It is great to get a RT and then walk across the park to the attraction. For example, if you rode TOT and got a RT for TSMM in that area and could walk the short cut through Bugs Life.
2tinkerbell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2014, 01:46 PM   #11
Aladora
DIS Veteran
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: An island, off the Left Coast of Canada
Posts: 845

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2tinkerbell View Post
Thanks for answering my question.

I see that you can't get it at the information booth at the top of Main Street by the castle. Therefore, they really do need one by JC or POC. I also think that one by TOT would be nice too. It is great to get a RT and then walk across the park to the attraction. For example, if you rode TOT and got a RT for TSMM in that area and could walk the short cut through Bugs Life.
Not sure where the information booth is that you mention, but is it right beside the big board listing all the wait times? If so, then that is the one I list as being near Jolly Holiday.

For my 2 cents, I would put one right around IJ/JC.
__________________
Susan
When life hands you lemons, ask for tequila and salt!
Aladora is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2014, 02:59 PM   #12
2tinkerbell
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 325

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aladora View Post
Not sure where the information booth is that you mention, but is it right beside the big board listing all the wait times? If so, then that is the one I list as being near Jolly Holiday.

For my 2 cents, I would put one right around IJ/JC.
I've had a rough night. Sorry I was thinking about the one you listed near Jolly Holiday.
2tinkerbell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2014, 06:13 PM   #13
PatMcDuck
DIS Veteran
 
PatMcDuck's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 5,879

At City Hall, I was given the printed form with the location of the kiosks. One side is DL, the other is DCA. AND I was given maps of both parks (at DL) and the CM circled the locations for me on each map (I did not ask for this but it helped).

I liked the DAS system. At a couple of rides in DL, we got WC return times instead, but usually we did not do that.

We arrived at the parks early each day, and in the first hour usually got on 3-5 rides using standby.
PatMcDuck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2014, 06:14 PM   #14
PatMcDuck
DIS Veteran
 
PatMcDuck's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 5,879

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2tinkerbell View Post
Thanks for answering my question.

I see that you can't get it at the information booth at the top of Main Street by the castle. Therefore, they really do need one by JC or POC. I also think that one by TOT would be nice too. It is great to get a RT and then walk across the park to the attraction. For example, if you rode TOT and got a RT for TSMM in that area and could walk the short cut through Bugs Life.

I could almost swear there was one across from ToT.
PatMcDuck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2014, 06:18 PM   #15
Aladora
DIS Veteran
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: An island, off the Left Coast of Canada
Posts: 845

Quote:
Originally Posted by PatMcDuck View Post
I could almost swear there was one across from ToT.
I am pretty sure there was one there at one point by it was moved.
__________________
Susan
When life hands you lemons, ask for tequila and salt!
Aladora is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS Updates
GET OUR DIS UPDATES DELIVERED BY EMAIL



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:21 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Copyright © 1997-2014, Werner Technologies, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

You Rated this Thread: