Special Needs at Disneyland

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Does Disneyland have a disability pass? Can I tour Disneyland if someone in my group has special needs and/or a physical disability? That is a loaded question and the answer will be as individual as your specific needs when traveling or experiencing something new. Updated April 2019.

Disneyland Tips | Disneyland | Disneyland Resort | Special Needs

This guide was put together after careful research from those who have first-hand knowledge, along with research in the parks and from Disney’s public guidelines. I am not a medical expert or know what it is like to be in your shoes. I am simply here to present the information so you can decide if visiting The Disneyland Resort is right for you and your family.

Special Needs at Disneyland Planning

As a caretaker to someone with a disability or special needs, you know better than most, that planning and preparing are two secret ingredients for any successful outing. When planning a trip to The Disneyland Resort, keep in mind these key items:

Special Needs at Disneyland Packing

As a caretaker, you know it takes a lot of gear and prep work to pack for an outing or extended vacation. Along with items you regularly bring during a day out you might find this information helpful as well:

    • See what I bring in my in my Disneyland bag for a day at the parks.
    • Noise cancelling headphones for those who are easily overwhelmed by sound or loud noises.
    • Toys to keep hands busy like Tangle Jr.
    • Disney stickers, or other items to reward good behavior.
    • Autograph book for kids who are nervous about meeting their favorite characters; this works as a good buffer.

Special Needs Your First Day at Disneyland

Disability Parking at Disneyland Resort

 First thing is parking—parking for guests with disabilities is available in Mickey and Friends as well as Toy Story parking lot. You will need a valid disability parking permit if you plan to use designated handicap spaces.

You can also opt to use the “Mickey Van” to transport you from Mickey and Friends parking lot if you need a little more quiet than the tram can offer, even if you don’t have a wheelchair. Read more about parking and security screening procedures here.

Disneyland Strollers and Wheelchairs

Stroller, wheelchair and electric scooters are available for rent just outside the Disneyland Park main gates. Read more about strollers at Disneyland here.

Stroller as wheelchair Disneyland

If your child uses a stroller as a wheelchair, be sure to obtain proper identification tags at City Hall or Chamber of Commerce. You may be able to take your stroller in line with you on most rides at California Adventure, and some rides at Disneyland Park. Please note many frequent guests are not familiar with the stroller as a wheelchair pass and will try to help by telling you that strollers aren’t allowed in line. A quick smile and explanation may be needed to uniformed guests from time to time. 

Wheelchair access for Ariel’s Undersea Adventure

California Adventure has plenty of space for wheelchairs to go through the regular queue which is fabulous. Disneyland was built much earlier, and doesn’t offer that same convenience.

If you don’t have a DAS Pass (more on that below), head to the exit of rides in Disneyland and you’ll be guided by a Cast Member on what to do next. Sometimes they’ll let you right on, sometimes they’ll offer a return time or a minimal wait.

Please see our entire guide on visiting Disneyland in a wheelchair here

Special Needs Guest Relations Kiosks

If your first day is at Disneyland Park and you need more accommodations than a wheelchair or stroller, please skip City Hall on Main Street, U.S.A. and visit a Guest Relations kiosk for a shorter wait time.

Guest Relations Kiosk Disneyland Park
Guest Relations Kiosk Disneyland Park

These kiosks with green umbrellas and Cast Members in signature plaid clothing can be found at the following locations:

  • Main Street, U.S.A. near the partners statue and Jolly Holiday Bakery (usually the busiest guest relations location besides City Hall).
  • Tomorrowland
  • Fantasyland near Monstro the Whale’s mouth on the Storybook Canal attraction.
  • New Orleans Square near Haunted Mansion and Harbor Galley

If your child is under 3 and does not have a park ticket, you must visit Guest Relations at City Hall on Main Street, U.S.A. or Chamber of Commerce on Buena Vista Street first as they can create a mock-ticket for your DAS pass.

If your first day is at California Adventure Park and you need more accommodations than a wheelchair or stroller, please skip Guest Relations at Chamber of Commerce on Buena Vista Street and visit a Guest Relations kiosk for a shorter wait time.

Guest Relations Kiosk California Adventure
Guest Relations Kiosk California Adventure

These kiosks with green umbrellas and Cast Members in signature plaid clothing can be found at the following locations:

  • Buena Vista Street near the Red Car Trolley stop
  • Cars Land main entrance
  • Pixar Pier entrance area across from The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure

If your child is under 3 and does not have a park ticket, you must visit Guest Relations at City Hall on Main Street, U.S.A. or Chamber of Commerce on Buena Vista Street first as they can create a mock-ticket for your DAS pass.

Cast Members at Guest Relations are prepared to help you have the best experience possible. They will have detailed information on special needs at Disneyland Resort such as:

Disneyland Braille Map
Disneyland Braille Map

Remember, if they can’t offer you specific assistance at Guest Relations, be sure to talk to Cast Members at each ride. I recently heard from a guest who has medical conditions that don’t allow her to stand for very long periods, but she didn’t need a wheelchair or DAS. Cast Members at the line entrances were more than happy to help her with a return time. A visual cue such as a cane, walker or brace can also help cast members identify your physical needs quickly. It never hurts to ask!

Special Needs Disneyland Plans

There is so much to see and do at The Disneyland Resort. Having a plan in place can help reduce stress and anxiety during your trip. Do not feel like you need to do it all! Go at your own pace and try some of these tricks for enjoying the parks more fully:

Disneyland Attractions with Stairs

In addition to the above, some guests can walk just fine but may have a hard time navigating stairs. Talk to a Cast Member at the entrance to the following attractions with stairs in the queue for assistance or alternate routes:

  • Autopia
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Monorail
  • Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage
  • Indiana Jones Adventure
  • Jungle Cruise (when extended queue is open)
  • Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough
  • Splash Mountain
  • Tarzan’s Treehouse
  • Disneyland Railroad
  • and others listed in our wheelchair guide.

Disneyland Disability Pass

Many people coming to The Disneyland Resort with special needs require flexibility and cannot wait in traditional queues. The Disability Access Service (aka DAS or DAS pass) program allows you to obtain a virtual place in line and return at an appointed time so you can explore other areas of the park rather than waiting in a regular line. This program is in place to make custom accommodations for your party’s needs.

Disneyland Disability guest guide and map

The Disability Access Service (also known as DAS, DAS Pass or DAS Card) is issued on-site and in-person for special needs at Disneyland. This article is provided only as information and does not assert whether you will be able to obtain a DAS Pass or not.

  • Obtain in-park at the beginning of your trip at guest relations kiosks listed above. If your child is under 3 and does not have a park ticket, you must visit Guest Relations at City Hall on Main Street, U.S.A. or Chamber of Commerce on Buena Vista Street first as they can create a mock-ticket for your DAS pass.
  • Bring the person requesting DAS with you when applying for DAS.
  • Be prepared to explain what would help make your day go smoother.
  • Be sure to ask the Cast Member about character meet and greets, waits could be very long, they might offer a solution for this as well.
  • Cast Member will take a photo of you or your child to be used with the DAS Pass.
  • DAS Passes are valid for 14 days.
  • DAS works for the person it covers and your group (up to 6), provided the DAS Pass holder is riding the ride.
  • Choose your first ride right there at Guest Relations and receive a virtual wait time.
  • Show your DAS card upon entry to that ride.
  • After riding, return to a nearby Guest Relations kiosk to choose your next DAS card ride.
  • Ride times do not expire, but you can’t get another ride time until you’ve ridden the one recorded.
  • If you change your mind, you may be able to use an existing DAS reservation on another ride without visiting the Guest Relations kiosk again
  • You can use FASTPASS or Disney MaxPass combined with DAS although FASTPASSES are usually associated with thrill rides.
  • Keep asking, if you don’t find the help you need try another Cast Member. Don’t be afraid to return to City Hall if you need more help.

I certainly have not covered everything here, but hope this brings some peace of mind as you begin planning your vacation. Should you wish to speak to someone directly about special needs at Disneyland Resort regarding you can email [email protected] I always encourage supportive and helpful comments, if you have something to add to the conversation I would love to hear from you.

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