We have had passes for Disneyland for the past 6 years and I JUST discovered that they have accommodations for kids who have special needs like Gavin. I can’t believe I was intimidated to ask for so long about Disneyland Disability Pass. It very literally changed our lives. We used to be so limited in terms of what we could ride because it was so difficult for Gavin to wait in line. He is hyper sensitive to sights and sounds so sitting still in a line with so much happening around him lead to melt downs and us having to abandon our place in line. We would be lucky to get on 2-3 rides.
I had heard about a special needs pass several times, but I worried that since we don’t have a formal diagnosis we would be denied. One day a couple months ago we were waiting in line for Toy Story Mania where a roller coaster happens to pass right over. Gavin of course couldn’t handle all that noise and sensory input so I took him out of line while Lennie waited to go on the ride with the other kids.
It made me so sad to see him struggle with something that is so easy for most children. It was that moment that I decided to take a chance and ask the information desk near the ride about special accommodations. I almost broke down in tears, but managed to keep things together as she told me about the Disneyland Disability Pass.
Here is the breakdown of how it works.
- Go to any of the information desks located through either of the parks and ask for a Disability Pass.
- The will ask for a brief description of the disability (I just said that Gavin has sensory processing difficulties). They didn’t ask any other questions about it.
- They will link the Disneyland disability pass to that persons annual pass or ticket as well as link it to any other tickets of people accompanying that person so you can access rides together.
- The Disneyland Disability Pass works like a fast pass. You go to any information desk and ask for a “return time” for any ride you want to ride and they will assign a time you can access that ride through the exit and avoid waiting in line. During this down time we will play, people watch or eat some snacks.
- The return time is about half the actual wait time of the ride.
- Once you ride that ride, return to the information desk to get a return time for a new ride.
I hope this information helps other parents feel more confident to ask for help in making Disneyland magical for their children. We tell Gavin that we “make appointments” to go on rides now. It’s been so much fun experiencing the Happiest Place on Earth in a whole new way. If you are looking for some ideas on how to save money check out this post.