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“Putting Development

Before The Disability”

Exceptional Vacations Provides High Quality

Vacations for Individuals with Developmental

Disabilities and Other Special Needs.

Exceptional Vacations is a division of Exceptional Services Group.

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Good News!  We were wrong

about Disney's New Disability Policy





When I heard Disney was changing their policy on disability passes, I knew it was long overdue, but I was apprehensive.  Would it be more difficult to obtain?  Would we have to wait in long lines?  Getting a disability pass at Disney World had always been a simple process.  You went to guest services and simply made the request.  This pass would allow you to skip the lines at the attractions.  However, it was beginning to seem like there were more tourists in the disability lines than in the regular lines.


Well, I recently escorted a group of adults with disabilities on a visit to Epcot and the Magic Kingdom parks.  I was pleasantly surprised at the ease of the new process.  You still obtain the pass at guests services.  Like before, it is assigned to a specific person with a disability.  What has changed is that they now put a photograph of the person on the pass.  This person must be present at all attractions where the disability pass is used.


I expect this will prevent some of the abuses of the disability pass system that were occurring.  You now present the pass at an attraction and if the wait time is more than 20 minutes, you are assigned a return time that is equivalent to the wait time for the regular line.   Universal Studios has been using this system for a few years.


This may be a stumbling block, but if you plan your day well, it can run quite smoothly.  While you cannot get a return time for another attraction until you use the first one (the attendants cross it out on the pass when you ride),  you can use your admissions ticket to get a fast pass for another attraction.  Also, if the wait time is less then 20 minutes, you may enter the attraction without waiting.


When we entered the Magic Kingdom, we took the train to Fantasy land.  We used the disability pass to get a return time for the new Voyage of the Little Mermaid ride.  We then used our admissions tickets to get a fast pass for Winnie the Pooh.  Knowing that we had an hour to return to the first attraction, we had lunch.  By the time we finished, it was time to ride! We continued this method of getting a return time with the disability pass and a fast pass with our admissions ticket in each area we visited.


Overall, it was a good experience and an improvement on an outdated and over used system.


written by Nancy Freiwald


Nancy is a behavior analyst who works in the field of developmental disabilities  Nancy has been supervising  vacations for adults with intellectual disabilities for over five years through Exceptional Vacations:  www.exceptional-vacations.com