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Amanda’s Universal/WDW Trip with DAS – PREP297

Amanda’s Universal/WDW Trip with DAS – PREP297

Amanda, her three daughters, and her stepmom drove from Mississippi, and spent a couple of days at Universal Studios staying at Endless Summer in a suite before going over to  a Lion King Family Suite at Art of Animation. They utilized the Disability Access System at Disney World and the Disability System at Universal. 

The Basics

Amanda, her three daughters, and her stepmom drove from Mississippi for a split stay trip that included both Universal Studios and Walt Disney World.

They stayed at Endless Summer at Universal and Art of Animation at Walt Disney World, both in suites.

Amanda’s youngest daughter is in a wheel chair and they utilized the Disability Access System (DAS) at Walk Disney World and the Attractions Assistance Pass (AAP) at Universal.

Their park days at Universal were January 31 and February 1. They visited all 4 Walt Disney World parks February 2-5.

Arrival Day (January 30)

Amanda, her daughters, and stepmom started their drive at 4 a.m. and went straight to Endless Summer.

They arrived at 5 p.m. and enjoyed the clean, open suite. They liked the hotel, especially for the price, but wished there was a second bathroom.

They got some snacks and settled in after a long travel day.

Universal Studios (January 31)

Amanda - PREP297

They left the hotel at 7:45 a.m. for a 9 a.m. park open. They needed to complete the Attractions Assistance Pass registration so they took the bus over and walked to Guest Relations.

It opened at 8:30 a.m. and they were in line at the park by 8:40 a.m.

The Attractions Assistance Pass at Universal is an actual piece of paper. When you want to ride something, you take the pass to the team member at the ride and they write down the return time. When you come back, they sign it.

When the park opened, they went straight to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and were excited that it wasn’t super crowded.

They took advantage of the low crowds and got in line for Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. They all went through the line but Amanda and her youngest got out of line before the ride. Her older daughters and stepmom really loved it. 

While they rode Gringots, Amanda and Ella got butterbeer. 

After the ride, the girls purchased wands and they played around in Diagon Alley. Around 11 a.m. they took the Hogwarts Express without any line. There is a wheelchair accessible car of the train.

They took more photos and walked around Hogsmeade. They got a Flight of the Hippogriff with a 45 minute wait. 

The older girls and stepmom rode The Forbidden Journey and they loved it. 

They took a break for lunch at 12:30 p.m. at Three broomsticks. They didn’t mobile ordered and only waited 10 minutes. It is a counter service restaurant but they seat you once you receive your food. 

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure had a 90 minute wait so they decided to skip that for now and try again tomorrow. 

At 1:45 p.m. they went to Seuss Landing. This was a huge priority for Ella because she could ride the rides. 

Cat in the Hat was a walk-on and was great.

Unfortunately, Amanda had some difficult challenges when they got to One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. The team member said that she wasn’t sure if Ella could ride because of her neck strength. Amanda assured the team member that Ella could ride it. A supervisor had to come over and it was an upsetting situation. 

Eventually Ella was able to ride. 

Then they did Cat in the Hat again and waited 30 minutes for The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride! Unfortunately at the trolley the team member had the same concerns as the team member at One Fish Two Fish. She was finally able to ride and LOVED the Trolley Train Ride.

Amanda and Ella stoped for a snack and shade because it was very hot. 

Her older daughters and step mom split off and rode the The Incredible Hulk Coaster with a 30 minute wait and Jurassic World VelociCoaster with a 45 minute wait.

Ella enjoyed the games in Jurassic Arcade.

They had planned to eat a quick dinner in the park before leaving, but everything was closed at 5 p.m. when they were ready to eat. 

They ended up at the food court at City Walk and got P.F. Changs for dinner and picked up some VooDoo Donuts for the morning. This was the longest line of the day! 

They got right on the bus and were back to their room and went to bed early.

Amanda - PREP297

Universal Studios (February 1)

In preparation for leaving later in the day, they packed up the car before going to the parks. 

There was early entry at Islands of Adventure so the older girls and stepmom went there while Ella and Amanda went to Universal Studios.

At Islands of Adventure the girls rode Jurassic World VelociCoaster and Jurassic Park River Adventure twice without getting off! They wore ponchos so they didn’t get wet. 

At 9 a.m. they got in line for Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure right at park open and there was an hour wait. They really loved this ride. 

At the same time, Ella and Amanda were at the Sponge Bob store because Ella loves Sponge Bob! 

Unfortunately nothing was open in the DreamWorks area until around 11 a.m. even though the park opened at 9 a.m. So Ella and Amanda shopped in the stores and saw some entertainment before the 11:30 a.m. Animal Actors on Location. The whole group was together for this show.

Then they did Gabby’s Dollhouse at DreamWorks. Gabby was there and Ella was able to see characters from Trolls and Madagascar.

Then they did the dance party. This is a come-and-go dance party where characters switch out every 15 minutes or so.  

At 1:30 p.m. they had lunch at Mel’s Drive-In without any wait.

They saw the Dora the Explorer and Sponge Bob parade after lunch.

The older girls and stepmom rode Transformers: The Ride 3D as a walk-on and Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit with a 30 minute wait on their way out of the park.

Ella and Amanda stretched and shopped while they waited. 

When they were done they took the bus back to the hotel and got in their car to leave for Art of Animation

Amanda had not yet received notification but they got it as soon as they pulled up at Art of Animation. 

They had placed an InstaCart ordered picked it up when they arrived. They had a Lion King Family Suite that overlooked the Skyliner. After grabbing food from the food court and went to bed.

Amanda - PREP297

Magic Kingdom (February 2)

In preparation to utilize Early Entry at Magic Kingdom they got on a bus at 7:42 a.m. and were at the hub right at 8:30 a.m. for Early Theme Park Entry

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train was a priority so they went straight there to get a Disability Access System (DAS) reservation. Amanda wasn’t sure how to do that so the cast member helped her figure it out and she was able to do it herself in the app. 

The way to make a reservation is similar to Genie+ and can be done in the app.

The return time for Mine Train was 30 minutes. While they waited, they walked on:

  • Winnie the Pooh
  • Peter Pan
  • Small World

And then went back to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at 9:15 a.m. 

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As soon as they tapped in at Mine Train, Amanda was able to get another pass for Mine Train. She knew Ella would love it and would want to ride again. The return time was 11:03 a.m.

After Mine Train, they walked on Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid and waited about 20 minutes for Dumbo the Flying Elephant

The lightning lane for Mine Train was LONG when it was time for them to return so they opted to have lunch first. Pinocchio Village Haus was empty at 11:10 a.m. and they had a great lunch. 

At 12 p.m. there was no line in the Lightning Lane for Mine Train. They rode again and immediately got a pass for Haunted Mansion with a 60 minute wait. 

After Mine Train they took a break in the shade.

After their break they went to Haunted Mansion. Once they got there, they reserved a time for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad for 45 minutes later. 

While they waited for their Big Thunder Mountain time they saw cavalcades and walked through Frontierland. They rode Big Thunder Mountain and as soon as they did, Amanda got a pass for Pirates of the Caribbean with a 95 minute wait.

They found a shady spot to watch the 50th anniversary parade and the princesses cavalcade. Then they mobile ordered Dole Whips for after their Pirates of the Caribbean pass.

They walked on Pirates and got another pass for Big Thunder Mountain. After Pirates they picked up their Dole Whips and watched more cavalcades.

Jungle Cruise had a very long wait so they decided to wait on that. It was time for their Big Thunder Mountain pass and as soon as they tapped in they got a pass for Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin for 45 minutes later. 

After Big Thunder Mountain they saw Tinker Bell and followed her all the way to the hub! 

They walked on Buzz Lightyear and then waited 20 minutes for Tomorrwoland Transit Authority PeopleMover. After they tapped into Buzz Lightyear, Amanda booked a pass for Mine Train because Ella wanted to ride it at night. 

Space Mountain had a 45 minute wait so one daughter rode that with step mom and Amanda and her other daughters shopped and grabbed snacks at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe.

They were just waiting for it to get dark so that they could use their pass for Mine Train. They rode at 6:10 p.m. and loved it.

The fireworks were at 8 p.m. so they went to find their spot. The wheelchair section is the concrete section between the two grassy sections in front of Casey’s Corner.

They mobile ordered dinner from Casey’s Corner and lined up around 6:30 p.m. to wait for the fireworks. 

They liked the fireworks a lot but they didn’t make Amanda cry like Happily Ever After did. After the fireworks, they left the park. There was no wait at the buses and Amanda was pleasantly surprised to see that the bus was closer than she expected. 

They were back at Art of Animation by 9:15 p.m. 

It was a long day but the DAS was great. They were able to take lots of breaks and stretch, which was wonderful for Ella. It was crowded but with the DAS they were able to avoid the crowds.

Amanda - PREP297

Epcot (February 3)

They left for the Skyliner at 8:45 a.m. only to find out the Skyliner was down. Amanda wasn’t sure what to do – drive or take a bus. They opted to take a bus and after waiting for a bus with wheelchair access, they arrived to Epcot at 9:45 a.m.

Soarin’ was a priority so they walked straight there when they arrived and rode with a 20 minute DAS pass. Ella LOVED it.

Test Track was down so they got a pass for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure with a 60 minute wait.

Amanda kept rethinking their plan and pivoting when things didn’t go how she’d planned.

They headed to the World Showcase and refilled their popcorn with the maple popcorn in Canada.

When they got to France it was time for their Remy’s pass. They loved it. They got a pass for Frozen Ever After and the wait was 2 hours. 

They walked around the World Showcase and tried more food booths. Ella wasn’t enjoying it because it was so hot and crowded. They stopped in Japan to get out of the sun and away from the crowds. 

They got to Frozen around 2 p.m. and rode that. Test Track was still down. They walked around to Mexico and rode the Gran Fiesta Tour

At this point Test Track was back up but the wait was so long. They got a pass for Test Track even though the wait was 2 hours. 

Ella wanted to do Soarin’ again so Amanda cancelled the Test Track pass and got one for Soarin’. Then walked on The Seas with Nemo and Friends

At this point they’d done everything they wanted to do and were done with Epcot. Ella was ready to get back to the hotel and put her feet in the pool. 

The skyliner was still down so they went bak to the front and waited for three buses before there was finally a wheel chair accessible bus. It took about 40 minutes to get a bus at 5:30 p.m.

They grabbed food court dinner, pool bar drinks, and got their feet in the pool.

They enjoyed being back at the hotel after a hot and crowded day.

Hollywood Studios (February 4)

Thankfully the Skyliner was running today and they were able to take that to Hollywood Studios. They arrived to the park at 8:40 a.m.

Ella wanted to ride The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror for the first time so that was their first pass. While they waited, half the girls went to Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster.

After Tower of Terror Amanda got a Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway pass for 45 minutes. 

There were lots of people and very long lines. Many of the lines were 2 hours long all day! 

They loved Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. They hopped over to watch the 10:30 a.m. Frozen Singalong.

After this it was time to stop for lunch at ABC Commissary.   

 They had a Slinky Dog Dash pass for a 12 p.m. pass. Ella loved it and wanted to ride it again at night.

They also got a pass for Toy Story Mania for 12:30 p.m. but the line was all the way out of Toy Story Land so they skipped that and waited 20 minutes for Alien Swirling Saucers

Amanda got another pass for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway after Alien Swirling Saucers. They rested in the shade before riding. Then they got a pass for Rise of the Resistance for 2 hours. 

They met the Disney Junior characters and ate Mickey Bars in the shade. They walked around and shopped, waiting for their Rise of the Resistance pass. 

Before Rise they watched Muppet*Vision 3D. Then they walked into Galaxy’s Edge for their Rise of Resistance pass. They loved it! 

Then they got a pass for Millennium Falcon Smuggler’s Run. They enjoyed Galaxy’s Edge, taking pictures, checking out the market place, and enjoying a Ronto Wrap and snacks. 

The older daughters were the pilots on Smugglers Run and they had a great ride. 

They’d hoped to meet Kylo Ren but a cast member said that they were done for the day. They were able to enjoy some blue milk and met Chewy and Rey.

They got a Slinky Dog Dash pass after Rise in order to ride in the dark. They loved this! 

The girls wanted light sabers so they were able to build them in the store outside Star Tours

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Around 7 p.m. they took the skyliner back to Art of Animation. Just like the night before, they went to the pool again and put their feet in before going to bed.

Animal Kingdom (February 5)

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No rope drop today! They slept in and left around 9 a.m. arriving at Animal Kingdom around 10 a.m. It was very busy. 

Flight of Passage and Kilimanjaro Safaris both had an 85 minute wait. They got a pass for the Safaris. While they waited, they got corn in Harambe. It was cooler today with overcast. 

Their safari wait was about 20 minutes but it was a great trip because of the weather! 

They went over the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail but it was so crowded. They got a pass for Dinosaur and snacked around, seeing Kevin (From Up!) before riding Dinosaur.

Ella really didn’t like Dinosaur but Amanda loved that the performers and entertainment was back!

After Dinosaur Amanda got a pass for Na’vi River Journey. They shopped their way over to Pandora and rode Na’vi River Journey.

They left Animal Kingdom at 4 p.m. or so and went back to the hotel. They grabbed food from the food court for dinner before packing up back in the room. 

Satu’li Canteen was the only restaurant that required a mobile order, so they did that and had lunch.

The wait for Flight of Passage was 2 hours long and they oped not to ride. 

They left Animal Kingdom around 4 p.m. and went back to the hotel.

They rested, got things ready to pack, and got food from the food court for dinner.

Final Day (February 6)

Amanda and her family got up early because it was supposed to rain and got on the road. They drove straight home.

Key Takeaways

  • Amanda pre-registered for DAS on a Saturday morning before they left. It took about 45 minutes to an hour to actually talk to someone. They took Ella’s photo and were given passes to rides. They switched their dates and tried to switch the passes and weren’t able to. Amanda wasn’t worried about it and planned to make the reservations for rides once they arrived to each park. The DAS pass can only be used by the person registered and their party. If the person registered doesn’t want to ride, the pass cannot be used. Amanda loves the experience her daughter can have a Disney because of the DAS. She is able to have a wonderful time unlike anywhere else. 
  • Endless Summer was wonderful, especially for the price!
  • PeopleMover is not wheelchair accessible. Amanda had to carry Ella up to the ride and down from the ride. 

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Thursday 24th of February 2022

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Shannon Albert

Thursday 24th of February 2022

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