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Ears the News with Richard

Disney will be introducing the new Disability Access Service (DAS) Card on October 9, 2013, replacing the existing Guest Assistance Card (GAC). 

Disney has recognized that the current GAC card is being regularly abused and has designed the new program to reduce fraudulent use. The most significant change with DAS is that to enter an attraction, DAS Card holders will obtain a return time ticket which is based on the attraction's current wait time. Only one return time ticket can be held at any one time.  The DAS Card will also contain a photo of the card holder to prevent card abuse.

Disability Access Service Card (DAS) Card FAQ

Where can I get a Disability Access Service Card DAS Card?
The DAS Cards are issued at Guest relations at the parks main entrance. During the registration process a photo of the guest will be taken to be used as part of the DAS Card.

Who can get a DAS Card?
The DAS Card is designed for guests who are not able to wait in a regular queue due to a disability.

How does the DAS card work?
The DAS cardholder, or a member of the DAS holder's party can go to an attraction entrance where a cast member will provide a return time for entrance into the attraction. The DAS Card holder does not need to return at the exact time listed - attraction entry is valid until redeemed by the card holder. The DAS Card holder must board the attraction with their party.

How many attractions can I get return times for with DAS?
One return time can be obtained at a time, and as soon as that has been used, another return time for an attraction can be collected.

Can a DAS Card holder still use FASTPASS and FastPass+?
Yes.

How long is the DAS Card valid?
The DAS Card is valid for 14 days of use.

Does proof of a disability need to be provided to obtain a DAS Card?
No doctors note or proof has to be obtained to register for a DAS Card.

Is the DAS Card the only service available to help with a disability?
Disney has said that they will consider each situation and will work to accommodate guests individual needs. Guest Relations at each park will be able to help.
Does a wheelchair user need a DAS Card?

No. Guests in wheelchairs will be directed to the standard queue or given a return time, depending on the attraction.

This weeks Limited Time Magic gives you a chance to take a tour through the headline attraction at Disney's Animal Kingdom - Expedition Everest. It looks like space will be very limited, so keep an eye on the official Disney Parks Blog today for signup information. The event will run from 10/7/2013 to 10/11/2013.

From the Disney Parks blog
Take advantage of a rare opportunity when Limited Time Magic presents a tour of Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain, as seen through the eyes of Walt Disney Imagineering! Come along for the ride as you venture inside the Tibetan-style stone structure, all while hearing tales from Imagineers who helped bring this exciting attraction to life. From the ideas that inspired the Royal Anandapur Tea Company to the fearsome story of the legendary Yeti—the mysterious snow monster said to inhabit the Himalayas, you won't want to miss this chance to explore the magic at Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park! Each exciting tour takes place once daily and space is extremely limited—register at the Disney Parks Blog today!

Like clockwork, Halloween is yet another sell out for Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.

The Resort monorail beam will be operating on reduced hours for the next couple of weeks to accommodate construction work at the Grand Floridian Resort.  Starting on 10/6/2013, the resort beam will not operate from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM. During this time, guests will be able to use additional bus and boat transportation from the monorail resorts. It is expected that the reduced hours will be in effect for two weeks, although Disney has not yet confirmed a completion date.

The Epcot beam and Express beam are unaffected by the work.

Photo Courtesy of Disney Parks Blog
Epcot's Norway Pavilion will soon be home to a new meet and greet with characters from the upcoming movie 'Frozen.'  Along with appearances by Anna and Elsa, the pavilion will also be updated with a new gallery exhibit in the Stave Church at the entrance to the pavilion.  The Magic Kingdom's Celebrate the Magic projection show will also be updated to include a new 'Frozen' sequence.

The temporary Pleasure Island bypass bridge at Downtown Disney is nearing completion. 

The walkway will be used to link the West Side to the Marketplace while construction is taking place on the former Pleasure Island. The bridge begins on the West Side by Characters in Flight, and links to the boat dock area between Raglan Road and Paradiso 37. New signage at the entrance to Pleasure Island is now in place to direct guests to the walkway.

The annual Orlando International Dragon Boat Festival takes place this month and will be impacting watercraft operations at Downtown Disney and the area resorts.

There will be no internal Downtown Disney water taxi service or boat transportation to or from Disney's Saratoga Springs, Disney's Old Key West and the Treehouse Villas on the following dates:
October 9 between 4:15 PM and 6:45 PM 
October 10 to 17 between 10:00 AM and 11:00 AM, 3:15 PM and 6:45 PM
October 18 between 10:00 AM and 11:00 AM, 3:15 PM to close

On October 19 there will be no watercraft service to any location until 5:30pm

10/19/2013 looks set to be the last day of operation for Cap'n Jack's Marina at Downtown Disney's Marketplace. Cap'n Jack's Marina provides a variety of watercraft rental for the Downtown Disney area. The closure will follow Cap'n Jack's restaurant, which closed earlier this year - all to make way for the new Disney Springs development.

There is no word yet on whether there will be a new boat rental location as part of Disney Springs.

Work is moving full steam ahead on the first of two parking garages at Downtown Disney. Foundation piles are now being placed throughout the former parking lot which will soon become home to one of the new 5 level parking garages. The first garage is expected to open in late 2014.

Beginning next week, Cast Members at Epcot's France Pavilion will be wearing newly designed costumes. Disney has been updating the costumes throughout World Showcase, with the American Adventure and the United Kingdom cast already wearing new costumes. The refreshed France Pavilion costumes, inspired by turn of the century Parisian Impressionism, will be worn by both attractions and merchandise cast.

New signage at Disney's Polynesian Resort hints at a possible upcoming name change.
Just outside the Grand Ceremonial House, a new Running Trail sign names the resort as 'Disney's Polynesian Village Resort.' The sign is brand new, and is part of a new runDisney sponsorship deal with New Balance.  It has been speculated that along with the upcoming Disney Vacation Club expansion there will also be an accompanying name change. This sign would seem to confirm that speculation.

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