A BIG change has taken place at Universal Studios in Hollywood and Orlando. Their Attraction Assistance Pass (AAP) now requires an ID that certifies their need for accommodations. They have partnered with IBCCES, the “International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards,” and you will now be asked online to present documentation from a medical provider or school district to confirm that you need accommodations in an attraction queue. You will then receive an IBCCES Accessibility Card (IAC) that will be needed to obtain the AAP.
Every guest that needs accommodations with wait times will need this card, including international guests.
The IBCCES Accessibility Card
You can read about how to apply for the card here: Applying for the IBCCES Accessibility Card. It can take up to 48 hours to receive an answer and, if approved, your card. The card will be digital; you can choose to print it or show it on your phone at Universal’s Guest Services.
When we brought the ID to Guest Services they didn’t challenge it at all and did not ask what accommodations he needed, because they are on the card, but they did do a lot of computer work and looked up a lot of information. This took a while, although it will get better the system was brand new for them. We were informed that the accommodations, AAP, they gave him were this time only until his status is confirmed. If we were passholders they would not issue a fourteen-day AAP which is typically the policy.
The Team member stressed that if his card had not been temporary it would have been a much quicker process.
What Do I Do When I Am At the Park?
When you arrive at the park, have your tickets, card, the guest needing an AAP, and any guest you are with that day with you. We were asked if we had an ID card and if it was downloaded before we were allowed entry in the line for Guest Services. They will enter your ID number; the photo you provided to the website that is on your ID card will help them confirm it is for you. You will not need to give Universal’s Guest Services any personal information. Then they will set up your AAP. There are no changes to the way the AAP operates at this time.
The Accessibility Identification Card is valid for up to one year. However, the AAP is good for either the length of stay for your ticket or if you and everyone you are with is a passholder then the AAP is valid for 14 days.
Here are the details:
- You do not have to provide official documents, social security numbers, or medical records.
- If the guest has school documents, even if they are no longer in school, they might qualify.
- Government documents and medical records are allowed if that is what you need/ want to use.
- The website conforms to HIPAA because you share information with a board of medical directors, not theme park employees. It also works because a medical diagnosis is not required as long as a doctor confirms you need accommodations.
- All of the Six Flags parks have used this system since 2019.
- SeaWorld, Sesame Place, and LEGOLAND have been certified as Autism Friendly by IBCCES, but they do not use the registration to access accommodations.
- The site focuses on Autism, but the board professionals who verify your application work in various specialties. All disabilities and medical conditions are reviewed.
- The IBCCES website mentions service animals, but Universal will not require documentation for service animals.
- Universal will contact every registered card member. The calls are running very far behind (months). If you don’t hear from them before your visit, please call their ADA assistance line at (407) 224-4233. If you have not spoken with them, the ID may not be enough to ensure you will receive an AAP.
- This policy change is for Universal Studios Hollywood and all parks at Universal Orlando.
- You will still need to visit Guest Services every two weeks for accommodations. The ID that is valid for up to one year only replaces a team member asking you personal questions while they assist you.
- Hot tip- Don’t lock your AAP card in your locker!
Have you used the AAP program at Universal Orlando? Do you have questions about how this new system will work? Let us know in the comments!