Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood are now requiring guests to go through a third party service and provide documentation in order to receive accommodations. Guests will need to apply through IBCCES, a third party service, prior to visiting the parks in order to qualify for an Attractions Assistance Pass. This is a very big change from the previous system, so there are a few key things you need to know before your next visit to the parks.
The system has changed and is designed to provide guests a much easier process when they arrive at the parks. Prior to the update, guests seeking special accommodations needed to visit Guest Services and discuss their needs with a Team Member. The Team Member would then determine if the guest qualified for an AAP (Attractions Assistance Pass) and issue the pass. Now, guests will no longer be able to obtain an AAP without going through and applying to IBCCES first.
IBCCES requires guests to upload documentation to support their needs, which will then be reviewed. Once IBCCES pre-qualifies you for an accessibility card, Universal will contact you to discuss what accommodations may be available for you. It is very important to note that qualifying for an IBCCES card does not guarantee you an Attractions Assistance Pass!
After pre-qualifying through IBCCES, Universal will contact you by phone for final approval. This is a similar process to when Guest Services would ask about your concerns and what accommodations you may need. If Universal approves you for an Attractions Assistance Pass, you will be given a case number to take to guest services on your next visit to the parks. You will need to give the case number and show your active digital accessibility card in the app (screenshots and print outs will not be accepted) to Guest Services on your next visit to pick up your AAP.
Once you qualify through IBCCES and Universal, your Attractions Assistance Pass will be good for a year. You will have to pick up a new pass every 2 weeks, but you will not have to discuss your needs each time you visit Guest Services. Simply show your IBCCES accessibility card and case number and the Team Member will distribute you a new AAP. The Attractions Assistance Pass works exactly the same as it always has and nothing has changed with the way they work in the park. You will still need to visit Guest Services to add additional guests onto your AAP, too.
One important thing to note is that with this new system, everyone is essentially starting with a blank slate. In other words, you may have been given an AAP in the past, but that does not mean you will instantly be granted one again. You will still need to go through IBCCES to qualify and then also be approved by Universal.
Once pre-qualified through IBCCES, Universal should contact you within 24-48 hours to discuss your accommodations. At this time, they are running about 2 weeks behind due to the high volume of people applying right now, so be sure to apply early. If guests arrive to the parks and are either unaware of the new update or haven’t had time to submit the proper documentation yet, they will be given a one-time accommodation for the length of their trip, but they will need to go through IBCCES before their next visit.
If you already have an IBCCES card, be sure to go in and add the Universal parks you plan to visit. Because IBCCES is used for many different theme parks, you may show as pre-qualified through IBCCES, but be denied accommodations by Universal. An example would be that some other parks may give accommodations for guests in wheelchairs, but Universal would not because all of their queues are wheelchair accessible.
IBCCES does require documentation, but sensitive information does not need to be shared. They offer a lot of live support to help guide you through the process, too. Be sure to register early if you have plans to visit any of the Universal parks in the future.
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