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Disneyland-Guest Assistance cards

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by Beach bum, Apr 15, 2011.

  1. 2type1s

    2type1s Approved members

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    We've used one in the past in Disney World, Dollywood and Universal Studios. Yes, it nice to skip the longest lines, however I find it more useful for being able to carry supplies all the way. We don't let our girls ride with their insulin pumps on, so one of us waits in the "waiting room" with the pumps and supplies and rides with the girls. then we switch out and let the girls ride again with the other parent.
    Also, I think if you're doing one day at a park, it's not so bad to wait in lines, or use a fast pass and run all over the park trying to make your "times". However, after 3 days of doing this, my girls were wrecks. I couldn't keep their sugars up for anything, and I really needed the passes. That was the first day I used them, and now I get them every time because it made our day so much easier.
     
  2. goochgirl

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    We used one last year at DW. It really helped, because we were able to keep the stroller with us until the last minute. Also, one of my children has anxieties about being in crowded places, so not having to stand in line helped him enjoy, instead of stress.
     
  3. Jilleighn

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    When we went to Disney last year we got one, but did not use it but 1 or 2 times. Each their own, but I know my child and I do try to make sure everything is 100% or close to it before going on a ride, but you have those tricky times that it just doesnt work out that way.
     
  4. Ellie'sMama

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    We just returned from Disneyland with our 3 year old type 1 daughter. We did get the GAC and used it well for all three days. Quite simply she was able to enjoy the park to it's fullest because we didn't wait in line for more than 10 minutes for anything even during one of the busiest times of the year. Yes, it's preferential treatment and I'm very okay with that. Scheduling meals, counting carbs, checking blood sugars and giving injections takes up enough of their fun time at the park. If you can find a way to avoid hour long line ups for a ride then why not?
     
  5. rutgers1

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    We just went to Universal for a few days and didn't ask for a card. I was tempted, but I can't rationalize it. We stayed on-property, though, so we had the front of the line passes and didn't really have to wait on much.

    I think my disdain of the cards comes from years of going to Disney World. I can't believe how many people ride around in carts there and have other reasons why they should skip to the front of the line. The percentage of people there who are somehow "disabled" seems to be much higher than the general population, and I have always had a suspicion that people were abusing the system.
     
  6. Lee

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    See - I do not agree with this - there are so many invisible disabilities, just because you look at a person riding on a 'cart' and you do not see a broken leg does not mean that there is not a true reason...

    My mother could not walk around Disney - no matter what - she has an inherited pulmonary disease. You couldn't tell it by looking. And my dad, before he passed away, rented a 'cart' to get him around tourist attractions due to the effects of his chemo. And my child, my child has blood sugar that spikes or drops based on how hard the wind is blowing...yet you couldn't tell from looking at her.

    It is easy to look at someone and say they do not have any problem because we cannot see a problem - and honestly, we cannot judge until we walk a mile in their shoes or ride a mile in their 'cart'. No matter what your 'suspicion' is...I can honestly say I am offended by this post and probably taking it way to personally :rolleyes:.
     
  7. rutgers1

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    I apologize. I didn't mean to offend. I have a sneaking suspicion that some people abuse the fact that Disney is so accommodating, but I should have kept it to myself.

    Perhaps my beliefs on this comes from the fact that I am a teacher and I have seen a lot of people abuse the special education system while others don't get the help that they need. Over the years, I have seen parents of perfectly fine children litigate their way into having their children receive what amounts to free tutoring and one-on-one assistance throughout the day while other children whose parents don't know how to work the system do not receive the help that they need. There is only so many resources to go around and, in a school system, the squeaky wheel gets the grease -- often whether that person needs it or not......So, while I don't have the same evidence to support abuse of the Disney system, I guess that is where my suspicion comes from.

    Once again, I apologize.
     
  8. Lee

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    Like I said, I was probably taking it way to personally - it is just a touchy subject for me :eek:.

    But thank you :D
     
  9. Ellie'sMama

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    I'm just not into pretending that managing a toddler with diabetes is any kind of normal. It's not. We parents do what we have to in order to keep them healthy but having to stop at prescheduled times to "feed the insulin", make her little fingers bleed while strangers gawk, and give injections to correct highs or any time she wants something that is higher carbs than the prescribed meal plan. ( Also, my little daughter will only take them in her backside so finding a private corner to give her the injections to protect her privacy isn't always easy in public ). There is a reason that Type 1 Diabetes is labeled as a disability. It doesn't have to limit their potential but it certainly is a burden that they and their families carry. Making good use of any silver lining, such as a guest assistance card, that keeps them out of full sun for long stretches of time and able to move about as needed only makes sense to us.
     
  10. Our3girls

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    I must say that every "system" can get abused, however when it comes to choosing to use it for a cwd I say YDMV and YDMV with each day, ride, full moon, weather change, hormonal timing... We used it half a day the 1st time we went because she was yo-yoing even without us treating due to adrenaline spikes and then after the ride sudden fast drops. How she felt was ruining her time and in effect all of our time and I honestly felt like we were torturing her at her favorite place to go. So when we were going on a ride that she was totally excited about we used it but for instance tea cups we did not ;)
    As others have stated you can not judge a person by their cover and some have special guest passes so it has nothing to do with disability but something they earned or won or bought.
    I can tell you that we have talked to people while waiting and they were definitely milking the system due to being over weight for instance (im not talking huge just say less then 100 lbs over weight and some one justified an assistance pass) and it was by their own admission... Im fat and it is too hard to walk around this place :eek:
    I have learned with a child that is a fetal alcohol baby and looks perfect but could have a full out rage fit where ever and then a d child, you just don't even look at people to see if they are giving you the evil eye because you are getting a "special privilage" or in a judgemental way!!
     
  11. Flutterby

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    Every park we go to, we get a pass.. every park does it. Its not always called the same, and we don't always use it.. but we have it if we need it.. I'd rather have it and not use it than need it and not have it.
     
  12. WendyTT

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    This is very well said--I know that the GAC is touchy for some and some strongly disagree with getting one for a CWD but I think it is fantastic that Disney World offers it for those who feel it is necessary. My CWD is very shy about her diabetes and I knew she wouldn't feel comfortable having to check her blood sugar in line with everyone around her watching--I knew there would be times we would "need" to get out of a long line to check or treat and having the GAC would allow us to do that. Also, Lindsay tires way easier than other 10 year olds because of her diabetes--add temps in the 90s, walking all over the park all day, and she was done by 5pm each day. If it hadn't been for the GAC, we would have been missed riding half the rides by having to leave the park so early in the day. With the GAC, we were able to do everything we wanted to do by then.
     
  13. MissEmi

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    YDMV is certainly a factor, but even more so, your child's age and whether or not they have been to Disney before. I've been 2 times with D and 3 without D, and with D, I never got a GAC. We used FastPass effectively and went to the least crowded park for the day, and also park hopped to avoid crowds. I was also 16 and 17 when I went with D, and knew how Disney World worked. I always carried plenty of low treats and treated in line. If it was a very long line, I would check and make sure I was okay so that I could eat a small snack if needed so that I wouldn't go low on a ride. Your daughter is younger, so maybe you SHOULD get the GAC, but only use it if absolutely necessary. The CMs are really helpful, which is why I really don't think it's needed for D. But if that's what you think is best, go for it. Mother's Gut Feeling is usually the best way to go.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2011
  14. jv11

    jv11 New Member

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    Get it and have fun!

    We went to Disneyland March 2011 for the first time since daughter's diagnosis. She is 11 and the sun/heat/exercise really mess with her sugars. We got the guest assistance pass and are SO glad we did. We don't go often, but when we are able to make a trip there, we will definitely use it again. You just need to go in and explain exactly why it is needed. My daughter is on a pump and they didn't even want to see it. They were very kind and I didn't feel like we were being judged for asking for it. Also the cast members at the rides treated us with respect and kindness. We were just so grateful for her not having to wait in the heat/sun for long periods of time. She tires out easily and it would have been worse and made her vacation miserable. She was able to enjoy the rides without having to leave the long lines for bathroom breaks and checks. As far as the few looks and one overheard comment of a mom telling her inquisitive daughter we were cheating walking thru the disabled line, don't let that even detour you! You'll never see any of those people ever again and they don't live with what we live with everyday. They just don't get it! Heck with them! :) Plus, there were lots of others in the same disability line with us that looked normal, that had their medical reasons for needing it too, so your not the only ones without a wheelchair using it. Get it, enjoy the park with your kids and make wonderful memories!!! (I don't feel like we were abusing the system at all, it may not be needed for everyone with diabetes, but it definitely made a difference for my daughter)
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2011
  15. coconne3

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    We went to disney 2 years ago with my DD 6, 2yo as well as my mother using a electric cart. She had knee issues and couldn't walk/stand for long periods of time. Sometimes her legs would just "give out". We got a GAC from CWD conference. It was for waiting in the shade. Didn't help us a bit!!!!!! My mother should have gotten one for the cart so she could take it to the ride but didn't. Different CM have different interpretations of disabiities as well as use of GAC. My mother was told to leave her cart at the entrance to Small World (because she could walk---sort of) and go into the line. She refused and didn't go on the ride. WE even asked if we could wait in the line and get her when we got up to her ( so she wouldn't have to stand so long) but they said no. We only went for one day so we just did our best. Other CM would let her in but tell us we needed to wait in line and another CM said we could all go with my mother down the exit to wait.. What a run around!
    We are going to CWD (3 weeks and counting!) again this year! We'll try again with the GAC and see what happens! After waiting in line for the aladdin ride, my dd announced her "low" and hunger. WE checked and treated in line but couldn't get her up. Had to start over later in the Aladdin ride line.. Just for this reason I will get a GAC and use it discriminently
     
  16. Caldercup

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    It sounds like you need to tell them that she must have her ECV/wheelchair to get to the loading platform, but "can transfer to the ride vehicle."
     
  17. Wendy12571

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    Okay the lady who was speaking about her mother or mother in law on the it's a small world ride. This is something we ran into 3 years ago in December. My sister was using an ECV. We had not gotten a GAC card because we just figured we would go through the regular lines. It wasn't really crowded, well the lady was fairly snide at the Buzz light year ride and asked if we had a card. NO We figured the ECV was enough. Nope next time you need a card. On our way out of the park for the day we stopped at the MK Guest Services. I said the lady at the Buzz Light year ride says we need a card. The guy says you really shouldn't need the card but here you go. I have no clue why sometimes on some of the rides where you take a different path to the ride with wheelchairs they ask for the card.
    Wendy
     

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