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Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by Sari, Apr 4, 2013.

  1. Sari

    Sari Approved members

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    We went last week to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. We got the guest assistance card which basically was a joke! There system was nothing like Disney. Basically you go and if it is longer than a 30 minute wait (which obviously most rides are) then they write down what the wait time is and you come back in that length of time. So if the wait time is 120 minutes, then they write it down on your card and you come back then. You can't go onto another ride until you complete the ride you just signed up for. So if there is a 45 minute wait on a different ride, it doesn't matter, they won't sign your card until after you ride the first ride. It's the most ridiculous system. So basically, your choice is to stand in a 2 hour line or make your kids walk around for 2 hours lowering blood sugars and being in the heat. I guess this way they figure you'll shop more or eat more! Never going back!
     
  2. Mimi

    Mimi Approved members

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    You may not like this question but what sort of special treatment were you expecting?

    In my personal opinion, I don't see diabetes as an excuse to skip a 2 hour line up. I'd bring snacks for my kid to treat potential lows and get on with enjoying ourselves. But that's just me.
     
  3. mmgirls

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    We have never asked for any special treatment at parks, except for allowing us to bring in as much food drink and snacks that we wanted.

    To each their own I guess.
     
  4. Brenda

    Brenda Junior Member

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    This subject comes up intermittently around here, especially since CWD's FFL Conference is near the Orlando theme parks.

    The CWD person who plans our events, Laura Billetdeaux, usually suggests that, at Disney, people use the Fast Pass system. It is similar to the one described by the OP, but it's more flexible.

    For some, the Guest Assistance Pass is not to skip ahead to the front of the line, but a way to either stand in the shade or wait in an air conditioned area. Some, not all, people with diabetes have issues with the insulin in their pumps getting too hot causing highs and general discomfort. Different people are affected differently--some people run high, some low.

    Universal Studios Orlando is not very accommodating, which is why the teens have not gone back there. By the way, NO ONE should need a Guest Assistance Card at Epcot--most of the attractions are air conditioned!
     
  5. Beach bum

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    My feeling is that I don't want to skip the line, I just want my kid to be comfortable in the line. If that means we have to wait 2 hours, then fine, just give us somewhere shaded to wait. If it is shaded, fine we'll wait that time, just let me bring in water and snacks, and if we have to leave the line, then let us get back in where we left off.

    We went to Universal and loved it. The only potential problem we had was on Harry Potter, but I had been warned here that we had to check our bag. I wore a fanny pack with a zip top and they let me keep that for the ride. As for long waits, we did invest the extra $$ in their version of the fast pass.

    It is pretty much the same as Disney Fast Pass and it sounds like your GAC was modeled the same way. You can't ride another ride using Fast Pass unless you have completed the first one. So, if you have a 1pm Fast Pass for Pirates and it's 11 and you want one for Big Thunder in between, you can't do it. You pretty much have to plan and use the info boards for wait times.

    GAC aren't designed to shorten your wait time, it is designed to let you and your party be comfortable during the wait time. I think what they did is actually pretty fair for all guests...
    When I worked at Disney, people used to rent wheel chairs just so they could jump to the head of the line and not wait. It was terrible, I knew able bodied people who did this. As a result of that behavior, policies had to change out of fairness to all.

    There currently is a change.org petition going on to change policies at Six Flags, it seems they have no accommodations what so ever!
     
  6. Pauji5

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    I don't mean this to be rude, but why does your child "Need to be comfortable" in line any more than any other kid?

    I have 2 kids with D, and a 3rd without. As long as they have snacks, they aren't treated any different than anyone else. When we've gone to Disney, Universal and many National Parks, and as long as they have insulin and stuff to treat lows, they isn't any difference in kids.

    While diabetes is a huge pain in the XXX, I don't like to have my kids (and honestly, they don't either) be treated any different than anyone else.

    People with type 1 diabetes play professional sports, and have done amazing physical things (more so than I could personally do!) I don't like to have people think that my D kids are disabled....it's their pancrease that has the problem, and with planning, it's shouldn't hold them back. If my kids can play Rugby and football and softball, they can stand in a 2 hour line....
     
  7. Beach bum

    Beach bum Approved members

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    In our case, my daughter has had significant BG drops in a matter of minutes. She is incredibly sensitive to heat. We had a few instances where we had to leave the line because her blood sugar was low and she was in no condition to stand, the heat was overwhelming her. When she was feeling better, we had to get back into the line and repeat the process. We avoid this by doing things such as Fast Pass or going early/late in the day. But, there are times when we do have to wait. I am more than willing to wait just like everyone else, just let me take her somewhere not in the direct sun. For example, we were at Disneyland, and we were waiting for a ride that had a long wait time in the direct sun. We had a GAC and just told the operator that she couldn't stand in the sun, but that my husband would wait and if we could meet up with him as he got closer to getting on the ride. They were more than accommodating. As I said, we plan so that we don't have these situations arise and we aren't different from others, but there are times when we do have to be a bit different.

    So, yes, I would like my kid to be comfortable because in certain situations things can go downhill fast.
     
  8. KatieSue

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    We're Disney addicts and have passes to Disneyland. To be honest it never occurred to us when she was diagnosed to even ask about a GAC. We just plan for it. My feeling is that the GAC is there for people who need it and if we used it we'd be holding up people that really do. Not saying that some kids with Type 1 don't need it, some do. But we don't so we use fastpass etc and muddle through.

    Heck I can't tell you how many times when she was younger, pre diagnosis, that we'd be in a line for over an hour and she'd need to use the restroom. Since it was just the two of us we'd have to get out of line then start back at the end later. Total pain but if you gotta go, ya gotta go :D
     

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