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Disney changes the guest assistance pass.

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by sammysmom, Sep 20, 2013.

  1. Nancy in VA

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    My son had sensory issues when we were younger and we had to do a number of things to make it a good experience for him. For him, sounds were the issue so we had a ton of foam earplugs. Any ride or show that was loud, the earplugs came out. We also tried to find quiet places to rest periodically so he could give his system a chance to recharge (the people mover is actually a good one for that, as is carousel of progress and Hall of Presidents). We didn't have him near the fireworks for a number of years because they were a nightmare for him. I do think a lot of people who are "crying wolf" are the ones that would always say "we just want our needs accommodated" when really what they meant was "we just want to go to the front of the line because we don't want to stand in line". Honestly, if you don't want to stand in line, don't go, because you're gonna have lines - either for rides or food, or even the freakin bathroom!!
     
  2. mmc51264

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    I was very surprised by the reaction here about this. The reaction from the autistic world is a complete 180. They are really up in arms. I have one with sensory issues (non D) and the other has other behavioral issues + D. I am sad that it seems they are taking away from one special needs population. At least that is their perception. I think it will be harder if we ever decide to go. I am thinking Nickelodeon/Legoland instead.
     
  3. Mish

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    How do you figure. How are your child's needs no longer going to be met, and what is being taken away from you?

    Also, Autism Speaks helped craft the new guideline because the majority of people using the old GAC were claiming some sort of autism spectrum issues. So, maybe go speak to them about whatever outrage there is.
     
  4. hawkeyegirl

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    I bow to your Disney knowledge. :p
     
  5. Mish

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    No, you laugh at it, but I like you anyway. :p
     
  6. Lizzy731

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    How is this system different from the regular fast pass? I never got a fast pass before but it sounds the same from what people tell me?
     
  7. mmc51264

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    I just wanted to see what parents of D kids were saying after reading what some of MY friends are saying that have children with special needs. Perception is that it is a step backwards, from what I read.

    I think my husband needs the pass more than the kids do LOL. Didn't want to start anything, I was just curious-and then surprised. I won't be going anywhere, anytime soon, but I imagine we will go at some point. They haven't expressed a huge interest yet. I went the first year they opened. THAT was enough for my dad!!
     
  8. KatieSue

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    It will be quite similar to using the current fast pass system that anyone can use. Some lines, none in DCA but many in Disneyland are not handicapped accessible so there are alternate entrances for people who need them. Some lines, Splash for instance, have stairs that some may not be able to use. The new system should help cut down on the time people who need accommodations have to wait for any attraction.

    And use fastpass once you figure out how it works it really can save you a lot of time on the attractions that have it.
     
  9. Mish

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    It's actually in addition to....

    The way regular fast pass work at disney is that you insert your park ticket into a machine and you are given a return time that's usually about 60-90 min away with an hour window to use that fast pass. As the day goes on, the return times are pushed more and more ahead. It's not uncommon to get a fast pass at 10am with a return time for 3pm or later for really busy rides. There are limited numbers of fastpasses for each time slot and at some point during the day there will be no more fastpasses for that ride. And you cannot choose your return time. Whatever time you put your park ticket into the machine determines your fast pass return time (there's a sign which tells you what time that will be in advance so you can plan better). You can often carry more than one fast pass during the day, though generally it's hard to do that anymore. However, when your return time arrives you go into the fastpass line, which generally allows you on the ride in about 10 min or so. The fastpass line has traditionally been the line used for all disabled guests needing alternate entry. Not all rides at Disney have fastpass.

    With the new GAC system you'll be given a return time equal to the current wait time of the main line. If the ride has a 60 min wait, you'll be able to come back in exactly 60 min and enter the fast pass line. You can then return to the GAC kiosk and get another ride card for another ride. You can get this on rides which are not fastpass enabled and they will never run out, nor will the return time be pushed ahead at all. They will always be the current wait time.

    So a guest with disabilities could easily get traditional fastpasses AND the new GAC passes and pretty much be able to ride without wait all day long. :)
     
  10. Lizzy731

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    Well thank you very much for that detailed explanation! I was trying to find somewhere on the internet to explain the difference and you have done so accurately! This seems very fair....I am just wondering where these GAC kiosks will be located....hopefully there will be several throughout the park.
     
  11. Mish

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    I meant to add, fastpass is free to all guests with a valid park ticket.

    From what I understand, (and most of this info comes from Disneyland)there will be a kiosk in each 'land' and it's been said that Fantasyland will have more than one to accommodate the fact that it's generally children who have the most GAC needs. I think it's safe to assume that WDW will have at least that many, in Magic Kingdom proper and then a similar set up in Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios.

    The other thing I wanted to add was that currently, most queue lines in WDW (all but the oldest lines at Magic Kingdom) are already fully accessible, so anyone in a wheelchair or scooter already waits in the regular line and doesn't need a GAC. They would get a GAC if they had another need other than just regular accessibility, and in a non-accessible line, they simply go directly to the exit or to the fastpass line.

    Like KatieSue mentioned earlier, there are more of these lines in Disneyland in CA than WDW in Fl because of the nature of the park being older. But all new rides are built with fully accessible line queues. With the new system these people will get a return time and enter through the fastpass or exit lane. But they will be waiting to ride just like other wheelchair riders do currently in accessible lines. By and large, people in wheelchairs have never asked for front of the line access, it was simply the only way they could access the ride. Most that I have heard from are fully ok with the changes, and more and more, already wait in a regular line.
     
  12. Lizzy731

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    My father was a paraplegic and this was his issue...he needed to transfer into the rides and when I was a child a lot of them weren't as easily accessible. But we would see teenagers riding around in wheelchairs and then see the same ones later walking around like they were fine. My father used to go ballistic and rightfully so. A lot of people abuse the system however I do fault disney with this as well. They are not required to ask for MD notes and also have to be careful about asking people to divulge their illness or disability because of their rights. If you question most disabled or special need individuals I am sure they wouldn't care about telling a stranger at Disney what their disability was in order to have their needs met. Too much political correctness in my opinion. What's to stop any joe shmo from saying their child is autistic or renting a wheelchair.....the system has been abused because the rules are too lax.
     
  13. KatieSue

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    Disney legally can't ask you for any sort of "proof" or even exactly what your disability is per HIPPA laws. They can only ask what kinds of accommodations you need.
     
  14. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    The problem at Disney isn't "political correctness" it's dreadful people who game the system. As for being queried regarding disability where would you draw the line? Sure you'd be willing to tell the nice young lady at Disney who asks politely what your child's disability is, but what about when she asked what her blood sugar is at the moment and suggests that that ice cream she has in her hand is probably a bad choice for a diabetic. :rolleyes:
     
  15. mamattorney

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    It's very fair, but people are still going to be really mad. Because you can only hold one fast pass and one the new assistance passes at a time.

    here's an example in my mind of how things compare:

    As it is today, with a GAC you can ride any ride any time. You can go from Space Mountain to Tomorrowland Speedway to the Laugh Floor in 20-25 minutes, where a regular person could get a fast pass for Space Mountain, but would have to wait 45 minutes for the Speedway and 25 minutes for the laugh floor - so close to 4 times the amount of time that a GAC.

    With the new pass, you could still get the fast pass for Space Mountain, and you could get the new disability pass for tomorrowland speedway, but you'd have to hang out in the shops or something for 45 minutes. When you ride on the Speedway as over, you could get a new pass for the Laugh Floor and then wait in the shops/restaurant, etc until the time for the Laugh Floor. The new passes will make it more convenient for those with disabilities, and may save some time in the parks (because you can eat lunch while you wait for your turn on the Speedway which regular people can't do), but it's nowhere near the time saver it was.
     
  16. Lizzy731

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    All I am saying is a simple MD note should be required. I know people won't agree but I think some sort of proof should be required otherwise people will continue to abuse the system. The note doesn't need to say your dx, just the accommodations you need. Now I know people will say "well anyone can get an MD note" but it makes it that much more difficult to cheat the system. The thing this new system does is to stop people from using the fast pass lane unlimited...people will continue to try and abuse the system. It's unfortunate but it's life. People just suck.
     
  17. Lizzy731

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    Haha...yes that would probably anger me greatly
     
  18. Lizzy731

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    But Disney is a private organization and I thought HIPPA was pertaining to the healthcare field.

    http://www.hhs.gov/hipaafaq/about/190.html
     
  19. Mish

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    and it was never meant to do that. People are gettin pissed over losing something that was never supposed to happen. Lol

    Unless an organization is offering an accommodation that significantly provides a benefit that is not available to the general public, they simply cannot, by law, require the information. I am not disagreeing with you though, that something needs to change. And it seems Disney agrees. They could say that they cannot make these accommodations anymore , and other than accessibility in lines that remove barriers, they are under no legal obligation to do anything.

    It won't really matter anymore if people try to abuse the system, because their abuse won't impact other people, disabled or not. anyone using the new system will be now accounted for in the fastpass system which makes for more accurate wait times for everyone.
     
  20. Mish

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