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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. Lizzy731

    Lizzy731 Approved members

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    But those people that abuse the system won't be using the fast pass as it's meant to be used. It will eventually impact others as the wait times in the fast pass lane with be overloaded again from people abusing the system.

    I don't see how this new system will help the problem. I also feel terrible for people who have autistic children or more severe behavioral problems that really benefitted from the old system. My best friend has an autistic child and I see what she goes through every day. I know some have mentioned that Disney is a place that maybe a child with sensory issues should not be...but there are varying amounts of severity. I don't think this system should be cut and dry for all...there should be different accommodations depending on the needs of the individual. As I mentioned I grew up with a paraplegic dad and now have a diabetic daughter....I am very sensitive to the needs of the disabled and will not make any inferences about another person's disability as I have not walked a mile in their shoes so to speak.
     
  2. Lizzy731

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    I didn't read the whole thing but I assume somewhere in there it states that a person is not required to divulge their disability or something to that extent? How ironic that the very thing meant to protect the disabled is helping people abuse the system which in return hurts the disabled. Well that folks is called irony.
     
  3. Mish

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    It is hard to explain, but the fastpass system and the regular line system, is this fairly complex system of line management that accounts for guests, time of day, and all sorts of other things. But what it can't do is function if unaccounted for people are in the lines. Like the example I posted earlier, where they tracked on ride and found 5000 guests who were not in any calculation.so with the new system, every time a guest with a GAC who gets a return time pass is now entered into the line management system. Not necessarily the fastpass system, but the overall line and guest management system.

    But as to the second part, it would seem to me that the new system is going to allow a guest to get their accommodations met in a way that works for them without disney dictating how. It was cut and dry before, with the passes limited to only one of a few standard "stamps" that tended to all be handled in the same way. The new system gives the guest much more flexibility.

    I have yet to come up with a hypothetical example in which this new system doesn't work better than the current system.
     
  4. bisous

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    This sounds great to me! I think it will potentially mean that some groups who are accustomed to being able to ride more rides because they get to go to the front of the line will not be happy. But this system is more fair. I applaud it!
     
  5. virgo39

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    The only reference I found prohibiting requiring a doctor's note related specifically to selling tickets for accessible seating--is that interpreted to apply to access to rides? Elsewhere there are prohibitions on asking about a disability in connection with service animals. Interesting, because I would have expected a broader prohibition--apparently one can require some state issued proof of disability in connection with use of powered mobility devices.
     
  6. bisous

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    I don't see a reason for disclosing the disability. I also don't see a reason to judge. There are disabilities that I don't understand and there are definitely disabilities that I can't SEE with my eyes. Like people who need wheelchairs because they have heart problems but look otherwise able bodied. I figure people requesting the passes generally have a hard time, I don't want my judging to make it worse.
     
  7. Lizzy731

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    I don't disagree that this is a better system for some individuals needs...if you can't wait on a line in the heat you don't have to. However I was under the impression that this will be the system for every guest which I don't think should be the case.

    Also it may manage the crowd system better but again it doesn't stop the freeloaders. And some people are misunderstanding my idea that the individual needs some sort of proof of the disability. This is to protect them from freeloaders that will in turn help them in the long run. The dx doesn't have to be revealed...simply an MD note should be required to explain the needed accommodations. I know in a perfect world no one would try to abuse the system but this will never happen unless they are stopped in a way that makes it impossible for them to freeload. But since there are laws in place to "protect" the disabled and their privacy my idea won't happen.
     
  8. Beach bum

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    And that's what I always thought should happen. When my daughter was younger she would go low if she had to stand for long periods of time in the heat. We would use FP whenever possible (this was prior to the park planning apps) and do all the tricks to minimize the wait (go during parades, arrive early), but there were still some non FP rides that she couldn't stand in the line. All we wanted was to be able to leave the line to wait in the shade, but come back at the time we would have made it to the front without upsetting all the people behind us.

    I think this is a fair solution for all. It's not allowing for anyone to jump to the head of the line, or shorten their wait, but allows for you to be accommodated in whatever way needed, be it sit in a quiet area, sit in a cool area, etc.

    Yes, sadly, there will always be people who play the game of renting the wheelchairs (this used to tick me off to no end when I worked there) or saying they have a disability they don't, but at least if they do this, they are all being put on an even playing field with the wait.
     
  9. Mish

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    I'm going to jusmp out of order here for a second, but for the second part of your post, I do agree with you, and I understand what you mean. It would be something in place to protect people who needed it. Many people with a true disability would probably have no trouble providing that information. The problem is that it wouldn't cut out the abuse. Right now, you can go onto half a dozen websites where parents mention that their doctors always provide them with notes saying "johnny does not wait in lines due to his disability." And then they laugh and mention that the doctors think no parents shoudl have to wait in line. Disney won't look at these notes, but people already bring them.

    For your first part, I'm not sure what you mean?

    If you go back to your father as an example, in most lines in WDW the regular queue line is already fully integrated. A person in a wheelchair currently enters the regular line, waits in that line, and rides the ride. In areas where there is no accessible line queue the person in the wheelchair will be directed to the alternate entry / handicap entrance and will ride. There is no change from the current system. They may or may not need to get a GAC/DAS as the wheelchair is the visible cue that they are in need of accommodations. They may, however, need to get the DAS with a return time. That's up in the air right now. We'll have to wait and see how that pans out.

    If the person in the wheelchair has other needs apart from accessibility, then they will obtain a GAC/DAS. This might include needing different seating in a theater for a vision or hearing issue.

    A person who cannot walk up stairs will not have to walk up stairs, they will receive a return time DAS and at their appointed time, they will enter the accessible queue area and ride the ride.

    But that covers most of the barrier free reasons for needing accommodations. The rest are all needs that center on waiting in the actual line.
    So, the new system is basically saying, "ok, you can't wait in line, we get it, you no longer have to wait IN line."

    There is no provision in the ADA which requires Disney to say "ok, there is no waiting, for anything." That would be something that provides a benefit which is different from the benefit others receive. IF that were the case, they could ask for medical proof of a disability. :)

    Further, even under the old system, the GAC did not cover waiting for character visits, waiting in food lines, waiting for buses or monorails. It only covered the actual ride queue.

    I found the relevant parts in the ADA (I was on my tablet last night, couldn't search properly) Those are the relevant sections which have been held up as validation that a business cannot ask for proof, nor does a business need to accommodate every need if that accommodation changes the nature of the business. ie; disney is an amusement park where you queue up to participate in a ride. Removing lines for some guests constitutes an unequal benefit and alters the fundamental nature of the business.

    http://www.ada.gov/pubs/adastatute08.htm#12182

    Sec. 12182. Prohibition of discrimination by public accommodations


    (a) General rule

    No individual shall be discriminated against on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of any place of public accommodation by any person who owns, leases (or leases to), or operates a place of public accommodation.

    (b) Construction

    (1) General prohibition

    (A) Activities

    (i) Denial of participation

    It shall be discriminatory to subject an individual or class of individuals on the basis of a disability or disabilities of such individual or class, directly, or through contractual, licensing, or other arrangements, to a denial of the opportunity of the individual or class to participate in or benefit from the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of an entity.

    (ii) Participation in unequal benefit

    It shall be discriminatory to afford an individual or class of individuals, on the basis of a disability or disabilities of such individual or class, directly, or through contractual, licensing, or other arrangements with the opportunity to participate in or benefit from a good, service, facility, privilege, advantage, or accommodation that is not equal to that afforded to other individuals.

    (iii) Separate benefit

    It shall be discriminatory to provide an individual or class of individuals, on the basis of a disability or disabilities of such individual or class, directly, or through contractual, licensing, or other arrangements with a good, service, facility, privilege, advantage, or accommodation that is different or separate from that provided to other individuals, unless such action is necessary to provide the individual or class of individuals with a good, service, facility, privilege, advantage, or accommodation, or other opportunity that is as effective as that provided to others.


    (iv) Individual or class of individuals

    For purposes of clauses (i) through (iii) of this subparagraph, the term "individual or class of individuals" refers to the clients or customers of the covered public accommodation that enters into the contractual, licensing or other arrangement.

    (B) Integrated settings

    Goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations shall be afforded to an individual with a disability in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of the individual.


    (C) Opportunity to participate

    Notwithstanding the existence of separate or different programs or activities provided in accordance with this section, an individual with a disability shall not be denied the opportunity to participate in such programs or activities that are not separate or different.

    (D) Administrative methods

    An individual or entity shall not, directly or through contractual or other arrangements, utilize standards or criteria or methods of administration

    (i) that have the effect of discriminating on the basis of disability; or

    (ii) that perpetuate the discrimination of others who are subject to common administrative control.

    (E) Association

    It shall be discriminatory to exclude or otherwise deny equal goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, accommodations, or other opportunities to an individual or entity because of the known disability of an individual with whom the individual or entity is known to have a relationship or association.

    (2) Specific prohibitions

    (A) Discrimination

    For purposes of subsection (a) of this section, discrimination includes

    (i) the imposition or application of eligibility criteria that screen out or tend to screen out an individual with a disability or any class of individuals with disabilities from fully and equally enjoying any goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations, unless such criteria can be shown to be necessary for the provision of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations being offered;

    (ii) a failure to make reasonable modifications in policies, practices, or procedures, when such modifications are necessary to afford such goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations to individuals with disabilities, unless the entity can demonstrate that making such modifications would fundamentally alter the nature of such goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations;

    (iii) a failure to take such steps as may be necessary to ensure that no individual with a disability is excluded, denied services, segregated or otherwise treated differently than other individuals because of the absence of auxiliary aids and services, unless the entity can demonstrate that taking such steps would fundamentally alter the nature of the good, service, facility, privilege, advantage, or accommodation being offered or would result in an undue burden;

    (iv) a failure to remove architectural barriers, and communication barriers that are structural in nature, in existing facilities, and transportation barriers in existing vehicles and rail passenger cars used by an establishment for transporting individuals (not including barriers that can only be removed through the retrofitting of vehicles or rail passenger cars by the installation of a hydraulic or other lift), where such removal is readily achievable; and

    (v) where an entity can demonstrate that the removal of a barrier under clause (iv) is not readily achievable, a failure to make such goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations available through alternative methods if such methods are readily achievable.
     
  10. Lizzy731

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    Are you a lawyer ;)

    First off I would like to thank you for respectively disagreeing with me and managing to get your point across without using confrontational language.

    What I am referring to is autism children and behavioral issues where time is usually of the essence. Most children cannot tolerate waiting in long lines or staying at the park for hours on end. This is normal kid behavior and parents deal with it accordingly.

    However when you throw in sensory issues and other issues which I cannot begin to describe as I don't have a child with autism, then time is a beast. In order to get as much out of the park for the short period of time they can be there, having short waiting times is a gift. You pay hundreds of dollars to try and give your special needs child a good time and end up maybe going on one of the rides because your child had a melt down after being at the park for an hour or two.

    Again, I only see first hand what my friend goes through and I am not in her position so I will never say I understand. It upsets me when I see others judging another disability and what accommodations would be best for them. I was getting the impression that people were scoffing at the austicic population being up in arms about the new system. To me it's the same thing as people making ignorant statements about diabetes. I try to make it a point to never make assumptions about something I don't live first hand.

    And I didn't know those links existed that doctors will write notes for anyone. That is absolutely horrible. I guess there is no way to keep out the people with no morals....but karma is a *****.
     
  11. Mish

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    And I don't actually disagree with you..Not really. :) And, I'm no a lawyer, but I have spent a lot of time talking to people over the years about how Disney provides access, so most of it is very familiar to me. :)

    I think what it comes down to is that leveling the playing field is not really the same as providing equal access, and ADA only covers equal access.

    To level the playing field I could see that allowing someone multiple rides in quick succession might allow them to have a full day of touring in a short time frame. ON the the other hand, it provides a benefit that the regular guest doesn't have (and I use that term lightly since I understand that getting a benefit to make up for a shitty situation isn't really a benefit, but I think you know what I mean.) That's not what the ADA was ever designed to have happen.

    The new system, I really think, is going to benefit kids with Autism the most. And I only single out that group as a whole, because there has been some very vocal commentary on Disney's programs, both old and new, both pro and con. My friend in Guest Services indicates that the majority of parents who are requesting GAC right now are indicating some form of Autism Spectrum issues, (which we know are increasing in the general population, so I don't want to imply any dishonesty), so I think that's just where it's coming from. It's just the group with the most dogs in this fight. And it seems DIsney has acknowledged it by bringing Autism Speaks in to help draft the changes. I can't even start to think about the ones who fake it. Karma is a *****. Like you said. But that's not who I'm really thinking about when I write all this.

    If a parent can avoid approaching a ride until it's their time to ride then the child never has to know they're 'waiting'. Right now, at some rides, the cast member already hands out return time tickets (this happens in other parks too) and so the child approaches the line, thinks they're going to ride, and then can't. But they never have to step foot into a line until it is their turn to ride. I have friends that do picture stories, but one thing they've had trouble with is saying, "we'll ride this, then this, then this." sometimes that doesn't happen. I think the new system will help with that a great deal.

    It also allows the parent to make use of the regular fast pass system. I know for me, using fast pass, I can ride just about every ride in the magic kingdom before lunch. Every one of them. And that's in the height of the summer when they parks are busy. We rarely wait in any line over 15 minutes long. And often, we'll skip and come back if they're that long. But, throw in the ability to also get a DAS entry as well (as often as you want, as long as you only have one at a time) and you really have a pretty great touring system in place. It also helps a parent be in charge of how they best can meet their child's need, especially for the kids who simply cannot be near others in line.

    The other thing to keep in mind is that the current Disney policy was also never intended to shorten wait times. It says so right on the GAC pass.
    http://mouzekateerz5.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/disney-guest-assistance-card.jpg
    http://www.wdwforgrownups.com/sites/default/files/images/gac_back_copy_2.jpeg

    The last thing to think about, is that everyone who goes to Disney pays hundreds of dollars. We all do. And people have all sorts of issues going on in their lives, some medical, some emotional, some physical, some invisible. And we all want our kids to have the best time possible at the parks. But you (general you, not you you) can't say that that child who is at disney without their father, because their father was killed in Afghanistan, is any less deserving of a special trip than the child with a disease. Yet, that's pretty much what is happening. We're saying that someone's troubles deserve a higher level of access. That's the message that a lot of parent groups would like us all to believe. That their child's life is sucky (and don't we all here know how sucky it can be, we aren't without compassion for kids with illnesses, right? ), and so they deserve something special for their troubles. I've heard it said here on CWD before even; search out any old Disney GAC thread.

    I think that's really where a lot of the backlash is coming from. And I'm not sure that Disney can fix that.
     
  12. Lizzy731

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    I don't know....I do see what you're saying that the general idea of the GAC was not to be used to shorten wait times. But that's what it really did in essence as they really didn't have any other system in place. And yes it's true that autism is on the rise and there are many different levels of autism ranging from severe to the very mild. And from what I understand what you said....the austistic population was verbal about the current system and felt it was abused by parents claiming their child was autistic?

    I agree that everyone has their issues and of course some have worse lives than others....I guess I just feel bad for my friend who relied on this system to take him to amusement parks....it just made things easier for her. Her son's sensory issues limits what they can do in a certain time frame and she does have another child as well. I guess we will have to agree to disagree :)

    We will just have to see what happens when the system gets in place. We are booked for April during spring break which of course is one of the busiest times to go. When we went 4 years ago we got the GAC and used it when the lines were very long or B was having a bad day with her sugars. It was a blessing really....I am not ashamed to say it made our trip much easier and more fun. Yes we still had to wait in some lines for the characters but it was fine...I think the new system will work out fine for us. It will just take a lot of planning and timing. But with my type A personality and many different iPhone wait time apps available I think we can manage just fine
     
  13. Nancy in VA

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    I am reading all of these comments and posts on other blogs and message boards about the GAC. I had a child with sensory issues - not full blown autism but definitely sensory issues.

    And I had toddlers.

    Honestly, they aren't much different. How many times have we gotten in line with a toddler, after asking if they need to use the restroom, only to be told 5 minutes later than they have to go. And then after getting back in line again, said toddler has a meltdown because sister got ice cream and they didn't. All I would add is that people were getting an "unintended benefit" with the shortened day with the GACs and its unfortunate that this is perceived to be a problem, but waiting in lines as a problem isn't exclusive to autism, or to disabled persons in general.
     
  14. Lizzy731

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    I understand your comparison and get what you're saying.....but toddlers grow up and start to understand and comprehend. Some autistic children are not capable of ever getting out of the "toddler mentality". You can delay going to the parks until your toddler is old enough to handle it or deal with it appropriately if you prefer not to wait until they are older. Some parents of autistic kids do not get the luxury of waiting for their children to grow out of the "toddler stage" so to speak.
     
  15. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    Aren't vacations supposed to be fun?:rolleyes:

    If it's not fun for the kid then people should take a trip that is fun. Disney means waiting, either in line or with this new policy waiting somewhere less unpleasant, but it's still about waiting. If that's a deal breaker then it's a deal breaker.
     
  16. KatieSue

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    Well said Mish. We go to Disneyland a lot and have for years. Anything Disney does is going to be met with some kind of backlash, and I think mostly from people who were gaming the system to start with.

    This is the best quote I've seen so far with any of this "While almost everyone agrees that the GAC program needed to be changed, it seems many want the new guidelines to accommodate them while disqualifying everyone else. "
     
  17. Christopher

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    I was going to say the same thing. There are so many other vacations that people can take, so many other cool things to do around the world that don't mean standing in long lines, paying outrageous prices, baking in the heat, etc. IMHO Disney is WAY overrated.
     
  18. Mom2Av

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    From what I understand, Disney is doing away with the FastPass system, unless you stay @ a Disney resort. I can see where the GAC pass was abused. We have been to Disney and used the pass, w the D kid using it for rides, if he didn't ride, the pass didn't get used. We had some people bust in front of us for pictures w/ Mickey, at an inside attraction, but you just deal w/ it. That kid didn't look disabled, but then again, neither does my D child. :)
     
  19. Ndiggs

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    Fastpass is not going away, it is being changed to provide an additional benefit to people at resorts. With the new wrist bands that are your resort keys and tickets, it will also be your fastpass and you will be able to schedule them at the start of the day at your resort or on your phone.

    You will still be able to get them with your ticket at the park just like you can now.
     
  20. cdninct

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    Agreed. Disney is magical, and I am sure we will do it at one point or another with our kids when they can handle wait times, but there are a million other things I want to do with them before they grow up that will not require waiting in line-ups all day. FWIW, I like the new/proposed system. Right now, I see no reason why we would use it for DS's diabetes because I don't see why he would need it more than the next kid, but if his needs change (and I recognize that they may) we will consider using it.
     

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