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View Full Version : How is Toy Story Mania handled when using a GAC, with wheelchair entrance access?


Childs1stTime2Disney
04-07-2012, 03:03 AM
How is Toy Story Mania loaded when using a GAC with wheelchair entrance access? Are you put in the regular line, or the fastpass line or load through a wheelchair entrance?

Mrsjvb
04-07-2012, 05:09 AM
what is the GAC being used for? I can't remember if we went through the main line part of the way then got shuffled off to the side at a split, but the wait will be just as long regardless. longer actually, unless the CM there specifically pulls people ahead in line who do not need the WC accessible vehicle.

I don't think there are any stairs in the main or FP line..

if you need it for another reason, well there is no place to sit and it's just as crowded in the HA area.

SueM in MN
04-07-2012, 07:13 AM
How a Guest Assistance Card is handled depends on what accommodations are needed. The line is indoors and air conditioned and most of both the regular and Fastpass line are accessible.

How the accessible boarding area works is always the same. There are no seats in the accessible boarding area - it is just a line with wall on one side and a metal rail on the other side. It can sometimes be very busy and tight, depending on the number of people waiting.
For guest's who need to wait away from other other guests, there is a small room just past the exit. I have never actually seen it in use, but have been told guests would wait there equal to the expected wait time and then go from there to board. That room is visible from the ramp when exiting the ride - its just a room, no seats or anything.

The regular line and the Fastpass line do not have any stairs until the point where they merge. This is just after the 3 D glasses pickup point and just after Fastpasses are collected. At that point, there is a set of stairs to the left and a ramp to the right.
Guests who can't do stairs are sent to the ramp where there is a waiting area for those guests.
That boarding area has a section of track where a ride car 'pod' can be diverted from the regular track. They open a switch, the track moves slightly and the ride cars go into the accessible boarding area. Then the track is switched again so no more ride cars are sent to that section if track. After unloading /loading, the track is switched again to let the ride cars leave the area and get onto the main track.

The stairs in the main line actually go up to go over the portion of the track that is diverted to send ride car pods to the the accessible area. After crossing the track, the stairs go down to get to the regular boarding area.
There are some links in post 3 of the disABILITIES FAQs thread that show the ride queue, including the stairs - its just above the information about Disney Quest in that thread.

There is a wheelchair accessible ride car that is sent to that area. The 'regular' ride car pods contain 2 ride cars that each have seats for 4; so the entire pod holds 8.
The accessible pod has one car that holds 4. The other car holds 2 and has the ability to be converted for wheelchair access by folding down the back of the ride car to become a ramp. The 2nd seat is removed to become a wheelchair spot.
Guests who can transfer would usually wait for that pod to come around and ride in that pod. If they have a wheelchair, ECV or other mobility device, it will be waiting at the same place they left it when they return.
Sometimes, a regular ride car pod will be diverted to that boarding area for those guests who can transfer. In that case, their mobility device will be pulled forward into the regular load/unload area where they will get out when the ride is done.
CMs have told us that they are supposed to use only the accessible car, but can pull one 'regular' car pod into the area for loading each time they need to convert the car for wheelchair use. This is because it takes several minutes to covert the car, load the chair and then reverse the process to unload.

There are no seats in the accessible waiting area and the wait can sometimes be quite long there - we have already waited for 35 minutes just in that area. Depending on the number of people waiting, much of the wait could possibly be in the ramped area that leads into the accessible area. The reason for the long wait is that anyone who needs to avoid stairs for any reason needs to use that area.

If you can do stairs, your wait will be shorter continuing into the regular boarding area using the stairs. The times we have been in larger parties and had to divide up, those who used the stairs have usually been done and exiting the ride while DD with a wheelchair and the rest of the party in the accessible area were still waiting. So, using the accessible area will not shorten the wait and may make it longer, whether or not the accessible car is needed.

Piper
04-07-2012, 08:34 AM
When I went with my extended family (the first week in December 2010) this is one of the rides they rode twice in the same amount of time it took me to ride once. That trip really opened their eyes to the fact that people with mobility challenges DON'T get extra privileges and actually have more time waiting and less time riding than others!

The teenagers got impatient waiting for me to be the last one unloaded from the bus, too. One of them commented that by the time I got off the bus, everyone else was already in the park!!!

BillSears
04-07-2012, 10:44 AM
I can't say how a GAC to use the "wheelchair entrance" would work but I can tell you how using a wheelchair works for the line.

As a wheelchair user I either obtain a fastpass and use the fastpass line or if I don't have a fastpass I use the standby line. There is no special treatment for wheelchair users to bypass the standby line

Once we reach the turnstile just after receiving our 3-D glasses I am sent to a separate line that bypasses the stairs. This second line takes you to an area where they are able to pull a ride vehicle off of the main track and load the vehicle with more time than usual. Every other vehicle in this separate area will have a special car for holding a wheelchair.

The second line will often take longer to board than if you went through the regular line. It can really back up for those who need the wheelchair accessible car.

Betty Rohrer
04-07-2012, 03:57 PM
wheelchair load area is a slow wait only few cars. even after loaded takes longer to get started. i can not do the steps. if i remember correctly, you are sent up fastpass line up to the steps where your group is sent up the ramp and depending on crowds wait can be long.

Childs1stTime2Disney
04-07-2012, 07:56 PM
Thank you all very much. Sounds like a tough ride for those with special needs. I will probably just wait in the regular line, since we do not need to ride a wheelchair accessible car and hooefully the fastpass will work out, if not we skip the ride.

goofieslonglostsis
04-08-2012, 01:19 PM
Thank you all very much. Sounds like a tough ride for those with special needs. I will probably just wait in the regular line, since we do not need to ride a wheelchair accessible car and hooefully the fastpass will work out, if not we skip the ride.

A couple of things;

- be aware that you will need to navigate stairs when following the mainline and not splitting into the accessible line after getting to the house where you grab your 3D glasses

- fastpass will be no quick access when needing an accessible line. It will let you bypass the regular line until that 3D-grabbing-house, but that is it. After that you will split into the accessible line if not being able to navigate the regular lines with stairs. And that accessible line, that's where the situation requires patience. Wait times can easily reach 30 minutes and more. On my last trip this december I actually ran into an average of almost 65 minutes and no, that was not for one or 2 tries but about a dozen. Hopefully it was an exception as there were a couple of major 'not the norm' causes for this but it definately got out of hand when knowing it's low crowds.

This wait time can become less or more depending on what is needed. When needing an accessible cart, the wait can be a lot longer than just needing to avoid the stairs and/or being able to transfer into a regular cart. Many times the CM's working this loading dock will try to accomodate a.s.a.p which can include pulling up those parties not needing an accessible carts (since that can accomodate more guests) as soon is one available. This can result in those needing an accessible cart finding they'll wait longer than the party in line behind them but not needing said cart.

TSM takes strategy (use a touring plan where possible), preferrably a fastpass but after that for anybody needing to use the accessible line; patience and time.

dclfun
04-08-2012, 02:52 PM
A couple of things;

- be aware that you will need to navigate stairs when following the mainline and not splitting into the accessible line after getting to the house where you grab your 3D glasses

- fastpass will be no quick access when needing an accessible line. It will let you bypass the regular line until that 3D-grabbing-house, but that is it. After that you will split into the accessible line if not being able to navigate the regular lines with stairs. And that accessible line, that's where the situation requires patience. Wait times can easily reach 30 minutes and more. On my last trip this december I actually ran into an average of almost 65 minutes and no, that was not for one or 2 tries but about a dozen. Hopefully it was an exception as there were a couple of major 'not the norm' causes for this but it definately got out of hand when knowing it's low crowds.

This wait time can become less or more depending on what is needed. When needing an accessible cart, the wait can be a lot longer than just needing to avoid the stairs and/or being able to transfer into a regular cart. Many times the CM's working this loading dock will try to accomodate a.s.a.p which can include pulling up those parties not needing an accessible carts (since that can accomodate more guests) as soon is one available. This can result in those needing an accessible cart finding they'll wait longer than the party in line behind them but not needing said cart.

TSM takes strategy (use a touring plan where possible), preferrably a fastpass but after that for anybody needing to use the accessible line; patience and time.

Yes. I cannot emphasize enough the need for patience. It's noisy in that area also which almost drove me nuts and would be more of a challenge for someone with noise sensitivities. After all the waiting I decided I'd not be able to ride as the cars whip around so quickly. Try that with poor neck and trunk control...and a service dog who would NOT enjoy it at all. My kids ended up riding without me in a non-accessible car but we waited for nearly an hour just for that. Never again.

Betty Rohrer
04-09-2012, 07:19 PM
in all the times i have done toy story, i have to avoid stairs, never have i gotten on other than wheelchair cars. i have seen the line all the way back to split point. quess it depend on CM's working.

SueM in MN
04-10-2012, 09:02 AM
in all the times i have done toy story, i have to avoid stairs, never have i gotten on other than wheelchair cars. i have seen the line all the way back to split point. quess it depend on CM's working.
We've been told by several CMs at different times that they ar only supposed to load the wheelchair cars at that boarding area. If they have a wheelchair to load, they are allowed to call one 'regular' car to the loading area each time they convert the car to hold a wheelchair. That's because of how long it takes to convert the car and load a wheelchair.

When they call a regular car to the area, it is almost always sent back to the regular unload area rather than coming thru the accessible 'wave' loading area.

So, if you have not seen a wheelchair car loaded with a wheelchair, you will probably only see a wheelchair car come into that area.

It can also happen if there is a long wait in the accessible area and at the same time there is a lull in the regular line - not too likely to happen. I have seen a couple times where they sent guests thru the accessible area to board at the regular exit when that happens. It's much faster than pulling a car into the accessible area.

dclfun
04-10-2012, 12:39 PM
We've been told by several CMs at different times that they ar only supposed to load the wheelchair cars at that boarding area. If they have a wheelchair to load, they are allowed to call one 'regular' car to the loading area each time they convert the car to hold a wheelchair. That's because of how long it takes to convert the car and load a wheelchair.

When they call a regular car to the area, it is almost always sent back to the regular unload area rather than coming thru the accessible 'wave' loading area.

So, if you have not seen a wheelchair car loaded with a wheelchair, you will probably only see a wheelchair car come into that area.

It can also happen if there is a long wait in the accessible area and at the same time there is a lull in the regular line - not too likely to happen. I have seen a couple times where they sent guests thru the accessible area to board at the regular exit when that happens. It's much faster than pulling a car into the accessible area.

This is probably why we waited so long. This was soon after the attraction opened and it was a little hairy outside the lines when we were sent through. After observing the ride vehicles I told the CM that I'd not be able to safely experience the attraction but that my boys would like to ride. We waited until we were next in line and then both an accessible vehicle was pulled in along with one for my two boys who were with me at the time. After that experience any of my kids who wanted to do TSM would get a fastpass and I'd wait outside for them and people watch- much safer for me!

WLodgeLizard
04-12-2012, 11:29 AM
A couple of observations with the wheelchair boarding process

1. Shouldn't everyone in a wheelchair use the fast pass entrance? It seems to me that the wheelchair party should proceed directly to the queue where the wheelchairs are loaded

2. I wish they could just leave the wheelchair car converted to handle a wheelchair. I always feel bad for the CM having to convert the wheelchair car. I'm sure it can get frustrating for them. I know that originally the car was always accessible and didn't need to be converted. Does it really make that much of a difference to switch that car back and forth like that?

Not major complaints, but just a couple things that I think would make the process more efficient.

Still one of our favorite rides.

clanmcculloch
04-12-2012, 12:50 PM
A couple of observations with the wheelchair boarding process

1. Shouldn't everyone in a wheelchair use the fast pass entrance? It seems to me that the wheelchair party should proceed directly to the queue where the wheelchairs are loaded

2. I wish they could just leave the wheelchair car converted to handle a wheelchair. I always feel bad for the CM having to convert the wheelchair car. I'm sure it can get frustrating for them. I know that originally the car was always accessible and didn't need to be converted. Does it really make that much of a difference to switch that car back and forth like that?

Not major complaints, but just a couple things that I think would make the process more efficient.

Still one of our favorite rides.

1. The standby line is accessible until the merge point between FPs and standby. There's no reason somebody in a wheelchair can't go through the standby line until that point. It's right after the merge point where you'll find the stairs and that's the point where those who can't do stairs for any reason are routed to the accessible loading area. This is why the advice is always given to those using mobility devices or those who can't do stairs to use fastpasses.

2. That would make a lot of sense. I would think it would be easiest for the CMs to be able to choose to route either a car that's ready for mobility devices or a regular car towards the accessible loading area rather than having to set up or remove a seat from the accessible car. Obviously there would need to be an area for the accessible car to sit to the side where it can then easily and quickly be moved into the loading area but I would think this would be significantly faster and less effort for all. I figure there has to be logistical or technical reasons why they don't do this but I don't know what it is.

WLodgeLizard
04-12-2012, 02:14 PM
1. The standby line is accessible until the merge point between FPs and standby. There's no reason somebody in a wheelchair can't go through the standby line until that point. It's right after the merge point where you'll find the stairs and that's the point where those who can't do stairs for any reason are routed to the accessible loading area. This is why the advice is always given to those using mobility devices or those who can't do stairs to use fastpasses.

2. That would make a lot of sense. I would think it would be easiest for the CMs to be able to choose to route either a car that's ready for mobility devices or a regular car towards the accessible loading area rather than having to set up or remove a seat from the accessible car. Obviously there would need to be an area for the accessible car to sit to the side where it can then easily and quickly be moved into the loading area but I would think this would be significantly faster and less effort for all. I figure there has to be logistical or technical reasons why they don't do this but I don't know what it is.

Agreed that someone in a wheelchair is certainly able to go thru the stand-by line. My observation is that the wheelchair loading area is usually not too busy. (maybe just lucky). So why should someone have to wait in the stand-by line while a accessible car goes around empty? I guess I'm thinking more like the Buzz and Nemo rides. If that car is just going around empty, it seems like a wasted opportunity for a ride that could use that car, if that party has to wait in the stand-by line and then wait for the car to come around again.

If they are able to take the accessible car out of the flow of the ride and that somehow increases the capacity for those who do not need the accessible car, I could see that, but I'm not sure that is the case. I think that would mean that they would be able to swap that car out.

adisneymama
04-12-2012, 02:17 PM
I just wanted to add to what Sue said. Please remember that if your GAC states alternate entrance that may mean they have you enter thru the FP lane. If you arrive at a time when the FP line is very long they will ask you to come back later. The GAC does not mean you will get on the ride at the time you show up. We have had this happen several times on this ride. Usually it doesn't take long to clear out so we just get a drink or take in Ariel and come back. Have a great trip!

Canajan
04-12-2012, 08:00 PM
2. I wish they could just leave the wheelchair car converted to handle a wheelchair. I always feel bad for the CM having to convert the wheelchair car. I'm sure it can get frustrating for them. I know that originally the car was always accessible and didn't need to be converted. Does it really make that much of a difference to switch that car back and forth like that?
.


I believe that it's the wheechair-accessible car that is also outfitted with hand controls that are adapted for people with fine-motor disabilities. So, this car also serves the guest who needs the special hand controls, but does not ride in a wheelchair. A guest without a wheelchair would need to have a seat provided in the vehicle.

I could be wrong, but I'm guessing that that's why the accessible car needs to be convertible.

christymarie
04-13-2012, 05:13 PM
I think one thing we realized as parents of children with Autism is that the TSM ride is not an easy ride with kids with Autism. The fastpass can shorten the wait but then we have to go up steps over a bridge and down steps and it is a bit tight and close for the kids in that area, they do not handle it well at all so we usually have to ask to be moved over to the wheelchair area when we get to the steps which makes the wait longer if there are several people in line ahead of us.

Can we do the ride, yes, but it's not easy and we have to do many coping skills in the line and have lots of diversions for the boys to handle this ride specifically. Just a heads up.

Christy

SueM in MN
04-13-2012, 09:20 PM
I believe that it's the wheechair-accessible car that is also outfitted with hand controls that are adapted for people with fine-motor disabilities. So, this car also serves the guest who needs the special hand controls, but does not ride in a wheelchair. A guest without a wheelchair would need to have a seat provided in the vehicle.

I could be wrong, but I'm guessing that that's why the accessible car needs to be convertible.
The reason they keep it convertible is that the majority of the people using the accessible boarding area don't need the wheelchair accessible car.
In all the times we have ridden it, there were only a few times when someone else waiting was also going to stay in a wheelchair. So,it's almost always converted for my DD to ride and then converted back again when we get out.

Many have ECVs or wheelchairs and can transfer out to get into the ride car. Some are using canes, walkers or other mobility devices or need to use that area because they need to avoid the stairs.

If they kept it converted for wheelchair use, that part of the car could only seat one person; the other car in the pod can only seat 4. By leaving it as a 'regular' seat, they can always carry 6 people in those 2 cars.