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View Full Version : What disabilities qualify for a GAC?


ForTheLoveOfDCL
04-11-2012, 09:50 AM
I am a little uneducated on the GAC. I wanna figure out if getting one will make my day flow a little better.

Just to give a little background. I have epilepsy and my DD has ADHD and anxiety. For me I have had epilepsy for 13 yrs now but never knew about the GAC. Do I need one, I don't know. I mean yes the more exhausted or stressed I am it can bring on a seizure...has it yet at Disney ...NO.

As for DD(8)....she is just recently diagnosed. Have I noticed the symtoms before....YES but I didn't take the label lightly and wanted the CORRECT testing done not just a simple checklist. So after hours of testing and $3000... here we are with the diagnosis.

Now knowing all this I now look back on our last years Disney trip and think, yeah not being in the cattle Q, would have been less stimulating for her and might have not set off some temper tantrums. Now the meds we are teating hopefully will help, and this time I will take the ipod for long waits BUT my question is ....do both our issues qualify us for a GAC to use when we just can't be over stimulated any longer? I plan on using normal lines most times but am thinking the GAC would be nice for when I think that she can't take the stimulation any longer? as for me...well you know how it is as a parent....don't think about my issues that much.

Any helpful hints and knowledge would be appreciated!!!

disneylandkitkat
04-11-2012, 10:00 AM
on your next trip go to city hall explain everything to them and they will give you a gac if they feel it's a good fit they have a couple different kinds of gac. They will give you the one that fits your needs. Everyone is different there no certain items that get you gac. You just have to go in and explain your situation.

buffettgirl
04-11-2012, 12:15 PM
Please take a look at the sticky at the top of this forum: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=595713

In post 6 Sue details the GAC process.

In short, specific illnesses do not automatically qualify you. Think about your needs or your child's needs and then explain those needs to Guest Services. In your case, the GAC doesn't always allow you to avoid lines or waits. You may be able to wait in an alternate location but often you wait longer or in a more crowded location. Some rides don't have 'quite" area to wait. So think about what specific things you'd find helpful and then bring that to Guest Services and talk with them. They will let you know if your needs can be accommodated.

clanmcculloch
04-11-2012, 01:45 PM
From experience I have to tell you that once she's at the point of not being able to handle any more stimulation, get out of the parks and go relax back at your resort. Once I started accepting this and leaving the parks at the very first sign of overstimulation (actually even before that once I really became more intune with her needs), our trips became so much more pleasurable with few to no meltdowns. We also started to really enjoy all the ammenities offered at our resort which was wonderful considering how much we pay for WDW resorts.

I don't think there is a GAC to avoid stimulation. A really solid touring plan and heavy use of Fastpasses will get you through lines much quicker than any GAC could. Even if there was a GAC for this for the waits for attractions, there definitely isn't any kind of GAC that can help for all the time you're between attractions or in restaurants or waiting for busses and frankly there's not much that's offered at any of the shows either. A good touring plan though CAN help with all of these.

I do agree that you can just talk to Guest Relations about what issues you expect to encounter or have encountered in the past and see what the CM says they can do for you.

Mama Who
04-11-2012, 03:27 PM
I'm not sure a GAC could really help with stimulation issues. I mean, even if you get a quieter wait in an alternate line or entrance, you're then going to put her on the ride which is presumably going to be pretty stimulating, right? I don't think it's an issue GAC can really fix. When my spectrum kid (mild) starts getting over stimulated we go find a quiet corner or go back to the hotel. That has been our best solution. Sitting in a shady corner with a Mickey bar and people watching can be soothing.

HTH!

Cheshire Figment
04-11-2012, 03:40 PM
There is no disability that qualifies you for a GAC.

What qualifies you are needs related to a disability. You explain the needs to the person at Guest Relations and there are stamps that are put on the GAC to assist the CMs at the attractions in giving the special serve you needs.

And if the GAC does not cover the needs, you can go back to Guest Relations and further explain the situation.

But it will not significantly lower wait times and will do nothing at all about the distances between attractions.

ForTheLoveOfDCL
04-12-2012, 11:13 AM
Thanks all for giving me some pointers. Like I said I was just wandering for a "Just in case"... Most rides, attractions, we plan to just wait in line...just nice to know if I feel it maybe needed that I have it.. I plan to carry the ipod which is a life saver when needed. Plus we will be with friends and she will be having so much fun I don't think I will ever need it. But I am a planner and I am a "Just in case " kinda girl. I carry every med on our Disney cruises just in case I am out in the middle of the Ocean and someone gets sick. Better to be prepared then make a stressful situation even more stressful!! Thanks again...My dis family has been extremely helpful!!

disneegrl4eva
07-09-2012, 04:52 PM
my daughter is going to be going to FL over labor day weekend...she is 26 and suffers from social anxiety...( i know bad place to go when you have that) but shes never been and really wants to go...she has a dog that she uses here at home and a doctors note for that but she wont be able to bring the dog with her as my friend, who she is staying with is allergic to dogs so she is really nervous about that...she is not trying to get out of waiting in lines but if she can anything that can alleviate her anxiety then that would help

ok I have a question about this...I read the sticky and I saw that it doesnt require a doctor note to get a GAC but a friend of mine told me you have to have one...I know at DL you dont and I just thought it weird that you would have to at wdw...

Im not even sure what she should tell the CM and what they can actually do for her...any suggestions?

LockShockBarrel
07-09-2012, 06:43 PM
my daughter is going to be going to FL over labor day weekend...she is 26 and suffers from social anxiety...( i know bad place to go when you have that) but shes never been and really wants to go...she has a dog that she uses here at home and a doctors note for that but she wont be able to bring the dog with her as my friend, who she is staying with is allergic to dogs so she is really nervous about that...she is not trying to get out of waiting in lines but if she can anything that can alleviate her anxiety then that would help

ok I have a question about this...I read the sticky and I saw that it doesnt require a doctor note to get a GAC but a friend of mine told me you have to have one...I know at DL you dont and I just thought it weird that you would have to at wdw...

Im not even sure what she should tell the CM and what they can actually do for her...any suggestions?

Read the thread named "Why we don't want Doctor's Notes"

lanejudy
07-09-2012, 07:15 PM
my daughter is going to be going to FL over labor day weekend...she is 26 and suffers from social anxiety...( i know bad place to go when you have that) but shes never been and really wants to go...she has a dog that she uses here at home and a doctors note for that but she wont be able to bring the dog with her as my friend, who she is staying with is allergic to dogs so she is really nervous about that...she is not trying to get out of waiting in lines but if she can anything that can alleviate her anxiety then that would help

ok I have a question about this...I read the sticky and I saw that it doesnt require a doctor note to get a GAC but a friend of mine told me you have to have one...I know at DL you dont and I just thought it weird that you would have to at wdw...

Im not even sure what she should tell the CM and what they can actually do for her...any suggestions?

No, a doctor's note is not required to obtain a GAC. I'm not sure what a GAC can do that would be helpful for your DD. You will have to put some thought into it - what will her NEEDS be, how might Disney accommodate her to help ease a challenge she faces. GAC is need-based and she will have to explain her needs to the CM at Guest Relations. It also is only good for rides and attractions - it has no value for walking around the parks, restaurants (TS or CS), transportation, shops, resorts or anything else. You and you DD should sit down and discuss it - what challenges she anticipates and what, if anything, might help alleviate that for her. She can make a list to help her discussion at Guest Relations, but she doesn't need a doctor's note.

I hope she has a wonderful vacation!

SueM in MN
07-09-2012, 08:47 PM
my daughter is going to be going to FL over labor day weekend...she is 26 and suffers from social anxiety...( i know bad place to go when you have that) but shes never been and really wants to go...she has a dog that she uses here at home and a doctors note for that but she wont be able to bring the dog with her as my friend, who she is staying with is allergic to dogs so she is really nervous about that...she is not trying to get out of waiting in lines but if she can anything that can alleviate her anxiety then that would help

ok I have a question about this...I read the sticky and I saw that it doesnt require a doctor note to get a GAC but a friend of mine told me you have to have one...I know at DL you dont and I just thought it weird that you would have to at wdw...

Im not even sure what she should tell the CM and what they can actually do for her...any suggestions?
your friend is wrong.
You don't need a doctor's note to request a Guest Assistance Card.

You also don't need a GAC or a doctor's note to use a Service Dog.
But, it's not clear from what you wrote that the dog is actually a Service Dog.
Dogs that provide emotional support or the person uses because petting the dog or holding it helps them relax are Emotional Support Dogs.
They are not Service Dogs and are not allowed where Service Dogs are allowed per the ADA.
http://www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm
Read the thread named "Why we don't want Doctor's Notes"
:thumbsup2:thumbsup2

LilyWDW
07-09-2012, 09:04 PM
my daughter is going to be going to FL over labor day weekend...she is 26 and suffers from social anxiety...( i know bad place to go when you have that) but shes never been and really wants to go...she has a dog that she uses here at home and a doctors note for that but she wont be able to bring the dog with her as my friend, who she is staying with is allergic to dogs so she is really nervous about that...she is not trying to get out of waiting in lines but if she can anything that can alleviate her anxiety then that would help

ok I have a question about this...I read the sticky and I saw that it doesnt require a doctor note to get a GAC but a friend of mine told me you have to have one...I know at DL you dont and I just thought it weird that you would have to at wdw...

Im not even sure what she should tell the CM and what they can actually do for her...any suggestions?

I PMed you...

disneegrl4eva
07-11-2012, 01:09 AM
her main issues are that she cant handle people touching her...walking around in the park or through a restaurant is not a problem...where her problem lies is standing in lines...people just dont pay attention and they are brushing up against you or right up on you, especially kids..i know its not a deliberate thing but sometimes I think she is going to flip out so we have to leave the line...my friend can stand behind her but theres no one to stand in front or vice versus...she doesnt have a problem having to wait but she gets claustrophobic and really needs a place to wait where theres not wall to wall people...she needs a little space...thats why Im not sure what she can even tell guest services...

Piper
07-11-2012, 08:09 AM
Unfortunately there is no way to skip lines at WDW. Also, even the areas designed for people with disabilities are often more crowded and have longer waits than the "regular" lines.

Perhaps getting her a WC (since there will be someone else with her) will give her a space of her own and prevent others from touching her. A stroller or WC is often recommended for children with sensory issues.

crashbb
07-11-2012, 09:04 AM
Agreed Piper. Even in the FPs lines, there is just as much jostling and bumping as the regular line. Actually, on a busy day, there is much jostling and bumping just walking around the parks! Especially near parade times or fire works.

I Love Pluto
07-11-2012, 09:40 AM
Explain your needs at Guest Relations. They have to know what you need.

You & I can both have the same physical problem, but have different needs. So - when you explain - tell of your needs, and ask how they can help you.

They will be very nice. (They always have been.) :goodvibes