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jujube
04-24-2012, 03:01 PM
Yesterday we were at the MK and were surprised at the GAC changes.
At POTC, my friend showed her son's GAC and the CM pretty rudely directed us to go to the left line. Her son is autistic, he functions at a fairly high level but can lash out with his arms sometimes. We were both on pins and needles because it was so crowded and worried that he might hit someone. After the ride was over, I went over and nicely but firmly told the CM that she might not want to be so flip in her attitude. I also told her that my friend's son had the card for a reason. The CM answered that when it isn't crowded, they direct people to the left line and do not allow people to use the alternate entrance. I informed her that we saw a gang of teens using it and said they were glad to know someone who could let them cut the line. It was pretty darned crowded too. The line was out of the doors.
Then at The Haunted Mansion, again my friend showed the GAC and the CMs took us to the regular line and told people,"Excuse us, we need to let these people in the line." The first people they said this to refused. The next set allowed us in but grumbled.
My question is what was wrong with the way it was handled before? My friend's son cannot help having autism. We got a bunch of eye rolls from people in the lines and from CMs. In the past, we were able to bring him and have a very enjoyable trip. This trip has not been as much fun both because of the GAC changes and because of the CM's attitudes towards us when we show
the card.
We do plan to speak to someone in guest services tomorrow when we go back to the MK.

ttintagel
04-24-2012, 03:05 PM
I don't think it's a change in GAC policy so much as it's a big variation in how individual cast members are trained in its use. When I was there in June, I noticed that some CM's handled it better than others.

jujube
04-24-2012, 03:47 PM
When we were here in November it was handled the same old way. One of the MK CMs told us yesterday that they are now handling GACs differently at the MK. Epcot, DHS, and AK all handled the GAC just the same as always.

RichmondTiggerFan
04-24-2012, 08:29 PM
Let Guest Services know (polite but firm) that this is totally unacceptable to you. It sounds like some CM's need re-training.

EastYorkDisneyFan
04-24-2012, 08:49 PM
From what the OP posted I would guess maybe the lines for the alternate entrances at the MK are being over run with people with disabilities. Keep in mind most of the older attractions at the MK were built before any one had to think about making them ADA compliant. As the OP said it was crowded that day, it could very well be a policy in the MK that on crowded days that the alternate entrances are for guest in wheelchairs or ECV only versions other disabilities. Where as most of EPCOT and all of the other parks were built post ADA and thus have more space for alternate entrances and or have wider ques to accommodate everyone.

Maggie'sMom
04-24-2012, 08:54 PM
From what the OP posted I would guess maybe the lines for the alternate entrances at the MK are being over run with people with disabilities. Keep in mind most of the older attractions at the MK were built before any one had to think about making them ADA compliant. As the OP said it was crowded that day, it could very well be a policy in the MK that on crowded days that the alternate entrances are for guest in wheelchairs or ECV only versions other disabilities. Where as most of EPCOT and all of the other parks were built post ADA and thus have more space for alternate entrances and or have wider ques to accommodate everyone.

Just because a guest isn't in a wheelchair doesn't mean they don't need the alternate entrance. The OP's friend had a GAC for her son and appropriate accommodations should have been made. What was offered was not appropriate for the child's needs.

EastYorkDisneyFan
04-24-2012, 09:26 PM
Just because a guest isn't in a wheelchair doesn't mean they don't need the alternate entrance. The OP's friend had a GAC for her son and appropriate accommodations should have been made. What was offered was not appropriate for the child's needs.

What if the wait at the alternate entrance was longer then the one they were directed through?

ttintagel
04-24-2012, 09:43 PM
From what the OP posted I would guess maybe the lines for the alternate entrances at the MK are being over run with people with disabilities. Keep in mind most of the older attractions at the MK were built before any one had to think about making them ADA compliant. As the OP said it was crowded that day, it could very well be a policy in the MK that on crowded days that the alternate entrances are for guest in wheelchairs or ECV only versions other disabilities. Where as most of EPCOT and all of the other parks were built post ADA and thus have more space for alternate entrances and or have wider ques to accommodate everyone.

I was there the day after Memorial Day. I doubt it's significantly more crowded now than it was then.

andersonsc
04-24-2012, 09:56 PM
Just because a guest isn't in a wheelchair doesn't mean they don't need the alternate entrance. The OP's friend had a GAC for her son and appropriate accommodations should have been made. What was offered was not appropriate for the child's needs.

My question is - what were the child's needs? It just seems like there are more and more people asking about GACs for autistic children. I have some experiance with children with this problem. I know some have more needs then others. We have taken children on the spectrum to Disney. If they need personal space then we give it to them - one adult on either side in line works well for the kids we went with. If they start to have a melt down, we dealt with it. I just don't understand when I read how a child with autism doesn't like to stand in line. No child likes to stand in line. Can I get a GAC for the 4 year old I have that doesn't like lines. I hear all the time how the GAC doesn't make the lines shorter but it really seems like so many people wouldn't want one, if it didn't make things shorter to some degree. I'm not saying those in wheelchairs don't wait longer. I'm sure they do b/c not all rides can accomadate numerous wheelchairs at once. What I don't get is what others use the GAC for? I know I sound very rude, I don't mean to be but I really want to know what a GAC does for ambulatory people other then make the line shorter.

EastYorkDisneyFan
04-24-2012, 10:03 PM
I was there the day after Memorial Day. I doubt it's significantly more crowded now than it was then.

Actually what I was more suggesting was that there were more guest with wheelchairs at those particular attractions at the time and maybe the alternate entrance may not have been the best fit at the time. I have actually gone on pirates where the left side line was packed and been the only person going down the right side line. I was the only one in a boat and the one behind was full. also the boat that left before me fro the right line had no one in it well the one for the left was full.

Sandy321
04-24-2012, 10:15 PM
when we were there during Spring Break (week before Easter) and went to MK Guest Services, the CM was very kind, and took the previous GAC and gave us a GAC, and explained changes in the GAC. IMHO the CM was very polite, answered several of my questions I had regarding some changes - I admit I was a bit nervous - but knew, that all I had to do was relax, and go with the flow, if it didn't work, then I would come back to Guest Services and explain the needs that were not being met!

low and behold, everything went smoothly.

Its very hard to accept change, its very hard as I always expect the worse, and try and plan to eliminate problems - its even harder for me to relax!!

At the Goofy Barnstormer ride, we actually waited 20 min, and the ride was actually 53 seconds (dd has become obsessed with the stop watch lately!)

we did not wait for Dumbo - we just watched. (and the Guest Service CM was very specific that there was nothing in our needs that could be helped at Dumbo - but I knew dd wouldn't want to ride this, just observe all the changes - and take 100 pictures!)

BillSears
04-24-2012, 10:27 PM
Actually what I was more suggesting was that there were more guest with wheelchairs at those particular attractions at the time and maybe the alternate entrance may not have been the best fit at the time.

For the 2 rides brought up by the OP, POTC and HM, the wheelchair/ECV line is the regular line. There is no alternate entrance for wheelchair users at these attractions.

wendylovesdisney
04-24-2012, 10:31 PM
I'm unclear about the changes. There's no alternate entrances at all now?
And for the poster who said that no child likes to wait in lines, that's true. However, if you have a child with psychological issues, (as I do) once you've heard your child wail like a wounded animal from anxiety you would understand why an alternate entrance can be a godsend.

SueM in MN
04-24-2012, 10:31 PM
From what the OP posted I would guess maybe the lines for the alternate entrances at the MK are being over run with people with disabilities. Keep in mind most of the older attractions at the MK were built before any one had to think about making them ADA compliant. As the OP said it was crowded that day, it could very well be a policy in the MK that on crowded days that the alternate entrances are for guest in wheelchairs or ECV only versions other disabilities. Where as most of EPCOT and all of the other parks were built post ADA and thus have more space for alternate entrances and or have wider ques to accommodate everyone.
The difference in the situation the OP mentioned is that the family wanted to go thru an access that requires going into a backstage area, where guests are not allowed without an escort.
It is very possible that there was not a CM able to accompany them at the time, so that way could not be used.

At Pirates, the left lane is where they route guests using wheelchairs - the queue does not get as narrow or winding toward the boarding area as it gets on the right boarding area.
More guests tend to go into the right line, but there's nothing to prevent guests from going into the left lane.

Epcot, AK and the Studio were built with Mainstream lines, so in almost every case guests with wheelchairs and ECVs wait in the same line with everyone else.

SueM in MN
04-24-2012, 10:32 PM
For the 2 rides brought up by the OP, POTC and HM, the wheelchair/ECV line is the regular line. There is no alternate entrance for wheelchair users at these attractions.
Correct

EastYorkDisneyFan
04-24-2012, 10:33 PM
For the 2 rides brought up by the OP, POTC and HM, the wheelchair/ECV line is the regular line. There is no alternate entrance for wheelchair users at these attractions.

That's partly true HM they take wheelchairs out of the line after the stretch rooms and they go in the exit, and for pirates there is a section of the left side Que that they sometimes put wheelchairs through, they only load them on the left side as they then have to move the chair to the exit as the boats can not return with guest in them.

EastYorkDisneyFan
04-24-2012, 10:41 PM
The difference in the situation the OP mentioned is that the family wanted to go thru an access that requires going into a backstage area, where guests are not allowed without an escort.
It is very possible that there was not a CM able to accompany them at the time, so that way could not be used.



They do that, I'm sorry I don't really get why that should be allowed except maybe for a celebrity or possibly a make a wish kid, but to expect that every time you ride Pirates, is just wrong.

SueM in MN
04-24-2012, 10:51 PM
That's partly true HM they take wheelchairs out of the line after the stretch rooms and they go in the exit, and for pirates there is a section of the left side Que that they sometimes put wheelchairs through, they only load them on the left side as they then have to move the chair to the exit as the boats can not return with guest in them.

Neither of those are alternate entrances though. They are alternate boarding areas. And neither of them shorten the distance or the time waited.

At Pirates, the waiting time in either the left or right side depends on how many guest choose to go in either one. guests with wherlchairs can only go in the lefy.

At Hainted Mansion, the pull off point is as the other guests are going into the boarding room, so most of them will be boarding before the guests in wheelchairs are boarded.

EastYorkDisneyFan
04-24-2012, 11:00 PM
Neither of those are alternate entrances though. They are alternate boarding areas. And neither of them shorten the distance or the time waited.

At Pirates, the waiting time in either the left or right side depends on how many guest choose to go in either one. guests with wherlchairs can only go in the lefy.

At Hainted Mansion, the pull off point is as the other guests are going into the boarding room, so most of them will be boarding before the guests in wheelchairs are boarded.

I understand how both of them work I'm just wondering why everyone who has a GAC want's to use them as they don't shorten the line at all if anything they can make it longer for them. I can understand if you have no other alternative to using them but to complain when they tell you that the regular line will be shorter is ridiculous.

LockShockBarrel
04-24-2012, 11:40 PM
I love when you post from your phone Sue ;)

buffettgirl
04-25-2012, 06:49 AM
I love when you post from your phone Sue ;)

at least it was an appropriate DYAC. LOL. :hmghost:

SueM in MN
04-25-2012, 07:16 AM
I love when you post from your phone Sue ;)
LOL
Late at night and iPhone autocorrect are not a good mix.
I understand how both of them work I'm just wondering why everyone who has a GAC want's to use them as they don't shorten the line at all if anything they can make it longer for them. I can understand if you have no other alternative to using them but to complain when they tell you that the regular line will be shorter is ridiculous.
oh, I see where you are coming from now.

I have seen that especially in 2 attractions - Small World and Spaceship Earth.
Guests with wheelchairs, ECVs or any other mobility device have no other choice because the regular line is not accessible. At the times we go to those, our wait is usually 1/2 hour or more and the posted wait for the regular line is 5-10 minutes. But, there are also people who come into that line with a GAC and wait up to 3 times as long as they would if they used the regular entrance.
I don't know why they are choosing to use the accessible entrance.I assume they did not look at wait time and just assumed the wait would be shorter in the wheelchair line.

That is one of the reasons that many people with children with autism or other sensory difficulties have posted that a touring plan and using Fastpasses works better for their needs - you are not reliant on what is available and have a more predictable experience.

SueM in MN
04-25-2012, 07:19 AM
at least it was an appropriate DYAC. LOL. :hmghost:
I won't correct it since it is so amusing.

The funniest ones come when I hit the keyboard symbol by mistake and all of a sudden I'm typing with the French keyboard. :lmao:

Jonell
04-25-2012, 09:07 AM
During our experience with my DH's GAC the HM and POTC have been the rides where we have encountered rude CMs when using the card. Last year we wanted to ride POTC and the line was out of the building and down the walkway in Adventureland. We showed the CM my husbands GAC that allows him to use an alternate enterance and was told rudely "If we wanted to ride then we would have to wait like everyone else" :scared1: So, we left the line to return later in the day and we were directed to the side of the building with other families and went in through a backstage area and loaded the ride. The HM is were we encountered the very rude CM who asked my husband if he gets the GAC just to skip lines! I reported both of these incidents but it sounds like for some reason these 2 attractions have very different ways of handling the GAC. My husband no longer uses his card for either attraction, if the line is too long for him then we don't ride.

EvangelineG
04-25-2012, 09:45 AM
My question is - what were the child's needs? It just seems like there are more and more people asking about GACs for autistic children. I have some experiance with children with this problem. I know some have more needs then others. We have taken children on the spectrum to Disney. If they need personal space then we give it to them - one adult on either side in line works well for the kids we went with. If they start to have a melt down, we dealt with it. I just don't understand when I read how a child with autism doesn't like to stand in line. No child likes to stand in line. Can I get a GAC for the 4 year old I have that doesn't like lines. I hear all the time how the GAC doesn't make the lines shorter but it really seems like so many people wouldn't want one, if it didn't make things shorter to some degree. I'm not saying those in wheelchairs don't wait longer. I'm sure they do b/c not all rides can accomadate numerous wheelchairs at once. What I don't get is what others use the GAC for? I know I sound very rude, I don't mean to be but I really want to know what a GAC does for ambulatory people other then make the line shorter.

I can't answer for other people, but for my sons it is all about the conditions during the wait rather than the length of time waiting. As in, is it loud and echoing? Wavering lights? Lines that zig zag back and forth? A "herding" situation like in some of the pre show areas? Are they completely surrounded by people or is there a wall or some other structure so that they don't have people on all sides? So ideally a GAC giving them an alternate entrance would allow them to stand away from the main crowd and/or in a quieter area and wait for whatever is the specified amount of time. The waiting itself they have no problem with, as long as the conditions during the wait aren't overwhelming from an anxiety/sensory POV.

clanmcculloch
04-25-2012, 10:20 AM
I'm confused. I use a GAC for my 14yo Aspie. I'm not seeing anything different here.

At PotC we've never been offered any kind of accomodation. We've always just been told to go in the left lane. I just make sure we go at a slow time of day so we can ride without wait (just like everybody else going on the ride at that time; no accomodation needed). Was the CM actually rude or was the family just frustrated that they weren't directed to an alternate area? I don't actually know of an alternate area and I do recall feeling frustrated at PotC before I really figured out touring plans and how to avoid lines. I do recall the CMs at the front seeming rather abrupt when directing us to the left lane; they didn't take any time to explain anything to us; so I can certainly sympathize but I don't know if I would classify abrupt and dismissive as rude (though I guess maybe dismissive could be considered rude).

At HM, things have always been inconsistent. I'm confused as to what the CM actually did. It sounds as though the CM pushed your group in front of other people. That IMO is NOT a valid accomodation that should have been offered and in fact would have been very upsetting to my family as it would result in lots of nasty remarks and stares which is very much a meltdown trigger for my DD who needs the GAC. This is another ride where we make sure to get there when there's little to no line so that we don't need any kind of accomodation. If there's a long line then we just don't ride. There is an accomodation to bypass the stretching room but if you want to go through the stretching room then your only option is to go in the regular line as far as I know. You can get in faster by staying to the right and skipping the graveyard but that's all I know of.

Beemitchcowski
04-25-2012, 10:51 AM
I'm unclear about the changes. There's no alternate entrances at all now?
And for the poster who said that no child likes to wait in lines, that's true. However, if you have a child with psychological issues, (as I do) once you've heard your child wail like a wounded animal from anxiety you would understand why an alternate entrance can be a godsend.

THIS! I have a 6 year old son that is Autistic (High Functioning). He does though get overwhelmed/overstimulated very easily. He also has a hard time waiting for long/unknown amount of time. When he gets overstimulated/upset he yells/makes loud "squealing" noises sometimes it gets to the point where you can't even communicate/get through to him. It is quite upsetting for everyone. When we go to an amusement park near our house..most of the time we will wait in a regular line...no problems. . I think what makes it extra hard for a child on the spectrum in Disney to wait in a regular line is that the lines keep going and going and going (its not very easy to say to your child...can you see the front of the line?) and there is so much "entertainment" around that it can get very overwhelming very quickly..and once a child gets so overstimulated/overwhelmed...(my child anyways)..the only way of "resetting him"--that's what I call it when he calms down--is removing him completely from the situation..which could even mean leaving the park. Nobody wants to have to not experience a ride or the Walt Disney World Parks because every ride/attraction is a nightmare. I am very very greatful for the GAC. If we didn't have it..We wouldn't be able to enjoy the parks in the way we would want to.

Mama Who
04-25-2012, 11:18 AM
I understand how both of them work I'm just wondering why everyone who has a GAC want's to use them as they don't shorten the line at all if anything they can make it longer for them. I can understand if you have no other alternative to using them but to complain when they tell you that the regular line will be shorter is ridiculous.

Because for some disabilities, 20 minutes in an uncrowded, quiet space with other people who truly *get* what it's like to struggle is better than 10 minutes in a cramped line with the general public.

On a bad day I'd rather wait a little longer with someone's hooting autistic 8 year old and the lady in the wheelchair than be jammed in with people who glare and roll their eyes and clearly wonder why I'm not acting "normal."

ttintagel
04-25-2012, 11:19 AM
During our experience with my DH's GAC the HM and POTC have been the rides where we have encountered rude CMs when using the card...The HM is were we encountered the very rude CM who asked my husband if he gets the GAC just to skip lines! I reported both of these incidents but it sounds like for some reason these 2 attractions have very different ways of handling the GAC. My husband no longer uses his card for either attraction, if the line is too long for him then we don't ride.

Yeah, the HM is the only place I've encountered really rude CM's in the MK. My personal theory is that any CM's with poor people skills get assigned there in the hopes that the spooky atmosphere will be blamed for the way they act.

adisneymama
04-25-2012, 12:54 PM
Sue can you clarify something with HM for me? DD has the GAC for stroller as wheelchair and alternate entrance. Usually at HM we would go to the side and wait for a CM to come out. Show them the GAC and they would put the chain down so that we could bring the stroller in and park it along the exit. Then they would bring us into the stretching room and we would follow with the rest of the guests from their. Only thing is the stroller is waiting at the exit for us when we exit the ride. Is this not the way they are doing it now?

KisanMcG
04-25-2012, 01:52 PM
Because for some disabilities, 20 minutes in an uncrowded, quiet space with other people who truly *get* what it's like to struggle is better than 10 minutes in a cramped line with the general public.

On a bad day I'd rather wait a little longer with someone's hooting autistic 8 year old and the lady in the wheelchair than be jammed in with people who glare and roll their eyes and clearly wonder why I'm not acting "normal."

This made me tear up, because there are people in the world who understand what I feel like. :hug:

I'm an Aspie that can go from cheerful to downright embarrassing in about ten minutes of overstimulation, and we've learned to just avoid HM all together and skip POTC unless we can go in the backstage way. Waiting on the side area by the little dry fountain and then going quickly in is worth it to avoid the claustrophobic "stone" walls, echo-y music or whoops from other guests, and people trying to crowd by to get one or two places ahead in line. I'd rather wait an hour outside in the middle of the hottest June day than walk right on to the boat through the main queue. The setup of certain lines just puts some things out of reach. We also avoid Space Mountain, anything with a "preshow" that puts us in a closed-up room (like RnR), and I've only ever ridden Dumbo once in my life, in two dozen years of frequent visits.

We're going on Friday, and now I'm nervous about what the changes to the GAC will bring. It shouldn't be too bad, though, since we're primarily going so I can take way too many pictures of the flowers in Epcot.

ladyjubilee
04-25-2012, 01:56 PM
My question is - what were the child's needs? It just seems like there are more and more people asking about GACs for autistic children. I have some experiance with children with this problem.

My mom is a special education teacher with 30 years of experience. She had "experience with" children whose needs ranged from mild LD to children having only brain stems. Until my son came to us, she thought she knew what kids disabilities were like....she says that she now knows that working with a child for a 40 or so hours a week is NOTHING like living with them day in and day out.

I know some have more needs then others. We have taken children on the spectrum to Disney. If they need personal space then we give it to them - one adult on either side in line works well for the kids we went with. If they start to have a melt down, we dealt with it. I just don't understand when I read how a child with autism doesn't like to stand in line.

I'm going to guess that the folks you took are on the "mildly" impacted range of the "spectrum". We had a great time as DisneyWorld last year and are going back this year.....but in our photos from last year, I am covered in bruises and scratches, I had two major bites resulting in chunks of skin larger than an inch and a half being torn off--it was visually distrubing enough that at one point one of the CM thought I had been assualted and wanted to call security and the EMTs. My son also has a rather ear splitting high pitched scream--and isn't afraid to use it. Those were only the things that happen when he's upset....even during relaxed times, he doesn't quote perceive how intense his touched can be and doesn't quite have the whole theory of mind thing going. Meaning even totally unintentionally sometimes he slams his body into other people. One in the front and one behind doesn't exactly prevent this, added to which unlike doing a job or doing some volunteer work for a set amount of time, this is our life 24/7. While on vacation its nice not to have to be on Red Alert all the time. (BTW, Stroller as Wheelchair really helps with keeping Mr. Pinchyfingers from getting anyone.)

Not to mention that other people in the line are also on vacation. Nobody particularly wants to get pinched, hit, kicked, or bumped---no matter how kind and compassionate they are being.

No child likes to stand in line. Can I get a GAC for the 4 year old I have that doesn't like lines. I hear all the time how the GAC doesn't make the lines shorter but it really seems like so many people wouldn't want one, if it didn't make things shorter to some degree.

No, the lines aren't shorter. But, as with my child, we get alternate entrance because its less crowded and because when it comes to loading and unloading we get more time (transitions) and if something does happen I have space and time to address it. Plus, like many children with autism, he has other medical issues, where for instance, he overheats quickly. Alternate entrance can get him out of the sun before, say, he falls over unconcious. Plus the line isn't necessarily shorted. On some rides yes, on others no. We do end up waiting longer for some rides.

So to answer your question, the GAC is the difference between being able to go to DisneyWorld or not being able to go. Plus quite frankly, I don't feel bad about because the way we do WDW is different than what I would do with a neurotypical child. We rode the Peoplemover for over an hour-didn't ride the carousel. We watched the manatees for an hour and a half--and didn't do Soarin'. Does it equally bother you that because of his needs we didn't take up space in those lines as it does that becuase of his needs he might have gotten on a ride more quickly?

Talking Hands
04-25-2012, 02:51 PM
I understand how both of them work I'm just wondering why everyone who has a GAC want's to use them as they don't shorten the line at all if anything they can make it longer for them. I can understand if you have no other alternative to using them but to complain when they tell you that the regular line will be shorter is ridiculous.

Pirates I understand completely and only do if I have someone to push the manual wheelchair as it will not accommodate my powered wheelchair. My objection to the Haunted Mansion is that it is an uncontrolled queue as opposed to a controlled queue. This makes it dangerous as people push into my controller, don't watch where their backpacks are and hit me, ad infinitum. I do not feel safe in this line and I tend to melt down in such uncontrolled and crowded situations if I cannot escape.

jujube
04-25-2012, 03:24 PM
Just wanted to add that in the past we have
Always entered both POTC and Haunted Mansion
through a different entrance when my friend
and her son accompanied us. I don't know if
those are considered alternate or not but we
definitely did not go through the regular lines.
At The Haunted Mansion, the entry was on the
left and at POTC, a couple of times we went through
a door to the right of the main doors. The other
Times the line we went through was to the left
of the regular left line

Justin Jett
04-25-2012, 04:42 PM
This made me tear up, because there are people in the world who understand what I feel like. :hug:

I'm an Aspie that can go from cheerful to downright embarrassing in about ten minutes of overstimulation, and we've learned to just avoid HM all together and skip POTC unless we can go in the backstage way. Waiting on the side area by the little dry fountain and then going quickly in is worth it to avoid the claustrophobic "stone" walls, echo-y music or whoops from other guests, and people trying to crowd by to get one or two places ahead in line. I'd rather wait an hour outside in the middle of the hottest June day than walk right on to the boat through the main queue. The setup of certain lines just puts some things out of reach. We also avoid Space Mountain, anything with a "preshow" that puts us in a closed-up room (like RnR), and I've only ever ridden Dumbo once in my life, in two dozen years of frequent visits.

We're going on Friday, and now I'm nervous about what the changes to the GAC will bring. It shouldn't be too bad, though, since we're primarily going so I can take way too many pictures of the flowers in Epcot.

You are not alone. :) I am very similar to you.

Mama Who
04-25-2012, 06:04 PM
This made me tear up, because there are people in the world who understand what I feel like. :hug:

.

Oh, honey, I'm a grown woman who has had panic attacks right smack in the middle of main street. My "high point" involved crouching on the ground with my arms over my head until my companion could get me moved to a "safer" location. Nothing says "dignified" like cowering in a corner because the people and the sky have gotten too scary. I understand. There are lots of people here who do, you are absolutely not alone. :hug:

jujube
04-25-2012, 06:24 PM
I understand how both of them work I'm just wondering why everyone who has a GAC want's to use them as they don't shorten the line at all if anything they can make it longer for them. I can understand if you have no other alternative to using them but to complain when they tell you that the regular line will be shorter is ridiculous.

It is not so much the shorter line,at least for us. It's the fact that sometimes this little boy will start hopping and flailing his arms. We don't want him to hit someone. It happens in a flash and then it's over but he has hit me before and it hurts like the dickens. Can you imagine what would happen if he did that and hit a child? He is very sweet and would not purposely hit anyone. It's almost like a tic. His mom does not want someone hurt or someone to react in anger to an action over which he has no control.

disney-akj
04-25-2012, 08:58 PM
Sue can you clarify something with HM for me? DD has the GAC for stroller as wheelchair and alternate entrance. Usually at HM we would go to the side and wait for a CM to come out. Show them the GAC and they would put the chain down so that we could bring the stroller in and park it along the exit. Then they would bring us into the stretching room and we would follow with the rest of the guests from their. Only thing is the stroller is waiting at the exit for us when we exit the ride. Is this not the way they are doing it now?

I am not Sue, but I can tell you what happened when we were there on March 20th though. My DS had wheelchair/alternative entrance too on his GAC. At HM we had the same experience that previous posters have mentioned. They stopped the line, opened a chain for us to cut in front of people, and then we had to wait in a very crowded line. The only saving grace for a few minutes was that we were in the interactive part of the line which helped for a short while (It was a little awkward to just be put in front of people in line though with stares, etc). My DS started having a bit of a meltdown finally after being in a crowded, hot line for about 15-20 minutes (ear splitting screams, hitting his head, crying). A CM then guided us through the line to a back door in a room, through a hallway, and then we were put on the ride in the back before reaching the loading areas. Things could have been handled differently than normal with our situation, but we positively did not join the line in the stretching room nor were we given the option of a side entrance with our GAC? This was our first time riding HM with a GAC though so I can not compare to previous experiences. I was distracted with calming my DS that I am not sure what room we went through to go out the door, I think it was possibly the stretching room?? I think the CM were just happy to get us through the line at that point because we were causing quite a stir?

POTC we waited by the back side entrance to the left for twenty minutes with about 5 other families who were directed that direction as well. We finally gave up because it appeared that they had forgotten because no one ever came to open the door? My DD2 really wanted to ride though, so we tired riding POTC one more time before leaving the parks. This time, it was a much better experience.

All other parks and rides in MK went smoothly. Great trip overall!

Mom2six
04-25-2012, 09:25 PM
My question is - what were the child's needs? It just seems like there are more and more people asking about GACs for autistic children. I have some experiance with children with this problem. I know some have more needs then others. We have taken children on the spectrum to Disney. If they need personal space then we give it to them - one adult on either side in line works well for the kids we went with. If they start to have a melt down, we dealt with it. I just don't understand when I read how a child with autism doesn't like to stand in line. No child likes to stand in line. Can I get a GAC for the 4 year old I have that doesn't like lines. I hear all the time how the GAC doesn't make the lines shorter but it really seems like so many people wouldn't want one, if it didn't make things shorter to some degree. I'm not saying those in wheelchairs don't wait longer. I'm sure they do b/c not all rides can accomadate numerous wheelchairs at once. What I don't get is what others use the GAC for? I know I sound very rude, I don't mean to be but I really want to know what a GAC does for ambulatory people other then make the line shorter.

Yes, you do sound rude. In all honesty, because I felt insulted, and especially insulted for my children, I made a rude reply but decided that was the wrong and have edited it. It can be difficult for people to understand how children with autism feel. It is just about enduring and dealing with a meltdown. It's also about compassion for how the human being having the meltdown feels. A meltdown isn't just a tantrum that someone has to deal with - yes, as a parent we do have to handle the situation, but I never forget the emotions that my children are feeling. Sometimes, they do have normal temper tantrums and those are dealt with the same way I dealt with my other children's fits when they were young. But a meltdown, as opposed to a temper tantrum, is caused by feeling completely overwhelmed by the emotion, and is often a form of a panic attack. One difference between a meltdown and a temper tantrum is that a tantrum is mostly about getting what you want, and a meltdown isn't. When my neurologically typical daughter has a fit because I told her no, or she is overtired and not getting her way, giving her what she wants or bribing her with something stops the tantrum (she has actually outgrown tantrums, and I don't believe in giving a child having a fit what they want...), however my 4 yr old with autism cannot bring himself out of a meltdown. No matter what I tried to bribe hiim with, or he could get what he wanted, or have his most favorite thing, it will not stop a meltdown. In fact, after a meltdown, he isn't interested in anything other than me holding him and retreating to a private "safe" place where he feels like he can hide from everything.

Truthfully, after reading the OP, I'm worried about taking my kids to WDW. I don't want to encounter rude, uninformed CM who might be dismissive of me/my kids and their needs. I'm not paying all this money to have a fantastic trip only to be treated poorly and as if I'm just trying to take advantage of the system. I had read that Disney was good with disabilities, but from the sound of it, maybe not. I guess it is hit or miss whether or not you are treated with respect...that's a real shame. I really wanted my son to experience it. We went in Feb. but having never been there, I was too worried to take my youngest son with autism (my 13 year old wasn't able to go because he chose something else.) If they've changed the way a GAC is used, and that has affected the CM's attitude about people using them, perhaps we should go somewhere else.

cm8
04-25-2012, 10:43 PM
Yes, you do sound extremely rude and extremely ignorant. From the whole tone of your post, it really doesn't seem like you are seeking information - it seems like you are complaining and masking it as a question. Yeah, your 4 year old may not like lines, but does he/she have a panic attack while waiting in a crowded line? Do all those people scare your child? Does your child get confused because of overstimulation & anxiety and forget that at the end of this long wait is something fun, and not something horrible? I'm so glad that you dealt with the meltdowns, but it sure doesn't sound like you had compassion for the child other than what you had to do. Perhaps you think those meltdowns are just temper tantrums, but most of the time a meltdown is caused by feeling completely overwhelmed and often is a form of an extreme panic attack. And you know what, there is no reason I should have to explain my child's needs to you or potentially be treated poorly by an uninformed park worker.

:eek: Wow, I can't speak for her, but it would seem as if your post came across as rude too:confused3. Name calling took it to another level :sad2:. I kind of understand what she is getting at:teacher: but at the risk of mis-interpreting her, I think I will pass on explaining what it is I think she's asking:scared:

LockShockBarrel
04-25-2012, 10:46 PM
I had a very long arguement typed out on here and just deleted it because I don't think that people are ready to agree to disagree on how autism and GACs are handled. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, of course, but I don't think there's enough people who can objectively look at both sides of the coin and come to a reasonable conclusion. :coffee:

As far as the differences in boarding rides, hasn't it always been said that the GAC can and will be handled differently based on staffing, park and ride attendance and individual need? Maybe that needs to be clarified and reinforced by the CMs who issue them. That being said, if there is an absolute NEED (by which I mean there is no other way to go about it, not "well this one time we did it this way and the star aligned and it was great"), then the NEED should be met.

Mom2six
04-25-2012, 11:31 PM
I had a very long arguement typed out on here and just deleted it because I don't think that people are ready to agree to disagree on how autism and GACs are handled. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, of course, but I don't think there's enough people who can objectively look at both sides of the coin and come to a reasonable conclusion. :coffee:

As far as the differences in boarding rides, hasn't it always been said that the GAC can and will be handled differently based on staffing, park and ride attendance and individual need? Maybe that needs to be clarified and reinforced by the CMs who issue them. That being said, if there is an absolute NEED (by which I mean there is no other way to go about it, not "well this one time we did it this way and the star aligned and it was great"), then the NEED should be met.

Yes, then the need should be met. The real problem is that every person on the planet feels they have right to judge what your need is and that they should be able to voice their precious opinon about it whenever they want. It doesn't matter if they are being rude or insulting, because it is their opinion and they have a right to say what they want. It doesn't matter how it hurts people...they might have to wait an extra minute. And their obsession with people maybe getting SPECIAL TREATMENT is all that matters. My son, even though he is not really verbal yet understands what people are saying with their precious opinions.

Yep, everyone can have their opinion, and if people think that using a GAC to try to allow your children to enjoy a magical experience are trying for SPECIAL TREATMENT. Yes, there are two sides of the coin. One side is freaked out because maybe they have to wait in longer line (and by all accounts, the alternate entrance has a LONGER line...yes, we all know you think it must be shorter...and there will be nothing that will convince the people on the other side of the coin that they aren't being cheated out of a minute of their live.) Maybe the people on that side of the coin should consider that not watching your child suffer is something SPECIAL. Having an alternate entrance is nothing compared to knowing that your child isn't in mental anguish, that your child isn't scared all the time, that your child isn't being overwhelmed by sensory input. Having an alternate waiting area cannot compare to not seeing your daughter cry because she just wishes her brother could come too, or one of her parents having to miss her Christmas Pageant because the church scares him too badly and you have to leave.

Yes there are two sides of the coin and we can just agree to disagree. One side doesn't get an alternate entrance, and the other side might have to say I'm sorry we just can't go because there is no way he can handle it. I don't see how they are equal at all, but the people on the other side of the coin don't agree and think there problem of seeing you have an alternate entrance is just as traumatic as your child's autism.

This is the attitude he is going to have to face his whole life and it breaks my heart everyday. When I read that Disney World was really good at accomadating special needs children, I was so happy. He's only a little boy.

Mom2six
04-25-2012, 11:50 PM
:eek: Wow, I can't speak for her, but it would seem as if your post came across as rude too:confused3. Name calling took it to another level :sad2:. I kind of understand what she is getting at:teacher: but at the risk of mis-interpreting her, I think I will pass on explaining what it is I think she's asking:scared:

You are right, my post did come across as rude. Which is why I changed it before you posted this. Absolutely, my saying that a person (who was knowingly rude and insulting about disabled children and their families) did indeed sound rude was extremely rude on my part. However, she did say she knew she sounded rude so that couldn't have been a surprise to anyone.

I'm not sure that I agree that stating she sounded ignorant is totally on another level than insulting my disabled children and my family. The word ignorant means:
ig·no·rant   /ˈɪgnərənt/ Show Spelled[ig-ner-uhnt] Show IPA
adjective
1. lacking in knowledge or training; unlearned: an ignorant man.
2. lacking knowledge or information as to a particular subject or fact: ignorant of quantum physics.
3. uninformed; unaware.

I do think that stating something that is lacking in knowledge about a topic or problem, based only on your limited personal experience does sound ignorant. She says that she knows all children with autism are different and have different needs, and then proceeds to say that people using a GAC must do so only because the line must be shorter despite the claims of the people using the GAC - which sort of implies they must be lying. That is extremely insulting and lacking in knowledge about a topic.

But you are completely right that I may have misinterpreted her, which is why I edited my post. This topic isn't just a topic in some forum. It's my life and my families life. It isn't something I saw at a park somewhere. I may just be extra sensitive about this topic because I love my children dearly and I hate to see them suffer. And I hate that people think they have the right to make comments about them as if they were deaf and couldn't hear, or roll their eyes or just be rude to them. They are human beings with just as many feelings as everyone else. Why do people think they can be mean? Why is everyone so afraid that someone might get something that they didn't get that they are willing to be mean to a child?

I am actually sorry that I was a bit snippy.

EastYorkDisneyFan
04-25-2012, 11:52 PM
I think some of here can not complete understand everyone's reasons for wanting to use an alternate entrance, but is it possible that some of the time when people get steered away from them by Cast Members that the alternate line or waiting area may not actually be the best fit at the time. Take for example the previous post about how someone was directed to the alternate area for pirates and encounters some people who had been waiting for over half an hour. Or another example space ship earth being a walk on but still going to the exit to board and having to wait for wheelchairs and ECV users to board ahead of you, or just walking on which would be easier in that situation?

LockShockBarrel
04-26-2012, 01:17 AM
mom2six, you're kind of proving my point. You experience autism every day and the way you keep posting makes it sound like you've forgotten what it's like to not have to deal with it. You're acting like the other side of the coin is wrong. It's not wrong, it's just misinformed. You are always going to argue, and rightly so, that people are going to judge and not get it. You can't escape that. We are never going to experience a world in which everyone understands each and every difference between each other. It's a defeatist point of view, I get that, but in my very humble opinion it's ignorant to expect everyone to know and accomedate things they don't understand. Someone could come back to you and say you don't know what it's like to be blind, or deaf, or an amputee, or to be fed through a tube in your stomach. Are you wrong for not knowing what its like? Of course not. Are you wrong for thinking things are a certain way, maybe because of a very basic experience you've had with any of those, or maybe how its been portrayed in movies or on tv? Of course not. It just goes back to being misinformed.


As far as Disney goes, I don't disagree that the inconsistancy in handling is frustrating. I've experienced it too. If the CMs are rude or hurtful, we can report it. If something is in violation of the ADA, we can report it. There's always room for things to be fixed and improved. We as a whole can't say "Well we should need to report it, it shouldn't happen", if there was a mouse in your box of cereal, would you not report it because "it shouldn't have happened?" Disney employees are human, and they make mistakes, they do things wrong, the people teaching them can do things wrong. It sucks, but it happens. We should take the opportunity to help them fix it rather than condemn them for it.

Mom2six
04-26-2012, 02:32 AM
mom2six, you're kind of proving my point. You experience autism every day and the way you keep posting makes it sound like you've forgotten what it's like to not have to deal with it. You're acting like the other side of the coin is wrong. It's not wrong, it's just misinformed. You are always going to argue, and rightly so, that people are going to judge and not get it. You can't escape that. We are never going to experience a world in which everyone understands each and every difference between each other. It's a defeatist point of view, I get that, but in my very humble opinion it's ignorant to expect everyone to know and accomedate things they don't understand. Someone could come back to you and say you don't know what it's like to be blind, or deaf, or an amputee, or to be fed through a tube in your stomach. Are you wrong for not knowing what its like? Of course not. Are you wrong for thinking things are a certain way, maybe because of a very basic experience you've had with any of those, or maybe how its been portrayed in movies or on tv? Of course not. It just goes back to being misinformed.



You are right that you can't understand how other people feel or what they experience. I have no idea what being blind is like or what blind people need to accommodate their issues. That is so true. However, I don't ever question what a blind person says they need. I have never said that is not fair for a blind,deaf, amputee with a feeding tube to have certain accommodations, or commented about the way they act or what they need. I would never presume to do that...which is I guess what bothers me. If you don't know, then why judge it? You are right though. I think a lot of time people don't realize they are judging something they don't know about or even if they do know about it, I guess sometimes people don't realize how their attitude is coming across.

I know I must seem highly emotional and a bit irrational about this topic. It's just been kind of a bad day.

buffettgirl
04-26-2012, 07:09 AM
I think we should not forget that a GAC is not one thing. Depending on the needs of the guest it can be any number of different accommodations. Alternate entrance isn't always what's needed or isn't always what's on the GAC. So when people say "I had a GAC and xxx happened" to me that doesn't really tell me much. Was the GAC for alternate entrances and you were denied that? Was the GAC for a quiet waiting area and that was denied?

I know we don't like to mention what stamps are used and I totally see the point for that, but sometimes the talk of GAC turns into "I had one and my needs weren't met." but when we're not talking about what the GAC actually said, and what the needs were, we devolve into this back and forth like we see going on here, where someone assumes that GAC means skipping lines, and others are trying to defend their use a GAC. Because we could be talking about apples and oranges.

aggordon2
04-26-2012, 07:32 AM
THIS! I have a 6 year old son that is Autistic (High Functioning). He does though get overwhelmed/overstimulated very easily. He also has a hard time waiting for long/unknown amount of time. When he gets overstimulated/upset he yells/makes loud "squealing" noises sometimes it gets to the point where you can't even communicate/get through to him. It is quite upsetting for everyone. When we go to an amusement park near our house..most of the time we will wait in a regular line...no problems. . I think what makes it extra hard for a child on the spectrum in Disney to wait in a regular line is that the lines keep going and going and going (its not very easy to say to your child...can you see the front of the line?) and there is so much "entertainment" around that it can get very overwhelming very quickly..and once a child gets so overstimulated/overwhelmed...(my child anyways)..the only way of "resetting him"--that's what I call it when he calms down--is removing him completely from the situation..which could even mean leaving the park. Nobody wants to have to not experience a ride or the Walt Disney World Parks because every ride/attraction is a nightmare. I am very very greatful for the GAC. If we didn't have it..We wouldn't be able to enjoy the parks in the way we would want to.

I completely agree, my child gets the same way with the "squealing". For my son it is not a squealing sound but more of a high-pitched whine. The GAC has helped us immensely. My DS also has a hard time standing still, I don't mean being fidgity, I mean he has to move. Sometimes it takes all my strength to hold on to him. Then he has a melt down right there. At this point, either I force the issue of staying where we are (not a good thing), or we have to leave the attraction (or the park).

For us the GAC has been a godsend.

I Love Pluto
04-26-2012, 07:42 AM
I agree that some CMs are not polite - bordering on rude.

I also must state that I had an issue at HM in April that was handled by 2 VERY POLITE CMs. No one at the moment could have cared about me more.
They were outstanding in their representation of Disney.

Yes, I went to Guest Services - to PRAISE these people for a job well done!

I hope your issues resolve also. There ARE some GREAT CMs out there! :thumbsup2 :goodvibes

scottmel
04-26-2012, 07:58 AM
OP I don't mean this towards you at all. But I think in general GAC is a little to widely distributed in general and my GUESS is CM's have seen there share of "GAC cases" and they are almost immune to reacting to them. Meaning when you see someone that DOES deserve it, they aren't treated properly. I will never forget 2 years ago seeing a 80 plus year old grandma in a wheelchair ASLEEP while 8 members of her party were pushing her up the walk for RnR waving their GAC. It was quite interesting to see the conversation tht happened afterwards....Grandma was awoken and asked was she riding this ride? No they were going to do Parent Swap with her :confused: Needless to say Grandma, her GAC and the 8 members of her party were sent to the back of the line. You gotta feel for what these CMs see all day.

Mom2six
04-26-2012, 08:23 AM
OP I don't mean this towards you at all. But I think in general GAC is a little to widely distributed in general and my GUESS is CM's have seen there share of "GAC cases" and they are almost immune to reacting to them. Meaning when you see someone that DOES deserve it, they aren't treated properly. I will never forget 2 years ago seeing a 80 plus year old grandma in a wheelchair ASLEEP while 8 members of her party were pushing her up the walk for RnR waving their GAC. It was quite interesting to see the conversation tht happened afterwards....Grandma was awoken and asked was she riding this ride? No they were going to do Parent Swap with her :confused: Needless to say Grandma, her GAC and the 8 members of her party were sent to the back of the line. You gotta feel for what these CMs see all day.

You make a good point. And poor Grandma...that must have been sort of shocking for her to wake up like that.

utterrandomness
04-26-2012, 10:08 AM
OP I don't mean this towards you at all. But I think in general GAC is a little to widely distributed in general and my GUESS is CM's have seen there share of "GAC cases" and they are almost immune to reacting to them. Meaning when you see someone that DOES deserve it, they aren't treated properly.

Your example aside, how do you know who deserves it? Many disabilities are invisible, that's the point of the GAC. You may see someone, or a CM may see someone that they think doesn't deserve it because they don't see anything visibly wrong. I know this is a somehow unpopular opinion, as I keep getting verbally abused for it, but the fact is that you do not know what is going on in someone else's life. Less people fake than people seem to think, because why on earth would you willingly subject yourself to bad or more complicated treatment? It's like saying people choose to be gay, yeah, no thanks.

scottmel
04-26-2012, 10:11 AM
Your example aside, how do you know who deserves it? Many disabilities are invisible, that's the point of the GAC. You may see someone, or a CM may see someone that they think doesn't deserve it because they don't see anything visibly wrong. I know this is a somehow unpopular opinion, as I keep getting verbally abused for it, but the fact is that you do not know what is going on in someone else's life. Less people fake than people seem to think, because why on earth would you willingly subject yourself to bad or more complicated treatment? It's like saying people choose to be gay, yeah, no thanks.

Nope no idea but am sure it was not the sound asleep grandma that needed it for Rock and Roller Coaster. I am sure she is not the only ABSURD case the CM's run into on a daily basis....

utterrandomness
04-26-2012, 10:26 AM
Nope no idea but am sure it was not the sound asleep grandma that needed it for Rock and Roller Coaster. I am sure she is not the only ABSURD case the CM's run into on a daily basis....

That isn't my point. My point is that you think they are too widely distributed, and you would judge who does and does not need one. I never said that the case with the grandma was invalid, I said that you, and the CMs, do not know what is going on with people and they may see cases that seem absurd to them but the people concerned really do need it.

I Love Pluto
04-26-2012, 11:16 AM
Question - involving "Grandma"

If the rest of the party want to ride one of the thrill rides - but can't leave Grandma alone for too long - isn't it OK to use the GAC then? Grandma will benefit from her family being back to take care of her -- in less time than it would have taken on the "regular" line. Is the GAC geared to helping families get back to caring about the loved one?

Really...this is a good question. The 2 hour wait - the 20 minute wait - Grandma is alone for too long. Isn't she? :confused3

Hannathy
04-26-2012, 11:24 AM
Question - involving "Grandma"

If the rest of the party want to ride one of the thrill rides - but can't leave Grandma alone for too long - isn't it OK to use the GAC then? Grandma will benefit from her family being back to take care of her -- in less time than it would have taken on the "regular" line. Is the GAC geared to helping families get back to caring about the loved one?

Really...this is a good question. The 2 hour wait - the 20 minute wait - Grandma is alone for too long. Isn't she? :confused3

With 8 people in the party why would she have to be alone ever?

Here's a news flash maybe someone would have to be a responsible person and stay back with grandma. or they could split into two groups and have go and then when they come back the other half go.

Don't see why they would need to use a GAC for that instead of just being responsible. That would be an abuse of the GAC as far as I"m concerned.

I think people need to stop and think about if people continue to over use and abuse the GAC, IMO Disney will pull back from what they have nicely offered above and beyond the legal minimum and stick with only what they legally have to provide.

aggordon2
04-26-2012, 11:25 AM
Question - involving "Grandma"

If the rest of the party want to ride one of the thrill rides - but can't leave Grandma alone for too long - isn't it OK to use the GAC then? Grandma will benefit from her family being back to take care of her -- in less time than it would have taken on the "regular" line. Is the GAC geared to helping families get back to caring about the loved one?

Really...this is a good question. The 2 hour wait - the 20 minute wait - Grandma is alone for too long. Isn't she? :confused3

Isn't one of the stipulations on the GAC say that the person who the GAC is named for has to be the one using it? Otherwise anybody can say that the person who is named on it is sitting right ouside.

aggordon2
04-26-2012, 11:34 AM
Don't the CM's at Guest Relations always suggest not getting a GAC if someone is in a wheelchair?

scottmel
04-26-2012, 11:40 AM
Isn't one of the stipulations on the GAC say that the person who the GAC is named for has to be the one using it? Otherwise anybody can say that the person who is named on it is sitting right ouside.

yes it is! GAC holdee must ride the ride. ELSE use fast pass. Grandma would never be alone and maybe she used that GAC on small world or pooh or whatever - but come on - rock and roller coaster asleep??

Earlier I said I felt they were too widely distributed. May or may not be the case but I will hold my ground that they are abused....grandma being case in point. I know there are short term situations that necessitate a GAC (I was one of them last summer) and obvious long term issues that necessitate it. But there is also abuse in the system. Where there are humans, where a system of any type exists, there will be abuse. So my original point being, CMs see it day and in and day. Grandma was probably one of how many that day of obvious abuse....

ttintagel
04-26-2012, 11:49 AM
yes it is! GAC holdee must ride the ride. ELSE use fast pass. Grandma would never be alone and maybe she used that GAC on small world or pooh or whatever - but come on - rock and roller coaster asleep??

Earlier I said I felt they were too widely distributed. May or may not be the case but I will hold my ground that they are abused....grandma being case in point. I know there are short term situations that necessitate a GAC (I was one of them last summer) and obvious long term issues that necessitate it. But there is also abuse in the system. Where there are humans, where a system of any type exists, there will be abuse. So my original point being, CMs see it day and in and day. Grandma was probably one of how many that day of obvious abuse....

So... ONE group out of the hundreds of throusands of people who attend WDW parks every day proves that the GAC is "too widely distributed?" Sorry, but that's nowhere near the realm of statistically significant.

No matter what system is in place for any given situation in any society, SOMEBODY is going to figure out a way to abuse it. For my money, any establishment worth existing is going to err on the side of helping a few people who don't actually need it rather than err on the side of not helping any number who do.

scottmel
04-26-2012, 11:55 AM
So... ONE group out of the hundreds of throusands of people who attend WDW parks every day proves that the GAC is "too widely distributed?" Sorry, but that's nowhere near the realm of statistically significant.

No matter what system is in place for any given situation in any society, SOMEBODY is going to figure out a way to abuse it. For my money, any establishment worth existing is going to err on the side of helping a few people who don't actually need it rather than err on the side of not helping any number who do.

GAC is absolutely necessary - never said it wasn't. I was just offering a little insight to OP as to why a few CM's seemed grumpy with the GAC.

Lisa0620
04-26-2012, 12:03 PM
Mom2Six,

Hugs to you.

Being constantly judged and questioned is part of being an autism mom and there are many here who understand and agree with you. Some people don't get it, don't want to get it, aren't capable of getting it, whatever. Part of me envies their naivete, to go thru life so sure of everything, not weighed down with the worry, fear and second guessing. Ignorance is bliss, as they say.

I hope you still go on your trip. For our family the positives at Disney outweigh the challenges, without a doubt.

Mama Who
04-26-2012, 12:19 PM
I know I must seem highly emotional and a bit irrational about this topic. It's just been kind of a bad day.

And here I think is the problem Lock was getting at. We have a group of people who can be objective and we have a group of people who truly understand the situation. Those groups seldom overlap because when you live with the problem daily it is simply too real, too personal, too emotionally draining to be viewed objectively.

Nobody (well, mostly) here is trying to be cruel. Nobody here is trying to be selfish or take advantage. But even within this community there is a profound gap between true understanding and true objectivity. I'm not sure it's actually possible to solve that problem. I think the best we can do is try to give people taking accommodations the benefit of the doubt on one side and, if we are taking accommodations, make sure we aren't taking advantage, on the other. :flower3:

Mama Who
04-26-2012, 12:27 PM
Question - involving "Grandma"

If the rest of the party want to ride one of the thrill rides - but can't leave Grandma alone for too long - isn't it OK to use the GAC then? Grandma will benefit from her family being back to take care of her -- in less time than it would have taken on the "regular" line. Is the GAC geared to helping families get back to caring about the loved one?

Really...this is a good question. The 2 hour wait - the 20 minute wait - Grandma is alone for too long. Isn't she? :confused3


The solutions are easy. The group splits. Either they use fastpasses and go in shifts or, if they are a small group (say 2 plus grandma) they see about a rider swap. Or, y'know, recognize that taking an 80 year old wheelchair bound woman to Disney may require some sacrifices and changes in touring plan. We hope to take my grandmother (who will be 89!) to Disney next Spring. We'll have 4 generations and plenty of options but we'll all be prepared to make changes for Grandma as needed, just as we did for the baby.

swilshire
04-26-2012, 12:38 PM
Sue can you clarify something with HM for me? DD has the GAC for stroller as wheelchair and alternate entrance. Usually at HM we would go to the side and wait for a CM to come out. Show them the GAC and they would put the chain down so that we could bring the stroller in and park it along the exit. Then they would bring us into the stretching room and we would follow with the rest of the guests from their. Only thing is the stroller is waiting at the exit for us when we exit the ride. Is this not the way they are doing it now?

This had always been our experience, except that we ask to skip the shrinking room and always went straight to the backstage loading area. In March, we were merged into the main line as mentioned above. We had started toward the exit where they always had a chain and a CM, but were somewhat rudely stopped by a CM standing at the front. We had been advised of no changes when we got our GAC for DS who uses a wheelchair. We ask to skip the shrinking room and did, going through a door to the backstage area where we had always gone directly before. It seemed like more work for the CM.

Every other ride seemed the same as always, though we were only there one day and just rode a few things.

Sheila

LockShockBarrel
04-26-2012, 01:29 PM
MamaWho :thumbsup2 You got it.

ttintagel
04-26-2012, 02:03 PM
GAC is absolutely necessary - never said it wasn't. I was just offering a little insight to OP as to why a few CM's seemed grumpy with the GAC.

They're grumpy with the GAC because it makes their day a little more difficult. They have no more way of knowing than anyone else whether the GAC is "too widely used." If they're concluding that, then they're being just as boneheaded as anyone else would be to conclude the same thing.

SueM in MN
04-26-2012, 02:27 PM
Closing

SueM in MN
04-26-2012, 02:57 PM
Question - involving "Grandma"

If the rest of the party want to ride one of the thrill rides - but can't leave Grandma alone for too long - isn't it OK to use the GAC then? Grandma will benefit from her family being back to take care of her -- in less time than it would have taken on the "regular" line. Is the GAC geared to helping families get back to caring about the loved one?

Really...this is a good question. The 2 hour wait - the 20 minute wait - Grandma is alone for too long. Isn't she? :confused3
No. As was already posted, that is not allowed.
Isn't one of the stipulations on the GAC say that the person who the GAC is named for has to be the one using it? Otherwise anybody can say that the person who is named on it is sitting right ouside.
GACs are made out with the name of the person using it and are not supposed to be used for attractions the person the GAC was issued to is not riding.
Don't the CM's at Guest Relations always suggest not getting a GAC if someone is in a wheelchair?
Most people using wheelchairs or ECVs don't need a GAC.
Wheelchairs and ECVs ate allowed in lines/attractions without a GAC. So a GAC is not needed unless there are other needs that are not met by using the accessible lines.

I think something I wrote was misinterpreted. I mentioned several attractions - specifically Small World and Spaceship Earth which have alternate waiting areas AND have long waits in those areas, even when the regular entrance was a very short wait (I believe I wrote 10 minutes for Small World and 5 minutes for Spaceship Earth). I wrote that people who do not have a visible reason for needing an accessible entrance often get into that line and end up waiting longer than they would otherwise wait.

From some people's comments, it appears they interpreted my comments as saying they did not belong there, that only guests with wheelchairs belonged there or that I was complaining that they increased our wait.

Those things are far from what I meant.
What I meant is that people often automatically go there without looking at the options they have. We have been in line with people who got trapped there AND THEN realized the regular line was basically walking right on. They commented that they did not know their wait would be longer in the accessible line and would not have gotten in that area if they had known. But, once in a narrow line of wheelchairs, they were stuck.

MaggieMollyMom
04-27-2012, 08:43 PM
This was nicely explained!


I can't answer for other people, but for my sons it is all about the conditions during the wait rather than the length of time waiting. As in, is it loud and echoing? Wavering lights? Lines that zig zag back and forth? A "herding" situation like in some of the pre show areas? Are they completely surrounded by people or is there a wall or some other structure so that they don't have people on all sides? So ideally a GAC giving them an alternate entrance would allow them to stand away from the main crowd and/or in a quieter area and wait for whatever is the specified amount of time. The waiting itself they have no problem with, as long as the conditions during the wait aren't overwhelming from an anxiety/sensory POV.

hsmamato2
04-28-2012, 09:30 AM
Wow. I've been on both sides of this coin.....a few years back we traveled with my mom,who has multiple health issues,used a cane for walking,and had a GAC. It was kind of cool to see some 'alternate' entrances,but usually the line wasn't shorter....in some places,it took quite a bit longer.
I recall, at HM we went in the right side entrance,at Pirates we went in a back door,at Toy story mania in HS,the line took much longer than the regular 'stairs' line....maybe that is what OP had issue with?
I think the biggest misconception with the GAC is that you 'don't have to wait'- that is incorrect.
But,I think policies should be implemented ,b/c as some pp's mentioned, if people who don't need the GAC are getting/overusing it b/c of perceived 'special' treatment,it can impact negatively on those who truly do need it to get around.

nyrebecca
04-28-2012, 06:59 PM
This may sound stupid, but I have read (skimmed) all of these replies and I am still not sure what the changes to the GAC are. Was it just the changes to how it was handled at PoTC and HM, or was there something else?

Thanks -

jujube
04-28-2012, 07:04 PM
This may sound stupid, but I have read (skimmed) all of these replies and I am still not sure what the changes to the GAC are. Was it just the changes to how it was handled at PoTC and HM, or was there something else?

Thanks -

Unless it's changed again, then you should expect to experience this at HM and POTC. They've also changed the procedure at SM. The alternate entrance was only allowed at Splash Mtn.