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View Full Version : Nervous about GAC changes


3DisneyBuggs
05-03-2012, 07:41 AM
I have panic disorder and am getting very worried about our upcoming trip. In the past my GAC has allowed me to wait where there are no crowds. Now I've been reading that GACs are viewed differently, FP lines are longer and I'm losing confidence. This is my first trip with just my 13 yo and I don't want my anxieties to ruin his trip. Can someone who's been recently PM me?

KisanMcG
05-03-2012, 11:36 AM
My DH and I just got back from a weekend where we visited both MK and Epcot. We got my GAC at City Hall with no problems, and didn't notice any major differences from previous trips. We chose to avoid HM and POTC, but there were no issues at any of the attractions we did visit. If anything, skipping those two gave us the chance to try new things. We finally got to meet Tiana!

Given your general anxiety, you would also get value out of using a touring plan. It's very helpful to see what attractions are expected to have longer waits at which time of day, so you can plan to visit them when it is quieter. Definitely worth the small investment to have an enjoyable trip.

SueM in MN
05-03-2012, 09:54 PM
My DH and I just got back from a weekend where we visited both MK and Epcot. We got my GAC at City Hall with no problems, and didn't notice any major differences from previous trips. We chose to avoid HM and POTC, but there were no issues at any of the attractions we did visit. If anything, skipping those two gave us the chance to try new things. We finally got to meet Tiana!

Given your general anxiety, you would also get value out of using a touring plan. It's very helpful to see what attractions are expected to have longer waits at which time of day, so you can plan to visit them when it is quieter. Definitely worth the small investment to have an enjoyable trip.
I would whole-heartedly agrees with this.
A touring plan can be even more helpful than a GAC.
GACs can only help in attractions and only if the attraction actually has the ability to provide what you need. A touring plan will help you everywhere, even if you just use it to avoid the busiest park and know when some of the most popular attractions are likely to have the longest waits.

For example, we were at AK today. According to the touring plan, it was the best park to go to today. In the morning, we know that the Safari will be a long wait because most people want to ride early in the morning. We went in the afternoon and still saw plenty of animals - but very little wait. In fact, at the point where the Fastpass and regular line merge, they were not even collecting Fastpasses and there were times when the Safari trams were not even being sent out full. As we waited in the accessible area for boarding, we saw many trams with seats empty (some with entire empty rows).

Another example that we have even seen during Spring break - Spaceship Earth at Epcot has long lines, sometimes over an hour in the morning. But, if you go in the afternoon when most people have moved on to World Showcase, you will be able to walk right on without waiting.

There is also an official Disney app called Mobile Magic and it is available for iPhone and Android from Verizon. That app gives actual posted wait times, Fastpass availability and even what the Fastpasses return times are.
There are some un-official ones - like one by Undercover Tourist - that give a pretty close approximation for wait times.

I think things like the tour plan and a smart phone app would really help you to minimize your waits without anxiety. That way, you could also minimize using a GAC (which always comes with not knowing exactly how it will be handled).

clanmcculloch
05-04-2012, 01:19 PM
Just wanted to chime in about just how beneficial a good touring plan can be. We do get a GAC every trip for my 14yo autistic DD but most times we don't need to use it beacause we can position ourselves using the touring plan to not encounter the crowds or crowded waiting areas. I've been reading all sorts of complaints lately about Haunted Mansion and Pirates lately but we haven't had any issues because when we go to these rides, thanks to our touring plans we never have more than a handful of other people there at the same time as us so the attractions are walk-on. Being away from the mobs at attractions as well as in between attractions, at dining locations and even at bus stops in INVALUABLE!!! Knowing in depth what to expect and understanding crowd patterns to know what to do in the event plans have to change is even more-so. My favourite planning site currently is easywdw.com. Check out the forums for sure. The site is in blog style making is a bit difficult to navigate at times but the forums are unbelievably helpful.

SueM in MN
05-04-2012, 04:09 PM
The biggest difference is not something new, but something they are enforcing - if the posted wait time is 15 minutes or less, GACs that involve waiting are not used. The guest is directed to go in the regular line.

The other thing is also not new, but being made more evident - GACs are being stamped to say that the GAC may not be used for celebrity or character greetings. This was always the case, but there was not a stamp.

KisanMcG
05-04-2012, 04:33 PM
The other thing is also not new, but being made more evident - GACs are being stamped to say that the GAC may not be used for celebrity or character greetings. This was always the case, but there was not a stamp.


In regards to GACs not being used for character greetings - I greatly prefer to have a character meal or two scheduled for each trip to make sure we get some time to see our favorites without having to wait. You've got to eat, right? Might as well do so with Stitch and Pluto and Mickey!

If there are characters you must see who aren't available for meals, don't hesitate to talk to the CMs that are maintaining the lines. We met Tiana and Tinkerbelle with less than ten minute waits because we asked the CMs what time they would recommend we check the lines. The character's assistants are often more knowledgeable about their own areas than City Hall, because they are aware of any daily changes to schedule.

a1tinkfans
05-04-2012, 06:55 PM
Just wanted to wish you a wonderful stress free trip OP!
Pixie Dust your way!! :wizard:

kathleendsm
05-04-2012, 07:29 PM
In terms of character greetings, we knew you couldn't use alternative entrance. However, they did let us use stroller as a wheelchair when waiting for the Mickey or Princess meet and greets in the Magic Kingdom. Are they still allowing that?

Fast passes for those greets are awesome, I think most people don't know they are there. We always get them and then sail right in!

SueM in MN
05-04-2012, 10:49 PM
In terms of character greetings, we knew you couldn't use alternative entrance. However, they did let us use stroller as a wheelchair when waiting for the Mickey or Princess meet and greets in the Magic Kingdom. Are they still allowing that?

Fast passes for those greets are awesome, I think most people don't know they are there. We always get them and then sail right in!
Stroller as wheelchair is different - you can use that even if the wait is 15 minutes or less or in character greetings.

I agree the Fastpasses for the characters and Princesses are great.

3DisneyBuggs
05-04-2012, 11:57 PM
Thank you! I just got an ipad app that has wait times for all the parks. I am also looking into doing a touring plan- anything to have an anxiety free trip.

I Love Pluto
05-12-2012, 03:38 PM
MOST CMs at the attractions are extremely understanding & helpful. You can still explain what you need from your GAC. If they can accommodate, they will. :thumbsup2

Beccabunny
05-13-2012, 08:00 PM
We were in the parks last week. Not a lot of major changes. One CM did not want us to use the alternate entrance because the line was less than 15 minutes. I explained DD has issues with the line itself, not the amount of time, and asked if we could just wait the 15 minutes at the exit instead of in the regular line. She said yes. That worked well for us.