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Old 01-16-2013, 09:17 PM   #1
harryscheeler
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Autistic kids are second class guests at WDW

Each time we go to WDW we bring documentation regarding out autistic children and their disabilities. We are given Gust with disability cards which are rarely honored without a argument. Anyone else have the same problem. I complain to Disney all the time and each time we return nothing has changed.
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:05 AM   #2
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I am sorry about your experiences. Unfortunately the whole world is becoming more rude and callous toward others. It is hard to travel with someone with autism and it would be great if DW would make things easier. Unfortunately, its not going to get better. There are abuses with the cards and cm's become skeptical about all of them. The best thing, I think, is to just accept that this is not going to improve so plan, yourself, about how to have the best experience possible. Wish you well.
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:11 AM   #3
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We really have no problems getting one for our daughter who is autistic. We have a letter from her daughter. Explain she does not handle crowds well or waits. Most cast members give us no problems what so ever. Granted there have been cast members who are more sympathetic or understanding than others.
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:15 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harryscheeler View Post
Each time we go to WDW we bring documentation regarding out autistic children and their disabilities. We are given Gust with disability cards which are rarely honored without a argument. Anyone else have the same problem. I complain to Disney all the time and each time we return nothing has changed.

Just asking................what do you mean by *rarely honored?*


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Old 01-17-2013, 08:14 AM   #5
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We've had an extremely rude CM give us our GAC even though we were really friendly & polite to her even while she was being such a snot. We got the card with the appropriate stamp for our son's disability (though she refused to give us one for our younger son even though he is also disbaled...something we've learned was incorrect and we will be insisting on a card for each so that we can split up if we need to.) We've never had a problem actually using the GAC at all. We came across a rude CM at TSM (the only rude CM at any of the attractions we've ever experienced) but his rolling his eyes at our GAC didn't do anything but make himself look like an idiot. We still were able to use the card as it was intended.
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:26 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Kellykins1218 View Post
We've had an extremely rude CM give us our GAC even though we were really friendly & polite to her even while she was being such a snot. We got the card with the appropriate stamp for our son's disability (though she refused to give us one for our younger son even though he is also disbaled...something we've learned was incorrect and we will be insisting on a card for each so that we can split up if we need to.) We've never had a problem actually using the GAC at all. We came across a rude CM at TSM (the only rude CM at any of the attractions we've ever experienced) but his rolling his eyes at our GAC didn't do anything but make himself look like an idiot. We still were able to use the card as it was intended.

We have only had a few issues, and it was a few years ago. One was weird, at Rock n Roller, we approached and asked where to go with the GAC. At one time, it was to enter thru the exit, and more recently had been to use the FP lane. Even if we think we know where to go, we always show the pass and ask. The CM insisted we get a FP. We said no thanks, we wanted to wait and ride. She kept insisting, get a FP. (it was our last day, the FP return time was too late for us). I was getting angry, because I did not feel it was fair to MAKE us get a FP, if we were willing to wait. Why should we not have that choice, if others have a choice? We finally just GOT ON the regular line, when she was not looking. (NOT the FP line) with his large Convaid, it did fit, and rode the ride. I am sure this story sounds impossible and bizarre, but it's true. (we would have just gone on that line to begin with, but on other occasions were were directed elsewhere to enter, and they say with the GAC to ask the CM)
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:39 AM   #7
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I've had the opposite experience. I've never been made to feel like a second class citizen due to my 15yo's autism. That doesn't mean I've never encountered rude CMs or had to advocate for my DD's needs (I absolutely have though thank goodness it's the exception rather than the rule), but I'd never say that we've been made to feel like second class citizens.

What happened? It sounds as though you've experienced similar problems on multiple trips. Is it perhaps your expectations that are off? What kind of accomodation are you expecting with your GAC?
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:31 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harryscheeler View Post
Each time we go to WDW we bring documentation regarding out autistic children and their disabilities. We are given Gust with disability cards which are rarely honored without a argument. Anyone else have the same problem. I complain to Disney all the time and each time we return nothing has changed.
This does not seem to be the experience of most families. Maybe happen now and again, but *everytime*?? Are we just because of some of the recent arguments/complaints of abuses of the GAC?
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:17 PM   #9
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My experience with GAC cards for Autistic daughter

I never had an issue receiving a card or using the card for my autistic daughter (who is turning 18 this year). We've been three times (last three years), and have been treated really well by cast members and characters (especially the characters!!).

There have been times when it took longer to get into a ride (Pirates of the caribbean) than if we stood in lines, but considering our daughter's abhorrence towards crowds, it did not matter. With Pirates, we got to sit in the shade away from the crowds, chat about what she had done so far, and had room for her to walk around when she needed to (without bumping into others).

I know this really doesn't need to be said for 99% of us, but the GAC card isn't intended to expedite rides, but provide accommodations for those with special needs. In fact, there have been times we were allowed into a (longer than normal) fastpass line where we had to leave before getting on the ride, because it wasn't quite what our daughter needed at the time.

Another thing we found last trip is that if the wait time was less than 30 minutes on a ride, we were told we needed to use the regular line. In this one case, we explained that our daughter couldn't handle it, and the cast member understood... in that case, we stood by the handicap entrance until it was our turn (as if we had stood in line). So even in cases where alternative entrances don't expedite getting onto a ride, the cast members still worked with us so that our daughter had what she needed at the time (lack of crowds).
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:19 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by North of Mouse View Post
This does not seem to be the experience of most families. Maybe happen now and again, but *everytime*?? Are we just because of some of the recent arguments/complaints of abuses of the GAC?
Completely unjustified accusation!
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:01 PM   #11
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Completely unjustified accusation!
Not an accusation at all - just a question. Do you have some information that is not on this thread that would show things to be any different?
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:53 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by North of Mouse View Post
Not an accusation at all - just a question. Do you have some information that is not on this thread that would show things to be any different?
To even ask such a question of the OP, without any evidence, is just plain rude and argumentative. Others have asked the OP for clarification. That is different from asking if the OP is stirring the pot.
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:24 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Beccabunny View Post
To even ask such a question of the OP, without any evidence, is just plain rude and argumentative. Others have asked the OP for clarification. That is different from asking if the OP is stirring the pot.
Thanks for being such a good monitor!
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:45 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beccabunny View Post
To even ask such a question of the OP, without any evidence, is just plain rude and argumentative. Others have asked the OP for clarification. That is different from asking if the OP is stirring the pot.
Oh come one! Just because this is the disabilities part of the board there is no need for us to have to be pc. Heck, I'm one of those that really highly values no pc because we are talking here, but then again I am one of those that believes being pc only harms.

There are simply so many things in the OP that also made my alarms go off. Such things that do make me seriously wonder what is going on here and yes stirring the pot was a valid serious option in those. I'm one of those that will simply ask flat out instead of be pc or insinuate. Only openly asking gives someone an open chance to deal with what will be playing on many peoples minds and if indeed the case; put it to rest.



Some has been added on since, but other things still leave me with questions. And as such, I will simply ask. For instance;

in the op "which are rarely honored". Does sure leave one like me with quite a few questions. It paints -combined with the later posting on this topic- a picture of someone who has no clue of how far few and in between alternate waiting areas actually ARE. If that picture is correct; did one ever go back to guest services and ask what CAN and CAN'T be done at certain rides, including being told that options can chance depending on multiple details?

If not going back, why not? Apparently there has been complaining, but it still has me questioning if there ever was any communication about the fact that this option very rarely IS an option. Whether it being Disney communicating it or Harry (or family) taking their own responsibility and ask about it?

If so communicated what does one expect to be done? WDW is in the business of magic, but I can see the problem with "magically" creating alternate waiting areas for each and every ride, show, M&G etc.

Where do subsequent disappointments come from when having communicated this subject before and having the knowledge that this option simply is not there?


The second post has added info. Yet it still leaves me wondering why Harry is posting this?


And more in general? Yeah, there are still things mentioned that leave me keeping options open that apparently we are not allowed to mention if it were up to some on this board. Things that do not add up, never mind how well or poorly informed Harry was or is. It could be that he is communicating things on here very poorly. As such it's an option I leave open. Just like I leave all options open where it triggers me.
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:20 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harryscheeler View Post
Each time we go to WDW we bring documentation regarding out autistic children and their disabilities. We are given Gust with disability cards which are rarely honored without a argument. Anyone else have the same problem. I complain to Disney all the time and each time we return nothing has changed.

I'm sorry that you did not have a good experience at WDW - Can you go into more specifics, or give examples?

We took our first trip to WDW with DS this past October, and had quite the opposite experiences - that's what makes me so surprised! DS was 6 and has autism. We did request and receive a GAC, as well as used his stroller as a wheelchair. Noone ever questioned us at all - and if they did, it would not have bothered me.

Not trying to start an argument, but perhaps it was the way you approached the CM's? Like, since you had bad experiences in the past, you already had an attitude figuring it would happen again? Again, I don't mean to offend, just wondering how trips can be so different from one family to another?
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