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Old 02-05-2010, 01:21 PM   #1
Blanche_Neige
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Question Autism at Universal Studios?

Do we get the same type of GAC that we get at Disney?

We are planning on going next year for 2-3 days the first week of March, we cannot afford to stay onsite. My kids have trouble waiting for extended period in a crowded line. One of my sons cannot wait in line if it's very dark (ex. pirates of the C, Little murmaid...) at Disney we used a GAC...
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Last edited by SueM in MN; 02-05-2010 at 04:52 PM. Reason: remove information
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Old 02-05-2010, 02:44 PM   #2
debbiecarr98
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Yes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blanche_Neige View Post
Do we get the same type of GAC that we get at Disney?

We are planning on going next year for 2-3 days the first week of March, we cannot afford to stay onsite. My kids have trouble waiting for extended period in a crowded line. One of my sons cannot wait in line if it's very dark (ex. pirates of the C, Little murmaid...) at Disney we were given an alternate entrance...
I cant remember the exact details, but we got a card for the lines, it worked a bit differently than the Disney one, but was still very helpful.
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Old 02-05-2010, 04:54 PM   #3
SueM in MN
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If you follow the link in my signature to the disABILITIES FAQs thread, one of the posts is about Universal and includes information about their version of a Guest Assistance Card.
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Old 02-05-2010, 05:44 PM   #4
Blanche_Neige
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SueM in MN View Post
If you follow the link in my signature to the disABILITIES FAQs thread, one of the posts is about Universal and includes information about their version of a Guest Assistance Card.
Thank you I didn't think of checking there

Found it post #9
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Last edited by Blanche_Neige; 02-05-2010 at 05:57 PM. Reason: additional info
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Old 02-05-2010, 07:34 PM   #5
SueM in MN
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Thatís what Iím here for.
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Link to disABILITIES FAQs thread

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Old 02-16-2010, 11:18 AM   #6
sharadoc
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Our experience was a little rough. When we got there, US Guest Services only offered us the family room card, which would have been horrific, so we refused. I insisted that we were told we could get a fastpass/front of the line pass and eventually (grudgingly) got the fastpass.

Those lines are not timed, and are available to everyone who stays at a Universal Resort, or who buys the fastpass, so they are more crowded than a typical Disney fastpass line, and take much longer than what you're used to in a fastpass line at Disney.

Just be prepared that the experience will not be exactly the same as Disney. We've decided we prefer Disney and probably won't go back to Universal. Many people have had wonderful experiences with the Universal GAP, so all the best!!!!
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Old 02-16-2010, 07:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sharadoc View Post
Our experience was a little rough. When we got there, US Guest Services only offered us the family room card, which would have been horrific, so we refused. I insisted that we were told we could get a fastpass/front of the line pass and eventually (grudgingly) got the fastpass.

Those lines are not timed, and are available to everyone who stays at a Universal Resort, or who buys the fastpass, so they are more crowded than a typical Disney fastpass line, and take much longer than what you're used to in a fastpass line at Disney.

Just be prepared that the experience will not be exactly the same as Disney. We've decided we prefer Disney and probably won't go back to Universal. Many people have had wonderful experiences with the Universal GAP, so all the best!!!!
I'll keep that in mind. I'm thinking of going with only my 9y old DS on a recon mission before taking the rest of the family. Makes it easier for me as I would know in advance what to expect...

BTW what time of the year did you go? and were you staying onsite? I'm still debating on where to stay. I don't think we can afford to stay onsite... At Disney we stay at the Value and we are very happy.
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Jan 2007 - ASMovies
Jan 2008 - ASMovies
Jan 2009 - ASMovies
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Sept 2010- ASMovies & Disney Wonder (1st cruise)
March 2011- All Star Sports + 1st trip to US offsite
Oct 2011 - Dream + POP + MNSSHP
March 2012 - US offsite + DTD shopping spree
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Old 02-17-2010, 09:33 AM   #8
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When I went to Universal in Feb. of 2007 we had a great time! They gave us a universal fastpass thing. We were able to use the fast line for all events. Although, being Feb. we didn't really need the card most of the time.

There is one ride in the kiddie playground area that the pass can't be used on. It's a kind of giant swing/hanglider kids ride, it looked like fun, but the line was super long and as I said, they don't allow the pass to be used there.
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Old 02-18-2010, 04:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blanche_Neige View Post
I'll keep that in mind. I'm thinking of going with only my 9y old DS on a recon mission before taking the rest of the family. Makes it easier for me as I would know in advance what to expect...

BTW what time of the year did you go? and were you staying onsite? I'm still debating on where to stay. I don't think we can afford to stay onsite... At Disney we stay at the Value and we are very happy.
Hi. We were there in August 2009, just last summer. We stayed at Disney and drove over to Universal for the day. We actually had 7 day tickets from a promo last summer ($99 for 7 days) but my kids didn't want to go back after that first day.
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Old 07-10-2011, 05:48 PM   #10
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New Universal guest assistance pass is little help for child with austism

My family and I live in tha Midwest but have been fortunate to enjoy both Walt Disney World (5xs) and Universal Studios Orlando (3xs). The guest assistance accommodations provided on previous trips to both WDW and US were more than efficient to allow my entire family, including my son with Autism to have a good time. However on our most recent trip in June 2011 we discovered Univ Studios has changed their guest assistance card policy. The new policy does not allow access to the alternate express pass line if the wait in the regular line is over 30 minutes. For example, if the wait time for the Simpson's ride is 60 minutes your card is marked and you are told to return 60 minutes later and you are then allowed to enter the express pass line and proceed to wait in that line. If you do find a regular line that is less than 30 minutes wait time you cannot use the guest assistance card unless the previously provided return time is voided. So if the Men-in-Black ride is only 20 minutes you must use the regular line or you have to wait and do nothing else or use the express line and then lose your spot for the Simpson's ride - This does very little to accommodate a child with autism. It would be a wonderful thing if ASD were so accommodating to allow for such ,but for most of us it is not -- the short lines can sometimes be tolerated it is the long wait that is the problem. Trying to convince my son that staying reasonably close to the selected ride without actually riding it is difficult to say the least. To effectively deal with the issues associated with ASD our objective with theme parks has been to get in and get out to avoid all of the possible things that will cause the eventual melt-down. WDW is still accommodating and does a fabulous job but Universal Studios is not. We will not be back to Univ Studios and I would not recommend it to parents with a child with Autism unless you plan to spend the additional $40-55 per person per day (in addition to regular admission) to add the express pass. We will skip Universal Studios and enjoy more time at the more accommodating WDW.
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Old 07-10-2011, 10:41 PM   #11
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Agreed, the express pass is really the best way to handle a child with autism at Universal, IMO, but it does cost extra. Their current policy is a bit of a mess and I don't think my son would be able to handle it even though he is very high-functioning. We decided just to eat the cost of the express pass and it made things considerably smoother, but I can understand why some would find doing that unreasonable.
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Old 07-11-2011, 09:01 AM   #12
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We had the same experience at Universal-for Men in Black we were given 15 minutes off the wait time-we had to wait right outside the ride because if we had left we would have lost our return time. Needless to say, our son was melting down right there and it was not fun. We were not told about paying for the "fastpass" so we were not too happy. Disney has this completely down packed and has a great system. We booked a trip for Christmas staying onsite in order to get the "front of the line" pass at Universal but have decided against it. Maybe we will do a day trip and pay for the front of the line but now that I have read that those lines can be just as long I am leary of that as well. Oh well...
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Old 07-11-2011, 10:25 AM   #13
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Hmmm, sounds like we are going to be better off buying the express pass, although I hate the idea of the extra cost!

How does the GAP work with rides that don't offer express pass?
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Old 07-11-2011, 11:01 PM   #14
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As far as I know, all the rides in both parks have express pass access except those in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (though that may change at any time). No clue how the GAP works there, unfortunately, since the last time I went was just before it had opened.
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Old 07-12-2011, 05:07 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fatherof2boys View Post
My family and I live in tha Midwest but have been fortunate to enjoy both Walt Disney World (5xs) and Universal Studios Orlando (3xs). The guest assistance accommodations provided on previous trips to both WDW and US were more than efficient to allow my entire family, including my son with Autism to have a good time. However on our most recent trip in June 2011 we discovered Univ Studios has changed their guest assistance card policy. The new policy does not allow access to the alternate express pass line if the wait in the regular line is over 30 minutes. For example, if the wait time for the Simpson's ride is 60 minutes your card is marked and you are told to return 60 minutes later and you are then allowed to enter the express pass line and proceed to wait in that line. If you do find a regular line that is less than 30 minutes wait time you cannot use the guest assistance card unless the previously provided return time is voided. So if the Men-in-Black ride is only 20 minutes you must use the regular line or you have to wait and do nothing else or use the express line and then lose your spot for the Simpson's ride - This does very little to accommodate a child with autism. It would be a wonderful thing if ASD were so accommodating to allow for such ,but for most of us it is not -- the short lines can sometimes be tolerated it is the long wait that is the problem. Trying to convince my son that staying reasonably close to the selected ride without actually riding it is difficult to say the least. To effectively deal with the issues associated with ASD our objective with theme parks has been to get in and get out to avoid all of the possible things that will cause the eventual melt-down. WDW is still accommodating and does a fabulous job but Universal Studios is not. We will not be back to Univ Studios and I would not recommend it to parents with a child with Autism unless you plan to spend the additional $40-55 per person per day (in addition to regular admission) to add the express pass. We will skip Universal Studios and enjoy more time at the more accommodating WDW.
This was NOT our experience of the US GAP. We joined the express line after our time frame was up not the normal line!! Also if wait time was less than 20 minutes we joined the express line straight away we NEVER went into the normal line at all!!
Also if the wait time posted was 60 mins our return time was half the time posted so we had to return in 30 minutes!! I am shocked to read that our experience was so different to yours. We were also offered to options the GAP which worked for every ride or a complimentary express pass which only worked for some of the rides - we went with the GAP and it worked really well for us but I do accept that every ASD child is different !!

Our trip was November 2010.
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