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Old 09-30-2012, 06:26 PM   #1
Bitsmommy
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Here now, Stroller as a wheelchair, did I miss something???

This is our 2nd trip to Disney since our special little man joined our family. Each time we have rented a double city mini stroller and requested a stroller as a wheel chair. 2 years ago we had no problems, in fact I explained his needs and they told me that his was what would help him. Not being rude, just helping an obviously new special needs mom. This trip, I went to guest services. I brought my son told them I needed a GAC card, she got the card, wrote his information on it and no accommodations on it. I asked for stroller as a wheelchair and she refused because I had a double stroller. I explained that this was a necessary accommodation for his safety!!! His airway is reactive and closes with irritation. Not to mention, all of the other medical issues. Like the hemiparesis. She was not having it because I had a double stroller. The statement that finally won my argument was when I said, ma'am I can grow another pair of hands because I have a child with a disability. Trust me, I wish I had them! She rolled her eyes, stamped the card, gave me the sticker and slammed it down on the counter. It wasn't a good experience. Could I have done anything to improve this??? Did the policy change???
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Old 09-30-2012, 07:51 PM   #2
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As far as I know, there has been no change.
Other people have gotten a stroller as wheelchair recently.
They may be getting more reluctant to do double strollers though, especially if only one child has a disability.

They also sometimes only tag them without giving a GAC at all.
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Old 09-30-2012, 08:32 PM   #3
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Which is weird too because on toy story at hs today, they didn't care about the stroller as a wheelchair tag. They only wanted to see the card.

I would never take advantage of the stroller as wc tag. The card clearly says my son is 2. I would never allow my husband and older son to take off to the rockin roller coaster and use the w/c entrance. To me that is the same as parking in a handicapped spot.
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:02 AM   #4
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I guess they expect you to rent separate strollers for your kids? What if you had brought your own double stroller from home instead of renting? Would your son then not be able to get a needed accommodation simply because he's in a double stroller with another child? I'm sorry you had to encounter such attitude, but happy it worked out for you in the end.
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:18 AM   #5
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His airway is reactive and closes with irritation. Not to mention, all of the other medical issues. Like the hemiparesis.

First, I'm very sorry this happened to you! Hopefully the rest of your trip will go smoothly now that you have the tag.

I'm wondering if the CM was not understanding WHY your son needs stroller-as-w/c tag? I think stroller-as-w/c tag is most typically used for stamina issues and for a "safe haven" for those with sensory issues. Maybe she didn't understand how the stroller could help protect your son. Diagnoses are not considered when granting a GAC (including stroller-as-w/c) but rather an explanation of the need. Please don't get me wrong, I'm not indicating he doesn't need the accommodation, just pointing out that it might be a less-common request and therefore she didn't understand the need if you indicated medical terms rather than HOW the stroller would protect him.

Again, I hope your trip goes more smoothly now and fortunately you did get the accommodation you needed and it should be stamped good for the length of your trip. Enjoy!
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:36 AM   #6
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If I remember right, your older child is like 5 or 6 and your other is like 2.
That might be one of the reasons why they are looking at the stroller and wondering why you need a double. Most 5 or 6 yr olds would not need a stroller in line and most 2 yr olds would be held for a lot of the time in line.
So, they may not have understood what the issues were and if they were issues for one child or both that meant you needed a double stroller.

Also, I agree with the previous poster about using medical terms - hemiparesis doesn't mean anything to them about why a child needs a stroller used in lines. Neither does reactive airway disease.
Neither of them or a list of medical diagnoses tell why you need a stroller as a wheelchair.

Both of those medical terms would not tell a non-medical person that you need to use a stroller as a wheelchair. Since you have it now, it doesn't matter, but for future, you want to keep it as clear and in regular words as possible.
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:59 AM   #7
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I did not use medical terms. I used very non medical terms. Maybe, I just got CM having a bad day. Again, she never asked me what he needed.

My oldest is actually 7, but is recovering from strep throat and wiped out at the moment. I had to change the reservation for our stroller from a single to a double this year the plan was to only have a single this time.
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Old 10-01-2012, 12:17 PM   #8
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Which is weird too because on toy story at hs today, they didn't care about the stroller as a wheelchair tag. They only wanted to see the card.
When we went last we had the same thing happen. At almost ever ride the CM would ask to see the GAC. At one point a CM told me that they had recently had people getting a hold of the stickers and were abusing them so they where requiring a GAC along with a sticker.
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Old 10-01-2012, 01:58 PM   #9
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I'm sorry you had to go through this. I think this is probably an example of a CM that is frustrated with the number of people asking for a GAC when they don't need them. I hope some of those that get one and don't need it read this and see what people that really need it are going through due to abuse.

I hope you still had a wonderful trip.
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Old 10-01-2012, 03:08 PM   #10
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When we went last we had the same thing happen. At almost ever ride the CM would ask to see the GAC. At one point a CM told me that they had recently had people getting a hold of the stickers and were abusing them so they where requiring a GAC along with a sticker.
That is very sad about people making up/using their own stickers!
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Old 10-01-2012, 04:14 PM   #11
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I'm sorry that you encountered negativity and a hassle about it! You should write an e-mail to Disney World and let them know about the issue. Maybe there is something they can do to help clarify their policy - to the CMs and the people seeking the accommodation. Certainly if you have 2 children, you will sometimes need a double stroller which does not get rid of the necessity of it for your child with a disability!
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Old 10-01-2012, 05:34 PM   #12
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It didn't ruin my vacation or anything, but was concerned that I missed a policy somewhere that said that I couldn't have a double stroller and have a stroller as a wheelchair.
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:34 PM   #13
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I was given one in August for my double stroller. My 2 year old is autistic and does so much better if allowed to remain in her stroller during shows. We didn't use it for rides. I had no problems getting one at the AK, we tried a day without one and it just wasn't fair to her. We were never asked to see the card at any park over the next 10 days.
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:32 PM   #14
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I think a lot depends on the CM. My son uses a wheelchair and his card also indicates that he needs an out of the sun place to wait - one of our party can stand in line for him. At Toy Story Mania we had a situation where I wanted to ride with my son while dad rested. Dad had the card on him, but we figured that since we had a fast past (and had returned within the time frame) we wouldn't be in the sun and would just go through the fast pass line and then up the ramp to the wheelchair loading area. The CM wouldn't let us up the ramp with the fast pass - said we need the card to use the "special car." So we just go with the flow and realize that with so many employees and so much word of mouth type training, there will be problems.

We have also had employees offer us accommodation when we didn't ask - particularly in character lines - we always thank them and decline. And when the nice people at the Kilomanjaro Safari let us enter through the fast pass line (when it is slow) just to help us with all the pushing through, we are grateful. It doesn't put us ahead of anyone - just shortens that path. That particular ride can actually result in a longer wait than the average tourist if you have to stay in your wheelchair.

We've never had what is being called a "front of the line" pass - I assume that is for people who have difficulty "waiting." It is sad they are being counterfeited. I hope this can be worked out.
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