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Old 01-18-2013, 09:59 AM   #76
icouldlivethere
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I can't believe how judgmental some people can be. Thankfully, the majority of people I meet are very kind and supportive. I also can't believe how much time some people waste trying to figure out if they think somebody is "faking it" or not.

I'm not able to stand for long or walk very far so I have a scooter I use to get around on whenever I go anywhere. To look at me you would not know that I have so many health issues. Appearances are deceiving. Very few handicaps are obvious to the casual observer. I've never used a GAC because I haven't felt a need to. Using my scooter has been adequate for my needs.

The thing that has always baffled me is how many people claim to have seen people misusing the GAC's. We go to WDW twice a year and I can honestly say that I have never even observed anyone using a GAC. I'm too busy worrying about myself and making sure I don't run into anybody with my scooter. I don't understand why anybody would make it there business to try and figure out if somebody else "deserved" to have a GAC or "deserved" to ride a scooter.

Could I go to the doctor before each trip and get a doctor's excuse explaining why I need to ride a scooter? Sure, I could. But, I don't think anyone should have to pay to go to the doctor's office to get a medical excuse for anything Disney related. If people really wanted to get a GAC or use a scooter they could forge a doctor's note so that wouldn't solve anything.

Some of the rides at Disney have a warning not to ride if you have neck, back or heart problems. What if they decided that everyone needed to make a visit to the doctor's office before leaving home and get a note from your doctor stating that you have no neck, back or heart problems in order to ride those rides. Would you want to schedule doctor's appointments and pay for each member of your party to go get a doctor's excuse stating it was ok for you to ride the rides before each Disney trip? Would you like people judging you as you got in line and determining just by looking at you if they thought you had back, neck or heart problems?

As far as using handicapped parking placards as proof of disability goes, if you are using your placard to park your car, how can you carry it with you to prove your disability? It needs to stay with your car. Also, some people have handicapped license plates in lieu of a placard. You can't take the plates off your car in order to carry them to the entrance of the park just to prove disability.

Do I think there are abuses going on with handicapped parking spaces? Yes. As an example, we are time share owners at BWV and if you arrive in the afternoon you will find all the handicapped parking spaces gone. However, if you go to the parking lot late at night after Epcot has closed or early in the morning before Epcot opens there are plenty of handicapped parking spaces in the lot. I suspect there are people who are using the BWV parking lot to go to Epcot without paying parking fees. When handicapped parking spaces are full anywhere and I'm forced to park in a non handicapped spot then I don't feel safe having to ride through the parking lot on my scooter because it's hard for drivers to see me.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:12 AM   #77
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You only have to go to Costco on a Saturday to speculate that the disability parking placards are being handed around.



What burns my rear is the parking lot at our elementary school! Every morning, I find people in the handicapped parking spaces -- no placard or license plate or anything. And then they'll see us waiting for the space and we'll get a "Oh...sorry! I was just running in for a few minutes."

This happens at least once a week, if not more often. Or they'll stop behind the handicapped spaces to let their kids out of the car.

It's not a drop off spot! It's *handicapped parking*. You don't block it or park in it if you don't have a disability!

There's a separate drop off lane but, because there are a few cars lined up, it's easier for these folks to just use the handicapped spots.
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:10 AM   #78
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Originally Posted by wheels on fire
in uk to get a exit pass you need to have actual proof .either a statement from school or letter from school with dx .and blue badges ( parking permits )have photo on so harder to abuse

If line is wheelchair accessible then you are expected to queue .though few times we been sent up the fp line as chair tends block access .

If have probems queuing then you need a letter with dx of autisum /aspergers or social communication disorder or something along those lines.

Means it does work well and less likely to be abused

.but downside in uk wheelchair users are not allowed to ride most rides no matter how strong are in upper body so personally for me I will take your us system which allows me to ride just about everything
That is one of the things that has been done at Disneyland lately, they even make you initial the pass indicating that you understand it won't guarantee immediate boarding.
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:19 AM   #79
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Originally Posted by cmwade77 View Post
That is one of the things that has been done at Disneyland lately, they even make you initial the pass indicating that you understand it won't guarantee immediate boarding.
At WDW, they often use a yellow highlighter to highlight certain areas (like the part that says it is not meant to shorten or eliminate waits and the part that says if you want shorter waits, you should get Fastpasses.
They have also recently added a stamp that says the GAC is not valid for character greetings.

Not every CM and not every time, but it is a start.
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:25 AM   #80
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Now, I do think it should be honored for character greetings, at least ones that are permanent like Enchanted Tales with Belle for example. We missed out on it this trip because there was now way I could handle the 120 minute wait with my issues.

Its just a matter of making everything equal. I have no problems waiting, but the way the queue is designed, if my issues arise when I am in the middle of it they would have to shut down until janitorial came.
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:33 AM   #81
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Originally Posted by cmwade77 View Post
Now, I do think it should be honored for character greetings, at least ones that are permanent like Enchanted Tales with Belle for example. We missed out on it this trip because there was now way I could handle the 120 minute wait with my issues.
But, a shorter wait time can be accomplished without a GAC. I've got it in my touring plan for our upcoming trip and don't anticipate a wait based on my research into best times to do different attractions. If we have to stand back away from the crowds at RD (DD15's at her best first thing in the morning so some days she can handle being right up at the rope while other days we have to stay to the back) then we'll just wait for the second show if the first one is full. The max wait will be the length of one show following this plan and that's without using a GAC.

I'm hoping that seeing it once will mean we don't have to see it in future trips. Boy would that make plans easier.

Once I started doing research into touring plans, I learned that a good touring plan really can accomplish so much more than a GAC can. Yes I do still use a GAC but nowhere near as much as I used to and our day goes so much smoother and we accomplish so much more in the limited time we have in the parks.
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:47 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by clanmcculloch

But, a shorter wait time can be accomplished without a GAC. I've got it in my touring plan for our upcoming trip and don't anticipate a wait based on my research into best times to do different attractions. If we have to stand back away from the crowds at RD (DD15's at her best first thing in the morning so some days she can handle being right up at the rope while other days we have to stay to the back) then we'll just wait for the second show if the first one is full. The max wait will be the length of one show following this plan and that's without using a GAC.

I'm hoping that seeing it once will mean we don't have to see it in future trips. Boy would that make plans easier.

Once I started doing research into touring plans, I learned that a good touring plan really can accomplish so much more than a GAC can. Yes I do still use a GAC but nowhere near as much as I used to and our day goes so much smoother and we accomplish so much more in the limited time we have in the parks.
For enchanted tales with Belle, 120 minutes was the shortest wait the entire time we were there and that was at park opening. It NEVER got shorter than that and that was going straight there at park opening. Remember those of us that need GACs move slower than everyone else, so being the first ones back there isn't really an option. This was us being there at Rope Drop and going straight back there.

Many times the waits were 180 minutes. Now hopefully it will be slower on our next trip and we will be able to do so; however I am still concerned about the queue itself because of how much it loops back and forth. This can be a real killer on my knee, like I said, this was learned the hard way on this last trip.

Overall, we found short lines by using touring plans, but found that if we didn't use the GAC I would be in massive pain due to queue design. This is of course not true for every attraction, but for many, such as Mickey's Philharmagic, Buzz Light Year, Monster's Inc, Great Movie Ride, Kilimanjaro Safari, Expedition Everest and several others, it is a problem.
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:09 PM   #83
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Did you use a touring plan service to figure out which park would be least crowded that day? I know that the times at the least recommended parks can be crazy like that but Josh at easywdw hasn't steered me wrong yet and even the really bad wait attractions on best days are manageable at RD. He's posted actual times that he's seen at this attraction and others who are on his boards have done so also. Every one of them have indicated that at RD, even taking the time to stop for FPs for other attractions they all got into the first show, second at the latest.

I do get that those with GAC can't always be head of the crowd. As I said, my DD15 some days has to wait at the back of the crowd at RD and we don't proceed until the mad dash is over. Even then, one time at DHS she still got plowed into (even though there was plenty of room around us; the lady just wasn't paying attention to where she was going) and that meant another delay as we calmed her down (we had full blown meltdown going on because of this). I get it, I really do.

If you're having trouble with walking because of your knee, have you considered a mobility device?
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:17 PM   #84
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Originally Posted by aubriee View Post
He also made the comment that if they rented an ECV or wheelchair in the parks that they could use it to skip lines. Another of the boys, said, "nah, that's too much trouble and would probably cost too much". The first boy said yeah, but if they shared the cost, it wouldn't be too bad and it'd let them skip all the lines. Since my mom uses an ECV I know that's not true, but was sortof hoping they'd do it, just so they could learn that for themselves.
That's my feeling - I know from experience that touring on foot is more fun than touring in an ECV, so I assume that anyone who tries it will soon learn the same.
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:18 PM   #85
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It is not always non-disabled people that can be rude and uncaring. At Night of Joy, I had no access to the interpreters the 2nd night because of wheelchair guests refusing to let me get close enough to the interpreter stage at the castle. I was told I could watch from behind them. CM weren't any help either. If it had nit been for the people from the radio station that sponsored Night of Joy inviting me to watch from the ramp with them I could not have seen the interpreters at all. The night before it was almost as bad but a Lead CM made sure I was up there where I could see the interpreters but even then there was a parent that was nasty when I asked him to please not stand in front of me. I use a wheelchair and have a hearing loss and find that some people just look at the wheelchair and decide that is all I need accommodations for. Please just because I can speak normally doesn't mean I hear normally.
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:21 PM   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clanmcculloch
Did you use a touring plan service to figure out which park would be least crowded that day? I know that the times at the least recommended parks can be crazy like that but Josh at easywdw hasn't steered me wrong yet and even the really bad wait attractions on best days are manageable at RD. He's posted actual times that he's seen at this attraction and others who are on his boards have done so also. Every one of them have indicated that at RD, even taking the time to stop for FPs for other attractions they all got into the first show, second at the latest.

I do get that those with GAC can't always be head of the crowd. As I said, my DD15 some days has to wait at the back of the crowd at RD and we don't proceed until the mad dash is over. Even then, one time at DHS she still got plowed into (even though there was plenty of room around us; the lady just wasn't paying attention to where she was going) and that meant another delay as we calmed her down (we had full blown meltdown going on because of this). I get it, I really do.

If you're having trouble with walking because of your knee, have you considered a mobility device?
But that's just it, I don't have trouble walking. It's the looping back and forth that was killing me, I found the simple way to avoid this was to always show the GAC, that way I still get the exercise that I desperately need and not have that issue.

Additionally, a mobility device would make quick exits from queues virtually impossible and there are times where that is a must do or let's just say the ride would be shut down for a while and we would be leaving for the day.

As for a touring plan, we did indeed check which parks would be the least crowded each day and it worked well.

This is one though that we checked constantly on the mobile magic app and a couple of other wait time apps, even if it wasn't a Magic Kingdom day and the wait never was shorter than 120 minutes.
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:41 PM   #87
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If you are getting upset by the article you may need to try to step back from the subject a bit. I know that can be hard when it directly effects you, but it's just somebody saying that we factually know there is a problem with GAC abuse. Everybody knows that it happens so there is no need to be in denial. Because there is a problem, we should expect that Disney is going to try to make a solution. They are not saying every person abuses it.

I don't really get the opposition to giving a return time pass. As keeps being said in defense of the GAC, it is not meant to be a fastpass, it is meant to accommodate needs if you can't do the regular line for some reason. So if the regular line has a 15 minute wait and you are going to be mad if you can't load the ride for 15 minutes, maybe you need to rethink how you are using the thing. There are thousands of people in the park that day wishing they had their 15 minutes of line time to grab a drink, check out a shop or take a potty break. It is meant to assure that every guest has equal ability to ride, see shows and enjoy your day, not a pass to gain some super ability to skip 2 hour lines as much as desired. Obviously loading issues affect it's fastpass-like qualities, which I believe is the ONLY reason anybody with a GAC may be entering through the fastpass lane. I think that is an unintended bonus for disabilities that effect a person's ability to be in the standby line but not their ability to get on the ride. I don't think people want to be locked in a private room until their turn, so is there any actual fair answer? One that is fair to EVERY guest?
FYI there is no bonus to being disabled intended or not.
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Old 01-18-2013, 02:01 PM   #88
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Both of my wheelchairs and we always get a GAC at the parks when we visit. However, if there is a ride that has a Fastpass option, we get a FP for it and return at the scheduled time. Otherwise, we have to use the wheelchair entrance posted for the ride as many of the lines cannot accommodate someone with a wheelchair/GAC (corners too tight, etc.). Sometimes (not often) when we in line to get a FP, a CM will tell us to just go into the ride using the FP lane, especially if there is not much of a regular line. We usually have to show our GAC and FP when using the FP entrance anyway, just to show we are allowed to take the chairs into the ride entrance.

So, I think to alleviate the problem, they should require all GAC users to get a FP for the rides that have them, just to make it fair to everybody.

For those people who think using a GAC is faster than the regular line, just use a GAC to get into Toy Story Midway Mania just once and they will find out otherwise. That line is horrible for GAC's!

And for all the "groups" that people complain about, WDW should just make a schedule for them which they have to stick to, including group viewing areas for parades/fireworks. I think January is the biggest month for the groups people complain about. After experiencing these groups once personally (actually they weren't as bad as I had anticipated, just very rude) we decided not to go again in January ever.
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Old 01-18-2013, 02:21 PM   #89
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For those people who think using a GAC is faster than the regular line, just use a GAC to get into Toy Story Midway Mania just once and they will find out otherwise. That line is horrible for GAC's!
It might be horrible for those who need the special car or who cannot do stairs, but it is the ride where we found using a GAC the most helpful. Just goes to show that there are no absolutes.
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Old 01-18-2013, 07:33 PM   #90
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Both of my wheelchairs and we always get a GAC at the parks when we visit. However, if there is a ride that has a Fastpass option, we get a FP for it and return at the scheduled time. Otherwise, we have to use the wheelchair entrance posted for the ride as many of the lines cannot accommodate someone with a wheelchair/GAC (corners too tight, etc.). Sometimes (not often) when we in line to get a FP, a CM will tell us to just go into the ride using the FP lane, especially if there is not much of a regular line. We usually have to show our GAC and FP when using the FP entrance anyway, just to show we are allowed to take the chairs into the ride entrance.

So, I think to alleviate the problem, they should require all GAC users to get a FP for the rides that have them, just to make it fair to everybody.

For those people who think using a GAC is faster than the regular line, just use a GAC to get into Toy Story Midway Mania just once and they will find out otherwise. That line is horrible for GAC's!

And for all the "groups" that people complain about, WDW should just make a schedule for them which they have to stick to, including group viewing areas for parades/fireworks. I think January is the biggest month for the groups people complain about. After experiencing these groups once personally (actually they weren't as bad as I had anticipated, just very rude) we decided not to go again in January ever.
The problem with requiring GAC users to get FPs is that they often run out before we are able to get there. It's not fair that someone without a a disability could get in the standby line when someone who has a disability cannot always get there early enough to get a FP. Equal access does mean equal at all times. Disneyland tried something like this when they first changed from SAPs to GACs for a while and got in trouble for it because it meant that many guests who needed a GAC were being excluded from many attractions later in the day.

So, no, your system isn't fair for everyone either.
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