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Old 08-03-2013, 07:57 AM   #1
SueM in MN
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Exclamation GAC to DAS NEWS & rumors - Updates Post 8: please read and don't start new threads

UPDATE 9/21/13 - SEE POST 8 for UPDATED INFORMATION

There are very many rumors about GACs at WDW and Disneyland, but no actual news.
NOTE:SEE POST 4 OF THIS THREAD FOR BREAKING NEWS

Rumors tend to pop up every 6 months to a year anyway, but have been more recent because of news about RFID cards, Magicbands and problems with GACs.

We are asking people to NOT start new threads asking if there is any news. When there is something to report, a Moderator will add the information.
If posters have any news, we are asking them to send one of disABILITIES Board Moderators a message and we will post it in a single place.
This will keep all the news together and separate from rumors.
Post 6 of the disABILITIES FAQs thread will also be updated as there are changes to report.

Since the information on post 6 is quite general, basic, and based the ADA, it my not actually change much.
You can find the disABILITIES FAQs thread near the top of this board or follow the link in my signature.

Neither of the Moderators on this board work for or speak for Disney, but we do have ways to get information from CMs that is accurate.

Here are the things we do know:

1) GAC (Guest Assistance Cards) are not going away, but the program is being revised and probably renamed.

2) The target date for rolling out the changed program was reportedly August 1, but as been pushed further into the future - some sources now say October 2013.

3) One of the changes coming up a lot in rumors is giving some sort of a return ticket, based on the current wait time at the attraction.
A similar system is currently in use at Universal. If the current wait is short (less than 30 minutes) guests with disabilities may be brought into the attraction through the Express Pass line (this is Universal's version of Fastpass).
If the current wait is longer at Universal, a return pass ticket is given for a time similar to the wait time. (This is how Universal is reportedly working at the time of this writing)

4) Although many posters have not ever received a 'return time ticket' at Disney World or Disneyland, they have been an option. They are currently in use at some attractions at Disneyland, particularly in The Cars area.
My family has personally gotten a return time ticket at WDW on several attractions, so they are not new.
This is one of the rumors that is most likely to be part of the revised GAC program.

5) Although RFID enabled GACs or GAC information encoded onto passes or Magicbands is possible at some time in the future, it is not likely to happen soon.
The RFID/Fastpass Plus program is in the testing phases at this time (early August 2013) and is not ready for full roll out at WDW.

Fastpass Plus and RFID cards/Magicbands have not begun testing at Disneyland yet.

6) Disney does not have anything official published currently about GACs, either in print or on their website. The only information about GACs present on the Disney website has been on the Disney Mom's panel. The information there was often incorrect and the disclaimer on the page indicates that Disney takes no responsibility for correctness or completeness of the answers.
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Old 09-17-2013, 09:15 AM   #2
SueM in MN
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Copied from another thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PatMcDuck View Post
This is all from Miceage today, visit Miceage.com for the entire article. Written mostly for DL, it says program will be the same for WDW. I think it sounds fantastic. I go to DL often, and the abuse out there (appears) to be worse than at WDW, because of all the AP holders there.

"The existing Guest Assistance Card (GAC) program is set to be discontinued and replaced with a new system on Wednesday, October 9th at Disneyland and DCA. As weve outlined for you before, after years of revolving door executives not wanting to get near the GAC issue, the rampant fraud inherent in the 10 year old GAC program was brought to an embarrassing light via an expose on The Today Show last May. Only then did the executives on both coasts admit that something finally had to be done, and the existing Guest Assistance Card will cease to exist on October 9th.

In its place will be an entirely new program called the Disabled Assistance System (DAS). The DAS will work similarly to the return passes issued at popular rides like Star Tours 2.0 and Radiator Springs Racers, where currently a GAC holder gets a Fastpass-style return time hand written on a card based on the current Standby wait time. But with DAS, that concept will be rolled out to several dozen high-wait attractions in Anaheim. Instead of going to the actual ride to get a return card, a DAS holder will report to one of several Guest Relations kiosks that will be set up around the parks, with a current plan to have four kiosks in Disneyland (Fantasyland alone gets their own kiosk) and three kiosks in DCA. The DAS holder will present their card and tell the Guest Relations CM which attraction they want to ride, the CM will look at the current wait time via the official Disney Mobile Magic app on an iPad, and will then write out a return time for that attraction and subtract 10 or 15 minutes to make up for the travel time to and from the kiosk.
Only one ride reservation on a DAS card can be made at a time, so if the current wait for Space Mountain is 90 minutes and your return time is written for 75 minutes later, a DAS holder will not get another return time printed on their DAS until the first one has expired. A person with a DAS card could go and do anything else in the park in the meantime; watch a parade, see a show, have lunch, go on low-wait time attractions, pull a regular Fastpass for any other attraction, etc. But only one ride time can be reserved at a time with DAS, unlike the existing GAC which serves as basically an open Fastpass for any Fastpass lane in the park or an access card to go up the exit on any other type of attraction. The DAS changes that quite dramatically.
The DAS cards will be issued only at Guest Relations offices in both parks, and the DAS kiosks are only for checking in for a specific ride. There will be no different stamps on the DAS like the current GAC with its half dozen stamp codes; you will either be issued a DAS or you will be instructed to use a wheelchair or other aid for your mobility issue. DAS will only be issued for one day at a time, although folks who can prove they are staying at a hotel for a few days could get a DAS dated for a short length of stay.

The person who is disabled and who has the DAS issued to them will also have their digital photo taken at Guest Relations, and the photo will be printed on the front of the DAS card and used by CMs at the attractions to confirm that the DAS holder is actually going on the ride. The photos will prevent a current form of abuse, whereby one member of a party gets a GAC issued to them but then insists to the CMs that they dont want to ride they just want their children or friends to go in through the exit and skip the line while they wait nearby on a bench. Or worse, children or others in the party are coached into telling the CMs that they are the person listed who was issued the GAC. To use a DAS, the person the DAS is issued to must be present at the kiosk and at the attraction and must go on the ride for the DAS privilege to work for the rest of the party.

There are more radical changes in DCA, where all queues and park facilities meet ADA requirements for wheelchair accessibility. In DCA, a person in a wheelchair or ECV wont receive any extra courtesies or services beyond those visitors who are not in a wheelchair. People visiting DCA in wheelchairs likely wont qualify for a DAS, and will now experience the park as everyone else does, including waiting in Standby lines and juggling Fastpass return times. The task of implementing that culture change will be more intense in Anaheim than Orlando as there are currently 55 attractions at Disneyland Resort that use a ride vehicle, and about 35 of those have wheelchair accessible queues. Comparatively, there are a total of 46 attractions at Walt Disney Worlds four parks combined that use a ride vehicle, and 38 of those have wheelchair accessible queues. There are more rides overall at Disneyland Resort compared to WDW, and more of them in Anaheim are not wheelchair accessible.

The goal behind DAS is to still offer service to those who may need it, but to also eliminate the wild excesses of the GAC system which operated on most days and on most rides as an unlimited Fastpass card and/or a backdoor pass to slip in via the exit with a much shorter wait. The one exception to the DAS program is made for Make-A-Wish children. A new Genie lanyard has been created for Make-A-Wish children that will act like an unlimited Fastpass and instant backdoor access card (basically the same thing as the current GAC with the green light stamp on it), and it will be sent to the families just before their visit directly from the Make-A-Wish headquarters in Phoenix. The Make-A-Wish cards wont be kept on Disney property, at the specific request of Disney to avoid any ability to use that courtesy for anyone other than qualified Make-A-Wish visitors.

Guest Relations and Attractions Cast Members in both parks have already been scheduled classroom training for the DAS program through late September and early October. The Guest Relations team will get the most intensive training day, as theyll be on the front lines of this new system as they try and reel in expectations of Annual Passholders used to having a GAC with easy access to any ride they wanted. Staffing for Guest Relations is being beefed up as much as possible beginning with roll-out day on Wednesday, October 9th, and the Security department has also been asked to help staff officers in Guest Relations centers in Disneyland and DCA to help with anyone who may get verbally abusive or threaten violence against those Guest Relations CMs doling out the more restrictive DAS cards.

It helps that the exact same program is being rolled out at WDW at the same time, and that finally there are several senior executives supporting the program. It will be interesting to see how strong the executives stand behind the DAS program when the inevitable ugly media stories begin showing up on the local news and online, or heaven forbid if the CMs in the parks really start taking serious verbal or physical abuse."


I return from to WDW Oct 2, so I will miss this new program starting up. I will get to see how it works in Feb at DL though.
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Old 09-17-2013, 08:08 PM   #3
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I will be reporting as soon as I can about the system in DL, as I go weekly. I admit I am nervous, as I use a wheelchair but have disabilities that are invisible and go far beyond what a wheelchair can do. I am sure they will have systems in place for those of us with multiple disabilities. I am perfectly happy to get a pass like they said, but I do not want to be told I cannot do so simply because I already have a wheelchair!

I will also report about what MiceAge did not cover, which include things like using a stroller as wheelchair. PLEASE do not take this to mean that "stroller-as-wheelchair" is going away!! I am just saying that the MiceAge article, while thorough, is still not confirmed in park.

I will report as soon as I can.
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Old 09-21-2013, 06:15 PM   #4
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Newly Confirmed 9/23/13:
Planned start date is still October 9, but this could reportedly change if not everything is ready at that time.

ID cards for DAS:
- issued at Guest Relations at theme parks
- requested the same way as GACs were previously
- no proof or doctor's note needed (proof can't be required per the ADA)
- ID card will be issued to the person with a disability
- person the card is bring requested for most be present
- card will have a photo of the person it was issued to

For WDW, the card will be valid for the length of stay, with proof of stay
- proof that was given as an example was a WDW resort key to the world.
- unknown what other proofs of stay might be

Guest Relations and attractions CMs are not all trained yet.


I received the following information from a WDW CM.
I assume that Disneyland CMs received a similar message and will start the new program on the same date.

I bolded the most important points.

Disability Access Service Card to replace Guest Assistance Card on Oct. 9

Disney has an unwavering commitment to making our experiences accessible to all Guests.
After careful consideration, we will be replacing the Guest Assistance Card with the new Disability Access Service Card on Oct. 9 to create a more consistent experience for all our Guests while providing accommodations for Guests with disabilities.
Until Oct. 9, we will continue to use Guest Assistance Cards. We look forward to sharing more information about the Disability Access Service Card as we get closer to implementation.

Frequently Asked Questions:
How will the new program work?
The Disability Access Service Card will offer Guests a return time for an attraction based on the current wait time. Guest Assistance Cards will continue to be in effect until Oct. 9. We look forward to sharing more information as we get closer to implementation.

Did you ask for feedback in developing the Disability Access Service Card?
We are engaging disability groups, and Autism Speaks was instrumental in providing feedback as we developed this new process.

Why are you doing this?
Given the increasing volume of requests we receive for special access to our attractions, we are changing our process beginning Oct. 9 so that it creates a more consistent experience for all our Guests while providing accommodations for Guests with disabilities.

Who will be eligible for a Disability Access Service Card?
Our goal is to accommodate Guests who aren't able to wait in a conventional queue environment due to a disability (including non-apparent disabilities).

Will Guests on wish trips also use Disability Access Service Cards?
No. Guests who are visiting through wish-granting organizations will have access through a separate program.

What should Guests do if they have concerns?
Guests should contact Guest Relations to discuss their assistance needs.


This is very consistent with some of us on the disABILITIES Board thought would probably be the changes.
Disney has a good record in dealing with guests with disabilities and has used focus groups including people with disabilities in the past, so I am not at all surprised to see that they involved disability groups, including Autism Speaks in developing the new process.

Once Fastpass Plus is rolled out, they will know how many people have Fastpass 'reservations' to ride specific attractions. 'Inserting' a few guests at a time with DAS 'reservations' will probably not affect the flow of the attraction very much and should make waits more consistent.
(My family personally felt waits in Fastpass lines became more consistent once WDW started to enforce Fastpass return times).

The wheelchair access for people who only need access should not change at all.

The current 'mobility entrances' are listed on the park maps for guests with disabilities, so those guests who need wheelchair accessibility will still use those entrances. This won't change because the ADA requires guests with disabilities to be handled 'in the mainstream' as much as possible.
Making those guests who are able to use the mainstream lines do something else would be out of compliance with the ADA.

One unresolved issue is what to do about return times for guests using DAS who are not able to transfer and are waiting for a wheelchair accessible ride car.
Currently, there can sometimes be a very long 'extra' wait.
For example, on Small World, my DH and DD got into the accessible line 25 minutes before I entered the 'regular' line. After 20 minutes waiting in line, I got onto a Small World boat - 3 boats behind DH an DD. So, I waited 20 minutes, they waited about 44 minutes.
This may not be an issue once the DAS begins, since they will have a better idea of which guests are waiting and the lines may not get as long.

I have a few other 'high probability' rumors (these may or may not be true, but are very likely)

1) For WDW, GACs may be added to Magicbands/RFID cards. At this point, Magicbands and Fastpass plus are still in testing phase, but the DAS will probably be added to Magicbands and RFID cards at some point.
(Some posters have sent me PMs indicating they were told that when they received a new GAC.
Magicbands and RFID cards don't contain any information; they link to the Disney computer, which contains information files).

2) For DisneyLAND, since Magicbands, Fastpass Plus and RFID cards are not even in testing phase, there will be some type of DAS card issued with a picture of the person it is issued to.
As DL adds RFID and Magicbands, DAS cards will probably be rolled into that.

3) All GACs will be issued for shorter and shorter times, eventually getting to be dated just for one day. This would be necessary to make sure that all the GACs are expired by the time the DAS rolls out. Once all the current GACs are expired, WDW and DL would be free to issue DAS for a longer period.

4) The first article indicated DAS would only be issued for a single day and guests would need to get a new one every day. I don't personally think that will be how it works out - at least not at WDW.
Disneyland gets more day guests and might be issuing DAS to guest with day passes only day to day.
I think it would be more likely for the DAS at either WDW or DL to be valid for either the number of days of your stay (if staying a WDW/DL resort) or the number of days you have a ticket for, if you are not staying on site.
Annual Passholders will probably be given a GAC for a maximum of 2 weeks because a lot of the abuse with 'disabled tour guides' involved Annual Passholders.

5) Strollers being used as wheelchairs will probably continue to get the red tag. Some may not a DAS card because just having the stroller in line would be all they would need.
Guests whose needs are not met by just by using the stroller in line would get a stroller sticker and a DAS.

6) Guest with a DAS could chose to go into attractions without using the DAS if they chose to. For example, if the wait in the regular line is short and they want to wait there or if they want to use Fastpass (or Fastpass Plus, which is replacing Fastpass in WDW).

7) Since Autism Speaks was involved in the process, I expect, but don't know for sure there will be some adaptation available for cocooning (where someone with autism or similar issues has a need to ride a certain attraction as part of their ritual behavior. If I am right on this, I am guessing there would be some limits on how this would happen (like a limit on number of rides).

More updates as I receive more credible information.
I will continue to label rumors as rumors and only post the ones that are likely to be true.

Until we have more information, I am asking people to continue to send me information and not start rumors threads.

When the program has begun, we will open some discussion threads - with guidelines on what is in and out of bounds for discussion.
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Old 09-22-2013, 03:10 AM   #5
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I was talking to some people about this today. Some of them use the GAC for mobility and/or stamina concerns and they seemed to believe that going directly into the FP line or exits was their right. They were not happy to hear the system was changing.

Disclaimer: This next part is based on the infornation and rumors going around.

My understanding is that with the new system, people with mobility or stamina issues will be told that they need to use mobility devices (cane, crutches, wheelchair, walker, scooter). I know this is the current guideline but this will be a firm rule.

I say this so people are aware that there will be a lot of people who believe that they are being cheated or will be very upset. This means a lot of people will be in the CMs faces and that as the changeover happens we need to be patient with the CMs. This is hard for them too, and if we can be patient with them, everything will go better for everyone.

It sounds like this should function much like the return passes at Radiator Springs Racers in DCA. Right now, my GAC allows me to get a return pass for a time roughly equal to the wait time. I then can wait in a safe environment until it is time to ride. Then I go into the FP line and then the wheelchair line (or the regular one if you can climb stairs).

In DL there is no "tag" for stroller as wheelchair, people just used the GAC. I am not sure how they will change this but I would not be surprised if the system changed to one like Disney World.

One thing that has not been made clear are how they will handle the older rides in DL that only have one entrance for wheelchairs.

For example, wheelchairs can only go into the exit of Space Mountain (I am assuming that this is a big enough ride to be part of the DAS system), it is the only accessible entrance. There are going to be people who use wheelchairs or an accessible entrance who also have other disabilities, people who need the DAS system. I am wondering how this will work. Will there be a stand by wheelchair line as well as a DAS return pass line?

I am hoping this will be the system or something like it. Right now I cannot get a FP for Space Mountain. Because I must use a wheelchair, I must use the wheelchair line. Because I cannot use the FP line (not accessible) I am never allowed to use a FP. I am hoping with the new system I will be able to get a DAS Return Pass (RP) and not have to wait in the place where the wheelchair line is.

I will update as soon as I have more information.

Right now the GACs in DL are being given for 3 days.
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Old 09-23-2013, 10:56 PM   #6
SueM in MN
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See post 4 for more information - this is an addition to post 4

Newly Confirmed 9/23/13:
Planned start date is still October 9, but this could reportedly change if not everything is ready at that time.
Guest Relations and attractions CMs are not all trained yet and parts of the program are still being finalized.

ID cards for DAS:
- issued at Guest Relations at theme parks
- requested the same way as GACs were previously
- no proof or doctor's note needed (proof can't be required per the ADA)
- ID card will be issued to the person with a disability
- person the card is being requested for must be present
- card will have a photo of the person it was issued to

For WDW, the card will be valid for the length of stay, with proof of stay
- proof that was given as an example was a WDW resort key to the world.
- unknown what other proofs of stay might be

Leading up to the start date of the new program, GACs will be given for shorter and shorter times until they are being given for one day on the day before the new program begins.

RUMOR: Having to go every day to a Guest Relations for a new DAS ID card is JUST A RUMOR and will most likely not be true.
If it is true, it may be only for DL or for people who can't prove their length of stay.

RUMOR: Annual Passholders will be issued a card for 2 weeks at a time is a rumor, but is probably true.

Moderators on the DISBOARDS are volunteers who do this in our free time, on top of our 'real' lives. We have been very busy trying to get information to share and answer the many PMs we have received.
There were several active discussion threads on other boards, but these all deteriorated into name calling, debate and general nastiness and were closed. The same thing has happened on other Disney forums all over the Internet.
This is a very 'hot button' subject - please be patient a few days longer.
It WAS just rumors until Saturday 9/21 and still we only know the bare framework for sure.
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trip report link in Memory of eternaldisneyfan, who lived these words: Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns. I am thankful that thorns have roses. Alphonse Karr

Last edited by SueM in MN; 09-24-2013 at 05:28 AM.
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Old 09-24-2013, 02:13 AM   #7
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Just wanted to add to what Sue said... Not only are those of us who moderate this board volunteers with "real lives," but most of the moderating is done by Sue who works full time and is a primary caretaker for her DD. I have been largely absent recently due to extremely poor health and family emergencies. So please be patient and kind when thinking of all moderators - we are doing the best we can. And please be extra kind to Sue, who does more than her share of the work, trying to help others access and enjoy Disney.

There are threads on other forums here on the DISboards if you really want to debate about the new DAS system. We have hidden absolutely nothing from people on this board - in fact, Sue and I have kept track of other threads, news stories, and other websites, and Sue has copied and posted as much information as we have about the new system.

The reason we have not started more discussions on this particular forum has a couple reasons. One is that until Saturday it was not even confirmed the system was changing, and until today it was not confirmed when that change would occur. Having threads filled with debate, complaints, questions, and rumors would only lead to confusion. As we always try to do on this particular forum, we have kept discussion to a minimum until things were confirmed in order to keep people looking for information from becoming confused by conflicting rumors and information.

Second, this forum is a place of support and help, a positive environment. I have yet to see a discussion on any of several different forums and boards on this topic remain positive, encouraging, and helpful. In general, things degenerate into name calling, "us versus them" attitudes, and negative feelings. We want people to be able to come to this forum and find a positive atmosphere. This topic will be open for questions and discussion in the near future, but we wanted to make sure that this change was actually happening first (for the record, it was supposed to happen in July here in DL, and people were freaking out, then it got pushed back, so our wanting confirmation is not unrealistic).

I myself have questions about how the new system will affect me, and how that will change how (and if) I can tour and enjoy the park. Even moderators get confused and nervous about such major changes.

Thank you everyone who has been so patient about this, and we thank you for being patient for just a little while longer.
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Old 09-24-2013, 08:44 PM   #8
SueM in MN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SueM in MN View Post
See post 4 for more information - this is an addition to post 4

Newly Confirmed 9/23/13:
Planned start date is still October 9, but this could reportedly change if not everything is ready at that time.
Guest Relations and attractions CMs are not all trained yet and parts of the program are still being finalized.

ID cards for DAS:
- issued at Guest Relations at theme parks
- requested the same way as GACs were previously
- no proof or doctor's note needed (proof can't be required per the ADA)
- ID card will be issued to the person with a disability
- person the card is being requested for must be present
- card will have a photo of the person it was issued to

For WDW, the card will be valid for the length of stay, with proof of stay
- proof that was given as an example was a WDW resort key to the world.
- unknown what other proofs of stay might be

Leading up to the start date of the new program, GACs will be given for shorter and shorter times until they are being given for one day on the day before the new program begins.

RUMOR: Having to go every day to a Guest Relations for a new DAS ID card is JUST A RUMOR and will most likely not be true.
If it is true, it may be only for DL or for people who can't prove their length of stay.

RUMOR: Annual Passholders will be issued a card for 2 weeks at a time is a rumor, but is probably true.

Moderators on the DISBOARDS are volunteers who do this in our free time, on top of our 'real' lives. We have been very busy trying to get information to share and answer the many PMs we have received.
There were several active discussion threads on other boards, but these all deteriorated into name calling, debate and general nastiness and were closed. The same thing has happened on other Disney forums all over the Internet.
This is a very 'hot button' subject - please be patient a few days longer.
It WAS just rumors until Saturday 9/21 and still we only know the bare framework for sure.
New information for September 24:

Confirmed/clarified from a variety of sources

GACs will no longer be available on/after October 9. Guests who previously received a GAC that expires after that will need to get a new DAS card on/after October 9.


Guests with wheelchairs, ECVs and other mobility devices - if the only accommodation a guest needs is having the mobility device in line, they will not need a DAS and will not need to get a return time. They will use the 'mobility entrances' listed in the guide map for guests with disabilities.

Stroller as wheelchair - was not previously used the same at DL as WDW. DL will be changing to the 'luggage' tag system used at WDW.
If the only accommodation a guest needs is having the stroller in line, they will not need a DAS and will not need to get a return time.
They will use the 'mobility entrances' listed in the guide map for guests with disabilities for each park.

Service Dogs There are several options available.
For attractions where Service Dogs are allowed, if the guest chooses not to have their dog ride with them, they will be able to use Rider Swap.

For attractions where Service Dogs are NOT allowed, the guest can choose to use Rider Swap OR those attractions will have portable kennels where the dog can stay while the whole group rides together.

DAS will be dated for length of stay for guests with proof of the number of days they are staying (for example, room key with dates of stay, multi-day ticket).

DAS card will have photo and spaces for writing return times.

Person the DAS was issued to must actually be going on the attraction in order to use it (i.e. can't use the DAS for the group to shorten their wait on something the DAS holder is not riding).

Disney was looking at the GAC process before the recent stories about abuse. They had noticed increasing requests for GACs and were already looking at ways to improve the process several years before the recent articles.

Disney has been working with Autism Speaks and other disability advocacy groups for a long time on this new process (so not something recent).

Disney receives thousands of requests for special access to attractions each year. The new process is designed to create a more consistent experience for all guests. One of the things they are trying to improve is situations like in this picture at Small World where the wait in the alternate entrance was much longer than the wait in the regular line.

The actual entrance to the handicapped line here is where you can see a woman in a reddish shirt in front of a man in an orange shirt. All the people to the right side of the picture are also in the handicapped line. This is at least a 45 minute wait.
The entrance to the 'regular' line is at the sign near the woman in the orange hat.

This is the posted wait time for Small World at the same time. You can see how widely spaced the people are.


This does NOT mean that anyone is 'abusing' the handicapped line (who in their right mind would enter that crowded line if they felt they could go in the regular line shown in the picture).
It just means that many more people joined that line at the time than it can possibly handle. One of the aims in the new program is to spread out guests arriving at attractions so there will not be such wide variations in wait time.
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Last edited by SueM in MN; 09-25-2013 at 06:40 AM. Reason: Fixed typos
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Old 09-25-2013, 06:48 PM   #9
KPeveler
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Just two things -

First of all, I am now officially, for this forum, calling the hand-written wait time passes you get at a DAS kiosk "Return Passes" (RP). This will help differentiate them from Fast Passes (FP) or Fast Pass Pluss (FP+). This was we can avoid confusion and have yet another abbreviation on the list

Second, what Sue posted above, including pictures, happens all the time at the accessible entrances, especially in DL where almost nothing is mainstreamed. So this new system does three things to make that better:
  • The one that gets the most press are the "abusers." People who were lying or exaggerating or otherwise abusing the system so they can get "instant access" or "skip the line" will not be very interested in a system that is not only more selective in who gets the DAS ID, but also means they still have to wait. I think many abusers will start to melt away once the new system is in place. So that will cut down the line, at least somewhat.

  • It is closer to an equal access system for people with disabilities. Guests who need the DAS will still wait their "turn," but they will be allowed to do it in a safe manner. And of course there will be situations where we end up waiting longer (ride breaks or we need to wait for the WAV), but overall, it is closer to equal access.

  • It really does space out the guests. Based on what we have heard so far about the DAS, it sounds like a more advanced version of what is used at Radiator Springs Racers in DCA. I have described in detail below the system being used.

Radiator Springs Racers: Return Passes under the GAC SYSTEM
The system at RSR in DCA has been in place for over a year. Before this system was put in place for guests with a GAC, guests with a particular (but pretty common) stamp were being sent in the FP line. The queue is wheelchair accessible, so all guests with other GAC stamps and with wheelchairs, cane, crutches, ECVs, and other mobility problems were being sent into the standard queue. On top of that, there is a single rider queue which is also wheelchair accessible.

After guests made it past the FP/stand-by merge, all guests who cannot climb up and down a flight of stairs for any reason from a bad knee to a full-time wheelchair user, are directed to the left to an accessible boarding area (referred to as the wheelchair line), much like TSM in both CA and FL. Cars are pulled over to the side so guests can take their time boarding, and there is a limit to the number people with mobility disabilities allowed on at any one time. (This is true of all rides, and is done for safety reasons)

There were so many people trying to access the ride, especially at popular times of day (park opening, right after the parade, after sundown, etc), that the FP line was longer than 30 minutes to the merge point, and the wheelchair queue was so long it was backing up into the regular lines and causing traffic problems.

The wheelchair line alone (this is after waiting in the standby, FP, or Single Rider line, all of which are accessible), was more than a hour long at times.

After that, DCA started giving out the Return Passes (RP) to the guests with that particular stamp on their GAC. There is a general guideline to the number of RPs that are given out for any particular time, but they are roughly equal to the stand-by time. So I may get a pass that tells me to return between 3:00 and 4:00, and the guest behind me gets one for 3:05 to 4:05. Both Return Times are under the stand-by time, but it spaces out the guests who will be needing the wheelchair line.

When I ask for the return ticket, they ask me how many people are in my group are riding, and that number is put on the RP too.

So I was given a RP for a time equal to the Stand-by line, and I was allowed to wait somewhere safe for me. I then returned during my allotted hour, and I went through the FP line, through the WC line, and boarded the ride from there.

When I get the RP, the write the time I got ride, the date, and my return time on my GAC (It would look like this: RSR 9/25 3:00). When I returned to the ride, I needed to show both my GAC AND my RP. They checked my GAC again when I get to the merge and give them my hand-written RP. They also ask when I get the RP, when I enter the line, and sometimes when I hit the merge and give them the RP, they ask "Who is Katherine?" - trying to make sure that the GAC is not being handed around the group.

This works out rather well for the ride, though it is not a perfect system. They of course work with you if the ride breaks down during your allotted return time, or if there are other exceptional circumstances.

What This Means...
What does this mean for the DAS? Nothing definite. But since the rumors about how the DAS may work sound very similar, I wanted to describe in detail the current procedure for RSR. This does not mean the current system at RSR will be identical to the DAS - so PLEASE do not take this as definite. Since it does, however, sound like the system being put into place, I wanted to provide a real life example of how getting a RP may work. There are so many rumors going around, and pretty much everyone with a GAC or a wheelchair was very anxious about the changing system.

I hope this helps give people an idea, and maybe calms some nerves. As soon as we have more definite information, we will of course share it.
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