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Old 04-21-2014, 11:03 PM   #31
Svhadden
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I've said it before and I'll say it again: I'll stand by and wait with my blessedly healthy kids and watch 50 disabled/ill children pass us on their way into a ride, attraction, whatever. No way I'm going to complain about Disney's attempts to make the magic accessible to as many as possible. No system is perfect, abuse is always going to be an issue, but that's not my problem to fix…it's Disney's, and I believe they'll do their best with the situation.

I'm a mental health provider, specializing in community-based therapy for kids with all sorts of diagnoses, many with pervasive developmental disorders. I know of no one, *NO ONE*, who wouldn't trade their kid's diagnosis in a second. No one is happy about needing the GAC/DAS, but I know many who are just glad it's there.

Regardless of the flaws, I'm glad it's there, too.
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Old 04-22-2014, 11:51 AM   #32
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Just my observation as a parent to two sons on the autism spectrum.

Our boys are now adults, and can handle waiting in line with no problem. This was not the case in 2005. At that time our youngest son could only handle being in the parks for a few hours at a time and the GAC was the difference between a wonderful vacation that we fondly remember to this day or a time in "autism hell" that I am sure it would have been without the card.

Thankfully, since that time my son has progressed by leaps and bounds with his cognitive ability and behavior so waiting in line no longer causes the epic meltdowns of the past, therefore we no longer require any assistance such as the current DAS card affords.

Now, on to any of you that would make asinine comments about and verbally attack people with disabilities: If I ever heard you say that in my presence, any veneer of a gentile professional man that I possess would probably melt away and I would be jailed for slapping you so hard your momma would feel it. What kind of a jerk would say such things?

You want to start banning people from the parks? I guarantee you 99% of people would rather see ******s that would pick on people with disabilities banned from the parks rather than these people and families who have to deal with physical and cognitive disabilities on a daily basis banned.

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Old 04-22-2014, 01:51 PM   #33
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Thank you, Pete.

And to awr66, my daughter (was moderate, now high functioning) will now say, "My autism is really showing today."
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Old 04-22-2014, 02:31 PM   #34
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First I'd like to provide my unsolicited opinion that I agree almost 100% with Pete's statement on the podcast. Personally, I think it is terrible that people would say something with the purpose to hurt others in any situation at a Disney resort.

The one point, on which I disagree, was already brought up by Lurch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lurch View Post
...That said, I can certainly understand the frustration. Also, I think Pete is way out of line saying that unless you have a disability you have no say. When someone's demands for accommodations adversely impacts other guests then they do indeed have a right to voice their opinion.
There is real societal danger in letting only one side of an argument be heard, which Pete's comment basically advocates, and the current lawsuit will provide a voice for those on both sides of the argument. Please let me qualify by saying, it is NOT alright for someone to voice their concern or negativity on the spot (at the scene) regarding the use of these passes. We, the line-waiting public, do not have the full story, so we should not take immediate action on the perceived issue.

However, there is a place and time to voice concerns about perceived abuses of these privileges. Writing Disney an email or pulling a manager aside later to voice concerns in private (or as private as possible) are appropriate responses. It is likely Disney has thousands of these dissenting comments, which is why they decided to amend their policies.

I completely agree with Svhadden on this point,
Quote:
Originally Posted by Svhadden View Post
I've said it before and I'll say it again: I'll stand by and wait with my blessedly healthy kids and watch 50 disabled/ill children pass us on their way into a ride, attraction, whatever. No way I'm going to complain about Disney's attempts to make the magic accessible to as many as possible. No system is perfect, abuse is always going to be an issue, but that's not my problem to fix…it's Disney's, and I believe they'll do their best with the situation.

...

Regardless of the flaws, I'm glad it's there, too.
No system is perfect, and I definitely get frustrated when eight or more family/friends cue-up with one person with a pass. However, I don't really say anything unless it seems to be extremely excessive abuse, then I might report it to WDW management. Then again, I get frustrated when the line stops because someone with purchased a VIP guide and get on rides ahead of everyone. Of course, there are those Brazillian tour groups in the green shirts... we should ban those, for sure!

All in, I trust Disney management to make the right decision. If they implement a policy, I trust they did so with the best interest of all guests in mind, as to do otherwise would cause them harm. This policy may not be the answer, but they are trying and once feedback on the policy is collected, they will likely make a change for the better. However, I think everyone should have an opinion and should voice that opinion to Disney management with specific details on what the concern was. They will then sift through the input and act on the relevant issues.

ETA: Thank you, Pete, for these great boards; providing the ability to both voice my opinion in healthy discussion and the ability to read other people's opinion, as it allows me to become more educated!
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Old 04-22-2014, 02:43 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by k5jmh View Post


Then you do not know what you are talking about. Why on earth would you trivialize a condition like that? Try growing up with a severe ADHD condition and having a child with the same. We do not need a DAS, but we several folks that do that meet that description. You can not use a black and white judgement on any range of condition. Each has its own challenges.
Right on. ADHD for some reason is a disability that people have no problem openly mocking and treating like it is "made up" or "no big deal." People say things about ADHD that they would never say about other neurological issues, (because they would be ashamed to be heard talking about other conditions that way).

As a woman with two children with ADHD (and a husband with ADHD), I know it isn't some frivolous, funny, ridiculous, made-up issue. If you think it is, you should educate yourself - instead of being blithely unconcerned with your ignorance.
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Old 04-22-2014, 03:22 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Greysword View Post
I completely agree with Svhadden on this point, No system is perfect, and I definitely get frustrated when eight or more family/friends cue-up with one person with a pass.
to this I have an honest question - If:

1. DD has a stroller as a wheelchair card (given she can't walk or stand on her own)
2. My entire family is at WDW (9 people total)
3. We all want to (and physically can) ride the same ride

why shouldn't we be allowed to wait together?

With the stroller as wheelchair, we wouldn't have a DAS card (DD doesn't need it), we just need to go through a wheelchair accessible entrance. Many lines at WDW are mainstreamed (and therefore wheelchair accessible), but for the ones that aren't - why should our party have to split up? If we were able to wait in the regular line, we wouldn't have to split up, so why should we have to split up because of DD's developmental delays (the cause of her not walking)?

We go to Disney to spend time together as a family, to experience attractions together as a family. If it were just about DH and I experiencing a ride/attraction with DD we'd go by ourselves. But we get a lot of joy out of being with our nephews as well (as they do interacting with their younger cousin also).

Please note again - I am not talking about getting ahead in line, or a reduced wait time or anything of the sort. We will not get a DAS for DD because she has no issues waiting in line. The problem is strictly her lack of mobility, and the fact that neither DH nor I can hold her for long stretches of time. She's simply too big at this point.

So if we are waiting the same amount of time as someone who got in the standby line at the same time as we went to a wheelchair accessible entrance, and we board at the same time (or close) - then what in the world is the problem if it's just DH and I with DD, or if it's our family as a whole?
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Old 04-22-2014, 03:45 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angel Ariel View Post
to this I have an honest question - If:

1. DD has a stroller as a wheelchair card (given she can't walk or stand on her own)
2. My entire family is at WDW (9 people total)
3. We all want to (and physically can) ride the same ride

why shouldn't we be allowed to wait together?
Excellent question and great qualifiers.

The short answer is you should all go through together.

That is Disney's policy, and I accept it. However, I may still feel concern. If it is one or three families, that is fine and I am happy to see your family enjoy time together. If the wait is 30 minutes or less, great. If it is a two hour wait (Radiator Springs Racers) and dozens of larger families use the option, then it gets a bit demoralizing watching groups filter in and out while my family is patiently waiting.

In the end, I just silently get frustrated with it and don't say anything, though.


I have a counter question for yourself and others on here, as I am curious. Actually, it is a scenario:

Many DISers are repeat visitors to the Disney parks (either coast). Many DISer families with a member qualifying for the access card, like the elderly lady on in the podcast story, may have visited or get to visit Disney World or Disneyland multiple times in their lives.

During the busy season, should these frequent visitors get access to the attractions sooner than the non-qualifying family that saved up for several years (three, five, ten+) for this truly once in a lifetime trip?

Who has precedence in this scenario, the family that will be back next year to see the attractions they miss or the family who will likely not return for decades as a family?

If the special needs family are local to the parks and visit very frequently, should they get access before the family who flew in once per year/every other year to a specific attraction, knowing they will be back again very soon?

Again, I am curious as each story is different and one qualifier may outweigh another if all the stories are laid bare for each of us to interpret. I'm not trying to be cantankerous (that's the aspergers talkin' if it does ); rather, I'm trying to point out that blanket policies are difficult as it may not be the best option in a situation once the specifics are known.
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Old 04-22-2014, 03:55 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Greysword View Post
Excellent question and great qualifiers.

The short answer is you should all go through together.

That is Disney's policy, and I accept it. However, I don't have to like it. If it is one or three families, that is fine and I am happy to see your family enjoy time together. If the wait is 30 minutes or less, great. If it is a two hour wait and dozens of larger families use the option, then it gets a bit demoralizing watching filter in and out while my family is waiting.

In the end, I just silently get frustrated with it and don't say anything, though.
To the bolded - the guest in SB (in this case, you) would have no idea how long we waited. As i said in my post, I'm not talking about any reduction in wait time. I'm talking about waiting the same exact time as someone who gets into the SB line at the same time, just that we would have to use a different entrance if the SB line is not wheelchair accessible.

I think it's pretty clear with this new DAS program that using a wheelchair accessible entrance does not mean any reduction in wait time - especially considering issues that are solely related to mobility (as DD's are) don't even qualify to have a DAS card. It's just that we would, in some cases, have to use a different entrance.

So given that, why should anyone be "demoralized" at seeing my family? I anticipate we'll be waiting just as long as anyone in standby is, just in a way that is accessible for my daughter. As I said before, I would give *anything* to not have to even think about this type of accommodation for my daughter, but that's not an option I have.


Quote:
Who has precedence in this scenario, the family that will be back next year to see the attractions they miss or the family who will likely not return for decades as a family?
Neither is more important than the other. Both have paid the same admission to get into the parks, and both deserve to have the same access to attractions, regardless of when they will come again.

Quote:
If the special needs family are local to the parks and visit very frequently, should they get access before the family who flew in once per year/every other year to a specific attraction, knowing they will be back again very soon?
See my response above - neither is more important than the other.
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Old 04-22-2014, 04:10 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angel Ariel View Post
To the bolded - the guest in SB (in this case, you) would have no idea how long we waited. As i said in my post, I'm not talking about any reduction in wait time. I'm talking about waiting the same exact time as someone who gets into the SB line at the same time, just that we would have to use a different entrance if the SB line is not wheelchair accessible.

I think it's pretty clear with this new DAS program that using a wheelchair accessible entrance does not mean any reduction in wait time - especially considering issues that are solely related to mobility (as DD's are) don't even qualify to have a DAS card. It's just that we would, in some cases, have to use a different entrance.
I'm sorry, I guess I missed the point of the discussion at large. I thought we were talking about the lawsuit that alleges the previous policy on the card should be reinstated instead of the new policy, which is said to be harmful to families with special needs. Also, we were talking about Pete's comment about families with no special needs having an opinion. I guess I got lost?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Angel Ariel View Post
So given that, why should anyone be "demoralized" at seeing my family? I anticipate we'll be waiting just as long as anyone in standby is, just in a way that is accessible for my daughter.
This conversation shouldn't be internalized, as I was not speaking directly about your family. I was speaking in general about the perception made by traffic flow of people using the wheelchair access entrances during busy days. I apologize and withdraw, as the conversation is unlikely to continue if it is made personal.


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Originally Posted by Angel Ariel View Post
Neither is more important than the other. Both have paid the same admission to get into the parks, and both deserve to have the same access to attractions, regardless of when they will come again.

...

See my response above - neither is more important than the other.
That is not what the lawsuit seems to allege, and if that is the case everyone should be able to have an opinion, right?

I realize that personalizing the issues means a meaningful conversation is likely to grind to a halt, as we will be sorting out specifics instead of discussing the concerns in a larger context. I apologize for interrupting, and thank you to everyone on here for letting me post my thoughts. I now practice what I said previously, I will sit back and watch and keep the rest of my thoughts to myself so I don't cause anyone harm.
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Old 04-22-2014, 04:24 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Greysword View Post
I'm sorry, I guess I missed the point of the discussion at large. I thought we were talking about the lawsuit that alleges the previous policy on the card should be reinstated instead of the new policy, which is said to be harmful to families with special needs. Also, we were talking about Pete's comment about families with no special needs having an opinion. I guess I got lost?
I guess I'm a bit lost too. You made a comment about getting frustrated seeing 8 people line up when there is only one person with a pass. I asked a question based on that comment. You answered me, asked another question, and I responded...neither the comment I originally asked you a question about, nor the one you specifically asked of me, seemed to be referencing the lawsuit...

Quote:
This conversation shouldn't be internalized, as I was not speaking directly about your family. I was speaking in general about the perception made by traffic flow of people using the wheelchair access entrances during busy days. I apologize and withdraw, as the conversation is unlikely to continue if it is made personal.
I understand that you weren't making it personal, and I wasn't taking it personally - I apologize if it sounded as though I were. My main point is that someone in the SB line has no idea how long someone in the wheelchair access area has been waiting (unless the wheelchair area can be seen from everywhere in SB, which I don't believe is the case generally).

Under the new system, solely needing to use the wheelchair entrance for mobility reasons alone does not qualify you to use the DAS. So, at this point, no one in SB can just assume that someone boarding from the wheelchair entrance is cutting in front of them in line. They could very well have entered the line at the same time as the person who is now boarding from the SB line.

So the basic question i was asking you originally (based on your comment about being frustrated at seeing 8 people board with 1 pass) - is:

If a family of 9 entered a non-mainstreamed attraction line through the wheelchair entrance, and they waited the same exact amount as a family who entered that attraction's SB line at the same time, why shouldn't that family of 9 be allowed to wait/enter the attraction together? Why should it be demoralizing or frustrating to watch that family of 9 board, when they have waited the same amount of time as anyone in standby?

*Please note I have done my best to make worded in a less personal manner..I am in no way taking this conversation personally *
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Old 04-22-2014, 07:07 PM   #41
Greysword

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Originally Posted by Angel Ariel View Post
So the basic question i was asking you originally (based on your comment about being frustrated at seeing 8 people board with 1 pass) - is:

If a family of 9 entered a non-mainstreamed attraction line through the wheelchair entrance, and they waited the same exact amount as a family who entered that attraction's SB line at the same time, why shouldn't that family of 9 be allowed to wait/enter the attraction together? Why should it be demoralizing or frustrating to watch that family of 9 board, when they have waited the same amount of time as anyone in standby?
Absolutely a good point. If the wait is the same, or nearly the same, then it certainly would not matter, as it would be like two loading zones for the same ride. Even if one moved faster (the one I'm not in ), then no worries. Usually, it isn't a concern for me anyway, regardless.

I guess enough large groups of people have been observed using this in the past to generate the complaints to warrant WDW to change their policy.

I had a thought. Maybe it will be easier and better with the new FastPass+ system. If instead of a card, the party's wrist bands allowed access, then it would blend fairly seamlessly and no one would know if they are using a FP reservation or another privilege.

ETA: You know, maybe I'm getting a bit more excited about this than normal, as there are some fairly stern discussions on the Disneyland board about line cutters and when it is ok/not ok Howver, I still say everyone should be able to have an opinion on this (and any) topic , even if it is uneducated. Besides, that's how we elect our Congress, right?
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Old 04-22-2014, 09:25 PM   #42
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Absolutely a good point. If the wait is the same, or nearly the same, then it certainly would not matter, as it would be like two loading zones for the same ride. Even if one moved faster (the one I'm not in ), then no worries. Usually, it isn't a concern for me anyway, regardless.

I guess enough large groups of people have been observed using this in the past to generate the complaints to warrant WDW to change their policy.
I was referring to WDW"s new policy, not the old one. Under the new policy, DAS cards are not handed out unless you have a specific issue standing in line - mobility issues alone are not enough to qualify for a DAS. Wheelchairs (and strollers as wheelchairs) still need to use the appropriately accessible entrance (not always the same as the SB line), but they may not necessarily have a DAS (and, therefore, I assume would be waiting the same amount as everyone else is).

So *at this time*, if I were in SB and saw someone boarding from a wheelchair accessible entrance, I would not automatically assume that they had a lesser wait than I did in the SB line as that is not how the new program works.

Quote:
I had a thought. Maybe it will be easier and better with the new FastPass+ system. If instead of a card, the party's wrist bands allowed access, then it would blend fairly seamlessly and no one would know if they are using a FP reservation or another privilege.
They could certainly encode this information on the RFID cards and magicBands...it would be a good idea, if Disney IT can manage it.

Quote:
ETA: You know, maybe I'm getting a bit more excited about this than normal, as there are some fairly stern discussions on the Disneyland board about line cutters and when it is ok/not ok
As for this, I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you do not mean this like it sounds. It very much sounds as though you are saying those who are using the wheelchair accessible entrances/DAS system are "line cutters". I have a feeling that sentiment would not go over very well with the vast majority of the people who have to use those entrances/the DAS.
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Old 04-22-2014, 09:35 PM   #43
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Right on. ADHD for some reason is a disability that people have no problem openly mocking and treating like it is "made up" or "no big deal." People say things about ADHD that they would never say about other neurological issues, (because they would be ashamed to be heard talking about other conditions that way).

As a woman with two children with ADHD (and a husband with ADHD), I know it isn't some frivolous, funny, ridiculous, made-up issue. If you think it is, you should educate yourself - instead of being blithely unconcerned with your ignorance.
http://www.snopes.com/politics/quotes/adhd.asp
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Old 04-22-2014, 09:53 PM   #44
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And if you fully read the snopes article, it states this:

Quote:
However, allowing for the vagaries of translation and reading the statement in context, some native German speakers have reported that Dr. Eisenberg wasn't asserting that ADHD isn't a real disorder, but rather that it is overdiagnosed
Saying something is overdiagnosed is a far cry from calling it fictitious.
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Old 04-22-2014, 10:13 PM   #45
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Excellent question and great qualifiers. The short answer is you should all go through together. That is Disney's policy, and I accept it. However, I may still feel concern. If it is one or three families, that is fine and I am happy to see your family enjoy time together. If the wait is 30 minutes or less, great. If it is a two hour wait (Radiator Springs Racers) and dozens of larger families use the option, then it gets a bit demoralizing watching groups filter in and out while my family is patiently waiting. In the end, I just silently get frustrated with it and don't say anything, though. I have a counter question for yourself and others on here, as I am curious. Actually, it is a scenario: Many DISers are repeat visitors to the Disney parks (either coast). Many DISer families with a member qualifying for the access card, like the elderly lady on in the podcast story, may have visited or get to visit Disney World or Disneyland multiple times in their lives. During the busy season, should these frequent visitors get access to the attractions sooner than the non-qualifying family that saved up for several years (three, five, ten+) for this truly once in a lifetime trip? Who has precedence in this scenario, the family that will be back next year to see the attractions they miss or the family who will likely not return for decades as a family? If the special needs family are local to the parks and visit very frequently, should they get access before the family who flew in once per year/every other year to a specific attraction, knowing they will be back again very soon? Again, I am curious as each story is different and one qualifier may outweigh another if all the stories are laid bare for each of us to interpret. I'm not trying to be cantankerous (that's the aspergers talkin' if it does ); rather, I'm trying to point out that blanket policies are difficult as it may not be the best option in a situation once the specifics are known.
If you are using a wheelchair and entering at an accessible spot you still have to wait just not in the line. They give you a return time. So it basically just holds the spot in line for you. As for your other questions... Any day could be our last day.... Any trip could be our last trip.... Everyone no matter how long they have waited how much they have paid how close they live or how often the visit deserves the right to the same experience no matter how able bodied you are or are not. Disabilities are not handed out based upon income geographical location or how often you visit disney, therefore accommodations and accessibility shouldn't be either! Just my opinion!
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