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Old 03-02-2008, 01:53 PM   #1
DizBelle
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Make a Wish trip and Guest Assistance Card

My niece (will be 4 at the time) has been granted her wish of a trip to WDW with her family. My question is do kids on a wish trip automatically get a Guest Assistance Card and will it automatically be a front of the line pass? Or is the GAC determined at the time of the trip - in which case she may not get one at all.

She was diagnosed with cancer back in September and has been undergoing chemotherapy since. She has 4 rounds left and all indications are that when she goes on her trip in November she may pretty healthy and at that time may not need assistance or a pass to the front of the line as she may not really be all that fragile by then. However, I think I feel that the essential H-E-double hockey sticks this poor child has gone through since being diagnosed warrants a pass to the front of the line when she goes on her trip.

Does anyone know how GAC works with wish trips?
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Old 03-02-2008, 02:33 PM   #2
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Kids on Make a Wish trips do get a GAC as part of the trip.

The children who are the most fragile do get what is basically a front of the line pass. We have been waiting to board an attraction when a family with MAW shirts/documentation were brought in a back way and boarded before any of the people with disabilities who were waiting. That is a true front of the line GAC that would be given for someone who needs that much access.

Some people have posted in the past that they got front of the line GACs; others have posted they got lesser amounts of accomidation, but no one has ever posted that they feel their needs were not taken care of.

Because she is on a WISH trip, she will gets lots of special attention from CMs. If there are any things she especially wishes for (like an audience with a specific Princess, etc), her family should make sure to discuss that with her wish granter.

There are a couple of links in post 3 of the disABILITIES FAQs thread about WISH trips that you might want to look at.
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Old 03-02-2008, 03:59 PM   #3
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My boys had their MAW trip in 2005. We didn't receive a regular GAC card. We received a button to wear from MAW and Give Kids the World ( resort for wish kids). The boys had to wear the button each day. CM's saw that and we didn't have any problems with their needs being met.

Hope your neice has a magical trip!
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Old 03-02-2008, 10:07 PM   #4
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The thing is, I'm not entirely sure that she's going to have any special needs that need to be met by the time she goes on her trip. Her treatments are going very well and her trip is 8 months after she completes her treatment. At the moment, there are NO detectable traces of cancer in her body. After the chemotherapy and the surgery to remove the tumor, the margins were clean and subsequent scans have been clean too.

So, even though she may not need special assistance or require a pass to the front of the line, I'm somewhat of the mind that this child has been through SOOOOOOOOOOO much that maybe she does deserve to go to the front of the line.

So, what I'm wondering is if she automatically gets a GAC card just because she is on a wish trip? And if she does, is it automatically a front of the line pass or is evaluated at the time of the trip?
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Old 03-02-2008, 10:20 PM   #5
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I don't know if this helps, but here a link to the GKTW page and what is provided on a Wish trip.

http://www.gktw.org/pre/Area/theme-parks.asp?p=area
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Old 03-02-2008, 11:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lfontaine View Post
So, what I'm wondering is if she automatically gets a GAC card just because she is on a wish trip? And if she does, is it automatically a front of the line pass or is evaluated at the time of the trip?
Many children on MAW trips stay at Give Kids the World Village (GKTW), which is the website that livndisney posted a link to.
GACs can actually be issue at GKTW (there is a spot on the GAC card for where it was issued and GKTW is one of the checkboxes).

From what people who have gone on MAW trips have posted and what I have seen on trips, the "front of the line go in front of everyone" GACs are given to those children who are either too medically fragile to do anything else or who have a very short time left.
If she doesn't require a front of the line GAC, she may not get one. But her trip will still have lots of special treatment and lots of extra attention than the average guest with special needs gets.
She will get whatever she needs to have a special WISH trip, conserve her energy and have a good time, but front of the line may not happen if that is not what she needs.
You seem to be very focused on her getting to the front of every line, but I doubt whether she will even notice one way or another. She will be on her special wish, getting lots of special treatment and enjoying herself.
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Old 03-03-2008, 12:26 AM   #7
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We got our GAC at GKTW and the CMs responded to it in a variety of ways. Some pulled us to the front of the line while others very pleasantly sent us through the disabled lines. No matter what, we had a wonderful time. Karen
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Old 03-03-2008, 07:36 AM   #8
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There are some attractions where front of the line isn't possible and she will wait behind other guests with disabilities despite what kind of GAC she has just due to logistics. As Sue mentioned, "front of the line" is for extremely fragile children who are truly there as a last wish before their impending death or have complex medical needs that don't allow them to do much before they're too exhausted or ill. That's a really hard thing to say. I am aware of one child at least whose wish was to see Cinderella. She ended up going directly from the plane to the hospital. Disney sent Cinderella to the ER to be with her right before she passed away- they are very compassionate to wish children and their families and are aware of the struggles that these children have faced and anything possible will be done to make her visit special.
MAW was first intended as a last wish and now it's for children who may fully recover although they are still considered to have a life-threatening condition, or as you mentioned, have gone through a difficult time with medical treatment. Since originally all children were terminally ill, the needs were the same- now they are more specific to each child but they are all given special consideration beyond what is given to someone who may have a similar condition but not be on their wish trip. The people handing them out at GKTW or wherever she is staying will be aware of that need. It doesn't matter if she "looks good"- she is still on her wish trip. That said, she will get some kind of GAC or button to wear that will allow her to receive special attention and an expedited visit. I too wouldn't focus on "front of the line" and know that she will certainly have a wonderful time. I'm so glad she's doing better and certainly hope she continues to do so- at least knowing she'll have this trip may help her get through the rest of her chemo.---Kathy
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Old 03-05-2008, 02:35 AM   #9
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much like there are birthday buttons and anniversary buttons, Wish kids get pink buttons... they stand out, CMs know what they mean.
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Old 03-05-2008, 03:46 PM   #10
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I think that just going to WDW is more then we can ask for. I was just happy to be able to go. I didnt even know about the pass until recently and was not even worried about that. Just to spend a nice vacation with my family and to see a smile on my ds face is all we needed. I am going to just wait and see for our vacation on what will happen. Just have fun.
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Old 03-05-2008, 08:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildeoscar View Post
much like there are birthday buttons and anniversary buttons, Wish kids get pink buttons... they stand out, CMs know what they mean.
They had some problems with people selling 'counterfeit' MAW buttons, so it is important to keep your paperwork for MAW handy in case you are asked.

As far as I know, they change the colors of the buttons, so they are not always pink.
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Old 03-05-2008, 09:23 PM   #12
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That is so sad that someone would buy a button like that and use it! I couldnt imagine lying that your child is sick and is with the MAW. I wish my child wasnt and it was all not true and people would actually fake it. Brings tears to my eyes to hear that.
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Old 03-05-2008, 10:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
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That is so sad that someone would buy a button like that and use it! I couldnt imagine lying that your child is sick and is with the MAW. I wish my child wasnt and it was all not true and people would actually fake it. Brings tears to my eyes to hear that.
I totally agree. That is about the sickest thing I have ever heard of anyone doing.
We actually were at the old Tarzan show at AK when a group of teenaged boys came into the handicapped waiting area. One of the boys had a MAW button on and asked the CM if he could be seated right away (they were not leaving people in yet) and if he could sit in the front row. The CM seated them, but after he came back to where we were waiting, a supervisor came by and asked why the first CM had already seated someone. The CM replied "because they had a MAW button" and the supervisor asked if the CM had thought it was a bit unusual to see a group that was obviously not a family with a WISH button. The supervisor also asked if the CM had looked at their paperwork (he hadn't), so the supervisor went up to ask them. The next thing we saw, they were being escorted out of the theater.
At that time, MAW had very nice buttons with full color pictures and all the buttons were the same. Soon after that trip, I heard from some CMs that counterfeit pins were being sold in the Orlando area. On our next trip, we noticed MAW pins that were plain colored with black printing. A CM I knew on the DIS Boards told me that the pins were changed to make them harder to counterfeit because the valid ones would not always look the same.
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Old 03-05-2008, 11:17 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SueM in MN View Post
They had some problems with people selling 'counterfeit' MAW buttons, so it is important to keep your paperwork for MAW handy in case you are asked.

As far as I know, they change the colors of the buttons, so they are not always pink.
Pink for girls, blue for boys.
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Old 03-05-2008, 11:33 PM   #15
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Pink for girls, blue for boys.
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