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Old 10-12-2012, 12:38 PM   #1
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New GAC policy? No more GAC?

Friends of mine are in WDW right now with their disabled child. They were just turned away from character pics in AK with their GAC and directed to wait in an hour long line. I thought for sure they must have just encountered a very misinformed CM but they said that a customer service rep also confirmed that the system is drastically changing Dec 6th. Not sure why they would even be turned away now if the system doesn't change until December.

I haven't heard anything about a change, did I miss something? What is changing and why? I am sure many, many people will not be happy about this
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Old 10-12-2012, 12:41 PM   #2
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GACs were never meant to be used to bypass character picture lines.
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Old 10-12-2012, 12:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crashbb View Post
GACs were never meant to be used to bypass character picture lines.
This was my understanding as well.
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Old 10-12-2012, 01:05 PM   #4
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The only GAC that will bypass a character wait line is reserved for MAW kids.
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Old 10-12-2012, 01:09 PM   #5
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I am not exactly sure the nature of why they were able to bypass some of the lines before, I do know that their son is unable to wait for long periods of time in line, especially outside, due to his several disabilities.

Putting the character line out of the situation, they were still told that the system is drastically changing in December, is that true? They have already said that they will be unable to visit WDW without the use of GAC. WDW was one of the few places that they could take their son and he could participate in almost everything that everyone else gets to do
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Old 10-12-2012, 01:21 PM   #6
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I know there are always rumors of changes; however, ADA still requires accommodations of all disabilities, not just visible ones. So things could change, but there will still need to be a system in place.

Last I heard, there are no set dates for when changes may take place, but hopefully they will at least start requiring ID everytime it is used.
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Old 10-12-2012, 02:30 PM   #7
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In this case the CM was correct in saying their only option was to wait in line. For kids that can't wait in line for whatever reason, character dining is the best option.

And yes, there's always rumors and truly Disney is at liberty to change the GAC at anytime. We won't hear about it until someone who works for Disney posts or someone has a first hand experience with it as they don't officially publish info about it. All we can know is that it can't legally conflict with the ADA. I guess the other thing to remember is the term "reasonable accommodation".
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Old 10-12-2012, 03:37 PM   #8
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The GAC is for attractions (ride and shows) only. The GAC says on it that it is not intended to bypass lines.

Tue only people for whom a GAC is a FOTL pass are children on a Wish Trip going through MAW and or GKTW.
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Old 10-12-2012, 03:52 PM   #9
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MANY years ago, at least 10, I remember a CM telling me to use my GAC on meet and greet lines. The CM happened to see the card as I was looking for my camera, digging around in my bag.

I remember it clearly, it was at MGM, and we declined the offer, in our case, we could wait, and did not feel comfortable doing this. But she insisted that the GAC meant meet and greet lines too.

Could be completely different now, there are many more GACs issued, and so many long lines for the characters at WDW.
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Old 10-12-2012, 04:09 PM   #10
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Even on a MAW trip, we were told not to expect FOTL access with character meet and greets. We were always accommodated, but we were told that the GAC didn't apply there.
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Old 10-12-2012, 04:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatMcDuck View Post
MANY years ago, at least 10, I remember a CM telling me to use my GAC on meet and greet lines. The CM happened to see the card as I was looking for my camera, digging around in my bag.

I remember it clearly, it was at MGM, and we declined the offer, in our case, we could wait, and did not feel comfortable doing this. But she insisted that the GAC meant meet and greet lines too.

Could be completely different now, there are many more GACs issued, and so many long lines for the characters at WDW.
As long as I have been using the GAC, it has stated that it isn't intended to bypass lines. I think you must have just gotten a generous CM.
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Old 10-12-2012, 04:12 PM   #12
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Back in the old Toontown character M&G area, I was able to use our GAC to wait to the side for our turn. We usually waited approximately the amount of time shown on the sign out front though sometimes they would forget about us and when we'd remind the CM after having waited I'd swear they would start the time over and make us wait all over again as there were a few times we waited significantly longer and it was always times where we'd have to remind the CMs that we were there. So yes, we could use our GAC for an alternate waiting area but it definitely did not mean that we didn't wait.

In August we just had the best character experience without ever using our GAC. We bee-lined over to Character Connection in Epcot when we were right up front of the turnstiles even though we only got there around 20 minutes before the park opened. Because we were first in line, we got to meet with all of the Fab 5 together. They were wonderful and really gave lots of special attention to our kids as they escorted them over the first M&G area. This is something they do every day for the first people there in line when they open the doors.

This is just one of MANY examples I have of why a good touring plan can do so much more than a GAC.

Another example is that I got a FP for the princesses before we went to lunch (TS meal). It was ready to use when we were done lunch and then we only to wait maybe 10 minutes at the most to see them using our FP. The queue is roomy so we could create a barrier around our DD so she wasn't getting squished or risking bumping anybody. Very easy.
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Old 10-12-2012, 07:39 PM   #13
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Back in 2008 when we first came to WDW they let us see Princesses, Mickey Mouse and Ariel in her Grotto without much wait with GAC. Next year it all changed - we were told that we had to wait in line for all character greetings except permanent character establishments like Mickey in Judges Tent or Character Spot in Epcot. Last few years that has change even more and we had to wait in line for all character greetings. My daughter does not tolerate waiting in lines at all so we get around with getting FP when they are available for character greetings or just do more character meals. GAC still allows our daughter to have wonderful time at WDW and we are grateful it exists. We would not be able to come to WDW without it.
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Old 10-12-2012, 07:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hej2222 View Post
Back in 2008 when we first came to WDW they let us see Princesses, Mickey Mouse and Ariel in her Grotto without much wait with GAC. Next year it all changed - we were told that we had to wait in line for all character greetings except permanent character establishments like Mickey in Judges Tent or Character Spot in Epcot. Last few years that has change even more and we had to wait in line for all character greetings. My daughter does not tolerate waiting in lines at all so we get around with getting FP when they are available for character greetings or just do more character meals. GAC still allows our daughter to have wonderful time at WDW and we are grateful it exists. We would not be able to come to WDW without it.
THis is what we were told too - the main spots let us move up while outside spots we had to wait in line
really crowd slow moving lines we run the risk of one my sons pulling someones hair (usually mine but not always - hate for it to be another guest) so we ask & have to be able to leave asap if possible
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Old 10-12-2012, 09:48 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crashbb View Post
GACs were never meant to be used to bypass character picture lines.
GACs were actually never meant to shorten or eliminate any lines.
That is actually printed right on the GAC, as Cheshire Figment pointed out. They are meant to provide accommodation for needs related to disabilities.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tink_n_pooh View Post
I am not exactly sure the nature of why they were able to bypass some of the lines before, I do know that their son is unable to wait for long periods of time in line, especially outside, due to his several disabilities.

Putting the character line out of the situation, they were still told that the system is drastically changing in December, is that true? They have already said that they will be unable to visit WDW without the use of GAC. WDW was one of the few places that they could take their son and he could participate in almost everything that everyone else gets to do
I have been on this board since before 1999.
The rumor that GACs are going to be eliminated comes up at least once a year.

As was already pointed out, there is a requirement under the ADA that needs related to disabilities be met, if they can reasonably be accommodated.
GACs could be eliminated or changed, but reasonable accommodations still would need to be made.

I am going to close this thread and refer people to this thread on the disABILITIES Board, which discusses possible changes.
I have it on very good authority that GACs are not going away. Some changes may be coming, but there is no timetable.
THere are some things that need to change - for example, last Spring my DH and DD waited in the accessible line at Small World for 20 minutes longer than I did in the regular line. They had gotten into that line almost 20 minutes before I entered the regular line, but I boarded 3 boats behind them, after waiting about 15 minutes.

I would also remind people that not all change is bad.
When FASTPASSES first came out, certain people who previously used GACs found that using FASTPASS actually met their needs better.
So, sometimes things started for guests without disabilities are just as useful for some guests with disabilities.

The new FASTPASS Generation 2 or FASTPASS Plus (whatever it turns out to be called) may end up to be a similar situation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piper View Post
As long as I have been using the GAC, it has stated that it isn't intended to bypass lines. I think you must have just gotten a generous CM.

Quote:
Originally Posted by clanmcculloch View Post
Back in the old Toontown character M&G area, I was able to use our GAC to wait to the side for our turn. We usually waited approximately the amount of time shown on the sign out front though sometimes they would forget about us and when we'd remind the CM after having waited I'd swear they would start the time over and make us wait all over again as there were a few times we waited significantly longer and it was always times where we'd have to remind the CMs that we were there. So yes, we could use our GAC for an alternate waiting area but it definitely did not mean that we didn't wait.
We have had the same experience at the old Toontown character greeting area.
Officially, GACs are not for use at character greeting areas.
At times, the CMs may be able to make some accommodation for guests with disabilities at some of the indoor locations. Sometimes that means giving a place to wait outside of the line, as clanmcculloch mentioned. But, whether that is possible or not depends on what is available. Some places have more available than others.

There is very little available for CMs at outdoor meet and greets. Many people just have one member of their party wait outside the line and join the rest of their party waiting in line when they get to the front of the line.

Quote:
Originally Posted by clanmcculloch View Post
In August we just had the best character experience without ever using our GAC. We bee-lined over to Character Connection in Epcot when we were right up front of the turnstiles even though we only got there around 20 minutes before the park opened. Because we were first in line, we got to meet with all of the Fab 5 together. They were wonderful and really gave lots of special attention to our kids as they escorted them over the first M&G area. This is something they do every day for the first people there in line when they open the doors.

This is just one of MANY examples I have of why a good touring plan can do so much more than a GAC.

Another example is that I got a FP for the princesses before we went to lunch (TS meal). It was ready to use when we were done lunch and then we only to wait maybe 10 minutes at the most to see them using our FP. The queue is roomy so we could create a barrier around our DD so she wasn't getting squished or risking bumping anybody. Very easy.
Many people find the same thing - a touring plan and using FASTPASSES is much more predicatable than using a GAC.
When you get in line with a FASTPASS, you know where you will be waiting and that the wait will in general be 15 minuted or less.

Coming to the same line with a CAC, you may end up being told different things, like to come back at a certain time, wait in a certain place or get into the regular line. Even at the same attraction, the same person with a GAC may get told the do something different if they come back at a different time.
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