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Old 11-29-2012, 10:52 PM   #1
nikki27
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Tell me about GAC?

I have been lurking WDW websites for awhile and we have our first family trip scheduled for January. We are staying on-site but may drive and park at the parks because of my husbands issues. Is there specific criteria for a GAC? Do you need a Doctors note/memo? My DH has severe anxiety issues with crowds and on anything that moves unless he is the one driving it to include trams, buses, boats etc. he will likely not ride any rides...will have to see how it goes. Just looking for a way to ease his anxiety/panic issues and enjoy our 1st family trip to WDW. Any insight/help is appreciated. Thanks
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:58 PM   #2
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It is for invisible disabilities. You do not need (nor will they look at) a Dr's note.

I don't know what they can do to help, because usually a GAC is used for rides and attractions. It is not for buses, trams, character greetings, or restaurants.

For more information, check out the sticky at the beginning of this forum. There is a Faq's section with a lot of information about disabilities and what is available to aid in your vacation.
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Old 11-29-2012, 11:00 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikki27 View Post
I have been lurking WDW websites for awhile and we have our first family trip scheduled for January. We are staying on-site but may drive and park at the parks because of my husbands issues. Is there specific criteria for a GAC? Do you need a Doctors note/memo? My DH has severe anxiety issues with crowds and on anything that moves unless he is the one driving it to include trams, buses, boats etc. he will likely not ride any rides...will have to see how it goes. Just looking for a way to ease his anxiety/panic issues and enjoy our 1st family trip to WDW. Any insight/help is appreciated. Thanks
Since a GAC is used for rides/attractions I am not sure how a GAC would help. What assistance are you looking for?
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Old 11-29-2012, 11:14 PM   #4
nikki27
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I am hoping he will want to ride a ride or two with the kids. Also is it possible to drop someone off at the gate and then park? Is it easy to do? I picked a week in January that typically has low crowds...but you never know. I have never thought about getting one till I heard mention of it for kids with anxiety issues...so didn't know what it was all about. I will try to look for that sticky thread again...I am on my iPad so maybe that is why I could not find it...may need go to the website directly instead of the dis board app.
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Old 11-29-2012, 11:23 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by nikki27 View Post
I am hoping he will want to ride a ride or two with the kids. Also is it possible to drop someone off at the gate and then park? Is it easy to do? I picked a week in January that typically has low crowds...but you never know. I have never thought about getting one till I heard mention of it for kids with anxiety issues...so didn't know what it was all about. I will try to look for that sticky thread again...I am on my iPad so maybe that is why I could not find it...may need go to the website directly instead of the dis board app.
Each park has a drop off point. The one for MK is at the TTC.
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Old 11-29-2012, 11:29 PM   #6
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All I can say is the last two times I took my sister to get her GAC it was not pleasant. She has really bad neuropathy in her feet after chemo for breast cancer. Yes, she looks totally normal. No, she doesn't need a scooter. Walking is actually not too terrible. Standing is the issue. We even had a doctors note. The customer service girl just made us feel like we were trying to be sneaky. We are going again in may and I dread going in there. Her neuropathy has worsened with time. I will push and ask for a manager if I have to. I'm just saying they do not always make it easy for us to get the little help we need. Maybe anxiety will be easier. Good luck.
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Old 11-29-2012, 11:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikki27
I am hoping he will want to ride a ride or two with the kids. Also is it possible to drop someone off at the gate and then park? Is it easy to do? I picked a week in January that typically has low crowds...but you never know. I have never thought about getting one till I heard mention of it for kids with anxiety issues...so didn't know what it was all about. I will try to look for that sticky thread again...I am on my iPad so maybe that is why I could not find it...may need go to the website directly instead of the dis board app.
Hey Nikki,

I'm an adult male with serious anxiety issues also. Diagnosed, medication and such. With my doc, I've chosen a low dose of meds because I prefer the low dosage to get me over the hump, and I deal with the rest on my own. I go to WDW once a year (solo), and do the same - low crowd weeks. With smart touring, I'm able to walk right onto most rides. By midday when the crowds amp up, I go back to my resort, or if stuck in the park I find a quiet space. Tom Sawyer Island is ideal for this. I find that a doom buggy or whatnot to myself (instead of being seated with others) does wonders too. I feel like the CAP would not help me much. Standing in line being questioned about why I want it would be counter-productive right off the bat, beginning of the day. One other tip - it's also very easy to take a break during low crowd days in the back rows of COP, HOP, etc. Cool, calm attractions with cozy seats where I can sit away from others do wonders for me.

Best wishes for it! Hope I am not over-stepping my bounds!
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Old 11-30-2012, 01:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rememberingthe70s

Hey Nikki,

I'm an adult male with serious anxiety issues also. Diagnosed, medication and such. With my doc, I've chosen a low dose of meds because I prefer the low dosage to get me over the hump, and I deal with the rest on my own. I go to WDW once a year (solo), and do the same - low crowd weeks. With smart touring, I'm able to walk right onto most rides. By midday when the crowds amp up, I go back to my resort, or if stuck in the park I find a quiet space. Tom Sawyer Island is ideal for this. I find that a doom buggy or whatnot to myself (instead of being seated with others) does wonders too. I feel like the CAP would not help me much. Standing in line being questioned about why I want it would be counter-productive right off the bat, beginning of the day. One other tip - it's also very easy to take a break during low crowd days in the back rows of COP, HOP, etc. Cool, calm attractions with cozy seats where I can sit away from others do wonders for me.

Best wishes for it! Hope I am not over-stepping my bounds!
Thanks for this post...after reading the FAQs concerning the GAC I think that would start the day off terrible for my DH like you mention--counter-productive. Will play it by ear and mention to him that it is available...we may not even need it. I am following easywdw for the recommended parks and going when crowds are typically low...so hope that helps...and here is to hoping our toddler behaves...may need a GAC for her to keep her in her stroller in lines...for everyone's sanity she will get DHs anxiety up quickly and/or my back will be killing me from holding her. Hoping for short lines though...
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Old 11-30-2012, 02:22 AM   #9
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By keeping the stroller in lines you may often force yourself into less optimal lines. The wheelchair line is often more crowded or longer than the standard line.

Also, the Stroller As Wheelchair GAC is meant to accommodate a disability. Please do not think me rude, but everyone wants to take their stroller in line for their sanity. By doing so, you may make not only your own wait longer, but that of others. There are a limited number of wheelchair users allowed on a ride at a time, so you may have to wait for the ride to cycle, and make the next person wait longer too. It would be easier just to park the stroller.

I too have severe anxiety and I find mixing quiet shows with the rides helps. Also, there is a First Aid in each park where he can go to have a quiet space.

Check parade times and fireworks and avoid the parks then. There is no real way to watch those with out being in a crowd.

Wait after fireworks to try to ride trams.

Tell him to bring headphones to help retreat from the noise.

The boat to MK is almost always less crowded than the monorail

A GAC may be helpful for attractions, but as others said, that is the only thing it helps with.
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Old 11-30-2012, 08:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by livndisney View Post
Each park has a drop off point. The one for MK is at the TTC.
and from TTC you'll have no choice but to take a monorail or boat over to the MK.
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:15 AM   #11
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The FAQs are "on the boards"--at the top of the disAbilities board, you will see stickies. The FAQ thread is one of them. You don't need to go to "the website."
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:41 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by bigfish32 View Post
All I can say is the last two times I took my sister to get her GAC it was not pleasant. She has really bad neuropathy in her feet after chemo for breast cancer. Yes, she looks totally normal. No, she doesn't need a scooter. Walking is actually not too terrible. Standing is the issue. We even had a doctors note. The customer service girl just made us feel like we were trying to be sneaky. We are going again in may and I dread going in there. Her neuropathy has worsened with time. I will push and ask for a manager if I have to. I'm just saying they do not always make it easy for us to get the little help we need. Maybe anxiety will be easier. Good luck.
That's because, for issues with stamina, the WDW answer is to use an ECV or wheelchair. There isn't really a GAC for "no standing". Even in the alternative waiting areas, one would still be standing. Short of a GAC to skip lines (which, doesn't exist , except for some MAW (or other group) children), there is no GAC to avoid standing.
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Old 11-30-2012, 01:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigfish32 View Post
All I can say is the last two times I took my sister to get her GAC it was not pleasant. She has really bad neuropathy in her feet after chemo for breast cancer. Yes, she looks totally normal. No, she doesn't need a scooter. Walking is actually not too terrible. Standing is the issue. We even had a doctors note. The customer service girl just made us feel like we were trying to be sneaky. We are going again in may and I dread going in there. Her neuropathy has worsened with time. I will push and ask for a manager if I have to. I'm just saying they do not always make it easy for us to get the little help we need. Maybe anxiety will be easier. Good luck.
The GAC isn't intended for this. If you can't stand, you need to have a wheelchair or ECV. The GAC is nothing but a communication method. The provisions in the ADA say that reasonable accommodations have to be made. Its not up to the person to decide what those are. In this case, Disney doesn't need to do anything because a wheelchair or ECV is the answer.
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Old 11-30-2012, 02:23 PM   #14
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In most of the shows, you can choose where to sit. He may feel most comfortable sitting near an exit or in the back.

If you have to go into a "pre-show"
where you are in a big group waiting to see the main show, then have him stand in the back of the group.

Stay away from Stich's ride.

Find out what rides would be okay for him...for example, would ones that are outside be okay? Would roller coasters?

Another idea is to use the "baby swap"...The purpose of the baby swap is that if there is a mom and a dad and a baby who can't ride, both parents can ride by basically taking turns being with the baby...but instead of having to wait twice, the second parent is given a pass to go in the back way. In your case you could say that one of your kids is not going to ride the ride (whether true or not) and then tell a CM you want to do a a baby swap. Mom and one kid wait in line while Dad and another wait elsewhere. Then when you are done, Dad goes in the back way with the other kid. You are not cheating in that you have done your waiting, but Dad doesn't have to wait in line. This is assuming you don't mind being in line without him and he is okay riding the ride.
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Old 11-30-2012, 02:34 PM   #15
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Another idea is to use the "baby swap"...The purpose of the baby swap is that if there is a mom and a dad and a baby who can't ride, both parents can ride by basically taking turns being with the baby...but instead of having to wait twice, the second parent is given a pass to go in the back way. In your case you could say that one of your kids is not going to ride the ride (whether true or not) and then tell a CM you want to do a a baby swap. Mom and one kid wait in line while Dad and another wait elsewhere. Then when you are done, Dad goes in the back way with the other kid. You are not cheating in that you have done your waiting, but Dad doesn't have to wait in line. This is assuming you don't mind being in line without him and he is okay riding the ride.
The swap is intend for those who cannot ride (because they do not meet the height requirement) not those who do not want to ride. Although some CMs will allow some exceptions, one cannot lie and simply say that they have a child who doesn't want to ride, in order for one parent to avoid waiting. Unless the OP actually has a child below the height requirements, this idea will often not work.
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