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Old 01-13-2013, 08:16 PM   #61
lanejudy
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Originally Posted by Jperiod View Post
Anyone know of changes for DLR GAC's?

We went the 3rd week of Dec and it was the same as always. But my son's habilitation worker has some friends that work for DLR and said they heard there were changes being made where you have to show proof. We're going back in Feb, but I don't want to haul my son's 19 page evaluation report in the park if I don't have too!

I always heard they couldn't ask for proof because of hippa laws, not that I would personally mind though. The crowds were INSANE and it wasn't even Christmas week! We will never go that late in December again. The alternate entrances were hours long!
As long as what's offered is "equal accommodation" - which is what the GAC is intended to provide - it is within ADA law that proof cannot be required. For higher level of benefit not available to the general population, then proof can be required. A GAC is not intended to bypass lines or make waits shorter, it is intended to accommodate certain needs to make the ride experience equivalent to the general public. Therefore, Disney cannot request proof.
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Old 01-13-2013, 08:21 PM   #62
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Just wanted to add my 2 cents. We just got home last night. When I walked into City Hall at MK (with DS and wheelchair), a CM approached us and asked how he could help. I said that I needed to get a new GAC, he pointed to DS and asked "For this young man?", then he went behind the counter and to the back without any further conversation. He came back with a GAC with one stamp. I then showed him the old GAC (two stamps - the other one is hearing related), so he went back, added it, filled out the rest of info, and we were on our way. He never asked or gave me a chance to explain our needs - made it very easy.

One other thing that really helped this trip is that the procedures were very consistent through out the trip - much more so than in the past. For DS that is very good...repetition is king. We only do a small handful of attractions, but do them over and over again.

So as far as changes...the only thing I noticed as a "change" was more consistency in how the GAC was applied. And that was a good thing. Whether that was a true change or just coincidence, I don't know.
It's terrific that you had such a wonderful experience. However, I will say I think it was a fortunate coincidence for you that everything was so consistent and that you weren't asked about your son's needs to obtain the GAC. Bringing a prior GAC can certainly be helpful, but other readers shouldn't expect they won't be asked to explain needs in requesting a GAC. Also, the way a GAC is handled at any attraction can change due to circumstances at the attraction at any given time. I do realize (oh how much I realize!) that consistency is great for many of our kids, but I do think it was more coincidence than any change. Again, though, I'm glad you had a great experience!
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:11 PM   #63
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"For higher level of benefit not available to the general population, then proof can be required. A GAC is not intended to bypass lines or make waits shorter, it is intended to accommodate certain needs to make the ride experience equivalent to the general public. "


But would the passes given out for autism or anxiety, etc - those that MAY bypass lines- be considered a benefit not available to the general population? could some GAC reasons require proof and others not?
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:33 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by andersonsc View Post
"For higher level of benefit not available to the general population, then proof can be required. A GAC is not intended to bypass lines or make waits shorter, it is intended to accommodate certain needs to make the ride experience equivalent to the general public. "


But would the passes given out for autism or anxiety, etc - those that MAY bypass lines- be considered a benefit not available to the general population? could some GAC reasons require proof and others not?
They may wait in a different area--sometimes without as many people--but the wait is usually as long or longer than the "regular" line. It isn't a front of the line pass for ANY condition. And it isn't a "pass" at all.....a GAC is a CARD that tells the CM what you need so that your experience is EQUAL to other people.
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Old 01-14-2013, 01:25 AM   #65
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I guess people have different points of view or experiences. Honestly, I have been to WDW at many different times of the year and I have never seen a time with this many ECVs or wheelchairs. Also, an amazing amount of infants, not children, babies, so strollers were extremely plentiful as well. I consider waits of 30-45 minutes on rides for example Nemo and Small World to be long in comparison to other times I have visited. Naturally, some rides were shorter, but overall our wait times were much longer than the last time we visited at the end of May. Much longer than the regular lines.
A lot also depends on when you go to each attraction. There are patterns for ECVs, wheel chairs and GAC use. This is true on both coasts. The difference is in California, you should start in Adventureland and work around and at Disney world, start in Tomorrowland and work around. We simply take the attractions in order and it works well for us.

The one exception to this is Enchanted Tales with Belle, if you want a short ride go at park opening and go straight there. If it is an EMH morning, you will need to go straight there as well, even though it isn't opened yet. It is considered a meet & greet, so there is no GAC use, but they will loan you a wheelchair if you can't stand for the length of the line.

We found the person issuing me the GAC at Animal Kingdom to be very much get you in and out, unlike at Disneyland where they usually like to chat a bit first.

Things were indeed fairly consistent, the inconsistencies we found came based on the wait times. On some attractions, when they were longer there were alternate entrances that were not available when shorter. This actually made sense when it happened, at both Haunted Mansion and Pirates.
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:30 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by Piper

They may wait in a different area--sometimes without as many people--but the wait is usually as long or longer than the "regular" line. It isn't a front of the line pass for ANY condition. And it isn't a "pass" at all.....a GAC is a CARD that tells the CM what you need so that your experience is EQUAL to other people.
I sooo agree... The best way I've ever heard it described a CM told me about this card was a " equal time in the park card"
B/c without it those people who NEED the pass would end up having to leave early...
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Old 01-16-2013, 11:17 AM   #67
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I sooo agree... The best way I've ever heard it described a CM told me about this card was a " equal time in the park card"
B/c without it those people who NEED the pass would end up having to leave early...


For some people that is true, for others it's not.

My son just loves the characters. We went to Epcot on Monday so he could see the Winter Wonderland at Canada. It was overcast when we got in line. By the time the characters came out we were in direct sunlight. It was only a 10 minute wait out in the sun, but that was the extent of his park day. Total time in the park was about an hour. We got some great pictures and he had a blast, but it totally drained him.
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:52 PM   #68
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" gee, our group had THIS impairment, your group has THAT impariment. let's see how we can all work together so everyone can enjoy the show."
I wish more people had this attitude! Not only will everyone have a better vacation, but you might just make some new friends too. We befriended an elderly couple in the wheelchair queue at Turtle Talk on one trip. They were incredibly nice and offered to take our picture after the show in front of the "mine" seagulls (Sorry. I don't know their official name. )
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Old 01-16-2013, 01:30 PM   #69
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the "mine" seagulls (Sorry. I don't know their official name. )


That's what we call them
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:16 AM   #70
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January 26th, we visited EPCOT and MK. After entering the gates, I headed to the guest service desk to see about getting my two-year old GAC replaced, as I have degenerative disc disease and neurological problems. I am unable to stand or sit for long periods, but can walk for hours before my nerves stop working. I didn't bring my walking stick that day, as I thought I was doing better. Big mistake.

The CM that talked to me told me that they only give out GAC for people to use a wheelchair in the regular line, even though my old pass had a different stamp and another (I don't recall that one), they no longer use it. I requested to speak to a supervisor, and was told the managers were all in a meeting and unavailable. After ten minutes of waiting, the CM came back and gave me a GAC with that stamp stamp good for one day. I detected skepticism from the CM at test track, but the people in front of us at Soarin' were using one and I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary. Those were the only two rides I went on that day, due to nerve problems.

When we visit AK Sunday, I will ask about the GAC.
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Old 02-01-2013, 03:58 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by ladyknight1 View Post
January 26th, we visited EPCOT and MK. After entering the gates, I headed to the guest service desk to see about getting my two-year old GAC replaced, as I have degenerative disc disease and neurological problems. I am unable to stand or sit for long periods, but can walk for hours before my nerves stop working. I didn't bring my walking stick that day, as I thought I was doing better. Big mistake.

The CM that talked to me told me that they only give out GAC for people to use a wheelchair in the regular line, even though my old pass a different stamp and another (I don't recall that one), they no longer use it. I requested to speak to a supervisor, and was told the managers were all in a meeting and unavailable. After ten minutes of waiting, the CM came back and gave me a GAC with that stamp good for one day. I detected skepticism from the CM at test track, but the people in front of us at Soarin' were using one and I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary. Those were the only two rides I went on that day, due to nerve problems.

When we visit AK Sunday, I will ask about the GAC.
This is strange, we were there December 28th through Jan. 6th and had no issues. Friends were there Jan2nd through the 12th that also need GACs and had no issues.

If some stamps really are taken away, I don't think we would be able to visit the parks, unless other accommodations are being made.

Last edited by SueM in MN; 02-01-2013 at 06:47 PM.
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:33 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by cmwade77

This is strange, we were there December 28th through Jan. 6th and had no issues. Friends were there Jan2nd through the 12th that also need GACs and had no issues.

If some stamps really are taken away, I don't think we would be able to visit the parks, unless other accommodations are being made.
I agree I know that if we have issues with not getting the accomadations we usually have that visiting parks will become very difficult and maybe not do able,
That would be a very sad time in our lives as we live and breath Disney in our house!
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:57 PM   #73
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This is one of the reasons I ask people not to post names of stamps or say that guests won't wait.

WDW can and does change the a guest Assistance Card from time to time. Sometimes it is what it is called. Sometimes it is how it works.
And, because of things like staffing at an attraction, time and how many other guests with special needs are waiting, how a particular GAC is handled may not even be the same on the same attraction on the same day.

There is no requirement in the ADA that a facility like a theme park shorten waits ( and it is printed right on the card form that it is not meant to shorten waits, along with the suggestion that guests who do want to shorten their wait use Fastpass.

There are requirements in the ADA that guests with disabilities be handled In the mainstream, without special treatment, as much as possible. The idea is to put things into place so that people's needs related to their disabilities are handled in the mainstream as much as possible.

The informations about GACs in post 6 of the disABILITIES FAQs thread is based on the ADA and is general enough to not give a lot of information that is likely to change.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:38 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by SueM in MN
This is one of the reasons I ask people not to post names of stamps or say that guests won't wait.

WDW can and does change the a guest Assistance Card from time to time. Sometimes it is what it is called. Sometimes it is how it works.
And, because of things like staffing at an attraction, time and how many other guests with special needs are waiting, how a particular GAC is handled may not even be the same on the same attraction on the same day.

There is no requirement in the ADA that a facility like a theme park shorten waits ( and it is printed right on the card form that it is not meant to shorten waits, along with the suggestion that guests who do want to shorten their wait use Fastpass.

There are requirements in the ADA that guests with disabilities be handled In the mainstream, without special treatment, as much as possible. The idea is to put things into place so that people's needs related to their disabilities are handled in the mainstream as much as possible.

The informations about GACs in post 6 of the disABILITIES FAQs thread is based on the ADA and is general enough to not give a lot of information that is likely to change.
There are many accomadations as you know that do NOT relate to wait times that are accomadated by some stamps!
Waiting is of no concern to us, the accomadation of shortening wait times is not one our family needs, who ever there are things the GAC does for us that if changed too dramatically then would put a lot more pressure on our family holidays.

Personally I prefer the way Universal does things when regarding accomadations, it's a very fair to all way of dealing with accomadations needed for people who can not wait very long.


I don't think anybody states that a guest won't wait or will have a front of line pass when using a GAC....they just add that not everybody waits LONGER because of needing to use a GAC.
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:18 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by tinkerpea View Post
There are many accomadations as you know that do NOT relate to wait times that are accomadated by some stamps!
Waiting is of no concern to us, the accomadation of shortening wait times is not one our family needs, who ever there are things the GAC does for us that if changed too dramatically then would put a lot more pressure on our family holidays.

Personally I prefer the way Universal does things when regarding accomadations, it's a very fair to all way of dealing with accomadations needed for people who can not wait very long.


I don't think anybody states that a guest won't wait or will have a front of line pass when using a GAC....they just add that not everybody waits LONGER because of needing to use an alternate entrance.
Actually, yes, it is quite common to see people posting that they did not wait with a GAC. Often it is on other forums on this site, which we cannot control. On this forum we try to minimize incorrect information such as this, as we do not post the names of stamps. This just provides more opportunities for abuse.

Please refrain from posting the exact names of stamps for the GAC. This has long been a guideline for this forum, and it has served us well.
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