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Old 01-17-2013, 09:06 AM   #31
cmwade77
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Originally Posted by Friendly Frog View Post
You seem to have a better understanding of the person than I do. Certainly what you have said sounds very positive! My comments were mostly because of my personal experience at DL a few years back. ( first and only visit) I viewed the Halloween show in an area in front of the castle that could have been roped off and had a view, but instead there was no place that was not just a sea of butts, very disappointing and different than WDW. Also it seemed that the cast members had a very different attitude towards ECV users than WDW has. (enough said) I guess I attributed the cast member attitude to the park leadership. Not sure why the difference now but this is getting off topic. I fell much better about Mr. Kalagridi's coming now, thank you.
The Halloween fireworks could indeed have an area roped off and the last time I went, they did indeed do so. They have a much different traffic flow pattern.

I only have a better understanding because we live 15 minutes from Disneyland and go frequently.

Kalagridi has also had to fight to get some of his changes through and a few years ago was when Florida wanted to virtually eliminate all GACs with anything but the no stairs stamp. This Florida dictating this to Disneyland, he helped us fight back on that one after several people who needed a different stamp contacted him and explained why other stamps were needed. So, I definitely have a decent opinion of him. I am actually nervous about AK Vice President coming here and what it might mean for GACs.

As for how ECVs are viewed, you must have just run into some bad CMs, most are very kind about it, I have even seen some walk in front of them in crowded situations to allow them to keep moving.

The biggest problem for ECVs here is the design of certain attractions don't let them go through the same way. For example, Star Tours, they can't even use the elevator because the ramps to te ride vehicles are made out of plywood. So, since they have to use the exit, they are given return time passes. This one is the fault of the imagineers who didn't replace the ramps during the redesign.
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:10 AM   #32
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After using a GAC at both DL and WDW I do see a management change helping out with GAC abuse at WDW.

When we were at DL, the GAC card stamps were different than WDW, and for our needs, it worked much better. The stamp at DL specified NO STAIRS. Even at WDW, even though we have a GAC card with a generic stamp, the CMs still don't know what my husband needs. I have to be diligent and tell them we need w/c type entrance. This is especially true at Toy Story Mania with a large flight of stairs.

Regardless, the abuse is causing those that do need GACs to have a harder time obtaining them. I had to flat out argue with a CM at MK last time. She insisted that there was only one attraction that had stairs (Swiss Family). I reminded her that there were plenty of others before she finally relented and gave us the pass.

I hope the numbers of stares, eye rolls, and rude comments can get cut down in any way possible. I love Disney, and with an invisible disability a GAC is 100% necessary for us to tour comfortably. I just hope ANY change will help us all.
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:30 AM   #33
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The reason the DMV is not breaking the law, is you are getting a benefit not available to others, I.e. closer parking, not having to pay at parking meters, not having time limits (I.e. 30 minutes or less) enforced.

GACs are to provide those who can't us the regular queues for various reasons with equal access, not providing an additional benefit. This is why they can't ask for proof.
I totally disagree with this answer. GACs *are* providing a *benefit* not available to mainstream. Now, should they have them, *YES*, but it is NOT available to everyone.

Should handicapped parking be available to those that need it, *YES*, but they DO need a letter from Dr.

A letter *should* be needed for a GAC at Disney also. It doesn't have to note specifics, but a general reason why it's needed. That's only fair to *everyone*. If needing to show a GAC to get different access does not bother a person needing it, why should showing a letter at GS's bother them?

Also, to PP stating that you don't see GAC users complaining about abusers, like general users, why should they? It doesn't impact them the same.

I HAVE no issue with true GAC holders, it's how easily available to abusers that really steams me. And yes, there are plenty of them. Those that haven't seen it have not been impacted with them yet. Even CM's will tell you firsthand (note post # 18) that it happens quite frequently.
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:44 AM   #34
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Also, to PP stating that you don't see GAC users complaining about abusers, like general users, why should they? It doesn't impact them the same.

I HAVE no issue with true GAC holders, it's how easily available to abusers that really steams me. And yes, there are plenty of them. Those that haven't seen it have not been impacted with them yet. Even CM's will tell you firsthand (note post # 18) that it happens quite frequently.
GAC users are MORE impacted by abusers than non-users. If there are more people in the accessible queue then while that hardly impacts regular guests, the guests in that queue are significantly delayed. If a quiet area has more people then guests in that area will find it louder and harder to cope in there while guest in the regular areas are not impacted at all. The more perception of abuse there is, the more hostility is directed towards those of us who use GACs from both CMs and other guests. How does all of this not impact GAC users more than typical guests?

How is everybody determining this rampant abuse? I've used a GAC for my DD15 for every trip we've taken since 2007. Anybody we've spoken with in any of the alternate waiting areas has been in a similar situation to us and has needed the accomodation in order to be able to access the attraction. On what are all these people basing this "knowledge" of abuse? Looking at my DD15, you wouldn't necessarily know that she needs the GAC. I guess many people assume we're abusers?
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:51 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by North of Mouse View Post
I totally disagree with this answer. GACs *are* providing a *benefit* not available to mainstream. Now, should they have them, *YES*, but it is NOT available to everyone.

Should handicapped parking be available to those that need it, *YES*, but they DO need a letter from Dr.

A letter *should* be needed for a GAC at Disney also. It doesn't have to note specifics, but a general reason why it's needed. That's only fair to *everyone*. If needing to show a GAC to get different access does not bother a person needing it, why should showing a letter at GS's bother them?

Also, to PP stating that you don't see GAC users complaining about abusers, like general users, why should they? It doesn't impact them the same.

I HAVE no issue with true GAC holders, it's how easily available to abusers that really steams me. And yes, there are plenty of them. Those that haven't seen it have not been impacted with them yet. Even CM's will tell you firsthand (note post # 18) that it happens quite frequently.
The only problem with getting a Dr's note is that there are many who will do just that even though they have no real need. There are doctors out there that will make up excuses for their patients when they hear they are going to Disney. I have seen on these boards people report going to the pediatrician with perfectly healthy kids and the doctor writing a letter saying that one of the kids has Autism or something, and telling them that it will allow them to by pass the lines.

There are also doctors out there that will give any one who asks for a handicapped sticker one. They don't care that they are hurting those who need it. Why? Because it is no skin off their nose. They do not have to verify that what they said was true and there is no consequence for them if it isn't. The DMV aren't checking the actual need by looking at peoples medical records, they are going by the signature of the doctor and hoping that the doctor is being honest. There was even a article this summer about this very topic in our local paper this summer and how no one checks to see if the need is still actually still there for someone to be using the handicapped sticker. They also talked about how the DMV reissues the tags without checking the need is still there.

I totally agree that there should be some sort of ID for the GAC to be used to prove that the GAC is for the person trying to use it. There should be a picture of the person who the GAC is for on the GAC. That would eliminate people taking and using a GAC when the person who it is for is not riding.

I don't think that there is anyway to get around people abusing anything. If someone "thinks" that they may gain some sort of advantage, they will figure out a way to scam the system whether it is a GAC or anything else! I have family members who do just that. It is really a matter of peoples integrity. There are people out there who don't have enough integrity to think about how their actions of some perceived advantage affect those who need that certain accommodation.
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:10 AM   #36
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How is everybody determining this rampant abuse? I've used a GAC for my DD15 for every trip we've taken since 2007. Anybody we've spoken with in any of the alternate waiting areas has been in a similar situation to us and has needed the accomodation in order to be able to access the attraction. On what are all these people basing this "knowledge" of abuse? Looking at my DD15, you wouldn't necessarily know that she needs the GAC. I guess many people assume we're abusers?

THANK YOU.

The answer is, of course, people are pulling it out of thin air and their own paranoia. It seems like a lot of people without disabilities in the family believe that if you don't look like Captain Pike from Star Trek then you CLEARLY must be faking something.

"I saw a guy use a wheelchair some of the time and walk some of the time. ABUSE!" (Welcome to the enchanting world of arthritis in the spine.)

"I heard a guy requesting a GAC because of his neurological condition, and he stumbled over some of the words! FAKER!" (Gee, could the stumbling be a symptom of his neurological condition?)

"There were more than a couple of people at the accessible entrance! Come on, there can't really be THAT many people with disabilities! RAMPANT WIDESPREAD OBVIOUS UNDENIABLE FLAGRANT ABUSE!" (WDW is a popular vacation spot for PWD because they know WDW will do their best to give them access, which leads to a higher concentration than in the general public. Also, many people who don't need assistance at home because they can tailor their lives, homes, and workplaces around their disability can't do the same at WDW.)
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:44 AM   #37
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THANK YOU.

The answer is, of course, people are pulling it out of thin air and their own paranoia. It seems like a lot of people without disabilities in the family believe that if you don't look like Captain Pike from Star Trek then you CLEARLY must be faking something.

"I saw a guy use a wheelchair some of the time and walk some of the time. ABUSE!" (Welcome to the enchanting world of arthritis in the spine.)

"I heard a guy requesting a GAC because of his neurological condition, and he stumbled over some of the words! FAKER!" (Gee, could the stumbling be a symptom of his neurological condition?)

"There were more than a couple of people at the accessible entrance! Come on, there can't really be THAT many people with disabilities! RAMPANT WIDESPREAD OBVIOUS UNDENIABLE FLAGRANT ABUSE!" (WDW is a popular vacation spot for PWD because they know WDW will do their best to give them access, which leads to a higher concentration than in the general public. Also, many people who don't need assistance at home because they can tailor their lives, homes, and workplaces around their disability can't do the same at WDW.)
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:46 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by ttintagel View Post
THANK YOU.

The answer is, of course, people are pulling it out of thin air and their own paranoia. It seems like a lot of people without disabilities in the family believe that if you don't look like Captain Pike from Star Trek then you CLEARLY must be faking something.

"I saw a guy use a wheelchair some of the time and walk some of the time. ABUSE!" (Welcome to the enchanting world of arthritis in the spine.)

"I heard a guy requesting a GAC because of his neurological condition, and he stumbled over some of the words! FAKER!" (Gee, could the stumbling be a symptom of his neurological condition?)

"There were more than a couple of people at the accessible entrance! Come on, there can't really be THAT many people with disabilities! RAMPANT WIDESPREAD OBVIOUS UNDENIABLE FLAGRANT ABUSE!" (WDW is a popular vacation spot for PWD because they know WDW will do their best to give them access, which leads to a higher concentration than in the general public. Also, many people who don't need assistance at home because they can tailor their lives, homes, and workplaces around their disability can't do the same at WDW.)

I'm glad you all haven't experienced any abuse and maybe the number of abusers is small. However, when you hear the GAC card being called a "fastpass" over and over again and have a guest's wrath come down upon you when you won't let them come through the fastpass line because "that's what everyone else did," its hard NOT to assume the system is being abused. And I've overheard guests telling other guests to get this pass because "we haven't waited in a line all day" many times. Legit GAC card holders understand it's not a magical front-of-the-line pass. I've NEVER had an issue with a family who truly needs a GAC card because they don't hesitate to explain their situation and answer any questions we might have to help accommodate them. Like I said before, disabilities come in all forms and you can't judge based on what they look like.

Side note: As much as some guests believe, CM's aren't there to ruin your vacation, GAC card or not. We want to help you get on the attraction as efficiently as possible! Believe me, it's not fun to have hundreds of guests yelling at you because of long waits or ride breakdowns! We want you on the attraction, to enjoy it, and be on your merry way.
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:55 AM   #39
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I'm glad you all haven't experienced any abuse and maybe the number of abusers is small. However, when you hear the GAC card being called a "fastpass" over and over again and have a guest's wrath come down upon you when you won't let them come through the fastpass line because "that's what everyone else did," its hard NOT to assume the system is being abused. And I've overheard guests telling other guests to get this pass because "we haven't waited in a line all day" many times.
I totally understand how guests not understanding how the GAC is supposed to work can be incredibly frustrating for CM's. I wish WDW would spend the money to hire more people to deal with unruly guests so that each CM wouldn't have to cope with so much by him- or herself.

But just because a guest is a jerk who doesn't understand how things work doesn't necessarily mean you can tell he doesn't actually need any assistance at all. It just means he's an ignorant jerk who hasn't bothered to learn what assistance is available and what isn't.
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:14 PM   #40
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There's another thread going where a guy without a disability thinks the GAC is unfair, so he is going to get one and then report back on how it works for him. Just great! Not only is THAT abuse, but if he perceives some advantage from it and tells everyone, that is only going to encourage MORE abuse.
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:43 PM   #41
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I'm glad you all haven't experienced any abuse and maybe the number of abusers is small. However, when you hear the GAC card being called a "fastpass" over and over again and have a guest's wrath come down upon you when you won't let them come through the fastpass line because "that's what everyone else did," its hard NOT to assume the system is being abused. And I've overheard guests telling other guests to get this pass because "we haven't waited in a line all day" many times. Legit GAC card holders understand it's not a magical front-of-the-line pass. I've NEVER had an issue with a family who truly needs a GAC card because they don't hesitate to explain their situation and answer any questions we might have to help accommodate them. Like I said before, disabilities come in all forms and you can't judge based on what they look like.

Side note: As much as some guests believe, CM's aren't there to ruin your vacation, GAC card or not. We want to help you get on the attraction as efficiently as possible! Believe me, it's not fun to have hundreds of guests yelling at you because of long waits or ride breakdowns! We want you on the attraction, to enjoy it, and be on your merry way.
When people say they have not seen the GAC's abused they must not be regular visitors of Disney, or they just refuse to acknowledge it. I have seen it more than once, in fact several times. The last time was a group of about 6 teens with one wheelchair. They were laughing and taking turns riding/ arguing about who would get to ride next/have to push, etc.

Some, you might not can tell, others are VERY obvious, and yes, I *will* judge them. I will also continue to be very about the abusers, and true GAC holders should be too. Disney *must* do something. It's open and out of hand. And, also, yes you can wait a lot less with the GAC, not always, but enough that people will do it for *that benefit*.

I have also heard people say that the best time to go to Disney is when your child or other family member has broken their leg/foot (or go with Grandma in a wheelchair). This has been said (partly *tongue in cheek*) but also in sincerity. This was said by my dh's colleague some years ago when a wheelchair really was a *ticket* to the head of the line, maybe not as much so now as then.
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:44 PM   #42
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There's another thread going where a guy without a disability thinks the GAC is unfair, so he is going to get one and then report back on how it works for him. Just great! Not only is THAT abuse, but if he perceives some advantage from it and tells everyone, that is only going to encourage MORE abuse.
Please report that thread to a moderator, I am fairly sure it violates the rules on these boards.

Hopefully the CMs see through it and deny him one, but if he gets a GAC, then he might find that it's unfair from his viewpoint, because he doesn't deal with the actually disability that it would allow him to overcome. Those of us with these issues know that it takes extra time to deal with these issues and without a GAC, many of us may only be able to do a couple of attractions in a day, whereas with a GAC we can get close to the same number as everyone else, but still not reach the same number.

So, it would be an unfair test and I know I would give up te GAC to not have to deal with my issues in a heartbeat.
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:04 PM   #43
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When people say they have not seen the GAC's abused they must not be regular visitors of Disney, or they just refuse to acknowledge it. I have seen it more than once, in fact several times. The last time was a group of about 6 teens with one wheelchair. They were laughing and taking turns riding/ arguing about who would get to ride next/have to push, etc.



I have also heard people say that the best time to go to Disney is when your child or other family member has broken their leg/foot (or go with Grandma in a wheelchair). This has been said (partly *tongue in cheek*) but also in sincerity. This was said by my dh's colleague some years ago when a wheelchair really was a *ticket* to the head of the line, maybe not as much so now as then.

Almost all of the lines are wheelchair accessible and those with an obvious disability (someone using a wheelchair) doesn't need a GAC. If you're in a wheelchair you're going to go through the same line as everyone else.
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:04 PM   #44
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There's another thread going where a guy without a disability thinks the GAC is unfair, so he is going to get one and then report back on how it works for him. Just great! Not only is THAT abuse, but if he perceives some advantage from it and tells everyone, that is only going to encourage MORE abuse.
That thread has been closed!
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:06 PM   #45
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I have seen it more than once, in fact several times. The last time was a group of about 6 teens with one wheelchair. They were laughing and taking turns riding/ arguing about who would get to ride next/have to push, etc.
Did you follow them around all day to hear their entire conversation? Did you have some way of knowing that one member of the group didn't need the chair some of the time, and the rest of them weren't just using it when he/she didn't need it? Or did you happen to see them just for a while?

Some of us have a sense of humor about our physical problems. I know I try to laugh at my own as much as possible. If a passerby hears me laugh and thinks that means I don't have any problems, he's sorely mistaken.

Unless you spend the whole day with the person in question, you can't say for sure who needs it and who doesn't.

I'm sure people who misuse it exist in a nonzero number, as there are people who will find a way to abuse every system ever created by man (and always have been). But you can't tell who they are without doing a detailed investigation (instead of a casual observation at the park), so they can't be counted.

Have I seen people I suspect MIGHT be misuing? Sure. But I don't pretend I can know that for certain. I just plain do not have enough information.
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