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Old 04-07-2013, 01:42 AM   #1
dawnball
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GAC gotchas at DL

I've got lots of experience figuring out how to have a good time despite my limitations at WDW. But I'm new to DL, and I'm new to the current neurological symptoms I'm having.

I've been to Disneyland once, and at the time, I was not significantly neurologically impaired, but I had a back injury and some trouble walking. I used a cane and had a GAC to avoid stairs, and didn't ride anything very intense. Now I'm planning a new trip, and I'm trying to figure out what the best way is to handle each attraction.

I noticed that for some attractions, the alternate waiting area was "worse" for me - more chaotic, more tightly packed, longer waits than the regular queue. Pirates of the Caribbean was bad enough in the alternate area that I just couldn't do it. Now I know I should do PoC much earlier in the day than the wait-time apps suggest.

Are there any other "Gotchas" using the alternate entrances that I should be aware of? (More crowded, more confusing, tend to have much longer than posted waits, etc) I know things change a lot, and GACs aren't always handled the same way - I'm just trying to put together a touring plan that doesn't lead to "Yeah, you guys go through the regular entrance, and I'll meet you when you're done."

Also, one of my medications makes me photosensitive. At WDW, I didn't need to ask for accommodations for shade, I just wear a big floppy hat and sun-protective clothing. But, at WDW, most of the queues were shaded, and I could usually cross the walkway to catch some building shade. Is DL equally shady?
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Old 04-07-2013, 03:56 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dawnball View Post
I've got lots of experience figuring out how to have a good time despite my limitations at WDW. But I'm new to DL, and I'm new to the current neurological symptoms I'm having.

I've been to Disneyland once, and at the time, I was not significantly neurologically impaired, but I had a back injury and some trouble walking. I used a cane and had a GAC to avoid stairs, and didn't ride anything very intense. Now I'm planning a new trip, and I'm trying to figure out what the best way is to handle each attraction.

I noticed that for some attractions, the alternate waiting area was "worse" for me - more chaotic, more tightly packed, longer waits than the regular queue. Pirates of the Caribbean was bad enough in the alternate area that I just couldn't do it. Now I know I should do PoC much earlier in the day than the wait-time apps suggest.

Are there any other "Gotchas" using the alternate entrances that I should be aware of? (More crowded, more confusing, tend to have much longer than posted waits, etc) I know things change a lot, and GACs aren't always handled the same way - I'm just trying to put together a touring plan that doesn't lead to "Yeah, you guys go through the regular entrance, and I'll meet you when you're done."

Also, one of my medications makes me photosensitive. At WDW, I didn't need to ask for accommodations for shade, I just wear a big floppy hat and sun-protective clothing. But, at WDW, most of the queues were shaded, and I could usually cross the walkway to catch some building shade. Is DL equally shady?
To answer the last question first - there is a lot less shade at DL in my opinion - you cannot even count on queues being in full shade all the time. Also, many shows are in the open air, so even though there are tarp-like shade, there is a very great deal of ambient sun light. Most benches are not in the shade and most table service restaurants have outdoor seating, also not necessarily shaded.

If you need the wheelchair accessible entrance or whatever alternate entrance may be available, that will increase the amount of time you are in full sun. The accessible lines (which are different at least in part from the mainstream queue) for Haunted Mansion, POTC, all of Fantasyland, and especially Small World, the Railroad, Jungle Cruise, and potentially others, are in full sun. Most queues at DCA will have you in the sun at least part of the time, and even FP will not help you avoid this. I do not think there is a GAC to help wait in a shady area (at least there was not last time I asked Guest Services), as there is literally nothing you can do to avoid sun in queues in Disneyland.

You will need to plan to wear full sleeves, a big hat, and LOTS of sunscreen. Others here on the boards are photosensitive, so they will have some ideas.

Honestly, having been to both parks many times (at DL several times a week), I can say that it is very difficult to plan for accessible entrances. I ask about accommodations for rides, even if I do not use them, just to know. And I can tell you that the "alternate" entrances for rides vary wildly from day to day, and some rides do not have ANY alternate entrance option - sometimes the mainstream queue is it.

I CAN tell you about wheelchair accessible entrances that are different from the standard queue, and if you are planning on visiting at any crowded time of year (summer, spring break, christmas, etc), almost all "alternate/accessible" entrances I have experienced are MORE crowded or louder or hotter than the standard queue. Very few rides have FP in Disneyland or DCA as compared to WDW, so that makes it harder too.

DL and DCA are very different in age, so obviously their queue structure will be different too. So I will handle them separately. Also, if you have any kind of GAC (I have had one for years with a variety of stamps depending on my needs at the time), they will be handled very differently between the two parks due to this.

In DL, the wheelchair/accessible (meaning no stairs or turnstiles, etc) entrance is almost always the exit. This sounds like "instant access" but there will almost always (even in the off season) be a line of people with a need of whatever kind also needing that entrance. DL shades the queues INTO rides, but really does not shade most exits. This means when we are waiting our turn to ride (most rides have a limit to the number of wheelchairs allowed on at a time - anywhere from 1 to 3 usually), you are waiting not only in full sun, but also where people are trying to go out. In many rides, it is not even a wide enough space for two wheelchairs to pass, so sometimes it is VERY crowded. Often times we are not in queues but waiting in a "self made line" outside an exit (usually this happens in Fantasyland) in the main walking area.

The most popular DL rides like HM, POTC, Splash, and a few others have an accessible queue, which is generally a line on the side of the main walking area, sometimes but not always roped off with just posts and plain rope - especially during moderate to crowded days, the line can be longer than the standard queue and is right in the middle of walkways and shop entrances. I do not even try riding these rides when it is at all crowded (which means I almost never ride really) because these are very loud, very slow moving, very crowded, and VERY HOT!

Some lines are mainstreamed, so I am not sure how any alternate entrance that may exist would work for these rides, but again, not all rides have alternate entrances. If you cannot access the main queue line for whatever reason, mobility or other, on most DL rides the only option would be the wheelchair accessible line through the exit. Really that is the only way into the rides other than the main queue. Honestly, I hate some of the lines - trying to make your way through the dark (very very dark) exit against the tide of people into Indy can be hard.

Oh, and the wheelchair accessible entrance for Space Mountain is one of the worst places to wait if you have problems with loud, crowded places - it is also the exit, the restrooms for the area, the photo/tshirt purchasing area, and the arcade/wreck it ralph M&G.

DCA (which I visit less often) has more options when it come to accessing rides, but no guarantees there either. And in my opinion, you can count on shade even less in DCA than in DL for queues - all queues have shade somewhere, but they are not covered or indoors the whole time like in Florida.

All of this sounds very discouraging, but really you CAN do Disneyland. I have just found the GAC to be of limited help when it comes to accommodating my needs like ADHD/anxiety/claustrophobia. Frankly, Disneyland is just too small for them to have too many queues going at the same time.

Make use of FP when you can. Be aware that having a FP for some rides in DL will not be useful if you also need the wheelchair accessible entrance. FP queues are not always accessible, so ask the CM when you get to the ride.

A touring plan will help you more than anything. Having a good idea of the best times of day to try things is invaluable. For example, when it is at all crowded, I do not try to do POTC or HM unless it is early morning or until twilight/evening, so I am not in full sun in the queues. During Fantasmic, NO ONE rides Jungle Cruise. Some lands are not as crowded during fireworks, etc.

You really can have a great time. Try to find indoor or at least covered shows to go to during the heat of the day. Go to the late parade, when the sun is going down. Maybe even take a break during the day so you can avoid the worst sun. Several of the character M&G are indoors or in the shade, so those are good for during the day.

I really do not mean to sound discouraging. I just don't want you counting on a GAC to do things the parks just aren't designed for. I am not sure what your current limitations are - mobility or different kinds of invisible issues - so I can't tailor the information... but if you can tell us any more, we may have some ideas!

I really hope your trip to DL works out - when are you planning on traveling? That will also make a difference in the advice people have

Sorry this is so long!
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Old 04-07-2013, 06:51 AM   #3
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For us if we are doing for days, this is who we plan. We will hit rd, oh, we always have early enteracnce, we will do space, and then Nemo ( only once during our trip, since no once loves if. Then we head to fantasyland do Peter and dumbo. Or you can reverse that order if you want. Then we head to POTC, HM,splash. By. Then when you come back the line for Indy and JC is a check out, if a quiet day they may be doable, if not we get a fast pass for tm, have some lunch ride tm and go back for a swim or nap and come back when the sun is going down. By late evening you can sometimes ride again without to much wait on the other rides.

For dca we do ts, then screaming, then soaring and grizzly. Then we do the whatever. We always do tot only once a trip a at night a and just deal with crowd. RSR we do whenever, with the w/c enterence way no need for FP and same wait just about if you do it first thing or middle day. Once again this plan should have you done with all big rides and able to do lunch and take a nap by the hottest part of day.

Third day we either do. It again or we. Do the things we miss. If you reverse the first day and do Peter and dumbo, we then do autotopia after the Nemo, but. When we are done with splash we skip Indy and JC because lines to long and we check out BTM.

As you Can see I just laid out the big rides. If we do these in this order and then go to the rest of the park we have been able on many occassions to get the hole park every ride done by 2pm. If we try to do other rides in between then we usually have start using fastpass and in dlr we find for us FP just is not the easiest way to go, but do remember you can use them late, so you can collect them during the day and use them at night, we just aren't late night people and are usually done by 8 or 9 even having trouble with the late shows. But FP is a great option for those who are not early people or don't have EE. We find not doing EE and rope drop seriously slows us down.
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Old 04-07-2013, 01:21 PM   #4
dawnball
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KPeveler View Post
To answer the last question first - there is a lot less shade at DL in my opinion - you cannot even count on queues being in full shade all the time. Also, many shows are in the open air, so even though there are tarp-like shade, there is a very great deal of ambient sun light. Most benches are not in the shade and most table service restaurants have outdoor seating, also not necessarily shaded.
Well, forewarned is forearmed, and four-armed is half an octopus. Maybe they'll let me hang out in the Little Mermaid ride as long as I keep my missing half hidden...

Quote:
You will need to plan to wear full sleeves, a big hat, and LOTS of sunscreen. Others here on the boards are photosensitive, so they will have some ideas.
Yup, I've got lots of that. And I've been working on accumulating cooler clothing, too. Some of that long-sleeve UPF+ stuff is HOT. We'll plan to bug-out in the worst of the day, then come back after dinner when the sun starts going down.
Quote:

Honestly, having been to both parks many times (at DL several times a week), I can say that it is very difficult to plan for accessible entrances. I ask about accommodations for rides, even if I do not use them, just to know. And I can tell you that the "alternate" entrances for rides vary wildly from day to day, and some rides do not have ANY alternate entrance option - sometimes the mainstream queue is it.
That's so unlike WDW - I'm really glad I asked. We're traveling as a group of 9, which means we won't all be going through the same entrance, either.
Quote:

The most popular DL rides like HM, POTC, Splash, and a few others have an accessible queue, which is generally a line on the side of the main walking area, sometimes but not always roped off with just posts and plain rope - especially during moderate to crowded days, the line can be longer than the standard queue and is right in the middle of walkways and shop entrances. I do not even try riding these rides when it is at all crowded (which means I almost never ride really) because these are very loud, very slow moving, very crowded, and VERY HOT!
Yes, this is what I saw for POTC. The combination of a wide/tightly packed queue with a million people rushing by the other way, all the noise... I couldn't do it. So HM, POTC and Splash (if anyone wants to go) should be early in the morning. What else tends to fit into that category?

You mentioned Indy and Space Mountain - both of those have FP, so I should be able to go via the FP queue and be ok.
Quote:

DCA (which I visit less often) has more options when it come to accessing rides, but no guarantees there either. And in my opinion, you can count on shade even less in DCA than in DL for queues - all queues have shade somewhere, but they are not covered or indoors the whole time like in Florida.
Yeah, my impression of DCA was that the trees needed to grow more. :P
Quote:
Make use of FP when you can. Be aware that having a FP for some rides in DL will not be useful if you also need the wheelchair accessible entrance. FP queues are not always accessible, so ask the CM when you get to the ride.
Which of these are they? I may or may not be using a cane/scooter/wheelchair (some days are good, and some days are bad), and I don't want to "waste" a FP if the group riding with me can't use the FP queue.
Quote:
I really do not mean to sound discouraging. I just don't want you counting on a GAC to do things the parks just aren't designed for. I am not sure what your current limitations are - mobility or different kinds of invisible issues - so I can't tailor the information... but if you can tell us any more, we may have some ideas!

I really hope your trip to DL works out - when are you planning on traveling? That will also make a difference in the advice people have
I'm sure we'll have a good time! I had a great time in March, when I couldn't ride 90% of the attractions due to a back injury. I'm just trying to set reasonble expectations and make a plan that's good for everyone. Thnks for being so helpful.

To give you a little more information, we'll be traveling in June as a party of 9 (5 adults and 4 girls who will be 8,9,10,11.) My daughter (the 9yr old) has some sensory integration issues that make crowded spaces difficult for her. She didn't need a GAC in March, we just took long afternoon breaks.

I have something going on neurologically that the doctors are still working on pinning down. Some days I'm fine. Perfectly normal. Other days, I get crushing fatigue, sore/stiff joints, sore/stiff muscles, pins and needles or numbness. Sometimes my brain interprets pressure, or even light touches as pain. These are usually accompanied by the impression that the world is happening on fast-forward, and my body along with it, while my brain just watches in stop-motion. That means I miss things if I don't know what I'm looking for. My memory goes to pot, so I'll forget what I'm looking for. Fortunately, my family has wonderful memories, and I have a smartphone that helps me remember things. Sometimes I get "stuck" in a motion. I'll move my arm or swing my leg, and if I'm not paying attention and consciously -stopping-, I just keep doing it. Usually more and more vigorously/wildly.

OMG, that sounds much worse than it really is. It's just freaky. My family can keep a decent buffer around me, so I'm not smacking strangers. I use a cane when I need one. If I'm having a really lousy fatigue day, I'll rent a wheelchair or scooter, but I don't want to drag one around all day if I'm ok. I was thinking about renting a travelscoot as something that feels smaller and easier to control.
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Old 04-07-2013, 02:45 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by dawnball View Post

Yes, this is what I saw for POTC. The combination of a wide/tightly packed queue with a million people rushing by the other way, all the noise... I couldn't do it. So HM, POTC and Splash (if anyone wants to go) should be early in the morning. What else tends to fit into that category?

You mentioned Indy and Space Mountain - both of those have FP, so I should be able to go via the FP queue and be ok.

Yeah, my impression of DCA was that the trees needed to grow more. :P

Which of these are they? I may or may not be using a cane/scooter/wheelchair (some days are good, and some days are bad), and I don't want to "waste" a FP if the group riding with me can't use the FP queue.


I'm sure we'll have a good time! I had a great time in March, when I couldn't ride 90% of the attractions due to a back injury. I'm just trying to set reasonble expectations and make a plan that's good for everyone. Thnks for being so helpful.

To give you a little more information, we'll be traveling in June as a party of 9 (5 adults and 4 girls who will be 8,9,10,11.) My daughter (the 9yr old) has some sensory integration issues that make crowded spaces difficult for her. She didn't need a GAC in March, we just took long afternoon breaks.

I have something going on neurologically that the doctors are still working on pinning down. Some days I'm fine. Perfectly normal. Other days, I get crushing fatigue, sore/stiff joints, sore/stiff muscles, pins and needles or numbness. Sometimes my brain interprets pressure, or even light touches as pain. These are usually accompanied by the impression that the world is happening on fast-forward, and my body along with it, while my brain just watches in stop-motion. That means I miss things if I don't know what I'm looking for. My memory goes to pot, so I'll forget what I'm looking for. Fortunately, my family has wonderful memories, and I have a smartphone that helps me remember things. Sometimes I get "stuck" in a motion. I'll move my arm or swing my leg, and if I'm not paying attention and consciously -stopping-, I just keep doing it. Usually more and more vigorously/wildly.

OMG, that sounds much worse than it really is. It's just freaky. My family can keep a decent buffer around me, so I'm not smacking strangers. I use a cane when I need one. If I'm having a really lousy fatigue day, I'll rent a wheelchair or scooter, but I don't want to drag one around all day if I'm ok. I was thinking about renting a travelscoot as something that feels smaller and easier to control.

-Small World is an unshaded queue for the most part. All outdoors, hard to get respite from the sun. Dumbo, Story boat canal, tea cups... same thing. Some trees but as the sun moves the coverage shifts, so you kinda have to eyeball it.

-Crowded spaces. One big thing you need to do is avoid the Main Street bottleneck at park closing and the path from the hub to adventure/frontier lands after Fantasmic. These are predictable and total nightmares at specific times. If you *must* exit at park closing, walk on the left hand side of main street. halfway up is First Aid and if things go sideways, better not to have to plow across from the other side to get there.

A GAC can help her avoid a couple of queues with trouble spots- there's a switchback inside on the Star Tours queue which was a problem for me because when I showed the GAC they just put me through the FastPass line, which doesn't avoid that spot. I have to ask next time about entering through the exit, where it's less enclosed. Otherwise I may skip Star Tours.

For fatigue, the answer Disney gives is, "get an ecv or wheelchair." There is no GAC accommodation available for fatigue or mobility. That comes down to your touring plan and built in breaks. The travelscoot might be an excellent idea.
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Old 04-08-2013, 01:11 AM   #6
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For fatigue, the answer Disney gives is, "get an ecv or wheelchair." There is no GAC accommodation available for fatigue or mobility. That comes down to your touring plan and built in breaks. The travelscoot might be an excellent idea.
Oh, yeah - I wasn't clear. There isn't much that Disney can do for any of my issues. A lot of them can be mitigated by a good touring plan and sufficient breaks (particularly a long afternoon break and nap) and the rest either can't be helped, or we haven't figured out a good way.

What I want from a GAC is for being at Disney to not make things much worse - so a waiting area that's less stimulating is helpful. The PoC alternate waiting area is more stimulating, in part because you have more confusion with people walking alongside the queue in both directions. A waiting area with fewer people/shorter queue - even if the wait time is the same or a little longer, like you find at TSMM - is easier for me, because moving less/fewer people makes it less likely someone will bump into me when it hurts.

I talked to my family tonight, and told them that my current plan for DL is to make a miraculous recovery. I have two months to come up with a better plan.
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Old 04-08-2013, 01:58 AM   #7
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Most attractions have wheelchairs that you can borrow for use in the queues. At Pirates, it is best to explain your issues to the CM at the entrance (if there isn't one at the exit), there are accommodations that they can make, you will need to ask nicely and may need to explain in detail.

Splash Mountain, Radiator Springs Racers, Toy Story, Space Mountain, Finding Nemo Submarines, Small World, Matterhorn and Peter Pan are all attractions that can be an issue.

For Star Tours, the switchback can be avoided by letting them know that you need the elevator, this avoids having to use the exit (which can double to triple the wait time at times, using the elevator allows them to keep the wait time equal for you, you don't get on faster as a general rule, but you usually don't have to wait any extra time over other people).

In general, if you have a GAC, start at the left at Disneyland and work your way around. If you don't, start at the right. At DCA, start at RSR no matter what. Do not wait in line to get a FP, go straight to the ride at park opening (unless it is an EMH day, if it is and you don't have EMH, go to Disneyland that day instead), then Bugsland, Then Hollywoodland, then Soarin' and work through Paradise Pier.

Now, things are no where near perfect, but I think you will find that this will help.
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Old 04-09-2013, 12:07 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by cmwade77 View Post
Most attractions have wheelchairs that you can borrow for use in the queues.
They do? Cool! Thanks! That would actually be remarkably convenient.
Quote:
At Pirates, it is best to explain your issues to the CM at the entrance (if there isn't one at the exit), there are accommodations that they can make, you will need to ask nicely and may need to explain in detail.
If push comes to shove, we'll do that, and I appreciate knowing that it's an option. Now I know to put it earlier in the plan, so hopefully we'll be ok.
Quote:
Splash Mountain, Radiator Springs Racers, Toy Story, Space Mountain, Finding Nemo Submarines, Small World, Matterhorn and Peter Pan are all attractions that can be an issue.
I think I only did RSR and Toy Story off the list last time, and they seemed ok. It was a longer wait over at the no-stairs loading area, but it wasn't a bad area to wait. I know people have talked about there being a long wait to get a return time for RSR, but there was only one family in front of us. We might have just been lucky, since we only tried it once. I didn't pay attention to waiting longer/less long at TSMM, because we were happy to sit on the bench and out of the madness that was that bit of Paradise Pier.

The rest of those I can reasonably happily bypass if the options available won't suit, and try to put in early in the day. Thanks for setting my mind at ease.

Quote:
In general, if you have a GAC, start at the left at Disneyland and work your way around. If you don't, start at the right. At DCA, start at RSR no matter what. Do not wait in line to get a FP, go straight to the ride at park opening (unless it is an EMH day, if it is and you don't have EMH, go to Disneyland that day instead), then Bugsland, Then Hollywoodland, then Soarin' and work through Paradise Pier.

Now, things are no where near perfect, but I think you will find that this will help.
That's much appreciated. I have a slew of touring books, but they're all pretty oriented toward people who can walk briskly, manage to take in all they're seeingand tolerate the crowds well. I'll have to adapt that for myself - I'll send my family to RSR, then dawdle behind the crowds to get a FP or a GAC-return time for RSR, because the crush at rope drop is going to be too much for me.
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Old 04-09-2013, 12:24 AM   #9
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In that case, I would say that you should probably send someone to get a FP for RSR for everyone and hang back on a bench close to first aid or in first aid if the crowds are too bad.
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:43 PM   #10
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Just something to note is that the return times for our SR is now like a standard Fast Pass, with a one hour window for you to access to ride. It used to be 'anytime after 4 p.m.' or something like that. Now you are given a one hour window just like a standard Fast Pass. I think this has helped spread out the return to the ride I made the wheelchair loading area line a little more standard.
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Old 04-10-2013, 02:11 AM   #11
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In that case, I would say that you should probably send someone to get a FP for RSR for everyone and hang back on a bench close to first aid or in first aid if the crowds are too bad.
I don't think that in first aid is necessary, is it? I only did DCA rope drop once... and we were right by the ropes. I zoned out with a book on my phone until it was time to move - that's when it got bad. It's the squeezing and jostling for a better position and people darting around you that was a problem.

I was thinking that I could either sit in the RSR FP line with my book, or wander toward the back of the crowd going around toward the GCH entrance - either go in via Paradise Pier or ride Soarin' or something while they did the mad dash to RSR. Popping into Fife, Fiddler & Practical for coffee drinks, then strolling them back to Cars Land to meet people at the RSR exit had occurred to me too.

The last weekend in Feb wasn't so bad. If June is bad enough that pre-rope drop is like WDW's MK when they hold you before the train station - I'll make a plan B!
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:24 AM   #12
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At this point, I am going to add some basic information about Guest Assistance Cards.

They are a communication device for letting CMs know what assistance a guest needs because of their disability. Just because a guest has a need does not necessarily mean that need will be accommodated the way the guest wants it to be.
There are 2 words printed on the front of every GAC - "where applicable"
And 2 words printed on the back - "operational considerations"

And the stamp itself has 2 additional words - "where available".

Available can mean "does it exist", but can also mean "it exists, but is not available for use right now".
There are attractions, specifically in the past year, where GACs are not being used if the regular line is 15 minutes or less. People have posted about it at WDW, specifically for Pirates and we have seen it on Aladdin and many other attractions.
There are quite a few posts on this board where people were told that GACs were not being used at the attraction at that time when the wait in the regular line was short.

There was one particular thread where a woman posted that she was denied use of a specific way of entering Pirates and felt the CMs were "wrong" and "poorly trained" because she knew about that entrance and had used it in the past.
As it turned out, she posted enough that a CM who was working Pirates at the time sent me a PM because she did not feel comfortable posting on the thread.
The entrance the woman was talking about was "not available" because a guest had a medical emergency that entrance was being used for at the time.

The woman had been told to use the regular queue, left side if they wanted to ride because the wait was short.

I also have un-official confirmation (because Disney does not publicize anything official about GACs) that the information in post 6 of the disABILITIES FAQs thread is complete and accurate. That information was written about WDW, but the general principles are the same at Disneyland.
Because of the age of Disneyland and space concerns, there are less accommodations available and some older attractions have no way to make the attraction accessible thru the regular line. This specific part does apply to all parks though:

Is it treated exactly the same each time and/or at each attraction?
No. Even on the same attraction, the GAC is not always handled the same each time.
Exactly what happens depends on how busy it is, how many other people with special needs are there at the time and staffing.
Some times you may be sent thru the regular standby line, ocassionally another access; Occasionally the person with the GAC and a member of their party will be given an alternate place to wait while the rest of the party goes thru the standby line - and then meet up with them when they get to the front. Sometimes you might be given a slip and told you can come back at the time written on the slip (usually equal to the standby time); very ocassionally, you might be taken right in. It depends on what they call "attraction considerations" (which is basically the things I listed in the second sentence).

What happens will also depend on the stamps on your GAC. For example, if the GAC is for a place to out of the sun, you will be routed to the regular line if the sun is not a problem when you arrive at the attraction.

If you come back later, you may be handled differently. Even on the same attraction on the same day. People sometimes think that means one of the CMs did something 'wrong'. What it usually means is that conditions were not the same both times.
If you had a short wait the first time, you may have gotten 'pixie dusted'.
Since GACs are not meant to shorten or eliminate waits, shorter waits can't be expected.
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:57 AM   #13
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I don't think that in first aid is necessary, is it? I only did DCA rope drop once... and we were right by the ropes. I zoned out with a book on my phone until it was time to move - that's when it got bad. It's the squeezing and jostling for a better position and people darting around you that was a problem.

I was thinking that I could either sit in the RSR FP line with my book, or wander toward the back of the crowd going around toward the GCH entrance - either go in via Paradise Pier or ride Soarin' or something while they did the mad dash to RSR. Popping into Fife, Fiddler & Practical for coffee drinks, then strolling them back to Cars Land to meet people at the RSR exit had occurred to me too.

The last weekend in Feb wasn't so bad. If June is bad enough that pre-rope drop is like WDW's MK when they hold you before the train station - I'll make a plan B!
We really don't know how bad this June will be. Last June, just after the Grand Reopening was indeed that bad, but you could get around the people by taking the first Red Car (which allowed you enough time to get into Carsland just before rope drop, from what I understand they now time it so that you get off just after rope drop).

And SueMN is right, things change frequently, but again, if they ask you to do something that you can't do, I find explaining the situation nicely usually helps and they will do what they can to accommodate you. The CMs at Disneyland are very nice, especially when you are nice to them and not demanding.
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:02 AM   #14
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We really don't know how bad this June will be. Last June, just after the Grand Reopening was indeed that bad, but you could get around the people by taking the first Red Car (which allowed you enough time to get into Carsland just before rope drop, from what I understand they now time it so that you get off just after rope drop).

And SueMN is right, things change frequently, but again, if they ask you to do something that you can't do, I find explaining the situation nicely usually helps and they will do what they can to accommodate you. The CMs at Disneyland are very nice, especially when you are nice to them and not demanding.


And, although you may not know the reason they are doing something differently, there usually is a good reason that is not visible to you.
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:36 AM   #15
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For Star Tours, the switchback can be avoided by letting them know that you need the elevator, this avoids having to use the exit (which can double to triple the wait time at times, using the elevator allows them to keep the wait time equal for you, you don't get on faster as a general rule, but you usually don't have to wait any extra time over other people).

In general, if you have a GAC, start at the left at Disneyland and work your way around. If you don't, start at the right.
Star Tours- Wow! That's excellent advice. Thank you. I was unaware of this as a potential option and will keep it in mind.

As far as starting at the left goes- can you get into why that works with a GAC? It's the exact opposite of how I've always done DL, so I'm curious about why that works better.
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