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Old 04-10-2013, 04:53 PM   #16
KPeveler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama Who

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.
This depend entirely on the GAC you have. There are several different stamps and they do different things.

Also if you use an ECV or powerchair you MUST use the exit of Star Tours. If you use a small manual wheelchair or other mobility device, you can use the regular line. A GAC does not necessarily send you straight to the elevator and the external line which IS mainstreamed has switchbacks. I suggest a FP for this one.

You cannot count on everyone having the same GAC experience because there are several different stamps. For a variety of reasons we do not post names of the stamps on this board.
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Old 04-10-2013, 06:41 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by cmwade77 View Post
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).
Eep! I'm really glad that I came to ask then, because the crowd projection sites don't seem to think it wold be that bad. I'll have a plan for a quiet place to wait.
Quote:
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.
Yes, at both WDW and DL, if I explain things nicely and ask for help, CMs are usually glad to help. But June is going to be busy and crowded, and I'm not going to be as observant as "normal" - when I was at DL, I sometimes had trouble finding a CM to ask.

I have Evernote on my cell phone, and I'm writing notebooks for each park - the entry for an attraction includes as many things as I can think of that it's good to know. Best times to visit, where the entrance is, where the alternate entrance is likely to be, where the nearest bathroom is, where the nearest food is, what the best "alternate ride" is, if I'm not feeling up to the headliners but want to do something...

In general though, CMs are really nice.
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Old 04-10-2013, 07:30 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KPeveler View Post
This depend entirely on the GAC you have. There are several different stamps and they do different things.

Also if you use an ECV or powerchair you MUST use the exit of Star Tours. If you use a small manual wheelchair or other mobility device, you can use the regular line. A GAC does not necessarily send you straight to the elevator and the external line which IS mainstreamed has switchbacks. I suggest a FP for this one.

You cannot count on everyone having the same GAC experience because there are several different stamps. For a variety of reasons we do not post names of the stamps on this board.

My limitations are not mobility related. The problem I had was that the FP line still sends you through the tight, interior switchback. FP doesn't correct the problem, so if there's a way to skip that piece of the queue and wait elsewhere, I'll ask the CM about availability. Just the fact that a different path exists increases the possibility, so even if it doesn't pan out, it's better than no chance.
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Old 04-11-2013, 05:25 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama Who

My limitations are not mobility related. The problem I had was that the FP line still sends you through the tight, interior switchback. FP doesn't correct the problem, so if there's a way to skip that piece of the queue and wait elsewhere, I'll ask the CM about availability. Just the fact that a different path exists increases the possibility, so even if it doesn't pan out, it's better than no chance.
The accessible entrances which are not mainstreamed or FP are almost always in the main walkway with just a roped off area to the side. They are also almost always the exit where you are fighting the flow of traffic. Even some of these queues have switchbacks.

The reason I have a GAC is not mobility related, though I am a full time wheelchair user as well, and honestly I find the GAC to be of limited use for my ADHD, anxiety, claustrophobia, and sensory issues. I find myself frequently checking on a ride, deciding the line is too long or too hard, and coming back later.

Do you know what time of year you plan on going? This can make a difference for planning.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:32 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by KPeveler View Post

The reason I have a GAC is not mobility related, though I am a full time wheelchair user as well, and honestly I find the GAC to be of limited use for my ADHD, anxiety, claustrophobia, and sensory issues. I find myself frequently checking on a ride, deciding the line is too long or too hard, and coming back later.

Do you know what time of year you plan on going? This can make a difference for planning.

Unfortunately, the way things worked out we're going in June. Not ideal, but the planning involves grandparents and work schedules and a few things wen't wrong so we couldn't go at a quieter time... :sigh: Not ideal and I'm a little nervous. The good news is we're going for 5 days, so there's no rush to cram everything in and I can take breaks in quiet places (or the hotel) as needed. Also, we're staying across the street, so I can take my klonopin and not worry about driving.

*Ideally* we will ride Star Tours on a day that I'm feeling relaxed and at a time that the line is low. It's one of my son's two favorite rides, though, and since the other is down all year, I really want to be able to join him at least once or twice.

You're right, the GAC is of limited use for a lot of anxiety issues. Mostly we are relying on a good plan, enough time to be relaxed and pacing ourselves.
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Old 04-11-2013, 07:01 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama Who View Post
Unfortunately, the way things worked out we're going in June. Not ideal, but the planning involves grandparents and work schedules and a few things wen't wrong so we couldn't go at a quieter time... :sigh: Not ideal and I'm a little nervous. The good news is we're going for 5 days, so there's no rush to cram everything in and I can take breaks in quiet places (or the hotel) as needed. Also, we're staying across the street, so I can take my klonopin and not worry about driving.

*Ideally* we will ride Star Tours on a day that I'm feeling relaxed and at a time that the line is low. It's one of my son's two favorite rides, though, and since the other is down all year, I really want to be able to join him at least once or twice.

You're right, the GAC is of limited use for a lot of anxiety issues. Mostly we are relying on a good plan, enough time to be relaxed and pacing ourselves.
If you have a FP for Star Tours, that cuts out the vast majority of the line. If you tell the CM that you have a FP but the interior line is too difficult for you, then MAY direct you to the elevator, which avoids the interior switchbacks. So if you get a FP for Star Tours, you should actually do okay with this ride.

Definitely speak to Guest Services about a GAC. It may not help with many of the lines, but some of them may be better - for instance, I find that the accessible line for Jungle Cruise, which is through the exit, has a walled off area. If it is not crowded, then I have no problem waiting there - If you go to Jungle Cruise during Fantasmic - there is NO ONE there! I always roll right on.

You will definitely be able to do Star Tours, especially if you have a FP.

Fastpass times are not enforced in Disneyland, just like WDW. This means that if you have a FP for lines you find more difficult, you will know exactly when you will be riding it, and you can plan to take it easy right before and after that time. For example, if you know you are going to ride Star Tours at 4:30-5:30, then perhaps you go wander around Innoventions or ride the Railroad before that, and plan on ice cream or a quiet break right after.

I find balancing between the higher stress rides and the quieter rides helps me get through the day.

BTW, unlike WDW, you cannot skip the Stretching Room at HM. It is a literal elevator that takes you under the train tracks into the show building. I suggest either skipping this one, or bringing ear plugs or a tiny LED light or whatever you need to handle it.

I find Tom Sawyer Island a great place to relax during the day. There is room for the kids to run, bathrooms on the Island, and benches spread all over the Island. It closes at dusk, but it really is a great place to go let the kids run and find a place to sit quietly.
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Old 04-11-2013, 07:51 PM   #22
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DL is our home park- we've actually not made it to Florida yet. We have several quiet corners we like for relaxing. The far end of Critter Country

We skip Haunted Mansion for the most part. None of the big people in the party are huge fans and the little one is young enough that it may be too scary.

The problem with Star Tours has been that the problem area is that interior switchback where it gets tight. The rest of the line is okay, it's the combination of the tight quarters and being indoors, I think. It doesn't help that I'm short and it's really easy to feel trapped in a crowd. We may simply skip ST on high anxiety days. The good news is there's generally some warning.
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Old 04-12-2013, 12:34 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by KPeveler View Post
BTW, unlike WDW, you cannot skip the Stretching Room at HM. It is a literal elevator that takes you under the train tracks into the show building. I suggest either skipping this one, or bringing ear plugs or a tiny LED light or whatever you need to handle it.
It is possible to skip the Stretching Room at DL, if you find the right cast member. On our last trip, i explained my daughter's issues with crowds and darkness to the cm at the entrance, and he found a cast member to take us past the stretching room straight to the Doom Buggies. We had to wait about ten minutes for the cm to be available, but My daughter ended up chickening out at the last minute so we didn't actually go thought with it. It is possible, though.
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:04 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Mousequake

It is possible to skip the Stretching Room at DL, if you find the right cast member. On our last trip, i explained my daughter's issues with crowds and darkness to the cm at the entrance, and he found a cast member to take us past the stretching room straight to the Doom Buggies. We had to wait about ten minutes for the cm to be available, but My daughter ended up chickening out at the last minute so we didn't actually go thought with it. It is possible, though.
I have never heard of this. Obviously some kind of elevator is involved? Or id it stairs? I use a wheelchair full time so a lot of the time workarounds like these dont work for me...
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:57 AM   #25
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I'm kind of slowly working my way through attractions and documenting what seem to be the best strategies...

What about nighttime shows? WOC? Fantasmic? Short of booking a VIP tour (I don't want to see them -that- much) what are my best options for having a little breathing room?

It sounds like the first show of WOC is packed in like sardines - skip it and go to a later show? Are the handicapped viewing areas any better? I think I'll need a bench or wheelchair for the show, and my parents would have a better time if they had the same, but it isn't strictly required. A park wheelchair seems like it would ensure a little bit of personal space. With a party of 9, should we expect to split up if I need to be in a wheelchair for the show?

I think my questions for Fantasmic are generally the same, with the addition of questions about the fantasmic dessert package. If we do the dessert package, is the viewing "better" than the wheelchair area? Can we swap a couple of the folding chairs for wheelchairs? Do we need to guard seats in the wheelchair area for hours in advance?
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Old 04-12-2013, 11:32 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by KPeveler View Post
I have never heard of this. Obviously some kind of elevator is involved? Or id it stairs? I use a wheelchair full time so a lot of the time workarounds like these dont work for me...
Not sure if it's another elevator or stairs; sorry. Since we backed out at the last minute, I never got to find out which it was.
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:30 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by dawnball View Post
I'm kind of slowly working my way through attractions and documenting what seem to be the best strategies...

What about nighttime shows? WOC? Fantasmic? Short of booking a VIP tour (I don't want to see them -that- much) what are my best options for having a little breathing room?

It sounds like the first show of WOC is packed in like sardines - skip it and go to a later show? Are the handicapped viewing areas any better? I think I'll need a bench or wheelchair for the show, and my parents would have a better time if they had the same, but it isn't strictly required. A park wheelchair seems like it would ensure a little bit of personal space. With a party of 9, should we expect to split up if I need to be in a wheelchair for the show?

I think my questions for Fantasmic are generally the same, with the addition of questions about the fantasmic dessert package. If we do the dessert package, is the viewing "better" than the wheelchair area? Can we swap a couple of the folding chairs for wheelchairs? Do we need to guard seats in the wheelchair area for hours in advance?
For Fantasmic! The dessert viewing area is slightly better than the wheelchair viewing area, but neither are great. If you have the time, it is best to get there early and put your wheelchair in the back of the section directly in front of the middle light tower (the one where the sound board and all is). This area is seating only; however, wheelchairs are allowed in the back of it since they won't block anyone's view and will easily be able to see over the people in front of them. This provides the best view of the entire show.

WOC, the options are try to get a FP for the yellow section, it has the best wheel chair viewing area and allows you to not need to get there quite as early. If you really want to save time, get a dining package (especially eating at Carthay Circle), they will do everything possible to accommodate you. But really, the yellow section's wheelchair viewing area is the best, as you end up with no one in front of you. The way to ensure that you get yellow is to prepay for a picnic lunch. The dining area's wheelchair viewing area is still good, just not quite as good, especially if someone puts kids on their shoulder in front of you.

Also, WOC is one the shows that does accept GACs, just ask a CM where to go, as it will vary based on your GAC. It is best to get a GAC for each person that needs to use the bench, as the CMs do try to make sure that the people using the limited bench seating are those who truly need to use it.
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:19 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by cmwade77 View Post
For Fantasmic! The dessert viewing area is slightly better than the wheelchair viewing area, but neither are great. If you have the time, it is best to get there early and put your wheelchair in the back of the section directly in front of the middle light tower (the one where the sound board and all is). This area is seating only; however, wheelchairs are allowed in the back of it since they won't block anyone's view and will easily be able to see over the people in front of them. This provides the best view of the entire show.
Just to clarify, this would be an extra-early stakeout, right? Like idling there all afternoon? I can do that, and the group can trade off. I might consider hiring one of the Fantasmic stake-out services, too.

Quote:
Also, WOC is one the shows that does accept GACs, just ask a CM where to go, as it will vary based on your GAC. It is best to get a GAC for each person that needs to use the bench, as the CMs do try to make sure that the people using the limited bench seating are those who truly need to use it.
GAC, plus a FP, right?

Last edited by dawnball; 04-13-2013 at 04:54 PM.
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:32 AM   #29
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Just to clarify, this would be an extra-early stakeout, right? Like idling there all afternoon? I can do that, and the group can trade off. I might consider hiring one of the Fantasmic stake-out services, too.
Also, WOC is one the shows that does accept GACs, just ask a CM where to go, as it will vary based on your GAC. It is best to get a GAC for each person that needs to use the bench, as the CMs do try to make sure that the people using the limited bench seating are those who truly need to use it.[/QUOTE]

GAC, plus a FP, right?[/QUOTE]

Correct on both accounts. For WOC, you must have a FP, with very few exceptions in the very back. For Fantasmic! I would say as long as you are there by about 4, you should be able to get a decent spot in the back of that front section since people tend to fill from front to back.
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Old 04-13-2013, 05:51 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by cmwade77 View Post
Also, WOC is one the shows that does accept GACs, just ask a CM where to go, as it will vary based on your GAC. It is best to get a GAC for each person that needs to use the bench, as the CMs do try to make sure that the people using the limited bench seating are those who truly need to use it.
GAC, plus a FP, right?[/QUOTE]

Correct on both accounts. For WOC, you must have a FP, with very few exceptions in the very back. For Fantasmic! I would say as long as you are there by about 4, you should be able to get a decent spot in the back of that front section since people tend to fill from front to back.[/QUOTE]

Great! Thanks so much! I'm feeling much more confident about the trip as I do more specific planning, so I really appreciate all the help.
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