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Old 09-25-2013, 10:08 PM   #1
AliceandAriel
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Fox News Reporting on GAC Pass Removal at Disney

(NOT involving politics or favoritism towards specific news stations, simply showing what appeared on my newsfeed and stating a distaste that Fox News decided to phrase the report the way they had.)

So this popped up on my Facebook newsfeed. Of course, people who didn't bother to read the article or understand how Disney is implementing a new pass-system for disabilities were voicing things like 'Oh how shameful' left and right. Makes me so mad, ugh. I get it- the old GAC system is considered better than the new system they're launching, but better than nothing, right?

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Old 09-25-2013, 11:04 PM   #2
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I understand where your coming from. The biggest issue with this new system is they want to stop a users especially after multiple undercover investigations. Disney doesn't want to not help disabled guests and my guess is they wish they didn't have to change their system but because of the select few who decided to abuse it they have to. The biggest concerns are coming from those that really desperately need it. For example Julie on the dis team this week said there son uses the pass. They only use the pass when the wait is over 30 minutes long because usually by then he can't stand the line anymore and it's not a fun time to be a parent then. Legally this is all disney can really do. They can't get stricter on who gets the pass because you legally can't ask why someone is disabled. Others are also saying why don't people get a doctors note and do it that way. That would be even crazier for disney to handle, and that would open a new door for abuse go get a doctors note from my doctor saying I need to skip the line even though I don't have anything wrong with me. Disney is doing this because they have to not because they want to. It's just a shame that people have to take advantage of those are in desperate need of these types of services.
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Old 09-26-2013, 12:01 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by rteetz View Post
I understand where your coming from. The biggest issue with this new system is they want to stop a users especially after multiple undercover investigations. Disney doesn't want to not help disabled guests and my guess is they wish they didn't have to change their system but because of the select few who decided to abuse it they have to. The biggest concerns are coming from those that really desperately need it. For example Julie on the dis team this week said there son uses the pass. They only use the pass when the wait is over 30 minutes long because usually by then he can't stand the line anymore and it's not a fun time to be a parent then. Legally this is all disney can really do. They can't get stricter on who gets the pass because you legally can't ask why someone is disabled. Others are also saying why don't people get a doctors note and do it that way. That would be even crazier for disney to handle, and that would open a new door for abuse go get a doctors note from my doctor saying I need to skip the line even though I don't have anything wrong with me. Disney is doing this because they have to not because they want to. It's just a shame that people have to take advantage of those are in desperate need of these types of services.
Disney can't ask for written medical information because it would be almost impossible for Disney to keep all that medical information confidential. This would be a HUGE HIPPA violation when you have sensitive medical information being handled by someone who has no idea of the law. Medical information can only be shared between people who have direct access to that patient for care. The CMs behind the counter at GR will not be providing direct care.

The sad thing is no matter what system Disney comes up with there will be people who, for whatever reason, will want to abuse it. It is really sad that anyone would attempt to get a GAC by lying and saying their child has a disability. No one should lie about the health of their child. They should celebrate, on a daily basis, the fact that God gave them a child who will not have extra challenges in life. I have a dear friend who has three daughters and all three have CP ranging from mild to severe and her life has been a daily struggle for her girls.
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Old 09-26-2013, 01:32 AM   #4
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This would be a HUGE HIPPA violation when you have sensitive medical information being handled by someone who has no idea of the law. Medical information can only be shared between people who have direct access to that patient for care. The CMs behind the counter at GR will not be providing direct care.

Actually this has nothing to do with HIPAA. WDW is not a health care facility or insurance company and thus does not have to comply with HIPAA regulations.

Also, you are in charge of your own medical information, so you are allowed to disclose that information to whomever you want. If you release your own medical information, that is not a HIPAA violation.
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Old 09-26-2013, 02:01 AM   #5
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It's the American with Disabilities Act that states WDW cannot ask for medical proof. I think that if parents choose to release that information in order to get accommodations for their child(ren), it should be ok. We do it for school.
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Old 09-26-2013, 05:37 AM   #6
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I think that Disney getting rid of the old and implementing this new way is a good thing.
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Old 09-26-2013, 05:46 AM   #7
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It's the American with Disabilities Act that states WDW cannot ask for medical proof. I think that if parents choose to release that information in order to get accommodations for their child(ren), it should be ok. We do it for school.
School services are covered under a variety of laws and regulations. The ada is just one. There is also idea and section 504 of the rehabilitation act as well as various state and even local laws. Your child is entitled to a free, appropriate education in the least restrictive environment. Providing medical information to the school for trained teacher, psychologists, physical therapist, occupational therapists, speech therapist etc allow them to create a plan with your input, (your iep) to appropriately educate your child. The school should also do their own testing to confirm the limitations of your child and help formulate the plan. You are actually under no obligation to provide medical records and can just use the testing the school does but it may not be in your child's best interest.
Disney is a theme park. The cm are not trained in interpreting medical records. They are under no confidentiality rules regrading an individual's medical records. They are not providing a service that you are entitled to by federal law. As long as they comply with the ada, which they appear to be doing, they have met their obligations.
As for requiring medical records for accommodations, that has implications way beyond a theme park. You can't write a law just for Disney. It has to be broad. So do we say in order to receive an accommodation any where you have to provide documentation? Say at work. You need to show your boss your medical records if you have IBS and have to use the restroom often. Or the grocery store. You want to use the little scooter, show medical documentation. Or the gas station. Need someone to pump gas for you, show them you medical records. People would have to carry them around with them to make sure they are able to get accommodations they need to function effectively in society. Shouldn't the disabled have a right to privacy? My husband is very private about his disability. His boss doesn't even know the nature of it, just one person in HR. We are also private about our daughters history. She was neglected and abused as a baby/toddler and has lasting effects. We shouldn't have to go through her history with an untrained cm so we can get a stroller as a wheelchair tag.

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Old 09-26-2013, 06:51 AM   #8
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~The whole thing is just unfortunate! And, no I don't think Disney is overreacting. I just saw on the news where a guy was selling legitimate Disney GAC cards for $400 dollars. Somehow he had access to these cards and a family or group just needed to purchase one and they all had priority access to all of the attractions. It's so sad the the program was widely abused in that way.
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Old 09-26-2013, 09:39 AM   #9
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~The whole thing is just unfortunate! And, no I don't think Disney is overreacting. I just saw on the news where a guy was selling legitimate Disney GAC cards for $400 dollars. Somehow he had access to these cards and a family or group just needed to purchase one and they all had priority access to all of the attractions. It's so sad the the program was widely abused in that way.
How can you sell them? you go get them once your in the parks and i believe they are only good for that day and then you have to get a new one. I'm not all that familiar with the whole action of getting a GAC. I just think something is fishy with that one. Do you have a link to this or something?
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Old 09-26-2013, 10:43 AM   #10
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The gac is issued for the length of time your at Disney and your party which is suppose to be no more then 5 additional people.
While there in Aug I saw a family in line with 12-15 people under one card. I saw them at a few rides so it wasn't a one time thing. They complained when they had to wait in line for over an hour ( the wait time was 90 min for splash mt) it actually took a little over an hour to get on the ride, then we saw her and her party running to thunder mt pushing the empty wheel chair so they didn't have to wait again in a long line (their words) It's because of people like that changes are being made.
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Old 09-26-2013, 11:14 AM   #11
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The gac is issued for the length of time your at Disney and your party which is suppose to be no more then 5 additional people.
While there in Aug I saw a family in line with 12-15 people under one card. I saw them at a few rides so it wasn't a one time thing. They complained when they had to wait in line for over an hour ( the wait time was 90 min for splash mt) it actually took a little over an hour to get on the ride, then we saw her and her party running to thunder mt pushing the empty wheel chair so they didn't have to wait again in a long line (their words) It's because of people like that changes are being made.
There is no change to the wheelchair/EVC rules as they have to have an accessible entrance for these. From my understanding you have never had to have a GAC card if you use either of them.

My youngest son broke his ankle last July and had to be in a cast/brace/boot for almost 4 months. When we went to MK at the end of November he was having some pain after walking for long periods of time so we rented him a wheelchair. At the rides they wanted us to go through a separate entrance, but we explained to them that he was able to walk in line and stand. We had several people tell us we needed to get a GAC card. I was not about to do that as we did not need one, we just used the wheelchair when his ankle would start hurting.
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Old 09-26-2013, 11:33 AM   #12
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The gac is issued for the length of time your at Disney and your party which is suppose to be no more then 5 additional people.
While there in Aug I saw a family in line with 12-15 people under one card. I saw them at a few rides so it wasn't a one time thing. They complained when they had to wait in line for over an hour ( the wait time was 90 min for splash mt) it actually took a little over an hour to get on the ride, then we saw her and her party running to thunder mt pushing the empty wheel chair so they didn't have to wait again in a long line (their words) It's because of people like that changes are being made.
That was the CM's fault. They were not supposed to allow that many people under 1 GAC.
The cheaters ruined it for those who really needed it. All I can say about people like that is what goes around comes around.
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Old 09-26-2013, 04:40 PM   #13
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How can you sell them? you go get them once your in the parks and i believe they are only good for that day and then you have to get a new one. I'm not all that familiar with the whole action of getting a GAC. I just think something is fishy with that one. Do you have a link to this or something?
~It was a Disney employee who had "connections." Here is the video, it shows the first guy selling a family a GAC pass for $360.00 and the second guys uses his own pass to charge $200 for a "tour." Unfortunately, *this* incident was the last straw for Disney -- right after it aired on Inside Edition, Disney finally decided to address the repeated abuse with this drastic action.

~VIDEO: Scammers at Disneyland~

~Article: Scammers at Disneyland~
Quote:
Disney theme parks are cracking down on illegal line jumpers.

People with disabilities will no longer go straight to the front of lines at Disneyland and Walt Disney World after growing abuse of the system, park officials said.

"Given the increasing volume of requests we receive for special access to our attractions, we are changing our process to create a more consistent experience for all our guests while providing accommodations for guests with disabilities,"
- Suzi Brown, Disneyland Resort spokeswoman

Under the change, visitors will be issued tickets at Guest Relations with a return time and a shorter wait similar to the FastPass system that's offered to everyone. Only one reservation can be made at a time.

The system "certainly has been problematic, and we wanted to curb some of the abuse of this system," Disneyland Resort spokeswoman Suzi Brown told the Orange County Register.

Currently, visitors unable to wait in the regular line or those who need a wheelchair or motorized scooter can bring up to six friends or family members to a special entrance. No proof of disability is required -- either with the old or new system -- because confidentiality laws allow Disney to ask visitors a limited amount of questions.

The move was a response to the use of disabled "tour guides" who charge money to accompany able-bodied guests and allow them to avoid long lines. In May, the New York Post reported that some paid up to $1000 a day to hire a motorized scooter-bound guide to pose as a family member so they and their kids can jump to the front of the lines.

"Given the increasing volume of requests we receive for special access to our attractions, we are changing our process to create a more consistent experience for all our guests while providing accommodations for guests with disabilities," Brown said in a statement.

The change takes effect Oct. 9 for guests with park-issued disability cards. Disney officials said more details will be released after park employees are briefed on the new rules.

Some families of children with epilepsy and autism criticized the change, saying some kids' disabilities just don't allow them to wait in standard lines.

Rebecca Goddard said she takes her sons, ages 4 and 6, to Disneyland once a week. They have autism and can't stand in lines longer than a few minutes before they start pushing other people.

"My boys don't have the cognition to understand why it's going to be a long wait," Goddard told the Register. "There are so few things for my boys that bring them utter joy and happiness  to mess with it just makes me sad."

An online petition, started by Kim McClain, a mom whose daughter has special needs, calls on Disney to keep its current policy and has already received over 22,000 signatures.

The advocacy group Autism Speaks consulted with Walt Disney Co. officials on the change and urged parents to see how it unfolds.

"Change is difficult," said Matt Asner, executive director of the Southern California chapter. "I didn't want it to change, but I understand there was an issue that needed to be dealt with."
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Old 09-27-2013, 04:26 PM   #14
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Even after this people are already picking apart ways to skirt the rules for the new program. One person on this board claimed that he fully intends to register his entire group as disabled, then, each one will get their one appointment so they can have a bunch at once. There is simply no end to people's sense of entitlement.
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Old 09-27-2013, 06:29 PM   #15
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Even after this people are already picking apart ways to skirt the rules for the new program. One person on this board claimed that he fully intends to register his entire group as disabled, then, each one will get their one appointment so they can have a bunch at once. There is simply no end to people's sense of entitlement.
Ugh, that is just wrong. The sad part is the many people that have a legimate need for them would trade it in to be "normal" and be able to wait in line like everyone else.
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