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Old 10-11-2013, 11:38 PM   #181
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Originally Posted by tlovesdis View Post
Maybe the ECV can't fit in the elevator? I've been using one for years and have always gone through the exit. So maybe wheelchairs go through the elevator???? Not sure!
Wheelchairs that can fit go through the elevator and into the chutes with all the other guests. At the end, we roll across the front row and out the other side and down the ramp.

My wheelchair, at about 24 inches wide, can barely fit going across the front row. ECVs and powerchairs, which are larger, cannot roll from the "entrance" side to the "exit" side of the ride vehicle. Therefore the larger vehicles like ECVs start on the "exit" side. Trust me - there is no way to get out the "entrance" side with any kind of wheelchair or scooter. I can barely get in! It is very tight, very very tight turns, narrow walkways. ECVs simply would not fit over there!
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Old 10-11-2013, 11:54 PM   #182
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Only time for short post -

I went to DL yesterday and got a DAS card. I had little problem getting the Return Times and using them. Sometimes the CMs forget, so always remember to get your old time crossed off! It is just easier for them to do it at the attraction.

The real issue was with the wheelchair return times - it was inconsistent throughout the park. In some places I was told I was not allowed to wait in the wheelchair line, I had to get a return time. Other places were allowing people to form a stand-by wheelchair queue OR get a card. This is obviously a system they are working on, so all we can do is be patient while they are figuring it out.

There is no official list or warning about what has a wheelchair return ticket and what has a regular stand-by line. I also spoke with two managers, and they acknowledged that the system is imperfect and they are working on the bugs in the system.

Some people reported to me that they waited like the wheelchair return time said, which is the standby time, and then ended up waiting again in the line of wheelchair users who ALSO got the Wheelchair Return Time and came back... So that part of the system may not be working.

A manager also confirmed to me there is no set way YET to accommodate the needs of those who require the special wheelchair vehicles, as sometimes we can wait quite a bit longer after waiting in regular or wheelchair lines...

The wheelchair return system is constantly changing, and I expect there to be yet another change by the time I get there tomorrow.

For wheelchair users going to Disney, this does NOT mean you will suddenly be unable to enjoy the park. It just means that for the "big ones" (Space, Splash, Pirates, Mansion), you may be given a return time. The idea behind it is to not only ensure everyone waits their turn, thereby stopping people from thinking a wheelchair will let them "cut lines", but also to spread out wheelchair users returns, and prevent lines from forming.

I admit, this was not really working yet when I was there. But it was also Day 2 - so things will get better.

I also cannot post about the placement of the kiosks, as managers said they are trying different spots, so it may change entirely. For example, one person told me that they were told the kiosk in DCA was next to Ariel - it was moved to Toy Story Mania... so things are in flux.

Managers ARE out, and happy to hear feedback, but be ready for things to not be perfect right away. But if you are patient and polite with the CMs, they seemed very willing to make everything work.
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Old 10-12-2013, 12:08 AM   #183
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Originally Posted by SueM in MN View Post
As the others mentioned, it IS on a case by case basis and I don't think mention of exactly how it worked is important or wise.
Since it is on a case by case basis, whatever you read on the internet or in people's blogs is not necessarily how it will be handled in all circumstances or at all times.
Disney HAS said it will be on an individual basis and is subject to change.
There will also be limits - some individual person with autism may be fixated on riding a particular attraction 3 times to start their day before going on to something else, for example. Disney may be able to help make that possible, but will not be giving free rein to people to keep riding whatever attraction they want as many times as they want.

They will be tracking DAS cards and also use of any other assistance they give.
I think it can be important because it would be helpful to people who are planning a trip with kids like this who have to explain in advance how things are going to be different. Even then the kid/s might not handle it well. My son does much better if he is told what's going to happen and we walk through it, pretending we are doing the action. My son doesn't need to ride the same thing all day but certain rides he does the 'AGAIN AGAIN' thing. It is wise to know what other people are experiencing so we can prepare and know what some of the possibilities are. I do not expect all circumstances would be the same. I would never expect free rein on anything. In fact I would be ok without any accommodations at all. I would like to know, however, what can be done if necessary.

I called guest services to ask them all my DAC questions yesterday and they weren't able to give me much information due to the case by case basis. It would just be easier to know what his case will allow prior to arriving so we can all be more prepared to help him understand what we're doing. I hoped they could help me by giving me some information. I guess I will have to wait until we arrive.
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Old 10-12-2013, 12:33 AM   #184
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Originally Posted by KPeveler View Post
Only time for short post -

I went to DL yesterday and got a DAS card. I had little problem getting the Return Times and using them. Sometimes the CMs forget, so always remember to get your old time crossed off! It is just easier for them to do it at the attraction.

The real issue was with the wheelchair return times - it was inconsistent throughout the park. In some places I was told I was not allowed to wait in the wheelchair line, I had to get a return time. Other places were allowing people to form a stand-by wheelchair queue OR get a card. This is obviously a system they are working on, so all we can do is be patient while they are figuring it out.

There is no official list or warning about what has a wheelchair return ticket and what has a regular stand-by line. I also spoke with two managers, and they acknowledged that the system is imperfect and they are working on the bugs in the system.

Some people reported to me that they waited like the wheelchair return time said, which is the standby time, and then ended up waiting again in the line of wheelchair users who ALSO got the Wheelchair Return Time and came back... So that part of the system may not be working.

A manager also confirmed to me there is no set way YET to accommodate the needs of those who require the special wheelchair vehicles, as sometimes we can wait quite a bit longer after waiting in regular or wheelchair lines...

The wheelchair return system is constantly changing, and I expect there to be yet another change by the time I get there tomorrow.

For wheelchair users going to Disney, this does NOT mean you will suddenly be unable to enjoy the park. It just means that for the "big ones" (Space, Splash, Pirates, Mansion), you may be given a return time. The idea behind it is to not only ensure everyone waits their turn, thereby stopping people from thinking a wheelchair will let them "cut lines", but also to spread out wheelchair users returns, and prevent lines from forming.

I admit, this was not really working yet when I was there. But it was also Day 2 - so things will get better.

I also cannot post about the placement of the kiosks, as managers said they are trying different spots, so it may change entirely. For example, one person told me that they were told the kiosk in DCA was next to Ariel - it was moved to Toy Story Mania... so things are in flux.

Managers ARE out, and happy to hear feedback, but be ready for things to not be perfect right away. But if you are patient and polite with the CMs, they seemed very willing to make everything work.
A quick question for when you have time... Were they keeping two lines at the alternate entrance? Like one for those in wheel chairs and one for those with DAS cards (with or without wheelchairs)?
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Old 10-12-2013, 10:17 AM   #185
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Originally Posted by piratenightmares View Post
I called guest services to ask them all my DAC questions yesterday and they weren't able to give me much information due to the case by case basis. It would just be easier to know what his case will allow prior to arriving so we can all be more prepared to help him understand what we're doing. I hoped they could help me by giving me some information. I guess I will have to wait until we arrive.
Piratenightmares: would you mind posting afterwards with a report? I have a son with similar issues and am arriving Thanksgiving weekend. I just need to know in advance what information or "evidence" I need to provide because I will be thousands of miles from home and unable to get in touch with any of the doctors because of the holiday weekend situation. I am nervous about walkign into a new situation that is just getting off of the ground, but as always with Disney I have my Pollyanna glasses on and am optimistic.
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Old 10-12-2013, 10:40 AM   #186
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Originally Posted by becd View Post
Piratenightmares: would you mind posting afterwards with a report? I have a son with similar issues and am arriving Thanksgiving weekend. I just need to know in advance what information or "evidence" I need to provide because I will be thousands of miles from home and unable to get in touch with any of the doctors because of the holiday weekend situation. I am nervous about walkign into a new situation that is just getting off of the ground, but as always with Disney I have my Pollyanna glasses on and am optimistic.
Disney cannot ask for any type of proof, meaning they cannot ask for documentation etc... All they can do is ask you what kind of accommodation you need, they can never ask what the disability is. So you just need to be prepared to tell them what you would need in order to make rides accessible for you.
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Old 10-12-2013, 10:50 AM   #187
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tlovesdis View Post
Disney cannot ask for any type of proof, meaning they cannot ask for documentation etc... All they can do is ask you what kind of accommodation you need, they can never ask what the disability is. So you just need to be prepared to tell them what you would need in order to make rides accessible for you.
Yes - what tlovesdis said
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Old 10-12-2013, 11:27 AM   #188
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Quote:
Originally Posted by becd View Post
Piratenightmares: would you mind posting afterwards with a report? I have a son with similar issues and am arriving Thanksgiving weekend. I just need to know in advance what information or "evidence" I need to provide because I will be thousands of miles from home and unable to get in touch with any of the doctors because of the holiday weekend situation. I am nervous about walkign into a new situation that is just getting off of the ground, but as always with Disney I have my Pollyanna glasses on and am optimistic.
You need no evidence, simply your explanation of what your son needs. I wouldn't be nervous. I'm sure they will assist you the best way they can when you arrive. I would write a list in advance of the issues you feel you need to explain to them when you get your DAS. They don't need a ton of information. Just give them the basic accommodations you think would best assist him. I think Pollyanna glasses are good. I am sure they will do their best to provide fair assistance to those who require it.

I won't be there until the first week of December so looks like you'll be there before me. I'm sure your trip will be fabulous! I would prepare your son as if you were going to have zero accommodations. That's what I've decided to do. We used to do DL without any (other than wheelchair entrances on occasion) and only used GAC one year for the many years we've gone.

Is your son verbal, non verbal, does he have interests in things? I have some tips I could give you about ways I've handled it with my son (without any accommodation). You may have already thought of them but I'd be happy to share.
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Old 10-12-2013, 12:28 PM   #189
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I heard they already started in WDW

Does anyone know if this is true???

I thought they were only rolling this out in DL for now?
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Old 10-12-2013, 12:34 PM   #190
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I heard they already started in WDW

Does anyone know if this is true???

I thought they were only rolling this out in DL for now?
It was both California and Florida on October 9, 2013.

This is the DL thread. Here is a link to the WDW thread:
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3178976
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Old 10-12-2013, 12:37 PM   #191
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We went last night and will probably be going again today.

For all of those that are concerned that the system won't work for them, please try it before complaining. Yes, there is some waiting. But, if you plan it right, wait times can be minimized.

Here is some helpful information to do so:
Always make sure you have am active return time on your DAS, if you have one.

Always have a FP

If at Disneyland Park, also always try to have a Return Time card for an attraction that doesn't have a mainstream queue.

These suggestions were given by one of the people at Disneyland who helped design the new system when they called mev and I wasn't even asking how to reduce wait times, I was asking about the shows, such as WOC and she mentioned these tips.

In my experience by following these tips, you will wait for the first attraction; however, if planned properly you will have little to no waits for other attractions, other than the short lines when you return. Although we haven't done Pirates, Space, Splash, etc. That normally have the longer assistance lines yet.

By the way for WOC, you must still have a FP and you initially need to go to the section that your FP is in. If you do not have a mobility device, but do need the benches, you will need a DAS, they will NOT let you use them without one, even though guest Relations says they will. I saw many people who would need the bench turned away because they didn't have one, they did also turn away a person with a cane as well and there was still plenty of room. Now it is possible guest Relations has a card that would work just at the shows, I don't know, but if this is your primary concern, make sure guest Relations gives you something that would work at the shows. Also at Aladdin, you will need a DAS, mobility device (not including canes or walkers, they have to wait in the regular line and use the stairs, unless they have a DAS or something similar) to use a bench to wait or to avoid the stairs still. When you get to your section at WOC, they are supposed to ask if you want the lower bench seating or the one at the back of the seating. Of course they won't ask you if one of the seating areas is full, but you must go to your section first, even if you want the one in the back. They have implemented this change you ensure that every guest gets a choice until one of the sections is full to comply with current ADA guidelines for theaters. This is a recent change and there was a little confusion when we asked where to go at first, but this was the answer I got when I asked why there was such confusion.

Please keep in mind the system is still new and it's being tweaked on a constant basis, for example if you have an active return time for an attraction that is near a kiosk and you want to go on an attraction with at least an hour wait afterwards. If it is your time to go on the attraction, you can explain that you are about to ride, but that you want a Return Time for another attraction that has an hour or longer wait and they will add it before you ride. The example that wad provided was, let's say you have a Return Time for toy story for noon and the next ride you want to go on is Haunted Mansion. It is now noon and you are about to go on TS, you could go to the kiosk and they would say, but you already have a time on the card and you would say yes, but I next want to go on HM, which I hear has an hour wait, they would look it up and add the return time before you go on TS. I was surprised when we were told this, as this is different than what we have heard before, but this was the current policy as of yesterday. Again this is subject to change, but it gives an idea of how things are being tweaked as this rolls out.

Also, you can get the DAS card at any guest Relations location or kiosk, but keep in mind that the printers are only located in guest Relations inside the parks at the moment, so you will be waiting for a runner to go up there and pick up your card. They are working on getting printers at all of the kiosks though.

As for waits at the kiosks, I did not see anyone waiting, unless they were getting a new card and they were waiting for it to be picked up.

I had absolutely no wait to get mine, as I went to the kiosk right inside the gate. It only took about a minute for the runner to pick up my card, as we were so close to Guest Relations. They also offered to put the first wait time on it right then and there.

So overall things seem to go fairly smoothly.
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Old 10-12-2013, 12:38 PM   #192
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doberlady
I heard they already started in WDW

Does anyone know if this is true???

I thought they were only rolling this out in DL for now?
There is a WDW thread as well, they rolled this out on both coasts on the same date.
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Old 10-12-2013, 12:39 PM   #193
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I just wanted to post my initial impressions after day 1 of 4 at DL and DCA yesterday with DS16 special needs. Initially when I heard about the program, I was really nervous and then worried about being there on one of the first days when all the "bugs" were being worked out. Well, we didn't have one bug and were left extremely impressed. There was a CM at GS in DCA in the morning when we picked up out pass vetting everyone who went in. We had no problem getting a pass, and I spoke at length with the CMs in there about the changes, etc. They were wonderful with my son, asked him questions about rides he liked, etc. and gave us a little magic. DS is fairly obviously special, especially when he starts talking, and I really felt like they went out of the way to assure very anxious DS that the new system would work well for him. It did. The DAS RP coupled with smaller (no wait) rides, and FP made our day even more enjoyable, mostly because of issues we've had with abuse/so many people using the previous GAC. It did require a little more planning, but really in the spirit of trying to ensure this service is for people who *really* need it, I think it's a huge step in the right direction. I also found the placement of the kiosks well thought out (central and near exits of rides where you would typically be using the pass). I'll let you know if my impressions change in the next couple of days.
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Old 10-12-2013, 02:26 PM   #194
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A quick question for when you have time... Were they keeping two lines at the alternate entrance? Like one for those in wheel chairs and one for those with DAS cards (with or without wheelchairs)?
I am curious about this as well. So after waiting your time with your DAS, are you still getting in line with wheelchairs sent around to the alternative line?
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Old 10-13-2013, 02:05 AM   #195
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Just got here tonight and kinda discouraged so far. They're only taking off 10 min, but still send you through fastpass if able-bodied. So you do end up waiting longer than standby, but its like having a fast pass machine for any ride. That seems fine in theory, but then we spent 10 min deciding which ride to go on, during which DS changed his mind 3 times! Then we got to the ride only to find out DD was a hair too short and DS didn't want to ride that with just one parent. So we made a plan to go on little mermaid and let DS go on a big ride of his pick. Found the kiosk and then had to wait AGAIN for goofy sky school even though we had already waited for soaring and couldn't go on.

This WILL take a lot more planning and flexibility, which DS really isn't good at and I'm not thrilled about making our vacation a learning experience either. The kid does 25 hours of therapy a week, and we all looked forward to the breaks we had at Disneyland.
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