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Old 11-26-2013, 09:09 AM   #376
Jperiod
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I forgot to say, when the guest relations called me back last week, she actually advised me how to get maximum flexibility for my child with autism since we had both a DAS and a stroller as a wheelchair tag. She said to always get a return ticket/time for both so DS could have choices where to go. It was strange to me how she would advise me to "work the system" since I thought the new DAS was changed for fairness and equality. I'm not sure how I feel about using it that way either since that would mean DS having to go up to more rides in the stroller when right now we only use it as a sensory break. I assume he has to be with us to get a wheelchair return card? Unlike the DAS?

And i asked what would happen in queues he can't handle with waits of less than 10 min, like Matterhorn and she said we'd still be forced through the line switch backs with the DAS. However, if we used the stroller, they'd let us through the exit. That one thoroughly confuses me because what's the point of the DAS?

And what happens when DS is finally too big for a stroller (he is now, but like I said, we just use it for short breaks or a place to sit, he switches with my DD)? I hope they come up with a more workable solution because I can't imagine resorting to a wheelchair to avoid certain queues.
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Old 11-26-2013, 04:02 PM   #377
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MinnieVanMom-I am going through the same thing-we leave tomorrow for DLR and I have been trying to explain to our 12 year old with autism that we will have to get fastpasses for the rides and might not be able to go on all the rides. We are staying onsite so we will Morning Magic hours-hoping we can get alot accomplished then. Because of the busy time of year, I have no idea how this trip will go. We can only go during school holidays and have been wanting to go to DLR for years so we can see the Haunted Mansion with the Jack Skellington theme. We have never asked for front of the line but the GAC was a life saver as far as minimum meltdowns. We do have a typical child who also loves Disney so I would hate to stop going because of the new system. Willing to give it a try and see how it goes. I will post when we get back as I do not have a good computer to bring with me.
Hang in there and Happy Thanksgiving!
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Old 11-27-2013, 01:24 AM   #378
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Hope to hear positive reports back. DS is 12 also and over the years have made trips to DL specifically for his favorite ride, nemo submarines and talk with crush.

We never really wanted him in stroller/wc, trying to enforce as much as possible the need to interact and social graces with other kids....despite him burning out a lot faster without one and resorting to breaks throughout the day back at the hotel to decompress him.

The system currently setup really encourages this 'gaming' of WC+DAS--one that would actually be better on the endurance, but isolates him further from what some of the lessons that we are trying to impart while still having his fun time.

Our trips with CAG never got the green light, fol pass. We were more than happy with his alternate access designation.....the last visit down there, we purposely avoided DL and went to Legoland instead since it was only week2 of DAS.

Here's wishing you well....

@MinnieVanMom - I believe WDW is better without the whole runner/kiosk issue in play. We have our passes still, and awaiting things to settle out before booking another trip to Orlando. Until then, we've made our way to Legoland and Universal Studio is on tap in the spring.
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Old 12-03-2013, 01:07 PM   #379
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Originally Posted by Jperiod View Post
I forgot to say, when the guest relations called me back last week, she actually advised me how to get maximum flexibility for my child with autism since we had both a DAS and a stroller as a wheelchair tag. She said to always get a return ticket/time for both so DS could have choices where to go. It was strange to me how she would advise me to "work the system" since I thought the new DAS was changed for fairness and equality. I'm not sure how I feel about using it that way either since that would mean DS having to go up to more rides in the stroller when right now we only use it as a sensory break. I assume he has to be with us to get a wheelchair return card? Unlike the DAS?

And i asked what would happen in queues he can't handle with waits of less than 10 min, like Matterhorn and she said we'd still be forced through the line switch backs with the DAS. However, if we used the stroller, they'd let us through the exit. That one thoroughly confuses me because what's the point of the DAS?

And what happens when DS is finally too big for a stroller (he is now, but like I said, we just use it for short breaks or a place to sit, he switches with my DD)? I hope they come up with a more workable solution because I can't imagine resorting to a wheelchair to avoid certain queues.
Hi - I just got back from a four day trip to DLR and will be posting my overall experience shortly, but wanted to let you know that when we rode Matterhorn with the new DAS we never waited more than five minutes and both times we were sent through the exit so I do not think you will have a problem.
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Old 12-03-2013, 01:33 PM   #380
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DAS trip report

Ok, I am a WDW veteran and DLR newbie so needless to say I was extremely nervous about trying the new system in a park I have never been to before, especially since I was bringing my DS-6 twins without my husband as a special "Mommy" experience with them. Much like many of your angels, one of my guys suffers from melt downs that can be pretty severe, especially when he is having the sensory overload that comes along with DLR. It was much easier to handle when he was younger and smaller because I could pick him up and remove him from the situation, but now it is almost physically impossible for me to lift him when he is calm, much less in the throes of a melt down. I do use a stroller to contain him, but I do not get the stroller as a wheelchair pass. We arrived at the park Thanksgiving evening and left yesterday afternoon around 3:00 P.M.

As I said I was scared to death about what this trip would entail, but I have nothing but positives to report. We initially got our DAS at the chamber of Commerce in DCA. As many of you know, it is not a huge room but the one who needs the DAS had his noise reducing headphones on and I got them both to stand off to the side as I spoke to the CM at the desk so they wold not hear what I was saying. The woman who helped me could not have been nicer or more understanding. I briefly explained what his needs were and she did ask me a few follow up questions, but never asked me for his medical diagnosis or any thing along those lines. When she called him over for his picture she did ask him to remove his sunglasses and headphones, which did not thrill him but she made up for it by letting him push the buttons on the iPad. He thought that was pretty cool.

Frankly I found the new system to be great. Yes the GAC was easier, but really there were very few differences in our trip with the new system. He does love thrill rides so we were hitting those and the waits, even on such a high capacity weekend, were not that bad. Once we had waited our allotted time, at each ride we were either sent through the Fastpass line or the exit. The only criticism I have, and it is a mild one, is that there needs to be more Information Desks in the park. When you are back in Toon-Town and trying to swim upstream through Fantasyland with a stroller to get to the desk there, it can be exhausting

If anyone has any questions I will be happy to answer them. Let me also add that every CM we encountered with the DAS was as nice as they could be, in both parks. The did check the photo to make sure he was in our group, but it was all handled very politely and usually with a Mickey Mouse sticker

Last edited by becd; 12-03-2013 at 01:34 PM. Reason: Forgot to mention when we were there
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Old 12-03-2013, 02:57 PM   #381
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Thanks for sharing your experience.

I have tried to be positive about the changes and wondering how it will work for my DD. This gives me hope that all will work out fine.
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Old 12-07-2013, 07:53 PM   #382
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Got back last Sunday morning (red eye) and will report that the new DAC is not that bad but I still prefer the GAC. As already stated, the CM were extremely nice at Guest Relations as well as the kiosks. We could get our return time there and then also get a FP to another busy ride. Of course, we were completely expecting the crowds we encountered as we went over Thanksgiving and they were there. Actually, the day before Thanksgiving was not too bad and Friday morning it rained so that kept the lines down. Our son did not quite understand that we could not just walk up to the FP line anymore and we tried everything we could to divert his attention or would go to a shorter wait attraction. We did chose to go standby on many rides and that worked out ok-the line to Star Tours read 25 minutes and it ended up being more like 45 minutes so that was tough but thankfully out daughter kept our son amused as best as she could. We did Magic Mornings and were able to do many rides at least once. We are not heading down to WDW until next Christmas but I am assuming the kiosks and DAC will work the same as DL. Hope this helps anyone who is going.
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Old 12-08-2013, 08:25 AM   #383
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Not sure if this has been posted but when I was in the parks tonight the Wheelchair Return Cards now have a window (I was told an hour) for you to return. So it really does act more like a regular FP. This means the people returning really are spaced out more, and will hopefully help with the random bunching that was happening before.

They did NOT change the DAS, so there is no end window for that, but the wc return times DO have a window of, I believe, an hour. Hopefully this will cut down on abuse too, since people can no longer collect wc return cards, which act like a FP in many ways, and then use them.as their leisure. It really does treat the person like they are in the line.

Not sure if this happened WDW or if thr change is permanent or just for busy times, but I do know that was the system in place today.
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Old 12-26-2013, 05:37 PM   #384
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We are going to WDW in March and I've been watching this thread lately...we have a large group of 13 going with a large variety of needs. We are very familiar with the GAC and have been able to use that as needed over the years. We will need a stroller as a wheel chair as our son has CP and our daughter has medical needs that will require her in the stroller a lot. We have adults who have other needs that they have needed to use the GAC also. We are only going to 2 parks and want to make the best of those two days. Im not wanting to work the system but would love to hear how to make the best of the new DCA and WC card. Ive written WDW guest relations about our group and they ensured we wouldn't see many changes from GAC and would be able to have a great experience. Im glad Im hearing positive experiences lately, hope that keeps up!
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Old 01-09-2014, 06:06 AM   #385
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forgive me for not reading through the posts, but has anyone experienced using the DAS during a 10/10 crowd day?

DF and i are getting married on 2/14 (i know, groan), and while initially DF told me no parks (mostly since i am going to WDW five days later..), he's relented since we've been trying to think of how to occupy my parents and little brother since they are coming from the east coast. we're already doing dinner at steakhouse 55, and i know my mom will have a hard time walking around with the park gates right there and not going in.

so anyways, right now 2/14 is not 10/10, but the following days are, which is a given as it is president's day weekend as well. my brother has DS/autism/epilepsy, and we've always used the GAC at WDW. we're keeping an open mind about the DAS. i'm just wondering what it's been like for those who have gone during crowded times. the problem is not the waiting per se, but the waiting in a sea of humanity on a crowded day when there are no quiet places to be found.

if we don't go into the parks, we're considering knott's berry farm (which i see their system is the same as DAS essentially, but allowing walk-ons for rides under 10 minutes wait time).

thanks everyone. my mom is pretty nervous about what the DAS will entail so i'm trying to provide all the information i can to ensure her it will be okay.
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Old 01-12-2014, 09:48 PM   #386
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Originally Posted by afnaechiquita View Post
forgive me for not reading through the posts, but has anyone experienced using the DAS during a 10/10 crowd day?

DF and i are getting married on 2/14 (i know, groan), and while initially DF told me no parks (mostly since i am going to WDW five days later..), he's relented since we've been trying to think of how to occupy my parents and little brother since they are coming from the east coast. we're already doing dinner at steakhouse 55, and i know my mom will have a hard time walking around with the park gates right there and not going in.

so anyways, right now 2/14 is not 10/10, but the following days are, which is a given as it is president's day weekend as well. my brother has DS/autism/epilepsy, and we've always used the GAC at WDW. we're keeping an open mind about the DAS. i'm just wondering what it's been like for those who have gone during crowded times. the problem is not the waiting per se, but the waiting in a sea of humanity on a crowded day when there are no quiet places to be found.

if we don't go into the parks, we're considering knott's berry farm (which i see their system is the same as DAS essentially, but allowing walk-ons for rides under 10 minutes wait time).

thanks everyone. my mom is pretty nervous about what the DAS will entail so i'm trying to provide all the information i can to ensure her it will be okay.
First off, Knott's has on paper what sounds like a similar system, but the reality is completely different.

DL uses kiosks to get the return times. At Knott's, you have to go to each attraction and most of the wait times just to get to someone to give you the return time is longer than the wait times, but if you can't do stairs, then you have no other choice.

Knott's has a 30 minute (last I heard) window to come back within and if you don't, then you have to get a new wait time.

When you return, you have to wait again to get to where you can enter (usually the same wait you waited to get the return time).

Disneyland, you go to the Kiosk, tell them what you want to ride next and they will write the return time and you can go anytime after that return time, but you can't have more than one return time at a time.

That being said, you can use FP and if a wheelchair is used, wheelchair return time cards (these have a 1 hour return time window) as well.

I have been on a very busy day and using the DAS does work well, the only thing to keep in mind is if it is that busy, getting around the parks may be more difficult, but with proper planning, it's still doable.

I would not expect 2/14 to be a 10/10 day, but I would expect it be fairly busy. If you can get there at park opening, it won't be as bad though. In fact it will probably be fairly light until about 2:00 is when you will start noticing the crowds, then be quite crowded from about 4:30 on.
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Old 01-13-2014, 06:39 AM   #387
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmwade77 View Post
First off, Knott's has on paper what sounds like a similar system, but the reality is completely different.

DL uses kiosks to get the return times. At Knott's, you have to go to each attraction and most of the wait times just to get to someone to give you the return time is longer than the wait times, but if you can't do stairs, then you have no other choice.

Knott's has a 30 minute (last I heard) window to come back within and if you don't, then you have to get a new wait time.

When you return, you have to wait again to get to where you can enter (usually the same wait you waited to get the return time).

Disneyland, you go to the Kiosk, tell them what you want to ride next and they will write the return time and you can go anytime after that return time, but you can't have more than one return time at a time.

That being said, you can use FP and if a wheelchair is used, wheelchair return time cards (these have a 1 hour return time window) as well.

I have been on a very busy day and using the DAS does work well, the only thing to keep in mind is if it is that busy, getting around the parks may be more difficult, but with proper planning, it's still doable.

I would not expect 2/14 to be a 10/10 day, but I would expect it be fairly busy. If you can get there at park opening, it won't be as bad though. In fact it will probably be fairly light until about 2:00 is when you will start noticing the crowds, then be quite crowded from about 4:30 on.
thank you!! that clears a lot up. especially the difference at knott's.

he is able to transfer from wheelchair, so i don't think the wheelchair return time cards apply to us, right? he has to be in it the whole time until it's time to get on the ride though (or else we'll face the infamous plop n' drop...).

unfortunately rope drop is not likely an option for 2/14, but we can for 2/15. we'll have to see! thanks again.
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Old 01-14-2014, 05:43 PM   #388
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I am also someone who has not read the entire thread. I am anticipating the need for an ECV for my July trip. I have moderate to severe arthritis in one knee and am asthmatic, I am able to transfer myself. I will be doing the DIS ABD trip and am adding a number of days after the trip to explore further. I have used an ECV once before for only 1 day at DL a couple of years ago. With the current changes to the procedures for those of us with disabilities I see I will need a Wheelchair Return card. Do I get this from the handicapped entrance, in most cases the exit from what I recall from my last trip, or the kiosks? Like everyone else here I just want to have fun and am willing to wait my appropriate turn.

I was hoping to see some recent reports from someone who has has a similar situation in terms of needing an ECV. I will listen to the podcast the Bowlings did.
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Old 01-20-2014, 08:31 AM   #389
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I am also someone who has not read the entire thread. I am anticipating the need for an ECV for my July trip. I have moderate to severe arthritis in one knee and am asthmatic, I am able to transfer myself. I will be doing the DIS ABD trip and am adding a number of days after the trip to explore further. I have used an ECV once before for only 1 day at DL a couple of years ago. With the current changes to the procedures for those of us with disabilities I see I will need a Wheelchair Return card. Do I get this from the handicapped entrance, in most cases the exit from what I recall from my last trip, or the kiosks? Like everyone else here I just want to have fun and am willing to wait my appropriate turn.

I was hoping to see some recent reports from someone who has has a similar situation in terms of needing an ECV. I will listen to the podcast the Bowlings did.
If you have not read post one of this thread, you may want to read it.
That post has the DAS FAQs.

If mobility is your main issue, that will be taken care of by having the ECV.
At Disney's California Adventure, most lines are accessible, so don't have return times.

The kiosks are only for DAS, not for wheelchair return times. From everything I have seen, the wheelchair return times are given out at what is listed as the 'mobility entrance' for the attraction.
KPeveler is at DL often and will probably reply more completely.
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Old 01-20-2014, 05:36 PM   #390
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Thanks Sue. I had read the first post, but some later trip experiences had me concerned. No one has posted much after the initial implementation. Hopefully there will be some other reports in the next few months.
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