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Old 04-28-2014, 07:00 AM   #1
Earning My Ears
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Disability viewing

Hi all. We have a son with autism. He has no mobility issues. Are the disabled viewing areas for parade, fireworks, etc. limited to those with wheelchairs or are they also for gac holders? Thanks.
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Old 04-28-2014, 09:01 AM   #2
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First, just in case you are not aware, the GAC (Guest Assistance Card) has been replaced with DAS (Disability Access Service).
The 2 programs differ in how they work.
There is a thread near the top of this board about DAS for WDW and a separate one for Disneyland. The first post of each thread is a FAQs about DAS.

The short answer to your question is, yes, you can use DAS for the viewing areas.

But, then there are some things about the viewing areas to be aware of:

1) some of the viewing areas are fairly small and fill up quickly, so getting there early is important. They usually rope them off an hour or more before the parade/Illuminations. And may be fairly well filled up soon after they open.

2) people with mobility devices are usually lined up very close together across the front row/rope/fence of the viewing area. One member if their party stands behind them and the rest of their party. The rest of your group may not be able to stand close by.
If it is very busy, there may be more than one row of guests with special needs

3) if the viewing area is deep enough, some people prefer to stand toward the back of it in order to have a buffer space between their group and the rest of the people. Not all viewing areas are deep enough for this.

4) once you are in the spot, at least some of your group needs to stay there. The person with a disability is usually not going to be able to be roaming around outside and there is usually not space to roam around in the viewing area.

5) most of the areas have no benches or other seating.
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Old 04-28-2014, 09:33 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by SueM in MN View Post
. . . some of the viewing areas are fairly small and fill up quickly, so getting there early is important. They usually rope them off an hour or more before the parade/Illuminations. And may be fairly well filled up soon after they open . . .

1) This means folks with sensory problems might be bothered during the 45-60 minute wait.
2) So, to answer your question, DAS may not be of benefit to you.
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Old 04-28-2014, 10:06 AM   #4
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We attempted to use the viewing area for Illuminations. There was plenty of space for the two of us and we were only minutes from start time. We were very clearly told we were "not permitted in the area, pass or no pass, because it was for wheelchair users only." It may very well be up to to CMs at any given moment so we don't depend on any assisted area.
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Old 04-28-2014, 07:50 PM   #5
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Thanks very much. I booked dessert party on our last night I guess fireworks will just be one night for us!!!
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Old 04-28-2014, 08:15 PM   #6
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We have seen them turn away ECV's from the wheelchair parade area even when my 2 girls were the only 2 chairs in there. The CM told the people it was for manual and power wheelchairs only.
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Old 05-12-2014, 05:22 PM   #7
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I have been able to get into those areas with an invisible disability but for a child I think it would not be enjoyable because all the wheelchairs go in the front and people stand in the back. Its very crowded at MK! There are far calmer areas you can stake out on your own.
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