DL & DCA -Disability Access Service Card- Post 1 update 12/7/14 DAS tied to ticket

Discussion in 'disABILITIES!' started by SueM in MN, Sep 29, 2013.

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  1. Jperiod

    Jperiod Princesses Gone Wild

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    I sent my letters yesterday. The lack of kiosks was one of the things I mentioned as well as the additional FP or accessible line waits, and my son's problems with planning what he wants to do 60-90 minutes from now. :rolleyes:
     
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  3. cmwade77

    cmwade77 DIS Veteran

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    There is a thread on ideas to improve the DAS, I suggest posting this in there to demonstrate some of the issues.
     
  4. Paula Sedley-Burke

    Paula Sedley-Burke Proud to believe in Rainbows and Unicorns...

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    I am almost sure of the answer to this is no but just in case I missed something. Is there anyway to pre apply for the DAS? With the temporary disabled parking permit I get for Orlando ( I am from the UK and they kindly issue a US one after seeing my UK one which is great ) I can apply for this ahead of time to save going to the office and a drive ( and the time it takes ) . Nothing like this?
     
  5. gee1209

    gee1209 Earning My Ears

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    So sorry if this question was asked already but I can't find the answer. We are arriving in one week and staying in Epcot area hotel. I would like to request a gac the first night of arrived at the back entrance of Epcot so that the first day we can eliminate this process. If not perhaps I can go to mk entrance. This will be around 7:00pm. Thx !
     
  6. SueM in MN

    SueM in MN combining the teacups with a roller coaster Moderator

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    No.
    You can't apply ahead of time.
    DAS cards are only given at the theme parks and the person applying for DAS has to be with you.
    You posted on the Disneyland thread - a Epcot has a back entrance with a Guest Relations kiosk. No one has reported getting one there so I am not sure if they are issuing them.
    The written information provided by Disney says "main entrance" ;it is unclear if that is considered a main entrance or not.
     
  7. Paula Sedley-Burke

    Paula Sedley-Burke Proud to believe in Rainbows and Unicorns...

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    thank you for your reply.
     
  8. IndianaPrincess

    IndianaPrincess Mouseketeer

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    I'm at a keyboard now, so I can go into more detail about things.

    Getting the DAS was simple for us (I was not worried at all). I followed the advice here and didn't even mention any of his conditions. I just explained his issues with the line queues. We got the DAS card and a stroller as wheelchair tag.

    ***TIP*** Put the tag on the side or top of the stoller. She put ours on the back and it became annoying to have to keep swinging the stroller around to show to each CM. The second day I got a new tag and made it visable from the front.

    ***Sidenote*** I can tell you they are not passing the DAS out like candy. There was an upset lady that barged in when I was getting one because she was denied and thought my CM would be better to ask. I have no idea her story as they shuffled her away. Another time I stopped in to get a RT and the lady next to me was begging the CM to reconsider saying "You don't understand, I have to keep walking. I can't sit or stand so a wheelchair won't help me." I felt so bad for her - glad that I didn't have an issue getting it.

    ***ANOTHER TIP*** As I just mentioned, you can get a RT at both guest service locations. We would stop in as we entered the park for a RT and by the time we made it to the ride, it would be time to go on. It was a nice way to start the day.

    It was so crowded this past weekend. I didn't expect it to be as bad as it was. We were overwhelmed trying to figure out where to go for things and what ride needed a wheelchair return pass and what needed a DAS and what was walk on (FYI nothing!) and so on. Oh and we just couldn't seem to figure out where to go when returning to rides. It was a hot mess. You have to remember that we aren't DL regulars, so I have the disability map in one hand, the stroller in the other, three more kiddos to keep track of along with my hubby pushing my mother in law around in a wheelchair. I love the Disney theming, but I just wanted some big DAS ENTER HERE and WHEELCHAIR ENTER HERE signs. ;)

    This really was not too big a deal, but for those not currently familiar with the parks... do yourself a favor and look over the map with an eye for where you will enter . Maybe even we can all pitch in to put together a cheat sheet.

    ***TIP*** When you get a RT at the kiosk, ask the CM for the exact location for where to go to use the pass at that ride. People can tell you that there will be CM at the ride, but many times we had trouble finding someone.

    Okay I have to take a break. I'll be back with more later.
     
  9. cmwade77

    cmwade77 DIS Veteran

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    We went to the parks yesterday and I thought I should post some updates, as there have been some improvements.

    First off, I had to renew my DAS, so I asked about some concerns that I had come up.

    The person that was helping was very nice and explained everything very well.

    There are tweaks being made, some are behind the scenes that you won't really know what they are doing, you will just see the results. Such as fixing long waits when you return to an attraction.

    Here is the official policy for return times near closing: they ask that you leave enough time to get from the kiosk to the attraction with 5 minutes to spare before closing and they will make the return time for 5 minutes before closing.

    For attractions like Pirates that end up with a long accessible queue, the official policy is that the DAS works like a FP for the accessible queue. You may have other DAS holders in front of you, but you are supposed to go ahead of others, as you have already waited.

    They are trying to figure out how to fix the extra traveling. They know they need more kiosks, but don't even currently have the manpower they need for the ones they have now, let alone more. Apparently the GR CMs are all working about 13 hour days and at least 6 days a week at that. Which I am sure is great for their wallets, but I have done that before and it is exhausting. So, please keep this in mind when you might get a CM who is a little less than enthusiastic.

    Somehow they have managed to fix the issue of waiting when returning. Even on racers we only had one wheelchair party in front of us and the queue was still a 90 minute wait. So, as far as wait times, it seems things are getting to be closer to equal.

    That being said, there were a couple of times that I looked at queues that were visible and did question if the posted wait times were accurate. One I thought the actual wait would have been longer than posted, most I think would have been shorter. So getting more accurate wait times is something that needs to happen. But that is something that affects all guests.

    Overall, I would say this system has been an improvement so far, especially with the shorter lines when returning. But then again, I generally waited the length of the standby line before going to the next attraction with the old system anyway due to my needs, so what's really the difference if Disney is telling me I must wait or if it's my body telling me this? Either way, it amounts it the same thing. So, this system means that given my needs and the shorter waits when returning, I can potentially do more attractions than with the GAC. But that is given my circumstances that I was waiting between attractions anyway, not because I wanted to, but because I had to. The new system just adds in Disney telling me I have to wait in addition to my body doing so. In my case the new system, aside from the extra traveling works better, especially now that they have found ways to fix the other issues that I had.

    As I said the new system has some issues, less now than when the system started, but there is still at least the issue of extra traveling, Disney definitely is working on fixing them. Again, This has been backed up by actions.

    The biggest takeaway though was she did say that Disney is listening and that you should definitely use the website to provide feedback and be specific about what worked for you and what problems you may have encountered. And what she said has been backed up by actions, so it's not just lip service.

    Well, that and if you live near the parks and are looking for a job, it would probably be pretty easy to get over in GR right now.
     
  10. ImTooExcitedToSleep

    ImTooExcitedToSleep dis veteran

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  11. disney david

    disney david DIS Veteran

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    Thanks Tom for the link did we forget jack burgin was also on the show.
     
  12. SueM in MN

    SueM in MN combining the teacups with a roller coaster Moderator

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    I listened and thought it was interesting.
    It sounded like mAny of the issues had to do with DL not having accessible lines. I believe one of the issues mentioned, people storing up attraction return times cards was being addressed now with those get ing a one hour window of time like Fastpass. (The report was from Halloween party first weekend of roll out).
     
  13. disney david

    disney david DIS Veteran

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    Yes It is and I think that why in dca where their lines are main stream their having a better time. That the major difference in do vs wdw and even dca is the main stream lines where in the park that are main streamed it going better. Maybe not perfect but I think their not running into as many problems as Disneyland. A special event is sometimes hard to judge new programs either in dl and wdw.


    I also think if and when dl get fast pass plus it going to take a long time to make all the ques main stream and hopefully help.


    Another show would be nice once carol gets to try it again I also think if they could get someone who tried it in wdw to compare their experiences.
     
  14. KPeveler

    KPeveler Moderator Moderator

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    I have found that if I plan carefully my Wheelchair Return Times (not DAS), I do not wait in long return lines. If I do not plan carefully, then I do end up waiting in quite long lines.

    The biggest problem they are running into on some attractions are the Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles - there are two Wheelchair Return attractions with a WAV - Small World and Jungle Cruise. At about 1:45 yesterday, when I was leaving JC, the returnee line was backed up to the edge of the store. It was so long, that the person handing out return times had to move to give it room! It seemed a random time for such a long return line.

    Part of the problem is that there were at least two parties waiting for the WAV, which I was already on. That meant a longer wait for those two parties.

    I think there is a possibility that there will eventually be end-times for the WC Return Tickets, like FP (but perhaps with a longer window) so that way the queues do not get long at random times. Also, this allows them to space out the people returning for the WAVs.

    This is going to be a major issue at Small World Holiday, when it is running at capacity from open to close. The wheelchair boat lifts run on batteries, which do not last 12+ hour days if they are used every time around. Usually they start with two boats, then alternate them as batteries start to die. There is always (barring complications) a boat on, but not always both. With the backups that always seem to happen, especially when you are loading and unloading the WAV every time, that means about a 20 minute cycle in Small World. So I may get a wheelchair return time, wait my 2 hours (standard small world holiday waiting time), then go back, only to find out I STILL need to wait in a long line for another hour for the wheelchair boat!

    I am hoping this is something that, especially for the holiday attractions, they have end times. A long enough window to allow for people to wheel back, especially with parades and such, but short enough to help spread out crowds.

    The last 6-12 months of the GAC at RSR, we did not get a "come back after" time - we got a 1 hour window. While that hour was very restricting, especially when dealing with multiple disabilities in our group, it DID help keep the wheelchair line from getting too long.

    So yes, I have seen a marked improvement in the returnee wait times, but there is still much room for improvement.

    The other thing that is true now that is frustrating is that to get a wheelchair return time, you must go to the wheelchair entrance. With the Pirates and Mansion overflow lines, this means I had to wheel all the way PAST French Market and around the back by the bathrooms and down the hill to even get a Return Time for Pirates. It would be nice if we could get WC times at attraction entrances as well - because I was wheeling a full 5-10 extra minutes up a steep hill and then up a gradual one, only to get a time for 60 minutes later - and the street was already full with other people in wheelchairs waiting for their time to arrive. I counted no less than 5 parties just sitting by the exit, making a line nearly as long as was there before, which was confusing for some and made it hard to get to the place to get the silly ticket.

    Does anyone know if I can get a Wheelchair Return Time for Splash at the Splash entrance, or do I have to go all the way up and down those hills of doom to get a ticket at the exit? B/c those hills are NOT up to ADA standards, and it is unfair for me to be told to do it twice! (manual wheelchair user traveling solo)
     
  15. cmwade77

    cmwade77 DIS Veteran

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    If you have a DAS, you can get a DAS Return Time for these attractions. According to GR, the DAS return times take priority over the WC return times.

    But this could cause even further delays for WC return times. I wonder if the solution for WAV vehicles would be to put return times with a window of time, but not base the return times on the standby line time, instead base it on how many how many outstanding return times for WAVs are currently issued. With an expiration time on them, that would be workable. I'd course at that point, there might need to be a rule that if you need the WAV, you can't use a DAS on that attraction. Luckily, the WAVs are only an issue on a handful of attractions.

    As for small world, I was surprised that when we got the new boats that they didn't change the WAVs to match WDW, as they don't require any power to run. It might mean some modifications to the gates and loading area, but not too much and the long term cost savings would be work it.

    For Splash, if you have a DAS, I would recommend getting a return time. If you don't have a DAS, there is a kiosk for return times at the exit of Mansion, I would suggest asking there if they might at least be able to run down and get a return time if you are by yourself, explaining the situation to them. Although for the rest of winter, you most likely could go down and get a return time, ride Winnie the Pooh and have it be about time to return.
     
  16. lauraworth

    lauraworth Earning My Ears

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    "...Another time I stopped in to get a RT and the lady next to me was begging the CM to reconsider saying "You don't understand, I have to keep walking. I can't sit or stand so a wheelchair won't help me." I felt so bad for her - glad that I didn't have an issue getting it."

    Oh no! My father is in the same position, sure it would be great if he could "just get a wheelchair" as per Disney mobility issues policy but he must walk during the day & can't stand in 1 place so general cues were a no-no. It used to confuse the CMs under the GAC, we were hoping this unique issue would be covered in the new DAS program but it doesn't sound like it was. Does anyone know if there is a place to write into Disney & ask about a specific issue like this with regards to the DAS or are they only looking for feedback from people who have utilized the program?
     
  17. KPeveler

    KPeveler Moderator Moderator

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    I know there is an email somewhere out there, but I do know you can ask questions on the Disneyland website - just go all the way to the bottom and look for the "Email us" page.

    I will say this - I understand the need to move constantly, and renting a wheelchair for him does not mean he must sit in it at all times. When I first had a chair I would walk some and push the chair empty. I know he cannot sit all day, but I also assume he cannot continuously walk for 8-12 hours. You may want to think about having the wheelchair there for him, not as a means of moving, but more as a "portable seat" so he has one ready wherever he is.
     
  18. DisneyBiskit

    DisneyBiskit Mouseketeer

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    Hi everybody....I just wanted to share my experience using the new DAS system.

    Let me explain a bit about my situation. I have back issues and when I go to DL, I usually wear some form of back support. Walking is not the issue, its the constant stop and start again plus standing for long periods and I prefer not to do stairs. I have used the GAC in the past and was concerned that I would not "qualify" for the new system. They do have guidelines on who gets one and who doesn't. While I was getting mine, a gentleman next to me with "pain issues" (his words, not mine) was denied a card. I think it was because he was not specific enough, I dont know.

    I decided to go to the Chamber of Commerce in DCA to get the card and I strongly advise that you do this as well. There was no line as I walked up and this was a good hour after park opening. I explained my situation and the CM seemed to think this new program would benefit me. So she took my picture and it was printed on a DAS card with my name, dates I was going to be at the parks (actually she made it for a 2 week window since I'm an AP holder) and made it for 6 in my party (even though it was just 2). What this card does is that I was able to go to designated kiosks spread throughout both parks and request a ride (any ride). The CM would look up the wait time on their ipad and write down the current time and then the wait for that particular attraction minus 10 minutes. Then I could go do anything else during this time (eat, shop, sit and relax) until it was time to go to that attraction. Once there I was sent through the fastpass line or through a designated line. I would show my card to the CM and they would cross off the ride from the list. I was able to have one ride at a time on my card. Which makes sense since it was treated like a fastpass, however I could go to the ride anytime after the time was up. There was no "window" to go ride the ride. Thats nice, but of course I couldn't get a new time on my card for a different ride until the current one was used or just crossed off because I changed my mind.

    I know others were frustrated but this was a very positive experience for me. I like that I never had to stand in a long line. I was able to stay at the parks longer because I was not as tired. All CMs were very friendly and there seemed to be some consistency on how to handle the DAS. It proved invaluable on Saturday and Sunday when the parks were very full and at times hard to navigate. I personally like this new system. I think its fair and I never noticed an effect on the lines. I'm happy to answer any questions I can.
     
  19. KPeveler

    KPeveler Moderator Moderator

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    I was in DCA today and I have confirmed at pretty much every show I have asked, as well as with Guest Relations - the DAS is effective for rides ONLY. It will NOT give you alternate entrance/waiting area accommodations for shows. I have asked at Fantasy Faire, Magical Map, and Aladdin. I also have asked several Guest Relations people.

    I cannot wait in the standard areas at many shows, especially Aladdin, as the queue is outdoors with little or no shade (among other issues). After speaking to CMs at the show, and at Guest Relations, it was basically told to me that I would have to explain at the show why I could not wait in the standard waiting area, even though I have a DAS. A "time" cannot be issued for a show.

    This means that I need to check in at the show before the one I want to see, and explain my medical needs each time, sometimes to more than one person. Simply having the DAS was not enough, I had to explain in detail my medical conditions, and there is no guarantee that they will make the "exception" for me, to allow me to wait elsewhere.

    As most of you probably know, for Aladdin, on a average Saturday we have to line up 90+ minutes early. In fact, there is a line to get into the line. I travel solo, or with other people with disabilities, so I cannot always have someone wait in the regular line for me.

    Also, today I discovered that in DCA at least, when the wait is 10 minutes or less that I am to be directed through the regular queue, not sent through FP or exit, as Guest Relations told me. Today I went to Screamin, with a wait time of 10 minutes. Getting a RT is pointless, as it would be a 0 minute wait, and I was told simply to go to the line. Screamin involves going slowly up ramps to the loading platform, stopping and starting. As a solo manual wheelchair user, that is very difficult - stopping on a hill over and over. It also still involved the back and forth lines, as well as stairs/elevator and a crowded "overpass." It was not the wait that was the issue - it was the structure of the queue that I can see causing problems. I know I was unable to do it - this just means I will always get a time for this attraction.

    I just figured I would post this, as not everyone can wait in the standard queues, even if the wait is posted at 10 minutes. Not only can the times be wrong, but it may be the sensory experience of the queue or some other reason why a person cannot use the standard queue. I know people who use a DAS because of a mixture of disabilities that makes it unsafe for them to try to navigate the back-and-forth nature of the queue.

    I was also told that the DAS would NOT grant entry to wheelchair viewing areas for Fantasmic, WOC, or parades.

    Except for one or two people at the attractions, the Attractions CMs are really being very nice about all of it - but they can only do what they have the leeway to do. For example, I was told today that I could use the "alternate" waiting area for Aladdin (the only safe place for me to wait), but as an exception. They could not change the rule.

    I have encountered more and more Guest Relations CMs who are "passing the buck" or flat out telling me there is nothing they can do. I tell them that I do not expect the system to be fixed right away, but that I was giving feedback of an issue I encountered. I did speak to one GR CM who was very polite and helpful, and she contacted her manager about the Aladdin issue. It is generally a 60-90 minute wait outdoors in a jam-packed mob-like queue. I can see how many people would have issues of some variety in this place.

    I am hoping that the system "evolves" quickly, but in general, I am able to do a fraction of what I used to do - and not because of the return waits, but because I have to wait an extra 30+ minutes on average after "waiting my turn." I am also still getting a great deal of mixed signals when it comes to attractions and accommodations.
     
  20. KPeveler

    KPeveler Moderator Moderator

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    I have spoken to Attractions CMs, as well as been to the park more than 10 times since the new system was put in place. There is only one attraction where I have seen DAS put ahead of WC return guests - Peter Pan. And even that was not done regularly. I also think I may have seen it happen once at Space Mountain, though I had a WC Return Time that time.

    At other attractions - Mansion, Small World, and Jungle Cruise, Pirates, this is not being done, or at least never when I am there. This is making it considerably more difficult to plan. I even asked about it at Mansion and they simply shrugged. It took 45 minutes (after we "waited our turn" for 90 minutes) to even get into the ride building.

    There are more WAVs than people realize, as well as TAVs, which require me to wait for a ride car to come around. WAVs exist on Buzz, Jungle Cruise (a WC return ride), Small World (also WC Return), and Winnie the Pooh. There is also a TAV at Peter Pan, and essentially a WAV at Space Mountain - only one train is used for wheelchair using/disabled guests, which means we have to wait for it to cycle (with a limit of 12 people in each train). The same is true for Mansion - wheelchair using guests are only allowed to use cars 129, 130, 1 and 2. This means we are batch loaded, with only 3 wheelchairs allowed in the building at once - with a 20 minute cycle for each wheelchair (they need to completely leave the building, so Stretching Room time must be factored in).

    It is more of an issue than I think the CMs thought it would be.

    I agree it is silly to keep the boats the way they did, but regardless, there will be a major problem when I get to Small World this holiday season. It is always bad - add in the fact that Small World CMs will have almost no training time under the new system. They had two non-busy weeks, when most people are not interested.

    There needs to be end time for the wheelchair return times, period. Right now, it is chaos at many of the attractions because no one knows when people are returning. This means they get random long lines, with sometimes several people returning at once for the WAVs (actually, this happens to me more often than not - maybe I am just lucky).

    I am not certain what will happen, but there will definitely need to be some changes. Perhaps most frustrating is the lack of consistency in what I am being told. I never know who has been told what, and it makes planning (something important with my needs) nearly impossible.
     
  21. IndianaPrincess

    IndianaPrincess Mouseketeer

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    I apologize for cutting your quote - but these are the points where I want to hand you a megaphone and yell "PREACH IT".

    My son does horrible in the queues for a couple reasons. I haven't gone into his conditions here as we are still playing the alphabet soup game (after 3 years, sigh). I will say that one of his issues is OCD and one of his compulsions is climbing. The GAC was great about giving an alternate entrance. We can wait - some people can't, but we can. But even 10 minutes in the normal line is exhausting for him and for us.

    When I asked at GR about this issue when getting the DAS, I was told to just ask a CM and they would help us out. Well it quickly became obvious that it was just not happening. The CM just would tell us where to go and didn't seem comfortable with anything outside the box of their DAS training. That one time that I was desperate and asked for a lead, it was a total and complete fail (I promise to come back with that story later!)

    We managed okay, like I said before. I do feel confident to say that if we known the GAC would be replaced with the current system, we would not have booked the trip. It is not magical to have to pry your kid off the bars, chains, wall, etc and constantly repeat get down, get down, get down, get down, get down, get down times 4 days. I'm sorry to any other guests he bothered in the lines. We did our best with what we had. That combined with the constant back and forth to the kiosks... blah... not as magical as I was hoping.
     
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