GAC Questions?

Discussion in 'disABILITIES!' started by Px4, Mar 5, 2013.

  1. Px4

    Px4 DIS Veteran

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    Can someone help me out, please? We are going with my mom to WDW in a few weeks. She will be getting a GAC card when we go. Well, she will get one everytime she goes (FL resident) from now on. She has a permanent disability that will require her to use one. She can walk sometimes, but it is always very slow. Rides such as Buzz or HM would have to be stopped for her to get on, even if she isn't using a ECV or wheelchair. So I have a few questions. Please forgive me if these have been asked and I over looked them.

    1) Will she need to get a new GAC everytime she goes? Or is their one that last longer then a day?

    2) Is there a list of ride entrances? She went over the weekend and had the pass, she said she just showed the the first castmember she seen at the ride and they took her where she needed to go. But I know we have went on some rides that we didn't see any CM until we were close to boarding.

    3) Regarding MK parking lot... If she doesn't bring her wheelchair or ECV, can she ask the attendant to park her in a closer spot to the tram? I know the walk from the handicap lot is a bit of a walk.

    TIA for any help you can give me. We are new to this. We traveled with my FIL on a ECV a few years ago, but he always parked it and waited in line with us since he could stand, just not walk standing up very well thanks to years working underground. So other then the buses, we never had to look into this.
     
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  3. jmartinez1895

    jmartinez1895 DIS Veteran

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    She will not need to a GAC every day. They issue it for the length of your stay and for AP holders they will issue it for a certain amount of time.
    There is no list of entrances using a GAC. The main reason is that the way the GAC is handled can vary depending on situations at the ride. Always find a CM and ask.
    Just tell the parking attendants what you need and I have read that they are very helpful in getting you where you need to be. You can also drop her off and then park so that she will not have such a long walk.
     
  4. Px4

    Px4 DIS Veteran

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    Thank you for the quick response! She loves going to Disney and so grateful they have something set up to help her go!
     
  5. SueM in MN

    SueM in MN combining the teacups with a roller coaster Moderator

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    I only have a few minutes, so....

    If you have not checked out the disABILITIES FAQs thread, please check it out because it will answer a lot of your questions.
    You can find that thread near the top of this board or follow the link in my signature. Post one of that thread is an index that tells which post in the thread has which information.
    Post 6 is about Guest Assistance Cards.
    All lines are wheelchair accessible and many are also ECV accessible. There is one post which lists the 'mobility entrances' for all attractions - in most cases, it is the regular line. The list is from the guidemap for guests with disabilities, which is available at the parks and you can download it from the internet (links in that post). If the entrance is somewhere other than the regular entrance, the Guidemap for guests with disabilities will tell you where to go.
    With a mobility device, like wheelchair or ECV, a GAC is not required to use the mobility entrances.

    If she plans to bring the ECV into lines with her or switch from the ECV to a wheelchair, most guests do not need a GAC - the CM can see the wheelchair or ECV and will route the guest to the correct place.
    You don't need a GAC to have the moving walkway slowed or stopped with an ECV or wheelchair. If you park the mobility device and walk in line, you will need a GAC to use the mobility entrance and, then you will need to let the CM know what she needs in terms of slowing stopping the moving walkway.

    There is a post of page 2 of the disABILITIES FAQs thread which lists attractions with stairs and moving walkways.

    GACs are usually issued for the length of stay for people on vacations; Florida resident AP holders can usually get a GAC for a longer period.

    As jmartinez mentioned, entering attractions may differ depending on things like how many other guests with special needs are waiting, staffing and other situations. So, it is possible to be told different ways to enter an attraction at different times.

    I agree with what jmartinez wrote about parking - ask the parking lot attendants. There are shuttle wheelchairs to use to get from handicapped parking to the park where you can rent an ECV Or wheelchair, but there is no guarantee that any will be available when you arrive.

    Also, important to be aware that wheelchairs are likely to be available at the parks, but they frequently run out of ECVs a few hours after park opening.

    Turned out pretty long for a short post :goodvibes

    Hope she has a good time.
     
  6. Disneylvr

    Disneylvr Always Disney Dreaming!

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    And I too agree with jmartinez1895 about the parking CM's. Before we got our DD's disabled placard we simply asked the parking lot attendants if we could part near the tram drop off/pick up. They reserve a couple of front slots in each row for that. Just explain that you have a wheelchair guest in the car.
     
  7. Px4

    Px4 DIS Veteran

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    Thank you all for your responses! Her mobility is a mixture or back/nerve/brain issues. So sometimes she will be perfectly fine and the next thing you know, she won't be. We know there will be several rides she can't ride anyways. But we are trying to find out all we can before we go.

    Thanks Again!!!!
     
  8. imobsessedwithdisney

    imobsessedwithdisney Mouseketeer

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    Hi everyone I'm sorry if this has been posted already & I hope this isn't a controversial question. I was told My 2 yr old has juvienial arthritis, would a GAC be something I should look into getting for our 10 days in Wdw in sept? If so how would it help?
     
  9. SueM in MN

    SueM in MN combining the teacups with a roller coaster Moderator

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    Follow the link in my signature to the disABILITIES FAQs thread.
    Post 6 in that thread is about Guest Assistance Cards (GACs).
    GACs are issued based on needs related to a disability, not the diagnosis.

    Because different people with the very same diagnosis can have very different needs, think about HER needs related to her arthritis.

    Strollers are not allowed in most lines or attractions. Small children either walk or are carried in line, which may not be comfortable for her.
    Not knowing your child, the most helpful thing I can think of would be for you to be able to have her stroller treated as a wheelchair. This would allow her to stay in the stroller in lines up to the point of boarding an attraction. There is more information about using a stroller as a wheelchair in post 6 of the disABILITIES FAQs thread.
     
  10. imobsessedwithdisney

    imobsessedwithdisney Mouseketeer

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    Thank you Sue. I'm very new to DIS & I don't know how to highlight your response to respond back. Honesty I'm not really sure how this is going to effecting her or her walking. I'm only on day 34 of her diagnosis so I'm still learning. But thank you for the info. Like I said, I'm praying that come sept she will be walking without pain or a limp and that I won't have to think about a GAC.
     
  11. SueM in MN

    SueM in MN combining the teacups with a roller coaster Moderator

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    Glad you found us.

    If you want to highlight what someone said, look in the bottom corner of their post for a button that says "Quote".

    That will open a reply window that has that Preston's post at the top so you can reply.

    Keep in mind that if she's 2 now, in September, she will still be a preschooler. Most people walk at least 3 miles a day at WDW and many walk 6 to 9.
    She will at least need a stroller to get between attractions. She may be able to walk (or be help - many 3 yr olds are) in line, but you want to keep the option of using a stroller in line in mind in case she needs it.
     
  12. imobsessedwithdisney

    imobsessedwithdisney Mouseketeer

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    Thanks again Sue. We are actually now going to Wdw in May for only 4 days. While I'm excited about the trip I am a bit nervous as to how her knee will hold up. As of now her limp is a lot better but unfortunately still very inflamed. I am going to take your advice and ask to use my stroller as a wheelchair :( I have 2 quick questions though if you don't mind... #1 do I have to bring a dr note or show guest services my DDs knee or limp? And also if you use a stroller for a wheelchair what happens if there's stairs to get to a ride? Also is there a place in the parks where I can keep her medication, I do t want to keep it in the stroller in case it gets too hot? Sorry for all the questions. Thanks so much for all your help!
     
  13. lanejudy

    lanejudy Moderator Moderator

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    #1 - no you do not need a Dr.'s note, the CM's at Guest Relations likely will refuse to look at it. What you need to do is have DD with you when you go to Guest Relations, and explain her NEEDS as it relates to why you want to use the stroller-as-wheelchair, not simply the diagnosis. Make sure you get both the GAC and the hang-tag (like an airline luggage tag) for the stroller. You will need to show these at the entrance to each attraction's line.

    #2 You will be directed to the appropriate line for accessibility. Keep in mind this may be a longer line at times. Most lines are mainstreamed, meaning you will go through the regular line with the stroller; for those that involve stairs you will be directed appropriately to avoid the obstacle.

    #3 - You are allowed to bring a small cooler if her medication needs to kept cold, or you can take it to the First Aid station at each park where they will keep it in the refrigerator for you. Just remember to go back and pick it up before leaving the park. If her medication is something similar to a prefilled syringe, you might look into getting a FRIO pack that will keep medications like insulin cool. They work very well in the parks.

    Enjoy your vacation!
     
  14. imobsessedwithdisney

    imobsessedwithdisney Mouseketeer

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    Thank you so much for writing back! Have a great night :)
     
  15. Piper

    Piper DIS Veteran

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    At 2, you will probably want to keep her in her stroller. You can get a stroller as wheelchair stamp at guest services that will let you take the stroller in the lines at WDW and in all the pavilions at Epcot. I wouldn't try to have a 2 yr old with JRA walk at WDW.
     
  16. imobsessedwithdisney

    imobsessedwithdisney Mouseketeer

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    Thanks, I'm so stressing about all this. Last night I even had a dream that she was running through the line at pirates of Caribbean limping. Her ruematologist says that she has no restrictions and should be treated like any other kid but I kinda feel like Wdw is a little different. I don't want to aggravate her joints. When using the stroller as a wheelchair can I use all the regular lines or do I have to go in a wheelchair or evc line. I would rather use the regular one bc I don't want her to feel like she needs special accommodations and that she is grouped in with wheelchairs and evc (no disrespect for ppl that have to use them, I just don't want to make her feel limited if I don't have to). Thanks again, Lisa
     
  17. SueM in MN

    SueM in MN combining the teacups with a roller coaster Moderator

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    Most lines at WDW are wheelchair accessible and guests with ECVs and wheelchairs will be in line with everyone else. Check out the disABILITIES FAQs thread - link in my signature. Post one of that thread is an index to the rest of the posts.

    The walking between things will be the problem and most of the distance. That is where small children need a stroller. In lines, she could walk (and should, to keep from her muscles cramping). She is also likely small enough that you can carry her if he gets tired in line - that's what other parents of small children do.
    Using a stroller as a wheelchair would be n option you can use if she is too tired, too achy, etc.
    You would not have to do it.
     
  18. MousekeMommy

    MousekeMommy Mouseketeer

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    If you do need to use the stroller as wheelchair option at times in line, don't be surprised if staff members don't see it at first and automatically direct you to park your stroller (they are human and crowds can be overwhelming). They are used to pointing the masses that direction, so feel free to politely point out your card/sticker to the staff members and ask where they would like you to go. They may still direct you to "park" in an area, but once they realize the situation, it is an area that will be walkable/carryable for your child.
     
  19. buffettgirl

    buffettgirl The whole tag thing, so 1990's internet.

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    and something else to remember (I'm stealing this from Sue) just because you get a GAC doesn't mean you have to use it all the time, every time. Think of it as insurance. If she's walking fine and feels fine, just park her stroller. If she's having trouble, you use it. You may find that she needs it more in the morning than later in the day, too. Lots of kids with JA wake up stiffer and get a little better as the day goes on.
     
  20. Mama Who

    Mama Who DIS Veteran

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    I have a disability which requires a GAC about 20% of the time. So most of the time I'm just fine, as it sounds like your kiddo is. As much as possible, I leave my GAC in my pocket. If I can handle whatever is in front of me I do. If I can't, the GAC makes it okay.

    If you get her a GAC and she never uses it, you've cost yourself 15 minutes at Guest Relations for some peace of mind. Also, at 2, I don't think she's going to notice what line she's in. She's still little enough not to recognize special treatment.
     

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