Discussion in 'Disney Rumors and News' started by tmgandolph, May 14, 2013.
Isn't it the truth!
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By far one of the strongest posts I've read on the site altogether. This is why I'm in favor of better ADA access, not more restricted ADA access. It frustrates me to know that anyone who does not require the access is taking advantage of it. Less because I'm worried about what it means for "my place in line" and more because I think it's unfair to people who legitimately need the access who are waiting longer, or worse, who are being looked upon with frustration.
I'm glad that Disney has mainstreamed most of their lines. With all of the interactive elements they've been adding to the queues, I'd hate to think that someone would miss it because they have to be segregated into another line.
Everybody should be able to enjoy Disney to the fullest. Getting frustrated in line for any reason misses the point. You're on vacation in one of the happiest destinations available, be happy and let everyone else worry about themselves.
I make it a policy to adopt the Disney spirit while I'm there. It'd be great if everyone did. Be happy and leave everyone else to their own happiness.
Wow, I kind of feel sorry for Nigel after that, but I can't argue with any of the points you've made.
As I said before, I don't see what kind of significant advantage these "1% moms" really got for their $120/hour "tour guide". The statement about getting onto It's A Small World in a minute when other people where waiting in line for 2-1/2 hours is just laughable. Everyone who uses this website must have read that and had a giant red flag go up because neither part of that statement can be remotely true.
Either the woman who was qouted was lying or the author of the book the article got the information from was lying. That story is just fantasy.
I think those people who spent $120/hr probably got ripped off and were not even bright enough to realize it.
But I also read it and realized we're talking the Real Real Housewives of NYC here, and they are completely exaggerating things. They could still have gotten an advantage, just not as extreme as they claim.
As I've posted before, from my own experience, there _can_ be some advantages gained at some attractions (although at least once case has since been changed), and not at others - although even in those cases there can still be a perceived advantage (we waited a LONG time at TSM - but the people in the regular line see a short line, and have no idea how long we were in it.)
Unfortunately, fixing perception is the hardest thing to do. And this bad press, real or fake, just makes it worse.
Like many of you, I saw the inconsistencies in the original story, and thought it was "urban-legendy".
This report on the Today show is rather disturbing though.
I'm not trying to be argumentative but looking at that video it seems the GAC IS a front of the line pass. But reading the boards, I read a lot of arguments to the contrary.
I think part of it is marketing. The guides play games with FP. The customer doesn't know when the wheelchair got them in the back door and when a FP was used
Relying at least a bit on NBC's integrity in reporting and editing, their report seems to focus specifically on the use of the GAC card for the rides. It seems they show the GAC card at the start so it's apparent when they later highlight its use with CMs for the rides they show in the clips.
I am currently undergoing physical therapy for foot surgery. Last week I expressed concern about being healthy enough to walk as far and as fast as I want to at WDW. Immediately the therapist responded -- get a GAC so you can skip to the front of the line. I was stunned. I knew nothing of GAC until joining DIS boards. She obviously believed I could do this so I wondered if she'd had other patients that did.
For the record, I won't be anywhere close to 100% healthy but we'll just do our best and if I find I need a scooter we'll rent one. I will not being getting a GAC card. They are for people that really need them. And I'm not trying to take a position on whether they are front of the line passes as I don't know -- just mentioning its obvious a lot of people think they are.
1. The ADA does not allow requiring proof of a disability if the individual is granted access equal to that of a person without a disability, to the extent possible. It only requires proof if a person will be granted access that is more than a person without a disability. Accordingly, Disney in the United States is not legally permitted to ask for any proof of a disability.
2. I found that in Disneyland Paris they do require proof of a disability. But the equal to the GAC is automatically a front-of-the-line pass. And even though I was in my ECV (which I brought with me) I still needed to get their Access Pass. Luckily I knew this in advance and brought my car hang tag.
3. It is unfortunate, but here is a sample letter from a doctor. I will analyze it afterwards.
If I am handed a letter such as that (which I cannot ask for) and the Guest demands that I read it I will do so.
A. Although I am not medically trained I have some non-technical medical knowledge. The Guest should not expect me to know what onychocryptosis is.
B. We do not give a FOTL Pass, and a GAC states on it that it is not intended to bypass lines. The only Guests who get a GAC with FOTL access are children on a Wish Trip. So I cannot give a GAC for immediate seating.
C. As there does to be an indication of a need (unable to stand for prolonged periods) I will take the official stance of suggesting that the Guest rent a wheelchair, or, if 18 or older, to rent an ECV. At least this one does give a need and not just a diagnoses.
D. As far as "other considerations and courtesies", we will always do what can be best, in our opinion, to assist a Guest with their needs so they can have equal access.
E. And as far as the doctor's note itself, I have no idea if:
i. The note was actually signed by the doctor.
ii. Mr. Neuman is actually a patient of Dr. Doofenschmirtz
iii. Does Dr. Doofenschmirtz actually exist, or
iv. Is Dr. Doofenschmirtz actually a licensed physician.
Being someone who had a disabled person in my party last November when we last visited, I find this absolutely rediculous. I just saw the NBC Today Show snippet on this practice and when they went undercover not one of the cast members questioned these so-called "tour guides" whatsoever. My 75 yo dad who has a hard time walking due to arthritic ankles spent time waiting in line with everyone else. These people should have those cards revoked and should be banned from the parks imho.
The GAC is the only reason I can do many of the rides at Disneyland, because I have, in addition to my wheelchair, other invisible disabilities. And while that means I often wait elsewhere in Disneyland, I DO wait!
Also, most everything listed in the NBC article, I would STILL not wait in the standard line - none of them are wheelchair accessible.
I just hope a few idiots do not ruin accessibility for everyone else.
Yes, when I go I often have different people with me, not always immediate family. This is because I sometimes travel with friends as my AB (able-bodied person - many of us in wheelchairs require help getting around a place so large as Disneyland), so yes, different people accompany me when I use my GAC. The thing is, I don't charge for it.
What the GAC does is allow me to access a ride without explaining my medical history and limitations to every CM I encounter at every single ride. The GAC is designed to speed up deciding where each party goes - into which line.
I sincerely hope that one or two jerks (thinking of worse words) do not ruin a system that allows so many families to enjoy Disney as the best place for those of us with disabilities.
Here is a photo I took on an average Saturday of the wheelchair/accessible/alternate/GAC entrance (there is only this, which is also the ride exit and the standard queue which has stairs. This is a Saturday DURING THE OFF SEASON!
It took me 3 photos to try to get the whole line, and I still missed some of it.
This line is crowded, loud, and long. Longer than the standby that day. Also, there is a store on one side of the line, and the exit crowds on the other.
Convenient how the NBC report never showed things like this...
I really don't care if a guest in a wheelchair loads before I do. Hell, they're in a wheelchair and I am grateful to have legs that work. Gratitude, people!
However, I can think of a way to put the notion of who waits longer to rest... Why not do the same thing they do when measuring how long the wait is and have a guest in the regular line deliver a card to the cast member loading them? When the loading cast member gets the card, they know to let the wheelchair load... There, they waited the same amount of time!
A good idea, but a couple problems. People with wheelchairs almost never load in the same place as the AB (able-bodied) guests. So the guest gets to the front of the line and is sometimes in a different room as AB guests. Actually it is hard to think of a place where we board in the same place as AB guests.
Also, where would we with wheelchairs and our families be waiting. Again, it would be illegal to make our families separate when AB families do not have to do so. There is no room by the exit to have lots of people waiting - it would be unsafe.
And I keep saying this - nearly all lines are mainstreamed at Disney. This means that we wait in the SAME LINES as the ABs!!! We do not skip anything but stairs.
Here is what happens:
We get in the line, whether it be the stand-by line or if we have a Fastpass (not a special card, just a regular old FP anyone can get). We go through the line. When we get to the front of the line and CMs see my wheelchair, they then send me into ANOTHER line, all people with disabilities.
Here is a specific example (works for both Disneyland and WDW): I want to ride Buzz Lightyear. I get in the Stand-by Line (there is no FP in DL and the regular line is accessible in WDW). I wait in the Stand-by line with all the other people, just like a normal person. I have a part in front of me (We will call them Bob) and there is a party behind me (we will call them Sue). I go past the Galactic maps and see the animatronic Buzz Lightyear. When we get to the part where people step onto the moving walkway, CMs see my wheelchair and route me though another door, which takes me to the exit area. While I am going through that door, Party Bob and Party Sue have gotten on the ride.
This is so the CMs do not have to move my wheelchair, and wheelchairs are generally not allowed on moving walkways while they are still moving. It is also where they load wheelchairs directly into the wheelchair car for those who cannot transfer.
Once I get to the exit area, I now wait in the "disability line." There can only be a certain number of people with disabilities in the line at any time. It is not uncommon for me to wait so long, I see Bob and Sue get OFF the ride before I ever get on. Finally I get on the ride.
I am already in a ride car when the ride moves past the loading area. The people waiting to board there have never seen me, do not know I have already waited in TWO lines, and think I "cut" the line or entered through the exit.
No, instead of cutting the lines, it is common for me to wait in 2 or even 3 lines before I get to ride.
And most of the non-mainstreamed lines have my waiting in full sun light with no shade, no AC, and no idea of how long the line will be. In fact, we often get "forgotten about" as CMs change positions at the ride, so we wait longer.
Trust me, most ideas that we could come up with to "fix" the system, Disney and their lawyers have already thought about. And especially what seem like simple ideas, especially ones thought up by AB people who have never traveled with someone with a disability, have been tried.
No the system is not perfect, but it rarely gives the "advantage" to the people with disabilities. If anything, the system is still biased against US.
Here is an idea. Give the AB person in back of me in line a card. When I have waited in the line, and then waited in the wheelchair line, and finally get on the ride, THEN that person with the card and everyone behind him/her can go. Until I get on, though, after having waited the regular time with everyone else, no one gets to get on the ride. THAT is what an "equal" wait time is.
Of course that also would never work. For popular rides, like Racers in DL or TSM, we usually wait about 30 minutes in the wheelchair lines alone.
Anyone who has never experienced traveling with a disability, come tour the parks with me. You will see just how many "perks" we get.
Not going to happen. They will not separate the disabled guests from their families. That is not equal treatment.
Exactly - plus, where is this disabled guest waiting? Do we go in the exit and wait? You cannot see the exit from the entrance in most cases, so where is this magical place you will put all the disabled folks, plus their one family member or attendant law states we get. A person with a disability is always allowed to have at least one person with them. If that is their spouse and they have minor children, then do the children wait in this mythical waiting area too?
I tour the parks by myself frequently. I use a wheelchair full time. What happens then?
All this is a moot point, as it is illegal to start separating disabled families when able bodied families do not get separated.
Besides, separating families is awful to do on a family vacation.
Let me preface this by saying that we NEVER use a wheelchair or ECV to skip the lines, but my wife does need to use one and we have experienced a wide variety of circumstances with regards to the wait times.
At WDW, we do not use a GAC, but do use an ECV. Most of the standby lines are now accssible, so there's no "benefit" to having an ECV (again this is no GAC). And there are many attractions where they sent us to the exit, but we had to wait just as long until the accessible ride vehicle made it's way around. For rides that don't have a specific vehicle, we were often just asked to wait for "a while" and they would load us. The wait was probably not AS long as standby, but it was definitely not FOTL. Please understand I'm not complaining about that, just describing that we (rightly so) still waited when using an ECV.
On our first visit to DLRP, when we rented a manual wheelchair (DLRP doesn't have ECVs onsite), we received a temporary GAC (or at least their equivalent and told to bring documentation next time). We were surprised to find that they basically DID allow us FOTL privileges. That said, we also discovered that France is extremely accomodating to those with disabilities. We were able to bypass much of the line for Eiffel Tower tickets and the guard at the Louvre saw that we could not make our way into the the sea of humanity crushing in each other to see the Mona Lisa, so he escorted us in front of the rope and allowed us to sit and view it close-up for several minutes. Even though we were not blocking the view of others, I was floored that we were afforded this "private viewing" privilege.
On subsequent visits to DLRP, we brought our own wheelchair along with documentation and they issued us a permanent GAC (well, good through the expiration date of our annual passports anyway). But I noticed that they had also adjusted their practices somewhat. At each attraction, we had to reserve a specific time to return (not a FP, but an actual ride reservation time). We were told to be 15 minutes early and even a little bit late would forfeit our slot. We then reported back at the appointed time and waited for the appropriate ride vehicle or, in cases where no special vehicle was used, we still had to wait (if a GAC user was already on the ride) until they returned from their ride before they let another GAC user on the ride. Again, not complaining... just describing their process.
Under the new procedure, we still got to be out doing other things instead of being in line, but there was a lot of pressure to be back on time and there was still a reasonable wait, often as much as the standby line.
And I'll reiterate what some others have said... we would gladly give up any real or perceived benefits of using the wheelchair or ECV if my wife could walk that much without pain instead. For every "creep" who rents a wheelchair because it supposedly gets them FOTL, there are 100's or even 1000's of guests who would gladly trade waiting in line if it meant not having to use a wheelchair.
Have not read all the posts but having traveled with a person in wheel chair for the past 25 years to Disney World a lot of what is written on here is BONK. The Guest pass works but is not with out a wait and you might some times get a quickly line but rarely. Disney does a pretty good job of helping special needs but there is alway someone that tries to find a short cut. Have a great day.
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