Info on ride line pass for autistic child

Discussion in 'disABILITIES!' started by wendyt_ca, Oct 22, 2012.

  1. wendyt_ca

    wendyt_ca DIS Veteran

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    I am taking my 10 year old brother to WDW in May and he is autistic. I had read on here somewhere befpre that Disney offers a pass so you don't have to wait long in the rides (which would be great for him because I know he gets antsy around crowds and standing around). I was just looking for more info on this and what is required for it as i cannot remember?
     
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  3. Fire14

    Fire14 Spartan Living in land of Buckeyes.

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    you are thinking of guest assistance card. If you go to disablities board they could give you more info
     
  4. leannej613

    leannej613 Earning My Ears

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    I have read on here about the Guest Assistance card, but from my understanding it isn't a pass to the front of the line but maybe a special waiting area away from the big crowds at some rides

    I think you get it when you get there at Guest Services. If you search for GAC or guest assistance card you will find a lot of posts. Or check the disABILITY section of the forums
     
  5. Whereisalyssa

    Whereisalyssa Self Proclaimed Princess and former CM!

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    Hello,

    my brother is 18 has a pervasive development disorder and we went to guest services at the park and told them that he has this and they were more than happy to give us a guest accessibility card for the week of our trip and it's so great :) it really helped my brother too!
     
  6. Kristibo42

    Kristibo42 DIS Veteran

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    Hi there

    My niece is autistic. We have gone 2 times. There is a pass. My niece has a hard time standing in lane for to long so any time that was over 10-15 minutes we used. It also works for the characters. Don't be afraid to use it. You might get people looking at you or comments but don't listen. If my sister did not have that pass it would not have a good trip for them. We also brought a letter from her doctor. When you go to your first pass just go to customer service and they can give you the pass.



    Does your brother like rides? The only ride that my niece had problems on was Space Mountain and she didn't ride Rock and Roller Coaster. Space mountain we think it was because it was dark and no one could sit next to her. But all the others she loved!! She just laughed. She is non verbal but she dragged my BIL back on Splash Mountain 3 times in a row.
     
  7. aleksandr

    aleksandr Mouseketeer

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    Ask for a Guest Assistance Card at Guest Services. You may be able to get one.

    The GAC is not intended as a way to skip lines or waiting, however it is very helpful.

    Show it to the Cast Member at the entrance and they will help you

    For rides without a Fast Pass they will typically direct you to a "side" entrance used by wheelchairs. There is typically a long wait here, but it is usually in the shade away from crowds. For example, on Spaceship Earth the handicapped entrance is a roped off area inside the attached pavilion.

    For some rides using the handicapped entrance will mean you miss part of the "pre-show" for example, the stretching room at HM.

    Good luck!
     
  8. Cyrano

    Cyrano Moderator Moderator

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    Just moving to the disABILITIES board where the folks there will be able to offer you lots of support and advice :goodvibes
     
  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 of that thread is about Guest Assistance Cards. They are NOT passes, but are a way to communicate the needs a person with a disability has to Cast Members at attractions.

    Each attraction has different accommodations, so what you need may not be available at each attraction.

    They are not officially not used at character greetings, but the Cast Members at permanent character greetings may be able to help you in some way. Outdoor greeting areas are generally not, since it is usually one CM along with he character and there isn't a blocked off line.
     
  10. lanejudy

    lanejudy Moderator Moderator

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    There is no "pass" that offers either front of the line or short waiting, except for a few children on Make a Wish trips. There is a Guest Assistance Pass (GAC) that many people with autistic children find helpful. It is not intended to shorten lines and may in fact result in longer waits at some attractions. Another useful tool many use is a good touring plan and FastPasses.

    As others have pointed out, more about the GAC can be found in the disABILITITIES FAQ sticky at the top of the forum.

    Enjoy your vacation!
     
  11. wendyt_ca

    wendyt_ca DIS Veteran

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    Ok thanks that's def the card I was thinking of. We go down all the time ourselves so we are pros with fast passes and the best way to plan our days so I think for the most part we would be ok. I had just heard about this and know if there is an instance where this would help it would be good to have for him to enjoy himself. I don't want him to get overwhelmed by things that for him could be an issue.
    I'm not sure if he likes rides as he has never been to an amusement park. We have a little fair that comes here annually with a Ferris wheel and such and he likes those but they are very different from Disney rides. But I think he will at least try the rides (I hope). I know certain things will be more challenging than normal and we are just going to build our plans around him and what he needs. So any options available that could make a difference in certain situations are great! Anything with a 20 min or less wait I would just wait in line for.
     
  12. dja14

    dja14 Mouseketeer

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    We went in May a few years ago with our 3 autistic children. They are high functioning but 2 hate crowds, one especially.

    Best thing we did was being there at rope drop (at Mk we stood by front wall, other places we tried to find wall, boys stood along wall, we stood between them and crowd) Then I had detailed touring plan. My kids like to know what is coming up, so we had a book about rides and they looked at pictures and knew where we were going and in what order. I even picked out where we were eating and they new that. My daughter would say, now we go___________. Very helpful for us. Checking restaurant menus ahead made sure I knew there was something they would eat. We took a pbj for my daughter a few days

    Last helpful thing was leaving around 1-2 most everyday. A couple days we went back. But having the break from the crowds was as important as the break from the heat

    It was worth the pre planning, if nothing else I knew what was coming up and felt more in control, so when something went wrong I had an idea where to go to get cool, out of the crowd, or a drink, etc

    One son was in a wheelchair so we didn't get a GAC but honestly it was more trouble and we hated having to use it, he has had surgery now and is looking forward to going back and not needing it. He got so sad sitting there watching others load, he didn't remember the times it was faster, and he could get out and load regular, just not stand and walk long.

    The plan was much much more helpful (not that I wouldn't get a GAC, just our experience)
     
  13. wendyt_ca

    wendyt_ca DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for sharing your experience :) I plan to have a detailed touring plan as well I think they make a huge difference. It's funny you mention the food I was actually going through the restaurant menus today as my brother is EXTREMELY picky with food. He eats very little selection and pretty much just wants potatoes, fries or plain pasta. I mentioned to my husband today I will have to buy some peanut butter and bread down there and be ready to make sandwiches and also bring some because he does like peanut butter sandwiches so you mentioning taking them for your daughter made me think of our conversation.
     
  14. peemagg

    peemagg <font color=blue>We are doing the AKL tri-fecta<br

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    If you ask for a GAC, you need to tell them what his needs are, not his diagnosis. There is no blank card saying if you have this diagnosis, then you get these accommodations. Everyone, even with the same diagnosis is different and needs different things. You need to be able to tell them what he needs. If once you get one, and find that the accommodations that you were given is not working, you can go back to Guest Services and explain what is working and what is not and see "if" there is anything else that can be done to help.
     
  15. lanejudy

    lanejudy Moderator Moderator

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    A detailed touring plan in your pocket can be a good reference, however don't expect to follow it to the letter. You will want to take your cues from your brother. If he's overstimulated (or getting there), take a break. Maybe a quieter area of the park and a snack will be all he needs, or leave the park and return to your resort for a swim and/or a rest. Hopefully you know some of his "cues" to recognize that he's getting overstimulated and try to react then before meltdown occurs. Touring will be very different than what you are used to and you likely will get much less accomplished than you usually do. Don't think that's bad - if he enjoys 2 hours in the park, you've had a "good day."

    You're a wonderful big sister to take your little brother on vacation! Enjoy!
     
  16. tcp0421

    tcp0421 DIS Veteran

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    I didn't realize you could use the gac for character lines.
     
  17. Kristibo42

    Kristibo42 DIS Veteran

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    We didn't know at first. But we were standing in line and one of the cast members came up at took us right to the front.
     
  18. Kellykins1218

    Kellykins1218 DIS Veteran

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    The same thing happened to us. We had our GAC visible and a CM saw it and moved us to the front. We didn't ask for any accommodation, we were just standing in the regular line with everyone else.
     
  19. lanejudy

    lanejudy Moderator Moderator

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    While it states on the front that is it not for use for Character greetings, I suppose it's up to CM discretion. I've read several reports of people being accommodated particularly at indoor character meets. I wouldn't expect it to be accepted, but nice that it has helped some people.
     
  20. SueM in MN

    SueM in MN combining the teacups with a roller coaster Moderator

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    Officially, GACs are not for character greetings.
    CMs may allow a GAC to be used at the indoor, permanent character greetings. Because they are in a permanent place, there may be some accommodations that CMs are able to offer.
    Exactly what may depend on the exact location, when you are coming and how busy it is.

    GACs are not used at the outdoor places where characters just appear periodically. Since it's usually just one or 2 characters and one handler, they don't usually have any possibilities for offering accommodations.
    Some people have had one member of their party wait close by with the person with a disability, outside of the line while the rest are in the line. When the main part of their party reaches the front, the people outside the line join.
    Sometimes, especially when it is not busy, CMs will move anyone who needs 'special handling' to a different place. This is usually because it will be quicker and more efficient for the attraction, not as a perk for the person.
    I have also been in many situations where someone thinks they have gotten front of line when they were pulled into the accessible area to wait. This most often happens for show, where they do seat people with mobility devices and special needs first. They still get into the same show they would have gotten into if they were in the regular line, but they have a less crowded place to wait and are taken into the theater in less of a crowd.
     
  21. blondietink

    blondietink DIS Veteran

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    Do not expect to use a GAC for character greetings! It is up to the CM in charge to let you ahead of the line. We never use ours, but sometimes a CM will see us in line (disabilities are fairly obvious) and will ask us to the front of the line.

    The only time you can be virtually guaranteed front of the line access for character greetings is if your child is on a Make-A-Wish trip and they wear a special pin that is easy for the CM's to see.
     

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