Discussion in 'disABILITIES!' started by WebmasterLeah, Jan 16, 2013.
I saw it. I really wish people (in this case disunplugged, not you) wouldn't bring up topics when nothings actually been published about how the subject at hand is going to work. They're stirring up controversy just for the sake of doing it. The whole discussion is going to become one huge bash against those of use who need GACs rather than any kind of real discussion on the changes to come or even how they really work today.
There is potential for some great things to happen for GACs using FP+ and there's potential for things to get really frustrating. I'm very anxious to see how it goes.
I have been using a GAC for many years and an ECV for the last 10. I have NEVER gone to the front of ANY line with the GAC. (even though I have several stamps.) I am not sure you have your facts straight!! Also, you cannot tell by looking at me that I have problems (Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Neurofibromatosis, type I, degenerative disc disease diabetes, high blood pressure, previous stroke and unfortunately a few others.
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In an ideal world, any headaches could be avoided by having an extermely consistent policy and making sure every CM followed it to the letter.
Unfortunately, we don't live in an ideal world. Conditions on the ground can vary drastically. Sometimes it's more expeditious to load PWD faster. Sometimes there isn't enough space for a separate waiting area for people who need it. And the elephant in to room is, Disney is too cheap to pay for the level of training that would make following a policy consistent, and too cheap to pay to have enough managerial backup for frontline CM's.
It's articles like this that make it hard on those of us who truly need the GAC.
Thinking about it more and more, I would ask that the article be pulled down or at bare minimum reworded to not make people think that the GACs provide faster access, they don't and those of us that need them know that.
Yes, some attractions provide faster access, but many do not.
With multiple diabilities including hearing loss it would not be possible to use FP+. Unfortunately WDW doesn't have the schedule for the interpreters up until the week before your trip so you have no way to schedule rides and mesh them with the interpreter schedule. GAC is the only way I can do both rides and shows with interpreters without doing them on separate days.
Maybe I'm looking to deep into this article, but when I read it all I took from it was anyone can get a GAC because GS will not question or deny you and that GACs are instant fast-passes. I know from personal experience that this is not the truth. I could be wrong, but I think an article like this is only going to encourage more abuse by people who think they are getting FOL and will also fan the flames of the people who already give GAC and EVC users dirty looks. I could be totally wrong, but that's just my 2 cents.
I know this is slightly off topic, but is WDW not like DL that will provide interpreters on any day with at least 2 weeks notice?
No, I think you are completely right, which is exactly why I would like to see it modified or taken down.
Agreed. This article is definitely written in a way that's telling people "hey there's this big loophole ( for lack of a better term). Come exploit it because everyone else does!!"
I admit that thread not only confused me but made my head hurt...and or spin!
I am not really a fan of the FP return for a GAC. Maybe for some cases certain people may agree or accept. I will not speak for a disability I am uneducated about.
I have 2 boys. Youngest with Aspergers, the other is Autistic but more severe with other issues. We just recieved his Service Dog and he will be going with us in March for the first time. To walk up to a ride that they will actually do and be told to come back hours later will for sure ensure a meltdown. We learned with Splash Mountain the hard way when it broke down.
It is hard to predict how we will be one hour, 2, 5 hours later. Good, great, headed to the room after a bad meltdown. I would rather wait and use the GAC like we have then to walk up to a ride only to tell the boys we can not wait in line for it like we have for 10 years and we have to come back later.
Color me nervous with this one.
Well...it's all speculation, not even necessarily based on any solid rumor. And the original Blog is clearly incorrect in much of what is stated.
Emagine: while I don't know how you have experienced GAC but receiving a handwritten FP has definitely been a possibility over the years, albeit not one that we've encountered frequently. Usually it's because there was a large back-up of people waiting for the accessible cars and we would have ended up in line behind that. A GAC is not intended to shorten lines, whether entering through the FP queue or other alternate entrance. Many seem to be of the impression that a GAC definitely shortens wait time, and while I'll agree that has happened sometimes, we definitely have experienced the opposite as well with longer waits. So dependent on what your GAC indicates, needing to return at a later time may be your best option unless you wish to wait in the standby, which is sometimes shorter but not always acceptable depending on needs.
But I refuse to get riled up about rumor over mere speculation that is all based off a poorly written and inaccurate blog post. Is there a problem, most likely yes; is it as rampant as some believe, I don't think so; will WDW (or DLR) make changes at some point - again, likely yes as they see fit and obviously they have not felt it was necessary yet.
WDW has a schedule of days when interpreters are at a park and what shows they will be interpreting. You can ask for a change if you absolutely cannot follow that schedule but since I go so often (4 to 6 times a year) I am reluctant to ask that be changed to suit my time frame. I do ask for interpreters for dinner shows, tours and special events as needed.
I believe that DL is going to this now as well as they have a set schedule that I saw on FB.
If you are getting upset by the article you may need to try to step back from the subject a bit. I know that can be hard when it directly effects you, but it's just somebody saying that we factually know there is a problem with GAC abuse. Everybody knows that it happens so there is no need to be in denial. Because there is a problem, we should expect that Disney is going to try to make a solution. They are not saying every person abuses it.
I don't really get the opposition to giving a return time pass. As keeps being said in defense of the GAC, it is not meant to be a fastpass, it is meant to accommodate needs if you can't do the regular line for some reason. So if the regular line has a 15 minute wait and you are going to be mad if you can't load the ride for 15 minutes, maybe you need to rethink how you are using the thing. There are thousands of people in the park that day wishing they had their 15 minutes of line time to grab a drink, check out a shop or take a potty break. It is meant to assure that every guest has equal ability to ride, see shows and enjoy your day, not a pass to gain some super ability to skip 2 hour lines as much as desired. Obviously loading issues affect it's fastpass-like qualities, which I believe is the ONLY reason anybody with a GAC may be entering through the fastpass lane. I think that is an unintended bonus for disabilities that effect a person's ability to be in the standby line but not their ability to get on the ride. I don't think people want to be locked in a private room until their turn, so is there any actual fair answer? One that is fair to EVERY guest?
I thank God every time we go that we do not need a GAC. However, our very close friends do need one for their ds that struggles daily with autism. My son & he are close friends: I *know* they wouldn't be able to visit WDW without the GAC accomadations. I do not know how they are accomadated & it is not my business to know. I know how quickly his disease makes circumstances change & a hand written return in 2 hours would NOT work. He needs a more concrete response than that, not that he can't wait, but he needs to "see" that he is waiting for, say, space mountain, not we can come back later. I don't think there is a whole lot of "time" understanding. I really hope this doesn't change so much that it becomes useless. It makes WDW available to so many people. I thought the article was crass in making it sound like FOL access & here is a primer in exploiting this angle. I would like to think people aren't abusing the system, but I'm sure some do. I just don't know why we have to post an infomercial on "here's how to do it." I read all the comments & was incredulous that the author would not alter or take down his article. I really found it in poor taste. I hope FP+ won't leave people out, but from what I've read I don't like what the plans seem to be. JMO
I think you have every right to be nervous about the possibility of change that might impact your enjoyment of the park.
It make me nervous that George Kalogridis is coming to WDW. I know that Disneyland was build before ADA and is not as accessable because of that, but it is my opinion that DL has a less positive attitude towards GAC users in general. ( Like no special viewing areas for fireworks at DL.) I do not view George coming as a good thing for GAC users.
I don't think all GAC users have the same needs, for many returning at a set time is fine, while for others this could cause them issues.
Since it is speculation right now, I will speculate. It would not suprise me to see Disney eliminate ALL GAC users from the old fast pass lines ( or do away with the old fast pass lines altogether soon) and allow GAC entry only with the normal amount of fastpast + passes. I expect the only exception would be those on "Wish" trips. ( Which would put the responsibility of certification of need in someone elses court.)
One other thing that has not been mentioned is that sometimes a child/ person has just enough energy to ride 3-4 rides in a day. They might want to ride one ride 3 times and not ride anything else. With fastpass this could be possible to pull. With fastpass + it is not.
Everybody "knows" it happens, but how do they know?
Seriously, I get sick of that argument, you cannot possibly know what disabilities someone may or may not have.
The problem with a return time pass is that you have to go there to get it, leave and come back. This can add a lot of extra walking for those that may have limited mobility that may not need a wheelchair or ECV, return time passes might force them to rent one, even though the exercise would do them good, but the extra walking would be too much.
This is why return time passes wouldn't work, but the scanning the pass would.
The only other way return time passes would work is if there was a way to get them before going to the attraction. Either from phone or kiosk. But the extra walking is definitely a problem with return time passes.
The system works fairly well as it stands, they just need to i.d. Everyone using one.
And equal access means equal access, which does mean the wait times should be equal as well. Not shorter, not longer.
As far as being upset by the article, it's because it encourages abuse of the system and makes people think most people using the system are abusing it, which will cause further dirty looks and comments.
I see the GAC card argument from 2 angles. One from being a former CM who worked at an attraction that utilized FP and as a girl with a younger brother who has Down Syndrome. We have never been to the parks without a GAC card and have always been accommodated. I have no complaints as a guest. I'm not sure how a handwritten FP would work for him, it would depend on his "mood" at the time. I understand how it would seem to "level the playing field" but each special needs child is different and definitely different from a "normal" child. What is easy to explain to a child half his age, he cannot wrap his head around. So telling him we can't ride yet could be no issue at all or it could turn into a meltdown that ruins the day. We would prefer not to risk our vacation!
Coming from a CM's perspective, GAC cards are the bane of our existence. We had more problems with GAC cards than almost anything. (Besides people missing their fastpass times!) Our attraction's stand-by line was all handicapped accessible so if your teenager was in a wheel chair with a cast, you waited in stand-by. Families hated that. They thought they could beat the system so they take it out on us when they can't. And no, just because another attraction let you through does not mean it's the same everywhere. Different stamps mean different things and we are trained on the procedures for each. We KNOW the system is being abused and know it's ruining it for the ones that need the card. Because GAC card situations were more personal to me than other CMs I worked with, I tended to be more sympathetic and accommodating. I know that disabilities come in all forms and many are not visible. So I never questioned. However, every time I heard it called a fastpass I wanted to scream. And believe me, it's a lot.
I almost wouldn't mind if you had to have some form of proof to obtain a GAC card. If you or your child is anything like my brother, it wouldn't be hard to get a Dr.s note or something related. Look at handicapped parking signs! It's sad we have to come to that but for those that need the GAC card, it would be worth it.
I am going to put my flame suit on and stick my neck out. I don't necessarily think that equal / fair is always the right thing, sometimes it is just the minimum thing. Also sometimes fair is not the same as equal. It is fair if you need it, but not necessarily equal to the person who does not need it.
For example, it is equal for all people get a chair to sit, but I think some people need that chair more than others.
For most in an ECV or wheelchair, or many with GACs, equal wait, return time, normal system access is reasonable. Not everyone gets a GAC and GAC's have different access stamps. The whole point of the GAC is that many people need assistance and can not tour like "normal" for a WIDE variety of reasons. ( I wish and hope that those people do go before me in line! Unfortunately it does not really happen that way.)
Many disabilities do not cooperate with specific time schedules of the fastpass + system. I will glady endure the abusers of the old system so that those with needs can keep the flexibility of the old system that allows them to enjoy the magic of a Disney trip that the rest of us take for granted.
I think there is some abuse, but honestly, I think the abuse is over-stated. I think there are more "able bodied" whiners, than GAC abusers.
Edit: I know it is hard on CM's to see abuse, but if those using a GAC would rather deal with the abusers than see the system change, doesn't that say something about how well the system works for them? Ever notice how seldom a GAC user complains about abusers?
I also cringe when people think they are FPs, it causes people to think they are and want to get them, then causes problems for those of us that do need them.
To be honest, if GACs were eliminated, I wouldn't really be able to go to the parks, unless there were a new system in place.
As to George Kalagridi coming, it will most likely actually be a good thing for GAC holders. Disneyland has never had special viewing areas for the fireworks for them, mostly due to a lack of space.
And the only real changes he made here was one retraining the CMs to ask more questions, they were getting a little lax about it, but to also use common sense. If its clear someone has had a pass for a while, don't ask any questions, just renew it for example. To check IDs when renewing the pass, with annual passes counting as an ID in this case. To check park tickets and issue the passes for length of stay or two months in the case of Passholders. And to do more to make sure the person named on the pass is experiencing the attraction.
In other words enforcing the rules that already exist. So, I don't see how that will be a bad thing.
As for the return time for Racers, that was actually a suggestion I made because the FP lines were over two hours long and there would have been no way for me to experience that attraction with that. This way they can space out the wheelchairs and no, it isn't always the length of the stand-by line, sometimes it's longer, sometimes it's shorter, it depends on how many GACs are ahead of you.
So I am not completely opposed to return time passes on a few attractions, but to do it for all of them would not work for many people, myself included.
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