new blog: Guest Assistance Cards Vs. FastPass+

Discussion in 'disABILITIES!' started by WebmasterLeah, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. clanmcculloch

    clanmcculloch DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Messages:
    5,576
    But, a shorter wait time can be accomplished without a GAC. I've got it in my touring plan for our upcoming trip and don't anticipate a wait based on my research into best times to do different attractions. If we have to stand back away from the crowds at RD (DD15's at her best first thing in the morning so some days she can handle being right up at the rope while other days we have to stay to the back) then we'll just wait for the second show if the first one is full. The max wait will be the length of one show following this plan and that's without using a GAC.

    I'm hoping that seeing it once will mean we don't have to see it in future trips. Boy would that make plans easier.

    Once I started doing research into touring plans, I learned that a good touring plan really can accomplish so much more than a GAC can. Yes I do still use a GAC but nowhere near as much as I used to and our day goes so much smoother and we accomplish so much more in the limited time we have in the parks.
     
  2. Avatar

    Google AdSense Guest Advertisement


    to hide this advert.
  3. cmwade77

    cmwade77 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2005
    Messages:
    4,011
    For enchanted tales with Belle, 120 minutes was the shortest wait the entire time we were there and that was at park opening. It NEVER got shorter than that and that was going straight there at park opening. Remember those of us that need GACs move slower than everyone else, so being the first ones back there isn't really an option. This was us being there at Rope Drop and going straight back there.

    Many times the waits were 180 minutes. Now hopefully it will be slower on our next trip and we will be able to do so; however I am still concerned about the queue itself because of how much it loops back and forth. This can be a real killer on my knee, like I said, this was learned the hard way on this last trip.

    Overall, we found short lines by using touring plans, but found that if we didn't use the GAC I would be in massive pain due to queue design. This is of course not true for every attraction, but for many, such as Mickey's Philharmagic, Buzz Light Year, Monster's Inc, Great Movie Ride, Kilimanjaro Safari, Expedition Everest and several others, it is a problem.
     
  4. clanmcculloch

    clanmcculloch DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Messages:
    5,576
    Did you use a touring plan service to figure out which park would be least crowded that day? I know that the times at the least recommended parks can be crazy like that but Josh at easywdw hasn't steered me wrong yet and even the really bad wait attractions on best days are manageable at RD. He's posted actual times that he's seen at this attraction and others who are on his boards have done so also. Every one of them have indicated that at RD, even taking the time to stop for FPs for other attractions they all got into the first show, second at the latest.

    I do get that those with GAC can't always be head of the crowd. As I said, my DD15 some days has to wait at the back of the crowd at RD and we don't proceed until the mad dash is over. Even then, one time at DHS she still got plowed into (even though there was plenty of room around us; the lady just wasn't paying attention to where she was going) and that meant another delay as we calmed her down (we had full blown meltdown going on because of this). I get it, I really do.

    If you're having trouble with walking because of your knee, have you considered a mobility device?
     
  5. ttintagel

    ttintagel DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2011
    Messages:
    3,416
    That's my feeling - I know from experience that touring on foot is more fun than touring in an ECV, so I assume that anyone who tries it will soon learn the same.
     
  6. Talking Hands

    Talking Hands <font color=purple><b>|,,|/</b> DEAF DISNEY LOVER<

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2002
    Messages:
    9,624
    It is not always non-disabled people that can be rude and uncaring. At Night of Joy, I had no access to the interpreters the 2nd night because of wheelchair guests refusing to let me get close enough to the interpreter stage at the castle. I was told I could watch from behind them. CM weren't any help either. If it had nit been for the people from the radio station that sponsored Night of Joy inviting me to watch from the ramp with them I could not have seen the interpreters at all. The night before it was almost as bad but a Lead CM made sure I was up there where I could see the interpreters but even then there was a parent that was nasty when I asked him to please not stand in front of me. I use a wheelchair and have a hearing loss and find that some people just look at the wheelchair and decide that is all I need accommodations for. Please just because I can speak normally doesn't mean I hear normally.
     
  7. cmwade77

    cmwade77 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2005
    Messages:
    4,011
    But that's just it, I don't have trouble walking. It's the looping back and forth that was killing me, I found the simple way to avoid this was to always show the GAC, that way I still get the exercise that I desperately need and not have that issue.

    Additionally, a mobility device would make quick exits from queues virtually impossible and there are times where that is a must do or let's just say the ride would be shut down for a while and we would be leaving for the day.

    As for a touring plan, we did indeed check which parks would be the least crowded each day and it worked well.

    This is one though that we checked constantly on the mobile magic app and a couple of other wait time apps, even if it wasn't a Magic Kingdom day and the wait never was shorter than 120 minutes.
     
  8. going/again

    going/again DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2009
    Messages:
    545
    FYI there is no bonus to being disabled intended or not.
     
  9. blondietink

    blondietink DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    Messages:
    1,772
    Both of my wheelchairs and we always get a GAC at the parks when we visit. However, if there is a ride that has a Fastpass option, we get a FP for it and return at the scheduled time. Otherwise, we have to use the wheelchair entrance posted for the ride as many of the lines cannot accommodate someone with a wheelchair/GAC (corners too tight, etc.). Sometimes (not often) when we in line to get a FP, a CM will tell us to just go into the ride using the FP lane, especially if there is not much of a regular line. We usually have to show our GAC and FP when using the FP entrance anyway, just to show we are allowed to take the chairs into the ride entrance.

    So, I think to alleviate the problem, they should require all GAC users to get a FP for the rides that have them, just to make it fair to everybody.

    For those people who think using a GAC is faster than the regular line, just use a GAC to get into Toy Story Midway Mania just once and they will find out otherwise. That line is horrible for GAC's!

    And for all the "groups" that people complain about, WDW should just make a schedule for them which they have to stick to, including group viewing areas for parades/fireworks. I think January is the biggest month for the groups people complain about. After experiencing these groups once personally (actually they weren't as bad as I had anticipated, just very rude) we decided not to go again in January ever.
     
  10. crashbb

    crashbb DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2006
    Messages:
    7,479
    It might be horrible for those who need the special car or who cannot do stairs, but it is the ride where we found using a GAC the most helpful. Just goes to show that there are no absolutes.
     
  11. cmwade77

    cmwade77 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2005
    Messages:
    4,011
    The problem with requiring GAC users to get FPs is that they often run out before we are able to get there. It's not fair that someone without a a disability could get in the standby line when someone who has a disability cannot always get there early enough to get a FP. Equal access does mean equal at all times. Disneyland tried something like this when they first changed from SAPs to GACs for a while and got in trouble for it because it meant that many guests who needed a GAC were being excluded from many attractions later in the day.

    So, no, your system isn't fair for everyone either.
     
  12. mistysue

    mistysue DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 26, 2009
    Messages:
    1,930
    Of course I am not calling being disabled a perk. The lack of tone of voice makes it come out wrong.
    For a person who needs a special car or vehicle the fastpass lane may not save time. The bump up in line position is the closest to equal you can get, but that situation is different from a person who has needs concerning the shape of line or proximity to people.

    What I was saying is that IF the disability is one that does not effect actual loading, unlimited use of the fastpass lane is in itself a perk that people gain- I am not calling being disabled a perk, I am not wishing it on anybody, but GAC as fastpass is a perk which is why there are people who exploit it and try to take advantage.
    Not being able to touch people is not made fair by skipping a one hour line. I'm also not trying to argue whose life is harder, everybody has things to deal with, and as much as nobody with a GAC wants it to be assumed they are faking something, there is no reason to assume that somebody without a GAC does need extra magic just as badly as you that day. Skipping the line is not equal treatment, it is preferential treatment that is not available to everyone. It can be fair if you allow some form of schedule. Something like an immediate length of line fastpass, pre-selected time or the stamp idea that limits your fastpass line usage without pulling actual fastpasses would make it as close to equal as you could likely get.
     
  13. utterrandomness

    utterrandomness Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2012
    Messages:
    163
    I disagree. Sure, it's irritating, and awful at times, but I think the development of creative problem solving skills is a huge bonus. The way I think is also a huge bonus, because I can multitask really well and I think really fast. Are there downsides, absolutely, but I wouldn't say there is no bonus at all.

    Sorry for the off-topic.
     
  14. wheels on fire

    wheels on fire Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2013
    Messages:
    79
    misty sue

    I would actually say ds social and communication problems are far trickery than his physical issues to overcome.
    in one way his wheelchair means people are more accommodating as it s very obvious

    yet again in uk the big rides have a card and means you use exit and if wait time is 90 mins you can not ride any of the other say 5 big rides for 90 mins .which i can accept they don`t add a travel time between rides as they aware it takes longer get around the park and you can still do some other inbetween .But this will not work for everyone as parks very crowded so can not have a break

    But yet again im still preffering wdw attitude because my physical issues wont stop me riding

    in uk you must have a carer ot two ride with any GAc no matter what the problem are ( which kicks **** in my case as my only issue is i can not walk )but they see wheelchair and use H&S to refuse to ride anyway .Why uk i no longer go and so lookin forward t it

    lets face it no matter what system in place it can be open to abuse by someone and other people moral code that lie and cheat is more the issue so maybe blame them instead of those that need GAC for what ever reason
     
  15. blondietink

    blondietink DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    Messages:
    1,772
    FP's can run out before people with or without disabilities can get there.
     
  16. kellyw8863

    kellyw8863 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2009
    Messages:
    647
    The difference is when the disability actually prevents one from getting there early enough for a FP versus just not getting there in time because of other stuff going on.
     
  17. cmwade77

    cmwade77 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2005
    Messages:
    4,011
    But those without disabilities have the options to wait in the stand-by line when this occurs.

    Those with disabilities may not, depending on their disability.

    So requiring them to get FPs would not provide equal access.
     
  18. North of Mouse

    North of Mouse DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Messages:
    6,651
    If it's TSM, Soarin', or other mainliners, unless you get there early in the stand by line, you will need a FP. At least, we would. Not many of us, period, wants to wait in a line that is 1hr. plus long. I am able bodied, per se, but cannot stand long periods of time. I know there are plenty like me, also for various other reasons, plus, to me if I have to wait that long for *any* attraction, I *won't* wait.

    That's why getting to the parks early is almost a must. If you get to the parks on opening, you can usually get a FP, even if you are a little slower getting to the attraction. They are usually there until at least 10:00 - 10:30, (or later) unless it's a super busy day (or holidays, etc. - we avoid these).

    So, I would say that most FP's are equal access to all. And in most cases, unless you are alone, one in a party can go ahead and get the FP's.
     
  19. SueM in MN

    SueM in MN combining the teacups with a roller coaster Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 1999
    Messages:
    30,159
    I have been to Disneyland Paris twice and the biggest difference between it an WDW is that WDW is much more accessible.
    Most lines at WDW are accessible.
    Most lines at DL Paris park are not (which is why they give exit passes - it is the only way in). The Studio part at Paris is quite accessible and has mostly mainstream lines.
    That is true for many people (us included).

    In our situation, I have to physically get DD up and do all the things that are involved in getting ready for the day (bathing, toileting, dressing, brushing teeth, hair, feeding). She can't do any of those things herself.
    And because we are away from home and don't have all of her familiar equipment and bathroom designed for her needs, most of the things take a lot longer or take 2 people.
    Plus, the time difference means everything is one hour earlier for us in Florida.
    If we try to get DD up and ready without enough rest, she may only last a few hours in the park. And, I'm getting older and it is my vacation too - if DH and I get worn out caring for her, no one will be ble to do anything.
    There are also people like her, who because of their medical condition, are really not able to function well early in the morning. Some have issues with things like stiffness, that may get better as the day goes on and they loosen up.
    Some people may do well for rope drop because they have more energy early in the day and kind of deteriorate as the day goes on. My DD is the opposite of that and is pretty much non-functional many days in the morning, but gets better as the day goes on.

    Combine that with bathroom breaks that take 1/2 hour (or more, if we have to wait for the Companion Restroom) and mealtimes that on average take twice as long as most people and we can't get anywhere near as much done in a day as the average person.

    We plan by going at less busy times of the year and by using touringplans.com and easywdw.com to find out which parks are least busy and which part of that park are least busy. That helps us to have shorter waits and we do get Fastpasses and use them when we can. We are not 'slaves' to a touring plan, but knowing a few things helps tremendously and is actually as useful as a GAC is to us.
    Doing all that, we only use DD's GAC when we actually need to use it (like insurance).
    And, we never know when she will have a seizure or muscle spasms that knock her out and will mean we are done touring for the day (even if we were only in the park for 2 hours).

    I don't think it is realistic to go during the busiest times and expect the same accommodation -it is not realistic if you go during Christmas and expect not to wait. But, I have seen people expecting that.
    Even during those busy times, it is possible to get in most attractions with a short wait by getting there early. When we have been there when it was busier, we send some of our party to the park at opening so they can go on things.
    DD and the rest of our party join later and we realized there would be things they could not do.
    That is where it would be helpful if they could issue a Fastpass for the time equal to the current Standby line time.
    We have sometimes had that happen and it was helpful for those attractions where DD could just not tolerate the line. One good example was the old Test Track line. She has sensory issues that made that line very difficult for her, with all the crash test things suddenly moving, hitting and banging. It was just too much stimulation if the wait was long.
    She also has issues in some lines, not with the waits, but with the other people in lines, especially children who are hanging on or swinging chains or bars. They bang into her wheelchair or her body and she feels trapped (plus has gotten chains banged into her face on more than one occassion). This can happen in narrow lines, but often even more in wider lines, where people are squeezing past to enter and leave the line.

    I see some ways that Fastpass + use ( even by OTHER people) might help this.
    On our last 2 trips, they were enforcing Fastpass return times. This meant people could no longer get Fastpasses early in the morning to use whenever they felt like it later in the day.

    The effects we saw included:
    1. Fastpasses ran out later in the day, so there was still a possibility of getting Fastpasses later in the day.
    2. The Fastpass return time was shorter. For example, previously by 10 am if there were still Fastpasses left, the return time might be 8pm or later and we would have no idea whether or not we could still be in the park to use it.
      What we saw on our last 2 trips were Fastpass return times only an hour or 2 in the future - a much more manageable time for us.
    3. With people who want to ride xxxxx at a certain time able to reserve a Fastpass for that time ahead of time, there should be other times available that had been used in the past by people who took Fastpasses, never intending to use them at that time.

    I think Fastpass + will also be useful for those who know what their personal best and worst times will be - they will have a chance to get a Fastpass time that fits better with their condition.
    It will also be helpful for people who need a schedule. I've seen many posts over the years where people indicated their child with autism had a breakdown because they came to a ride and could not get on right away. (This is one of the reasons many people whose children have those issues feel a touring plan and using Fastpasses help them more than a GAC - more predictable.)
    With Fastpass + there would be a possibility of planning a day around Fastpasses that were already chosen ahead of time. Social stories or schedules would be much more easily made around a schedule that was at least partially pre planned.

    So, besides, some of the other things that MIGHT be available with 'blue sky' dreams of what might be possible, even the things we do already know will be possible with Fastpass + will help many people in ways that a GAC currently can't.
     
  20. Stitch407

    Stitch407 Florida Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2012
    Messages:
    66
    This may belong in a different thread (?)

    There has been a lot of fuss over GAC abuse, and I know that people who really need it are suffering the most from the abuse. I had an idea that all theme parks could utilize to help cut down on abusers, but it may be a stupid idea, so no one yell at me if it was an idiotic idea. Just politely tell me.

    I saw this as a reason why castmembers can't ask for proof of a disability:

    "According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, legally Disney cannot ask anyone what their disability is. Even if they were able to though, CM’s are not doctors or medical personnel and couldn’t be expected to know or evaluate conditions that guests might have, nor should they. If they asked and a guest told them they had Lupus, (for example) and the CM never heard of it, would they then have to then explain what that is and how it effects them? And how much would it really help matters? If someone is going to abuse a GAC card, if they need to make up something to tell a CM they would."

    I understand castmembers not being physcians, but they could recognize special paper that only a physician would have. I know when you need a schedule 2 or 3 drug, the prescription must be on special paper. If the use of this paper or something similiar could be extended to being used for proof needing a GAC, then all the castmember would need to do is verify the paper, not the disability. I know some doctors might abuse the system, but I would think very few would if abuse of it would get them in trouble, like the abuse of prescribing such drugs incorrectly would get them in trouble.

    I think they are sometimes called Security Prescription Pads. It would be he same as a castmember recognizing a fake bill, which anyone with a bit of instruction can do.

    The doctor could write a note saying the needed a GAC on the paper, and the paper being legitimate would be the verification.

    I think it might cut down on people abusing the system, if everyone had to go and ask their doctor for the special note, but I would think or hope that anyone with a real need for one wouldn't mind doing so, if that meant that people abusing the system couldn't anymore.

    The only thing is I don't know if security prescription pads are allowed to be used in this way, and I imagine if they are not, getting the medical community to agree to allowing it might be impossible.
     
  21. stargazertechie

    stargazertechie Toy Story Midway Maniac

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Messages:
    5,996

    It is ILLEGAL to ask for a proof of disability for providing equal accommodations to a person with a disability. Period, end of story.
     

Share This Page