Specific Attractions and GAC

Discussion in 'disABILITIES!' started by Parisite, May 26, 2012.

  1. Parisite

    Parisite Earning My Ears

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    My daughter is a young teen (14) who has ADHD. She seems fine most of the time. We are going to WDW in after school lets out in June. We have always gone in January before when it is cooler and lines are shorter. We also used to go with my mother who rented an ECV (she passed away this year). If my daughter doesn't take her meds, I fear how the extremely long waits and heat will affect her by mid-day, since she becomes prone to tantrums when frustrated. If that happens, I "lose" her for the day. If she does take her meds and wear her patch, she gets nauseous and loses her appetite and I won't get her to eat or drink much-needed water to keep her from dehidrating.

    I've been reading about GAC's and I don't know if her issues qualify. More importantly, I can't tell from reading the posts what help a GAC might actually provide if she does qualify. She might be embarassed by going to Guest Relations to discuss the matter and I don't want to put her through it if the GAC won't make much of a difference in her ability to enjoy the experience anyway.

    Can people share how the GAC helps at specific rides? Haunted Mansion? Soaring? Space Mountain? Splash Mountain? Aerosmith? TSM? etc?

    I just want to get some thouhts to decide if I should try to get one or just hope for the best without it? Like others who have posted here, I'll use fastasses whenever possible intead. Thank you.
     
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  3. livndisney

    livndisney DIS Veteran

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    You should review the sticky information at the start of this board. It will give you some info about GAC. You should know though that the GAC states right out it-it is not intended to shorten wait time. So if your dd needs short lines, use fastpass and a good touring plan.
     
  4. Parisite

    Parisite Earning My Ears

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    As I said, I will (of course) use fastpasses and a touring plan - I always do.

    I fully understand - and have read in many places - that a GAC is not a "jump the line" pass and is not designed to shorten waits.

    Perhaps I can't get the information I am seeking here, but all I was trying to understand from people who've had similar experiences is what benefit the GAC card can provide in certain areas.

    Because my daughter is old enough to understand why I am going to Guest Relations and can feel embarrassed in these types of situations, I was hoping to NOT risk the situation at all without understanding at least the potential benefits of going through the process of requesting one.
     
  5. mousesweetie

    mousesweetie I sometimes make up words and expect people to kno

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    Like the previous poster stated, it would probably benefit you more to go to the parks early, not even bother going to obtain a GAC because it probably wont help you much anyway with her needs, and you wont embarrass her. Get fastpasses and go. If she starts to get antsy, go back to the resort and go to the pool or do other things that keep her busy, etc...then try the parks later in the day when it's less hot and less busy.

    Best of luck. Hope you have great trip! :D
     
  6. livndisney

    livndisney DIS Veteran

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    As I said, you really should take a look at the info in the sticky. Another thing to consider, your DD will need to be there when you ask for a GAC.

    Let me ask you this-what do you want the GAC to do for your dd? What are her needs?
     
  7. LockShockBarrel

    LockShockBarrel Pudge controls the weather.

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    I think what you have to keep in mind is with issues like ADHD, an individual's needs can be so different from someone else with the same diagnosis that no matter what you're told, you're actual experience could be worlds different. What works for someone else might not work for you. You might have a totally different experience with how things are handled on trips that are only a few months apart based on crowds and how a ride is staffed.
     
  8. tinkerbellmamma

    tinkerbellmamma Mouseketeer

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    I would go get the GAC pass anyway, I had absolutely no problems with the cast members in obtaining one or using it, it actually has made my sons trip a wonderful experience.
    I would say if waiting in long lines are a problem then to avoid Soaring since even with a GAC pass the wait was 45-50 minutes so I had to leave the line without getting on the ride but at least the wait was indoors in the air conditioning.
     
  9. bookwormde

    bookwormde <font color=darkorchid>Heading out now, another ad

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    For line issues getting a GAC and knowing that you can have an alternate area to wait where your daughter can be more relaxed will help a lot with accumulated stress. Having some of her favorite distractions for the wait time helps (books, video games etc)Even if you try the lines we find that just kowing that if it does not work the GAC is there helps. The way this accomidation is implemeted is quite variable by both ride aand CM.
     
  10. Parisite

    Parisite Earning My Ears

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    I don't know how to copy quotes into my reply, but LIVNDISNEY wrote that I have to bring my daughter with me to Guest Relations to request the GAC. I wanted to responded that I understand that. In fact she is old enough and understands everything well enough that any questions the CM might have about her ADHD can best be answered by her rather than me. The key with my daughter is to be able to explain in advance what the GAC is - why it might help - and why she shouldn't be embarrassed to request one. I have read the threads many times and still don't understand what the GAC does.

    LIVNDISNEY also asked what the issues and needs are. At school, my daughter wears a Daytrana patch and takes Intuniv. It helps during the day, but also makes her nauseous and kills her appetite. She won't eat or drink. She crashes as soon as she gets home. There's no way to get through a WDW trip in 90 degree weather under those conditions. With her doctor's approval, I am considering keeping her off the patch while we are there. Obviously, that presents other challenges.

    The reason I asked about specific attractions is because if there are some where the GAC kept us waiting in quieter locations + some that kept us in air conditioned environments + some that might even shorten the wait somewhat, I would use the GAC + fastpasses to create a touring plan that wouldn't have us in a 45 minute stand-by line for 2 attractions in a row. That would be very helpful. There are some attractions where I think she would actually do better in the stand-by line and others where a quieter area with her Ipod would be best.

    As I said, she's very excited about this (middle school graduation) gift but it's the first time the two of us have traveled alone and I'm a bit nervous. That's why I started researching how other families with similar situations have handled the trip and that's how I learned about the GAC.

    Now that I fully understand what it WON'T do, I was hoping to get some better clue as to what it CAN do so I can explain it all properly to her and do out planning. I also find I am much mores successful with my daughter when I can give her full explanations in advance and make her part of the planning process.
     
  11. livndisney

    livndisney DIS Veteran

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    Once again I will say the Moderator has asked that people not post specific information and suggest you review the sticky. Other than that I am done with this thread-clearly you don't want my help. Hope you have a great trip.
     
  12. kaytieeldr

    kaytieeldr Reserving the right to make jokes out of typos - b

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    OP - for whatever reason, you seem to be ignoring the advice given by several posters to read the FAQ created (and regularly updated) by the disABILITIES Moderator. Nobody can tell you how a GAC works for guests with ADHD because the GAC isn't issued based on diagnoses, it's issued based on needs.

    Your daughter's needs are likely different from anyone else's traveling with ADHD. For starters, you probably wouldn't get replies from people whose ADHD child takes the same meds as your daughter in the same dosages and has the same response to those meds.

    Please please please read the FAQ http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=10237514&postcount=6
     
  13. clm10308

    clm10308 DIS Veteran

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    I agree that the situation is too individualized for you to get specific answers.

    I have 2 kids (16 and 9 now) with ADHD. One Is on Daytra at school, one is not medicated. One has sensory issues as well. We have had several trips to DW at different tims of the year. The most recent was this past Christmas.

    We have never gotten/needed a GAC. We just let the kids decide what that want to ride/ wait in one for. That means that they sometimes choose to skip rides rather than wait in line. We often split up and do different rides. My DS likes to spend a lot of time at the playground areas like Tom Sawyer Islad and the Dinosaur playground at AK.
     
  14. Piper

    Piper DIS Veteran

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    Since your daughter is old enough to know her needs, she should be old enough to know whether she will be able to wait for whatever wait times are listed on the attraction. She should also recognize when she has "had enough" and is ready to go back to the hotel for a rest.

    I have been with a younger teen with ADHD and Aspergers (and again when he was mid teen.) He thoroughly researched the rides through books and you tube. He knew what he wanted to ride and made decisions based on whether he chose to ride or not. Since it was his decision, he handled everything very well--no meltdowns.
     
  15. buffettgirl

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

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    also, something to keep in mind; a GAC isn't a standard "thing". It's not one thing - it's many things, based on the needs of the user. Someone else pointed out in another thread - do an imaginary day in the park - what do you think the challenges will be for your daughter. Then think about if those are things that could be alleviated in some way if the service exists. THEN once you have done that, then you will be ready to know if you should even go to guest services and see about a GAC for you specific accomodations. And those will be the things you will speak to guest services about.

    That said, in many cases there are no longer 'quiet' areas to wait, and most of the mainstreamed lines are already in a/c. Often the alternate entry lines are longer and crowded with multiple families in wheelchairs and ecvs . So those alternate waiting locations may not exist anymore and/or will probably be crowded.
     
  16. SueM in MN

    SueM in MN combining the teacups with a roller coaster Moderator

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    People assume that all GACs are the same and that they will all be handled the same at each attraction each time. This is not the case, which are 2 of the reasons I ask people not to post specifics.
    Even at the same attraction, the same person with the same GAC may be handled differently at a different time of the day.

    If someone needs consistency, they will get much more consistency by using a touring plan and Fastpasses. Many people (us included) have been able to go to WDW even in busy times like Spring break and have minimal wait times due to knowing what to do when. The most recommended are touringplans.com , easywdw.com and Ridemax.
    There are other advantages, like you will be in the least busy part of the least busy park. You can also get smartphone apps, which can help with knowing what the wait times are currently.
    None of those attractions except Splash have alternate waiting areas, so Fastpasses would be your most helpful option there.
    TSM has an alternate boarding area for those who need to avoid stairs. Because that boarding area needs to be used by anyone who can't do stairs and they only load one car pod per cycle, the wait can be very long.

    Splash Mountain has a waiting area that is also used by guests who need to avoid the stairs. The pull off point for this is just before the line reaches the stairs. They sometimes use the waiting area for guests with other needs, but again the wait can be long.
    Haunted Mansion now has 2 waiting lines. One is an interactive 'graveyard' with different things to see and do while you are waiting. The other line bypasses the graveyard and goes directly to the ride. They have also installed a new Fastpass entrance for the 'next generation' Fastpass , which is being tested now ( no one knows how it will work).
     
  17. SueM in MN

    SueM in MN combining the teacups with a roller coaster Moderator

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    The question of medication - my youngest DD has ADD but is not on medication (also has epilepsy, so on anti seizure meds).
    Her cousin has ADHD and the last time he came with us to WDW, some days he took his medication and other days he did not. We could tell for sure the day he did not take it. He was very 'chatty' in lines and had a hard time focusing, even when the wait was short. He decided it was too much stimulation/activity for him to be comfortable without medication. He did not miss after that.

    It is good you are planning to discuss with her doctors. They should be able to tweak things to get the most effect with the least side effects.
    If she is completely zonked out after a school day, they may also be able to do some modifications for that.
     
  18. Jonell

    Jonell DIS Veteran

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    If I were you I would try to make rope drop in the mornings and visit as many attractions as possible before the parks get to busy and it gets too hot. This is what my famiy does since my DH is also prone to dehydration during the warmer months. You may also want to return to your resort in the afternoon for rest or pool time. The GAC does not alway provide an alternative waiting area and can often make your waits longer during busy times.
     
  19. eternaldisneyfan

    eternaldisneyfan <font color=royalblue>Have an Attitude of Gratitud

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    I would recommend buying instant ice packs to help with the heat. planand prioritize. I wouldn't go off meds abruptly. she will likely feel gross and have amplified symptoms and have trouble. have a great trip!
     
  20. Mary976

    Mary976 DIS Veteran

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    We haven't always gotten a GAC but had one the last time. I know the OP is looking for some concrete examples...and I did have one experience come to mind.

    DD likes to ride the same things over and over again. We rode one popular attraction multiple times in one day, including pretty late in evening EMH. On the same attraction, over the course of one day, we experienced a number of different things including an alternate waiting area being offered, a handwritten fastpass to come back later (so we'd be waiting the same amount as the people in standby), and then once they sent us right through fastpass but that was late in the day and the standby line was probably 10 minutes.

    Also, be aware that the "alternate area" at some attractions will leave you with a LONGER wait. Small World is often a walk on, but DD uses a wheelchair so we have to go to the alternate entrance. Sometimes people with GACs will be sent there to wait, I guess because it is less crowded, but the wait can be a lot longer to actually get on the ride.

    I will say that the touringplans.com site has always worked well for us...there are many plans out there but that one has a new app with an "optimize" feature, so you can customize your plan and tell the app if your child only wants to ride Buzz Lightyear 10 times. I know a lot of people here recommend heading to the park early in the AM, which will definitely give you shorter lines. That being said, we follow more of what DD calls the "vampire" touring plan so we keep her out of the sun. We'll sleep in super late, hit a pool maybe, and then go to the way late EMH.

    Good luck with your trip,
    Mary
     
  21. Beccabunny

    Beccabunny Mouseketeer

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    Is the handwritten fastpass something new?
     

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