WDW -Disability Access Service (DAS) Post 1 updated 4/25/14 - stamps at attractions

Discussion in 'disABILITIES!' started by SueM in MN, Sep 28, 2013.

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  1. KPeveler

    KPeveler Moderator Moderator

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    The people in the call centers are NOT actually at the parks, and generally do not have accurate or helpful information about the way disabilities are handled in the park.

    You actually will have a better chance of getting info here. Do you have a concern or question over how the system will work?

    I can tell you, as a person with multiple disabilities who is a full-time wheelchair user, I have experienced an equivalent system that has been in place for a ride in DCA for over a year, and it actually works out quite well. I am nervous, but mostly about the actual acquiring of the DAS card... Hope you have a good trip!
     
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  3. PatMcDuck

    PatMcDuck DIS Veteran

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    Just back tonight from WDW, and I was experimenting with how using FP+ would work for my son. Pretty well, actually. We never "double=dipped", because 3 popular attractions was about all we could do per day, along with other things that have small lines (we toured parks from about 9-2/3 each day). I doubt many special needs families get much out of the double dipping option.

    We rode Spaceship Earth on 2 days using FP+, which kept us off the handicapped entrance. I was able to have him walk in, using a FP+ instead. Also enjoyed the regular entrance to Test Track, same deal, was able to have him walk in with FP+. (I tried this on Midway Mania with less success, forgot about all those stairs on the regular/FP line.)

    As sean went thru the FP regular lines, people got impatient and tried to pass him because he is slow. Made me think, "hey, you want people like him on the regular lines, this is what you get" ;) Meanwhile, so what he is slow, you turn a corner and there is still a short line ahead anyway.

    Being able to lay out 3 FP+ per day really helped us plan our day, and I was on that AP often, moving up my FP times, or switching from rides that had no real lines. Used it for 3 different meet and greets, too. :thumbsup2
     
  4. KPeveler

    KPeveler Moderator Moderator

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    Glad to hear it went well! We are a ways out from FP+ here in CA, but it sounds great for us locals - I can reserve my FP time for California Screamin before ever leaving home!
     
  5. KPeveler

    KPeveler Moderator Moderator

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    I added this to the "suggestions" post (Post #4), but I wanted to add it to the end of the thread, so all those subscribed will get the added info.

    If you have a smartphone or tablet, download Disney wait times apps. Rumor is that CMs will be using "My Disney Experience" app for WDW. It is unknown exactly which app will be used for Disneyland, though the names "Disney Parks" (like the one for WDW, but for other Disney Parks) and "Disney Mobile Magic." It cannot hurt to have other wait time apps on your phone, especially as they all have different capabilities (menus, etc).

    Apparently you cannot get the ride times for the "official" Disney apps until you are in the park, so you must have your GPS enabled. Having the other wait times apps will give you an idea of what to expect before you even get to the parks. Having this will keep you from going all the way to a ride only to find out it is down, or that the wait time is too long for you. This should help people plan, and take away a little of the unknown from your day.

    This will keep people from going all the way across the park only to find that the wait time for the desired is too long to wait. This will let you check for the ride with the wait time that works best for your current schedule and the wait times for the rides/shows surrounding it. If you know you are about to take an hour to eat, then look for a ride you desire with a very long wait time. If you happen to see a "must do" with a short wait time at that moment, then you can snag a Return Pass.

    There are several apps out there that are free or low cost. Other than the official Disney ones, the wait times app that I like the best is "MouseWait" - there is one for WDW and one for DL.

    This is just one more tool available to help people be able to plan a little better.
     
  6. Mom2six

    Mom2six DIS Veteran

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    Are they planning to work to make the wait times more accurate? Often the wait times are inflated and so a return time based on an overly high wait time will mean waiting longer than everyone else. There have been some threads lately about how some attractions almost always post a long wait even if it isn't true. For instance, recently someone commented on how Toy Story Mania said it was a 70 min. wait but they were only in line for 25 min.

    My son only has about 3 hours tolerance for the parks. I don't want to wait longer than we have to.
     
  7. SueM in MN

    SueM in MN combining the teacups with a roller coaster Moderator

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    For right now, while they are still testing Fastpass +, you will be able to get both. Once Fastpass + is totally rolled out, Fastpass will be going away.

    A touring plan will still be helpful, even if only to know which park is likely to be busiest.

    I'm not sure what your questions are, but as was already pointed out, the people in the call center are not actually at the parks.
    I'm sure for the DAS roll-out, they probably have a script to use and are not supposed to stray from it. Your question is likely not on the script.

    The information in post one of this thread is not complete yet (I have to work on it around my work schedule and my DD had some medical issues this week).
    I have some things written up, but need to finalize and add them - hopefully tonight.

    For guests with wheelchairs - IF mobility is their only need, they will not need a GAC and will use whatever is listed as the 'mobility entrance' for each attraction.
    I have the mobility entrances listed in a post in the disABILITIES FAQs thread near the top of this board. WDW has a lot of attractions that have Mainstream lines, which means the regular line is wheelchair accessible.
    People whose ONLY need is mobility will use those Mainstream lines.

    People who have other needs besides mobility/using a wheelchair, will get a DAS.

    We don't know yet whether or not all attractions will use DAS. It's possible that some will not because they always have a short wait.

    Since the program is new, I would expect some glitches early on and not be concerned about those. Keep checking back here for people's experiences before being concerned about canceling your tickets. Disney honestly wants to get things right and meet the needs of people with disabilities.
    Most of the news articles ( and most people) think this new program was just quickly made up in reaction to stories about abuse that have been in the news earlier in 2013.
    I can tell you for certain that this new system has been in the works for several years. Disney's one aim was the abuse people heard of, but the bigger aim was to make things more consistent for people with disabilities.
     
  8. lanejudy

    lanejudy Moderator Moderator

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    As others have said, I wouldn't expect phone CMs to have many DAS answers now or even in the coming weeks. Some have never set foot in WDW, to say nothing of dealing with disabilities there.

    I'd suggest that you go to Guest Relations at the park and discuss your daughter's challenges. Rather than stating she "has other, global disabilities including being non-verbal and g-tube fed" you probably should elaborate on how those other disabilities impact her experience in the parks. To someone who doesn't "live" disabilities day-in and day-out, that probably sounds more like "she doesn't talk and can't eat" which on the surface doesn't directly correspond to any accommmodations currently available with GAC and therefore not likely to be construed a DAS accommodation either. If it impacts her ability to be in lines, you'll need to specifically explain that to Guest Relations. Remember, the DAS is only for accommodations related to accessing rides/attractions, it has no bearing on movement around/throughout the park or restaurants or transportation, etc.

    If the wheelchair is her only "need" as related to accessing ride lines, she will not need the DAS (nor Return Times) and you may tour using FP/FP+ and accessing the noted mobility entrances.

    Enjoy your land/sea vacation! I'm sure it will be magical for your DD!
     
  9. Splashboat

    Splashboat Always looking for cheap airfare

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    Will a tablet work in the parks?
     
  10. Gracie09

    Gracie09 DIS Veteran

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    Sure if it's wifi or can be used over the 3G/4g etc network. All a tablet really is is a big smartphone without the phone.
     
  11. SueM in MN

    SueM in MN combining the teacups with a roller coaster Moderator

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    The first WDW app was Mobile Magic.
    It did have wait times available only in the park. If you were out of the park, you could get limited information - sort of a stoplight system with green being "Ride Now" and red something like "extended wait.

    For WDW, the newer app is My Disney Experience, which can be personalized send track things like your Dining Reservations.
    My Disney Experience for WDW does have current wait times, and you don't have to be in a park to get them. All you need to have is an internet connection.
    This is a link to an article from 2010 that talked about the systems WDW was using to track wait times.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/28/business/media/28disney.html?_r=0

    That was before Fastpass Plus and was used to try to keep lines moving along.
    I have heard they used it to do things like give "Bonus Fastpasses" for attractions that had short waits. For example, people who got a Fastpass for Winnie the Pooh ride, might have gotten a "use now" Fastpass for Mickey's Philharmagic because it had no wait.

    They are using it for generating the wait times for My Disney Experience.
    It is in their best interest to get the wait times more accurate - people going by an attraction with a posted wait of 70 minutes are less likely to get into that line than if the posted wait is shorter. And, although people in line might be happy to wait 25 minutes when they expected to wait 70, they also come to expect that all waits will be shorter than what is posted.
    How accurate the posted wait time is may also depend on whether Fastpass Plus has been installed on that attraction or not. I believe they are setting times more accurately on the Fastpass Plus attractions

    Now that WDW has switched to RFID cards, they have some other tools for figuring out where people are and how long they are waiting. I think with those tools, they can post more accurate wait times.
     
  12. SueM in MN

    SueM in MN combining the teacups with a roller coaster Moderator

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    Very important point.

    I know some people have posted/said things like, "it's obvious my son has Down Syndrome, so I don't understand what CMs want from me?"

    The things the CMs need from you are just the sort of things lanejudy mentioned - how does the disability relate/affect accessing or experiencing attractions.
    An overall statement like "global delays" won't tell them what they need to know and neither will a diagnosis (like Down Syndrome or any other diagnosis). Some people with a particular diagnosis might have many, very few or no needs related to accessing/experiencing attractions.
    Without more information, a CM who has never met the guest before has to guess what the needs are.
     
  13. lovethattink

    lovethattink DIS Veteran

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    I sent an email to Disney on Friday asking questions and voicing some of my concerns. One of the questions I asked was which attractions would be applicable for the DAS. My son is limited on what he can ride right now.

    That would be very helpful if DAS times don't expire. But reading one of the links said that the return cards for w/c would be void after a certain time, so it looks like those in particular will expire?

    Mostly every attraction has a FP+ queue now. But not all are w/c accessible, such as Spaceship Earth.
     
  14. SueM in MN

    SueM in MN combining the teacups with a roller coaster Moderator

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    That is not known yet, but as we get reports from people, it will become clearer.
    All the sources I have found point to DAS Return Times not expiring.

    For attractions without Mainstream lines (like Spaceship Earth), they will be giving out return passes. Rumor is good that those will expire at a point (probably an hour).
    Rumor, possibly true, is that at WDW, guests with DAS will be able to get a DAS Return Time for those attractions. But, it's also possible that they will use the attraction return passes instead if they need the accessible line.
    That would allow them to use the DAS for an attraction that has a Mainstream line.

    For Spaceship Earth, they already had a system in place for guest who needed special access and I think they will probably keep that process at Spaceship Earth.
    A CM was stationed at the exit with a clipboard, tasking down names and the number of people in each group. The CM could usually give a pretty accurate idea of the wait time. Guests could wait in the seats in the area or have part of their party wait there while some played games and came back close to the time they were given.
    At the ride time, a CM came down the exit and lead a number of groups of guests to board at the same time.
    It seemed to work well for most people and for ride flow.
     
  15. Hollywoodhaha

    Hollywoodhaha Cat lady in training

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    Most of us have had our training for this new card. I had mine a few days ago.
    The point of it is to make it so you are virtually waiting in line.
     
  16. seidelhd

    seidelhd Mouseketeer

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    Thank your for the replies directly to my post. As I stated, we have been successfully using the GAC 1-2 times/year for the last 7 years. I am fully aware that I will need to tell the CM what accommodations will be needed. I was making generalizations about my daughter only for my above post.

    We have loved the commitment that Disney has made to providing magical vacations and memories to those with disabilities in general and my daughter (and the rest of my family) specifically. I do feel that they still have that commitment.

    However, the fact that call center cast members do not have accurate information on the new system, but are speaking as if what they are saying is gospel is unacceptable. It makes no difference if they have been to the parks or not. With this specifically, Disney has done a horrible job educating and training their front-line people. The outgoing message needed to be consistent, even if it was "we dont have specific information about this important plan that we are implementing in 10 days and may fully ruin your $3000 vacation."

    The inconsistent information given and radio silence over the last 10 days, however, has just increased the FUD. In this day/age of 24 hour, instantaneous news and the internet, Disney should have planned better or responded more quickly (and not with the useless letter from Meg Crofton).

    My biggest concern actually is going to be the amount of time spent at Guest Services to even get the DAC. In the past it was very simple. From what I have been reading (again FUD b/c it has not rolled out yet), I suspect that will no longer be the case. Since we will be on the Dream from 10/10 - 10/13, we won't know what has happened over the previous 4 days until we are on our way to WDW from Port Canaveral.
     
  17. phorsenuf

    phorsenuf <marquee><font color=blue>Not so New Rule author o

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    I'm saddened by this change (though I understand why they do it).

    I'm in an odd situation. I have various health issues and have used a GAC for quite a few years. I have heart and lung problems, as well as a walking and standing disability. I can get through life on a day to day basis, but for anything involved, like Disney, it's pretty rough.
    My husband also has issues. He smashed both feet years ago in an accident and has lingering problems and he needs a new hip. What a pair we make. :rotfl:

    My husband and I like to go over for a few hours on the weekends maybe a couple times a month. The gac would allow us to ride a few rides before I (or he) was kaput. Then we would head home. One of the benefits of living local and having an AP I guess.

    Now with the new policy I just don't see that happening. It will be a waste going since most of the time we'll be sitting on a bench, in the heat, waiting. We aren't going to walk around or criss cross back and forth to rides because that will just do us in sooner. I can't use a wheelchair because he can't push me nor me him. We also are not going to plunk down $50 each to rent a scooter because we want a little Disney magic for a few hours on a Saturday afternoon.

    Unfortunately I guess we fall through the cracks on this one. :(
     
  18. clanmcculloch

    clanmcculloch DIS Veteran

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    Would you be able to schedule FP+? for those few attractions you wanted to go to?
     
  19. phorsenuf

    phorsenuf <marquee><font color=blue>Not so New Rule author o

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    Don't you need to have the magic band for that?
     
  20. mrzrich

    mrzrich DIS Veteran

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    Hi Phorse:wave2:

    It is the general thought, that once FP+ is fully implemented, AP holders will be able to use FP+.

    Some AP holders have actually booked weekend resorts stays and gotten their MBs. After their trip is over, apparrently some have been able to continue to schedule FP+ into November.

    As for the ECV or Scooter, You can probably find one on Craigslist. Then you and DH can take turns using it. (Of course haters will hate and think you are faking when they see you switch.)
     
  21. clanmcculloch

    clanmcculloch DIS Veteran

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    Last rumour I heard is that an attempt at a full roll-out of FP+ is being targeted for some time in late November so not too far away. That doesn't help you in the short time between now and then but at least in the near future that'll be an option.

    Didn't I read that all AP holders are being mailed magic bands? Maybe you have to register it with MDE to get it? I haven't been paying much attention to MDE and FP+ stuff since it's subject to a lot of change before my next trip and I don't want to overwhelm myself. If nothing else, I'd get the AP registered in MDE and see if it gives the option. Some people are able to book them though I can't seem to find any info about patterns behind who can and who can't.
     
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