Disney Treasures

It has been brought to our attention that the article had not been properly credited.  Thanks to MiceChat.com for the very informative article.


The existing Guest Assistance Card (GAC) program is set to be discontinued and replaced with a new system on Wednesday, October 9th at Disneyland and DCA. As we’ve outlined for you before, after years of revolving door executives not wanting to get near the GAC issue, the rampant fraud inherent in the 10 year old GAC program was brought to an embarrassing light via an expose on The Today Show last May. Only then did the executives on both coasts admit that something finally had to be done, and the existing Guest Assistance Card will cease to exist on October 9th.

In its place will be an entirely new program called the Disabled Assistance System (DAS). The DAS will work similarly to the “return passes” issued at popular rides like Star Tours 2.0 and Radiator Springs Racers, where currently a GAC holder gets a Fastpass-style return time hand written on a card based on the current Standby wait time. But with DAS, that concept will be rolled out to several dozen high-wait attractions in Anaheim. Instead of going to the actual ride to get a return card, a DAS holder will report to one of several Guest Relations kiosks that will be set up around the parks, with a current plan to have four kiosks in Disneyland (Fantasyland alone gets their own kiosk) and three kiosks in DCA. The DAS holder will present their card and tell the Guest Relations CM which attraction they want to ride, the CM will look at the current wait time via the official Disney Mobile Magic app on an iPad, and will then write out a return time for that attraction and subtract 10 or 15 minutes to make up for the travel time to and from the kiosk.
Only one ride reservation on a DAS card can be made at a time, so if the current wait for Space Mountain is 90 minutes and your return time is written for 75 minutes later, a DAS holder will not get another return time printed on their DAS until the first one has expired. A person with a DAS card could go and do anything else in the park in the meantime; watch a parade, see a show, have lunch, go on low-wait time attractions, pull a regular Fastpass for any other attraction, etc. But only one ride time can be reserved at a time with DAS, unlike the existing GAC which serves as basically an open Fastpass for any Fastpass lane in the park or an access card to go up the exit on any other type of attraction. The DAS changes that quite dramatically.

Card
The DAS cards will be issued only at Guest Relations offices in both parks, and the DAS kiosks are only for checking in for a specific ride. There will be no different stamps on the DAS like the current GAC with its half dozen stamp codes; you will either be issued a DAS or you will be instructed to use a wheelchair or other aid for your mobility issue. DAS will only be issued for one day at a time, although folks who can prove they are staying at a hotel for a few days could get a DAS dated for a short length of stay.

The person who is disabled and who has the DAS issued to them will also have their digital photo taken at Guest Relations, and the photo will be printed on the front of the DAS card and used by CM’s at the attractions to confirm that the DAS holder is actually going on the ride. The photos will prevent a current form of abuse, whereby one member of a party gets a GAC issued to them but then insists to the CM’s that they don’t want to ride they just want their children or friends to go in through the exit and skip the line while they wait nearby on a bench. Or worse, children or others in the party are coached into telling the CM’s that they are the person listed who was issued the GAC. To use a DAS, the person the DAS is issued to must be present at the kiosk and at the attraction and must go on the ride for the DAS privilege to work for the rest of the party.

There are more radical changes in DCA, where all queues and park facilities meet ADA requirements for wheelchair accessibility. In DCA, a person in a wheelchair or ECV won’t receive any extra courtesies or services beyond those visitors who are not in a wheelchair. People visiting DCA in wheelchairs likely won’t qualify for a DAS, and will now experience the park as everyone else does, including waiting in Standby lines and juggling Fastpass return times. The task of implementing that culture change will be more intense in Anaheim than Orlando as there are currently 55 attractions at Disneyland Resort that use a ride vehicle, and about 35 of those have wheelchair accessible queues. Comparatively, there are a total of 46 attractions at Walt Disney World’s four parks combined that use a ride vehicle, and 38 of those have wheelchair accessible queues. There are more rides overall at Disneyland Resort compared to WDW, and more of them in Anaheim are not wheelchair accessible.

At Disneyland Park there are 20 rides that have been identified as non-wheelchair accessible, and at those 20 rides an accommodation of going through the exit or a Fastpass lane will be offered to those in wheelchairs. A person in a wheelchair doesn’t need a DAS to get access at those attractions, thereby limiting the issuing of DAS cards in that park. Disneyland’s operations teams are studying ways to restore the wheelchair accessibility designed into the queues of some newer rides, like Indiana Jones, to allow a DCA-style equity to exist at as many Disneyland rides as possible. It should be noted that the work implementing DAS, which has had lots of executive involvement from both coasts, has now generated serious discussion in TDA on creating a five-year plan of capital expenditure to go in to those older rides and retrofit them with wheelchair accessible queues. But that’s still a few years away.

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Thanks to MiceChat
The goal behind DAS is to still offer service to those who may need it, but to also eliminate the wild excesses of the GAC system which operated on most days and on most rides as an unlimited Fastpass card and/or a backdoor pass to slip in via the exit with a much shorter wait. The one exception to the DAS program is made for Make-A-Wish children. A new Genie lanyard has been created for Make-A-Wish children that will act like an unlimited Fastpass and instant backdoor access card (basically the same thing as the current GAC with the “green light” stamp on it), and it will be sent to the families just before their visit directly from the Make-A-Wish headquarters in Phoenix. The Make-A-Wish cards won’t be kept on Disney property, at the specific request of Disney to avoid any ability to use that courtesy for anyone other than qualified Make-A-Wish visitors.

Guest Relations and Attractions Cast Members in both parks have already been scheduled classroom training for the DAS program through late September and early October. The Guest Relations team will get the most intensive training day, as they’ll be on the front lines of this new system as they try and reel in expectations of Annual Passholders used to having a GAC with easy access to any ride they wanted. Staffing for Guest Relations is being beefed up as much as possible beginning with roll-out day on Wednesday, October 9th, and the Security department has also been asked to help staff officers in Guest Relations centers in Disneyland and DCA to help with anyone who may get verbally abusive or threaten violence against those Guest Relations CM’s doling out the more restrictive DAS cards.

The real day to watch will be Friday, October 11th, two days after DAS begins and the first day when 25,000+ Annual Passholders show up in the evening. This is going to be ugly for at least a few weeks, everyone agrees on that. It helps that the exact same program is being rolled out at WDW at the same time, and that finally there are several senior executives supporting the program. It will be interesting to see how strong the executives stand behind the DAS program when the inevitable ugly media stories begin showing up on the local news and online, or heaven forbid if the CM’s in the parks really start taking serious verbal or physical abuse.

Written by Disney Treasures — September 17, 2013

Comments

Tired of all the whining:

Speaking as someone who has been going to the Disney Parks all of her life and now works there, I see no problem with this new change. No one is taking anything away from anyone. Most of the rides at Disneyland have had exceptions built into them of back door passes or fast pass like entrance. And ALL the rides at DCA are ADA accessible. I understand if your child has a mental disability and has trouble waiting in lines. But there are places and things you can go do while waiting for your turn just like everyone else. Kids don’t know they are waiting if you don’t make a big deal of it. For those complaining that you have back problems or knee problems and can’t stand to be in a line for too long, do you really think you should be going on a ride that could possibly injure you more? I have back problems pretty bad. I know that I should not be going on rides like Indiana Jones or Space Mountain because I may get moved wrong and injure myself more. I don’t go to Guest Relations and tell them they need to change the ride system so it doesn’t move so violently for ME. Those that need the assistance are still getting it. Where accommodations have already been made (auch as the attractions at DCA already being fitted for ADA compliance)why should there have to be more accommodations made? Even the store and food locations have to go through continuously throughout the day to be sure the fixtures are at certain distances to accommodate for wheelchairs and strollers. I believe there are MORE THAN ENOUGH accommodations being made for the disabled Guests and am all for the change.

September 19 2013

Jennifer R.:

It’s sad that Disney thinks it’s better to punish the truly disabled masses because of a few bad seeds. My son is autistic and has difficulty standing in a line with masses of people surrounding him and all the chatter that will surround him. Yes he can wear headphones to block the noise, but how do I prevent his sensory issues when someone touches him by mistake? I think this will all change again after a parent of a disabled child gets into a physical altercation with someone who makes a derogatory comment about his/her child’s behavior. Add hot weather and it’s a recipe for a lawsuit for Disney. Why don’t you institute a policy of requiring a doctor’s note to get a pass every time we visit. Abusers of the policy won’t want to have to get a brand new note every time they go.

September 19 2013

Tim Stich:

I think this is horrible. The people taking advantage are the people who rent a wheelchair and claim to be disabled. This in no way addresses that situation. It is a travesty for you to say that a person in a wheelchair who is truly disabled (this can be proven with a doctor’s note) should have to wait in line because most of the lines are in the sun. Disney representatives told me that they cannot ask someone to prove that they are disabled because it is discriminatory. It is just the opposite. I wife has MS and cannot spend long periods of time in the sun. Maybe you should get someone that is truly disabled to consult on your decision making panel.

September 19 2013

kristy:

I think this is outrages ive never heard of such a thing as much money as Disney makes you cant come up with a better outcome maybe if you would have stuck to the rules of the gac being a dr note needed and a pic added tp make sure no phonys but cmon be real your open 10 hrs a day and have to wait and hour and a half maybe more for one ride then go to a kiosk and stand in line wait for another 2 hours its a waist of time and a true in convience I feel sorry for us real disabled people im a amputee with neuropathy and now ill never go to Disney again this is un acceptable and discriminatory you will lose alotta buissness because of this im buying a knots pass thiss year

September 19 2013

Kim:

Seeing how many people are upset about this really worries me. It’s a courtesy, not a right. They didn’t take away assistance all together, they are trying to eliminate people who don’t actually need it from getting it…
It’s less appealing for them.

September 19 2013

Kim:

Also, don’t be mad at Disney… Be mad at the people who abused the system all of these years!

September 19 2013

Surf mom:

Being a cm at Disneyland has been an eye opener. This is something that should have been addressed years ago. When did it become a "disability /handicap " to be overweight, have anxiety , sun allergies, broken leg, broken arm, bladder issues, IBS….maybe you should rethink your visit. And don’t get me started on ECV’s, “2” year olds and 12 year olds in strollers.

September 19 2013

Andres:

Most awesome thing I’ve read this month. BRING THE EQUALITY!!

September 19 2013

Melissa:

This will make it harder for us to take our son to Disney. He has a rare autoimmune disease that makes him tire easily and has to be extremely careful about sun exposure more than about 30 minutes. No technically they do not have to accommodate us. I understand there are abusers. I wish we could sign a lawsuit/privacy waiver to bring a doctors note. I am disgusted by all the people who have made comments about people with legitimate problems. I think you have no idea how hard it is too constantly tell a child they can’t do things other kids get to. My son looks normal but is extremely pale. We have so much to deal with on a daily basis. Do many of you take chemo drugs weekly that make you tired? My 9 year old does. We don’t ask for anything free, we pay taxes, we help in our community. I do not feel bad about Disney giving my son a pass so he can feel “normal” for a few hours. Shame on the commenters who think truly disabled people should suck it up. How about we do away with Make a Wish too? I mean those kids should just suck it up too, right? Some people are disgusting.

September 19 2013

Kelly:

Excellent! Now if they could just do something about “service animals”. And for those flaming Disney: they’re not required to provided accelerated access to attractions. Just wheelchair accessiblity!

September 19 2013

Helen White:

It’s discriminatory towards people with MS because most people with MS can’t be in the heat. If they make wheelchairs wait in line with everyone else, the people with MS can’t do that. It also makes for a longer day and most people with MS have fatigue issues.

This is sad. People with disabilities have it rough enough in life. Getting to enjoy Disneyland with some small benefits isn’t too much to give. Now it’s “wait with everyone else who has it easier in life. let’s make your day in Disneyland long and miserable.”

September 19 2013

Mellissa:

Asking for a doctors note is note discrimitory. I am not ashamed that I have bad feet. The bones in my feet rest against nerves. I can’t stand for three hours for radiator springs, no matter how acessable it is, but I am not bound to a wheelchair. I have a doctors note that I gladly showed and city hall, and wasn’t even looked at. Hey, Disney, you’re problem isn’t GAC, it’s giving them to anyone who says their eyeball hurts. Not everyone with a disability is bound to a wheelchair. Stricter policy with a GAC is all that required. Here is proof that I am disabled. Take my picture, so that you can prove that I am the owner of this GAC. People took advantage of a loose policy, and now, unless one is in a wheelchair, it appears you are not disabled enough for Disney. Thanks for taking advantage of the system kids. Back to my nerve damage.

September 19 2013

Mike:

I do not understand this myth that disneyland has long lines. “Disneyland is notorious for its long wait times”. Uhmmm there is almost 100,000 people in the park and yet disney is able to keep most of the lines below an hour wait. Maybe space mountain star tours indiana jones and splash mountain may go over a bit but just think about it. On a good day six flags magic mountain will have close to 25,000 people in the park and you can bet you will wait between 1-3 hours in line. And to those of you that say just bring a drs note, it violates the ada so disney cant do that. “Disney makes alot of money so how dare they take this away from us?” Uhmmm first off disney has always provided excellent service and typically w a gac you skip past 90% of the queue. Now disney is just asking you to wait almost as long as everyone else. They arent taking away your rights, theybarnt making you walk farther in line, they arnt discriminating. They are simply making it fair for everyone. So why are we complaining? Sounds similar to when disney said you could no longer come late w a fastpass and people lost it simply because disney asked to play by the rules

September 19 2013

Laura:

First of all, don’t judge when you see a 2-12 year old in a wheel chair or stroller. YOU! Have no idea what that parent goes through with that child. As a parent of a son with autism, I too, had my son in a stroller at 6-7 years old. Why? Because he was safest there. By looking at my son, you’d never know he has autism/ADHD. But without that stroller or wheel chair, he’d have been in the lake, or your security would be spending their time chasing after a boy, who is quite strong and fast, that likes to take off when overstimulated. Disneyland is his treat, it makes him very happy to go. But before we had found out about the GAC on our first visit, we waited in line. What happened? He was so overstimulated and excited that he grabbed another guests hair and pulled it. Hard! Then, in another line (after having to pull him out of the last one) he bit me so hard it broke the skin. We are parents that love to do things that bring out the best in our kids and puts a twinkle in their eye and a smile on their face. After learning about the GAC, that’s exactly what Disneyland did for him. I think they need to rethink this new system and have a program for children with special needs or start accepting those that being notes from their doctors like I had that explained the condition. I can assure Disney this: they will lose a lot business from those with special needs children, if they cannot be accommodated. It’s not just a case of anxiety, it’s a case of not having the capacity to understand that waiting in a crowded area for over an hour or walking around until the time comes to get on that favorite ride are the rules now. Most auties or children/adults of repetition. They love certain things and nothing else will make them happy. For my son (who watches daily YouTube of these ride through) it’s riding Small World, Haunted Mansion, and Splash Mountain over and over again. You people (especially this employed by Disney) need to open your minds and lessen your judgement. You don’t walk in my shoes and have no idea what those parents and children go through daily.

September 19 2013

Viviam:

To all the people on here talking crap about people with disabilities don’t deserve to have Disney or other places make special accommodations just because they are disabled, I pray The Lord Blesses you as he did is with special needs children. Let’s see how many places you actually go to when there are no accommodations for you!!

Have a Blessed Day!!!

September 19 2013

Jennifer :

My initial anger about this situation had passed and this is definitely a hot button topic for those who need this benefit and those who don’t have access to this benefit. I’m grateful for having had it, but I won’t lie about missing the shorter wait lines and not having to be near people who stare and make comments about my son’s odd, sometimes disgusting, and disrupting behaviors. I pray that people will control their comments when we’re in the regular lines with them.. I’m going to have to develop thicker skin because i know the stares, eye rolling, nasty and cruel comments about my child will come. But it’s so hard to do when the comments are about your child. Say all the crap you want about me, but don’t say it about a child….ANY CHILD.

Anyway, it isn’t right for us to attack a policy before it’s in place. It’s not like other amusement parks don’t have the same policy. Knotts Berry Farm has the same policy. Legoland and Sea World have the best line policy and offers a free caregiver passes. We love Disneyland and will return, but not as often as it is an emotional ordeal for parents of special needs individuals because we not only have to deal with the physical exertion of the lines, but also the emotional stress that comes from constantly being on edge about your child and how those around him/her will react.

September 19 2013

LauraPearl:

My Son visited Disney World, Florida shortly after finishing his chemotherapy for lymphoma when he was five. The trip was funded by a charity, not Make-a-Wish, but a cancer charity here in the UK. My Son was given a GAC in the first day of our trip. Without that card, I do not think it would have been possible to visit the parks. He was only well enough to visit the park for a couple of hours at a time…. And certainly not everyday of the trip, as he would just get far too tired. He would not have benefitted from this new system at all. He would have only been able to visit one, or maybe two rides on each day, and the trip would have had to have been a month long to fit in all that he wanted to do. I agree, that if there is a high level of fraud, then something has to be done… But perhaps they should look at a tiered system of done sort, or different systems for different disabilities. It’s a very sensitive subject to raise, but if a person with, say a broken foot, in a wheelchair want to go on an accessible ride, why should they not have to wait like anyone else. Whereas a child who is suffering from cancer and can only spend a short while in the park, would be treated no differently! To me it makes no sense. I think Disney just don’t have the balls to tell some of their guests that they do not qualify for the GAC, and they have to wait in (an adapted) line, line everyone else.

September 19 2013

Catheryn:

Not happening, anyone bother calling and verifying this, I did. I to have a child with autism and could not enjoy the park without the GAP . Read the top of the page “article had not been properly credited” See you in a couple of weeks Disneyland! It is a wonderful gift that should not be abused for those who really need it. I cherish it every time I go and am so thankful for it.

September 19 2013

Jodi:

While I appreciate them trying to cut down on fraud. As a parent, who frequents Disney A LOT with my son who has autism, I get plenty of looks when we use the Guest assistance pass. My issue with this is explaining to my son regarding the come back times. It’s fine if you have a disability where you don’t have cognition issues, but those who have children with no concept of time will be dealing with a lot of tantrums. Especially since he likes going on rides over and over and over again.

Maybe, they should issue picture ID cards for frequent travelers. I wouldn’t mind that, or limit what conditions get the GAP…

September 19 2013

jz:

As a long time attendee and long time disabled person .. I have to say I am not upset about this change.

Over the years, based on what was going on with me health wise I needed different accommodations and I had to have different lifestyle behaviors.

The benefits of the special queues are needed for some guests. Primarily those with GI issues, not being line locked is really important for many guests. Needing extra time to get in and out of the car, extremely important for guests with special needs. Not walking up or down stairs, also extremely important.

One thing to note is that due to the abuse and the nature of the special needs queues it is not faster to get on the ride. It often takes longer than going through fast pass. Ambulatory people that need a shorter wait time but not assistance getting into or out of the vehicle shouldn’t be in the alternate entrance anyway.

Queues of this nature in the Disneyland park are to avoid stairs in the queue or to board a specific car. They are not to avoid waiting. You still have to wait.

To those with special needs children that are ambulatory, please take into consideration that you will still need to be the primary accommodation to your children, the same way you are in the rest of your daily life.
All of us with disabilities get the judgemental stares from strangers, but you have to help them adapt to life, not shield them from it.

Use the fast pass system, use this new system to get a return time. It will shorten the wait.

The GAC clearly stated that it did not grant immediate access to any attraction. That is still true. Nothing has changed in that regard.

I question some parent’s logic that their child cannot handle the over stimulation from the people in the queue, but can some how handle the overstimulation of the ride itself. However, I will trust you know your child and if they can handle the ride, they should be able to handle a return time fast pass queue. Because clearly they were able to handle the guest assistance queue, which as I stated before .. Was still a queue and was often a longer wait that other queues.

In fact the space mountain guest assistance queue was entirely more overstimulation than the regular queue, being that it was always packed, and the echo was terrible in there. Also the wait was usually twice as long as standby because they only load people into that queue into 1 ride car.

Anyway. We all have to figure out how to get through our lives with whatever our own challenges are.
I find the same irratation with the lack of available handicap spots in certain parking lots, but I will just take the closest available space and move on, because I know there are others in the world that need those spots too.

Disney has tried to create a system that can accommodate all the needs of the guests, based on what those needs are. Not a blanket .. Go stand in that queue instead. It will most likely still be case by case, as it has been for years. They will accommodate you, the best they can, based on your concern.

They don’t ask you what is wrong with you because they don’t know, or should be expected to know, what that means you can’t do.

They ask you, what is your concern, and they accommodate you based on that. That hasn’t changed at all.

Also. No, they won’t ask you for a doctor’s note, this is not pre-school. Be honest with your concerns and they will try to help you. If your concern is that you don’t want to wait in a queue, considering going somewhere else.

To people who are saying people with needs should “rethink their visit”, why? We want to enjoy life the best we can. It is insensitive of you to believe that those who have health issues should just resign themselves to being invalids. I have already addressed that those with needs need to be accountable for themselves and be honest about their needs and use accommodations that specially address them.

To those saying they won’t go to Disney parks any more. This is a better system than any other theme park I have been to. The others use similar or worse systems. Including making you walk to each ride. Go all the way through the exit and getting a return time and them have to do that again.

September 19 2013

Manina:

The only downside I see to the new system is they will only issue 1 ticket at a time. If they issued a few at a time and then said you had to wait several hours before getting more, then it would make it easier to plan. @ Surf mom- obviously you have never been around someone who experiences disabling anxiety attacks. It’s not pretty and they can last for hours. My son (25) suffers from them ( and therefore so do I since I’m the one who has to calm him down). We don’t use the pass for every ride and I plan our visits for when the park is going to be less crowded. He’s also a 215 user but with the pass he can limit his use, especially since it’s a family park. I’m know there are always people who abuse the system but for those who truly need the help, they don’t appreciate being judged or lumped in with the abusers.

September 19 2013

A Nonny Mouse:

Wheelchair ADA compliance is one thing, and a great idea to make ALL rides wheelchair accessible! But how will the other Disneyland guests like hearing a shouted tirade of obscenities from a kid (or adult) with Tourette’s? Will little Bobby or Suzy have their Disney day ruined from that?
Or how about a screaming melt-down from an autistic kid (or adult) who is overstimulated???
Disabilities come in many forms, not all of them immediately visible to outsiders.

The GAC cards specifically say they are NOT instant access, but allow one to wait in separate, low traffic areas to get on the rides. This was the original idea, not for it to be an instant on & off with no waiting.

How will Disneyland handle the “Differently Abled” who are not a mobility issue??

Also, since FAIRNESS seems to be at SUCH issue here, will they now no longer have Disney Channel “stars” and other celebrities escorted and whisked to the front of lines anymore either??

September 19 2013

Tina:

I think a doctors note would have been a better solution than changing the system. I think the people that abused the system should have been punished not the people that need help. I have two sons with Mitochondrial Disease so these passes allowed us to enjoy our day. I am saddened by comments about 12 year olds in strollers. You do not know what a child may be facing. My sons 6 and 8 will be in strollers because they can not walk because the condition they have causes severe muscle pain and weakness. To have them walk all day would be child abuse. They are beautiful boys that look “normal”. Do I think the world owes me one no. It was nice to be able to go on the fun rides like every other family. If some of you were getting calls almost daily from the school nurse about your child or had to watch you kids take 10-20 pills plus IV infusions and watch as your kid passes out at Disney during the day because of fatigue you would feel different. People sometimes confuse justice with fair. Justice is when you may give one person more so they can have the same experience, fair is when everyone gets the same. It is sad when adults are so worried about someone getting more then them because they need things to be fair. Life is not fair. If it was my sons would not be ill.

September 19 2013

This is good:

It is unfortunate that so many people had to abuse the system. I, for one, am glad they are doing this. I have seen a LOT of people that clearly do not need the assistance – I have even seen people renting wheel chairs then switching out who rode in it. Theone thing a lot of people don’t understand is that sometimes the wait for disabled is often much longer than the standby line. One time I waited for almost 2 hours at Space Mountain when standby was only 45 minutes. Hopefully this will help. The only thing I don’t like is that I have to go to Guest Relations every time I visit. BTW, I often get embarrassed about my handicap so I try to hide it. Some people who know me are surprised when they see me use my walker or cane and absolutely shocked when they finally notice that I have hanidicapped plates on my car. Just like Leanne I wait my turn and never abuse my pass. I thik this is true for almost all who legitimately need it.

September 19 2013

Laura:

I just called Disneyland to confirm the reports of the new DAS system and they said they can not confirm or deny anything at this time. DISNEY HAS NOT MADE AN OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT YET. I asked where we would find an official announcement when made and they said on the official Disney blog page: http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/

September 19 2013

Jodi:

I read the article— the issue is many children with autism and similar disabilities have NO CONCEPT OF TIME. For my son, who has been to Disney 9 times in 9 years— if you tell him that we are going to EPCOT, he expects to go on Test Track, Soaring, Boat Ride In Soaring, and Nemo, in that precise order. HE CANNOT WAIT 75 MINUTES, when others are waiting 90 minutes. If we go to EPCOT under this new system, what I can expect from is a 75 minute tantrum, until we go to the next ride, then another 75 minute tantrum while we wait for the next ride. And y’all know that you would not be tolerable to a family with a 9 year old who is screaming until he makes himself vomit, because he can’t understand waiting in line. This program is NOT feasible. I completely understand the need to cut fraud, cut fraud, there are ways to do that without completely discriminating one group of riders.

September 19 2013

Margaret:

As the mother of an autistic son who is now 22 years old, the last time we visited Disneyland was when our son was 9 years old. We would visit D-land when the park was decorated for Christmas and in the spring by taking advantage of discounted entry fees offered to families with special needs children. Our last visit was ruined when, as I was checking in and presenting our son’s IEP and psych evaluation from the ELARC as proof of disability, the Disney representative asserted, “Let’s hope your son recovers enough that he won’t need to take advantage of The System.” I was devastated by her lack of understanding and gross assumptions. And, yes, I did report her but we never received an apology from management or proof of a reprimand or of further training or education into the vast array of symptoms and sensory issues comprising autism. While I understand the need to weed out “abusers” of any system, it doesn’t surprise me that the system became so abused because Disney Corporate apparently failed to invest enough into understanding the nature of disability in the first place.

September 19 2013

Anon:

WOW!! The level of selfishness demonstrated on these comments is beyond believable. Especially by Cast members! Saying disabled people who truly are unable to stand/sit extended periods of time or walk back and forth around the park are selfish for wanting special treatment makes you all sound very cold. Disneyland doesn’t necessarily have a slow period. For those people with children in school it’s not so easy to get up and go in a slow period. There are many issues that people have that the majority of the population has no understanding of. It really isn’t an equal plan. I would love to be able to stand in regular lines and be able to enjoy all the rides in the park. I can’t so now I have to pick and choose what 5-7 I will get on in. A day. I drive 6 hours. Not worth the drive. I’ve seen the parade. Many times. There’s only so many times you can see a parade and enjoy it. I’ve seen the shows. I remember watching Ellen Degeneres once visit DL. She never waited in line. I also remember her mentioning how easy it was to get a GAC. I thought what a dumb thing to do on National TV. She essentially pointed out the ease with which a person could get a card. I’m not mad at Disney. I think all the thinking they did should have been with disabled people who could willingly have shared the way in which this new plan would not work for their specific needs. Disabilities are not like bracelets. One system does NOT fit all. Someone said its “PRIVATE property” they can do what they want. You’re actually wrong! Any place that is open and accessible to the public needs to follow ADA policy. Someone visiting a private home or dwelling isn’t a good comparison. It’s not open to the general public. And there are accommodations for disabled in grocery stores, DMV, Public Transit, etc For those of you happy about this. Enjoy! For those of you sic as myself who will have major difficulty enjoy the extra time away from the park. I’m planning some long dreamt of trips with all the money I will save from no longer purchasing my premium AP in addition to all the money we spend in the parks. Good luck to everyone!

September 19 2013

Trevor:

everyone who’s mad,
Just because you have a disability doesn’t mean you get priority to an attraction. What makes you so special to get a fast pass? the goal isn’t to treat you special, it’s to treat you equally to everyone else. Disney isn’t going to lose any business. Have fun at knotts :)

September 19 2013

Rob:

To those saying they are discriminating against those with heat and sun exposure, what stops you from walking out of the sun? They are not forcing you to stand outside, only to return at a certain time, rather than coming at any time you want. Please read the whole article, rather than the points that made you mad. This affects more than just you, as the system as it is now is wildly out of control.

September 19 2013

Geoff Dubrowsky:

For 18 Years my son with severe autism has felt like Disney was his home. We own 2 Vacation Club Units and now well they are for sale! People who abuse this system need to realize that our lives with these kids suck and now they have helped take away one decent part!

September 19 2013

Dawn:

This breaks my heart. My son William has autism. He’s a five year old sister who loves all things Disney. But he knows if we take her without him. But when he stands in lines, he has no boundaries. If someone’s behind is in front of him, he’ll touch it. He screams and makes loud noises – and people stare at him. He doesn’t realize people are staring, but we do. The pass was the only way we were able to navigate the park. It was already stressful enough with people staring at us – I just don’t know how we’d do it without the pass. I knew this was going to happen when the news of people abusing the system came out. My family is the one that’s going to suffer.

September 19 2013

Andy:

It’s funny to here you people complain about having to wait in line now and that you can’t be in the sun for long periods of time? Really?? You understand that you do have to WALK to the attraction in the sun too, right? How is it any different if you’re walking in the park in the sun and then you have to wait in line in the sun. Is waiting in line the only time you see the sun? And if you’re that concerned about getting in the sun, then don’t come on a sunny day! Go in the winter when it’s typically cooler, or come in a rainy day. If you come on a hot summer day, then it’s your own damn fault for not planning accordingly. And for those oriole saying they’ll “never come to Disney again because of this”, WHO CARES?? For goodness sakes, Disney is trying to make it fair for everyone. But, if you want to spend your time at crap parks like Knott’s or Six Flags Magic Mountain where Guest Service is NOT the number one priority in their list, be my guest. One less guest in Disneyland means one less person waiting in line.

September 19 2013

Elke:

My 9 year old grandson has autism . He has been in school since he was 2 years old while other children played and had fun . His favorite thing in the world is going to Disneyland a child with autism can’t stand in a 2 hour line they will scream and cry and make moms day a pure hell at Disneyland . Thank ’ s to all of you , you know who you are for abusing the system and to those of you who are so caring shame on you.

September 19 2013

Dennis:

If this works the way they say it will it should be fine, however, if you have a person with Autism and major sensory issues where they don’t like to be touched, bumped or worse, CONFINED, into the middle of a crowd. You run the risk of a major VIOLENT melt down. This is my concern, if my son gets the DAC pass and he still is stuck in a huge mess of people, we are still at risk of a huge problem, not just for us but for others around us.. It is always those who abuse systems that cause problems for those who follow the rules.

September 19 2013

HJ:

If you or your loved ones have a genuine physical disability, I wouldn’t worry too much. I’m sure you’ll be able to use the new system, whether or not you are wheelchair-bound, if you have proof that you need assistance beyond a wheelchair or ECV. For instance, if you suffer from pain or heat sensitivity, I’m sure you’ll be able to rest someplace cool and shaded until your ride time. You may not be able to ride as many rides as you did with a GAC, but that is the reality for most people at the parks

If your loved one is on the autism spectrum, it seems like a day at the park will be much tougher, and I’m very disappointed they aren’t planning to accommodate you. Hopefully this will change.

September 19 2013

mickey:

First of all…the happiest place on earth has become the “lets be dicks to anyone who doesn’t look like they need an assistance pass” we have no problem waiting in line for 75 minutes. Ya right….Disney shuts down lines or attractions increasing wait time. Example:California Screaming, indiana jones etc. As for as"costumer sservice"it has gone to shit. The food, souvenirs are out dated. To muxch $$$ not enough time to experience it all. Closing early during the week? Thats why the weekend is a cluster Fuck open late more people show. This place makes over a billion doll hairs a day…Fuck!!!! I hate it all ready!

September 19 2013

Joanna M.:

This breaks my heart to hear how some people can be so cruel in their assumption that people who are on the Spectrum should just suck it up and deal with it. As a parent of an Autistic Child …. I suck it up everyday and deal with it! I try to make my son’s life as normal as possible and try to expose him to being out in public and being around people without a meltdown. Sometimes it’s a good day and others it’s not. I have never taken my son to Disneyland but had been planning to since he has communicated how much he loves Cars and the Toy’s Characters. I’ll be honest I have not taken him because I did not think I could actually deal with him and a whole day of this type of stimulation and knowing the impossibility of him being able to wait in line without some kind of meltdown…but then I had heard of the pass program and was so happy to hear that they took into consideration the nature of a person with Autism and how these things affect them…… now I never had the opportunity to experience the program that exists and am sadden that I never will as it sounds like this new one does not really help the child / person whom suffers from Autism as they basically end up waiting…….not understanding why we can’t go on a ride…as many have mentioned the concept of having to wait or time is beyond their understanding and thus a major meltdown ensues…… I will one day give Disney a shot….. and don’t expect special treatment…just understanding and compassion for children and adults who deserve to be actually be happy at a place that has been labeled the Happiest Place on Earth….. I guess now only to those who don’t have special needs or disabilities.

September 19 2013

Kristina:

We had been planning a trip with our 5 year old Autistic son. With this new rule we will not be able to go. There is no way our son will understand the time that we will have to wait and not really be able to do something else in between. When he melts down he sometimes hurts us so I had been pleased that we were not going to have to wait so that nobody in line was hurt. This will no longer be the case for those with autistic children. I really feel that Disney knows NOTHING about kids with autism. That is extremly dissapointing.

September 19 2013

mickey:

By the way….when Walt Disney is brought back to life “his head is in suspended animation” he will fire every single “asshole” cast member! If you work at the happiest place on earth? Why are youna Dick?

September 19 2013

Jason:

THERE IS A GOD! It’s about time. Its funny how people abuse the system that is geared for those who need it. Stop your bitching and put down the Twikie! I’ve always found it funny that like at Peter Pan the line for the GAC card is longer then the standard que!

And for those of you thinking this isn’t happening… IT IS!!! Castmembers are being trained on it starting next week! Sooooo Good bye GAC’s RIP

September 19 2013

Laura K:

How dare anyone say that the people who this will effect should SUCK IT UP! I am sorry who abused the service? on that’s right people who have nothing wrong with them besides being selfish. Yet now my 4 year old son will be the one to suffer for their actions.

September 19 2013

Lynn:

Just wait till all of you have disabilities.

September 19 2013

DAS Good:

Good riddance to all those who aren’t renewing their pass. The less of you in the park the better experience the employees and non-passholders will get to have on a daily basis without you all crying about every little thing. This had to be done and I am glad. Yes, some people who didn’t abuse the system will get affected negatively. But how is that any different to how society is taking away the freedom to carry guns because of a few who ruined it for those who are responsible when carrying a gun? Life is unfair. Deal with it. You just have to nut up and shut up. And if you are not happy about it then oh well. Find a new hobby, go to a REAL park ( you know, the ones that have trees and ponds) or just stay home and watch Oprah and live your life miserably.

September 19 2013

Angela:

We just visited World’s of Fun with our two autistic sons, and a husband who has to use a cart because of the immense pain in his leg. It is a theme park in Kansas City owned by the same people that run Knott’s. We went through a very similar program with them.

We went to the exit for the ride, got a return time, then rode smaller rides, got a drink, or window shopped. It makes life so much easier when our kids aren’t standing in line because personal space is a big issue with the boys, and while we can make the room behind the person in front of us, we can’t always get the people behind us to understand. World’s of Fun was great at assisting us and making sure everyone was okay. They even let us know they were working with an autism group to ensure they are providing the best services for everyone. I think Disney is doing a great thing to ensure they are still working with everyone to make it safe. Disney has plenty of stores, and things to see, I’m sure you can find something to do while you wait for your time to come up.

September 19 2013

Maryam:

Andy
Please do search about Autism,ADHD and ADD and then you will understand these comments.

September 19 2013

JB:

It is ONLY September 19th, right? Everyone on here is up in arms about something they have no clue as to how it really is going to affect their time at Disney. I agree, did it irritate me to see people walking to the exits that didn’t appear to have anything “wrong” with them? Sure, but hey, who freaking cares at the end of the day? A typical day at Disney is 8am-10 or 11 at night. You mean to tell me you can’t experience everything the park has to offer in that amount of time if you are waiting in line? Come on! Give me a break PLEASE!!! I agree that kids or adults that have disabilities should be accomodated for in a more timely manner. I also agree that many people have taken advantage of a loose system at Disney parks to have Disney come to this resolve. But everyone knows, that if it doesn’t work…this is not permenant. Changes and revisions can be made to ANY policy set in place. Just wait and try it out. If it doesn’t work, I am confident that things will change and people will be happy. Let’s remember everyone, we can’t make EVERYONE happy!!! Geez!!!!

September 19 2013

Sydney:

Please consider the following.

1. You are able to pull fastpasses IN ADDITION to having a DAS pass.
2. With MyMagic+ technology coming up very soon, seeing as it’s looking like a success in WDW, families will soon be able to plan out and reserve return times to their favorite attractions for the entire day, IN ADDITION to having a DAS pass.
3. Should you find any kind of time in-between attractions that may cause your child to have episodes [Please understand I know what these are like. I teach 1000 students in an elementary music program, with one class dedicated to exceptional students. It’s difficult, It tests patience. I understand.] But as I was saying, if you DO find time between your fastpass return time AND your DAS pass, there are feasible ways to stay out of the sun, or provide distractions that you know work for your child in other daily situations. [Pack their favorite snack? Provide incentives for good behavior while in a very busy public place?]

Losing a GAC card is not the end of the world, as some here are tragically making it out to be. With a dash of planning, a pinch of preparing… you can still make a Disney trip magical.

September 19 2013

Magical Mom:

As a mother of Autistic child, who is also an Annual Passholder, I am truly disappointed by the ignorant, rude and vicious comments left here. We did not choose the Autism, it chose us and every day is a struggle. We always said that Disney was the one place that we could vacation as a family, together, where our son could enjoy himself without people staring at him when he flaps. When we visited in August, we were told that there would be a change, that could include a picture of the cardholder, and that it could be added to our AP. That would make a lot of sense, and I would be happy to have his thumbprint scanned as well as produce his mountain of paperwork, expenses and medications too. Walking to a kiosk to be told to wait for another time will not work for a chid with Autism, especially those who do visit the parks regularly and think they know how to navigate the park. For our kids, navigating the park took lots of practice, and for my son, we have to visit the park in the exact same order EVERY time or the meltdown is tremendous. For those of you happy to see us disappear due to the new system, we won’t. We’ll be the ones with children, small and large, throwing fits and tantrums and ruining your visit. You know, the one YOU paid big$$ for, just like us.

September 19 2013

Lulu:

Personally I think it’s going to be a better system. I can get my pass and get out of the sun rather than waiting in a queue line in the sun for an hour. Sun, in certain queues has actually prevented me from going on some rides and the current guest assistance pass I found not to be helpful with that since it is mostly just for people with wheelchairs.

With this system it sounds like I can go eat or go to a retail location or whatever out of the sun until time to report back to the ride. As a person whose immune system literally attacks the my body when exposed to sun, I find this to be a better option for me. They really should have training for the GR employees so they can issue different passes based on disability type and keep the old type for people who issue documentation of disabilities like autism. I do like the part about having the picture on the pass. Nothing irritates me more than seeing a family wheel Grandma through the exit and then just shove her out into the sun or cold while everyone else gets on the ride and just takes advantage of her disability. That is disgusting. We’ll just have to wait and see what the actual details are to know if it is to be helpful or not. They have a similar system at Universal Studios and it seems to work quite well. In fact when I was at Disneyland recently, a gentleman in a wheelchair told me that they had been much better in dealing with his disability at Universal than they were at Disney.

September 19 2013

myra:

wow! This really sucks!! We were planning a return trip since my daughter’s Make-A-Wish was so memorable. This really hurts the disabled community. My daughter is on life support and cannot stick to a schedule and wait of 75min. Why are you punishing this population? The majority of people that will be penalized by this have not been the ones to tarnish the GAC. You have really stuck it to us. Thanks a lot.

September 19 2013

Linda:

Heartbreaking. I guess we won’t be visiting Disney again this year! We were so excited to finally go last year because my daughter cannot wait in the long lines. It was still hard, but less of a wait made it do-able. Now its just plain sad. What has the world come to?
Really.

September 19 2013

Diedre:

Having worked with special needs I can see everyone’s side of this. If the kids stand in line to long then they may throw tantrums, but to be honest, I kind of feel that if your child has severe autism I feel that you should get a card that lets you swipe for fast passes unlimited for that person and their escort. I feel that I would be ok with the one person and one other getting to come back like the rest of us have to for a fast pass and I feel that the system should allow them a fast pass per ride at a time. so if you haven’t used your fast pass you can;t get a new one for that ride again. I think 90% of people would be ok with that and it would allow parents with children with disabilities to go around and collect fast passes for the rides their child wants to go on and then they could decided which one of them gets to go with them on each ride. I feel that some disabilities can’t work with this new program and I feel that to never give kids the opportunity to go to Disneyland is sad. I hope they re due the program. making it easier for the person with the disability. I know my solution wont fix everything but I honestly feel it would be a better option.

September 19 2013

Mike:

My son was on chemotherapy for over a year causing his immune system to be compromised. He was not able to be around so many people in a small. confined environmet. He was always issued a “greenlight” pass so he could get on and off the ride as fast as possible. Kids still get cancer. They can NOT wait 75 minutes with everyone else. Disney will need to do better than this.

September 19 2013

Phil:

I have a 27 year old daughter with Down Syndrome and we have been annual pass holders since she was 2 years old. We don’t have the same issues with waiting in lines as some disabilities experience. We used the special assistance pass for a few years, but many years ago they quit giving it to us because we really didn’t need it. I have been to Disneyland over a 1000 times with a mentally disabled child and I am reading a lot of comments about parents saying they will now have to wait in line with their child who has trouble having to wait in line. I read the detailed description of the new program and I don’t see anything about waiting in lines. If you go to the kiosk and get a time for a ride, you don’t have to go stand in line. You can do what we and others have been doing for hundreds of visits under the fast pass system…you do something else during the wait time such as watch a parade, go to a show, go on rides that don’t have long lines, get a snack or a meal, or shop. My daughter used to get upset when we would trek all the way to a ride, get a fast pass, then leave. She didn’t understand the idea of coming back later. She finally figured it out, but with the new system you don’t have to walk all the way to Splash Mountain to get a fast pass then walk all the way back to some other land to do something. What the new system does is that it prevents people (both abusers and those with legitimate disabilities) from going from ride-to-ride and jumping to the head of the line all day long. That was jamming up all the major rides at the park on busy days making it a poor experience for everyone visiting the park. As an industrial engineering professor who teaches waiting line theory I saw this problem years ago and wondered when they were going to address it. I have been in guest relations and seen the abusers verbally assault employees for not giving them a special assistance pass. Now their incentive for abusing the system is gone because they couldn’t just go from ride to ride and jumping to the front.

September 19 2013

Karma:

I think it’s about time something like this happens. While we all read your cries of autistic kids and ADD family scenarios, there are many levels of each thing. Do not blame Disney for making this drastic change. Blame the idiotic, lazy guests that abused the system by thinking “they are too rich to wait in line.” Thank them for this drastic change. By the way, EVERYONE has a certain level of ADD. you can’t use that excuse to try and get a different kind of pass. NO ONE likes waiting in lines, but you have to now. Again, thank the lazy inconsiderate guests who abuse the GAC card for this change. Disney is doing the right thing by making this change. If people don’t like hearing kids yelling and screaming, too bad. Families don’t want their kids with autism treated differently, they want them to be all the same…yet they want this special treatment? Can’t have it both ways.

Again, I feel your pain. I know how upsetting it is to be stared at with an autistic child. I know how you feel hearing this news…but Disney is NOT to blame. and no, I’m not working for Disney…this is just my honest opinion. I love this idea of coming back at a certain time and keeping busy with seeing other things. TRUST ME, I have ADD. I love that I can possibly keep myself busy while waiting for a ride. I think it’s great.

Let’s all just see how it goes. Then make our jugement calls then.

September 19 2013

ihateiger:

http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/disneyland-discontinues.fb31?source=s.icn.fb&r_by=8795274 stop this from happening

September 19 2013

ihateiger:

http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/disneyland-discontinues.fb31?source=s.icn.fb&r_by=8795274

September 19 2013

Sophie:

To everyone who used the GAC system and is concerned, please read this.

Please do not believe that all cast members are jerks and will not understand what you are going through. You will still be going through the same line as you did before. The only difference is monitoring how often you go through the line by only having you “reserved” for one ride at a time. In that mean time, you are able to utilize the fastpass system in addition to that. This is more than what the typical guest will get. Guest service is Disney’s priority, and they will accommodate all guests with disabilities.

Also, keep in mind that the less people going through the fastpass line, means that the standby line will move faster. It benefits all, including those with disabilities. Having the standby line moving faster means lower wait times for you while you are waiting for the bigger attractions. It will be a good thing in the end. :)

September 19 2013

Maryam:

Good people are paying for bad people behaviors.

September 19 2013

A Stranger:

Listen. All of you. Do you own a theme park? Are you a successful business owner that operates rides resorts water parks and cruise lines? NO. You can cry, complain and diss all you want. IT IS NOT YOUR CHOICE.

If you truly want someone to blame, blame those rich folk that BOUGHT DISABLED TOURGUIDES to go through fast pass lines because they thought they were “too rich to wait”.

This is a brilliant idea. If families truly want to ride the same ride over and over, buck up and either wait in Stand By line or get yourself a Fast Pass and wait your turn. Go do something else.

When it comes to those claiming ADD, you are an idiot. we ALL have ADD, just different levels. I have ADD and was diagnosed at a young age with it. my cousin is autistic. very much so. Yet, as kids, we would have no problem waiting in lines. and he was a yeller, but he was EXCITED to just be at Disney. We didn’t need GAC cards. People…people are selfish. I’m not saying all people, but it’s the selfish ones that cost you the GAC cards.

I know this looks like an awful thing. but I guarantee it will be good. If you are one of those people who are THOSE vacationers—the ones that yell cry, and scream WORSE than a child to get what they want…I’m sure you will think of some crazy story as to why you are different than the rest of us.

Speaking of Different—- I know a lot of families probably don’t want their family member to be different..they want equal treatment as everyone else, yet they want something DIFFERENT… you can’t have both.

September 19 2013

Finally can say NO:

DAS is going to work so much better, and for all of you riding those thrill rides with “back injuries” “hip problems” and “anxiety” you’ll finally have to get a real Fast Pass, or even better, when FastPass+ is fully rolled out, you can use that instead of lying to Guest Relations CM and practically forcing them to give you a card. CM’s will finally be able to say NO for all those liars, cheaters, and bullshit artist out there that are selfish and only care about themselves.

For people that really need it, will still be able to get accommodations—there’s no doubt in my mind.

So get over the change….Guest Relations can finally say NO.

September 19 2013

Melody:

I cannot stand in line due to having bladder cancer and with surgery I now have Intersticial Cystitis. I have to leave multiple times to the bathroom. And I don’t want to be in a wheelchair when I can walk. John Smith you have no idea about anything. It is NOT going to work because of people like me, other disabled people and autistic children. Going back and forth for each ride is ridiculous. Disneyland will have lawsuits and I will be one of them that does it. It is not fair because of a lesser amount of people who abused it to hurt the ones who need it. I think bringing a dr. note of the diagnosis is a much smarter way to accommodate those who need it. If you need to check on it and call the dr. office fine, but at least let a person who needs it have it for the whole time they are being at the parks. Not going back and forth from ride to ride. I have not renewed my premium annual pass and I won’t until this is fixed correctly.

September 19 2013

Kate:

This sounds like a great idea. As someone who has worked and played at Disney World many a times, I really hope this system comes to Orlando soon. It’s really funny to see people complaining. You clearly don’t understand the system or you were taking way too much advantage of the GAC cards. You are getting a DAS pass AND regular fastpasses. Now Disney is just limiting you jumping in front of everyone else.

I’m used to the complaints from those people who took advantage of the GACs. I worked with characters and we really only let Make-A-Wish up to the front of the line. I understand that some of you have legitimate handicaps while you look normal on the outside. Where does this article say you won’t be accommodated? You will be!! You just, finally, won’t be able to jump ahead of the line on every ride when ever you want. And to those of you talking about your autistic kids acting out, I feel sorry for you, I do. But these kids need to learn, and they are capable, how to behave in public. Maybe Disney is actually doing something to help them in the future. Use this opportunity to teach these children how to properly behave. It sounds like you still won’t be waiting in the regular line, you’ll just have to come back later. There are PLENTY of other things you can do in the park. This is a good thing.

September 19 2013

Jessica:

The new pass will get you the same thing, just at a later time. You get your DAS ticket stamped with a return time for Peter Pan, say an hour later. In that hour, you watch the castle stage show, do something with no wait, or round up regular fast passes for other rides. Instead of being walked up right away, you’re going through the shorter line later. In Orlando, with the new magic my way wristbands, the fast pass lines are getting much shorter, to the point where there is no wait for some rides with a fast pass. Yes, during Christmas and other peak seasons all that goes out the window, but if a special needs child has problems being around people, that is the absolute WORST time to go to the parks anyway.

September 19 2013

Sharon:

This is really bothersome. I don’t like the abuse that is going on. I am annoyed every time I see it happening but why does my child have to pay for that abuse? We are premium pass holders, it is my daughters favorite place to go. She has epilepsy, high anxiety and mental disability. She gets extremely anxious around a lot of people so standing in long lines unnerves her. Now she won’t be able to go because we have to wait in long lines. It is crazy to have to keep going back and forth to kiosks. What do we do in between the times if we can’t go on rides? Not a very happy Mom to a child that thinks Disneyland is the greatest place on earth

September 19 2013

Laura:

It’s not just the waiting in line, it’s the waiting to get on those few rides. My son and I have a system when we go. Hell, even walking into the park and having to wait in the city hall line has proved to be a tremendous feat. My son has no interest in the parades or even meeting characters, we’ve tried it all. It’s the meltdowns that will occur in these kids while wandering aimlessly through the park that concerns me. My son is strong and my son is fast. He has made adult guests we didn’t even know cry by pulling their hair. This is the same child that, if driving in the Disneyland area and happen to turn the opposite direction, will bang his head on the car window because he wants Disneyland. So, I accommodate, I never drive in that area when he’s in the car. As a mom, you bet your ass I will do anything I can to make this child’s life as easy as possible. No one autistic child is alike, so those of you who don’t even have special needs children, shut your mouthes because you have no clue.

September 19 2013

rebecca:

just remember all of u who are saying suck it up when you have to be around a kid with adhd & autism in line who is being his normal self bumping into you yelling complaining etc remember to suck it up :)

September 19 2013

Emily:

I fully support them changing the program and how it is being used. But the “Disabled Assistance Program” name infuriates me. Disney ITSELF preaches how guests are “people first”. you do not say there is a disabled guest, you say there is a guest with disabilities. You are not supposed to identify the person by their disabilities. I, along with all my fellow CMs, had to sit through hours of classes on this subject. and what do they do? they turn around and change the damn Guest Assistance Card to DISABLED assistance card. I have been so disappointed with Disney and the way that is it run the past few months and this is just the icing on the cake.

September 19 2013

kb:

I appreciate Disney’s efforts in this regard. As a differently abled chair user I could not be happier with the news that Disney is working on improving their access. I don’t like lines but I seriously Hate the fuss when I enter rides from tight exits, make others wait longer while I struggle on and off rides, and most especially the dirty looks when it appears we didn’t wait our turn when my family rides with me. I believe the New system will address the needs of those with life threatening illness as well as those with autism as I read it. Make A Wish will have the same access. Take a break while waiting for your fast pass or reservation. Be curious, ask for what you need, and be kind to one another. Life’s too short.

September 19 2013

Alex Hagen:

The simple logic is that if you can’t wait in lines, don’t go to a place where you wait in lines.

Shame on those for making us feel bad for them. Last time I checked, people with disabilities just want to be treated like everyone else. Now all the sudden when they feel like something was “taken away from them” they want to be different and given special treatment. Shame on all of them.

Get a FastPass. Go in January. Perhaps early in the morning or late at night when the lines are shorter. Get a FastPass. GET A FASTPASS.

AND SHAME ON PEOPLE FOR ACTING THIS WAY. It’s ridiculous that this article would suggest that additional security would be added to these locations for verbal abuse. ARE YOU KIDDING? Remember that when you visit WDW, DCA, DLR, you are a Guest. A GUEST. Do you go to your neighbor’s house and act a fool? If you can’t behave with manners and keep from throwing a temper tantrum, stay at home! You aren’t entitled to anything. Cast Members are not hostage negotiators. It is what it is.

Lastly, get used to MyMagic+ if you’re visiting WDW. Download the MyDisneyExperience application. Make an account. When it rolls out you’ll reserve your FastPasses from home if you have an active ticket linked to your account.

September 19 2013

Currently disabled former cast member:

As a former cast member who also currently suffers from a disability, I will say this is a much better system. I understand that for some this may make things seem more difficult, but you must understand that because everyone out there who thought they deserved to be backdoored to the front of the line and really could have waited in the que this system broke down. As a disabled adult who visited a park as a non-cast member, I saw many people who had a GAC card but were otherwise not using the wheelchair through the rest of the day or the family took turns using it. Or like they said one person was disabled but not going on any of the attractions that the rest of the family was. The rest of us paid for our trips and had to wait in line, in the past the GAC was to accommodate those who could not navigate the que physically. Now disney is updating attraction access to accommodate all access I was offered a GAC by a cast member who knew my situation but declined because I knew the system was overloaded I am sure Disney will be evaluating and updating this system as it sees a need, but the old system was very broken. Take some time, map out your trip through using the new system, explain this to your children. I understand that for children with Autism this can still be a difficult thing if they have been accustomed to an old system, however there are ways to work through it. Do not blame disney, if you are looking to place blame look to the thousands of people who abused this system every day.

September 20 2013

Awesome!!:

Finally! All those cheats and liars can stop being babies and wait like everyone else! Also might I shine light on all you “i have an autistic kid” card players. YOU WILL be able to get a DAS card… you just wont be able to use it as frequently as you would like. so quit whining that your whole life is ruined.. YOU CAN STILL GET A CARD! you just cant ride every major ride at anytime you want. youll have to do other things and youll still get in through the back way.. but you wont get to go on everything back to back like with the GAC cards!!! jeezzz and if disney ruined your life that much.. well good make room for people that wont COMPLAIN that disney doesnt bend over MILES for them!

September 20 2013

Kelly O'Neil:

THANK YOU DISNEYLAND for making changes that should have been done years ago. Both my husband and I need this pass, due to sever long term and permeate back problems we are simply unable to stand in long lines. We don’t mind waiting just like everyone else, we just can’t do it by standing in the line. It has always really upset us when we see people clearly abusing this system. When we see perfectly healthy teenagers or even adults that just want to be lazy and use this card it’s upsetting because we knew one day it would come to an end because if them. We would both gladly give up our bad backs and stand in lines for hours rather then deal with what we have to day in and day out. People think we are “lucky” because we have this pass, well I think your lucky because you don’t live with back pain EVERYDAY if your life.

September 20 2013

For myra:

MYRA— obviously with people on life support they will most likely still have something for the make a wish kids and families. That would be the only exception.. I doubt they would have someone from make a wish wait…

September 20 2013

Good lord:

Joanne M…. Shut it.

You think disney is only for healthy people? No. Why do you think there’s handicap seating? Why do you think there is wheelchair access? Obviously, people in wheelchairs must be healthy. Or, you know, YOUR version of healthy.

Magical mom – you too can shut it. We all paid for vacations at disney. We all paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to wait in the same line. You claim you want your child to fit in… Well here you go. People are always going to stare. That’s just basic instinct. You cant have it both ways. The picture on the dac is to make sure that person is also going on the ride. If you don’t want to wait, you don’t have to. Ride something else. Go to a store… But playing the “I want him like everyone else” card and then complaining about this new card that will make him wait… Like EVERYONE ELSE… Is hypocritical.

There is no healthy person discount. But there is an annual pass discount. And multiple people with disabilities have one. Shut up and just wait and see what happens…

September 20 2013

Ihateigerrnoo:

Hey… Ihateiger… Can you make a petition for rude, inconsiderate, and Snarky spoiled guests from coming to disney? No? Then let this play out.

Not saying anyone here fits the description, but those people are at the parks too..

September 20 2013

Mindee:

I love this program, it will make the fraud harder to pass through and the easier for those that actually need the system. So please stop complaining that you cant do the parks if you have problems or children with problems you can you just have to plan like the rest of the population.!~!

September 20 2013

Alice:

Ok I have sever social anxiety and mobility problems
What does this mean for me and my service dog?
Because the GAC helped me and my service dog through the park with out any Problems of being looked at Like i’m a purple unicorn

September 20 2013

Jenny:

My name is Jenny I am 32 I love disney so much my big thing is the lines I can’t stand in them I love the pass u have now I do not think u shold take it away just let people bring in things from the docs and telling them why they need the pass. I been turn away from a lot of parks in Florida because they don’t do the pass for the disabled people like me need them. It be nice not too have too be turn from Disney if u don’t do the pass I can’t go on any thing don’t do this too me or any other disabled kid not right think about what u doing?????

September 20 2013

Thank You:

Okay to people saying they will sue Disney for this, there is nothing illegal about this. Heck Disney could take it away all together if they wanted to, but they didn’t. If you try to take it to court, the court will simply say there is nothing illegal about it and Disney doesn’t even have to do any sort of assistance card. All they have to do is make all their locations and ride lines/rides handicap accessible. People are way to sue happy these days, all want money money money.

September 20 2013

Judy York:

I am sorry for the ones who need to use this system but the ones to blame are the ones that abuse the system cause they don’t want to wait in line. Just because you are pregnant or grandma who doesn’t want to wait for the kids to get off the attractions oh well ….. remember pregnancy is not a disability it is a choice and grandma ….. wait your turn just like the rest of us ….. think of the kids that are terminal and need it …. not your selfishness ……

September 20 2013

David:

I was in Guest Relations during the SAP → GAC transition and can confirm that the process will be very ugly for the first 3-6 months. Hats off to all those CMs who will be in the vanguard.

September 20 2013

Jason Philip Punchard:

Ok well it sounds like most of you have never delt with special needs children. They have an overwhelming amount of anxiety and it is hard for them to concentrate long enough to stand in line. So when you’re in line next to a child who won’t stand still, runs back and forth, bumps into you and your children, and screams at the top of their lungs. Remember you wanted and supported this. No not all special needs kids will do this but some will. So keep your mouth shut and don’t tell the parents they need to discipline their child. It’s not a parenting issue it’s a lack of compassion Disney has for these type of kids.

September 20 2013

Lidiya :

Some of you have no idea what it is like to have a child with special needs. Remember your perfectly healthy, typical, no problems goingout in public children can change in a moment. Anythingcan hhappen and completely change your life. Heaven forbid you ever have to deal with situation, because then you would have to eat your words.

September 20 2013

Speechteacher:

I was using a wheelchair for a while after having hurt my back. Sometimes the GAC line wasn’t all that much shorter especially on Space Mountain which was about a 1+ hour wait down in the dark depths of the exit near the bathrooms, not a pleasant place to wait. I didn’t mind waiting in line, but due to the lack of wheelchair accessibility I needed the GAC because I couldn’t stand and DL refused to allow me to bring in and use a folding tripod-like stool/cane combo. If they are going to allow wheelchair access into the lines, then I think many people who would have otherwise used a GAC will just agree to wait in line with their companions.

September 20 2013

Natalie Burge:

I am really worried about this new system. My little brother and sister both have serious brain damage due to drug exposure while in the womb. The GAC car wa the only way we could manage a day at Disney. My brother is explosive an before we knew about the GAC card he would try to wait in long lines but would end up screaming, biting, kicking and cussing out/hurting the guests around us. It was not pretty. Now that the GAC cards are gone I do not think that my family will be able to go back to Disneyland and have a successful day. This is very sad. I can honestly say that my family never abused the privilege and yes there were times that I did not get to go on a ride because my brother freaked out last second and because the GAC was for HIM non of us could go. I am really sad that this is happening. Not cool Disney.

September 20 2013

Lala:

That is soooo long overdue, they should have come up with that years agoooo, the gacs have so long been abused, this is awesomeeee, so excited for that

September 20 2013

Bill:

Just taking note of what the entitled folks here are saying:
To them, it’s supposedly about “B-but I can’t wait in line, THINK OF THE CHILDREN!”
And Disney is saying—fine, you won’t have to wait in the line, but you’ll have to sit out that time the same amount as everyone else, whether it’s to go grab some food or watch a parade or something.

AND THIS ISN’T GOOD ENOUGH. The great majority of folks with disabilities are fine, upstanding folk who do not ask for special treatment.

The others, like Ms. “MUH BLADDER IMMA SUE YOU” up here, are simply entitled children who are desperately angry that they can’t take advantage of disease/illness (which is morally reprehensible, but that’s another story) and that they are no longer special snowflakes.

September 20 2013

former cast memeber:

The Guest Assistance card was a joke. Why do you need to have six total people included on it when it should only be the person who actually needs it and the parents. Not six freaking people. Healthy and “non” healthy people have been abusing the hell out of this program since it came out, finding out ways to sucker the Plaids into giving them what they want or else they will go higher and whine and complain about it. ADHD or Autism is one thing, but if the disabled are constantly bitching and complaining about wanting to be treated just like any other able bodied guest, than they should be able to wait just like anyone else. You can only abuse something for so long before it gets taken away

September 20 2013

Adult View Point:

Tolerance people! It is still an accommodation. It is a shame that a few bad apples always ruin a good thing for those who really needed it but it is what it is. It is so difficult caring for a disabled person so have some compassion they are not acting entitled just trying to plan to enjoy themselves and make the trip a success. So much goes wrong when caring for specials needs individuals a company like Disney is one of the few that made it easier to have some normalcy.

Chill out people and show some tolerance and compassion.

September 21 2013

JP:

….some of the comments that I’ve read …have me woefully shaking my head …at the complete lack of understanding regarding this issue. I see people threatening to sue. Why? Because the GAC ….basically a ‘golden ticket’ is being revoked after far too long in use. I’m honestly surprised that some advocacy group for the non-disabled folk that have gone to Disney haven’t filed a suit …because what the GAC card did ….was illegal. ADA Laws only give you ‘access’ …that’s it. The same access (or that’s what was intended) as an able bodied person may have to a ride or attraction. Giving someone a GAC because they are disabled, or so they say, and allowing them to sidestep the same access as everyone else …on a basis of “I’m disabled” ….tilts the ‘field’ in their favor. And THAT is illegal.

….going to WDW / DL is not a ‘right’ …it’s not ‘deserved’ …it’s not ‘owed to anyone’. Yet many of the comments seem to imply that.

….I don’t like the cold …so I don’t live in Alaska or go skiing. Maybe someone that is highly susceptible to the impacts of waiting on lines, noises, excessive exterior stimuli, hot weather, crowds ….perhaps needs to make a vacation destination something other than a Disney park?

September 21 2013

Michelle:

I realize the pass was abused but there could have been a better solution. All Disney had to do was get a doctor to sign off on the reason the person or child would need the pass.Then have the child or adults picture on the pass. My 7 year old grandson has Autism and there is no way we will be able to keep him busy for an hour if he sees a ride he wants to go on. We put off going to Disney, because of this reason! If you have ever been to a theme park with a child that has Autism you would understand! Our whole lives have been changed because of Autism, some for the better like more Compassion to others and wanting to help other unfortunate children and people. The other, we will never be able to have the life that others can enjoy! I have never even been able to hear my grandson call me grandma, he can’t even ask us what he wants. But he knows everything inside. Just think what it would be like to never be able to say what you are thinking! Those of you have so much to say about this and yet my grandson will never be able to tell you how he feels! I pray for all of you so you understand the less fortunate, God help you! Yes there will always be those that take advantage, but there are solutions. The only problem here is the fact that Disney didn’t use common sense a long time ago about the pass. It was not thought through when they first initiated it. Those of you that are hating the people that need the pass SHAME ON YOU! YOU BELONG TO THE ME SOCIETY OF TODAY! That being said, I don’t think we will be going to Disney next Summer like planned. My daughter is getting her Masters in Occupational Therapy to help more children in addition to caring for my grandson. I also have changed my career of 20 years to assist in Autistic Support. This trip to Disney was going to be a gift for her Graduation, a way to try and bond more with our grandson. Now I doubt we will be able to make it work out, it would be way too stressful!

September 21 2013

Self-Entitled Idiots:

You’re not special snowflakes. DEAL WITH IT. Your autistic children and disabled people can wait JUST LIKE THE REST OF US. When I see a ride I want to go on SURE I get excited! Sure, a long line can be overwhelming, but IT IS WHAT IT IS. Stop whining like the little spoiled brats you are and get your heads out your….. backsides.

If you don’t like it, THEN DON’T GO. More Disney for OTHERS to enjoy.

Oh and I was diagnosed with Autism when I was little, so no crying. ;) Obey the rules like everyone else or don’t go, and save people like ME the heartache. You’re there to have fun. If that stresses you out then you don’t belong. The end.

September 22 2013

Cindy:

Awww I’m gonna miss my magic little blue card :( How am I supposed to plan my day? I used to ride almost every ride TWICE in just a few hours!! I’m so pissed at Disney. They are gonna lose so much business. I am NOT renewing my AP. Main Street Elite

September 22 2013

cj:

I am all behind disney making these changes, but my fear is that just because I am an annual passholder, they are going to assume that I am not “disabled”. I pay premiuim pricing for my pass for the very reason that because of my “disability” I cant be around so many people for a long period of times.i love disney so much that I pay ahefty price to go to the park two or three times a month for 3 to 4 hours at a time. The GAC really helped me out letting me enjoy rides that I could never enjoy if it wasnt for that card. Im happy to see they are weeding out abusers and I welcome the new system.

September 23 2013

Ellie:

If anyone is mad they should be yelling at the jerks who abused the GAC system, not Disney. There were days were literally more than 3/4 of the Radiator Springs Racers fastpass line was GAC holders. 10% of Americans are disabled but over 20% of Disney guests were using GACs. So get mad at them. Disney has gone above and beyond to accomodate and come on! It’s in their best interest to do so! They literally have no motive for keeping people from going to the parks and enjoying them. It’s ridiculous to get mad about this.

September 24 2013

Jolie:

I still don’t understand why more people don’t try to handle the situation the way that I do: go on a day that isn’t as busy. I have a hip problem that makes it hard for me to stand in line for more than half an hour, so we try to go to Disneyland on a Tuesday in February or October. I used to take my wheelchair-bound grandmother on a weekday in November where we could still see all of the Christmas decorations and yet have shorter lines to deal with. I know these sorts of choices won’t work for everyone who has an issue, but they have served me well over the years.

September 28 2013

debbie:

Too bad the people that abused this have hurt the people that need it. Like the picture idea but not that you have to go on the ride. Disney is a expensive place to visit & difficult for people with disabilities, one person with a disability affects the whole families Magical trip, . I think this has been a little over thought by Disney. hope they come up with something better.

October 14 2013

NFfam:

So let me get this straight…now disabled guests wait in 2 lines, one for the pass and again to get on the ride?? LAME!! I am compassionate to the families saying Autistic kids need the pass, I work with kids who have ASD. HOWEVER, I don’t see anyone talking about how taxing it is for individuals ( not just kids) to be at DL/DCA and have long wait times. People with chronic medical problems can only handle so much in one day. Also, it is tiring to push a wheelchair around all day…. Trust me, I’ve done it. It’s not just the disabled guest but also parents who have extra weight to push around.

November 08 2013

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