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troy0228
07-02-2013, 08:45 PM
I just returned from Disney World and I have information regarding the Guest Assistance Cards (GAC). I spoke to guest relations about the rumors that Disney is planning some changes to the GAC program. Guest relations stated that there has been lots of abuse to the GAC program and some changes are being planned. If Disney changes the program to a program based on wait times it will destroy the attraction access for many people. The GAC program Disney has is the best system I have ever seen at a them park and it works well. People need to write guest services and explain why they need this program and how it helps a person enjoy the parks, not just so a person can get to the front of the line. The people abusing the system are going to destroy a good thing for the ones that really need it, please write Disney to save this much needed benefit Disney offers.

MNNHFLTX
07-02-2013, 09:01 PM
I would have to hear what the changes are to be able to weigh in on this. Can you provide details? I am totally supportive of the use of GAC, but if there are some simple ways to cut down on abuse, that would make sense to me. :confused:

troy0228
07-02-2013, 09:17 PM
Guest serviced did not give any exact plans, but they did say plans based on wait times were being researched as well as other options. It is the plans based on wait times that have me concerned. I am all for stopping the abuse, but with any system people will find a way to abuse it.

gerald72
07-02-2013, 09:20 PM
I'm sure the changes are for the better.
You should at least wait to hear what they are before starting a letter-writing campaign.

troy0228
07-02-2013, 09:54 PM
No, guest services said that I better write a letter if I want to influence the changes. As seen at other parks the new changes are only good for the person that was paid to make the changes not for the people that the changes effect. Look at Bushgardens they had a good system then they hired a consultant and now virtual ques, so now you just wait in a virtual line. WRITE those letters!!

Mickey'sGirl
07-02-2013, 10:09 PM
I support the use of virtual queues. If the GAC is to provide alternative waiting places etc for the GAC guest, then it makes sense for wait times to be aligned with those waiting in the standard queue. If the needs of those with the GAC are being addressed with alternative waiting areas etc, then this seems to be an appropriate accommodation.

Speaking as a person with a disability and the mother of two autistic sons, I am not looking for special treatment, but for an opportunity to enjoy things in a manner that considers our needs when and if the circumstances require it. I do not want to jump the line.

Pirate Granny
07-02-2013, 11:24 PM
Love, love, love the Disneyland Paris GAC...one person and three additional persons ...that's the limit. You go to the line and they give the next person to come a red numbered card, and give you the matching number...if more than four persons in your party, those persons JOIN the regular line...GAC group wait at either the alternate entrance or the exit entrance. When the person with the card reaches the head of the line, your number is called and you board the ride. EVERYONE waits their turn, there are no more head to the front of the line, much fairer system and very few cheaters...hoping that this means that twenty people with grandpa in a wheelchair all wait their turn...my dad was in a chair and he waited to the side, and joined us when we got to the head of the line....

MNNHFLTX
07-02-2013, 11:31 PM
I have to say that I agree with Jennifer. I have referred several people to the GAC program (my own sister-in-law included--she has MS) and none of them were looking for front-of-the-line access, just accommodation to their needs--waiting out of the heat/sun or someplace to sit while they wait. So virtual queues seem appropriate to me for most scenarios.

DANAM
07-02-2013, 11:53 PM
I like this idea. My son has severe anxiety and panic attacks. I never knew something like the GAC was even available. Our last trip we swore we wouldn't go back because several time my husband or myself would have to exit the regular line with my son. I really felt sorry for my daughter because we as adults know there's an issue but she was so embarrassed. I've been researching this topic some and I was feeling a little hesitant about seeing if this was an option for our family. I felt a little guilty about hoping the line because sometimes my son is fine but we never know when an attack may be triggered. And a lot of time the anticipation causes it. Keep us posted as any updates become available.

troy0228
07-03-2013, 09:13 AM
I like the current system, we use the fast pass line Waite our turn and ride. The green light card gets even faster access, but they deserve the best access. Now how the rule changed so that a person can take 10-14 people I don't know. I was told you can only take a party of 5 or less with a gac card. I personally hate the virtual queue because all you get done is waiting for the time, its better to just get a fast pass. I don't know what the answer is but not all people will be happy with every change.

tinklover
07-03-2013, 09:58 AM
We get a GAC card when we go as I have arthritis in my back, hips and feet and I use an ECV. We also get one for our daughters who are autistic (youngest one now has a special needs stroller for other medical needs). We only use it for the lines that we know will trigger a meltdown for them, with that being said, if the ride has a fastpass then we do utilize the fastpass and go that route. I was in line for test track in May when a gentleman in front of us turned to me in my scooter and held out his card and said aren't these great they are an endless time free fastpass card. I was livid and gave him a piece of my mind. Told him it was insensitive people like him who are making it more and more difficult for people like me and people who have kids like mine to get the help they need because we have invisible disabilities. I said just becuse the card is around my neck, I did not use it for this ride. We have fastpasses, see and I held it up as we waited to reach the 2nd cast member before getting in queue for our car. His wife turned and said I told you to shut your mouth, now we are going to get in trouble. As we got to theCM and showed our fastpasses, the CMs said we heard your speech, and want to say thank you. we can't say anything or we get in trouble, but thank you again for speaking up. and they gave us an open fastpass to come back again. I hate that people are abusing the system. IN the 3 years we have used the card, NEVER EVER, have we gotten front of the line access. I saw the undercover video of the unethical tour guides, and they apparently do things differently in DL and DCA. It showed the GAC holder just going in a back entrance with no assistance from a CM or anything. Maybe they get front of the line access out there? It doesn't happen in Florida. I am interested to see what changes they come up with and I won't jump on the letter campaign until I know what changes they will be making either.

Mickey'sGirl
07-03-2013, 10:24 AM
Its better to just get a fast pass. I don't know what the answer is but not all people will be happy with every change.
Honestly, a fastpass is all we ever needed, we've never used the GAC. But, there are many who have needs which prevent them from using a queue and they are waiting in alternate areas.

snuggs30
07-03-2013, 12:24 PM
Being a mother of a 11 yr old Autistic ADHD son, this has been a life savor for me. We have never been to the front of the line, just in fast pass and have waited several minutes also. My son could never wait in a line for 30 min or more. Every chance we get to wait in a normal line 15 min or less we will go do that instead. I also bring a letter from the DR stating about how my son has issues standing in line. Now they don't have to read it, but they always do. It just makes me feel better knowing they really do no he has a disablity. I hope they do not change the policy. There are ALOT of people that this would really affect.

BuffaloJason
07-03-2013, 01:34 PM
Love, love, love the Disneyland Paris GAC...one person and three additional persons ...that's the limit. You go to the line and they give the next person to come a red numbered card, and give you the matching number...if more than four persons in your party, those persons JOIN the regular line...GAC group wait at either the alternate entrance or the exit entrance. When the person with the card reaches the head of the line, your number is called and you board the ride. EVERYONE waits their turn, there are no more head to the front of the line, much fairer system and very few cheaters...hoping that this means that twenty people with grandpa in a wheelchair all wait their turn...my dad was in a chair and he waited to the side, and joined us when we got to the head of the line....

This sounds perfect, and simple. Why doesn't everywhere use this system?

BrerGnat
07-03-2013, 01:40 PM
I am also a mother of 2 autistic sons and from what I have heard, the changes will be for the better.

It seems most likely that the system will be set up the way they are handling the GAC at Radiator Springs Racers at DCA. There, you show your GAC and are given a hand written ticket with a time to return written on it. The time is the lesser of 60 min or the current standby wait time. When we went, the standby line was 150 min, so we got a pass to return in 60 minutes. While we waited for the time to come around, we enjoyed some rides in the nearby Bug's Land, and when we returned, used our ticket to enter the FP line. My son just can't really be surrounded by a lot of people for a long period of time so this worked out really well for us.

If they do this for all rides, I would totally welcome it. In fact, it would be MORE accommodating than the current system, for us, as the ability to stand or sit away from the crowd of people at the attraction while we wait our turn would help immensely.

I have no issues waiting, and my son that has the issues in lines understands waiting for things just fine. It's the physical challenges of the environment of crowded queues that is hard for him. Being given a set time to return for immediate access would be a wonderful change, and that is what is being considered at this time.

troy0228
07-03-2013, 07:33 PM
The current system is great it works perfect for my family, I just hate I have to suffer because of all the abusers. I personally feel the virtual queues are terrible that's why I never go to universal studios.

MNNHFLTX
07-03-2013, 08:24 PM
Troy, you're certainly entitled to your opinion on this, but just curious--why do you dislike the idea of virtual queues? Is it that the return time is too long or that you can't go do anything else while you wait? I agree with you, though--it stinks that the actions of some folks can ruin it for others. But that's the way our society tends to work these days. :shake:

One thing that hasn't been mentioned (and maybe Natalie has some experience with this at Disneyland) is whether or not you're allowed to be in more than one virtual queue at a time. With a potential wait time of 60 minutes I would think that you would be allowed to hold two wait times at one time. I know at Universal Studios they don't allow this, but then again the max wait time in a virtual queue there is 30 minutes.

VWL Mom
07-03-2013, 09:06 PM
One thing that hasn't been mentioned (and maybe Natalie has some experience with this at Disneyland) is whether or not you're allowed to be in more than one virtual queue at a time. With a potential wait time of 60 minutes I would think that you would be allowed to hold two wait times at one time. I know at Universal Studios they don't allow this, but then again the max wait time in a virtual queue there is 30 minutes.

Wouldn't this lead to more abuse? If it's easier to get unlimited queues over the three FP+ that everyone else will be using, I see those cheating the system just piling on more. It's a shame.

I just spent 5 days watching a Make a Wish family having the time of their lives (we seemed to run into them each day) and using the GAC. I would love to see improvements made and the bad apples weeded out.

troy0228
07-03-2013, 09:31 PM
Most virtual queues I have used you have to Waite the time the regular line has posted and you just spend time waiting for that Waite time to expire. Some parks will not let you be in more than 1 queue at a time so you just sit. I my case it is not the queue line or the waiting area, it is the time itself. I get very fatigued quickly and I endure a great deal of pain because of my injury. I like the fact I can use the fast pass line, myself, my wife and son can enjoy the attractions and then if needed I can go back to the hotel and rest. I ride the attractions 1 time and then we do whatever for the rest of the day. Yes I know with a GAC card it like a fast pass for all the rides but it works great for my family and I enjoy Disney so much more because of this benefit, and I think this is the reason why the GAC program was created to allow a guest to enjoy the parks. I like the use of the fast pass line because you go where everyone else goes and you don't make a scene or go to the front and make people mad. I also understand Disney has levels of gac cards, not all of them give you access to the fast pass line. I am just saying for my needs and others like me the current system works great. I don't have the answer but maybe a virtual queue could be used for some people and the current alternate entrance program used for others. I think the program needs to meet the needs of the individual guest not be a blanket program one size fits all. Meeting my needs is why I spend so much time and money coming to Disney because other parks do not accommodate my needs.

BrerGnat
07-04-2013, 03:49 PM
Well, in our experience at DL, we rode several rides in that hour we waited for RSR. We could have used our GAC for those rides too, but they were just the kiddie rides at Bugs Land and we don't need it there as the lines are less than 5 min. We did use our GAC at Mater's Jamboree which had a 45 min standby. We were let in the exit gate after two ride cycles. We then returned for our RSR time. Since the RSR ticket was hand written, there is no way to "track" that we had it.

waymickey
07-04-2013, 05:53 PM
I am also a mother of 2 autistic sons and from what I have heard, the changes will be for the better.

It seems most likely that the system will be set up the way they are handling the GAC at Radiator Springs Racers at DCA. There, you show your GAC and are given a hand written ticket with a time to return written on it. The time is the lesser of 60 min or the current standby wait time. When we went, the standby line was 150 min, so we got a pass to return in 60 minutes. While we waited for the time to come around, we enjoyed some rides in the nearby Bug's Land, and when we returned, used our ticket to enter the FP line. My son just can't really be surrounded by a lot of people for a long period of time so this worked out really well for us.

If they do this for all rides, I would totally welcome it. In fact, it would be MORE accommodating than the current system, for us, as the ability to stand or sit away from the crowd of people at the attraction while we wait our turn would help immensely.

I have no issues waiting, and my son that has the issues in lines understands waiting for things just fine. It's the physical challenges of the environment of crowded queues that is hard for him. Being given a set time to return for immediate access would be a wonderful change, and that is what is being considered at this time.

This sounds like a great idea and I hope this is the new system at WDW.

joanna71985
07-04-2013, 08:14 PM
No offense, but the GAC should not be able to be used like an unlimited FP