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Walt Disney World (WDW) News Discuss Disney ditching the Disabled pass. in the News & Rumors forums; Disney Faces Uproar Over Disabled Guest Policy at Theme Parks | Fox News Insider http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/23/travel...ges/?hpt=hp_t2 Well, I for one am upset about this. Having a child with Mesial Temporal Sclerosis, ...
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    Ultimatewdwfan's Avatar
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    Disney ditching the Disabled pass.

    Disney Faces Uproar Over Disabled Guest Policy at Theme Parks | Fox News Insider

    http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/23/travel...ges/?hpt=hp_t2

    Well, I for one am upset about this. Having a child with Mesial Temporal Sclerosis, the disabled pass was a huge benefit to my family.

    I hear a lot of folks complaining:
    "I pay the same fee they do, why do they get to skip the line."
    "Too many people were allowed to skip the line."

    I'm sure these folks that complained, will be the first to complain when trying to get a handicap child through the line, or they get stuck behind the loud autistic child in line.

    Parent's with handicapped and disabled children have mountains to climb. Even the simplest of every day routines, like sitting down for down lunch is a chore. I know on average our lunches were an hour and half. Walking around the park for someone who has to push a wheelchair, or a child with a prosthetic leg isn't a leisurely stroll, it's a marathon in Disney.

    I understand that some folks abused the system, but this is no reason to ditch the system, all they had to do is tighten up the security on the system.

    The new system of giving ride times is not a benefit. Only have one leg Timmy? Can't make it from Tomorrowland to Splash Mountain in time? Sorry. It's not eliminating the problem, only the benefit.

    One mother wrote: "For example, my son, similar to many others living with disabilities, has special medical procedures that have to be done at a specific frequency throughout the day," Moya, of Jacksonville Beach, Florida, wrote in an e-mail. "To then have to worry about 'scheduling' rides is just one more complication to add to a visit that is probably already more complex than most people realize."

    I'm very curious Lou, what your thoughts are, and all the other Disney fans on the board on this change.

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    4Shoemakers is offline A-Ticket holder
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    Re: Disney ditching the Disabled pass.

    Very interesting news! Having been a parent of a special needs child who was a guest of Make-a-Wish in 11/2012 I can say we've been there and experienced the full range of responses from visitors in line. For full disclosure, my (then 6 yr old) son has a heart defect that has required 4 open-heart surgeries, 2 heart caths, 50+ echo's, 30+ pediatric cardiologist checkups, etc... Diagnosed with CP and flatfooted. He's seen more hospitals & doctor's rooms than a child EVER should.

    Through all that, he's a "normal" boy and it'd be hard to look at both him and his twin brother to figure out which had the surgeries, but lift his shirt and it looks like the map of a trainyard. So his outward appearance and even physical abilities for the most part are equal to a normal 6 yr old.

    So we show up to MK to start his dream trip of 3 days in the parks. We ride it's a small world first (because, come on! You have to!!) and then it's off to Haunted Mansion where both had no waits. Then over to Country Bear Jamboree and on to Splash Mountain. No waits over 6 minutes. Finally! A wait... Woody and Sally are signing autographs and we wait about 10 minutes before a CM sees our Give Kids the World issued Disability Card (not sure of the official name). They say, "move right up here, we'll ask the next family if its ok". We said, we dont want to make a fuss. The CM's walked us right up there and we felt about 4 inches tall. But all the families were supportive! It was at this time that that CM explained how that card worked. But we're an honest family and only used it where we needed to due to a reservation or scheduling conflict.

    Why do I say all this? Disney (even with the new plan) does FAR MORE than any other entertainment venue for special needs children (and adults for that matter). However, the original plan just seemed like it was not prepared with a lot of thought and really relied on the honor code. This new plan sounds like it will issue a timestamped item to someone in need at that time, on that day. Not a pre-issued card for a timeframe (seemed like it was for 14 days). Yes, it will be a little more rigid with a scheduled time but I support the proactive move. Something needs to be done. Personally, I would be more than happy to inform Disney of our medical need with a letter from our cardiologist. I also feel if this doesnt work, I'm afraid Disney's next move would be to limit these acts of pixie dust to cards issued through pre-approved groups like Give Kids the World and Make a Wish.

    Lets get talking about this WDW Radio folks!
    1st - Paul The Detective; 2nd - Sarah The Princess; 3rd - David The miracle; 4th - Matthew The dreamer

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    Re: Disney ditching the Disabled pass.

    Awe. Sweet story.

    Make a Wish will not be changed. Disney long ago ID'd Make A Wish guests as Green Light. While at times that special Make A Wish Green Light stamp was misused it will not go away with these new changes. Those special guests will still be afforded the same system they have been granted as part of their Wish as they have been in the past.

    That makes me a happy camper.
    Some people are like Slinkies.

    They aren't really good for anything,
    but they still bring a smile to my face when I push them down a flight of stairs.

    Friends are Gods way of apologizing to us for our families.

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    4Shoemakers is offline A-Ticket holder
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    Re: Disney ditching the Disabled pass.

    Glad to hear HauntedGabe... There is not a magic answer for this issue. So your understanding then is that they are only changing the policy for those who would currently be receiving cards that are issued at guest services? That would make me even more approving of this change. Again, not perfect and probably not the final answer. But it's a step in the right direction.
    1st - Paul The Detective; 2nd - Sarah The Princess; 3rd - David The miracle; 4th - Matthew The dreamer

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    Ultimatewdwfan's Avatar
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    Re: Disney ditching the Disabled pass.

    4Shoemakers: So sorry to hear about your life challenges. My son at his worst was having over two hundred seizures a day, its not easy when a child is ill.

    I don't think they are changing the Make A Wish benefit at all. This is the Guest assistance pass they hand out. Which I've used extensively on my vacations (Especially when we traveled with another family with a handicapped child / person). I have to say the GAP made our vacation very pleasurable. It takes us longer than other families to get to attractions. It takes us longer to actually get on the ride itself (stopping the ride to allow us to board). Although we "ditched" the lines, there was always a wait, they waited to a point where they stopped the ride, still much shorter than waiting in line.

    Did we abuse it? I do recall one time we went on Toy Story Mania three times in a row seeing the same people in line all three times. Do I feel bad about that? Not really, considering the one who enjoyed it most suffers the majority of his life. Another vacation we went on a ride four or five times in a row, the person who enjoyed that ride died several weeks later from the cancer. (we were not there as make a wish guests, just regular guests with GAP's. )

    Now the news reports of the rich hiring people with disabilities to bypass the rides with the GAP's. Everyone gets up in arms, rightly so. I believe those people are abusing the system.

    This new system does not eliminate or deter the abusers, but places limitations on those who need it and affects their stay. Autistic children won't understand "have to be there to ride at this time" or "you may only ride once". This is going to be difficult for many parents with special needs children. Some children have severe sensory issues and can only handle a few hours of a theme park at a time.

    I think Disney had it right the first time, and if they err it should be on the side of guest service.

    Just an FYI: I really don't think this will be big for me in the future. November I'm moving to ten minutes from the gate of Disney, our disney trips will be more frequent, and we won't have to "get every ride in" with each visit. I just feel for the families that this impacts negatively.

    Side note: Universal's is still the same, no worries there.

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    Re: Disney ditching the Disabled pass.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ultimatewdwfan View Post
    4Shoemakers: So sorry to hear about your life challenges. My son at his worst was having over two hundred seizures a day, its not easy when a child is ill.

    I don't think they are changing the Make A Wish benefit at all. This is the Guest assistance pass they hand out. Which I've used extensively on my vacations (Especially when we traveled with another family with a handicapped child / person). I have to say the GAP made our vacation very pleasurable. It takes us longer than other families to get to attractions. It takes us longer to actually get on the ride itself (stopping the ride to allow us to board). Although we "ditched" the lines, there was always a wait, they waited to a point where they stopped the ride, still much shorter than waiting in line.

    Did we abuse it? I do recall one time we went on Toy Story Mania three times in a row seeing the same people in line all three times. Do I feel bad about that? Not really, considering the one who enjoyed it most suffers the majority of his life. Another vacation we went on a ride four or five times in a row, the person who enjoyed that ride died several weeks later from the cancer. (we were not there as make a wish guests, just regular guests with GAP's. )

    Now the news reports of the rich hiring people with disabilities to bypass the rides with the GAP's. Everyone gets up in arms, rightly so. I believe those people are abusing the system.

    This new system does not eliminate or deter the abusers, but places limitations on those who need it and affects their stay. Autistic children won't understand "have to be there to ride at this time" or "you may only ride once". This is going to be difficult for many parents with special needs children. Some children have severe sensory issues and can only handle a few hours of a theme park at a time.

    I think Disney had it right the first time, and if they err it should be on the side of guest service.

    Just an FYI: I really don't think this will be big for me in the future. November I'm moving to ten minutes from the gate of Disney, our disney trips will be more frequent, and we won't have to "get every ride in" with each visit. I just feel for the families that this impacts negatively.

    Side note: Universal's is still the same, no worries there.
    I am sorry. That is a lot to endure for anyone especially a child

    Actually Toy Story is one of the attractions that pushed Disney over the edge for use of the GAC pass. So many guests never get to ride Toy at all because of the very long standby lanes and a low amount of FPs because the load per hour.

    Toy has the most abuse of the intended purposes of GAC as you report passing the same guests over and over again while other guests have very limited movement in the stand by lane. My DS who has worked Guest Services always received complaints about just this type of behavior of GAC Guests with an entitlement attitude and lack consideration for other guests who have children that would like to experience the ride just once. The stand by lane can push 2 hours and yet as you described GAC users opted to abuse the system at the expense of other guests, so really GAC users have themselves to blame and actually ruined the nice system Disney set up for future guests with special needs.

    While Disney's politically correct response often refers to this years hiring a disabled person GAC has been under review for many years now and plans for revision were awaiting FP+. Actually hiring a disabled person was a relatively small issue and stopped fairly quickly, not the overwhelming reason why Disney is dumping GAC. While the majority of guests are tolerant of GAC guests entering the FP lanes with disability issues, general guests lost tolerance for the lack of etiquette of GAC guests and the entitlement attitude riding the E attractions over and over again with total disregard to other guests. That selfishness of some GAC abusers were messing with the flow of attraction throughout WDW and the distribution of guests. I feel for the GAC users that didn't abuse the system.

    So Disney's solution to the entitlement issues of GAC and the inability of guests to stand in lines is to award the new FPs one attraction at a time so others too can enjoy some of the coveted attractions. While it is a nice sentiment to state documents could be produced to prove disability it is against the law so a non issue and it would not stop the abuse of riding the attractions over and over and over again in a row while other guests have to just watch that abuse to unfold. Basically if GAC users didn't abuse the system it would still continue.

    Six Flags has clamped down of their disability access and Universal is also looking at their difficulties with abuse too. I would look for most theme parks to adjust their perks due to abuse soon. It is very sad that Disney's hand was forced to removed GAC and maybe now that GAC guests will have to obtain FPs those guests will reflect back on the times they went on the same attraction over and over again and tanked GAC.
    Some people are like Slinkies.

    They aren't really good for anything,
    but they still bring a smile to my face when I push them down a flight of stairs.

    Friends are Gods way of apologizing to us for our families.

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    Ultimatewdwfan's Avatar
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    Re: Disney ditching the Disabled pass.

    Quote Originally Posted by HauntedGabe View Post
    My DS who has worked Guest Services always received complaints about just this type of behavior of GAC Guests with an entitlement attitude and lack consideration for other guests who have children that would like to experience the ride just once.
    The past ten years I've received the GAP passes, I have not met one family in the GAP queue that had an "entitlement attitude". Pretty much all of them are guilty of giving their child a small spot of happiness in life in an otherwise life filled with pain / hardship. Coincidentally, I've never seen an 'abuser', a family that hires a disabled person.

    Multiple times, I've seen families who come in for only one or two rides before taking the child back to the hotel, they then return in shifts so they can see the rest of the park. When they return, they do not receive the GAP pass, the child must be present to use the pass.

    I'm not saying that these people don't exist, just in my experience, I've never seen them. Just as I'm sure that there will be those who think people who require handicap parking spaces have an 'entitlement attitude'.

    I remember my son saying the best thing about having a scar on his brain is that Disney gives him a "golden fast pass".

    Doing away with the current set up, is only going to add more time to the lines, because now you'll have all the families with disabled members waiting in line. I'm afraid not every family would understand or have the patience I do when standing behind a child with tourettes syndrome, or in front of an autistic child who "must touch everyone".


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    Re: Disney ditching the Disabled pass.

    Quote Originally Posted by HauntedGabe View Post
    While it is a nice sentiment to state documents could be produced to prove disability it is against the law so a non issue and it would not stop the abuse of riding the attractions over and over and over again in a row while other guests have to just watch that abuse to unfold.
    What's funny is every year we went, we had a note from his Doctor and his neurologist. Disney never asked for it, and I always wondered why that was.

    Technically, I'm labeled permanently disabled. I was in an accident (fell through two stories) ended up in a wheel chair for a bit. Five years of physical therapy, I'm pretty much okay. I have a real bad bum knee and my back locks up now and then, but I've never taken the handicap plate. There are folks who need it more than I do. When I'm in the regular line at Disney and I see a family with an autistic child, I've made them aware of the GAP. Some folks didn't know about, and some families feel the same way I do, they don't want to be treated differently.

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    Re: Disney ditching the Disabled pass.

    The issue is now that everyone has seen the article on hiring a disabled person to help you through the lines, it's an option for everyone.

    I blame those who did abuse the system. It wasn't intended for them. They found a way to use it. Now those who need it will suffer.
    "Life is an occassion. Rise to it."- Mr. Magorium
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    Re: Disney ditching the Disabled pass.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ultimatewdwfan View Post
    What's funny is every year we went, we had a note from his Doctor and his neurologist. Disney never asked for it, and I always wondered why that was.

    Technically, I'm labeled permanently disabled. I was in an accident (fell through two stories) ended up in a wheel chair for a bit. Five years of physical therapy, I'm pretty much okay. I have a real bad bum knee and my back locks up now and then, but I've never taken the handicap plate. There are folks who need it more than I do. When I'm in the regular line at Disney and I see a family with an autistic child, I've made them aware of the GAP. Some folks didn't know about, and some families feel the same way I do, they don't want to be treated differently.
    I am also disabled. I am legally hearing impaired and have visual issues since birth. While you by law can disclose anything you wish, Disney or the likes cannot ask you to prove your disability. It goes against the ADA and Hippa laws of confidentiality.
    Some people are like Slinkies.

    They aren't really good for anything,
    but they still bring a smile to my face when I push them down a flight of stairs.

    Friends are Gods way of apologizing to us for our families.

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    Re: Disney ditching the Disabled pass.

    Quote Originally Posted by ohiodisneydad View Post
    The issue is now that everyone has seen the article on hiring a disabled person to help you through the lines, it's an option for everyone.

    I blame those who did abuse the system. It wasn't intended for them. They found a way to use it. Now those who need it will suffer.
    It isn't just that, you have so many guests now renting the electric carts off sight and roll up and request a GAC. The numbers of people utilizing GAC now verses years ago is off the charts. The suits in 2012 did an entire long weekend going from attraction to attraction that had issues with stand by times and were dumbfounded by the amount of GAC users.

    This will be best, the GAC former issues will still not have to stand in stand by lanes and the GAC users that went on attractions like Toy Story and Soar'n over and over again will be forced to stop that which is fair to everyone as the former GAC guest will still be able to ride attractions like Toy once without standing in line. If they wish to ride again, they will be given another FP for a return time later verses going out the exit and right back in the FP lane which was observed by the Suits. For those who have that perk gone now and are upset, Oh well.
    Some people are like Slinkies.

    They aren't really good for anything,
    but they still bring a smile to my face when I push them down a flight of stairs.

    Friends are Gods way of apologizing to us for our families.

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    Re: Disney ditching the Disabled pass.

    I'll defer to you on the issue about the abuse of the motorized scooters because other than seeing how many of them are there I don't know enough about it to comment. I based my comment on the fact that there wasn't an article about the rampant abuse of scooters on the news and there was on the hiring of disabled folks so the 1%ers can skip lines.
    "Life is an occassion. Rise to it."- Mr. Magorium
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    Re: Disney ditching the Disabled pass.

    Quote Originally Posted by ohiodisneydad View Post
    I'll defer to you on the issue about the abuse of the motorized scooters because other than seeing how many of them are there I don't know enough about it to comment. I based my comment on the fact that there wasn't an article about the rampant abuse of scooters on the news and there was on the hiring of disabled folks so the 1%ers can skip lines.
    Scooter are likely here to stay. There was one group this spring from a 'group' from a south american country that the whole group rented them. While I kinda am envious of their lack of aching feet, I am thankful for the feet I have that actually work. I funny about karma. But beyond attractions the electric carts that are being rented off sight and delivered to hotels at a reasonable price are really messing with the buses and time tables. One cart takes 3 seats being folded up. They board first, OK and with their group, OK, but add in all these carts upto 3 per bus, it is messing with both seating and standing room let along the time it takes.

    Thinking Resort to Parks is the next thing Disney is going to need to deal with the electric carts. If you look while at the parks they are very different from Disney's some even come with a canopy. I'm kinda indifferent towards them if the user is not an idiot that uses them as a snow plow to go through walking crowds.
    Some people are like Slinkies.

    They aren't really good for anything,
    but they still bring a smile to my face when I push them down a flight of stairs.

    Friends are Gods way of apologizing to us for our families.

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    ohiodisneydad's Avatar
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    Re: Disney ditching the Disabled pass.

    Quote Originally Posted by HauntedGabe View Post
    Scooter are likely here to stay. There was one group this spring from a 'group' from a south american country that the whole group rented them. While I kinda am envious of their lack of aching feet, I am thankful for the feet I have that actually work. I funny about karma. But beyond attractions the electric carts that are being rented off sight and delivered to hotels at a reasonable price are really messing with the buses and time tables. One cart takes 3 seats being folded up. They board first, OK and with their group, OK, but add in all these carts upto 3 per bus, it is messing with both seating and standing room let along the time it takes.

    Thinking Resort to Parks is the next thing Disney is going to need to deal with the electric carts. If you look while at the parks they are very different from Disney's some even come with a canopy. I'm kinda indifferent towards them if the user is not an idiot that uses them as a snow plow to go through walking crowds.
    Yeah, the "snow plow" effect is really bad and some can be plain rude. I'm certain people in scooters are fed up with folks cutting in front of them and making them stop suddenly. I know by the end of my trip I'm usually tired of saying excuse me and being polite but in my defense I'm not operating a 300lb ramming machine either. Getting rammed in the heels by strollers is bad enough but getting your ankle jammed by a scooter is way different.
    HauntedGabe likes this.
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    Re: Disney ditching the Disabled pass.

    How about it. All of these services, when initiated were launched with the best of intentions. With the Carts Disney had the right idea, they had limited amounts. Even with the limited amounts they caused some issues however they had shuttle loaner wheelchairs from the bus and monorails into the parks where you could rent a cart or manual wheelchair.

    Now, like strollers Cart prices got jacked up so high in price Disney found itself having competition with both outside rented carts and strollers. So now the Disney Transportation has dramatically more carts and for that matter rented strollers on their buses and monorails. You have guests that have little to zero experience driving carts onto the buses and they don't know what they are doing. This is very different from the disabled guests that own their own carts or electric wheelchairs.

    Me, when I evaluate the situation this is Disney at its most stupid. They exploded the daily rental fees, woohoo more profits but a chunk of guests had their breaking point and outside vendors popped up. So Disney makes more profits with in park rentals per unit however they have pushed guests to renting offsite and messing up their transportation. In the long run, additional buses, bus drivers, angry guests (and frustrated bus drivers) for long monorail/tram/bus lines because of guests hauling Carts and Strollers into the parks.

    The buses are now U-Hauls.
    Some people are like Slinkies.

    They aren't really good for anything,
    but they still bring a smile to my face when I push them down a flight of stairs.

    Friends are Gods way of apologizing to us for our families.

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