According to reports, Disney World and Disneyland's Guest Assistance Card (GAC) program will end October 9th, 2013, Disney will replace the program with a new Disabled Assistance System [DAS].
The change in policy which presently assists families with special needs children or adults and up to five members of their party, will significantly impact families ability to reasonably visit, access and enjoy the park. Many families, such as mine, have children or adults with cognitive, sensory, social and emotional or physical challenges do not have the capacity or ability to endure the waits required in the midst of sensory stimuli at the park. This change in policy will make it impossible for some families to visit or to enjoy a stay at the parks.
Reports state that the new DAS system will work as so for holders:
• Go to one of several Guest Relations kiosks set up throughout the park
• Advise CM which attraction you’d like to go on
• CM will look up the current wait time on the Disney Mobile Magic app on their iPad
• CM writes out a “Return Time” on the DAS card, subtracting 10-15 minutes for travel time
• Guests can do whatever they want while waiting for return time, even get FASTPasses, but can only have one DAS return at a time. Once their DAS written-out time expires, they can get another.
• Guests show up at designated “Return Time”
Only one ride reservation on a DAS card can be made at a time, so if the current wait for an attraction is 90 minutes and DAS holders 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, etc. But only one ride time can be reserved at a time with DAS, unlike the existing GAC which allows disabled persons open access to enter through a designated access area separate from the main entrance of a particular attraction, or enter through a fast pass lane if an alternate entry is not available.
This change to policy came into effect in light of abuse of the GAC system .. such as Non-Disabled persons obtaining GAC Cards knowing Privacy Laws prevents guest being questioned about or having to prove their disability; due to guests renting wheelchairs to gain access to GAC entry areas when there is no real injury or disability, and also from new evidence of deplorable human behavior of guests hiring “Disabled Guides” to help them obtain access to special entry during their visits.
With that being said, reports state that those in wheelchairs may not be issued a DAS simply due to the fact that they’ll still be able to use the standby line. This change in policy does not address the serious needs of persons with other disabilities that need to use an auxiliary entrance if they cannot wait in line due to true health problems, cognitive disabilities, autism, and related disabilities that are not limited to mobility issues and are not apparent just by simply looking at the guest.
THIS CHANGE IN POLICY MUST BE STOPPED!
- Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts
Thomas O. Staggs
- The Walt Disney Company
- Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company
Robert A. Iger
- Executive VP & Chief Human Resources Officer, The Walt Disney Company
Stop changes to Disney World and Disneyland's Guest Assistance Card Program for Special Needs Families. The change in policy will significantly impact families ability to reasonably visit, access and enjoy the park. Many families have children or adults with cognitive, sensory, social and emotional or physical challenges do not have the capacity or ability to endure the waits required in the midst of sensory stimuli at the park. This change in policy will make it impossible for some families to visit or to enjoy a stay at the parks.
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