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  1. #51
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    The Autism Society of Los Angeles has issued a media release regarding the changes:

    Disneyland Guest Assistance Pass Change Takes Individuals with Autism to an Unhappy Place

    Parents Call for Disney Policy to Accommodate
    the Special Challenges of Individuals with Autism


    The Autism Society of Los Angeles, representing thousands of individuals with autism and their families in Southern California, today expressed concern about the overhaul of the system which allows individuals with disabilities to avoid long waits for rides. While the organization acknowledges the abuse of the program by non-disabled individuals -- actions that the group strongly condemns – the revamped system will prevent many individuals with developmental disabilities from being able to visit the Disney Parks. The new policy goes into effect on October 9 at both the Disneyland and Walt Disney World resorts.

    “The unintended consequence of Disney’s policy change is to punish individuals with developmental disabilities with legitimate special needs,” said Judy Mark, Government Relations Chair of the Autism Society of Los Angeles. “The change will turn ‘The Happiest Place on Earth’ into a nightmare for many families with children with autism.”

    Autism is a developmental disability affecting one in 88 children. Many people with autism have behavioral challenges that make it hard for them to wait long periods of time. Different from those with physical disabilities, some individuals with autism will be unable to endure long waiting times, even if they are not required to stand in the actual line.

    Tens of thousands of parents with autism have already signed petitions calling for Disney to provide an alternative to the proposed change for those children and adults with developmental and behavioral challenges.

    “For many families with children with autism, Disneyland is one of the few places of real joy. This is as a result of Disney Parks’ wonderful accommodations for our families,” said Mark. “To take that happiness away would be tragic.”

    The Autism Society of Los Angeles hopes that senior executives of the Disney Parks will ensure that any new policy will recognize the special needs of children and adults with autism and other behavioral challenges. ASLA stands ready to work respectfully with Disney to achieve that result.
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  3. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by AVP View Post
    The Autism Society of Los Angeles has issued a media release regarding the changes:
    So, all these people are upset with a new system that no one has seen yet, and has not been implemented...
    Planning 3 trips at once...

  4. #53

    I read the CNN article and have been following the comments on it. I find it really frustrating that the people they are quoting in these articles and people in the comments are saying things such as "The front of line pass was the only way my child can experience Disney and now they are taking it away and we will never go again". We have to use the alternate entrances with my disabled father and know full well it is not a "front of the line pass". My best friend has an Autistic daughter and on certain rides with very loud queues they used the GAC to go to the alternate waiting area, but they never thought it was a "front of line pass". That is just a bizarre way to look at it and they are giving other people who use that system a bad reputation. I understand children with Autism and other issues need special accommodations but complaining that if you can't have a "front of the line pass" you won't go anymore doesn't seem like the right attitude, especially when a GAC was never intended to be a "front of the line pass" in the first place. It seems like people have a real misconception about what a GAC is. I have seen a lot of comments like "Why should disabled people be able to cut the line" or "I am disabled, I should be able to cut the line because my life is hard". I wish everyone on the internet had the good attitudes that the people here on MP have.


  5. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malcon10t View Post
    So, all these people are upset with a new system that no one has seen yet, and has not been implemented...
    I truthfully do not know if they are reacting to the online reports, or information obtained through Autism Speaks. I've offered the organization the opportunity to write an OP-ED piece after the new program is implemented and their members have had an opportunity to experience first-hand the impact the program has on their Disneyland experience, and they have accepted the offer. I am very interested to hear their take on the program as implemented in the theme park environment.

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  6. #55
    Quote Originally Posted by currence View Post
    Again, you may be correct regarding your experiences, but even without plaids, GAC users are not the only guests who use the alternate entrances. I have also done the alternative entrance for Peter Pan with a re-admit card. We waited with everyone else in that line for around 20 minutes, which while shorter than the regular line was not immediate access. In that instance, we were with a kid who had been mildly traumatized after having to walk-off Pirates of the Caribbean.

    We were a party of 5 and needed 2 ships, so we were put pretty close to each other. Our boarding did not have to be delayed because no one in our group had disabilities or needed assistance loading/unloading or evacuating in the event of an emergency. But we were delayed in boarding to the extent that the groups ahead of us needed to be staggered. Every 3rd car sounds more like non-disabled guests or a tour group than GAC users.
    I only referred to incidents where I specifically saw some show a CM a GAC. Readmits are smaller cards, and a different color. Also, the CM collects it. I only mentioned Peter Pan as the one expection in Fantasyland that usually has an HA queue.

    I really don't care that much that people get front of the line access. As an AP I don't feel like I ever have to ride any ride on any given day. But I do still encounter guests with rotten attitudes who will openly discuss how they abuse GAC (a couple I met waiting in line for meet & greet who left their kids at home for the day, but said they were going to use the son with CP's GAC for the rest of the day because 12 minutes to meet Tigger was too long.) I'm just saying it's a myth that most of the time the wait is longer. No one would abuse it if that weren't true. And we all know there are abusers. The new system may work almost as well for the people who need it. Sorry if I can't garner any sympathy that a group of people to whom the previous system uninitentionally gave front of the line access are now losing that. But until the new system actually succeeds or fails, what's wrong with th change?

  7. #56

    I have a question. And I really don't know any kids with autism so I've no experience. The implication from a lot of the posts on some of these news stories is that some children with autism can't wait for long periods in line be it the noise or the crowds or whatnot. What I don't understand is with the system as outlined, and we don't know yet how it will play out, it seems like they wouldn't have to wait so long in lines still or am I missing something? You get your card with the return time, you do something else, come back and wait a shorter time to ride. I guess I don't understand what's being taken away from them, they still have accommodations made for whatever limitations their child has right?


  8. #57
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    Katiesue - I'm with you on not having first hand knowledge -- but what the Los Angeles group stated in thier press release from above:

    ...some individuals with autism will be unable to endure long waiting times, even if they are not required to stand in the actual line.
    So they say that SOME autistic individuals just can't wait. Period. No matter where/how/what else they're doing.

    Which I think someone posted here that having a 'runner' would be good because getting close to the ride and not being able to ride right then could be a problem for their child. (And I can totally see that being an issue - if you can keep the kid far away from Pirates, then they're not even going to realize that they're 'waiting' for Pirates.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malcon10t View Post
    So, all these people are upset with a new system that no one has seen yet, and has not been implemented...
    Don't get me started. I'll probably alienate entirely too many people...

    Quote Originally Posted by katiesue View Post
    What I don't understand is with the system as outlined, and we don't know yet how it will play out, it seems like they wouldn't have to wait so long in lines still or am I missing something? You get your card with the return time, you do something else, come back and wait a shorter time to ride. I guess I don't understand what's being taken away from them, they still have accommodations made for whatever limitations their child has right?
    I've talked to a few people who I believe "get it." There is going to be some anxiety because, many times, things get implemented without actually thinking them all the way through or without consistently training the CMs charged with enforcing the policies. We've alllll seen that. A few people have concerns I buy into - the plan sounds fair, now to see how hard it is to execute the plan and how rough it is in the transition from the old plan to the new plan.

    The people who are, in my opinion, objecting the loudest? Yeah. I'm just not feeling it.
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  10. #59
    Quote Originally Posted by Drince88 View Post
    Katiesue - I'm with you on not having first hand knowledge -- but what the Los Angeles group stated in thier press release from above:

    So they say that SOME autistic individuals just can't wait. Period. No matter where/how/what else they're doing.

    Which I think someone posted here that having a 'runner' would be good because getting close to the ride and not being able to ride right then could be a problem for their child. (And I can totally see that being an issue - if you can keep the kid far away from Pirates, then they're not even going to realize that they're 'waiting' for Pirates.)
    Thank you - I knew I was missing some pieces of the puzzle that hadn't occurred to me.

  11. #60

    My understanding is that some autistic individuals can fixate on their favorite ride or the required sequence of riding rides and will have a meltdown if that sequence is disturbed. So it's not enough to simply go on Peter Pan (for instance), they have to go on Peter Pan FIRST, then on whatever SECOND, then on ... etc. So if the sequence is interrupted or changed, it is a much bigger deal than it would be to someone who wasn't autistic.

    BUT, there is nothing to say that a person who is "merely" autistic who NEEDS to go on rides in their sequence can't do so by waiting in the stand-by line with everyone else (This doesn't work if they also have physical impairments which require them to use alternate entrances).

    Painting with VERY broad strokes, I think some of the parents who are most upset now may be surprised when their kids rise to the challenge and either survive in the regular lines so that the patterns can be met or adapt to a new routine where they get the return time to their favorite ride and then do something else without having a breakdown.

    I read a very encouraging and totally off topic article on Autistm Speaks website about a kid who was dragged onto ice skating kicking and screaming and now loves it. The thrust of her article was "what would have happened if I had expected more from my kid at an earlier age?" I hope, with whatever policy changes Disney makes, some of the parents who are screaming the loudest now are pleasantly surprised by how their children adapt once the dust settles.


  12. #61

    Thank you Currence - I knew I didn't have all the information I just wasn't sure what I was missing. Now I can see where some families might have some problems. We'll just have to wait and see how it all works out.


  13. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malcon10t View Post
    Laura - Didn't you get to use the alternative entrance for Peter Pan on your last trip (for a readmit)? I seem to remember reading your thoughts... Maybe you could share?
    I got to *try* and use the alternative entrance. I got a re-entry pass as a reward for getting shipwrecked on the Rivers of America (details can be found in my latest trip report) I cleverly thought I would use it for Peter Pan since the line for that ride is so long and there is no fast pass. Because I am clever like that. :-/ The line was long and in the hot sun and it didn't move at all for 5 minutes and I realized I would miss my flight home if I stayed in that line. It was a totally awesome experience that made me wish that I was "fortunate" enough to need a wheelchair or some other form of assistance on a daily basis because FUN! I had heard about the Pirate GAC line being horrible, but didn't know how bad the Peter Pan one was. A nice family of four got my pass as I made my way out the park without seeing Neverland one last time. Because my life is the hardest life of anyone. [/snark]
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  14. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by adriennek View Post
    I've talked to a few people who I believe "get it." There is going to be some anxiety because, many times, things get implemented without actually thinking them all the way through or without consistently training the CMs charged with enforcing the policies. We've alllll seen that. A few people have concerns I buy into - the plan sounds fair, now to see how hard it is to execute the plan and how rough it is in the transition from the old plan to the new plan.

    The people who are, in my opinion, objecting the loudest? Yeah. I'm just not feeling it.
    I also understand. The momma bear comes out, our children have enough difficulties and here is Disney changing something that "works" and we fear the unknown. I get it. But I also realize we need to see what this change really is. We are simply hearing rumors at this point. No one has sat through the CM training yet. <grin>

    Look at the last change from the SAP to the GAC. The first 2 months were rough while we worked through it. BUT, it worked out well. There are going to be trials with this new way. It will have a learning curve. It will have bumps. And hopefully it will improve things overall. Things I know I like without seeing, if they are true... A photo on the card. I think we all know people who "borrow" a child/sibling/friends card. This will be a first step in fixing the problem.
    Planning 3 trips at once...

  15. #64
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    I am someone who knows first-hand what it can be like to deal with a child with Autism having a meltdown. But I am also someone who has no experience with the GAC because we are only attempting our first trip with our son this coming December. I do not know what these changes truly mean because I have nothing to compare it against. I have been planning our trip for the last 3 years... and I have been slowly preparing our son, building up his skills and coping mechanisms to a point where we think he can handle the parks as much as your typical 7 yr old boy. But we don't know. Autism could put the monkeywrench in our well laid plans, so we are staying flexible and open-minded and if we need to use the new system, we will do so.

    Currence nailed it pretty well, but there are a few other things that could have some of these parents in a flap. The sequencing is just a small part, the waiting, another part, the sights/sound/smells are yet another part, and so on. Depending on the child, any one of these things on their own might be bearable, but for some Autistic children/teens, all of these things together present a real challenge. Where the parents are most likely concerned is that IF/WHEN that child hits their trigger or breakpoint, the meltdown can be spectacular, not in a 3yr old tantrum way either. Depending on the severity of the Autism, and the overload of sensory stimuli, the kid in question can do any or all of the following : scream, cry, rock back and forth, flap their hands and arms, try to flee, try to push past whatever obstacle is in their way... some could even be so overloaded they faint or vomit. Now these are extreme, I grant you... but isn't it anyone's nightmare to be stuck in a long, slow-moving, potentially claustrophobic queue when your body is screaming for something (a bathroom break, nausea or what have you)? Imagine being stuck in the tiny DL Peter Pan queue when this takes place and you get some idea of the fears some of these parents have. Likewise with the back-and-forth between attractions and kiosks... that is definitely something that may cause a lot of problems for these families. Little Toby may well freak out when they have to return to the kiosk and get another card for another attraction. Suppose he really wants Jungle Cruise and ONLY Jungle Cruise and the lineup is 90 minutes (worst-case scenario), so Mom and Dad need to make a decision on whether the wait is doable, or is there something else shorter that they can get a card for. Or imagine the indecisive child... the family ahead of yours in the line at the kiosk is taking forever to either chose a ride or is waffling back and forth, or even trying to convince little Toby that Jungle Cruise is too long of a wait. How long can you stand there waiting for your turn at the kiosk... and then your child breaks down. What if the line at one of the 4 kiosks is 15 families long...I can definitely see why parents are upset.

    BUT

    That being said, Autism is a spectrum disorder and covers a huge variety of individual issues. NO POLICY no matter how well thought-out is going to be able to cover all the bases. Disneyland and places like it are for everyone to enjoy. I think that Disney has always gone above and beyond to accommodate people, which is why they are the most popular family destination bar none. BUT with the rising numbers of people with accommodation needs PLUS the people who cheat and abuse the system, we have a tempest in a teacup. I really applaud that Disney is not only acknowledging that a system is no longer functional, and then actively taking steps to mediate the problem and consulting with disability groups to do their best to provide EQUAL (not preferred) access to its attractions.

    The bottom line for me is this. I want my Autistic kid to be able to enjoy Disneyland every bit as much as his typical sister. I want our family to have a magical vacation like any other family. BUT I know that it is not a requirement that Disney bend over backward to accommodate my families needs. It is up to us to do what we can to help our son cope with the waiting, the lines, the noises etc. We took him to a local small-scale amusement park to see how he handled the rides themselves (no problem, surprisingly), as well as waiting in line (again, he did surprisingly well). In fact the only true meltdown moment he had was when he thought he was going on one ride that he wasn't tall enough for... we diverted to another ride that he had just enjoyed, but the freakout ensued and we had to leave the ridezone immediately. We got him calmed and carried on with our adventure. Sure I got nasty looks and overheard a few comments, but we did the best we could. I found out much later that we could have gotten something like the GAC at that park, but I don't think we actually needed it. I hope we won't need the DAS when we get to Disney, but we won't know till we get there.

    So that's my 25 cents, as well as a bit more info on what an Autism meltdown can look like.

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    Tinker44 = You nailed it very well. I have an adult Aspie (23), and while her "meltdowns" can occur anywhere, they are getting less and less frequent. We had one major one the last trip for the first time in several years, and the great part was she recognized it coming and was able to separate herself from the crowd and deal with it. (She does have smaller ones more frequently, that we usually have to help her with, but was pleased to see she dealt with this on her own to a degree...)

    Planning 3 trips at once...

  17. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drince88 View Post
    Which I think someone posted here that having a 'runner' would be good because getting close to the ride and not being able to ride right then could be a problem for their child.
    I know this very situation has been discussed. I do not know what the final version of the accommodation will be.

    Quote Originally Posted by Malcon10t View Post
    No one has sat through the CM training yet. <grin>
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  18. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinker44 View Post
    BUT

    That being said, Autism is a spectrum disorder and covers a huge variety of individual issues. NO POLICY no matter how well thought-out is going to be able to cover all the bases. Disneyland and places like it are for everyone to enjoy. I think that Disney has always gone above and beyond to accommodate people, which is why they are the most popular family destination bar none. BUT with the rising numbers of people with accommodation needs PLUS the people who cheat and abuse the system, we have a tempest in a teacup. I really applaud that Disney is not only acknowledging that a system is no longer functional, and then actively taking steps to mediate the problem and consulting with disability groups to do their best to provide EQUAL (not preferred) access to its attractions.

    The bottom line for me is this. I want my Autistic kid to be able to enjoy Disneyland every bit as much as his typical sister. I want our family to have a magical vacation like any other family. BUT I know that it is not a requirement that Disney bend over backward to accommodate my families needs. It is up to us to do what we can to help our son cope with the waiting, the lines, the noises etc. We took him to a local small-scale amusement park to see how he handled the rides themselves (no problem, surprisingly), as well as waiting in line (again, he did surprisingly well). In fact the only true meltdown moment he had was when he thought he was going on one ride that he wasn't tall enough for... we diverted to another ride that he had just enjoyed, but the freakout ensued and we had to leave the ridezone immediately. We got him calmed and carried on with our adventure. Sure I got nasty looks and overheard a few comments, but we did the best we could. I found out much later that we could have gotten something like the GAC at that park, but I don't think we actually needed it. I hope we won't need the DAS when we get to Disney, but we won't know till we get there.

    So that's my 25 cents, as well as a bit more info on what an Autism meltdown can look like.
    Can I just HUG YOU PRETTY PLEASE!?!?!? I'm really not scary. I have my own issues knowing what the proper social behavior is from time to time, so I'll ASK before I hug. But please?

    I had a post all ready to submit and I didn't. Because I didn't say anything nearly this BRILLIANT. The way I said it would've alienated entirely too many people. I knew it didn't sound the way I meant it to sound.

    But you NAILED it.

    Ok, that's all I have to say. I know my response is shorter than what I quoted but I got my quote as small as I could get it.
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  19. #68

    Agreed. Tinker44 says it perfectly. I appreciate all Disney does in providing a pass for us to enjoy the rides & minimize the multiple things that can & do go wrong (swinging arms, darting out of line, "Are we there yet", etc).

    As I visualize in my mind's eye how this will all work, I think about how a "normal" person attempting to "cheat" and get a pass will be circumvented if Disney isn't asking for any medical documentation. It seems like it will just be another step in their process to get a "front of the line" pass. I would think the new process will only slow everything down & inevitably limit the number of rides per day, especially if you must use one pass before obtaining another pass.


  20. #69
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    The bottom line is there will not be anything resembling a front of the line pass unless you have a Make A Wish trip...and bless those families for the few moments that pass can give them to enjoy their visit. Any time there is a program there will be people who try to 'game' the system for their own benefit. I am expecting some very in depth questions from the CM's as to what our needs are, what our issues are and how can they best assist/accommodate Missy on our trips. I have no problem with the process of justifying the need to the guest services CM, I have concerns about the system but right now everything is the sky is falling scenarios, I'll wait til the 10th when we experience first hand.

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  21. #70

    Tinker44 - in many ways you and your family will have it easier with the new system, however it turns out, because you don't have expectations from the prior system.

    I think that "something is changing" is in many ways as or more fearful for some families than what the change is. I can imagine that even if the system changed so that it was a true front of the line pass and special needs families immediately boarded, there might be a kid or two who was upset because the routine was that they are supposed to wait for a few other families to go in front of them. Disney can't leave everything exactly the way it is and at the same time fix what's broken. I have no idea how well the new system will work, but I'm glad they are trying.


  22. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by adriennek View Post
    Can I just HUG YOU PRETTY PLEASE!?!?!? I'm really not scary. I have my own issues knowing what the proper social behavior is from time to time, so I'll ASK before I hug. But please?
    It's all good.. *HUG* I'm glad my post was well-received.... I wasn't sure but thought it might have come over all preachy.

    And I super agree with currence's post above... people fear change, and people fear what they don't understand. And until this system hits the ground and finds its groove, people HAVE to take a breath and realize that Disney is doing the best they can for ALL their guests. They are seeking to balance the needs of ALL guests within the parameters of the law and the practicalities of their theme parks (eg DCA being fully accessible, with Disneyland needing to catch up). There's going to be a learning curve for everyone, but in the end, I have enough Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust... and I believe that in the end, Disney will still be the Happiest Place on Earth for all children, able-bodied, autistic, neurotypical, physically challenged, visually impaired or otherwise.
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  23. #72
    Quote Originally Posted by Malcon10t View Post
    MAW don't have plaids generally. (They usually have one for the first 4 hours in the park to show them around, but the rest of their 3-5 day trip is "Plaidless".) They have a card with a special stamp on it.

    I think too many people get so busy judging other people, they lose the fun of their vacation.

    Last September, about this time, I helped arrange my own version of a Make A Wish trip for a CHP officer (and his family) who was dying from cancer. A radio station provided them airfare and accommodations at the Grand Californian. I worked with the local Explorer post to arrange baskets in the room for the girls (9 and 7) and the officer and his wife. His "area" held a fund raiser to raise money to help with expenses from the trip (and his medical expenses.) This was something everyone worked on for 8 months until he was well enough to actually make the trip. I arranged for him to have a VIP tour on their first day, and the guide, after meeting him, helped arrange a GAC for his needs. While he appeared "normal", he was far from it. But he wanted a trip with his girls that they would remember. With help from a lot of people, he got it. He called me after the trip to tell me how absolutely amazing the trip was, and how well Disney treated his family.

    If you had seen him boarding Dumbo/Peter Pan, you'd have thought he knew the right buzz words. The fact was Chemo had made his body so weak. I am so glad he was able to make this trip, and give his girls that memory. They will always remember their last trip with their dad. He passed away 7 mos later at the age of 43.

    For me, it just showed you really don't know what is going on with the person with a card in their hand. Could they be abusing? Maybe, but for me, it's not my job to decide. I don't know what they have been through or what is wrong with them. If I have to deal with abusers so that people like the officer I mentioned, or Missy, or others like them can get accommodations they need, so be it.
    This post made me cry, and in a very good way. My personal thanks to you and all those who helped arrange this trip for the officer and his family. What a wonderful world this can be, when good, pixie-dusted people work together to help those who need it.

  24. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malcon10t View Post
    So, all these people are upset with a new system that no one has seen yet, and has not been implemented...
    Yup.

    Quote Originally Posted by sunnydalegirl View Post
    I read the CNN article and have been following the comments on it. I find it really frustrating that the people they are quoting in these articles and people in the comments are saying things such as "The front of line pass was the only way my child can experience Disney and now they are taking it away and we will never go again".
    This is what is frustrating me about the "debate"--the certainty of some people that the sky is falling. How could you know the sky is falling--the program hasn't even been implemented yet, and I'm 99.9999% sure that there will be tweaks to it in the first couple of weeks as it plays out. One woman--who was arguing, no she and her family weren't acting "entitled" --had the gall to say that she should be able to keep the GAC system because she had an autistic child and it was a "reward" for her non-autistic children to be treated like a VIP at Disneyland because their lives were so hard being the sibling of an autistic child! (And yes, I do recognize that siblings of autistic children do face certain burdens that other children do not--but do we really know what burdens any one child faces?) No wonder the GAC was so abused if this woman loudly proclaimed that yes she knew her family got VIP treatment with the GAC. (Which I found funny because from my experience the GAC is more often a burden than a help.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Malcon10t View Post
    Things I know I like without seeing, if they are true... A photo on the card. I think we all know people who "borrow" a child/sibling/friends card. This will be a first step in fixing the problem.
    Agreed. I do, however, think that if the person with the DAS needs to be present at the kiosk that may need to be tweaked--although it's not clear to me whether the kiosks will only issue return times for the rides in that area (i.e., if you are at the Fantasyland kiosk you can only get a return time for a Fantasyland ride) or whether any kiosk can issue a return time for anywhere in the park. I can see it being an issue if, for example, a child wants to ride the Tea Cups and the kiosk is right there--and they don't understand why they have to wait. Better to be able to go to the kiosk in say Tomorrowland or on Main Street and get a Tea Cup return time and then when the time arrives venture over to the Tea Cups. So I also think that especially with children there needs to be a designated person who can go to the kiosk and get the return time without the child. As long as the child needs to be part of the group going on the ride under the DAS that should be enough.
    "Y'all might want to go to Wal-Mart and pick up a personality." Phil Robertson

  25. #74

    We tell our nine year old ahead of time..."the line appears to be about ..well whatever the listed wait time is" We don't sugar coat it, we simply state how long the wait will be. We give him the choice as to whether or not he will actually deal with the wait time. If he wants to do the attraction, he is typically willing to wait. Now he is exceptionally good about waiting in line as he has gotten used to it over the last several years. Now have someone cut ahead of him and well, that's another story. He knows that there are times, I simply won't go on a ride because I can't always stand for 60 minutes due to a mobility issue. If he starts to get upset and the line isn't moving, we have left the line. He knows that if he gets upset, we will leave. It's a good training skill for him to learn to wait for things.

    Last edited by dsnyredhead; 09-25-2013 at 05:52 PM.

  26. #75
    Registered User Tinker44's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsnyredhead View Post
    It's a good training skill for him to learn to wait for things.
    This is a very good point for all children to learn. However, depending on the severity of the Autism (or any cognitive disability), it's a difficult concept that can be quite beyond the child's grasp. My autistic almost-7 is learning about waiting in lines and being patient, and we have (so far) had good success in his ability to grasp the concept. A friend's autistic 7 yr old cannot grasp the concept.. he truly cannot. It does not compute for him, and the result is often very upsetting for child, parent and anyone in the near vicinity.

    We live up in BC Canada, so a place like Disneyland is not something we can really have our kids get used to on a bit-by-bit basis (as much as we would love that opportunity). So in our Autism support group (of which more than half of us have made the trip to either DLR or WDW with our special needs kids) we all know that a successful vacation requires a lot of prep-time for our kids. It's always interesting to share our experiences in the parks so that other families like ours can gain some tips or add things to try etc etc. I know that of our group, I will be the first one to experience the new system, so I have a lot to learn and a lot of reasons to pay close attention to this story. The family going not long after us has three spectrum kids, so hopefully all the kinks and tweaks will be worked out/... because that family will be depending on the DAS in a big way.

    Cheers!
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