In Defense of the Disney Guest Assistance Card (GAC)

Written by Tim Grassey. Posted in Disney Parks

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Published on April 28, 2013 at 2:30 am with 86 Comments

Disney has a long standing reputation of accommodating families of all shapes and sizes. This reputation is largely based on their ability to create attractions that parents can enjoy with their children and grandparents can enjoy with their grandchildren. Beyond these clichés, Disney also does a tremendous job accommodating guests with special needs. Available programs for guests with disabilities include:

  • Wheelchairs and Electric Convenience Vehicles (ECV) are available for rent.
  • Baby care facilities exist in every park.
  • Dietary needs are met at nearly every restaurant.
  • Service animal relief areas exist in every park.
  • A variety of options are available for guests with hearing impairments.
  • Audio descriptions are available for guests with visual impairments.

In addition to the aforementioned benefits, the most impactful program Disney has for special needs guests is the Guest Assistance Card (GAC) program. To the uninitiated, the Guest Assistance Card (GAC) program is a service offered at both Disney World and Disneyland that allows certain accommodations to guests requiring special assistance. The GAC itself is a small piece of thick paper stock obtainable at guest services locations in each park. The card is dated, stamped with the required accommodation and includes the name of the guest requiring assistance and number of people in their party. Typically, the GAC can be used for up to six guests at once and the available stamps include:

  • Guests can use an alternate attraction entrance where available
  • Guests may enter attractions through the standard wheelchair entrance
  • Guests can use their stroller as a wheelchair
  • Provide a shaded wait area if available at attraction

Additionally, other accommodations include preferential viewing at shows for guests with visual impairments and the so-called “Green Light” available to guests visiting through the Make a Wish foundation.

The two most common stamps are the alternate attraction entrance and standard wheelchair entrance stamps. The standard wheelchair entrance stamp allows guests to use a wheelchair entrance where available. At a park like Disney California Adventure, most of the standby lines are wheelchair accessible so this stamp does not have a significant benefit to the guests. In most cases, guests with an alternate attraction entrance stamp can enter the attraction through the Fastpass line or through the exit. This can be a huge time saver for these guests, but because of this benefit it also tempts those who don’t need it to abuse the system.

Recently, Disney has made minor changes to the GAC program in an attempt to limit abuse. The most significant of these changes is used at Radiator Springs Racers at Disney California Adventure. Here, alternate attraction entrance GAC users are issued a return time instead of being granted immediate entry to the Fastpass line. This hasn’t eliminated the GAC abuse, but it has helped Disney manage usage on a popular new attraction.

When Disney officially discusses the GAC program, they emphasize that the card is not a front of the line pass, but the card does create an advantage if it has the alternate attraction entrance stamp. One approach Disney has taken to reduce distribution is limiting the available information on the GAC program online. A search of “GAC”, “Autism”, and “Guest Assistance Card” on Disneyland.com yields no results. The same searches on DisneyWorld.com include responses from the Disney Mom’s Panel, but no official policy. A phone call to Disneyland’s information line for more information about the program directed me to guest relations in the parks. I fully support this lack of information as a means of curbing this problem, assuming that it helps prevent abuse.

Morally questionable guests have fabricated ailments in order to receive an alternate attraction entrance GAC. In other cases, ailments have been exaggerated to accomplish the same thing. It is at the discretion of the guest services Cast Member as to what stamp is used on every GAC issued, and there are no requirements for the guests to prove their disabilities. Legally, it is assumed the Americans with Disabilities Act prevents Disney from asking for proof of an ailment. It is also reasonable to assume that Disney fears discrimination lawsuits.

While the total elimination of the GAC program is unlikely, changes to the program’s benefits are a possibility. Depending on the extent of these changes, many legitimate GAC users could decide to visit less or not at all. More importantly, changes may result in some former users taking legal action against a company that isn’t providing sufficient accommodations to those that need it. Unfortunately, if acquiring a GAC provides any advantage there will still be abuse. For this reason, I feel that restricting the distribution is a better approach than substantial changes to the accommodations.

Having said that, the accommodations may be modified more easily when MyMagic+ is rolled out. Some suggested changes to the rules are as follows:

  • Limit usage at marquee attractions to once per day, or require a return time for multiple rides.
  • Do not allow guests that have difficulty standing for long periods of time access through the Fastpass system. Instead allow these guests to wait in a seated area for the length of the standby line. This could be accomplished with an additional stamp option.

Speaking personally, my older brother Matt, who you see featured in the photos above, is autistic and my family has used a GAC on every trip since we were made aware of the program. At this point in time, family trips are productions and we now travel nine deep. As mentioned, the GAC restricts usage to six guests, so it cannot accommodate every member of my family. Where available, we get Fastpasses to supplement the GAC so that the family can experience attractions together. For rides that don’t currently offer Fastpass, we will typically wait in the standby line. The new policy that eliminates late Fastpass returns has made this approach a bit more difficult for my family, but the inconvenience has been minimal.

At first glance, my brother’s disability is not apparent to all guests or cast members. Physically, he is in the best shape of anyone in the family, and our concerns are in no way linked to his physical ability to stand in line. Our concerns are primarily ones of aggression. When a child throws a temper tantrum in the parks, it creates a scene, but rarely is any damage done to property or guests. However, when a 36 year old acts out aggressively it can be far more damaging. I remember a trip twenty years ago where Matt simply could not handle the stimulation that came with a trip to Disney World. My parents took turns staying with him at the hotel while the other parent toured the parks with me and my older sister.

Like many of us fans, Matt has his favorites at the parks. At the Magic Kingdom, his favorites have turned into a somewhat strict routine and if he hasn’t seen all of these attractions he is significantly more irritable. What makes this more difficult is that depending on the trip, a deviation from the specific order is also cause for increased irritability. His order at the Magic Kingdom is:

  • Jungle Cruise
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • A bag of candy at the shop after Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Splash Mountain
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • The Haunted Mansion
  • It’s a Small World
  • Peter Pan’s Flight

He has other favorites, but typically after experiencing these attractions his irritability has worn off. Several years ago, my girlfriend (now wife) and I took an early morning flight on Thanksgiving Day. After dinner, some of us went into the park to ride a few attractions with Matt. We started the routine and made it as far as Splash Mountain. It was in the high 40s, and we got significantly wet on Splash Mountain. We were cold, we were exhausted, and we wanted to leave the park. Matt had other ideas, and we were faced with the choice of physically restraining him in the middle of Fantasyland, or completing the required attractions in the routine. We opted to complete the routine.

For my family, the GAC allows us to experience a family vacation that we can all enjoy together. Matt loves Disney World and eagerly anticipates our family vacations. Some of our best photos of Matt involve trips to Disney as you can see by the ones included in this column. Our family is looking forward to taking him to Disneyland for the first time this summer to see how he reacts to things that are somewhat familiar but still very different.

While it may seem self serving, I would hate to see substantial changes to the GAC program. It allows our whole family to enjoy a vacation with my brother Matt. If those accommodations were removed or limited, it would likely mean that we could no longer bring Matt to the parks, and thus bring an end to our Disney family vacations.

Have you used the GAC? What strengths and weaknesses does the program hold for you and what changes, if any, would you make?

About Tim Grassey

Three months before being born, Tim enjoyed his first trip to Disney World. Ever since, frequent trips to Disney World and Disneyland have helped feed the obsession. After a three year run as a podcaster, Tim currently co-owns the Disney information site, WDWThemeParks.com. You can follow the site on twitter @wdwthemeparks or follow Tim directly @tgrassey

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  1. My son Joe is a 21-year-old version, almost, of your Matt. He has autism, and is also hypotonic – he can’t walk/stand in line for too long without needing to sit – on the ground in the middle of a line, if need be. Last year I took him to Disneyland as part of a trip to California to see my folks and the GAC pass as a lifesaver! I had skipped the long line at customer relations (Joe was too excited to not make a dash for Star Tours and he is too big to easily redirect) when we first entered the park. Star Tours line did not look bad so we got in it – only to discover the visible line fed into a room where the line weaved back and forth for 45 minutes (I timed it) with no place to sit! I almost lost Joe for the day right then and there.

    After Star Tours we slowly made our way back to Guest Relations, where I parked Joe in the floor in a corner and got in the then shorter line for a pass.

    The rest of the day was much more manageable! Where lines were shortish, we stood in line. Most attractions, though, we entered via Fastpass or the wheelchair entry. Only once did someone (a dad with a tired toddler in tow – I have three other kids and understand his frustration) yell at us for “not needing to cut in line!” as Joe, like Matt,, doesn’t “look” disabled at first glance.

    We are going again in a month – if you are at D’land May 29 – 31 and see a short older mom with a six-foot-tall grinning man wearing a bright yellow shirt with either Tintin/Homer/Special Camps logo on it (I keep Joe in yellow so I don’t loose him!” say “Hi!” ;-) we will probably be at StarTours or waiting for Captain EO (Joe’s idea, not mine!) or eating pizza (again!) at the pizza place by Space Mountain.

    Which better be up and running when we go or heaven help us!

    • Unfortunately we won’t be there when you’re there, however we’re doing our first family trip to Disneyland in August and we’re looking forward to see how Matt reacts to things that a similar but different.

    • Your story makes me even more angry about the GAC abuse. Angry because there are those who have a GAC for “legitimate” reasons. Even if the disability isn’t obvious.
      But there are so many who know they can get one simply by saying they need it, and that Guest Relations will not question it. The favorite “LIE” is saying they have anxiety disorder. No way to see that…no way to check that.
      And for some reason, those “cheaters” with a GAC card also happen to be the biggest JERKS when using them. Example: I’ve never seen anyone with a GAC card with a wheelchair stamp…ACTUALLY IN A WHEELCHAIR!!! But man do they get pissed off if they can’t enter through the exit, as is the case with Luigi’s Flying Tires where the main entrance IS wheelchair accessible. They refuse to use the entrance and will piss and moan about wanting to enter through the exit.
      Unfortunately, Cast Members are required to “make them happy” no matter what. So in the end, they get to cut in line if they raise a stink. And they ALWAYS DO!!!

      • Yes, those cheaters usually are the worst guests to interact with. I’m a cast member and I had a man threaten to sue me because my attraction’s cue is wheelchair accessible and I wouldn’t let him through the fast pass line with his wheelchair GAC (and he didn’t have a wheelchair anyway). It was a crazy busy day, and I hate seeing people abuse them too, so I wasn’t going to give him what he wanted. (Maybe if he had been nice instead of threatening me, but people don’t seem to understand that either.) Sometimes I will even have guests right in front of me talking about how they got the GAC by lying. It’s terrible. (And don’t even get me started on cast members abusing them…)

    • Susan, I have a 5 year old great nephew with all of the same issues. One of our traditions on our trips is to make him a new t-shirt. I embroider his favorite character (it changes week to week) on his favorite color (which also changes week to week LOL). I would love to make a shirt for Joe, MY TREAT! Please email me [email protected] and we will figure it all out. And we may even be able to be at Disneyland to say hi!

  2. Sadly, many people abuse the system with a GAC an will proudly tell people about it.

    My brother uses a GAC when he travels with his Autistic son. Similar to what you describe, the GAC really makes the trip for their family of 6 much more manageable.

    My oldest son has bi-polar disorder and ADHD. He has no outward signs of any disability but the BPD and ADHD causes him to become hyper-focused on a specific attraction. If we don’t do the attraction, then we’re looking at a melt down and we are forced to sit down and ignore the behavior for upwards of an hour. This really cuts into the enjoyment of the park and the vacation. The use of the GAC has allowed us to tour the parks in ways that suit our families needs.

    Thanks for posting this article. Personaly, I would have NO issue with bringing a note from my son’s psychologist or his doctor in order to procure a GAC.

    • I agree with the note. I think legally it’s questionable, but for those people that genuinely need it I could see it happening. I wonder if they could also legally employ a doctor on site that could make a qualified professional opinion in instances where the disability is not obvious.

      • I think you would run into HIPPA again – the doctor at D’land would not have access to the person’s files and medical history. Even a doctor can’t look at someone and tell if they have a heart condition or lupus or are hypotonic or autism etc. etc. I’d hate to have to prove to anyone that Joe needs the pass (although I do have him dangle his Medic Alert necklace on the outside of his shirt as we ask for the pass.)

  3. Almost forgot – when we went last July we did walk all the way up to the ride entrance to use the GAC pass to get a Fast Pass to return later to ride the Racers. While I appreciated passing the looooong line of folks waiting to get Fast Passes, I was nervous as Joe might well have expected to get on the ride right then and there. Luckily, I was able to redirect him as it was our first time at DCA and it was all new to us.

    If I had to get and use Fast Passes for other attractions, though, it would have caused major problems. Joe simply can not walk that much to go back and forth collecting passes and returning later – he also would not understand why he had to come back when he was already there at the ride and wanted to go on it. I need to ration his strength and deal with his autism. Parking him somewhere while I run about collecting passes would not work – I simply do NOT leave him alone (except for restrooms – he knows to wait outside the Ladies for me, and if he takes too long in Mens I usually find an employee or ask a random Dad to go in and check on him.)

    All in all – I hope they do not change the GAC pass program too much. I think limiting the passes to a once-per-day-per attraction is feasible – as long as an “over-ride” can be made (but how to figure out who really needs it?) for someone like a person with autism who simply has to go on a certain ride 3 times a day and can’t be redirected.

    • This is actually a question we have regarding the RSR Fastpass line. We have never had a problem supplementing the GAC with Fastpasses where needed. I’m curious if at RSR we will be able to do this, or potentially request a GAC return time that syncs with our 3 FP when we’re traveling with 9 of us. The other option is to just get 9 FP for RSR.

      • Even with the GAC – get those RSR passes as soon as the park opens. Send someone to where ever the GAC folks go for their Fastpasses (last year it was all the way up by the entrance to the ride but it may have changed) while others get in the looong regular FP line. Tell the folks handing out the FP for the GAC folks what you are doing and how do they want you to handle it so you all ride at once. Have your cell phones on so you can call back to the folks in the regular line IF they don’t need to be in it. There has to be a way to do this.

  4. Tim – thank you so much for writing the article. It is so easy to forget why these programs exist when you are waiting on line and see others getting a shorter wait. Hopefully Disney can modify the program in a way that only negatively impacts those who abuse it.

  5. Yes it is a good program and I hope they keep it. My dad is 79 and has bad rheumatoid arthritis that makes walking and standing for long periods hard. We stay at the Grand Californian to put us closer to the parks and I rent him a scooter to use. We don’t use the GAC card because we were told to just show the scooter key. Every CM has taken good care of us and we never ride a ride more than once at a time and usually only once each day. At RSR we just use the single rider line and even though we get separated it is a much shorter wait for him. The only ride that is bad is Toy Story. We have waited between an hour and an hour and a half which in my book is unacceptable. WDW has fastpass which is way better. I don’t take him there because it is just too hard. I just travel alone for those races.

    • The issue at Toy Story is really a function of DHS not having enough family attractions. While I had another article on here that went against this, adding Cars Land to DHS would certainly help the lines at Toy Story (although I’d argue that so would more Star Wars/other Pixar content).

      • Tim, Skimbob was talking about DCA, not DHS. There is no fast pass at DCA Toy Story.
        -Mike

  6. As an adult who uses a GAC card when traveling to WDW and Disneyland I can say how grateful I am to have it. I have psoriatic arthritis, which requires various medications that restrict the amount of sun I’m exposed to, my stamina (both because of the disease and the medications),and my ability to walk varies based on my pain levels. I was in denial on my first trip to WDW after my diagnosis until my husband said I looked like I’d melted into the pavement when I sat down on a bench to rest after only a couple of hours in Epcot. It was the next day that I asked for my first GAC. What a life saver! I was able to do my favorite attractions without being so tired the remaining two days! On my next trips I’ve gotten a scooter, which helps as well, but without the GAC card I’d just trudging through my vacation.
    The practice that California Adventure was using on my last visit was great for me! I am able to handle going away from the attraction and returning at a designated time so it was good. I was given a Fastpass with a handwritten return time that was equal to the current wait in the standby line and when I returned I went through the Fastpass line or alternate entrance if no Fastpass was available. This is comparable to other theme parks I’ve visited since my diagnosis. I am able to truly enjoy my Disney vacations again!
    I wouldn’t think twice of providing documentation from my rheumatologist to verifying need for the GAC card!

  7. I have a family member with rheumatoid arthritis, and we discovered the toll a Disney day can take when their body locked up on them waiting in a long standby line. The best solution for them is movement, which sometimes causes confusion at guest services. Not being doctors, they recommend a wheelchair, but sitting for extended periods can be just as painful as standing.

    Getting the GAC has been a blessing, cause it gives us options. We’re well aware of the abuse, cause you can tell the cast members are looking for signs of “drug seeking behavior”. We’re reminded it’s not a front of the line pass, which isn’t it at all.

    Our family is still the immediate source for making sure their joints don’t lock up, same way parents are the ones who have to tend directly to their autistic children, same way parents with a cancer kid who has to push around an oxygen tank are responsible for their well being.

    The GAC isn’t a magic wand, it won’t soothe your joints or prevent a tantrum. It’s exactly what it says. It assists you, the individual for whom otherwise a day at Disneyland would be too overwhelming.

  8. My heart goes out to Matt, his family, and everybody who has posted here who have family members with special needs. I have two kids with food allergies. Our trips our productions any the issues I have to deal with are in absolutely no way even comparable to what you folks deal with on a daily basis. Kudos to all of you for not giving up on these special human beings and for not giving up on life. Just because someone has a special need, that doesn’t mean you don’t try to work in a great vacation–especially one at a Disney park.

  9. GREAT column! I have a 23 year old son with Downs and Autism. We would have serious difficulty in the parks without the GAC. Nowadays, his siblings are grown, and it is usually just me and my son at the parks. I push him in a large heavy Convaid chair… We only last a few hours at a time in the parks. I had to smile that your brother has an order to the rides he wants to experience. My Sean does not really have an order, but points and yells “this way, this way” a lot. And you are correct, it is harder to handle an autistic adult then a child, when they get tired, cranky, irritable, or aggressive. But my son lives for his Disney trips, they are a major part of his life, we go about twice a year.

    To add to the general discussion, but slightly off-topic, Disney has been adding more and more “Family” restrooms, which absolutely save us at the parks. I do not like taking an adult man into the ladies room, and sometimes (rarely!) my son has disasters that require major cleanups.

  10. Great article, your pic with goofy is wonderful. His face in that pic is priceless very sweet. The GAC saved me tremendously thru my back surgery. I also wish proof was required to eliminate the abuse. But what a great program for those who need it. Again great article.

  11. Thanks Matt for this article.
    Both my husband and I use the GAC card. My husbands disability is visible when you see him walking because he can hardly walk due to severe arthritis in ankles and knees and he also doesn’t do stairs. When we are with him, most of the time we don’t get the odd stares from both cast members in guest services and others standing in standby lines. I say most of the time because when we are at DLR he usually doesn’t use an ECV because it, in it’s self can be a problem at times especially for the other guests in the park. DLR is small enough for him to try and tough it out, but rarely does he last for more than 2 or 3 hours before he just parks himself somewhere and waits for everyone else to finish their time in that particular park before moving on to the next park. So having the “Time Return GAC” allows him to enjoy more rides with his grandson and family. He can sit somewhere in between times of return for the rides. When in WDW we wouldn’t even consider doing those parks without an ECV.

    Me, on the other hand, I for the most part get the stares. My problems are not visible and most people guess my age to be somewhere in my late 40′s instead of mid 60′s. So, when I go in to get a GAC, even most of the cast members look at me with that, “OK, I can’t ask you for proof of your disability, but I doubt that you need this card” stare. For the most part, I can walk just fine, it is the standing that wreaks havit on my spinal column and circulation. After standing for more than 10, 15 minutes, my right leg starts to tingle and burn and then goes to sleep and it is difficult to walk let alone the pain in my lower back. I have a history of major back, knee and foot surgeries. My other problem is that on doctor’s advice, I’m not supposed to walk or stand more than about 30 minutes without taking a time out to elevate my feet for about 10 minutes. If I don’t do this, by the late afternoon my ankles and feet can be looking like footballs.

    I was made aware of the GAC card by a cast member when he saw me walking bent over and sitting on the ground in between moving in line. He asked me if I was OK or did I need assistance. When I told him that my leg was asleep and it was difficult for me to walk and I was trying to take the pressure off my lower back by walking bent over and sitting, he told me that I needed to go to guest services and get the GAC card. After that ride my daughter and I went to guest services to get one and the cast member there asked who it was for and I said “me”. She then told me, I’m sorry, but the cards are for guests with disabilities. When I said that I did have disibilities and started to explain, she stopped me and told me that they are not allowed to ask for details and issued me a card, but with that “abuser stare”. I had thought to get a letter from my doctor, but then was told that it was unnecessary because the cast members are not allowed to read them. Also, I don’t usually do stairs well. When I do, do them, it is usually slowly, one at a time, which causes back up problems in a lot of areas.

    I know people do abuse them and it is frustrating when you hear a small group of people crowing about how they are beating the “Fast Pass” system by getting a GAC pass. But for the most part, I think the people who need them are the ones using them. From what I understand there are different types of passes for different disabilities, we are usually issued the one that you come back after the prescribed standby times. That works for both my husband and I because we can rest in between times. I have learned not to judge wheather or not someone in the altenative lines really needs to be there or not. I just wish that others in the standby lines could learn to do the same. The first time I went to DLR I was 6 years old when they first opened. I have happily (most of the time) stood in the standby lines for over 50 years. Now I need a little help doing that even if it doesn’t outwardly look like I do.

    My heart goes out to all those parents and others who are dealing with loved ones that have disabilities such as autism and other personality disorders. All those standby people who want to be judgemental towards groups that look to be perfectly normal, but includes a special guest, I wonder how they would feel, or be empathetic if they were in line with a guest having a melt down. Little do they know.They just don’t get it.

    • I am 55 years old and have been going to the DLR for 47 years and I Love being on any and all Disney Properties.
      27 Years ago I had a 490 pound roll of Carpet dropped on me by a person moving it with a forklift without the proper equipment attached to the forklift, I have major nerve damage and 2 blown disks, I can walk for short distances and when my wife and I make the trip to DL from our home in Las Vegas which we try to do at least 3 to 4 times a year I would try to walk the park but by noon I was in to much pain to continue so we would head back to the Hotel. Then 1 trip we rented an ECV and found our trip to be much better I don’t get GAC passes we just use the wheel chair access and it is a god send just being able to sit instead of standing in the lines, We don’t really care about the wait and enjoy the Queses in DCA where you can just take the ECV in through the regular lines. And I feel for the Cast Members they get yelled at and cussed at and they don’t right the rules they are just trying to do thier jobs so people need to lighten up.
      My wife used to walk by my side and now she has her own health issues and cannot walk for long distances or stand for long periods of time she is also on oxygen now so 3 years ago we purchased our own ECV’s and travel with them, DL Cast Members are always pleasant to deal with and always willing to lend a helping hand, it is because of this help that my wife and I can still maintain a fun filled life and we will continue to grow old and deal with our aches and pains but we will never have to grow up…We also carry our letters from our doctors that confirm our disabilites…. When we are at DL or WDW we have no cares or worries and weather we wait 10 minutes or 2 hours like we did the first time we rode RSR we are together enjoying our time together and the time in the Parks! May you all learn to accept what you can Change and Let go of the things you have No Control Over. Let you Inner Peter Pan Out!

  12. Hi, folks! Thanks for the article. I have a question: we are traveling to DLR in a few months with my new stepmom! <3 She has had diabetes surgery on both legs and may require use of a wheelchair. This has never been something we've dealt with before, so could someone please explain how the GAC works for this? We definitely do not need a cut in line as we will be at the parks for 5 and a half days. But would we need a GAC for places that the wheelchair can't go into the line? Thanks very much.

    • DannyeF,

      Because of the wheelchair, you probably won’t need a GAC. When you approach the attraction, you should be met by a greeter who will then direct you to the appropriate entrance, whether it’s the Fast Pass entrance (usually more wheel chair friendly) or through the exit. It really depends on the attraction layout.

      It’s a great idea to stop by Guest Services to see if there are any special accommodations that should be made for the wheel chair.

      Don’t hesitate to ask if you have any other questions!

      • Thank you so very much!!

      • Also, at DCA, almost all of the lines for the rides are designed for wheelchairs. In Disneyland this is not true.

  13. Another “basic” accommodation not mentioned is the “baby swap” program.. Disney is the only major park that offers this option to my knowledge.. and it is a tremendous help when you have small ones with you who either cannot ride or are frightened of the ride. Simply inform a cast member at the front of the attraction and they will give you a fastpass to allow the child to exit at the loading area with one parent while the other family members ride, then you can “swap” and the other parent can ride with very little wait.

    My husband suffered a back injury years ago that he lives with on a daily basis, and if not for the wonderful accommodations Disney offers he would never be able to go with us, and since we would never go without him.. that means no Disney vacation for our family. Like others mentioned above you cannot see his pain.. but it is very real and would only allow him a couple of hours of walking and standing in line before it was unbearable. With the aid of a scooter, and the ability to shorten or eliminate standing, stairs, and/or walking into many attractions he can do a full day in the parks. It’s a big deal for us.. and one we are very thankful to Disney for.

  14. I have nothing against the GAC, I personally think its a great program, I just have issues with the abuse done to the program by able-bodied people. It’s well documented now that Disney has a problem here (RSR proved that). I’ve sadly had coworkers and “friends of friends” tell people how to abuse the system and get the GAC (that are fully-abled people). I even knew one coworker who kept a temporary cast to “get the pass”, then would put the cast in his car after he got it. My wife recently told people she was going to Disneyland, and had a friend of a friend post how to get a GAC pass (and we’re not disabled, just some small kids so we do the “Baby swap”)

    The problem with the abuse is it hurts the people who use it… I agree it’s needed for people with disabilities, and by people.

    Problem is Disney is stuck between ADA, HIPAA, and other privacy laws, basically “if you ask” they must provide… and people know this.

  15. I, too, used a GAC on my most recent trip to the World. Outwardly, I come off as a normal 18 year old girl. The reality is that I have a condition that causes me to faint when I stand for longer than 15-20 minutes (I passed out at my own high school graduation. Embarrassing.) As most of the wait times are much longer than this, the GAC was a life saver.

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