MiceAge Disneyland Update: Parties, Parking, and Planned Projects

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Published on September 17, 2013 at 3:00 am with 260 Comments

The post-summer off season of low crowds at Disneyland Resort lasted only two weeks, and after the crazy Friday the 13th Villains event Disneyland has crashed into its wildly popular HalloweenTime season before it shifts almost immediately into Christmas mode in early November. While Team Disney Anaheim keeps their cards close to their vest on Burbank’s orders regarding big new rides about to begin construction in DCA and Tomorrowland, there are still some big changes coming to the parks in the next month. In this update we’ll fill you in on what’s ahead this fall, why there are only three more weeks to use a Guest Assistance Card (GAC) in the American parks, and why TDA is suddenly fine tuning their Resort parking strategy.

Got that freshly spun tuft of candy corn colored cotton candy in your sticky hands?  Have your Pumpkin Spice Latte poured?  Then let’s get this Disneyland update started. . .

The Good, The Bad, and the Unlucky

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Before we tell you about the termination of the Guest Assistance Card program, it seems appropriate to fill in a bit on the backstory behind that overcrowded Friday the 13th event last Friday night. The concept was dreamed up by the One Disney marketing team as a bi-coastal Limited Time Magic offering. At Disneyland it also coincided with the first day of Haunted Mansion Holiday and Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy, which is historically a very busy Friday evening anyway as the Annual Passholders all flood in after work to check out the seasonal overlays. Each property was allowed some leeway in what they could do, and the Disneyland entertainment team landed on the two dance parties and as many Villains characters in the park as they could find CM’s to staff properly. Ladle this concept with the usual marketing hype and a 1:00AM closing time for Disneyland, and judging by the online reviews people either loved it (Villains!) or hated it (Crowds!).

Disneyland Resort got hammered by those crowds on Friday evening, with the attendance at both parks basically tripling in size between mid afternoon and late evening. Between 10:00PM and Midnight alone, an additional 5,000 Annual Passholders arrived at Disneyland after fighting late night traffic around Anaheim and finally finding a parking space at the GardenWalk mall. The numbers for that day tell the story:

Disneyland Attendance on Friday the 13th
55,000 Total Guests, of whom 36,000 were Annual Passholders

Disney California Adventure Attendance on Friday the 13th
30,000 Total Guests, of whom 19,000 were Annual Passholders

Total Resort Attendance
85,000 Total Guests, of whom 55,000 were Annual Passholders

Compared to an average busy summer day six weeks ago, when an 80,000 combined attendance was average but only 12,000 of those are Annual Passholders due to summer blockouts, the Friday night frenzy caused by Annual Passholders is a uniquely off-season phenomenon.

In TDA’s defense, they pulled out every trick they had to get as much parking as was available and to keep off-duty CMs away. Earlier this summer TDA made Friday the 13th a blockout day for Cast Member sign-in passes, and Disneyland’s parking team went into the event planning for New Years Eve crowds with every tram and bus and satellite parking lot they have pressed into service and staffed to the max, with extra Anaheim traffic cops staffed at TDA’s expense at major intersections.

But out at Walt Disney Worlnd, the TDO team failed to think of blocking Cast Member passes and they had a parking strategy that was based on just an average busy weekend. The result in WDW was that thousands of Cast Members and their families descended on Hollywood Studios to get in for free, and the parking situation and traffic logistics quickly fell apart at the seams. TDO’s lack of logistics planning needs to take a lot of the blame for this one, and it doesn’t help that via “The Hub” intranet website they continually encourage Florida Cast Members to return to property on their day off by touting free park admission and discounted recreational activities on WDW property. Whereas in Anaheim, TDA rarely encourages CM’s to come back to Resort property on their off time and instead touts CM discounts at the much wider range of cultural and entertainment options throughout Southern California.

One thing that the WDW team did right was to keep the executives in the parks and let them experience the madness first hand. DHS Vice President Dan Cockerell was in the park the whole night watching the drama unfold, and he pitched in with Guest Relations to personally take complaints and help where he could. It is executives sticking around on a Friday night to see the mess their team caused that can prevent this from happening again.

Contrast that to Disneyland, where most executives left last Friday evening and went home, missing the overcrowded park venues and gridlocked surface streets and backed up freeway off ramps that usually play out on Friday evenings. The TDA executives routinely rely on daily reports from lower level park duty managers to summarize the operation, and the summaries provided last Friday were quick to puff up the positives, ignore the negatives, and gloss over the hassles and massive lines that most park guests encountered. It’s a classic case of corporate C.Y.A., and it would be a refreshing change if these reports from Anaheim’s middle management were honest and clear in their assessment of the huge hassles and long lines created by these events. Or better yet, just have a Vice President or two stick around to try and exit the Santa Ana Freeway at 6:00PM on a Friday night and then fight for a parking spot. (Those Gold Sticker spaces reserved for executives behind Rainforest Café would be off limits in that experiment.)

DAS all Folks!

With HalloweenTime now kicked off, it’s onward to the next bit of drama set to play out inside the parks in both California and Florida. The existing Guest Assistance Card (GAC) program is set to be discontinued and replaced with a new system on Wednesday, October 9th at Disneyland and DCA. As we’ve outlined for you before, after years of revolving door executives not wanting to get near the GAC issue, the rampant fraud inherent in the 10 year old GAC program was brought to an embarrassing light via an expose on The Today Show last May. Only then did the executives on both coasts admit that something finally had to be done, and the existing Guest Assistance Card will cease to exist on October 9th.

In its place will be an entirely new program called the Disabled Assistance System (DAS). The DAS will work similarly to the “return passes” issued at popular rides like Star Tours 2.0 and Radiator Springs Racers, where currently a GAC holder gets a Fastpass-style return time hand written on a card based on the current Standby wait time. But with DAS, that concept will be rolled out to several dozen high-wait attractions in Anaheim. Instead of going to the actual ride to get a return card, a DAS holder will report to one of several Guest Relations kiosks that will be set up around the parks, with a current plan to have four kiosks in Disneyland (Fantasyland alone gets their own kiosk) and three kiosks in DCA. The DAS holder will present their card and tell the Guest Relations CM which attraction they want to ride, the CM will look at the current wait time via the official Disney Mobile Magic app on an iPad, and will then write out a return time for that attraction and subtract 10 or 15 minutes to make up for the travel time to and from the kiosk.
Only one ride reservation on a DAS card can be made at a time, so if the current wait for Space Mountain is 90 minutes and your 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, go on low-wait time attractions, pull a regular Fastpass for any other attraction, etc. But only one ride time can be reserved at a time with DAS, unlike the existing GAC which serves as basically an open Fastpass for any Fastpass lane in the park or an access card to go up the exit on any other type of attraction. The DAS changes that quite dramatically.

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The DAS cards will be issued only at Guest Relations offices in both parks, and the DAS kiosks are only for checking in for a specific ride. There will be no different stamps on the DAS like the current GAC with its half dozen stamp codes; you will either be issued a DAS or you will be instructed to use a wheelchair or other aid for your mobility issue. DAS will only be issued for one day at a time, although folks who can prove they are staying at a hotel for a few days could get a DAS dated for a short length of stay.

The person who is disabled and who has the DAS issued to them will also have their digital photo taken at Guest Relations, and the photo will be printed on the front of the DAS card and used by CM’s at the attractions to confirm that the DAS holder is actually going on the ride. The photos will prevent a current form of abuse, whereby one member of a party gets a GAC issued to them but then insists to the CM’s that they don’t want to ride they just want their children or friends to go in through the exit and skip the line while they wait nearby on a bench. Or worse, children or others in the party are coached into telling the CM’s that they are the person listed who was issued the GAC. To use a DAS, the person the DAS is issued to must be present at the kiosk and at the attraction and must go on the ride for the DAS privilege to work for the rest of the party.

There are more radical changes in DCA, where all queues and park facilities meet ADA requirements for wheelchair accessibility. In DCA, a person in a wheelchair or ECV won’t receive any extra courtesies or services beyond those visitors who are not in a wheelchair. People visiting DCA in wheelchairs likely won’t qualify for a DAS, and will now experience the park as everyone else does, including waiting in Standby lines and juggling Fastpass return times. The task of implementing that culture change will be more intense in Anaheim than Orlando as there are currently 55 attractions at Disneyland Resort that use a ride vehicle, and about 35 of those have wheelchair accessible queues. Comparatively, there are a total of 46 attractions at Walt Disney World’s four parks combined that use a ride vehicle, and 38 of those have wheelchair accessible queues. There are more rides overall at Disneyland Resort compared to WDW, and more of them in Anaheim are not wheelchair accessible.

At Disneyland Park there are 20 rides that have been identified as non-wheelchair accessible, and at those 20 rides an accommodation of going through the exit or a Fastpass lane will be offered to those in wheelchairs. A person in a wheelchair doesn’t need a DAS to get access at those attractions, thereby limiting the issuing of DAS cards in that park. Disneyland’s operations teams are studying ways to restore the wheelchair accessibility designed into the queues of some newer rides, like Indiana Jones, to allow a DCA-style equity to exist at as many Disneyland rides as possible. It should be noted that the work implementing DAS, which has had lots of executive involvement from both coasts, has now generated serious discussion in TDA on creating a five-year plan of capital expenditure to go in to those older rides and retrofit them with wheelchair accessible queues. But that’s still a few years away.

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The goal behind DAS is to still offer service to those who may need it, but to also eliminate the wild excesses of the GAC system which operated on most days and on most rides as an unlimited Fastpass card and/or a backdoor pass to slip in via the exit with a much shorter wait. The one exception to the DAS program is made for Make-A-Wish children. A new Genie lanyard has been created for Make-A-Wish children that will act like an unlimited Fastpass and instant backdoor access card (basically the same thing as the current GAC with the “green light” stamp on it), and it will be sent to the families just before their visit directly from the Make-A-Wish headquarters in Phoenix. The Make-A-Wish cards won’t be kept on Disney property, at the specific request of Disney to avoid any ability to use that courtesy for anyone other than qualified Make-A-Wish visitors.

Guest Relations and Attractions Cast Members in both parks have already been scheduled classroom training for the DAS program through late September and early October. The Guest Relations team will get the most intensive training day, as they’ll be on the front lines of this new system as they try and reel in expectations of Annual Passholders used to having a GAC with easy access to any ride they wanted. Staffing for Guest Relations is being beefed up as much as possible beginning with roll-out day on Wednesday, October 9th, and the Security department has also been asked to help staff officers in Guest Relations centers in Disneyland and DCA to help with anyone who may get verbally abusive or threaten violence against those Guest Relations CM’s doling out the more restrictive DAS cards.

The real day to watch will be Friday, October 11th, two days after DAS begins and the first day when 25,000+ Annual Passholders show up in the evening. This is going to be ugly for at least a few weeks, everyone agrees on that. It helps that the exact same program is being rolled out at WDW at the same time, and that finally there are several senior executives supporting the program. It will be interesting to see how strong the executives stand behind the DAS program when the inevitable ugly media stories begin showing up on the local news and online, or heaven forbid if the CM’s in the parks really start taking serious verbal or physical abuse.

A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrowland

While October will feature quite a few upset folks in the parks, there’s still good news headed to Anaheim this fall. DCA Vice President Mary Niven has instructed her operations teams to go full speed ahead on their strategizing over WDI’s plans for Monstropolis and the Door Coaster back in the corner of Hollywood Studios, as Burbank bosses have quietly nodded that the check for the new project will clear the bank just as soon as the new fiscal year starts in October. Meanwhile, Disneyland Vice President Jon Storbeck is keeping his strategic planners on the path to a virtual Death Star landing in Tomorrowland, with a two-phase approach still favored to get some of the “placemaking” done prior to the 60th Anniversary in ’15, with the rest opening after the 60th and bookended by the Monstropolis opening in early 2017. The recent “play tests” conducted by WDI in the Golden Horseshoe were an important part of that planning for Tomorrowland, as WDI and Disneyland’s operations teams are curious to see how they can get WDI’s plans for a rowdy night in a Tatooine cantina to work with theme park guests. And you can bet there’s lots of food and drink and merch sales piled on to the fun in that interactive cantina attraction planned for Tomorrowland.

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Captain EO is also heading to extinction, but Burbank caught wind of TDA’s plans to close the increasingly irrelevant show for a fake “reburbishment” this month in order to save some labor dollars at the end of the fiscal year. Burbank bosses and an important clique in Glendale’s WDI headquarters want to make the most of their newly acquired Star Wars property, and the parks announcement is a key part of that.

Burbank was upset that if EO was closed for a refurbishment, fans would be able to see what was really its permanent closure in advance of a replacement announcement, and they told TDA to back off and just eat the extra labor hours. So the Captain EO fake refurbishment was shelved, and the show will stay open until the Star Wars plans are announced. Don’t forget, there’s the first D23 Expo Japan being held at Tokyo Disneyland on October 12th thru the 14th, and Tokyo’s Tomorrowland not only has an underused Captain EO show but also has an aesthetic that has been screaming out for an update for over a decade. Bob Iger and Tom Staggs are both scheduled to fly over to Japan for that D23 Expo and make a few announcements about the parks, and perhaps also mention a galaxy far, far away.

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But those announcements are still a month out. And in the meantime the current exhibit at the Blue Sky Cellar touting last spring’s debut of the Fantasy Faire is looking more and more useless. The Blue Sky Cellar is currently planned to shut down and go into mothballs with the new fiscal year on October 1st, and then wait until the Monstropolis or Star Wars announcement is made so that WDI can stage a new exhibit there in 2014. Those Guest Relations CM’s that staff the Cellar will be needed elsewhere in October to help roll out the DAS program anyway, but if you are a fan of the Blue Sky Cellar a September visit to get your fix is advisable.

PARKS and Resorts

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With the stealthy plans for more Anaheim expansion this decade, TDA has gone back to the drawing board on a parking expansion for the Resort area. The latest news was Disney’s acquisition of a big chunk of property on the corner of Ball Road and Harbor Blvd., as the current site of an old service station and an RV park. The plan is to turn this lot into 1,500 spaces of Cast Member parking, thus opening up breathing room to begin construction on a multi-level parking garage and streetcar station on the existing Pumbaa parking lot. A portion of that Pumbaa lot had to be turned over to Cast Members in early 2012, when the Resort went on a hiring binge in advance of DCA’s grand reopening. There are 1,400 spaces in the Pumbaa lot, and they are now available for CM’s as an alternate to the infamous Katella Cast Member Lot (KCML) south of GardenWalk.

KCML has been in operation since late 1998, and requires CM’s to wait in long lines to take a rag tag fleet of smelly standing-room-only shuttle buses to and from KCML. Although when wait times for the KCML shuttle exceed 20 minutes on peak days, many CM’s just end up walking the 1.5 miles to or from the park anyway. And at least the opening of GardenWalk in ’08 created a bit of a shortcut for them. The experience of KCML parking is so disliked by CM’s, that several thousand CM’s per day now voluntarily park in the Pumbaa lot and then walk a round trip of up to two miles to and from their work locations inside Disneyland or DCA. And these are front line CM’s working in the park on their feet all day, they aren’t walking to and from a cushy desk job.

The Pumbaa lot

The Pumbaa lot

On busy days this past summer, the 1,400 space Pumbaa lot was often filled to capacity during the first and second shifts. Parking in Pumbaa sends those CM’s trudging back to their car down Harbor Blvd. and side streets late at night after their shifts, but the female CM’s try to walk in groups and have become street savvy to avoid the various panhandlers and con artists that lurk in the shadows there after park closing. But for most park Cast Members that darkened hike at the end of a long day spent on their feet is a better scenario than dealing with the indignity and hassle of the dreaded KCML shuttle.
TDA now realizes they have more CM’s than they know what to do with, but before they can seriously barter with the city of Anaheim over how to best use the Pumbaa lot, and some connected property Disney also owns, they will have to find more CM parking. They are already using small overflow lots across Harbor Blvd. much closer than Pumbaa to park a few hundred white collar Cast Members who work in the original Administration Building inside Disneyland’s berm. But those auxiliary lots are being snapped up by hotel developers, as a new hotel building boom hits the Disneyland Resort District this year and next.

There are currently a dozen new hotels under construction or planned to get underway this winter in the Resort District around Disneyland; from a swanky Westin and Hyatt House on Katella, to a boutique Hotel Indigo, to mid-range motor inns like the Marriott Courtyard about to be built on the current Administration Building parking lot. The unfortunate thing is that the new CM parking structure on Ball Road will be even further from the parks than KCML is, so packed shuttle rides are looming in the future for the CM’s that have escaped to Pumbaa.


MiceChat Podcast: The Great Disney Geek-Out

Doug Barnes and Dusty Sage jump head first into the cave of Disney wonders and return with quite a few gems to share from the recent D23 Expo. But what did Disney do that actually made Dusty cry? It’s a touching moment and a reminder why so many of us are true Disney fans. This show is for the Disney fan in all of you and well worth a listen.

Direct Link | iTunes Link

 


Oh-KAY, that wraps things up for this update. But there is still plenty of news coming soon enough.

Did you survive Friday the 13th in the parks? Have thoughts about the replacement of the GAC program? Looking forward to Tomorrowland updates finally being rolled out?

If you enjoyed today’s update, please be sure to share with your friends on Facebook and Twitter and leave us a comment below.

About MiceAge

The MiceAge crew was started by Al Lutz in 2003, and is committed to bringing you the inside Disney story that you just can't get anywhere else. As much as we'd all like to see more frequent rumor updates on the site, we only publish when reliable news and rumors are available to share. Generally, you'll find a new MiceAge news update from Al and crew once or twice a month on Tuesdays. The MiceAge news Editor can be reached at: [email protected]

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260 Comments

Comments for MiceAge Disneyland Update: Parties, Parking, and Planned Projects are now closed.

  1. Wasn’t tracking entirely on the whole SW Cantina discussed above. Would this be something that would replace Red Rockets (please say yes) or would it be integrated into Tomorrowland Terraces…or someting completely different?

    Will be interesting to see what the SW presences is in TL. I’m a massive SW fan but not entirely keen on any franchise having too large a presence in a single land. If we ultimately have a restaurant, a show and 1-2 rides themed to SW, it does seem a bit much. I can see where that would work at DHS but not at DL.

    As for the parking discussion, there are areas that are ideal for Disney but I’m assuming the price is just too high for them to buy out at this point i.e. the large area at the corner of Ball and Walnut & the smaller parcel at the corner of Ball and DL Drive. Also, does anyone actually occupy the space behind the the parking lot on Disney Way (the old Grand Hotel site)? That’s a massive space.

    • The Cantina thing is for Disney Hollywood Studios. Though, it would reason that it could be implemented at Disneyland if they choose to do so.

      • I was actually looking forward to going there instead of wondering what was going to happen to Starcade…

      • I was kinda hoping I could go there and spend lots of money instead of wandering by Starcade and a 3-D Theatre and wondering why all that Space had to be empty.

  2. Glad so many are gleeful to see the GAC being done away with, regardless of the effect it has on those of us who used it to get a full Disneyland experience. I have a severe bleeding disorder and standing too long in those lines can cause my joints to start bleeding, or the arthritis I have from a lifetime of bleeding related damage to flare up, necessitating leaving the park to treat or finding a place to sit for a while until I can walk again. Having an accomodation like the GAC enabled people like me to get directly on the ride, enjoy it, then spend the time we would have been standing in line sitting and resting instead and avoiding the risk of a bleeding episode that can ruin an entire vacation. Now it looks like I’ll be able to enjoy far fewer rides and run a much higher risk of injury by having to navigate and wait in lines while I’m waiting for my one or two “return times” I get per day, and that is very saddening. I understand the able bodied folks resenting those who abuse the system without having any real need for it, but there are those like me who it greatly benefited and helped compensate for limitations that others don’t face. I’d certainly never take any of this out on the fine castmembers at the park, but it’s disappointing nonetheless. I hope all of you who celebrate its demise are kinder to those of us who will now be waiting in line with you, in pain and at risk of injury. We may need some patience as we limp along those queues with you.

    • Let me add this to your perfectly stated comment. If Disney were to offer a front-of-line pass at a premium price, as Universal does, I’d gladly pay it to keep my son out of the queues.

      Like everything else they do, Disney developed this program in committee and didn’t put nearly as much though into it as the could have, and should have. I’m wondering if they had any disabled consultants work on the preparation of the new program.

      I’m disgusted by the people who have misused the GAC and have cost us this invaluable tool to allow so many disabled people to enjoy the parks as the able-bodied do.

      • I doubt they actually talked to anyone who actually has a disability or has used the program in the past. I’m heartbroken over this. While you may be able to pay for a “Premium” ticket to get front of the line access, many who have children with special needs are scraping by, and this could be their one and only time to visit the park. Not everyone is qualified for “Make A Wish” which is the only other way to get front of the line privileges.

      • This has to comply with Federal Access law…

        We sorta get physical disability but mental health/developmental issues are a whole new thing.

        I took a “Tour in Walt’s Footsteps” as a birthday treat. It cost extra but I got to go to the front of the line for the rides. So for those who have extra money, a private tour of some kind might be really grand!

        Everyone has to wait the same amount of time, but how one waits can be different. Sitting in a wheelchair in the shade until one’s Fast Pass or DAS time (people have other issues even in wheelchairs that might keep them from lines) or getting in line in one’s wheelchair, all equal regardless of one’s disability, would be the goal.

    • I’m sorry for your condition, that must be rough. But the truth is, GAC’s and DAS cards are so those who are handicapped can have as EQUAL treatment as the rest of the guests as possible. Not better treatment with the ability to skip lines. In most cases, one’s disability does not give them the right to enjoy MORE attractions then anyone else. And because you would potentially be using a fastpass type system, that will simply give you the ability to “rest your legs” (like you mentioned) while you wait for your return time.

      • You’re misinterpreting my post, Indyfan1. As I said, with the DAS I will be able to enjoy fewer rides than I did with the GAC, which enabled me to get about the same number of rides in, without risk of injury or increased pain, as those without my issues are able to experience in their visits because they do not have my limitations. The advantage of the GAC allowing me to bypass a line only compensated for me not being able to stand in long lines and needing regular rests or breaks, which equaled out to me still enjoying the same number of rides as I would have if I weren’t disabled. Reading about the new DAS and it’s longer wait periods and limiting to one wait at a time, it doesn’t look like that will be the case now and I will now be able to enjoy fewer rides than a healthy person, or than I did back when I had a GAC. For me, the GAC pass was a field leveling accomodation which I really appreciated and saved me much stress and pain, and cost of treatment if an issue does arise.

        People like me experience limitations and roadblocks as a part of our regular, everyday lives. What has been so great, and appreciated, about Disneyland has been that with the GAC, I could leave after a day at the park knowing that I had enjoyed the same experience and fun as all those around me who don’t suffer some disability or situation like I do. That is a very rare treat that meant a lot. Disney doesn’t owe it to us, of course, but it’s been very nice to experience and is disappointing to lose.

      • As Dusty and swrdfghtr have mentioned below, I think you don’t understand what Disney is accomplishing here. GACs allowed you to ride more rides then everyone else in the park. That wasn’t fair, regardless of your condition. the DAS does not make you wait in lines. You’ll still be able to relax and sit in the shade and get food/shop/ride other no-wait attractions while you standby for your DAS return time. You simply cannot overlap those wait times, exactly like a fastpass. All you’re losing is the preferential treatment you seem to have become so blindly accustomed to. The point here is to reach equal ground for ALL guests in the park while still accommodating those who are physically unable to wait in long lines.

      • “GACs allowed you to ride more rides then everyone else in the park.”

        You obviously aren’t really reading my responses, as I have addressed this specific mistaken thought a couple of times, so there’s no point discussing this with you any further. Anyone who thinks a disabled person with real limitations was riding more rides than non-disabled people is very mistaken and ignorant. But, you got your way, so I hope you enjoy your visits to Disneyland now, secure in the knowledge that people like me will be enjoying the park less than you do and potentially dealing with pain and injury while doing it. I am sorry we disabled people have caused you such trouble in the past.

      • You are aware that the DAS doesn’t make you wait in lines, correct? I’m sincerely hoping you actually did research this on this matter and aren’t basing your ridiculous posts off of one MiceAge article. Please understand, your disability enables you to not stand in lines. That’s it. It doesn’t give you the right to skip waiting in general. You still need to wait for your attractions, like everybody else in the park. You just don’t have to stand in the lines. I’m unclear how this simple matter is escaping you. You claim you need to “spend the time we would have been standing in line sitting and resting instead and avoiding the risk of a bleeding episode”… all dramatics aside, how is this ANY DIFFERENT then getting a DAS/fastpass for attractions and then RESTING like you said you need to. Nothing is changing other then the fact that you lose the ability to cut EVERY single line at EVERY single time you want and you get the luxury of not having to stand in line while you wait for your attraction. If you truly feel you deserve more then this, then it’s becoming clear you were part of the problem that required the implementation of these DAS cards in the first place.

      • IndyFan1–Respectfully, I think you are missing the point here. Many people with disabilities not only cannot wait in lines, but they simply cannot endure the total number of hours in a park that others can. If people with disabilities are allowed only one “fast-pass” (for lack of a better descriptor) in say a 75-minute time frame, then it will extend the number of hours they are required to stay in the park to ride the rides they would have ridden and then gone home, back to the hotel, etc. Honestly, I think Disney is doing what they think is fair, and I do hope it works out well. However, I think it might better have been addressed by asking guests to provide some sort of proof that they need a GAC–i.e., a letter from your doctor. This would have cut down on the abuse and solved the problem. Seems like a much easier solution than staffing multiple kiosks per park, and requiring disabled guests to make their way to a kiosk every time they want to ride something.

      • Fair enough. I suppose it’s just hard to believe there are disabilities that allow for dark spaces, sudden drops, loops, turns, spins, twists, rapid acceleration, strobe lights, enclosed spaces, screaming people and a general over-stimulation of all of our senses, BUT when it comes to one sitting quietly on a shade-covered bench listening to Mary Poppins music while comfortably waiting for the DAC return time, there’s all the sudden some medical infraction on that same disability.

      • IndyFan1–Wow, it’s disheartening that you would choose sarcasm when discussing the challenges faced by disabled persons. Very sad.

      • I’m not speaking of those with real disabilities, Pluto. I’m merely calling out the nonsensical defenses of those who try to take advantage of the system. I have nothing but the utmost respect for the disabled and the hardships they go through. My apologies.

      • How does a person whose joints bleed by merely waiting in line survive any ride that induces more stress than the old Main Street vehicles?

      • So sad. The time waiting for the DAS will likely not even be enough time to go eat, or go to the bathroom, both of which take longer with someone who has special needs. Not too mention how difficult it is with rude people stepping in front of my son in his wheelchair, making a walk that takes you 5 minutes, could be 15 for him, especially on crowded days.
        Something needed to be done because of all the “cheaters”, but this is not the answer.

    • I don’t think you understand what Disney is trying to do. They won’t be preventing you from accessing attractions with little or no wait. But they will control how many times you can do that in a day (which is fair) and they want to prevent someone with a DAS from selling it or giving it to others (which is also fair).

      If you can’t wait in lines for a medical reason, you’ll still be able to access attractions as you always have. But there will now be equity in the program. You’ll be able to experience the same number of attractions as any other guest (not more or less), but you still won’t need to wait in long lines.

      It’s a good system and I think you’ll be happy (as long as you aren’t one of those folks who was selling your pass) when you see it rolled out.

      • I agree with the pictures on the passes and those kinds of reforms. I was always very shocked that they didn’t do something like that in the past, honestly. And equally surprised when they never wanted to look at my doctors notes or my medalert bracelet. As a disabled person, I’ve never had any issue with showing that I have a legitimate need for something like that, or my parking placard or whatnot. So those measures I certainly approve of.

        What concerns me is this going to one spot to see a castmember at a kiosk who looks something up on a kiosk and then gives out what they decide is a proper wait time, then taking that back to whatever ride it’s for when the wait time is up and then waiting there however long to actually board the ride. I can see that causing issues and risking what I try to avoid by not waiting in lines anyhow, as I’ll now have to walk back and forth to wherever the kiosks are and wait once I get to the ride. I know they need to fix the system. I just don’t think this was the right way.

      • By the way, I want to thank you Dusty Sage for discussing this topic respectfully and not making disabled people like me look like bad guys. As is seen in these comments, it is difficult for us in the disabled world to speak up about much without being dismissed as being “overdramatic” or “blind” or any other insulting term that able-bodied people throw at us when they don’t want us in their way. You see the DAS differently than I do and that’s fine and I appreciate that you can be kind and respectful about it. I hope that it is as good a change as you think it will, and not as bad as I am worried it will be.

      • So there will be no more magic like this at the parks, right?

        http://youtu.be/Utzd2i1hnlg

        Pixie dust is a thing of the past unless you are one of the CMs/park-goers who’d like to see less autistic kids at the parks, in which case, this is a huge dose of pixie dust.

        That means no more kudos/news stories/books about how cast members made WDW so special for their special needs child who got to go on their favorite ride with Snow White.

        I’m actually shocked that no one has complained about this story. Everyone knows that this would have been impossible if not for the GAC program, right?

        So while an autistic child won’t be allowed to loop a ride that may be the only ride he has a fixation with, he be melting down waiting in more lines for rides that he may not have a fixation with.

        When this happens, will we see Disney World security come out of the bushes to restrain autistic kids? That’s going to make a special news story. It’ll be on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and everywhere else on the internet as well. Sadly, this will happen only because Disney will view it as an infringement on the rights of normal kids and their special parents. Some of these people need a little infringement so that they can have an appreciation of what the GAC actually accomplished for them.

      • Dusty Sage- It does not sound like a good system, A good system would be me sending Disney paper work ahead of time them verifying her disability and issuing her a disability pass with her picture on. That would assure that the system is not being abused.
        My daughter who has Autism does not ride all of the rides and some days she just wants to ride the same one 4 times, she can’t tolerate crowds or long waits and doesn’t decide what ride she wants to go on until we get there I can not simply tell her “we are scheduled for such and such ride at this time so lets sit here and wait” I understand that you can not understand that if you have not experienced it. But imagine a parent that wants their child to have a good day at Disney that is not stressful for the child, the parent and the other visitors in the park. We pay full price and maybe are there for 3-4 hours so who are we hurting?

      • Too bad you couldn’t have been with us this last weekend when my son experienced this type of “non-waiting” in lines, and see just how much the system fails. And even sadder, my son’s special needs aren’t as bad as many others. But, it was still a miserable day and we felt extremely disappointed. I will NEVER go back to that park.
        (This wasn’t Disney, but another park that is already using this “Fair” system.)

      • I’m a bit stressed out about the way this is being described, because my issue is being on my feet. I haven’t ever gotten a GAC, though I probably should have, but I know the day is coming when I won’t have a choice. I am a single mom with two small boys and I just can’t be in a wheelchair. They need to have their hands held and stay close to me. First, I am extremely nervous about requesting a pass. I have what essentially amounts to a deformity of my feet, but it isn’t ugly. Walking hurts (and gets progressively worse), standing in one place is excruciating. I wear supportive shoes, but they just stave off the pain slightly. I can walk and jump and dance and don’t outwardly appear to have issues. My last trip to Disneyland, my five-year-old announced he had to go to the bathroom about two seconds before the cast member at Pirates asked us how many were in our party. They were kind enough to allow us to run to the restroom and return through the exit. My anxiety levels ratcheted because I felt like everyone waiting in line was imagining us abusing the GAC. I hate that I will have to use one for real!

        Beyond my combination of embarrassment and worry that they will think I am lying when I request a pass, I’m also concerned about having to make a trip back to wherever the kiosk is over and over, and then wait in THAT line. I am just imagining a day where I get a pass from the kiosk…walk to Space Mountain…walk to kiosk…walk to Star Tours…walk to kiosk…walk to Autopia…walk to kiosk…walk to Matterhorn…walk to kiosk…walk to Alice in Wonderland…walk to kiosk…walk to Peter Pan…and so on. And how long will the lines at the kiosk be? I don’t mind the waiting the same amount of time as the line. I’d be perfectly happy to be put into a holding pen where I could just sit down until my time was up.

    • I think you’re being a bit unreasonable. The new DAS system would allow you to experience the attraction without physically waiting in line – you’d get a “get on immediately” return time. So you’re not skipping the line – you’re just waiting in a virtual place in line. It seems extremely fair. Your physical needs are accommodated, but the system is less ripe for abuse, and you’re not getting “special treatment” (a la, the right to skip everyone else who has been patiently waiting). It is, essentially, a FastPass.

      Yes, it does mean you’ll be able to perhaps enjoy fewer rides per day – but you’d be able to enjoy as many rides as a typically-abled person, meaning as many rides as an average guest. Disability deserves accommodation; it does not deserve additional privileges. Having a disability does not mean you should be able to ride more rides in a day than an average park guest; the DAS system simply enforces prevailing wait times without making you physically stand in the queue for that duration.

      You’re overdramatizing, a bit. You’re not being asked to “limp along those queues.” You can remain comfortably seated, or perhaps enjoy an air-conditioned shop, while you wait for your place in line to move toward the front.

      I think what everyone is gleeful about is the elimination of a much-absed system of **additional privileges**, and the introduction of a system that provides a reasonable accommodation (as required under the law) to help those with disabilities enjoy the **same** level of privilege as those without disabilities.

      This of the DAS as having a cast member go stand in line for you. When their “turn to ride” comes, you step in and ride instead of them. Someone waited in line – but it wasn’t you. It doesn’t seem like an unfair system, nor does it seem like an unreasonable accommodation. It is certainly less privilege than you were offered in the past.

      It’s still early days; we haven’t yet seen if Disney will offer the DAS system to those who have mental disabilities instead of physical. The way the system is designed, it seems perfectly reasonable to expect that they could do so, and it seems like it would be a fair accommodation for those with such disabilities. Again, their immediate need – not being able to endure the queue – is met, but they don’t get additional privileges. They’re not “skipping the line,” they’re waiting in line by proxy, rather than directly.

      I think it’s important to first understand what the system is, and secondly wait until Disney actually begins to implement it and collect guest feedback – at which point, they’ll no doubt tweak it. In fact, the idea of using kiosks (rather than getting a return time right at the attraction entrance) seems designed in large part to make tweaks easier to roll out (fewer people to re-train).

      I’ve seen this exact system used in other parks (Kennywood in Western PA, for one), and it works admirably. As the partner of a handicapped person, we felt we received a very workable accommodation. We weren’t out to “skip lines,” we simply could endure physically standing in them. Being given a return time equal to the current wait time proved eminently fair.

      Don’t forget that the new DAS doesn’t in any way prevent you from ALSO making use of FastPass, ALSO riding attractions that have shorter queues (which you feel you could endure) while “virtually” waiting in another line, or enjoying a shop or meal while “virtually” waiting in line. You’re still being given privileges not accorded to the average park guest, while also being given what seems, on the fact of it, to be a very reasonable accommodation.

      I realize there’s an argument, “my child can’t make it through an entire day, and having to wait the entire queue time means we get to ride 3 things before he runs out of steam and we have to leave.” That’s true of many non-disabled children as well, and something all parents struggle to manage in their Disney trips. I’m not entirely certain that is something Disney can *reasonably* accommodate in a way that is equitable and not subject to rampant abuse. Tough to say; perhaps they’ll come up with something in the future to handle that specific case.

      • I am lucky if I can do 2-3 rides in a day at either park considering both of my kids are autistic and just getting there is a big production.

      • If the return spot is the fastpass line, it’s not getting on immediately. I’m sure you’re familiar with TSM and other rides where the fastpass line is actually very long at times.

        Regarding your last paragraph, I think you are confusing the impatience of a typical child waiting in lines and working around a touring plan and the problems that are caused by an actual disability which Disney can and should accommodate. They have, in the past, with the GAC system.

        There are a lot of people who seem to think that autism is not a real disability and that any accommodation is special treatment. Some even suggest that we keep our children at home if they’re not happy standing in line. This kind of whining and complaining is exactly what leads to discrimination.

      • You obviously don’t have a clue!!!

      • As a disabled adult it confuses me that people would want for their children an experience in excess of what I can achieve on my own.

        If I wait in a line for half an hour and “panic attack” out of it, so be it. I don’t get a card that lets me go to the front of the line. I get permission to have a Service Dog and wait in line like everyone else. Some rides I couldn’t ride because I couldn’t handle the queue. Maybe now I’ll be fine.

        If one has children, autistic or just normal run-of-the-mill cranky toddlers, and chooses to take them to Disneyland, one doesn’t get a discount or special services other than what all disabled guests get — a way to make it possible to wait one’s turn.

    • If you can’t wait in line because of your condition. Why not get a wheel chair that will allow you to rest while waiting? Sad to say, but I have several people in my family that are handicapped with different issues. Yes they do need assistance, but over the years they have started expecting preferred treatment at places like Disneyland.

      I have been to Disneyland with them and have ridden many more rides in a day with the old GAC, then I ever could with me and my kids and no Gac. The system was over abused by everyone, and yes even by people with disabilities. Disney can not make a perfect system based on current laws, but they did a great job in what they came up with. I’m sure there will be some tweaks to it after they implement it. Just my point of view, no disrespect.

    • I’m curious why you wouldn’t use a wheelchair if your condition causes issues by simply standing for too long?

      • I can walk and am mobile, just not for long periods or things like long stairways. Perhaps one needs to be a disabled person to understand, but wheelchairs do not present the independence many like me strive for and we avoid using them unless we have to. There certainly are times when I must use a chair due to injury or a particularly bad episode, but I should never have to submit to a wheelchair simply to manage lines at Disneyland or any amusement park, and especially not so that able-bodied people feel like it makes things “fair” to them (not saying that directly to you Westsider, just others who think along those lines). I know that most who suggest things like “Well, just use a wheelchair” are well meaning and have their heart in the right place, but you need to understand how that is in reality a very insulting and dismissive thing to say to a disabled person. We already have to deal with a difficult life and obstacles that able-bodied people never imagine, and it is demeaning to be told to just get in a wheelchair when we simply wish to enjoy life the same as others who aren’t disabled. It’s almost as annoying as seeing perfectly able people getting a wheelchair just TO skip lines, and taking turns switching in and out of it between rides. Something I have witnessed myself and why I understand and support the move to restructure the program. I simply worry that this will be too much in the other direction and people like me will suffer for it, which is disappointing as Disneyland was one of the few places where we didn’t have to worry about that.

    • My mother can’t stand or walk for long periods of time. She, does however, LOVE Indy! Always asks to ride Indy, so you can assume she is physically able to ride, wait, and enjoy the parks. I have always used a GAC for her becuase she can’t stand in Indy’s 1/4 mile long queue for extended periods of time. The few times I didn’t get a GAC for her, I used fastpasses and had a meal while waiting for our ride time. This sounds like what the new DAS will be like. We still wait like everyone else, yet, do get to walk to the front of the line.

      BTW, using a GAC DOES get you on more attractions than those who do not use the GAC. Trust me, I’ve done it and would always love taking my mom to the park because we could do almost everything in less than 8 hours!!

    • Why can’t you use a wheelchair to wait in line?

  3. Not too happy about the new DAS system. Disney is certainly punishing the disability populations for the past abuses. This is a heavy handed punitive punishment move designed by Disney execs, no attempted inputs from organizations who help the disabled populations. It’s about weeding out the people who are disabled, pulling the welcome mat out from under them. It’s about making Disneyland a safe haven for Disney execs to exclude those who are disabled.
    I love Disneyland and probably will always do so. At the moment, I’m seething at those who run and lead the company.

    • Wow. I’m curious, bayouguy, tell me how you are interpreting the new DAS to work. I’ll bet you that it’s not nearly as bad as you think it is.

      • Personally, I would like to have had some input, any input, to help develop a new disability support program. I didn’t really frame my opinion properly. This problem was framed to the fact that there was abuses to the GAC system. I was afraid that there would be a “top-down” decision and it was certainly so. The first poster spoke it well when he wrote no more
        unlimited fastpasses. That’s what I feel Disney was feeling too. It broke my heart when I read that. I would like to have had the opportunity to explain to Disney execs about disabilities, about autism.
        OK, this is rather difficult to explain. I did my best to be objective but too much emotions got in the way.

      • I can tell you it is as bad as people think it is!! I went to Magic Mountain with my son who is in a wheelchair and it was horrible!! They already do this. I usually avoid this park, but a band was playing that he loves, so I spent a small fortune and we went. First of all, the wait time given is usually not enough time to go to another ride with a short enough line, or even eat (lines there too you know), and if that’s not bad enough, the ride attendant “overbooked” and put us at the same time as another guest! And then someone crowded. He didn’t get to ride that ride because by that time he needed to make his way back to the concert area. We made our way up to Superman, because my niece and son really wanted to ride it. We used their people-mover ride to get to the top of the hill. Well, made it on the ride, but then guess what?? The people mover shut down (even though several other rides were still going) and we had to make our way down a VERY steep hill. This is not only difficult, but dangerous for us, and other park visitors! The handles to push on his chair, which are rarely used by us, are not meant for this. :( All the while I’m thinking, we’ll never come back here, THANK GOD for DISNEYLAND and the fact that they accommodate special needs with more grace! That’s just a fairy tale now. Wish I wouldn’t have just booked tickets for my family to Orlando for a trip to WDW and to see their Navy Dad who is stationed in Florida.

    • I think it’s just too early to tell what Disney is going to do based on an article on a Disney fansite. We all really need to wait and see what happens.

  4. I’m not sure of the advantage of using a GAC so you don’t have to “wait in line”. They make you wait in line with a GAC. Anyone seen the GAC line for Pirates or IASW? I would have gladly pushed my son through the regular line than wait in the GAC for either of these, but his wheelchair doesn’t fit or there’s steps. I’ve also pushed him through the 45 minute line for Toy Story Midway Mania. That’s a long time but that’s the way it goes. On the Matterhorn, you only skip the switchback section–you still have to wait in the part of the line that goes around the mountain.

    • If your GAC stamp is a “wheelchair stamp”, you wait in wheelchair-accessible lines. If your GAC stamp is “alternate arrows” or “green light” you don’t wait. Yes, Pirates and Small World are two rides built in the 1960′s without wheelchair accessible queues, although Disney has gone to great expense lately to rebuild stations and boats to accommodate wheelchairs fifty years after the rides opened.

      There are 50+ rides at Disneyland Resort with full accessible queues. Pirates and Small World are two old rides that have limited accessibility. Two out of 50+.

      • Not sure where you get your queue info but, I can tell you there are much more then 2 rides at Disneyland that are not fully accessible queues. There are at least 20 I can’t think of. I have been taking my wheelchair bound daughter for many years and your assessment is completely wrong.

  5. Great update guys…

    As far as the Star Wars changes to TL are concerned – it mentions two phases of “placemaking”, but what does that entail? I know we don’t have exact details… but were the prior rumors of a Speeder Bike attraction on all or a portion of the PeopleMover tracks still in the works? Dusty mentioned that the Cantina experience was expected for DHS, but unsure on DL – so if the Cantina is NOT in the works, what else do they have planned? I realize its all speculation at this point, but I’m wondering what portions of TL they’ll be ripping out, and which they’ll be keeping. Months ago there were wild rumors that Autopia and the Lagoon would be replaced (which I doubt would ever happen…) Are we talking more of a Captain EO/Starcade/Red Rocketts type of replacement, or something larger? (Innoventions…. please?)

    I can be patient for a few more weeks I guess :) … but while the news on Monstropolis seems pretty solid and specific, the news on TL/Star Wars still seems quite speculative at this point.

    • LOL. We are holding off on the specifics for the moment (waiting for the start of the fiscal year just to be safe). But there are hints in the article ;-)

  6. Note..

    Guests at WDW would have had essentially zero access to DHS for several hours on the 13th if not for Epcot and their operational staff. First off, the parking lot. Entering traffic was redirected to park at Epcot (where it’s easy to park in the giant lot and it was well staffed) and then Epcot opened up its backstage roads to WDW traffic once Buena Vista Drive came to a complete standstill for over 2 hours. Buses essentially just had to go through Epcot and then cross the road – not go down it (and into the nightmarish traffic.) Also, Epcot was bustling along shuttling guests in via the Friendships to DHS’s entrance, deploying more boats once they realized how bad things had gotten at DHS itself.

    If it wasn’t for Epcot, DHS would have been totally screwed.

  7. Oh, and Cockerell is from Epcot.. I’m not saying EVERYTHING that’s good about WDW comes from Epcot.. but.. ya know.. it’s true.

  8. I think the new DAS program is great…..and yes I use a GAC. I always thought that RSR offered the best solution for everyone. I know people will be annoyed but I am very happy they found a solution that is fair for everyone.

  9. DustySage–I’m wondering if you might be able to answer a question for me. Using the new DAS system, will we be able to send a “runner” with the DAS card to the Kiosk to get a return time, or will my son have to be there to get that? I know he has to be present and riding the attraction, but I am hoping I can save him the aggravation of having to go back and forth to the kiosks. Thanks :)

    • I can’t be certain, but the purpose of putting photos on the new DAS cards is to ensure that only the cardholder and their immediate guests use the system. It is my understanding that the DAS holder would need to present the card at the kiosk. But one thing to keep in mind is that the way the system is being rolled out and what the parks end up doing to refine any problems which may pop up may be two very different things.

      I do think that one potential pinch point in this new system may be the kiosks and efficiently handling a potentially large number of guests using the system all day.

      • What about the privacy in all the photos being taken?
        What will happen to all the photos?
        Knott’s uses a similar GAC.
        Except their GAC is limited to 4 guests, not 6 like Disney.

      • I definitely agree that expecting those who would need the DAS to begin with to go to a kiosk every time prior to the ride is really inefficient, not to mention excruciating for some.

        My friend’s child can stand but cannot do so for any length of time. Another is allergic to the sun. The GAC allowed them to wait in a separate queue. Yes, at Disneyland the wait times for them were often shorter. However, being out of the sun and being able to sit down were two huge accommodations.

        What people do not seem to realize is that the proposed new system makes it HARDER for guests with disabilities. It makes it harder for them because they have to seek out a kiosk after already having to get a card and photo. Then they have to wait in line to get a pass for an attraction so they can wait until their time to go to that attraction.

        What Disney should do instead is require a doctor’s note from those needing assistance. Will some people still find a way around the system? Surely. But why punish the many for the sins of the few?

  10. [...] GAC MiceAge Disneyland Update – Park It Looks like they are updated the GAC and calling it [...]

  11. Aloha community,

    Super stoked about any Star Wars additions in every and any park! That will drive me back to the park in a big way for years to come if done in a proper (and hopefully big) way.

    In regards to my understanding of the GAC/DAS discussion I see pros and cons:

    PRO
    1. I see the benefit of requiring photo ID to curb abuse,
    2. It appears on the surface that wheelchair accessible queue will in a fair way reduce the numbers of those using the system in DCA (and possibly in DL as well)
    3. Those who are in a wheelchair but also have mental health or developmental disorders, or other disabilities which limit ability to wait in line will still have access to system,
    4. The intention for the median guest is to provide the same number of rides per day through a regular fastpass-like system w/additional accommodation.

    CON
    1. DAS guests will have to ambulate and interact more going back and forth from KIOSK (unless a runner is allowed while the disabled guest may rest). This can aggravate the symptoms of Autism, and many mental health, or physical disabilities,
    2. While the above amount of walking might seem minor to many people, it is important to consider how difficult these actions may actually be for a disabled person. I am 36 and 200 pounds in decent shape and only slightly feeling the effects of age, but I know what pain is and believe me brother it is a real thing.
    3. It is true that some people as GIMMACKENZIE noted above might be only able to stay in the park for part of a day or really have actual limitations which limit their ability to ride as many rides as you. For these people it will be a real reduction in enjoyment possibly below the expected minimum. I for one know that I ride more than 10 rides per day because of my ability to hustle my family around.

    I think it is clear that Disney’s driving intention was to reduce use of the system overall and eliminate blatant abuse. They modulated that with the need to have the system and in a relatively fair way moderated the amount of usage. I can see how a guest who used the GAC could fairly say that this is extremely disappointing for them, and how at the same time it could be very fair for another guest. Thanks for your time.

    All the best until I arrive for New Years,
    Cedar

    • Thank you for your exceptionally well spoken/typed summation of the changes. The hassle of running back and forth to kiosks manned by castmembers who will just write down a return time is my chief concern in this. I hope that before I am able to return to the park the system gets refined a bit and this is not an issue.

      Aside, you can make ten rides a day?! Even back when I first started going to Disneyland and I got a SAP that was a straight front of the line pass, I have only ever made about six to eight a day, depending on how busy it is and how mobile I am. Ten rides a day would be so awesome!

      • You do know about the Gumball Rally, don’t you, where people ride EVERY ride in the park in one day?

    • bespinally–I also thank you for this open-minded assessment. As I have said in other posts–I am hopeful that this system will work well. I’m sure there will be bugs to work out. We’ll have to wait and see.

    • I am 58 and just feeling the effects of age…a couple years ago I felt 38!

      Being 58 I would be fascinated by more Star Wars, especially since I see so many new generations of fans coming along.

      DAS does seem to make it hard on parties of two where one is disabled and the other is obviously doing all the caretaking. A party of three could manage a trip to a kiosk…still, lots of time scurrying about.

  12. Another good point I saw brought up, is that this should reduce the wait times in the actual GAC/DAS lines. In accounting terms, you have to net that decreased wait time with the other increases in waiting.

    • Oh yeah, one final con is that it does not seem to limit someones ability to just lie about being disabled. I believe they do not ask for diagnosis information because of HIPAA and ADA laws.

      • HIPAA actually would not apply as it is a set of laws barring providers from sharing your medical information with anyone other than you or who you authorize. As Disneyland isn’t a medical provider, HIPAA has no authority over it whatsoever. I believe that what the company fears would be potential lawsuits under the ADA, which would be very weak suits but defending them until they’re dismissed would still be costly, so it’s easier to just forbid castmembers from looking over medical info. I was shocked when I first handed over a doctors note and medalter ID in city hall and they were given straight back, and I personally wish they were required, but I understand now why they aren’t.

  13. Dusty,

    Thanks for putting this out there. Is October 9, the live date for WDW as well or just Disneyland? I assume the cards will work similarly at both resorts?

    Tim

  14. cotton candy and a pumpkin spice latte is NOT a balanced breakfast.

    • But a caramel apple and an eggnog latte certainly is.

  15. As the Mother of a wheelchair bound child, I applaud Disney for finally doing something about this issue. Thank You. However I do see one problem I am afraid they will see. It is an issue I have complained about before……Wheelchair Rentals, I see people renting wheelchairs just so they can get on a ride thru an exit and get special seating a parades and shows. Look around next time you go and see how many you can find who rented a chair and obviously does not need one. I feel this new plan since it does not confront this issue, you will, I guarantee see an increase in Wheelchair rentals. As the new rules states clearly, ” A person in a wheelchair doesn’t need a DAS card to get access at attractions where it is not accessible by wheelchair” IE: Pirates of the Caribbean . Once they figure this out, they will be renting chairs like crazy. Keep working on it Disney, finish it don’t leave it half done, Please.

    • A person in a wheelchair wouldn’t need a DAS at DCA (where all the queues are ADA approved). However, at Disneyland they would likely need one on many of the older attractions. If you want to enter an attraction from anything other than its regular standby line, you’d need a DAS.