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  1. #1

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    GAC abuse update?

    Since Al's Previous column written in regards to the Next Gen Fastpasses and GAC abuse, Just wondering if there have been updates to handling this abuse? Not that it matters, we would go with the flow when it changes in the future, but my husband uses the GAC (honest use) due to a chronic disease and having his entire colon removed and now has a permanent ileostomy bag. I was shocked reading that people abuse it as often as they do and it is sad. I recently went to a wedding where a guest of the bride was talking about disneyland and how she and her "friends" rent a wheel chair to go through the exits! I spoke up and said, "it's choices like that, that cause those who need it issues!" I hope there is a resolve to this crazy and over abused matter while curious on updates. Anyone recently get one and find any difference in the procedures of getting one? I would love to see it where they WOULD be able to ask for a Dr's note someday to help. Doubt that will ever happen but there must be a solution to this abuse in the making right?
    Last edited by mindy327; 11-08-2012 at 01:06 PM.
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  2. #2

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    Re: GAC abuse update?

    What can they do? I heard its illegal to demand proof of disability so they can't really cut down on the actual number of GAC. Perhaps they will allocate a certain amount of FP reserved for only GAC holders and when they run out, they run out and won't accomodate any more handicapped people.

    Who knows, this doesn't look like an easy situation.
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  3. #3

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    Re: GAC abuse update?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pinrar View Post
    What can they do? I heard its illegal to demand proof of disability so they can't really cut down on the actual number of GAC. Perhaps they will allocate a certain amount of FP reserved for only GAC holders and when they run out, they run out and won't accomodate any more handicapped people.

    Who knows, this doesn't look like an easy situation.
    Ehh, a FastPass system wouldn't really work if its limited, since wheelchairs cant physically fit though most attraction entrances in Disneyland, which is why this whole system exists in the first place, and not in California Adventure.

  4. #4

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    Re: GAC abuse update?

    they cannot ask for a doctors note it's against the law and they can't question either..

  5. #5

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    Re: GAC abuse update?

    My son gets a pass due to his Autism. And this past Aug i did notice they asked alot more questions before issuing us the pass.
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  6. #6

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    Re: GAC abuse update?

    Quote Originally Posted by Poisonedapples View Post
    they cannot ask for a doctors note it's against the law and they can't question either..
    Exactly. I've seriously tried to think of something Disney can do to 'fix' this problem, but I really think that there is no possible answer as long as the ADA law remains as written and as long as people have no ethics. Unless and until Disney can require some type of documentation regarding the need for a GAC or for renting an ECV/wheelchair, people who are not disabled will continue to lie to get one.

    And I don't think that cheating on GACs (or other little 'cheats' to get accommodations meant for the truly disabled) will ever be enough to provoke people to lobby for change in the ADA. I don't think the truly disabled want to have to provide proof of disability every time they need assistance, nor do I think that the non-disabled want to lobby for change and risk being perceived as non-caring.

    So, I've decided that when I'm at the parks I'm going to continue to not pay any mind to people using assistance vehicles or standing in assistance lines. By that I mean I'm not going to try to 'figure out' if they're disabled or not or if I think they may be 'cheaters'. Since there really is absolutely nothing I can do to stop it, I'm going to ignore it. Too much of a buzzkill.

    I think it's just too bad that this issue has resulted in snotty remarks or snide looks being given to people using GACs or ECVs. Chances are the 'insultee' truly has a problem that the 'insulter' cannot see. Think about it, anyone who would cheat is so hard-hearted and unprincipled that they could care less what you say or how much of a 'stink eye' you give them. You may as well save your breath to cool your porridge. It's the reason I didn't get a GAC when I went last Sept. It would have made our days in the park a little easier & a little longer and my night's sleep a little more pain free, but it just wasn't worth it. I tend (unfortunately) to be the type who is easily hurt or upset, and I figured I'd rather endure a little more physical pain, than risk getting upset over someone's boorish remark. My choice.
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  7. #7

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    Re: GAC abuse update?

    But you need to remeber, not all disabilities are physical! In the case of my son, he has a very hard time being surrounded by alot of people and loud noise! But this can not be seen by simple apperance. When he is not on a ride he is in his stroller...and he is 7!! it is his safe place. If it gets too loud, he will ask us to cover the stroller with a blanket, no matter the tempeture outside!
    And yet every year when we visit the parks we get those looks from people because they ASSUME that just because my son is not in a wheel chair we are liars!!

    And i agree with you Stormy, i can not think of a fix for this either. Its just sad that some people have no morals and no shame and will lie to save some time. SMH
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    Re: GAC abuse update?

    Like with every single human institution ever created upon the face of this planet, there have always been and always will be a non-zero number of people who use it in a manner for which it wasn't intended.

    I've toured Disney parks as a mostly able-bodied person, and as a person needing assistance. Believe me, the first way is much more fun. The only emotion I can muster toward anyone misguided enough to think that the second way is better, is pity. I have a really hard time believing they're more than an an insignificant minority. I'm generally a fan of Al's, and agree with most of what he writes, but his article on the GAC came off as one of the most pearl-clutching pieces of hyperbole I've read outside of the DISboards. Ablism is alive and well in this country, and unfortunately people don't check it at the gates to the happiest places on Earth. Jumping to conclusions has also risen to an Olympic-level sport.

    Even if you could get the ADA changed so that requiring doctor's notes to get accommodation somehow became legal and ethical, anyone from a medical marijuana state can tell you how easy it is to get one of those. Anyone who gets a GAC or wheelchair he doesn't need now, will just as easily get one if a document is required.

    One way WDW had placated the butthurt-but-otherwise-able-bodied is by making more and more of their regular queues and loading areas wheelchair-accessible. Disneyland is probably building their newer attractions this way, and will probably retrofit older ones if and when they decide it's worth their while. But, it's not going to be just because someone gets his nose out of joint after deciding that he knows everything about another guest's situation after casually observing him for a moment or two.

  9. #9

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    Re: GAC abuse update?

    Quote Originally Posted by Notorious1 View Post
    My son gets a pass due to his Autism. And this past Aug i did notice they asked alot more questions before issuing us the pass.
    What questions did they ask?
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  10. #10

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    Re: GAC abuse update?

    Quote Originally Posted by bummerkit View Post
    What questions did they ask?
    the law says you can not ask me that!! just kidding! they asked me to explain his disabilty in detail, asked me about what things he could do and what things he could not do. they asked to see him. I always take his medical records with us so it really isnt an issue with me if they ask for documintation.
    Props to Poisonedapples for the cool sig!

  11. #11

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    Re: GAC abuse update?

    While some would be offended by questions like that, I assume they were only trying to help, not question your motives...
    First time my family took us to Disneyland it was awesome and tough. My sister is mentally retarded but looks quite "normal". We were easily under 13 years old when we went and it was tough for her for the same reasons, noise and crowds. I don't know if disneyland offered the service in the early 80's but I'm pleased they do now.

    We cannot judge books by their covers or assume that the ale looking person is taking advantage of a service.

  12. #12

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    Re: GAC abuse update?

    Quote Originally Posted by ttintagel View Post
    Like with every single human institution ever created upon the face of this planet, there have always been and always will be a non-zero number of people who use it in a manner for which it wasn't intended.

    I've toured Disney parks as a mostly able-bodied person, and as a person needing assistance. Believe me, the first way is much more fun. The only emotion I can muster toward anyone misguided enough to think that the second way is better, is pity. I have a really hard time believing they're more than an an insignificant minority. I'm generally a fan of Al's, and agree with most of what he writes, but his article on the GAC came off as one of the most pearl-clutching pieces of hyperbole I've read outside of the DISboards. Ablism is alive and well in this country, and unfortunately people don't check it at the gates to the happiest places on Earth. Jumping to conclusions has also risen to an Olympic-level sport.

    Even if you could get the ADA changed so that requiring doctor's notes to get accommodation somehow became legal and ethical, anyone from a medical marijuana state can tell you how easy it is to get one of those. Anyone who gets a GAC or wheelchair he doesn't need now, will just as easily get one if a document is required.

    One way WDW had placated the butthurt-but-otherwise-able-bodied is by making more and more of their regular queues and loading areas wheelchair-accessible. Disneyland is probably building their newer attractions this way, and will probably retrofit older ones if and when they decide it's worth their while. But, it's not going to be just because someone gets his nose out of joint after deciding that he knows everything about another guest's situation after casually observing him for a moment or two.
    So very, very well said. I agree with this 100000%.

    There is always going to be a very small percentage that tries to game any system that exists. One person who abuses the system doesn't mean that the 100 who have real need should suffer. I recently found out that an orthopedic condition I have has worsened significantly. Do I need a scooter or GAC? Fortunately, no. Not right now. Does that mean it will always be the case? Unfortunately, I don't know, since I need elevators more than stairs more and more now. It bothers me that if a day comes when I need to walk with a cane, use the elevator more often, etc. there will be those who think I'm "cheating" because I appear able-bodied and healthy.

    The ADA says that buildings constructed after, I believe, 1990 have to be accessible, so new attractions at Disney will not have the same challenges as older ones in terms of accessibility. Everything at DCA is fully accessible, there are elevators at Screamin' and the Golden Zephyr, et al. So that's not necessarily placating able-bodied guests as much as it's complying with the ADA. I'm sure that when Disney does overhauls of older rides, looking at ways to improve accessibility is one thing they're exploring, like adding the accessible experience at Nemo, etc.

    I guess the bottom line is that humans are way too quick to judge each other. No "improvements" of the system are going to fix that, unfortunately.

  13. #13

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    Re: GAC abuse update?

    They do ask more questions lately, but my impression is that it's a fine-tuning thing to make sure they've got the right things marked on the card.

    Since the GAC is meant to deal with specific needs rather than trying to be a blanket solution for a diagnosis,I actually appreciate that they're going into more detail.

    In my case, they wouldn't just issue me a general "visual impairment card," because I don't need all of the same things others might. I don't need one of those audio things that describes things for the blind, but I do need to have moving walkways slowed down whenever possible because poor depth perception makes me need a little extra time to get into a vehicle. I don't need to sit in the front row for shows, but I do need to wait off to the side for a few minutes if the loading area is a lot brighter or darker than the queue.

  14. #14

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    Re: GAC abuse update?

    Quote Originally Posted by DJS View Post
    My sister is mentally retarded but looks quite "normal".
    I don't mean to change the subject, even though I am, but this phrase really just makes me cringe.

    Quote Originally Posted by Poisonedapples View Post
    they cannot ask for a doctors note it's against the law and they can't question either..
    And I didn't know this! But really, I don't question when I see what seems like a perfectly healthy person in a wheelchair. Maybe there could be something wrong with their heart for all I know.

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    Re: GAC abuse update?

    The solution's simplest answer is to just not allow being disabled to be a reason to get to the front of the line. They can still enter through the exit gate, Disney can still follow current laws and not have to come up with some system of proof, the only difference is that when you get in line you have to wait until some "marker" in the normal line catches up to where you would have been at when you entered. This completely removes the incentive for the cheaters.

    On another thread there were legitimate GAC passholders who voluntarily sat at the disabled entrance and waited until the rest of their party caught up then entered as a group. If everyone did that then the fakers wouldn't get any advantage. Problem solved.

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