I have held this story in for a while, but I felt that I should put this out there. After Malina put out their story about how they encountered a rude guest because of what I call "invisible disabilities", I felt that I had to put out my own story of how my family and I went through a period of abuse with the GAC and the reactions of guests around us.
Back in 2010, my mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. This event devastated our entire family, but she took it with dignity and went on her normal day. At times, it didn't even seem as though she was going through so much pain. I couldn't be more happier with her.
Disneyland was always one of her favorite places to go to. It did not matter if it was summer crowds, Xmas crowds, and so on. We would go as much as possible. But the pain inside her would start to show even on these days. Our trips would end earlier than usual. She had just come out of chemotherapy and surgery, and would not feel 100%. If she was starting to feel hurt or woozy, we would call it a day, no matter where we were or what point of the day it was. The same would happen in the queue lines, and she would not stand with lines like Nemo or Space Mountain where she could stand for very long.
Then we learned about the GAC card. And it was almost like my mother was given a saving grace for her park visits. We were given the "green light" level, and eventually went onto rides as quick as either going through the exit of an attraction or the Fastpass entrance. It was everything that every Disney park-goer dreams of. Eventually, the special card followed us to Florida as we used it in WDW and Universal Orlando. It was great for us. When its renewal came along, we learned that the "green light" was mainly used for those who had this park as a "last time" visit. We were then given the basic "go to the alternate entrance" choice.
At one point (and I'll never forget this), we were using our card when Star Tours: TAC was brand new. We went up and took the alternate entrance to the left of the normal entrance. When we were walking up to it, two guests looked at us and said stuff like "What a faker." or "Can I have your green light?" to which I responded, "If you'd like to have what she has, then sure." and then I kept walking.
Then came March 2012. My mother's condition was worsening. She was getting thinner everyday, almost getting weaker with every breath she took. Then it was April 4, 2012. She passed into the next life. We lost a mother, daughter, and wife. And I lost one of my best friends.
The park was the place where I could take my mind off of what we had lost. Granted, it helped to be in the place I loved, but something was missing. It was obvious who it was. Being back under the title of "regular park guest" was easy to transition back into, but for the time that we had with that pass with my mother, it was an experience I will never forget. Not for the fact that we had the pass, but for the memories we did have while in the parks.
I was an abuser of the GAC card, and I am not proud of using my mother as that "get-on-for-free" pass. I still miss her greatly, but every time I'm in the park now, I keep thinking that she is having fun with me.