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  1. #1

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    WDW with disabilities that people cannot see

    This topic hits home for me and my family. For those of you who donít know our youngest daughter, Peyton age 9, was born with Adult Polycystic Kidney Disease (http://www.pkdcure.org), and will eventually need a kidney transplant. The good news is that hopefully she will be able to make it to adulthood before that time comes.

    She looks normal, acts normal, and can do most things that other kids her age can do. With that being said, it amazes people when we tell them about her condition because they expect to be able to see physical signs. She does have some limitations, because of her condition that most healthy nine year olds do not have. She cannot participate in activities that are physical in nature. This eliminates her ability to ride some rides at Walt Disney World such as Space Mountain, or Primeval Whirl.

    The disease also causes her to have high blood pressure and because of this she cannot ride attractions such as Rock Ní Rollercoaster or Tower of Terror. She also cannot stand in lines for a long period of time, as she will get more fatigued than the average child, nor be in direct sunlight for long periods of time as well. We were told by a Disney Cast Member that she would be able to obtain a Guest Assistance Pass because of her condition, which would eliminate her need to wait in exuberantly long lines, or standing outside in the sun for long periods of time.

    As you can imagine, when we use this card, many guests will give us a rude look, or make comments such as "why are they getting to cut?" They look at Peyton and see a little girl who appears healthy. They do not know her true condition. I can say that I have looked at others and made a comment that maybe they arenít as incapable as they are appearing just so they can get closer to the front of a line. But after seeing firsthand what has occurred with my daughter, I have re-thought my position and ways of thinking. I donít know what condition someone else has.
    I guess that when most of us think about disabilities we think of things that you can see, not realizing that there are many other conditions that may require special needs that are not visible. The good thing is that most people at WDW are simply there to have a good time, relax, and donít concern themselves with worrying about things such as this. As we are approaching our next trip to WDW in a few weeks, we know that regardless of what others say, we will live each day to the fullest because we know that nothing is guaranteed.

    I would like to hear your thoughts about this and if you have any experiences in dealing with this subject.

  2. #2

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    Re: WDW with disabilities that people cannot see

    ORDDU: My first thought is that All of us--including myself--shouldn't be too quick to judge others in such situations when we're tempted to think someone is getting special treatment for the wrong reasons.

    ORWEN: My first thought is to wanna' thank you, WDW Newsletter, for taking the time to bring this to our attention.

    ORGOCH: Got hugs???

  3. #3

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    Re: WDW with disabilities that people cannot see

    Quote Originally Posted by WDW Newsletter View Post
    .

    As you can imagine, when we use this card, many guests will give us a rude look, or make comments such as "why are they getting to cut?"
    Are you expecting this to happen or has it happened? Because WDW gives out so many GAC cards (too many) to all sorts of people and disabilities (and many when they are not needed) that with all the other GAC cards and FastPasses you're really not out of the norm anymore.
    There are so many (too many) ways to get around waiting in line at WDW now a days don't worry about it. Anyone who thinks that of you will think that of any one going by them regardless of circumstance.
    Just be nice about it, and guests and CM should have no issue regardless of how anyone appears.

    Just don't walk up to a CM and say "here's my fastpass where do I go?"

  4. #4

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    Re: WDW with disabilities that people cannot see

    I wish you and your DD the best of trips and good health!

    As for the GAC....... it really depends on what kind of assistance you need as to what level of GAC you would be issued. There are some that will allow you to bypass portions of lines in direct sunlight, and a host of others. Unfortunately for indurance issues (not being able to stand in lines for a long period of time due to fatigue) the only assistance that is offered is to suggest you rent a wheel chair or plan your day around the larger crowds and longer lines.

    If you do receive some sort of GAC any attraction that has FP you will most likely just show your GAC to the fastpass CM and be on your way, no one will know what you have shown and therfore there should be no odd looks, etc. For any attraction that does not have FP you will be directed to the handicap entrance (usually the exit area of the attraction). People in the regular line may look at you and wonder why, but they have to realize there is a CM that is allowing you to enter in this manner and bottom line it is really none of their business.

    I was at WDW this past March and used a GAC every day I went into the parks. We had no problems at all and no one gave us an odd look, not even once.

    I do suggest if you are given a GAC hold onto it for future trips. I brought mine from my last trip to DL and handed it, along with my photo ID, to the CM at WDW when I was asked what kind of assistance I needed. Made the process very quick and easy!

    dsny1mom

  5. #5

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    Re: WDW with disabilities that people cannot see

    Quote Originally Posted by tloolgb View Post
    Are you expecting this to happen or has it happened? Because WDW gives out so many GAC cards (too many) to all sorts of people and disabilities (and many when they are not needed) that with all the other GAC cards and FastPasses you're really not out of the norm anymore.
    There are so many (too many) ways to get around waiting in line at WDW now a days don't worry about it. Anyone who thinks that of you will think that of any one going by them regardless of circumstance.
    Just be nice about it, and guests and CM should have no issue regardless of how anyone appears.

    Just don't walk up to a CM and say "here's my fastpass where do I go?"
    Really? They give out many GAC's at WDW? It didn't seem like we saw very many people at exits using them when we were there the week after Easter. I usually go to DL and as far as I know without really good cause you won't get a GAC at DL. Someone had suggested that WDW is even more selective in issuing GAC's and suggested I bring my last issued from DL so there would be no problems in receieveing one.

    dsny1mom

  6. #6

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    Re: WDW with disabilities that people cannot see

    It is a shame that so many abuse the system, making it more difficult for people like who are are dealing with genuine disabilities. I frankly can't imagine faking an illness just to cut the lines. I wouldn't be able to sleep at night.

    Unfortunately, when I see a young, healthy person in a wheelchair get out and run to the next ride, part of me wonders if they truly need the wheelchair. In the future, I will think twice before making this assumption.

  7. #7

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    Re: WDW with disabilities that people cannot see

    I have an unseen disability, but I don't need to use the GAC system. But I understand well what it is and how it's used. But as already stated, I wish people would not abuse it or WDW needs to get tougher about who they give GACs to... like how Disneyland revamped their system a few years or so ago. Since their new system went into place, there have been less abusers.

  8. #8

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    Wink Re: WDW with disabilities that people cannot see

    Last March I went to Disneyland, prior to my trip I write a letter to customer service regarding my disabilities, and got a suggestion to rent a wheelchair and get a GAC.
    I have Kidney (renal) failure and go to hemodialisis every other day (3 times a week). As you can imagine, not able to drink as much water as I want to, cronic fatigue, cramps and nausea being part of my average day a trip to disneyland is something major!
    I don't like my illness to show, neither to get special or prefered treatment so i decided to rent the wheelchair and hope for the best.
    I was allowed to board most rides thru the exit, and if people were giving me a weird look i did not notice neither i care! I was busy having fun and taking a break from feeeling bad all the time. Disneyland does that!
    I am 41 years old and my father (65) help me with the weelchair. He is very strong.
    Just make sure your daugther have a great time and dont pay attention to rude people.

    Saludos

    PS. I am not very good at writing in english so, please forgive my mistakes.

  9. #9

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    Re: WDW with disabilities that people cannot see

    Quote Originally Posted by moncho View Post
    Last March I went to Disneyland, prior to my trip I write a letter to customer service regarding my disabilities, and got a suggestion to rent a wheelchair and get a GAC.
    I have Kidney (renal) failure and go to hemodialisis every other day (3 times a week). As you can imagine, not able to drink as much water as I want to, cronic fatigue, cramps and nausea being part of my average day a trip to disneyland is something major!
    I don't like my illness to show, neither to get special or prefered treatment so i decided to rent the wheelchair and hope for the best.
    I was allowed to board most rides thru the exit, and if people were giving me a weird look i did not notice neither i care! I was busy having fun and taking a break from feeeling bad all the time. Disneyland does that!
    I am 41 years old and my father (65) help me with the weelchair. He is very strong.
    Just make sure your daugther have a great time and dont pay attention to rude people.

    Saludos

    PS. I am not very good at writing in english so, please forgive my mistakes.
    Muy buen trabajo! You did much better in English than I would have done in Spanish. Sorry that your health is poor, hang in there. I'm glad that Disneyland helped you to forget your pain for a while. I have an illness that I deal with every day of my life, and things like Disneyland/Walt Disneyworld, sports and movies help me forget about it for awhile.
    "We are the change we've been waiting for! Yes we can!"

  10. #10

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    Re: WDW with disabilities that people cannot see

    Our child is Autistic, but "looks normal" so we get dirty looks sometimes. We try not to use the GAC as much as possible, but sometimes for our own sanity it is unavoidable. Don't worry about people who get all bent up about it because you know the real deal.

  11. #11

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    Re: WDW with disabilities that people cannot see

    Dont worry about what other people think... its none of their buisness

    i hope you have a good trip, and that Peyton can enjoy her trip to Disney!
    Last edited by Goofy-Kmb; 07-10-2008 at 06:49 PM.
    ~It All Started With A Mouse~

  12. #12

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    Re: WDW with disabilities that people cannot see

    This is a good book for this information


    www.diz-abled.com

    somehow my review of it got on their front page. Ahead of Bob Sehlinger's
    www.jamboeveryone.com
    Celebrating Disney's Animal Kingdom


  13. #13

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    Re: WDW with disabilities that people cannot see

    Quote Originally Posted by WDW Newsletter View Post
    This topic hits home for me and my family. For those of you who donít know our youngest daughter, Peyton age 9, was born with Adult Polycystic Kidney Disease (http://www.pkdcure.org), and will eventually need a kidney transplant. The good news is that hopefully she will be able to make it to adulthood before that time comes.

    She looks normal, acts normal, and can do most things that other kids her age can do. With that being said, it amazes people when we tell them about her condition because they expect to be able to see physical signs. She does have some limitations, because of her condition that most healthy nine year olds do not have. She cannot participate in activities that are physical in nature. This eliminates her ability to ride some rides at Walt Disney World such as Space Mountain, or Primeval Whirl.

    The disease also causes her to have high blood pressure and because of this she cannot ride attractions such as Rock Ní Rollercoaster or Tower of Terror. She also cannot stand in lines for a long period of time, as she will get more fatigued than the average child, nor be in direct sunlight for long periods of time as well. We were told by a Disney Cast Member that she would be able to obtain a Guest Assistance Pass because of her condition, which would eliminate her need to wait in exuberantly long lines, or standing outside in the sun for long periods of time.

    As you can imagine, when we use this card, many guests will give us a rude look, or make comments such as "why are they getting to cut?" They look at Peyton and see a little girl who appears healthy. They do not know her true condition. I can say that I have looked at others and made a comment that maybe they arenít as incapable as they are appearing just so they can get closer to the front of a line. But after seeing firsthand what has occurred with my daughter, I have re-thought my position and ways of thinking. I donít know what condition someone else has.
    I guess that when most of us think about disabilities we think of things that you can see, not realizing that there are many other conditions that may require special needs that are not visible. The good thing is that most people at WDW are simply there to have a good time, relax, and donít concern themselves with worrying about things such as this. As we are approaching our next trip to WDW in a few weeks, we know that regardless of what others say, we will live each day to the fullest because we know that nothing is guaranteed.

    I would like to hear your thoughts about this and if you have any experiences in dealing with this subject.
    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us and God Bless your daugher and keep her well. My best friend and Disney co-worker is a Kidney Transplant Patient so if you ever want to talk with someone who has been through it just PM me at any time.

    Some people are so quick to jump because unfortunately there are so many people who abuse the system. You just do what you have to do and don't worry about what anyone else thinks. There are many illnesses that are not on the "outside" for people to see, so unless they know the person they should never assume anything...

  14. #14

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    Re: WDW with disabilities that people cannot see

    People who give dirty looks and such are the ones I feel bad for. I'd hate to go to Disney World and be bitter and self-centered. Those are the same people who get in fights over their place in line for their kid to meet characters or who yell at cast members over things which they have no control over. That's not what Disney World is there for.

    Just ignore the poopy-heads and do everything you can to make sure Peyton has a magical time!

  15. #15

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    Re: WDW with disabilities that people cannot see

    Poopy heads exactly.
    Concentrate on making sure your daughter has a good trip and try not to worry about what other people are thinking

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