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  • [Chat] Guest Assistance Cards: Abused?

    I will admit right off the bat that I do hold one of these cards, as I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks and being in a crowded area (often with people who have no sense of personal space) can cause me to freak out and have a panic attack (I've had to get out of line on rides before because of this). I love Disneyland but sometimes the crowds can be too much, and I often am on edge when there. The GAC is very helpful to me, because I used to avoid rides because the line caused me troubles, and now I can enjoy them. I'm not proud of this, in fact it's really quite embarrassing to admit, but it's an important point in this discussion.

    Now, I am well aware that I have an advantage over the regular attendee with this pass, and in all honesty I spend more time just hanging out and visiting characters than going on rides. However, I also am well aware that it is not a front of the line pass, and in all honesty, I do not mind waiting, as long as it is in an area where there is space and I don't feel crowded.

    Lately I've noticed that when I'll go to get a new one, I'll get looks like I'm lying. I'm very shy, and it's embarrassing enough to get the pass, and when CM's give me looks like I'm lying about needing it, it's really hurtful. I've also noticed that more and more people seem to have them recently, which has led me to wonder: is there an influx of people who are lying to get the pass? I'm aware that my problem is not "obvious" (save when I'm having a panic attack), but I feel upset that I seem to be doubted when I go to get one.

    To those who do or don't have one: what do you think? I honestly sometimes feel like a note of some sort should be required to get one (and I got one from my therapist but they denied looking at it) so that it's not abused, but I know Disneyland wants to avoid offending anyone, so this likely wont happen.

    Hopefully this make sense and I don't come across as crazy as I feel talking about it, but I'm wondering if anyone else feels this way.
    http://aurorahermione.tumblr.com - costuming and random Disney stuff

  • #2
    Re: Guest Assistance Cards: Abused?

    So you don't need to show any proof that you need a GAC? And what exactly does it help get you? Does it allow you to avoid the queue and enter attractions at the exit?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Guest Assistance Cards: Abused?

      People will do anything to cheat the system. Since the introduction of the GAC, Disney is more strict on who gets it, and they suggest other alternatives, such as wheelchairs. Before, with the SAP, almost anyone could of gotten it and Disney would not think twice about it. With a GAC, no written documentations are necessary, but just an explanation on what is needed and how Disney could assist, such as skip stairs, etc..... Eventhough a person may look normal, doesn't mean that there is something wrong with them.

      Your post reminded me of this, hehehe:
      YouTube - ‪Disneyland City Hall - Special Assistance Passes‬‏
      I Get In. I Get Out. I Never Get Noticed!
      - From "Prep And Landing"

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Guest Assistance Cards: Abused?

        I definitly seen it being misused during the Gumball Rally! But really I think its scummy for the people using one that really dont need them, some of the excuses are unbelievable.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Guest Assistance Cards: Abused?

          Originally posted by Mojave View Post
          So you don't need to show any proof that you need a GAC? And what exactly does it help get you? Does it allow you to avoid the queue and enter attractions at the exit?
          I'm not going to go into it because those who need to know already do. I do not want this post to turn into a way for people to learn how to abuse the system.

          Originally posted by The Disney Ninja View Post
          People will do anything to cheat the system. Since the introduction of the GAC, Disney is more strict on who gets it, and they suggest other alternatives, such as wheelchairs. Before, with the SAP, almost anyone could of gotten it and Disney would not think twice about it. With a GAC, no written documentations are necessary, but just an explanation on what is needed and how Disney could assist, such as skip stairs, etc..... Eventhough a person may look normal, doesn't mean that there is something wrong with them.

          Your post reminded me of this, hehehe:
          YouTube - ‪Disneyland City Hall - Special Assistance Passes‬‏
          I've seen that video, and unfortunately that seems to be what people think the GAC is. Like I said, I don't mind waiting, as long as it's in an area where I'm not crowded.
          http://aurorahermione.tumblr.com - costuming and random Disney stuff

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Guest Assistance Cards: Abused?

            Originally posted by Joshnyah View Post
            I definitly seen it being misused during the Gumball Rally! But really I think its scummy for the people using one that really dont need them, some of the excuses are unbelievable.
            Wow, people were using it during Gumball Rally? That seems really unfair and is pretty much cheating in my opinion, unless they actually waited the time that they would have spent in line before going on another ride.
            http://aurorahermione.tumblr.com - costuming and random Disney stuff

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Guest Assistance Cards: Abused?

              They really need to become more strict when it comes to the GAC and wheelchair rule. They need to make it mandatory to get a doctor's permit. It is abused all the time.
              Then again, I would also like to see them become more strict on strollers as most kids that I have seen using a stroller should really walk as they are too old to be pushed around.
              The stroller and GAC abuse is really out of control.

              To the original post, if you suffer from crowds, why don't you try to go during slower periods, or meet up with your friends when they get closer to the ride entrance. From my experience queue lines can be just as bad as being at the park on a crowded day. Fastpass is your friend

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Guest Assistance Cards: Abused?

                Originally posted by Brisal73 View Post
                They really need to become more strict when it comes to the GAC and wheelchair rule. They need to make it mandatory to get a doctor's permit. It is abused all the time.
                Disney is not allowed to ask for proof. It would be discrimination. They would get into a lot of trouble for that.
                I Get In. I Get Out. I Never Get Noticed!
                - From "Prep And Landing"

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Guest Assistance Cards: Abused?

                  I am right there with you. I suffer from some pretty severe public anxiety to the point I can't even go run errands sometimes. It's horribly frustrating and as you know, terribly humiliating. I use the GAC for this exact reason at Disneyland. I absolutely adore Disneyland and go in the off seasons but still can very easily get a panic attack in I'm in a crowded or closed off area for more than 15 to 20 minutes. So the GAC is just about the only way I can do a ride nowadays, as even watching Fantasmic at the back of the crowd was too much for me.

                  As you said, none of this is obvious AT ALL until I am freaking out and in the beginings of a panic attack. I've gotten hard times from CM's as I'm sure they see people mishandling it all the time. I've seen quite a few, too, who are obviously using it to skip lines. For example, on Space Mountain you're generally put in a wait area at the exit that's usually not much shorter than the normal line on a good day. A group of teens were behind us with their pass and eventually just dipped out of the handicapped line saying they'll just go to the FastPass line instead. So while they may have had a problem like you or I, I have a feeling they were misusing it. I know I've had a friend or two who wanted to get a pass of their own next time they went after seeing the "perks"

                  But honestly, it drives me insane. The trouble that is given from the CM's or the dirty looks. I've even had a woman tell me that if I can't handle crowds, 'Why the **** are you in Disneyland then?' I find it very frustrating how troublesome it can be nowadays. Obviously, if you've dealt with it too you'd understand, the pass must be being misused by people thinking it's a quick way to get to the front of the line. Like you, I just need to be out of crowds. I really don't care about getting to the front of the line RIGHT THEN and do feel horrible if a CM lets me in super quickly.

                  Sorry for such a long, ramble-y post..

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Guest Assistance Cards: Abused?

                    Originally posted by missmasyumaro View Post
                    I am right there with you. I suffer from some pretty severe public anxiety to the point I can't even go run errands sometimes. It's horribly frustrating and as you know, terribly humiliating. I use the GAC for this exact reason at Disneyland. I absolutely adore Disneyland and go in the off seasons but still can very easily get a panic attack in I'm in a crowded or closed off area for more than 15 to 20 minutes. So the GAC is just about the only way I can do a ride nowadays, as even watching Fantasmic at the back of the crowd was too much for me.

                    As you said, none of this is obvious AT ALL until I am freaking out and in the beginings of a panic attack. I've gotten hard times from CM's as I'm sure they see people mishandling it all the time. I've seen quite a few, too, who are obviously using it to skip lines. For example, on Space Mountain you're generally put in a wait area at the exit that's usually not much shorter than the normal line on a good day. A group of teens were behind us with their pass and eventually just dipped out of the handicapped line saying they'll just go to the FastPass line instead. So while they may have had a problem like you or I, I have a feeling they were misusing it. I know I've had a friend or two who wanted to get a pass of their own next time they went after seeing the "perks"

                    But honestly, it drives me insane. The trouble that is given from the CM's or the dirty looks. I've even had a woman tell me that if I can't handle crowds, 'Why the **** are you in Disneyland then?' I find it very frustrating how troublesome it can be nowadays. Obviously, if you've dealt with it too you'd understand, the pass must be being misused by people thinking it's a quick way to get to the front of the line. Like you, I just need to be out of crowds. I really don't care about getting to the front of the line RIGHT THEN and do feel horrible if a CM lets me in super quickly.

                    Sorry for such a long, ramble-y post..
                    It's good to know that there are others with the same problem I have a lot of trouble, and I'll often leave if it gets too crowded, or go to an area that i know will be uncrowded to calm down.
                    http://aurorahermione.tumblr.com - costuming and random Disney stuff

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Guest Assistance Cards: Abused?

                      Originally posted by The Disney Ninja View Post
                      Disney is not allowed to ask for proof. It would be discrimination. They would get into a lot of trouble for that.
                      Really? Did this change when the pass was reinstated a few years ago? I remember back in the late 90s/early 00s proof was needed. My family had to bring and show my youngest brother's case diagnosis. For those who are curious he has autism and falls between mild to moderate in the spectrum.

                      I, as part of a family that uses a guest assisted pass, wouldn't be against having to show proof/paperwork/permit/notes/etc. in order to obtain the pass (and then to have the pass renewed just bring the previous visit's pass). My family had to years ago and wouldn't mind to do it again. Well, preferably not hauling a binder to City Hall.

                      Oh and has anyone had castmembers ask if the person who has the pass is present in the group/party (this occasionally happens... mostly at Toy Story Midway Mania)? Granted, someone could always lie, but it seems like there was a way around that. The last time we had the pass renewed my brother's annual passholder number was written on it (and it was extended for two months, not the usual day/few days that we're there). I didn't ask about "general admission" ticket numbers being written on there, but I suppose they are?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Guest Assistance Cards: Abused?

                        Originally posted by artisticdoodle View Post
                        Really? Did this change when the pass was reinstated a few years ago? I remember back in the late 90s/early 00s proof was needed. My family had to bring and show my youngest brother's case diagnosis. For those who are curious he has autism and falls between mild to moderate in the spectrum.

                        I, as part of a family that uses a guest assisted pass, wouldn't be against having to show proof/paperwork/permit/notes/etc. in order to obtain the pass (and then to have the pass renewed just bring the previous visit's pass). My family had to years ago and wouldn't mind to do it again. Well, preferably not hauling a binder to City Hall.

                        Oh and has anyone had castmembers ask if the person who has the pass is present in the group/party (this occasionally happens... mostly at Toy Story Midway Mania)? Granted, someone could always lie, but it seems like there was a way around that. The last time we had the pass renewed my brother's annual passholder number was written on it (and it was extended for two months, not the usual day/few days that we're there). I didn't ask about "general admission" ticket numbers being written on there, but I suppose they are?
                        I agree, and I think most people that have documented diagnoses would agree that showing documentation would not be a problem. In the case of those who have a clear issue (for example, a leg in a cast), not so much, but unseen issues could require it. Granted, this would probably just lead to a lot of forged letters, but it might derail people somewhat.

                        They recently extended the period of the card for APs and they put the AP number on it, but I think that those who have less time don't need to get a number on it. I am usually asked if I am the person listed on the card when using it, so I think they do check to make sure it's not being used by someone else.
                        http://aurorahermione.tumblr.com - costuming and random Disney stuff

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Guest Assistance Cards: Abused?

                          Well the GAC is used for people who have "invisible disabilities" so it makes me wonder how many people assume that somebody is abusing the system simply because they APPEAR healthy.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Guest Assistance Cards: Abused?

                            The Guest Assistance Pass is a good thing.

                            However,
                            The biggest abuse is that it allows SIX people to use it. I never really noticed this until I got a wheelchair and a GAP for my sister last year. I was suprised at how often large groups would abuse this.

                            The worst was at WOC two weeks ago. I went to see how they had changed the color sections (Making the Preferred Dining Smaller). On the upper section of Blue is a trellis, the area towards the center is one of the best locations to see WOC and now is a HC section with benches at the front. Shortly after the section was open a group of teenagers (6-8) approached the HC section, I could not tell which one needed the Pass. They showed a GAP and filled up two benches. Shortly after this another group of 6 teenagers showed up (None with a visible handicap), used a GAP and filled up another bench. As it approached show time several people who had trouble walking had a GAP were admitted to the section, but all 12-14 teenagers refused to give up their bench seats. An elderly lady who had a 4 leg cane, like Mr Fredrickson in Up, asked for assistance from a Cast Member, when he asked the teenagers to please let her sit, they became angry, flashed their pass, and told the old lady it was their bench, "GO AWAY".... the Cast Member backed down and helped the lady slowly climb the stairs and found her a seat at the upper section when some kind person gave up their seat. While he was gone, the HC section filled up with non-GAP late arrivals seeing a great spot open with no cast member watching. The WOC Cast Members are usually inexperienced and do a very poor job of controlling WOC access. (This is a topic for another time.)

                            THE GAP SHOULD BE LIMITED TO TWO (2) PERSONS ONLY.
                            This would eliminate a lot af abuse.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Guest Assistance Cards: Abused?

                              Originally posted by Brisal73 View Post
                              They really need to become more strict when it comes to the GAC and wheelchair rule. They need to make it mandatory to get a doctor's permit. It is abused all the time.
                              Then again, I would also like to see them become more strict on strollers as most kids that I have seen using a stroller should really walk as they are too old to be pushed around.
                              The stroller and GAC abuse is really out of control.

                              To the original post, if you suffer from crowds, why don't you try to go during slower periods, or meet up with your friends when they get closer to the ride entrance. From my experience queue lines can be just as bad as being at the park on a crowded day. Fastpass is your friend
                              Wow, this post is really rude. First, I hope you do not spend your time at Disneyland making as many judgements as you did in this post.

                              Second, requiring a doctor's "permit" would violate HIPPAA. Why should a disabled person be required to carry extra paperwork?

                              Third, there are plenty of hidden disabilities. Just because YOU don't see them, doesn't mean they don't exist. My son, who was 16-20 at the time, used a wheelchair in Disneyland. He has Osgood Schlautter bilaterally. Looking at him, he looked like a normal teen. However, when the pain hit, it would be VERY severe, and he would not be able to walk for a period until medication kicked in. He would usually allow my nieces to ride when he wasn't needing it. So yes, it would look like he was goofing off with a chair. Never needed it to use the HCA entrance though, as his sister is hearing impaired and we have a service dog for her, and we had to use the HCA entrances anyway.

                              Fourth, the myth of HCA entrances being "front of the line" is just that, a myth. A few rides are shorter, but the majority are considerably longer. I have timed people getting on IASW in 10 mins, while I waited 35 mins. I don't complain, I do get to ride. Same with POTC. I have watched people WALK ON, while the HCA wait is 20+ mins (there are limits on how many can be on the ride due to evacuation.)

                              Fifth, strollers. Do you have children? If not, don't make assumptions. My nephew (4) is in a stroller. He will be until he is considerably older (medical reasons). It is none of your business why. I have learned NEVER to make assumptions on why something is happening. It isn't my business.

                              Sixth, the OP has the right to go to Disneyland whenever she pleases. If the OP feels it is too crowded overall, she is free to leave. If using the HCA entrance helps, so be it. My daughter is claustrophobic. We have ways of controlling it in lines when needed, but if using the HCA entrance helps, I'd rather sit for 20 extra minutes in the open space for Space Mountain, than save the 20 mins and have her be so uncomfortable.
                              If you see a cute yellow lab puppy with a yellow cape, WAVE! It might be us! (Or it may be someone else that lurks here!) Thank you for asking before you pet! Next trip, Dec 22-Jan 3rd.

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