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  • [Question] GAC - Has it Become Severely Abused and What will the Possible Changes Be??

    Hi there!
    I have been doing research on the Guest Assistance Card. I have visited Disneyland many times, and it is hard to not see how much it is being used by people. I have seen rather large groups of people (8-10) get directly on a ride with little to no wait time and only 1 person being in a wheelchair of the group. The GAC is supposed to be for up to 5 other people in a group, so not sure why this is happening? I have also noticed on several occasions, how many people go through the exit using the GAC on Indiana Jones... I don't think that it's very fair that a group, using a GAC, get's to go in through the attractions exit, and totally bypass a 50 minute wait time? Why can't they wait in line patiently like everyone else behind them? I always get frustrated that my family just waited in a line, when the wait time could have been cut in a 1/4 and we could already be on another ride if we would go to City Hall and grab a GAC, because let's just say I have a back problem and can't wait in line for too long ...

    That being said, what kind of changes do you think will be coming to the GAC this October? Will they totally get rid of it? Or, will there be a Fastpass-type pass that will have the user(s) get a pass, then come back when the appropriate amount of wait time has passed? The ADA requires Disney to make it FAIR for people with disabilities, not give them special privileges (like getting right onto a ride instead of waiting like everyone else). I would love to hear some of your ideas or comments about the GAC and how you think it will be changed in a couple of months.



    Thanks for reading!

  • #2
    Re: GAC - Has it Become Severely Abused and What will the Possible Changes Be??

    The real problem with the GAC card is that I could go up and ask for one because, I don't know, let's say I'm claustrophobic (lol, I'm not)...but they have to give it to me. They can't ask me to prove it because its, well, hard to prove, as well as invasive on my medical confidentiality. They can't question people's disabilities, because imagine the offense one who really does have crippling claustrophobia would take when being questioned of it.

    I honestly don't see a solution to this problem--it's just sad that people have stooped low enough to exploiting real issues, manipulating a legitimate system, and lying, just to skip a queue line.

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    • #3
      Re: GAC - Has it Become Severely Abused and What will the Possible Changes Be??

      Having used a GAC after a major knee surgery I have personal experience, and while some rides, like Indy, does benefit the GAC time wise, others, like Space and pirates, can take significantly longer than the standby lines. Additionally, some rides, while the wait may appear to be shorter, actually take longer with the boarding process (screamin you have to take the elevators up and over after waiting in most of the line as well as off to the side for a few minutes). Granted, I just had the no stairs pass, not the alternate entry, since as long as I had my walker I was okay to stand in lines.

      I do think the system needs overhaul as I saw is abused countless times, especially during grad nights. I have heard that they are only giving the GAC out for 2 weeks at a time, whereas when I got mine is was good for 2 months, and that it's going to be changed to single day use only with the changes. Honestly, I think this is a huge disadvantage to legitimate users. With limited mobility I could only stay in the parks for a few hours and if I had to go wait in a long line to get the pass, 1/3 of my time would be wasted...and those lines are going to be long...as city hall lines are bad enough without repeat users in it. But if it cuts down cheaters, I guess ride lines won't be as bad so it could compensate? Plus assigned ride times would be nice. I don't think there's a perfect way to do it, but changes are needed, and time will tell if the ones they make are good or bad...
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      • #4
        Re: GAC - Has it Become Severely Abused and What will the Possible Changes Be??

        Originally posted by TylerDurden View Post
        I honestly don't see a solution to this problem--it's just sad that people have stooped low enough to exploiting real issues, manipulating a legitimate system, and lying, just to skip a queue line.
        GAC is supposed to have you wait the time you enter the attraction the same as if you had waited in the queue line. Thusly, just have them identify an individual whom has to pass through the queue before the GACer is let on the ride. Done. They do the queue waiting cards which they have you carry through the queue to measure wait time, so why not GAC cards. It will work.
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        • #5
          Re: GAC - Has it Become Severely Abused and What will the Possible Changes Be??

          A friend of mine uses it for his ruined knee, and to be honest it's not all that great. We've waited in the GAC line for several of the bigger rides and the line time can be pretty dang long. I definitely see it being abused, only because it's so easy to walk up and get one.

          In terms of what they can do to solve the problem, I don't even have a clue. I know at one point my friend's GAC had an expiration date of like a month, and since then (once all the news of people abusing it came to light) the expiration date has become shorter and shorter. Perhaps they are trying to get guests to not have them for long periods of time, thus dwindling down the amount of GACs in the park?


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          • #6
            Re: GAC - Has it Become Severely Abused and What will the Possible Changes Be??

            Legally Disney cannot ask you to prove your disability. That's a potential lawsuit. The best they can do is use the guest assistance card like a fastpass. They assign a time for the group to come back. Unfortunately there is no way around this unless Disney wants to be racking in some lawsuits.
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            • #7
              Re: GAC - Has it Become Severely Abused and What will the Possible Changes Be??

              A number of suggestions, comments and related discussions in these threads:
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              • #8
                Re: GAC - Has it Become Severely Abused and What will the Possible Changes Be??

                I agree with CassieRN. I have a GAC because I have an injury and cannot walk up stairs. It's not faster, even if it looks that way. On Space Mountain, for instance, I go through the regular queue and then I have to wait for the one disabled access rocket to come around. Since they have to actually shift that rocket onto the tracks it can be a wait even when you're loaded into the vehicle. On RSR, same thing - there is one car for disabled riders versus four or five cars for regular riders loading at the same time. It's not a FastPass to the front of the line unless you have a very specific stamp on your GAC. I would wager that most people don't have that stamp, and the ones who do - like Make a Wish kids - SHOULD have it.

                Are there people who scam the system? Yes, unfortunately, but there are far more who don't, and the GAC makes it possible for them to enjoy Disneyland.
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                • #9
                  Re: GAC - Has it Become Severely Abused and What will the Possible Changes Be??

                  Originally posted by Malina View Post
                  I agree with CassieRN. I have a GAC because I have an injury and cannot walk up stairs. It's not faster, even if it looks that way. On Space Mountain, for instance, I go through the regular queue and then I have to wait for the one disabled access rocket to come around. Since they have to actually shift that rocket onto the tracks it can be a wait even when you're loaded into the vehicle. On RSR, same thing - there is one car for disabled riders versus four or five cars for regular riders loading at the same time. It's not a FastPass to the front of the line unless you have a very specific stamp on your GAC. I would wager that most people don't have that stamp, and the ones who do - like Make a Wish kids - SHOULD have it.

                  Are there people who scam the system? Yes, unfortunately, but there are far more who don't, and the GAC makes it possible for them to enjoy Disneyland.
                  I think people who don't use the GAC don't understand how the GAC lines work. Indy, while looking shorter, rarely is much shorter than the regular queue. There is a limit (as there is on most rides) as to how many disabled can be on the ride at a point for evac purposes. Also, single riders use the same line as the GACs, so perhaps the OP might also have been seeing single riders...
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                  • #10
                    Re: GAC - Has it Become Severely Abused and What will the Possible Changes Be??

                    Is it being abused? Of course.
                    Is there a logical solution? Not really.

                    As others have said, you can get a GAC for just about anything and Disney cannot question you and/or ask you to prove it because that is a potential lawsuit for them.
                    The problem I see is the amount of people accompanying a GAC holder. I have seen groups of 10-12 accompany one person in a wheelchair or ECV. Some CMs seem to be overlooking the 5 guest policy and that isn't speculation as I have personally seen it numerous times. I was waiting at the end of the line for Thunder Mountain Railroad and I saw the two CMs allow a group of 11 onto the ride with one GAC card holder. It did nothing but make me very annoyed along with everyone else who had to wait for the next train after a 35min wait. The best thing Disney can do with this is actually enforce their policies.
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                    • #11
                      Re: GAC - Has it Become Severely Abused and What will the Possible Changes Be??

                      I have 2 friends that have used GAC, and also rent the motorized wheelchairs.

                      First, please be courteous to people in motorized wheelchairs. It's shocking how many people completely ignore when my friends are trying to make their way around.

                      As for the advantage, I won't say that it doesn't, particularly with Fantasyland and Star Tours. That said, it's not THAT big of a difference, I would say 5 minutes at best. My friends have knee/ankle and hip issues so they can ride in the normal vehicles, it's just the standing/walking that will take them out of commission. It's not all it's cracked up to be though, you still wait and as other have said, it can even/often be more difficult and longer.

                      It's unfortunate that people abuse the system, but I do believe more people genuinely benefit from it than abuse it. As for the large groups, the CMs (especially in Fantasyland) were pretty strict about the 5 person limit when we've used it. My friends and I do a large trip every year, and a lot of the fun is had waiting in line. While most of us wait in line, he rides the ride with someone (1-2 others) and then has to wait outside the queue for the rest of us. In our instance, the time that is made up is often lost elsewhere.

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                      • #12

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                        • #13
                          Re: GAC - Has it Become Severely Abused and What will the Possible Changes Be??

                          I would much rather wait an extra minute or so because the occasional large group goes thru with a GAC than see a family broken up. There is no legally or socially acceptable way to really know for sure if someone is disabled. I just spent 4 days at Disneyland and I noticed GAC groups in lines maybe 3 or 4 times a day. Most people posting on here who have actual personal experience using a GAC say that it really doesn't give you much of an advantage, so it seems to me like this is a fake problem being trumped up by people who are just looking for a reason to complain. Yes, I'm sure the GAC is abused, but I would much rather have a few abusers slip by than put honestly disabled people thru extra scrutiny and inconvenience.

                          WDW has much more disabled-friendly queues, where a person in a wheelchair or ECV can simply do through the line. That certainly is a solution! But again, I think this is hardly a "problem." You are going to spend a lot of time waiting in line at Disneyland. Adding more rules to be enforced and explained in queues will just take up cast member time that should be used elsewhere.

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                          • #14
                            Re: GAC - Has it Become Severely Abused and What will the Possible Changes Be??

                            The bottom line is, YOU do not have any way of knowing who may or may not be abusing accommodations for people with disabilities. So, it follows that YOU do not have any way of knowing how many may or may not be abusing accommodations for people with disabilities. Therefore, you're probably better off trying not to worry about it, and enjoying as much of your own good health as you have.

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                            • #15
                              Re: GAC - Has it Become Severely Abused and What will the Possible Changes Be??

                              Originally posted by explodingboy View Post
                              A friend of mine uses it for his ruined knee, and to be honest it's not all that great. We've waited in the GAC line for several of the bigger rides and the line time can be pretty dang long. I definitely see it being abused, only because it's so easy to walk up and get one.
                              Exactly. It's not a front of the line pass. After I broke my heel last summer on our trip (In DCA. Don't ask.), I was in a wheelchair at the parks for three days. There wasn't much benefit in any of the lines and, if anything, it made our experience much worse as navigating the parks in a wheelchair is a total pain. Also, DCA is all ADA compliant because they started building it in the late '90s... so they pretty much just have you get in line like everyone else. They will give you a return time for RSR, but you still have to wait quite a while though.

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