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Confessions of a GAC User

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  • [Other] Confessions of a GAC User

    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.
    Stopping in the middle is

  • #2
    Re: Confessions of a GAC User

    I am so dearly sorry for your loss.



    • #3
      Re: Confessions of a GAC User

      Well then, you didn't abuse it, I believe that's what it was created for, not just for the disabled and/or sick, but also their families, who get to enjoy the park with them.


      • #4
        Re: Confessions of a GAC User

        We are very sorry for your loss, and you totally didn't abuse that pass -- your presence made it possible for a terminally ill loved one to feel safe and comfortable during activities she loved The GAC worked exactly as it should. Please don't let thoughtless comments made by jerks make you feel otherwise!
        "Ignore the Chihuahua behind the curtain."


        • #5
          Re: Confessions of a GAC User

          NOO!! Do NOT think you were an abuser of the card. Who goes to Disneyland alone anyways? Okay maybe some people do but the point is, you didn't abuse the card, you obviously needed it and there was absolutely nothing wrong with it. Don't pay attention to those people who talk smack.
          Princess Jasmine's trainee


          • #6
            Re: Confessions of a GAC User

            I agree, that is by no means abuse of the GAC, it was serving its intended purpose.
            "Hello folks, welcome aboard the Disneyland Railroad..."
            "The Gods have been angered by all the celebratin'..."


            • #7
              Re: Confessions of a GAC User

              I'm very sorry for your loss.

              I agree with the others. You did not abuse the GAC. The GAC is there to help those who have serious illnesses or disabilities, enjoy the park with their families and friends - like your Mom. The card enabled her to enjoy the park AND enjoy time with you - something I am sure that she and you both treasured. That is what it is for.
              Merida looks like this. Not a Barbie doll!


              • #8
                Re: Confessions of a GAC User

                That is not abuse of the system. Glad you were able to enjoy visits to the park with her.
                These are some of my favorite TRs I have posted

                DL 55th BDAY trip report
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                WdW trip report with WWoHP
                NYE 2011 trip report
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                NYE 2012
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                • #9
                  Re: Confessions of a GAC User

                  It was the best possible use of time. Glad you had your moments. Don't fret the lingering thoughts.
                  I am old. But still love Disneyland.


                  • #10
                    Re: Confessions of a GAC User

                    I agree with everyone else here. There were many GAC abusers, but you and your family were definitely not among them!
                    So sorry that some people can be such idiots and you were subjected to their cruelty.
                    I'm glad that you were able to share some "magical" times with your mom, and that hopefully it left you with magical memories. :love:


                    • #11
                      Re: Confessions of a GAC User

                      If I'm reading this correctly, you didn't realize that you shouldn't have been using the green light level until you tried to renew the GAC at which point they gave you the basic. So you didn't abuse it at all, Disney just gave you the wrong one and you didn't realize it.
                      Disneyland Cast Member
                      Outdoor Vending
                      1996 - 1999

                      My interview with MiceAge about working at Disneyland:



                      • #12
                        Re: Confessions of a GAC User

                        I am sorry about your mother. She's having a ball at the Disneyland in the sky though

                        I think a common misconception about people with a disability at the parks is that not everyone gets to just go to the front of a line, it depends on the situation. A friend of mine is a paraplegic, but wants to spend his time as normal as possible without addressing his disability. We wait in every line that doesn't have stairs or turnstiles in the queue. And no, you certainly didn't abuse those rights of being with your mother while she was having a blast. I've been with a terminally ill family member at the park and its tough to be able to do so much with a limited amount of time before that person feels too tired. You used that pass just as it was intended for your particular situation and you made precious memories in the process. Never feel bad about that.

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