New Lawsuit Attacks Disney’s New Disability Access Service

| April 4, 2014 | 387 Replies

After months of Facebook chatter, a group of parents and guardians have filed a lawsuit alleging Disney’s Disability Access Service (DAS) discriminates against individuals who have some degree of cognitive impairments.  The lawsuit was filed in California on April 3, 2014.  The complaint is 176 pages and includes over 640 paragraphs alleging that Disneyland and Walt Disney World have violated the Americans with Disability Act and California laws that prohibit disability discrimination.

Seasons Globes Epcot The Land Pavilion

Until October 2013, Disneyland and Walt Disney World provided disabled individuals with “Guest Assistance Cards” (GAC) which, depending on the impairment, permitted guests and others with them to bypass waiting in lines for attractions.   (This isn’t all GACs did, but bear with me.)  Disney scrapped GACs following a widely publicized news article recounted how “one percenters” visited Disney World by “hiring” someone with a GAC to act as a line-bypassing tour guide.  (As a side note, the complaint accuses Disney of influencing this publicity “for the specific purpose of creating cover for the planned rollout of the DAS program.”

The complaint has nothing but praise for the GAC process.

With the Guest Assistance Card, though guests were not always expressly promised immediate access to the attractions, immediate access was precisely what Disney, through its employees, routinely delivered. The disabled Plaintiffs’ caretakers knew they could rely upon immediate access when they visited the Disney Parks. Disney would not make them travel all the way to an attraction only to be told to leave and come back later; Disney did not make them wait in a line for more than a few minutes. Very little risk of over-stimulation or meltdown ever arose.

The complaint, however, portrays Disney as doing an about-face with DAS, calling DAS “so obviously discriminatory and so outrageously contrary to Disney’s own knowledge of such guests’ special needs” that, they conclude, Disney has “come to disfavor the presence” of cognitive impairments in the Parks because other guests perceive Disney to be giving “preferential favoritism” to guests with cognitive impairments.

MK-Crystal-Palace-2013-DSC_1710

The plaintiffs’  primary complaint is that, while GAC delivered immediate access, DAS assigns a return time for each attraction but that returning at this time will not guarantee immediate access.  Even so, the complaint incongruously states that the plaintiffs are not looking for “priority” access but, in the same sentence, says the plaintiffs “have a special need for near-immediate access.”  Otherwise, the complaint does not clearly state what the plaintiffs want Disney to do.  The closest it comes is in asserting that Disney could program “magic bands” to allow the disabled wearer prompt access to all rides, or to specific rides.”  But whatever logic this suggestion might have is defeated by the claim that “Disney refuses to make MagicBands available to persons outside those staying in the Disney resorts.”  The complaint was outdated when it was filed (at least as to Walt Disney World, which recently starting making MagicBands available to all guests).MagicBand at Epcot

The ADA requires Disney to make modifications that will provide disabled guests with the “full and equal enjoyment” given to non-disabled guests. The U.S. Justice Department regulations explain that full and equal enjoyment means “the right to participate and to have an equal opportunity to obtain the same results as others to the extent possible with such accommodations as may be required by the Act and these regulations. It does not mean that an individual with a disability must achieve an identical result or level of achievement as persons without a disability.”  According to one of the Segway court decisions, Disney is not “required to make any and all possible accommodations that would provide full and equal access to disabled patrons; they need only make  accommodations that are reasonable.”

It’s my nature to be skeptical about any lawsuit, especially one which includes sensationalized allegations such as accusing Disney of falsely drumming up adverse publicity so it can scrap GACs.   The difficulty these plaintiffs will face is demonstrating it is reasonable for Disney to provide them with “near-immediate” access to the attractions so that they can have the “full and equal enjoyment” of other patrons who have to wait in the queue.  So, for that reason, I do not agree with the lawsuit that DAS, as it is supposed to work, violates the ADA.   At the same time, there are far too many recent reports which demonstrate that Disney’s execution of DAS leaves something to be desired.

The heart of the ADA is tailoring the modification to the needs of the guest’s impairment.  To be fair, this is not easy to do when federal regulations purport to prohibit Disney from asking a guest meaningful questions about the guest’s impairment.  Still, despite its admirable history of going beyond the ADA requirements, Disney’s cast members need to be trained on what they can and can’t do to accommodate a specific impairment. I’m not suggesting Disney needs an ADA attorney in every ticket booth but the current training does not appear to be adequate.

It will be interesting to see how Disney responds to the lawsuit.



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Category: Disney, Disney World, Disneyland, News

  • Chris

    I do think that the DAS does technically violate the ADA, because guests with disabilities have to wait longer than those without disabilities. And they also now have to do more traveling to get return times and come back.

    But in all honesty, overall the DAS is working better than the GAC was, at least in my experience.

    That being said, there would be a simple tweak that Disney could make and ALL of the problems that the opponents of the DAS have would go away.

    Instead of issuing return times for those with a DAS, allow the DAS card holder to get on the ride (assuming it’s the first ride of the day) through the applicable entrance. Then write on the card what time they got in the applicable line and how long the standby line is, add the two together to get what time the card can next be used at. So, let’s say that I have a DAS and I go to Indiana Jones at noon, the CM that I talk with would write on the back of the card that I got there at noon and let’s say the line is 60 minutes long, they would write that and put that the card is next valid at 1 PM.

    I then have to wait until 1 PM to next use the card. Yes, one could be creative by getting FPs, etc. But even under the current system people can do that now. This just eliminates the need to get a return time, then come back. Which also helps those with cognitive issues as well. They would still have to wait their turn (like now), but not have to go to the attraction (at WDW) or a kiosk (at DL) to get a return time first.

    It also means that any time that I am waiting for the attraction is now accounted for. And for attractions that are longer (say Jungle Cruise, which lasts about 10 minutes), they could simply add the ride time into the wait time as well, so that you aren’t getting a wait time that is shorter because of how long the ride lasts.

    If I were Disney, this is exactly how I would respond to the lawsuit, then they can simply say that they made tweaks and that these tweaks should be taken into account.

    • J Marts

      Oops…sorry, I did not mean to reply right under Chris’. I meant for it to be a new reply. Assuming mine is posted. Thanks.

    • Jen

      Sorry but IF (and that is a BIG if) a guest using the DAS is indeed waiting longer than a non-DAS using guest that is in no way violating ADA. Again, ADA requires that a company provide access and Disney is providing that access. Heck, Disney could do away with the DAS and still technically be within ADA requirements.

  • Ed

    Let’s see, file a lawsuit and create bad publicity to get Disney to settle out of court. The lawyer skims 30 to 40% off the top plus expenses. The representatives for the class get a few thousand dollars each and the rest get nothing. Maybe a coupon for a free Mickey head. ADA compliance is a notoriously big business in California with lawyers paying people to file complaints. Search ADA Lawsuits in California and see what you get.

    • Cathy

      So short-sighted. These parents and guardians don’t want MONEY! They want to be able to take their kids back to Disney! This new system is horrendous, and I’m speaking from the point of view as a parent with a 22 year old son in a wheelchair, who does very well. He is not cognitively impaired, but we still had a terrible time navigating the park with the “new” system, and it was during the slowest week of the entire year. My heart broke thinking of the many families I know who will no longer be able to take their children to Disney. The general public has the misconception that disable people would be riding more rides than them, and that’s what gets them all riled up. In fact, most families either come to the park late or leave early because their special needs family member can’t tolerate the park as long as us “normal” folks! Oh, but they pay the same entry fee.

      • David

        So what do you want? Do you want immediate access? That isn’t fair and way too easy to abuse. The law requires reasonable accomodation. Can tweaks be made – sure. But I rarely see solutions being offered that don’t amount to immediate access. As long as the law prohibits DIsney from any sort of inquiry about a disability to allow them to tailor it – they have to use a system that allows people to ride with the same wait – just waiting somewhere else. (And as for Ed’s comment – Disney does not settle things like this . . .)

        • Cathy

          I NEVER said immediate access. With this new system, you can actually wait LONGER than if you had stood in line, if you were able to of course. And I do know this for a FACT, because my son did have to wait longer. Oh, wait, he’s ONLY in a wheelchair according to someone else on here. I’m fighting for the kids that I know won’t be able to go until they FIX this, not my son btw.

      • pbrim

        You have a son whose only disability is that he’s in a wheelchair? Why are you complaining about DAS then? GAC/DAS is for invisible disabilities, which he doesn’t have, as described by you. I’ve been to WDW and DLR both before and after the change-over in my ECV and I never needed a card of any kind. In most cases, I go through the same line as everyone else. In some of the older rides, where the main queue is not accessible, the CM points me to an alternate entrance, but those are being phased out as the queues are being re-worked to be accessible.

        What exactly are you looking for? A super special front of the line pass because your son is in a wheelchair? Only the Make-a-Wish kids get front of the line passes. Sorry, you’re going to have to settle for the same access as everyone else has.

        • Gina

          The new system is horrible. I was just there in line with my non disabled children, where an autistic teenager was made to wait in the same line as everyone else. He waited for 2 hours, but could not help his disability. He started having meltdowns, throwing things, and pacing in line almost trampling little children. He should have been allowed immediate access. This would have been in everyone’s benefit. It posed a danger to the disabled boy as well as the other guests. People with disabilities and their families have to live with problems their entire lives. The least they could have in this life is immediate access in Disney. The rest of us need to need to understand that and stop being so judgmental. By the way, I witnessed the Make-a-Wish kids and the Kidd Kraddick kids have to wait in line as well. They are NOT granted immediate access either. Their time on this Earth is limited and they still had to wait in lines at Disney. So very sad!

          • Cathy

            There is a huge misconception that Make A Wish kids go to the front of the line. We met one while we were there. I think there are many levels to what kinds of wishes are granted and the dollar amount. Maybe it’s by chapter. The mom I met opened my eyes about that. I think in her case they had to even pay their own airfare. :(

          • NotMeThisTime

            If he was made to wait in a two hour line, it’s because his parent or guardian chose not to get him a DAS. That’s their fault, not Disney’s.

          • Jackie Rose

            Yup, that’s karma. These people with their normal children will get what comes to them when it’s their child needlessly terrorized by someone Autistic having a meltdown because their mommy and daddy wanted things to be “fair”.

        • Cathy

          Wow! Thank you for your kind words. Not. Where did I say being in a wheelchair was his only disability? Most of my post was directed about the MANY families I know with kids who have medical issues. Do you think these kids deserve to only go to Disney once in their life utilizing Make A Wish? How sad is that. My young friend Sara is at UCLA for probably the 3rd time this year, and will be there almost a week. How sad that you think she doesn’t deserve to have fun at Disney.

          • pbrim

            Oooh, that’s me told, about not wanting handicapped children to be able to go WDW! What a horrible person I would be — if I had actually said any such thing. Unlike you, I based my reply on what you actually said. You only mentioned the wheelchair, and specifically denied he was cognitively impaired, without mentioning any other disability, so I took you at your word. If you mean that he is also not neuro-typical, say so. I don’t make assumptions about that sort of thing,

            And I still don’t understand what it is that you want Disney to do. Granted the whole f’ed up FP+ system they spent millions on has increased the length of lines, even FP lines, even going back to GAC wouldn’t do you much good as that generally had become just general access to the FP lines. If you are asking for the ability to go to Guest Services and say your kid can’t wait in lines, and get handed a free front of the line pass, that isn’t ever going to happen.

            What exactly is the problem with the DAS? Someone in the party (not neccessarily the pass holder) goes up to the attraction and gets a return time, equal to the standby wait time (usually minus 10-15 min). You wait where you want, doing what you want, until your return time, then come back and get admitted. You have EQUAL ACCESS as everyone else (all the ADA requires), you just don’t have to wait in the line. What more are you expecting to get? This is the same system used at most theme parks — Universal, Six Flags, Busch Gardens, etc.

            Front-of-the-line passes are not equal access, they are special access, and even according to the ADA, the company can put restrictions on those. At Universal, you can pay (dearly) for one, or it comes with a stay at their higher end hotels (not the new economy ones). At Disney, with their much higher attendance, they are only available to MAW kids (along with other perks such as a special hotel, free food, special meet & greet, etc).

            If your kid is unable to enjoy Disney unless they are able to instantly walk onto any ride they want, any time they want, regardless of how long everyone else has to wait, then I’m sorry, but they are not going to be able to enjoy Disney outside of MAW trips. Disney goes pretty far to accommodate people with special needs, but there are limits. That’s not equal access. Being able to go to Disney is not a guaranteed human right. I go to WDW myself every couple of years and believe me I know that it’s a luxury, not a need. There’s a lot of families out there, special needs or not, that will never be able to afford even one trip. Three in one year is certainly a luxury.

    • Caroline Thompson

      Attorney’s are shady everywhere. Not just California.

  • MomtoNicholasASD

    As a parent of a child with autism and have tried the new das it doesn’t work. This isn’t about money in any way shape or form its about fixing the new program. Until you have walked in our shoes don’t even claim you know what its like! I, am every other parent of a ASD child, would stand in all the lines for hours and hours if our kids could tell us they love us, give us a hug and a million other things that non ASD or challenges kids do every day without a thought in the world! Our kids deserve to go to the happiest place in the world without cm’s degrading us and being treated like a 3rd class citizen.

    • TheRustyScupper

      ADA wants ACCESS, not EXCESS.
      Nothing wrong with assigning a return-time, even if there is a wait in that line.
      Why should some folks get immediate access, when others wait-and-wait-and-wait.
      What about “all men are created equal”?
      It is too bad about your child’s handicap.
      But, with DAS the handicapped do get ACCESS for most rides.
      NOWHERE does ADA say access includes stepping on the rights of non-handicapped persons.
      NOWHERE does ADA say handicapped should get immediate entry.
      NOWHERE does ADA say that handicapped persons are better than non-handicapped persons.
      NOWHERE does ADA say that handicapped children should get to enjoy WDW more than other children.
      NOWEHERE does ADA assure EXCESS.

      • Kris

        It’s too bad that you have never even walked a mile in our shoes.

        It’s too bad that your child will grow up to be just like you…ignorant.

        It’s too bad that you have no concept of what their lives are like every day.
        It’s too bad you can NEVER fully comprehend what a disabled person feels like.

        What our kids want is to feel the “magic” that your child does…ours just feel it differently than yours. Ours have sensory problems, cognitive issues.

        NOWHERE does it say that your child should be able to enjoy Disney while our children are told that they need to learn patience or just not come at all.

        NOWHERE does the ADA say that Disney needs to extend different rules for handicapped children/adults, but when the system was fine and NOT being abused by those who truly need it, then YOU get in an uproar.

        Did you know about GAC and how it’s helped children/adults who have the cognitive ability of a 3 yr old? Or how about it helping the child who LOVES Peter Pan, but cannot stand in the heat for long periods due to seizures? I could go on, but your ignorance will just let you believe that we are being treated “special” when you have never walked in our shoes.

        “All men are created equal”….yeah….that’s worked for those who are continually discriminated against in Disney because they are different. I bet the screaming child you thought was a brat ended up being a non-verbal, autistic boy.

        Get a grip on reality..all men are created equal…what a JOKE to the disabled community!

        • NotMeThisTime

          How tough your life is outside of Disney has zero to do with what happens in the parks. Your disabled child is no more important than my non-disabled child.

          The DAS is a very reasonable accommodation, and still provides an advantage over those that don’t have one, i.e., being able to ride other attractions while waiting in a “virtual” line with the DAS. That’s more than reasonable.

      • hall

        I personally have no issues with a special needs person and 1 ASSISTANT, not having to wait in a long line but with FP+ we all have a return time.but I go to Disney monthly and see a group of 5 or 10 being allowed special treatment is not right, it doesn’t take more then 1 person to assist someone. With the new FP+ time of 1 hour they are getting the same treatment as the rest of the normal world, they want to be treated as regular citizens you can’t have it both ways. I feel you stated this right on the nail head. I can’t find anywhere that stats you have to do more for them then to provide them access to the same as everyone else.

        • Mimi Webb

          because nobody should be able to enjoy the parks with their family if they are disabled…makes perfect sense

          • NotMeThisTime

            If the only way you can enjoy the parks is by negatively impacting everyone else that you cut in front of, then no, you shouldn’t be able to enjoy the parks.

          • Geri Bishop Martin

            Not me… By viewing your numerous comments, I am convinced that you are one of the internet trolls who live to bash other people under the cover of anonimity. Post your name. Post your picture. Be a real person before you so easily criticize. Walk a mile in someone’s shoes before you impose your normal life views on those living with disabilities.

          • Sye

            Pretty sure people here are convinced your as entitled and sad as the people who filed this ‘lawsuit.’

          • NotMeThisTime

            Just because someone disagrees with your entitlement mentality, that doesn’t mean that person is a troll.

          • Disney Fanatic from OZ

            Sarcastic comments do nothing to help your position. You are more than welcome to enjoy the ride with your disabled family member IF the non disabled family members wait in line like everyone else and meet their disabled member and carer at the front of the line when they arrive. This way you can rotate the caring for the Autistic, Epileptic, etc member around the whole party giving everyone a break and a chance to enjoy the park themselves. Lining up is half the fun at Disney as there is so much to look at.

      • Joselyn Escoto

        Please review the difference in the words handicap and disability. They cannot be used interchangeably, and I think you meant to say people with disabilities. The difference is, disabilities is what people have and the handicap is created by the surroundings when they are not able to operate like everyone else. The point of this act is so that individuals with a disability do not have to have any handicaps. So that they can get a day just like the rest of us who were lucky enough to not have disabilities which would prevent us from enjoying a day with our families. So when a child with a disability goes on a ride with 10 family members in front of me, I understand that they are just getting a little taste of being able to have what I sometimes take for granted.
        People like you create handicaps for those with disabilities. If we all had more compassion and waited the extra time that we need in order for them to go ahead of us, we would all live in a happier world. It’s our job as rational humans to help other humans.
        Do me, and possibly yourself, a favor and read a poem titled Welcome to Holland. It might give you a different perspective on this subject..

        • TheRustyScupper

          I have reviewed the term handicapped. I think you are the mistaken one and trying to expand the definition into something for your own purposes and/or advantage. Webster defines handicapped as “having a physical or mental disability”. I do not think I used the term inappropriately or incorrectly.

      • Mimi Webb

        oh those poor nondisabled discrimated against people…

        • Nadia

          But see, that is why some people do get upset at this. Someone mentioned a stat of 1/68 being Autistic. Say this stat is accurate (and obviously Autism is a wide spectrum, and not all would have a problem with lines more than one off the spectrum, but for this purpose) and on average that means a family of 4 for every 68 people. Being conservative, say there is one person with intense seizures (and his/her family), one who is wheelchair-bound (and his/her family), and one with social anxiety (and his/her family). That would about 25% of every line, and I think that is probably a pretty low estimate. For the “nondisabled” people, most would not care that much that 25% of the line is eating ice cream or sitting on a bench somewhere, but if they have to wait 25% longer than they would anywhere else (not comparing to the old GAC, but comparing to grocery stores, et cetera), just because they are not disabled, then suddenly they _are_ being discriminated against. This is exactly the reason that some people felt it “necessary” to cheat the system, too. Disney is really expensive for most people and so suddenly if it is a war to get to the front and resentment starts between those not using GAC and those who are and those who were legitimately using it and those who were not and such. So far, I have not seen a valid argument on her against DAS that has not been offered a valid workaround.

  • Geri Bishop Martin

    I would wait in line for a week straight for my son to be free of the difficulties, confusion, and frustration that autism causes every day of his life!!!!! The GAC access card allowed him to have a couple of days of pure joy. Until you have tried standing in line (much less living life every day) with a child with autism, you have no right to comment here. If you would would like to meet me at Disney and give it a try, be my guest… You would be back here posting about the need for the GAC. No, wait. You would be posting from your cell phone the second you handed my son back over to me.

    • Geri Bishop Martin

      I would also like to add that we are not asking for immediate access which so many people commenting here seem to think. The fast pass line (which can also have a wait, but is quicker than the regular line) is perfectly acceptable in my opinion. I can’t speak for all people, but for my son it worked.

      • NotMeThisTime

        The DAS allows you to go through the Fast Pass line…after you wait your turn outside the line, doing whatever you want to do in the meantime.

        • Geri Bishop Martin

          That’s just it – managing the ‘whatever you do in the meantime’. You have to drag your child back and forth around the park to get the fast pass and return at a designated time. Not an optimal system for a child with autism. My son sees the ride and thinks he is there and and can go on. He doesn’t understand that he has to wait and do something else in the meantime.

          • food for thought

            You don’t have to drag your child back and forth across the park. You can get your time and then sit nearby, enjoying some down time. It is your choice to drag your child back and forth across the park. In school, children with autism are taught (with continuous reinforcement) that they sometimes have to wait for things. Parents should do the same thing..

          • or47

            Precisely, food for thought. Geri your main issue seems to be an excuse for parenting. Whatever “you do in the meantime” is up to you as a parent – if your child cannot handle being “dragged back and forth through the park” then just don’t do it. Disney offers PLENTY of things to do in one specific area.

          • Geri Bishop Martin

            And you have obviously never ‘parented’ an autistic child. I have two neurotypcial children that I have sucessfully parented through the typical meltdowns at Disney and have taught the importance of self accountability. They are both being recruited for college scholarships. An autisic child does not fit your norms of parenting. Again… parent an autistic child for a day and you will have a completely different perspecitve on life.

          • whodat

            And um the child DOESNT have to be there to get the DAS signed for that attraction, so I dont know what you are crying abut Geri. Its time you taught and yes my 5 yo son has issues too like others have posted, and Ill be DAMMED if he doesnt learn that because he is DIFFERENT then other people he will get special treatment. Everyone always say OH NO DONT STARE AT MY CHILD, but when it works for you in your favor, youll prance them around like a dog and pony show

          • Max’s Dad

            Geri, as the father of an autistic boy, I think you could make the best of this challenge by turning it into a learning situation to get your child to adapt to a change. This will take a lot of doing on your part in advance – creating a social story to go through with your child and do some advance role playing so that when your child gets to the park, everyone is prepared for what will happen. Rather than this be the source of frustration, let this be a rewarding learning opportunity for your child. Best of luck to you.

          • Jackie Rose

            Could you look into the eyes of a child with Autism, and tell them they could not go on a ride and they have to wait? Would you be able to ignore their cries, their confusion as to why they were be punished? Asking what did they do wrong?

          • Hard truth

            That’s funny because the first comment I read on this whole thing was about a mom who has an autistic child and she had nothing but praises about the new system. And as a Disney cast member who works attraction I come across all the DAS card holders and 98% of them love the new system. They miss the old one but we are treating everyone EQUALLY which is what the American Disability Act requires. What I also loved about the other lady who commented was she understood that it is not Disney’s job to give anyone a problem free day, it’s the parents job. Our job is to 1. Make sure the safety of the guest is secured 2. Be as polite to every guest as much as we can. 3. Carry on the Disney legacy and show of the resort 4. Be efficient in the task you are doing.
            Yes we are to give everyone as much of a “magical” experience as we can, but as you put it, YOU are the one that is with your child all the time. We are not so your best best at the carefree experience you want is to hire a guest relations cast member to take you around the park or to not come to the park at all. Not everything in this world is meant for everyone to be able to do.

      • One man

        That is what the das dose you come back at your designated time and go to the fast past line or one like it

        • Geri Bishop Martin

          You have to go to the ride and get a fast pass, and then you go back. My son sees it and thinks he gets to go at that time. Then we end up with a melt down as I have to drag him to the other end of the park to be at another ride at a designated time.

          • Bob Walker

            The problem with also getting a time with a child with Autism is it is their favorite ride. You walk up to the ride and they think they are going to ride. The meltdown occurs when they find out that you are only getting a time and are walking away from the ride. The walking away and finding something else to do is where the problems occurm

          • food for thought

            If the ride is the child’s favorite, why wouldn’t the parent get a fast pass for that ride instead of using the DAS? Geri said her child has a melt down if he can’t get on the ride right away and then she has to drag him across the park to be on a different ride “at a designated time”. Sounds like she is choosing to use her fast passes on other rides and not making her son’s favorite ride the priority.

          • Trying to help

            The parent can go to the line without the child to obtain the time to return to the fastpass line. Not everyone is aware of that. So the other parent or friend can stay with child while doing another activity while one person from your party is getting the time. I have a family member with autism and he loves to do the pirate virtual game in adventureland. So we keep him busy there while one of us runs to grab the return time. This has been most helpful once we found this out and we have no trouble with meltdowns and they were visiting during the week of Christmas which is super busy. I hope this tips helps all.

          • Geri Bishop Martin

            Yes… if you are lucky enough to have a spouse who does not work 60-70 hours a week. I have to take my three children on my own. Again, walk in someone else’s shoes before telling them how to do things.

          • Addaperle

            I’m a little confused why one of these two other children (who you’ve already told us are being recruited for colleges) cannot go and get the time for their younger brother. I can appreciate you don’t have another adult with you, but if you have two teens, why can’t one/both of them go?

          • food for thought

            Even if your spouse typically works 60-70 week, he still should get time off. Just plan your trips accordingly or have a friend or relative come along instead or hire a nanny for the day. You don’t HAVE to take your kids on your own. That is your CHOICE.

          • T-I-Double-Grrr

            Didn’t you say that your other kids are being recruited for college? They are old enough to either get the DAS for you or stay with your son.

          • Nadia

            But how is that Disney’s issue? It seems Disney is trying to be very helpful, but do you want them to have DAS “except for single parents or parents who have a spouse who works a lot or parents who can not afford more than one trip every ten years or parents who can afford to pay extra for special access”? If you understand the new system, you can decide whether it is worth it to you to buy tickets or not. If not, then find something that would fit better for your situation. Disney’s “job” is not to do everything in their power to make your specific trip the very best it can be. Almost everyone in the park has some sort of issues. (What your child has may be a disability, but your husband working is just an issue.) I understand what you said about your child seeing a ride and wanting to go right then (even non-autistic adults feel this way!), but what about the drive or plane ride? Does your child understand that you are going to Disney World and want to be there right now? If so, how do you handle that? Or, seeing some of the rides from the road or parking lot-surely there is a bit of disappointment, or even a meltdown that s/he can not get on right then, but surely there is something you do to explain?

          • Disneypassion

            The das card only allows you to have one ride time at a time, therefore, unless you have a time on your magicband for a ride across the park, you can stay close to the ride you just received a time for.

          • smart girl

            I’m going to throw this out there since no one has yet. If you are really using the DAS card, you don’t go to the rides and get a time stamp. You are going to one of the places that is further away from the rides. (And if there is a ride nearby, you go to the one that is further from the ride so your child doesn’t notice) Children are a blessing, and in my experience, and I have a lot with them, they are not the ones that cause the trouble. It’s the parents, they learn from the parents. They copy the parents. If the Parents wine, then they will also start crying.
            You don’t have to be rude to these people Geri…we are all entitled to our own opinion. Besides, you expect us to respect your opinion and seem to think you are the only person that is important, you don’t know what everyone else’s story is. Maybe we do have family members that have a health problem but don’t have the need to talk about it because it really is no one else’s business.

          • Tracy Brooks

            In Disneyland there are kiosks to get rides times, in Walt Disney World you have to go to the individual attractions. This is why some people are stating there are meltdowns.

          • Bugg

            Incorrect- there are many fast pass kiosks around each park- and not necessarily at the ride. DAS requires one to go to ride entrance, fp+ does not.

          • Tracy Brooks

            I am talking about guest relations kiosks at Disneyland/California Adventure to get a DAS time. From Disney’s website:

            “Where do DAS Cardholders go to receive return times?

            At Disneyland Resort, guests will go to Guest Relations kiosks located throughout the parks to receive a return time. At Walt Disney World Resort, guests will go to the attraction to receive a return time.”

          • Bugg

            Actually, you don’t have to go to the ride to get the fast pass. There are multiple fp+ kiosks per park, as well as the mobile my Disney experience app. You don’t even have to see the ride – there are always centrally located kiosks.

            If you know you are going, you can also make the reservation ahead of time.

      • MSullivan

        I would love to be able to hop in the fast pass line of everything but that is not following the rules and we all have to follow the rules. By the way my 3 year old had a meltdown while waiting in line for 55 minutes to drive a car in tomorrowland but I didn’t get to go to the front. I had to deal with my child.

        • Sandy

          There have been times when my family had to leave the park before we were there for 55 minutes because my Autistic son could not handle being there that day. Hoping in the Fast Pass line of every ride we ride on an average day would be 1 or 2 rides. Would being able to ride 1 or 2 rides be asking too much?

          • whodat

            Want a front of the access pass? Buy a DLR/WDW tour guide for the day. problem solved

          • Mandy

            Use FP+… Problem solved. That’s the nature of the beast. None of us know when that could happen to our kids.

    • NotMeThisTime

      Newsflash for you Geri – we have every right to comment, because people like you, that thought walking straight into a ride with no wait using the GAC, negatively impacted EVERYONE that was waiting in line while you waltzed around like a queen with her prince, riding all day long with no wait.

      No one is making you stand in line – use the DAS, and come back later.

      • Geri Bishop Martin

        News flash for you Not Me… you obviously do not understand what it is like to have an autistic child. It is not simple as you think. And it is the cruel, uncompassionate people like you who think that having an autistic child makes someone ‘prance like a queen’. It’s quite the opposite on a daily basis.

        I hope someday that you or someone you love gets to experience it directly, and you can eat every letter of that phrase and remember me while you do it.

        I believe that I commented above that I was fine with the fast pass line. That is not immediate access. That can still be a considerable wait for an autistic child. When my son has issues with that wait, I will remove him from the line.

        Get a heart.

        • NotMeThisTime

          I find it kind of sad that you see having an autistic child as a curse, something that is to be wished upon with whom you disagree.

          And prance is your word, not mine.

          • Geri Bishop Martin

            Oh, sorry. Waltzed. More letters for you to eat someday.

            I did not refer to my child as a curse. I believe I said experience. He is a wonderful blessing to me. It has allowed me to see the world through a different lens. Instead of looking at someone who acts differently and automatically making assumptions about them, I realize they may be fighting a bigger battle on the inside. It’s taught me compassion and kindess, something that you obviously lack.

          • food for thought

            Geri, since DAS was designed to accommodate special needs while also providing roughly equivalent access, I don’t understand the problem. You are treated equally in that your wait time is about the same as everyone else while your needs are being addressed by allowing you to wait out your time sitting on a bench, grabbing a quick snack or whatever you want to do.

          • NotMeThisTime

            Like so many others, she doesn’t want to have to WAIT to go into the Fast Pass line – she wants to go straight to it, with no wait, just as she was able to do with the GAC.

            Like the people in the lawsuit, it isn’t about equal access, it’s about preferential treatment.

          • Disney Fanatic from OZ

            I believe most people are understanding and compassionate to the need of a parent of a child with special needs. I personally have no issue with a child and his parent going straight on to a ride if it is necessary. What I have an issue with is the family that turns up with 14 family members and expects they should all get the same immediate access. Have 12 of them wait in line with everyone else and then meet their special needs family member at the front of the line when they arrive there.
            It is the 1% of selfish people that cause the problems.

          • MomtoNicholasASD

            With the old gac you could only have a maxium of 6 in your party. On the new das you can have 10 or 12 I don’t remember which.

          • hahaha1

            they can go up to any number. i work at dlr and i have had a das card good for 22 people.

          • or47

            Geri I work with disabled children every day at Disney in entertainment, and you are the epitome of an entitled parent who thinks their child should come before everyone else’s child. For instance, something we typically hear is “you should hurry up with the child you’re meeting with so that ours can go.”

            There is absolutely no reason why your child should go before others; I am completely passionate about children with disabilities (in fact they are my favorite guests, because they usually appreciate the experience more) however, Disney is addressing the basic fact that, if your child is unable to wait in line due to distress, they can come back at a scheduled time.

            This seems like the only people getting upset about this are the ones who are using their children to jump ahead of the queue line. If your only concern was your child’s reaction to waiting in a 40 minute line, you wouldn’t be upset by these changes.

          • Geri Bishop Martin

            or47… you may ‘work’ with disabled children, but you don’t LIVE with one and live with their inability to understand and the resulting heartache. I have gone to Disney for years with my two neurotypical chilren. They had the normal issues with the lines and we worked through it. I didn’t jump ahead of the lines because I felt entitled. It is DIFFERENT for autistic children who do not have the basic cognitive skills to cope with the long lines. Take a child who LOVES Disney there for a day and then come back and comment.

            Then… you can tell me why my disabled child has to be subjected to the cruetly of neurotypical chilren on a daily basis. This is one of his few joys in life and a couple of days to escape. If you are so narrow minded towards disabled children, maybe you should reconsider your passion for working with them. It seems you cannot give them the empathy and compassion they deserve.

          • Jen C.

            You’re getting wildly out of line now Geri. At first you were offering a valid opinion (even if your facts were incorrect) but now you’ve degraded to pure bullying. You have no right to question a CM’s commitment, every one of us works there for a reason, we have a passion for Disney, what it represents, and the guests that visit the parks every day. We also tend to go out of our way to try and make the non-’neurotypical’ guests as welcome as possible. So you can stop right there.

            Another news flash; our Disney parks are ADA compliant. even without the DAS/GAC system they’re ADA compliant. So instead of complaining that the extra that you’re getting isn’t enough, please try to appreciate what it’s helping to accomplish. We aren’t required to provide this particular service, but we will, because we hope that everyone should be able to enjoy their visit. But not at the expense of others.

            Perhaps if you came back with an open mind, and a warmer heart and properly listened to those guest relations cast members you’d learn how to best utilize this improved system. Because maybe you’re just not using it efficiently?

          • whodat

            NEWFLASH, you want front of the line access like the GAC offered? And dont want to use the new DAS, its called a DLR/WDW tour guide, if not shut your mouth and wait or dont go its as simple as that. Disney doesnt have to do EVEN what they are doing. Nothing under ANY LAW states that if your child/adult CANT wait in a line they need to be able to go on quickly. They have accomidated you as much as they need to(you being anyone with a gac/das card) if you dont like it DONT go

          • Jackie Rose

            A parent’s passion for the safety and happiness for their child only could be seen as bullying by those who are heartless.

          • Jackie Rose

            Could you look the children you work with in their eyes, and tell them they could not enjoy the park as other children do because of how they were born? How would you explain to them that they will have to suffer because other people think it’s unfair they go ahead in line? What would you do if one of those children asked, “What did I do wrong?” thinking they were being punished for simply who they were and how they were born?

        • Jackie Rose

          Prance like a queen, never heard that one before.

      • Jackie Rose

        Comment all you want, all of you who have no place in your heart for children with disabilities. Those of us who have a place in our hearts for them, our light will outshine your hate. You will not break the innocents this time.

    • mild observer

      Firstly I heartily agree you can heavy handed slap someone and say you have no right to comment because you don’t have this, the lawsuit will fail they are providing near immediate access so like a preferred fastpass lane, and that is fair and exactly what you get at any other park which from the observer stand point is almost immediate access, it seems more than reasonable

      Second the problem was because Disney had this policy people were paying others to take advantage of the situation which left a bitter taste in my mouth, and what would you suggest I would be eager to see not an angry bring it back (cause they wont) I liked the idea of we will give you these passes if you fill out the paperwork that they fielded then others got it shut down because they didn’t feel they should have too, maybe instead of complaining you should find.solutions

      • Cathy

        Wow, what universe do you live in? The DAS does NOT provide “near immediate access”. Honestly, this whole discussion on here breaks my heart, and I don’t have a child with autism. And as to the poster who mentioned parties of 10 getting ahead of him on a ride, that may be excessive, but for our family of 6, we just want to ride together as a family, just like you do! Do you know that AUTISM is on the rise and 1 in 68 children are affected? Count your blessings if no one in your family has to deal with it.

        • mild observer

          One don’t make baseless assumptions I suffer from a few disabilities myself and have members of my family who do too, thanks
          Two as I stated due to it being completely abused they had to rework iit and it takes trial and error to get it to work, though I feel that there needs to be a system I’m not sure how they can be fair to all the guests while not being discriminatory as I said I’ve seen it in practice in the off seasons most rides it’s go right in for the busy season everyone has to wait and they still get on sooner

          Looking at it from a less emotional standpoint they are being fair as both there competitors are also doing a system similar to what they made you have to be as fair to everyone as possible. I think that they should be able to register prior to travel get special tickets but not be able to go round and round, it’s not fair to everyone if you say oh he’s autistic so he can ride splash mountain 5 times in a row while the waiting time is 200 as an extreme example

          As a personal thing I don’t feel that it’s unfair to offer certain privileges but it is a park with rules and it has to be fair

        • Mandy

          Using your own numbers of 1/68 it’s pretty easy to see how the old GAC was making the system unsustainable.

        • Jackie Rose

          It’s good to know there are neurotypicals that care. However Autism isn’t a disease, it’s a difference.

      • Geri Bishop Martin

        Mild Observer, I agree with many of your comments. We have repeatedly asked Disney to reconsider their position. I have taken my son’s paperwork confirming his autism diagnosis everytime we have gone, and they refuse to look at it. I agree 100% that if you refuse to fill out paperwork that you should not get a pass.

        I believe the reason for the lawsuit is to get Disney to take notice since they flat out refuse to respond. There needs to be a more needs based approach instead of taking something away from disabled children because of abuse they allowed to happen by not asking for documentation of the disability.

        I myself did not participate in the class action lawsuit. I am not a big believer in suing everytime something happens that you don’t like. My biggest hope is that it brings Disney to the table to try to find a better solution before it ever sees the inside of a courtroom.

        Until they reconsider, I will take my money elsewhere and attempt to explain to my son why he can’t go to Disneyland.

        • Erica Marie

          Geri the minute they look at someone’s paperwork there is another lawsuit. It’s a no win situation because some people with extra money wanted to blow it on a tour guide. Not to mention Disney employees did this too. My daughter was in a wheel chair

          • NotMeThisTime

            It wasn’t just abuse, it was the overuse. The GAC was basically unlimited Fast Pass access (or better, via the exits) for anyone that claimed they needed it. That was WAY more than what the ADA requires.

            The best way to combat the overuse, without taking away accommodations for those that need it, is to take away the incentive to abuse and overuse. That’s what the DAS does, and it’s about time.

          • Erica Marie

            I think the DAS is fine for most. However I’ve seen what a sweet-mild mannered child with Autism can do when confused. Some of these children don’t understand the concept of waiting in line, let’s face it we don’t have waiting lines in our home. And I’m willing to be grocery shopping is mom’s break, so they don’t wait in line at the grocery store while mom is on her forty minute vacation. So I can see where the concern is coming from (not talking about the lawsuit).

            There is no right answer here that isn’t going to have someone up in arms. If Disney tried to work with Autistic kids, the people with heart conditions are going to tell, if Disney gives then another set of rules than we’re going to see everyone with back conditions screaming.

            I like how Disney tries to make the lines more interactive. Perhaps they could design some sort of Infinity program for each ride for parents to use to distract children from wait times. They could rent iPad’s to anyone who wanted them or allow parents to use their own while in the park. For that matter they could make a reverse Sorcerer’s of Magic game where the kids have to scan different things in the queue to see the reaction on the iPod or phone.

        • tk

          Is part of the explanation that you just don’t really know how to parent so you can’t take him through the park? I’m sure that will be a lot of fun when you explain that. If my sister can do it, so can you. What a defeatist, negative attitude you have. Please don’t impart that on your child.

          • Geri Bishop Martin

            I’ve replied above and will reply again. I have two neurotypical children that I have successfully parented into high school. They are both being recruited for college scholarships. It all changes with an autistic child. Parent an autistic child for one day… you will have a much different perspective and most likely not accuse parents of not knowing how to parent.

          • Cathyro

            I get it Geri, I have a 25 year old daughter with autism, Fragile X and ADHD. I have been taking Sammi and her similarly involved friends to Disneyland since they were 6, sometimes with help, sometimes not and have used both systems. I honestly believe your expectations of Disneyland are a little bit unrealistic. ASD in and of itself has a myriad of limitations and abilities, and that is just ASD. Other physical, mental and cognitive disabilities abound, Disneyland is attempting to make a fairly even playing field out of a mine field. It simply is never going to make everyone happy. I hope you are able to work something out for you and your child, because of course they are deserving, but blaming disneyland is just unfair, IMO. Best of luck to you Geri!!!

          • Erica Marie

            Who are you speaking to?

        • Jackie Rose

          Exactly! I had a CM SCREAMING “I don’t have to read it! I don’t have to read it!” when my mom tried to give her a note. Disney should be able to find CMs who can behave better than 2 year olds.

      • Erica Marie

        I agree, but if Disney did any type of medical inquiry the ADA would have them for that. Here’s the thing, for those of us who have legitimate reasons to request the DAS we usually don’t mind providing proof of a need. I think it’s mostly the people who can’t prove it that would be angry about providing paperwork.

        Please don’t assume that because someone looks healthy that they are trying to screw over the system; I can promise you not every person who has an issue looks ill. And please don’t wish ill on people who may say something you find ignorant, until they have shared your life they have no clue.

        • mild observer

          I didn’t say that, actually if you subscribe to the or other Disney blog or even the article, that tour guides who were handicapped was asking to be paid to bypass the lineup altogether that makes me kinda sad and this was put in place to stop that as much as possible and let me be clear I don’t wish ill on others certainly no one here but I do feel that you can’t make sweeping assumptions about a person

          • Erica Marie

            I’m sorry I was commenting on several posts, I hit reply instead of comment. Sorry!!!

    • Mandy

      OR someone might think ‘this is. It the place for,this child.’ That happens too. I can’t take my autistic child to the beach, which I had vacationed at every year previously, because she can’t handle it. Some of her characteristics limit where she can go and what she can do. That’s just the way it goes. I don’t expect every location to be able to mold to my child. That’s not feasible.

      • Mandy

        Not the place*

    • J

      It should be the disabled person and one other that is allowed on the DAS card, the rest should have to stay in line and wait…… Your family is not disabled . I for one will continue pushing for this to take effect in all parks. To others write or call and ask for this. Thanks

      • Sandy

        What happens when there is one parent or adult with multiple kids?

    • TheRustyScupper

      Golly. Gee. Geri.
      First you complain about waiting in line.
      Then, you complain about having a hubby who works 60-70 hrs per week.
      Then, you complain about taking your kids to WDW alone.
      How about sun, rain, moon, heat, cold?
      DAS is here to stay, with maybe some minor changes as time goes along.
      You are entitled to ride and attraction ACCESS, not EXCESS.

    • Nope

      Let us remind you that you are on PRIVATE property and that Disney does not have to offer anything at all like a das. It is a courteous tool to assist with day planning for all
      Guests. Also FYI the gac system NEVER allowed immediate access. In fact when you signed the bottom of that document it reminded you that this would NOT offer immediate access on anything. The countless efforts Disney has made to make people happy is unreal in my opinion. They have had to hire new teams train new systems and implement this in a giant theme park because they care! We get it your favorite your favorite toy and you’re mad. Plan your vacation at slower times and possibly consider the families like mine who use their life savings to spend all day waiting in lines and utilizing the fp

  • Caroline Thompson

    People kept renting wheel chairs so they could bypass the long lines. It was out of control. They are not being insensitive. But there must be a viable solution that does not cheat the disabled from this privilege. I hope they find it.

    • Geri Bishop Martin

      I completely agree with your comments. I swear people who know anyone with a wheelchair would bring them along for the day. Disney is taking the path of least resistance by just cutting it off. We have offered to show documentation of an autism (or other disability) diangosis. But they have trained their staff to not look at that. There is a better way to do this. However Disney refuses to acknowlegde or attempt to figure that out.

      • Cathy

        Sadly, they won’t accept proof of disability, but it’s Ok to grill guests and ask them why they need the DAS, in front of the child who needs it? So insensitive. :( You have to show proof to get a Disabled Placard at DMV. I’m pretty sure there is NO law that prohibits Disney from asking for proof. Almost every parent I know would gladly bring along a Dr’s note to get reasonable accommodations.

        • My3ps

          Wrong. The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits Disney from asking for any proof.

          • Jackie Rose

            Yet they have no problem demanding proof of an adult with Asperger’s Syndrome, expecting them to put on a display of violence or anger to prove they have meltdowns and need an accommodation.

        • Karla Letulle Brown

          Universal fully reads my sons Dr.’s letter and so does 6 Flags… Why is that ok? Drives me crazy that Disney will not even look at it! Just saying…

  • wheelcap

    The options are to wait in the standby line or to get a fastpass+ appointment time and come back. To give a certain group of people any exception to that is a type of reverse discrimination to everyone outside that group. The new system works well! I rode behind an autistic child a couple days ago (WDW), and I was quite pleased that he and his mom thoroughly enjoyed the ride … AND the system that got them on that ride!

    • Cathy

      Here’s the thing-there are MANY levels to Autism. I have a friend with Asperger’s, a high functioning type of Autism, he’s a DJ on the radio. I also have friends with kids who are much more severe. Sounds to me like you were fortunate to be around a child with mild Autism.

      • Nadia

        That also is why there is so much abuse. I have seen a lot of families push to get their children diagnosed with autism so they can get money from the government. (And it is relatively easy to get a diagnosis, as the spectrum is so wide.) Why not take that a step further and “use” it whenever/wherever they can? I would love to say these people are the minority, but where I live, the word autism is thrown around and used for all sorts of things other than the kids.

  • Anna Forster Wolk

    Look. Would you rather have to deal with my son (who has autism) having a massive meltdown, screaming, pinching, biting, etc for the hour long wait in line, or would you prefer that he be allowed to go ahead of you and not ruin your day? Trust me, the GAC is as much for the ‘neuro-typical” guests benefit as it is for ours.

    • NotMeThisTime

      Or, you could use the DAS, and not wait in the hour long line.

      • Mary

        Duh!

    • goofgal31

      No a better solution would be for you to not take your son into a situation that will make him that miserable.

    • Ellen

      With DAS you can come back and ride at your designated time. This is unlimited and in addition to your alotted fastpass+ time.

      I have five of my own and would prefer you have equal access (currently DAS offers you excess access) as im paying the exact same amount you are and my children are young and have meltdowns as well.

    • Nadia

      Did you even read about the new system?

  • Alice N Bradshaw

    no one should be given special treatment everyone should wait their turn!

    • NotMeThisTime

      Agree 100%

    • T1Mama

      They do NOT get all the FP’s they want, they get three a day. I have a child with Type 1 Diabetes. We have been to Disney and utilized the GAC during one trip. It was 102 degrees. Heat makes her blood sugar drop uncontrollably and causes seizures. We did not use it on any other trips because it was cooler out and not a threat to her health. Not everyone uses the passes when needed. Oh, and I have never had a dime of state money or any money I did not earn myself.

      • JB

        I am a diabetic. I travel to WDW regularly. You are the person in control of taking her out in 102 degree heat that you know causes seizures, just as I am the person in control of taking care of my illness. diabetis and heat are not a reason for a GAC card. Perhaps you should not plan a vacation when it will be 102 degrees out.

        • don l

          you are rude telling someone when they should plan a vacation

          • Mandy

            How is that rude? It’s a logical thing to think about if you have issues and want to try and make yourself as comfortable as possible. I think you’re rude if you expect everyone to help you but don’t help yourself.

  • Audrey

    We all have issues. Whether it’s autism, ADD, ADHD, depression, anxiety, handicap, medical problems, etc. But that doesn’t mean it’s fair to just walk on rides. The system was abused, and people and Disney were tired of it! Stop the whining. Don’t like it, go to Six Flags!

  • Randy R.

    What child doesn’t have a melt down at Disney? I’m sorry but I see it in every line… Including my own. I see parents disciplining, etc constantly.

    • goofgal31

      I have seen a heck of a lot of adults have melt downs also.

    • Insboy

      I gotta tell you Randy – given that I also have a typical kid and so am totally on board with typical kid behavior – it’s just different having a kid who is ASD or otherwise out-of-sync. Real different.

    • Mimi Webb

      its all fun & games until that “child” is an “adult child” on spectrum meltding down & you cant just complain loudly to those around you that they need more discipline…

      • Jackie Rose

        Especially since people think only children can have forms of Autism.

    • Erica Marie

      Randy it can be horrifically different, and until you experience it you just have no idea.

  • MissOldDisney

    My brother has autism and the old system really helped when in the park. With his disability, it made waiting in a line of people impossible. I remember one time someone at guest services questioned us on the authenticity of his disability, such a shame and illegal.

    • food for thought

      Unfortunately that is a problem with the ADA. When it is illegal to ask about a disability, it opens up the possibility of some people claiming disability to scam the system. That’s what was happening regularly. The new system is more fair in that the disabled and non-disabled have roughly equivalent wait times.

    • Jackie Rose

      People who do that must be blessed with never knowing the suffering of being bullied by their peers.

      • Amanda

        Because bullying is exclusive to the disabled? Alright.

  • Insboy

    I never had the GAC experience, but was at Disney World in February and used the DAS to shorten waits and have target return times for my teen-aged daughter (high-functioning PDD but prone to melt-downs as well presenting with major league neuro processing issues such that she can freak out in crowds). I have to say the DAS worked well, and that was during Presidents’ Week when it was crowded. The published criticism of the DAS dates back to its roll-out last fall, and needs to be updated. CM’s now have multiple months’ experience working with DAS and didn’t flinch when we used it.

  • goofgal31

    As the daughter of a disabled parent, I have seen over 40 years of traveling and arguing to have access. We have always been very impressed with how Disney made accommodations. Now as a parent with a child with autism I have to look at accommodations in a whole new way. I personally do not have an issue with the DAS. I simply know what my daughter can handle. If there is a ride that she absolutely loves and wants to do we find out what the wait time is. If it is going to be to long and potentially cause a melt down we find other things to do until there is a more reasonable time for her. It is not Disney’s job to make sure my daughter has a problem free day, that is my job as her parent. Disney is providing us a service that offers an opportunity for entertainment. They cannot guarantee anyone, disabled or not, will have a problem free day. I feel as a parent of a child with autism I am not doing my job if I purposely take her into a situation that is going to make her miserable. My child has a medical issue. This does not give me the right to demand quicker service, or priority of any kind. I want equal rights for my child not special privileges!

    • Kerry

      You took the words out of my mouth! Thank you for your thoughtful insight.

    • Myownworld

      This is exactly what I was thinking. I have two autistic boys, and I feel the same way. Although I am sad to see the previous accommodations go, as they were very convenient for us on hot days where meltdowns were much likelier to happen, the abuse of those privileges was too much. There is no simple answer that will satisfy everyone. At least we will all have matching tan lines from the magic bands ;)

      • Sally

        What child (disabled or not) does not break down walking long distances, standing in long lines, and enduring heat all day. It has nothing to do with having a disability, all children behave the same way at theme parks, period. Their mannerisms and behavior are based on discipline and routine from their parents.

        • Jennifer Ann Hayden

          I have two children with Autism. If you truly believe this, I encourage you to spend an hour in the parks with my children. Having Autism is NOT the same as bad parenting, which you are implying.

        • Disney crew

          Obviously Sally you do not have a special needs child or work with one. I infact do both. These children on a daily basis deal with things that you and I can not even comprehend. It makes me sick to think that people abused the old system but I feel that the old system was the one and only time when my child and other children with true spectrum disorders had some small advantage over the typical child. I will never be able to see my child enjoy sports, friends, his own family because social interaction and well society treat him as if he is contagious or beneath them. We have traveled to Disney over 7 times with the old system and it was an absolute joy to see my child smile, however this past year and with this new system I did not see the same smile or enjoyment. Instead this year I seen anxiety, stress, and total lack of enjoyment. As a parent we love to see our children smile and have fun, with typical children there are endless opportunity for this to happen. However with a special needs child it is very rare because the things we take for granted or have learned is part of life cause them pain and discomfort. So excuse us if you feel that this one thing is too one sided in the favor of the special needs child, but you and everyone else that are typical have pretty much everything else. I would like to also point out that it took a typical person to implement this whole guided plan because a special needs child would not be able to be so manipulative. In my 30 years as medical professional it never ceases to amaze me how cruel typical people can be, I would happily live in a world full of special needs children because they have truly learned unconditional love.

        • Christina Halseth Salute

          It is so sad to know that you feel this way sally the other way was much better!!

          • Mandy

            Doesn’t matter if it was better in your opinion. It wasn’t better overall for all guests. Obviously, I’d choose not to wait in line if I has the option too!

          • Only4mykids

            Again sadly another individual with an opinion before education, if you had a child with disabilities you wouldn’t be so quick to offer this comment! Intolerable, uneducated people are who make life difficult for people with disabilities!

          • Mandy

            I do have a child with ASD. Sadly, disabled people expecting extra because life is rough is not my cup of tea. We teach my daughter how to function in the world, not that the world revolves around her. Lawsuits like this give autism a bad name and only reinforce the stigma of entitlement.

    • Beth

      As a parent of son with autism, I did the same when he was young. We are DVC members because we frequent Disney because it was the best place to accommodate him. We simply traveled in off season to avoid the heat and long lines. There is a difference between being accommodated and being catered to. You can’t want to be treated equally, and want special treatment at the same time.

    • Laura

      First of all, you are an amazing and totally understanding individual!! I work in the resort and so knowing there is someone who understands and is completely awesome makes my day!!!!

    • Sally

      This is the true question, how do disabled families deal with other lines and heavy crowds before arriving and once at theme parks? There are lines and heavy crowds checking into the hotel lobby, airports, buses, monorails, gift shops, arcades, pools, food/drink stands, shows, table/quick service restaurants, parades, and bathrooms. Its strange I only hear complaints about wanting “near immediate access” for rides. This is a fact, fast passes are a privilege not a right for “every” guest. The new Fast Pass Plus system gives “equal” access to attractions for everyone. The new DAS system is not requiring disabled guests to stand in “ride” lines( provides return times based on attraction wait times) and access to Fast Pass Plus. The problem is…

      • Jennifer Ann Hayden

        The problem is we have to go to the ride, see it and then come back. I’m okay with scheduling times. My children are not capable of understanding that they can’t even get in line yet for a ride and need to come back. We do wait when they can handle the wait (20 to 30 minutes for my kids).

        • ANON

          the children or the person whom the DAS card is issued is not required to be present at the time of acquiring a return time, the person whom the DAS card is issued just has to be there to redeem the time

          • craig

            Thats great if you’re a family of four but how about when it’s just me and my child. Where exactly do you recommend I leave my child while I go get him a return time.

          • Mandy

            It’s just something you’ll have to plan for I guess, just like every other aspect of life. You’ll have 3 FP+ selections where you don’t need a return time at all, and GR should be able to give you your first one. If there is absolutely no way to go to a ride and get a return time then I suppose you’d have to decide whether those 4 things are worth it, or if you could possibly wait in a shorter standby line. I personally hope they add kiosks to Disney World and allow return times at the ride itself for Disneyland to accommodate both issues.

          • craig

            Kiosks would resolve this issue, and hopefully they consider it. The way the system presently works and being unable to get a return time without my child having a breakdown causes more stress and trauma to the point where when my annual passes expire in May I won’t be renewing them for the first time in about 6 years.

          • Mandy

            Understandable. It seems the people,who deal with kiosks would rather go to the ride, while people who go to,the ride would prefer kiosks. Doing both would allow people to choose.

      • Mimi Webb

        our resort checkin doesn’t involve any heavy crowding or standing in lines-the kids stay in the car in their own space. we choose the fastest moving bagcheck line or make sure we don’t have any bags TO check & get in quite easily with little or no crowd issues-strollers provide personal space in the short term. we seat our children before ordering our food & one adult stays with them while the other handles the ordering/food acquisition. we don’t do parades the same way others do-we watch from a distance-we catch the late electrical parade in a specific place in a specific way that allows the kids to see everything but stay out of the crowds-we’ve never been able to see the fireworks at mk to date, but illuminations was easy to catch out of a crowd for some reason-we’ve also never done fantasmic because there just isn’t any way to safely do so. the monorail is easy because we usually get our own space & form a personal space bubble/family bubble for our son who requires his own personal space. if others choose to try & crowd him unnecessarily, they are warned as nicely as possible & asked to please respect his personal space & of the potential behaviors breeching it could cause. most have no problem with this & are understanding. we go over & beyond the usual planning & bring equipment with us to help our son be able to tolerate the parks to the best of his coping abilities. unfortunately, the same tactics do not work in crowded queue lines where wall to wall people is the standard norm within a 36-40 inch space (generality is 36 inches is standard accessibility for construction of accessible by wheelchair) & we cannot control the herd mentality & their being prone to literally following cm command of filling in every available space at the expense of those who simply cannot process & react as “fast” as the herd does. Therein lies the problem- the herd mentality of sheep who crowd & mow over people who aren’t moving fast enough for them tend to trigger sensory coping mechanisms & behaviors-no amount of family circle creating personal space bubbles safely for someone on spectrum can combat the herd-we’ve tried it repeatedly & someone almost always ends up unhappy (outside of the family) not to mention did you realize that a meltdown = injury under florida law which is what ultimately happens after coping mechs are exhausted by a person- that’s of course unless you’ve managed to trigger fight/flight reflex & you haven’t been punched hit kicked or bitten for breaching someone’s personal space with unexpected touch…we’ve asked for accommodation to keep our loved ones safe & you safe as well…problem is, you feel accommodations for the disabled are unfair so you will most likely find yourself standing in close proximity to those with invisible disabilities…try to be aware, try acceptance, tolerance even…we’ve practiced, planned & anticipated heading off every known possible trigger but ultimately cannot anticipate everything as we don’t know those around us enough to be able to anticipate their every move & every action…we’ve covered our end of the bargain, have you?

        • BenThere

          To see the fireworks at MK with no crowds, gotothebeach at thePolynesian Resort. ACcess isfree and you can se AND HEAR everything.

        • Mandy

          Then it sounds like Disney’s accommodations are right up your ally since they allow you to wait your turn outside of the line. It takes away your issue of the line. You can now do the same things you do any other time in the park and the only line you have to wait in is the same line as before, the FP line. What’s the problem with that?

        • Jackie Rose

          The thing I like to tell people intolerant of people with special needs, is that those people are all around them. They may have even spoken to someone with an invisible disability that day. They tend to change their tune when they realize they may be held accountable to someone who can challenge them.

          • Amanda

            I bet you really make them see the error of their ways. Frightened of a CM, but puts strangers in their place. Got it.

    • Hank Machuga

      Well said my friend. A VERY reasonable set of comments.

  • Ellen

    Unbelievable. Near immediate access? We all pay the same price, all are dealt difficulties in life and all work terribly hard to get to Disney. DAS provides more than ewual access to all. Saying an individual with a cognitive disability should be allowed onto a ride without waiting just like everyone else is utter nonsense. Maybe all famalies with children under 5 should also be given preferential treatment? How about those who have saved for years for a once in a lifetime trip? Maybe they should sue for extra fp+ since they won’t be returning.

    Having a loved one with a disability is difficult but don’t assume that gives you a free pass to tell anyone they should sacrifice their own experience and “be grateful their kids are fine”. Self entitlement befits no one.

    • Mimi Webb

      will you feel the same when forced to stand in line next to someone who needed accommodation, was denied it & now is exhibiting behavior that you find intolerable? will you request security be called? will you ask that they be removed from the queue?? what happens should you bump that person & meltdown triggered or a reflex reaction results in injury to both the disabled AND you? will you be crying foul then? seriously rethink & reread the lawsuit phrasing & the accounts to see what all can happen.

      • NotMeThisTime

        I’ll ask you again, Mimi – the needed accommodation is the DAS, which allows you to wait outside of the line. So why would you be in the line, putting your own child in a position that you yourself say will cause a meltdown?

        • Mimi Webb

          I can request the das, if I am denied it, then you would have to cope with us coping ;-) we have every right to be in that line, too. the difference is, we would have requested the needed accommodation & been given what is available. we go out of our way to show up equipped with the things needed to ensure max. comfort for our loved ones with disabilities. what we CANNOT control or anticipate, is every outside stimuli. with the fast pass lines being at times as long as standbye, there is every chance you will end up next to someone in line who was either denied accommodation or that IS the accommodation allocated per your stance on the issue even. we all end up in line at some point. the idea is accommodation to make it more accessible for all…autism comes in all shapes & sizes as does sensory & cognitive deficits…its not just children, but it is easier for those who do not understand to just assume children are it.

          • J

            It should be the disabled person and one other that is allowed on the DAS card, the rest should have to stay in line and wait…… Your family is not disabled . I for one will continue pushing for this to take effect in all parks. To others write or call and ask for this. Thanks

          • http://www.thelittlemama.com/ Caitlin

            I completely disagree with your stance on this. I for one, will fight you or anyone else tooth and nail to keep that from happening. Now, before everyone jumps down my throat – my husband is partially blind, and needs me to lead him, especially through some of the darker ride queue areas. Am I just supposed to leave my two little kids to wait in line by themselves while I walk him, or do we just skip rides so that my whole family doesn’t get special treatment?!

            Before you make harsh accusations that every family is taking advantage by bringing everyone with them, think about what their situation may actually be.

          • marylynn

            when I first started going to WDW in 1978, my grandma was in a wheelchair, harder to move around then, on the rides she was able to access, they asked if she was able to walk on or if she needed to stay in the chair, either way, one family stayed with her and the others went to the back of the line and when we got up to her, then we went on as a family. we felt nothing bad about it, it was something we just did, we didn’t feel Disney owed special treatment- I now have a nephew with autism and he does get over stimulated with some things, do I know when, no, for I know it could happen during the ride, or upon leaving the ride, sometimes even when he needs to use the restroom.. but aside of that -we also try to go at a slower time- but here’s the real kicker, the abuse of the system- way too many have spoiled it..and I believe the ADA knows it too..i have seen tons of people with a whole herd of family, one wheelchair, and they all have immediate acess- and they one on the wheelchair gets up, walks and moves good to me, (i suppose they could be very physically ill some where) but..really?

          • murt

            I have seen the same thing. We saw one family multiple times during our trip and while just walking around the parks, they would basically play with the wheelchair then when approaching a ride, the grandmother would get in it.

          • Holly

            It really bothers me that you think every one that rents a scooter or wheelchair is abusing the system. I myself have to rent a scooter as I have a back injury that causes pain after walking or standing for ten min. I am sure there may be some that abuse it but I go in line with everyone else and I still get rude comments and looks but that’s the way of the world as you have proved yourself

          • Jessie

            So My family of 7, 2 of which are on the autism spectrum, will have to split up on every single ride and not experience any attraction as a family? That will never happen because Walt wanted to create a place where a family can spend time TOGETHER. Don’t make those with disabilities have to be segregated from the rest of their families. How heartless.

          • Jackie Rose

            I’ve never met someone before with such a passion to see that innocent disabled children suffer.

          • Amanda

            Yes. A Disney vacation = suffering. If that’s the case, why would parents put them through that?

            I’ve never met anyone with such entitlement, but then again, I do run with a reasonable crowd.

          • tk

            I know this for a fact, because I’ve been involved with explaining this: Disney will always err on the side of giving the pass if someone in the party has a sensory or cognitive disorder that can put the safety of the individual themselves or the Guests around them (including their own party) at some sort of risk of harm. They will also look at beneficial options to increase the amount of assistance on a case by case basis. I know this both on a professional and personal level. My sister has a young son who has Asperger’s Syndrome. She tried to make it without any assistance, but he quickly went into meltdown mode and I urged her to get the pass. We went into Guest Relations, and they were incredibly helpful and explained that if this wasn’t enough for his needs, to come back and they can indeed reassess. She was happy with what they had and it really helped everything. That’s not the case for all sensory/cognitive cases though, and they really do try hard to make sure that they can comfort as much as possible without offering overaccomodation.

          • Jackie Rose

            So then essentially their message is you can’t get help unless you act out or threaten others first. Great message to send to people with mental disabilities, that you need to punch someone to get the help they need.

          • Amanda

            Hardly. But I can see why you’d leap to that conclusion to suit your cause. Also a great message – you don’t have to follow the rules because your special. Wouldn’t it be better to teach these kids life skills? They may never fully get it, but they can improve.

      • Jackie Rose

        I couldn’t agree with your sentiments more.

    • mild observer

      Omg so true,

      • Karla Letulle Brown

        What takes a family with “normal” kids to do in 5 days takes our family 2 weeks to do with our autistic son. We go for about 4 hours a day til he just cannot take it anymore. People who are commenting on this board that are against the DAS obviously do not have a child with special needs! I guarantee they could never walk a mile in our shoes much less a day at Disney!

        • Keith

          You’re making a lot of intolerant and insensitive assumptions in this post about those who are commenting. Just because someone disagrees with you does not mean they do not have a family member with a disability. Many people posting here deal with many similar issues to yours but may handle or view things in an entirely different way. I think a deep breath and a step back to consider others (and their families and opinions) is in order.

    • Joseph Robba

      I’ve never understood why someone with disabilities should not have to wait in line like everyone else. Obviously, being disabled is unfortunate and no one would ever wish that on someone, but exactly to your point, there’s no good way for Disney to handle this, because it shows preferential treatment of guests. My advice, use the magic bands and set up fastpasses so you don’t have to wait in line for those rides, and visit at a time of year that’s less busy. That’s what I do anyway.

      • Ashley

        That’s insanely heartless of you. There are many people who can’t handle the wait, like for instance a child with autism, or someone with heart conditions where they can’t stand in line with the chance of getting a seizure. It’s not unfair, the point of the pass is to give those who cannot stand in line the chance to get a time to come back, as if they stood in line. The pass is now equal, it does not require immediate access

        • Joseph Robba

          How is it heartless? I’m simply saying from Disney’s standpoint, they had to eliminate people mis-using the GAC passes, and any other measure they’d take would make them appear that they are showing certain guests preferential treatment. All kids have a hard time waiting in line…the fact is no one likes it. But you can’t pin this problem on Disney the way this lawsuit is. They offered a solution, which people abused, and they had to take it away. There is no good solution to this problem, and they offer plenty of opportunities for people to obtain fast passes, there’s no other way to do it. Plenty of families spend tons of money to go to disney world, and are not shown any preferential treatment. Such is life.

        • Joseph Robba

          My biggest issue with this is the use of the word “discrimination”. Disney offers the DAS card, and in no way shape or form are they discriminating against people with disabilities. Obviously I can’t speak as a person who deals with a disabled family member, but they’ve offered a solution, and it’s just not the solution you want, so you sue them…That’s what’s ridiculous about this situation.

        • Ryan

          Ummm if you have seizures. You shouldn’t be riding most of the attractions at any theme park. And Disney makes all the magic they can depending on the severity of the impairment. No autistic child will ever wait more than 5 minutes to board a ride. Do some research 1st before you spout nonsense. I have worked at the DLR for 2 years.

          • Escape2Disney

            I get what you’re saying, but your facts are a bit skewed. I have a daughter who had seizure issues and is autistic, and she CAN ride many things in the parks. Not everyone with seizures have the same triggers. Not every autistic person has the same line tolerance.
            We actually used the parks to help her learn how to deal with social anxiety and crowds. In her specific set of circumstances, we were able to help her build a tolerance without the use of the GAC. Other people with a lower functional capacity might have a different experience. The spectrum is large and the needs vary greatly.
            Ironically, I’m now the one who is physically disabled with both visible and invisible diseases. Looking at the new system through my experience and the past needs of my child, I can honestly say they are doing a good job (most of the time). Once it’s been around a while, I’m sure the kinks will be ironed out.

          • Midaroco

            Ummm it actually depends on what type of seizures you have. Not all of us who have seizures are affected by the same stimuli. So perhaps YOU ought to do your research prior to commenting on something you clearly know nothing about.

          • stephen

            I have also worked at the resort for 4 years now and I must say disney totally accommodates everyone without discriminating

          • Jackie Rose

            Just for the record, I’ve read people with photosensitive epilepsy can ride rides with flashing lights if they either keep one eye shut which disturbs the signals overloading their brain, or by wearing sunglasses.

        • Susan Dean

          And this is exactly what the DAS does. We have used it for 3 trips…If you go to get a DAS and politely explain why you need the pass it will be issued. My autistic daughter gets a DAS pass. Being nice instead of demanding and rude helps also. However, they refuse to give a DAS to my daughter with down syndrome and who is in a wheelchair.

          • EmKay

            Most of the attraction in the resort are wheelchair accessible. If not, CMs will show you where to go.

          • Susan Dean

            Oh yes Emkay…they are. But my little girl is disabled nonetheless. It is ok. If the cast members see her they will usually just give her a sticky note card with a time to come back in 10 minutes or so if I ask them,but not always. I don’t expect any favors just because she is disabled. When we went in November right after the change, it was tough. But it is nice now. The best thing is that the number of scooters has decreased dramatically and the fraud and misuse are not as apparent as they were. I assume the scooters were rented for front of the line access by people to get the GAC card.

          • Holly

            Scooters are rented because people have issues with walking such great distances that cause pain from injuries not to abuse the line ups. The scooters go in the same lines as everyone else at most attractions but we get to sit and not stand while we wait so that we can enjoy the park as well who cares about the lineups that is part of the attraction so next time you see someone in a scooter that does not look disabled keep your rude comments to yourself I am here for the same reason to enjoy the park not cut in front of the line.

          • Susan Dean

            Sorry you took offense…but there are fewer scooters and before there were always five or six scooters in the handicapped line. Now, I may need a scooter soon myself, but I was just making a statement about what I observed. I was not being rude, so please don’t say I was. My daughter gets stares all the time but I don’t take offence. We have been to DW 4 times since the new policy and there are fewer scooters.

          • Jackie Rose

            My mom tried politely explaining with a note, instead the CM was loud and rude insisting she did not have to read the note. Then she practically bullied me trying to get me to explain what my disability was when I already was upset and frightened.

          • Amanda

            Frightened? Such hyperbole. You can’t get accommodations if you can’t explain why you need them. They aren’t mind readers. You seem pretty dramatic… Are you a plaintiff? You’d fit right in.

        • Lynn C.

          If they have a heart condition, they shouldn’t ride anyway. That’s posted on the safety guidelines for all attractions.

          • Jessie

            That is not the truth. I have and currently do work at attractions at Disney World where you can certainly partake or ride even with a heart condition. Please don’t generalize. Each attraction is different as is each person who rides.

    • Sandy

      On a very good day my family would be able to stay in one of the Disney Parks for 1 1/2 – 2 hours before we had to leave because my Autistic son could not be there anymore. There have been times when we had to leave before my family got to ride one ride. It sounds like you think everyone with a GAC card is in the parks all day. For many families that is not true.

      • Mandy

        Then it’s up to you to decide if the price is worth what you get from it, not Disney being obligated to get you in as many things as possible in that time.

    • Disney crew

      Another comment from a very uneducated person. These children are in constant struggles with every aspect of life from things as simple as saying hello or I love you to their own parents.( this in no way is implying that all special needs children suffer from these problems, it is wide spectrum) so if allowing them this small little thing is so upsetting and hurtful to you, then I feel sorry for you and others like you. It truly shows the character of a person who would not allow a person with so many things staked against them to move ahead of them in this ONE aspect of life which I would like to point out is or was their only advantage they had with having these disabilities then shame on you! 30 years of treating disabilities or people that society says are cognitively disabled has taught me that the typical person has a lot to learn from them in the way you should treat others. These children have unconditional love for everyone and most of the world treats them as if they are beneath them!!! Shame on all of you that wouldn’t give up a little of your time so these children can have a moment of enjoyment. The world is so much about self enjoyment, and looking out for ones self that it makes me sad to say I’m a human.

      • Pat

        It’s no ones job but the parents to make something magical or happy for their child. It’s so ridiculous to tell people who spend thousands of dollars that they should give something up just because. It’s a freaking vacation. Every single person that walks into Disney and pays the money to be there deserves the same treatment. ‘Sacrifice and like it’ is getting old. Nothing about anyone outside of the park matters to a business, and it shouldn’t.

        I can see where having a disabled person wait their turn is heartless though. Unbelievable.

  • Jan

    Most folks are ignorant when it comes to autism, so I will forgive most of you for your comments. Autistic people can’t wait inline like everyone else because there are things that can set them off. Whether it’s a smell, noises or people being to close. They also don’t understand things like we do. One adult with autism mentioned it’s like constant static in your mind. Is it hard to give these folks a few days where they can enjoy themselves and be happy. Because most of the time they have to deal with ignorant people like you that treat them like they are lepers. The current system is technically making them ‘wait’ for the ride longer than others. You get a return time that is 10 minutes less than the standby line. When you come back you stand in the FP line which is longer these days than ever before. It is noted almost daily that the FP lines are a good 30 minute wait. So now we are waiting 20 minutes longer than you and the autistic person is now completely stressed out. So for you folks who are making negative comments, don’t say it’s fair until you have lived in my shoes or my child’s shoes. It’s quite exhausting protecting him from People like you.

    • Ellen

      Most folks aren’t ignorant, thy want to enjoy their vacation as well and shouldn’t be subjected to the “sacrifice and feel good about it” mentality. It’s sad you can’t seem to see beyond your bubble.we all have hardships.Ellen

      • NotMeThisTime

        Wish there was a “LOVE” button for this post.

      • Truth

        You’re an idiot.

        • NotMeThisTime

          She’s an idiot for telling the truth? People that don’t have disabled children are supposed to happily wait much longer for rides so that the disabled can get on with no wait at all?

          You want me to care about what kind of experience your family has, while you’re giving the finger to my family when it comes to our experience?

          • Insboy

            NotMe: Most of us with special needs kids are not “giving the finger” to your family – our compassion (learned from dealing with these kids) would not allow us to do that. But yes, we are asking you to “care”, if only a little – not necessarily “happily” as you put it – but, yes we are looking for a little caring and understanding as we deal with our burden. That’s it; not much more – just some basic human caring and understanding.

          • goofgal31

            how sad that you look at your child as a burden.

          • Insboy

            goofgal, what is sad is that you seem to have expended effort to semantically deconstruct my comments. It was not me who labeled my child, herself, as the burden. It is you – like so many others in society – who has directly applied that label to her. Our family, on the other hand, does in fact possess a shared burden, her disabilities, which we lovingly face together. So to repeat my earlier comment – we seek but a little human caring and understanding as we deal with our burden. And not long distance, web-enabled, penny-ante word-parsing psychoanalysis.

          • Jan

            Not at all, I would never do that because the one thing I love most is seeing kids faces light up with joy when they are at Disney. Most children don’t have to struggle daily, shoot even most adults don’t have to deal with what most disabled children have to deal. So yes we are asking for a gesture of some compassion for our child.

          • NotMeThisTime

            Your struggles outside of the park should have no bearing on how you’re treated inside the park. No one owes you anything because you have a tough life.

          • Jan

            As I responded to your other comment below. We are currently not being treated equal since we in essence having to wait longer times. In terms – you think no one should be treated differently for any reason. Children with cancer should not get free trips to disney, children that are star players shouldn’t get preferential treatment, no one should get paid more because they work harder. It’s all the same…

          • NotMeThisTime

            No Jan, I have no problem at all with the Make A Wish kids getting whatever they want, including front of the line.

            If DAS users are consistently waiting longer than everyone in standby, then Disney should take off more than 10 minutes. But that’s it. You should still have to wait, even if it is outside of the line. There is no reason whatsoever why everyone else in the park, including families with toddlers that don’t understand the concept of waiting, should have to wait much longer just so that you don’t have to wait at all.

          • smart girl

            30 minutes is way too much of an exaggeration. CM’s keep checks every 5 minutes on how long the wait is. If something happens it may take a few extra couple of minutes. If the ride breaks down, they also accommodate that as well, they are not magicians that can make the ride never have technical difficulties. If the line goes a little longer, it might actually get up to 20 minutes, if this happens, guess what everyone will be set back as well, not just you. The regular line will not move unless the fp has been fixed. And once again they will accommodate you, all you have to do is be kind and friendly and they will assist you.

      • Jan

        You live in your bubble we live in ours. Especially when your child isn’t treated horribly or feel like you are a disgrace to the human race. I understand everyone has hardships, most go away for everyone. But ours will never go away or be outgrown. I have no problem waiting in a quiet place and then getting onto the ride. It’s the extra wait in the FP that makes us wait longer than you now.

        • NotMeThisTime

          You don’t even know if that’s true. If the standby line takes longer than the posted time, you’re most likely waiting less time. On top of that, you can ride other attractions with short wait times while you wait for your DAS return time.

          How many people that are actually standing in line get to ride another attraction while waiting?

          And BTW, your hardships outside of Disney should have no bearing on your experience inside of Disney.

          • Jan

            Actually I do know its true because it happened every time when we used it.
            And we didn’t ride other rides while waiting because of concerns of my son being overstimulated by being in lines too long. Which is why we find less crowded areas to wait until our time. Having to explain this means most folks don’t truly understand autistic people.

          • Jan

            I forgot to mention I know this because my in laws would get into line when we asked for a return time and they were always waiting for for at least 15 minutes after they got off the ride more than not it was longer than that.

      • Mimi Webb

        nah, but supporting this system WILL subject you to behaviors you will find less than savory & less than tolerable. will you be perfectly fine if you get to stand there for an hour while watching someone pluck out their eyebrows or lashes one by one? or watch someone scratch themselves until they bleed because you are standing soo close to them in their personal space? what about should you accidentally bump them & set off a reflex reaction that involves you getting hit kicked or bitten? glad your hardships embrace such acceptance…best not be crying foul when the time/day comes & your first thought is to ask for security to be called or a family removed from your presence

        • NotMeThisTime

          Mimi, why would you have your child in line for an hour, when the DAS specifically allows you to wait outside the line?

          And if you choose not to use the DAS, and your kid bites me or my kid, yes, I’ll be calling for security. If you choose not to use the offered accommodation in order to avoid the undesired behavior, then you’d damned well better have control of your child.

        • food for thought

          It is unfortunate that your child has a disability but reasonable accommodation does not mean special treatment or the accommodation of your choosing. If the current process doesn’t work for you, perhaps you should consider making other vacation plans. If you can’t control your child’s reactions and know that they might kick, bite or other attack other people just because they are accidentally bumped (and almost certainty just walking in the parks), you better make sure you buy enough insurance because you will need it. You are intentionally putting your child into an over-stimulating environment and knowingly putting other people’s safety at risk. You cannot bypass the stimulation that comes with just being in the park, even for children without disabilities and even for adults. Are you really making a good choice going to Disney?

        • Sye

          It’s your job to know your child’s limitations and to protect them. Please believe if your child would harm me or mine YOU would face reprocussions from me. It would be YOUR fault, not your child’s.

          • Nadia

            And not Disney’s. ;)

    • JB

      I travel to WDW regularly and have never waited in a FP line for 30 minutes so not sure why you would have to with a DAS card. As a matter of fact, I can count on one hand the number of times I have waited in a FP line at all and I am there every 6 to 8 weeks. Where is it “noted” almost daily that FP lines are a “good 30 minute wait” This is totally false information.

      • Nadia

        Thank you. Because those who have never been there before will continue to speculate ala BigFish until the Fast pass lines are an hour longer than the regular ones. :-p

    • food for thought

      Even if you got priority, head of the line access for you and your family member, you can never eliminate the smell, noises and other people that you will encounter within the park just walking around. Is there any reason why you are so willing to subject your child to this kind of overstimulation? It just seems that there are many other places that may be a better match to your situation. My nephew is on the autism spectrum and I understand the challenges but I guess our family makes different decisions than you do. You might also consider only going to Disney at the least crowded times of the year, use the fastpass+ system to minimize your wait time and only spend a few hours in the park on any one day.

    • Sye

      Sorry, but saying ‘I can’t wait in lines but I’m going to go somewhere with long lines anyway’ sounds pretty ignorant don’t you think? My child can not deal with loud noises and flashing lights. Guess what… We don’t take her to black light bowling with loud sounds and flashing lights. I prioritize her needs versus expecting places to completely change their nature. I’m so tired of people like you acting like anyone who disagrees doesn’t get it. You give the autistic community a bad name.

    • Nadia

      As mentioned above “Austism” is a pretty wide spectrum, so you really should not generalize that all autistic people this or that. Same with any disability.

  • Kmac

    I definitely agree that the DAS needs some tweaking, however, my three year old (not autistic child) has no patience whatsoever. So, it would not surprise me or my husband, for him to have continuos meltdowns, kicking, screaming and probably some hitting while we wait on an hour plus line, but we will be doing what our kids can handle and that’s the end of the day for us. Would I love quicker access to rides, absolutely, wouldn’t that be wonderful for all the three year olds throwing temper tantrums on a line. But, I think in all fairness, what Disney is allowing for the DAS with a time to come back, is being more than fair to cognitive disabilities ( but maybe this could be set up before arrival for the day).

  • kkonc

    I know sooo many people who have said “its ok (x) has a wheelchair so we get to all jump the line. I have no problem at all letting ONE person plus an attendant jump. But when its crowds of people that they are allowing through bc one of their group members has a disability, that’s where the problem lies. I don’t think it’s fair that they should just be granted immediate access. Should they be allowed immediate fast pass privilege? Yea maybe so. That would prevent them from having to leave and then return. But guiding them past everyone waiting in line… I just don’t see that being necessary. For anyone!

    • Raiann

      From someone who used the old system for the first time 2 years ago I agree. When I visited Disney I used it for my son who has cerebral palsy and Epilepsy. The meds he takes to control his seizures make him over heat very quickly. My son ambulates on his own but it is rough for him as his right leg does hold him well at all. I my self used a scooter for my back ailments but have never used the card system till I brought my son down. I would never ask for a group to go with him, only him and one adult to be with him is sufficient.

  • Michael Gardner

    I am truly sorry for those with special needs and hope that ALL the parks figure this out quickly, without causing any harm or ill will.

  • Mynameis86

    I feel sorry for those who have a real disabilty. Disney got rid of the disability because people were taking advantage of the system when they didn’t have any disabilities just to get in front of the line. I am hoping Disney will help those who have disabilities and not everyone who wants to take advantage of the system.

  • Jen

    ** Disclaimer – I am not an attorney but I have dealt with not only planning sites/buildings with ADA guidelines but currently work in a field that is very heavily involved with ADA requirements.

    I believe that by doing away with the GAC and requiring all guests (regardless of any disabilities, ailments, age related issues, etc.) Disney is very much still within ADA requirements because they are allowing access to the attractions. ADA requirements do not require a company to provide special treatment or front of the line privileges or special entrances if there is an entrance provided that allows everyone the same type of access to an attraction.

    Do I wish that everyone could go to Disney and have a wonderful trip without drama or problems? Sure. But playing Devil’s Advocate one could say that any parent of a fussy toddler would like that too or a parent of a child with ADD/ADHD. I think that now with the FP+ system and the ability to pre-book three attractions to minimize your wait-time at those attractions Disney is giving everyone the option of having a drama free day. If you have a child, or family member that does not tolerate the long wait in the stand-by line, use the FP+ system and plan accordingly.

    Do people expect shopping centers or stores to allow special shopping times or front of the line check-out for people that would normally get a Disney GAC? No, but because it is Disney and Disney has had a history of going way above and beyond the ADA requirements people are getting in a tizzy because Disney is making it more fair for everyone regardless of anyone’s need for a GAC.

  • Tired and happy

    I have 3 children and when we had to stand in very long lines they got tired, bored and Very unmanageable to the point I wanted to leave but I didn’t I delt with it because they would enjoy it so these parents complaining on how difficult it is for people with disabilities Just don’t want to deal with there upset children like everyone else

    • Jan

      Please remember we aren’t talking just about our children that are young we are also talking about our children that are older. Mine is 16 and weighs 170 lbs but is basically a child. For everyone’s sake we HAVE to keep his meltdowns at bay.

      • food for thought

        Even with priority access, Disney is an overly stimulating place. Why would you put your child in that situation in the first place? It seems that there are many more places that you could go that would be a better choice for your family.

  • pmp

    As a parent and a caregiver, I have a question. I am not intending to be insensitive, just inquisitive. I was under the impression that autism is a disorder that often carries sensory stimulation issues. I don’t understand why Disney, which can be overstimulating to anyone, is being held so highly accountable. I am having trouble understanding why, if your child is a potential danger to others if overstimulated(an argument noted in many comments), you would take them to a place like Disney? What is the benefit to the child compared to the stress of the crowd, sounds, lights, etc. I am a supporter of equal rights, but I am having trouble following the logic of these arguments. Again, I am not looking to insult anyon or questioning the difficulty your situation carries. Just curious.

    • JB

      I so agree pmp. The problem with most is the parents. If your child can’t handle over-stimulation – why bring him to one of the most over-stimulating places on earth.

    • Tina

      I hope you find this answer as an acceptable response. The Magic of Disney means something special, to a Special Needs traveler. If they can get through that line to meet their ultimate hero, Mickey, Goofy… or favorite Princess Cinderella or Ariel, then you have a moment of pure LOVE! I have seen it first hand, the nerves of being in line ultimately fade away and true love & admiration take over. However, there is a limit to the waiting. Personally, lines have to be 10 mins or less. If we can make that happen, we ride the ride or see the character… if we cannot do it in 10 mins or less, we move on. Waiting in close proximity is extremely difficult and becomes PHYSICALLY impossible. It’s not a matter of “you’ll be fine, hang in there”… these kids can’t “hang in there”. For us, we go back to Disney yearly, because this is the most magical place on the planet for our child…. it’s where they want to go AND… they only remember it with JOY. We may remember a melt down, a worry about getting thru the line on time… but for our child, it’s all about the MAGIC.

      • Anna Hebert

        I completely agree, I and a daughter with Aspbugers, and yes Disney is overstimulating for anyone, but didnt see Disney in my childs eyes, I cried watching her touch and explore, I as a parent take breaks to go swimming at the resort and rest times when i see her starting to melt. But with that being said…..why cant she be a Disney freak like me? We do shows and meet n greets more than anything, very few rides. I have used that card in the past, for myself, with going through cancer, I couldnt stand for long periods and needed to rest often, is that abuse, I dont think so. They need to bring it back for the right reasons, not cause a law suit…..i love me some Disney!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Tina

          Anna…. Thank you, I forgot to mention that… You are right, most of the kiddos in our situation, prefer the meet and greets to rides. So, we (meaning parents of special needs) are not holding up the Toy Story Mania or Star Wars lines, but we’d like to make it more possible to meet Buzz and Woody.

          • food for thought

            If meet and greet is the main concern, have you asked Disney to have a separate meet and greet for special needs kids, away from the crowds, perhaps at one of the resorts? After all, they aren’t really meeting Cinderella, just someone dressed up as her so it shouldn’t be too difficult to have cast members available for this. This way, there is no impact to other guests and special needs are met. Then use DAS for anything else.

          • Erica Marie

            Nice thought, buy there no way Disney would slap a costume on someone not trained. We’ve met many of the princesses and a few furry characters and they are 100% that character.

          • food for thought

            All Disney CM are fully trained before they interact with the public. I would expect no different here.

          • Nadia

            Trained to interact with the public, but not trained to be each character. Disney has high character standards. They train them on the body language and history of the character. For example, you could ask “Ariel” her sisters’ names, and she would spout them off without hesitation. If you “slap” an outfit on some random CM, that would not fly. Also, Disney is very careful not to have the same character in two places at once at the same park, for the most part. Although, I suspect this has changed a lot with instant pictures and such.

          • Erica Marie

            I wish they had more meet and greets, that would help with the lines

        • TheRustyScupper

          How sweet to see Disney in your kid’s eyes. What about seeing Disney in my two non-handicapped granddaughters’ eyes? Do your kid’s eyes count more than my granddaughters’ eyes? ADA access to rides and attractions should to be granted to people who need help with access, but not extra or immediate access. ACCESS, not EXCESS.

        • Nadia

          And how would the new system not help you just the same? You will not need to stand for long periods and can certainly rest often. Have you read how the new system works? It seems like it will fit perfectly with your needs. Also, this condition will be with your daughter for the rest of her life. Please take the time to learn how to spell it correctly. I know spelling is “one of those things” that either irritates some people while others could not care less, but when it is something so big and important, it deserves the few minutes of education/practice it will take you to get it right. Because “Aspbugers” makes it look like you have no clue.

    • Erica Marie

      PMP because we can put sound mufflers on their ears, we can give them sunglasses, but how do we force people in a line to give them a bubble of space so they aren’t being touched or feeling suffocated?

      To look in my daughters eyes and see that everything made sense to her was the most amazing experience in my life. We will go back every other year. However we will go back during the off season (my kids won’t miss that much real school work if I time it in late September/early October) and use the new amazing Fast Pass system. I have two high functioning Autistic kids (although my daughter has some delays due to other issues) and I will not use the new system because there are people who need it far more. But I also know my kids and what they can handle. I’m the mom who has glow sticks for dark rides and constantly talks with my kids to keep them busy. I’m blessed that our family has not been impacted more. But e would still go back if we had, I’d just time it even more differently.

      • PMP

        Thank you for the reply. I think most of us here realize that we all have our own unique burdens to bear. We all love Disney and want as many individuals as possible to enjoy the magic in their own special way. Unfortunately there are too many trying to abuse the system. I have sympathy for those affected by the new disability policy. I also have family that is affected and dealing with the changes. However, I cannot at this point agree with the lawsuit. Have not read any arguments that give just reason. Perhaps we could change the nature of these posts to note what change would truly aid families dealing with disabilities.

        • Erica Marie

          PMP I agree, I’m not find of this lawsuit. It’s a shame because no matter what there will be bitterness and abuse. Even if the ADA gives permission to Disney to look through paperwork to price what the need is someone will be angry about the outcome and eventually another group will sue. It’s like that lawyer suing so annual pass members gets more fast passes. It’s a no win.

          It’d be interesting to see if the park ever had a disabilities night. They shut down early for a Christian fellowship night in September, so it’s not that far off the mark. I just wonder how many people would suddenly have developed an issue.

          • Dex

            That’s a really interesting idea to have a disabilities night. It seems like there could be a way to make that work. In the case of the Christian music festival, it brings in a lot of money… so the one concern would be accusations that Disney is trying to exploit disabilities for ticket sales. They would need to alter some operations though… for safety reasons, some attractions have limits on the number of people riding that would require assistance in case of a breakdown or emergency.

          • Nadia

            Wow. That is a terrible idea! Talk about segregation. And how is a child who gets overstimulated going to be less stimulated surrounded by others with similar or non-similar conditions? As far as the lawsuit, no one would have “near immediate access”, so it would not make those people happy, either. Sorry, but terrible, terrible idea.

          • Jen

            Actually, my work has a sensory friendly night (I work in a very loud museum) and while it is nowhere near as crowded as Disney, all the kids and parents do feel a bit more relaxed. There is an understanding and the parents fear less “judgement”. How is it segregation? The people who go that night still have access during the day but they get a special “party” at night. How many kids who would benefit from a “disabled” night actually get the chance to go to other parties? Not many I’d wager.

          • Mandy

            Sure, but if nobody can wait how does that get handled?

      • tk

        You are doing it right. You are an inspiration. <3

        • Erica Marie

          TK that’s sweet, but the way I see it is I’m just a mom of six fabulous kids trying to make memories.

    • Nadia

      I have the same thought. If you have a child who has sensory/stimulation issues, why would you want to take him/her to Disney? Even with sunglasses, ear muffs, a way to avoid standing, et cetera, how much enjoyment will that child possibly have? Is it because of siblings that you are bringing the child, because you do not want to exclude him/her? I certainly can not understand bringing someone with intense hearing sensitivity to a concert. . .what is the hope here? That the child will magically shed all sensitivities because Disney is a special place? It seems quite insensitive for a parent to take a child with severe issues related to overstimulation and such to Disney. What part of it would they enjoy? Again, not trying to insult here. Trying to understand.

  • Thomas McShane

    As a full-time wheelchair users since birth with an autism family member and Annual pass holder. I have seen first hand the affect of the ADA services before and after the updates in the DAS. I have seen a complete change in the abuse and welcome all that Disney has done. They offer so much support for the disabled, and do more for the ADA community then another company in the entertainment business. It is sad a small group feel the need to cash in on something that has only improved the service for us all. I feel more like an able-bodied person with the DAS changes. I have the same rights as people that can walk and just becuase I am disablied it doesn’t mean I can go on first… This is a complete joke of a lawsuit and sad that Disney has to deal with it.

  • Sandra

    WOW, so many ways to look at this. My adult daughter has MS. She would qualify for GAC before and now the new FP+ system. We have never used either. She refuses to be “handicapped” If the lines are to long we come back later. We did use a wheelchair off and on one year. She hated it.
    I am a teacher of students with severe emotional disorders. Many of these kids cannot tolerate an overload of sensory input. Had a teen student who was going to WDW over spring break. I ask him if he was excited. His answer was NO! he was scare of the crowds, On a recent visit I tried to view WDW through the eyes of a person with Autism Spectrum Disorder. I don’t know how they tolerate being there. Almost seems cruel to subject someone with sensory issues to a environment that is all about sensory overload. It seems to me if they can tolerate the heat, the crowds, the barrage of sights, sounds, and smells, and the numerous “I Want” opportunities waiting in line should not be that much more difficult.
    I do sympathize with parents of special needs children, I know that you face daily challenges that most of us cannot imagine. However, when you plan a trip to WDW you know that those challenges are going with you. It is not Disney’s responsibility to make sure your child does not have a melt down anymore than it is their responsibility to make sure my daughter does not get overheated, or tired.

  • Ame Eggers

    My sons are Autistic…and while very high functioning now, at 2, 3 up until around age 7 my older son was uncomfortable with loud noises, crowds,etc. By that time he had been to WDW approx 8 times. I never once had a Access Card…..I originally didn’t know they were available for him. But what I did do was adjust to each situation. He didn’t like the explosions, okno fireworks……MK too crowded…..back to swim time……and so on. Yes I do understand what it is like to have a child with Autism have a meltdown in WDW but I have also seen 12people in one family use 2 access cards for the 90 year old barely conscious elders they were with to push their way to the front of a line that I waited on with my children for 20 minutes……….Sorry I dont think that having zero wait times is fair to anyone period……allowing guests with Special needs to go thru fast pass line with 1 other person fine ……but everyone pays the same and the old system was abused

  • MSullivan

    I hope Disney sticks to the new policy and doesn’t give in. Some people take advantage of this and we all pay the same price. I was out front waiting for a bus with my three year old one morning and as the bus finally pulled up an overweight women on her scooter and her six family members strolled out and got on the bus before everyone in line. Why not sit on your scooter in line? Pure laziness and a example of taking advantage of the system!! Wait your turn like everyone else

  • Robert Roberts

    Personally if there is a disabled individual that wants to get on a ride, they can have my spot in line.

    There is a lot that has already been said but let me just add this. For some individuals, Disabled or not, Disney is NOT the right vacation. If your child or adult is easily over stimulated then why the heck are you bringing them to a place like Disney?? Seems like there could be way better things to do for a vacation. I understand you want them to have the same experiences, but by it’s very nature they can’t have the same experiences. You could bring a child to the park during a slow time of year and at rope drop and get on almost any ride with limited wait times except the most favorite which you could get a FP+ for before you came to the park. Get out of the park during the middle of the day when it gets busy and relax at a resort. Go to a character meal so your child can get meet and greats without the craziness.

    I cannot walk in your shoes. I do however have a Masters in Special Education. I feel and love every family that has to work through these challenges. There is a special place in heaven for all of you. That said, through planning you can make the best of the situation. Expecting to show up when you have big crowds and long lines frankly is not fair to your child with special needs.

    Peace and love all. See you in WDW.

    • Boozwaah

      You may have a Maters in Special Education but you are not a parent nor do you have to live with all that goes with having to raise a child with, for example, Autism. At the end of the day , you get to leave it all behind and go home and live your normal life to do whatever your hearts desire. These parents do not have that luxury.

      Why wouldn’t this be the right vacation for them? they are kids, as well, with the same kinds of childhood wants in life. It would also seem that these parents being able to take their kids to Disney gave them a sense of normalcy. Being like every other family. I can see their side of the coin.It is not about overestimation but more about having to wait when the child has no concept of waiting.

      From what I can conclude it is more about being able to go on a ride without having to go to several lines before getting on a ride, which is what this new DAS has them doing at Disneyland. Guest services to get the third degree for 30 mins or more, then to a Kiosk for another 15-20 minutes and then wait for the ride and then stand in line again for another hour or so.. then having to go back to the Kiosk and start the whole process again. So in other words they actually wait longer than the average person. Bringing these kids during slow times usually means weekdays AKA, School days, AKA, Parents also need to work.

      • Robert Roberts

        Thus my comment that I can’t walk in their shoes. Working with the students 8 hours a day isn’t nothing either. Have a good night with the whole internet troll thing.

        • Boozwaah

          “Can’t walk in their shoes,” but you are giving advice to them as to what and where they should go, instead.

          And yes, working with students eight hours a day ” isn’t nothing either”( more like six ,plus many days off) but we still get to walk away from it all at the end of the day and not have to worry about it. School is just one of the many worries these parents have.

          I’m no more a troll than you are. This subject interests me, thus, I comment like with any other story I read on the net.

      • Insboy

        And you know what? Most of us we kids who have a disability also have other kids – typical kids. And that is a big point being missed by so many posts here. We simply seek a happy and “normal” family experience to be shared by our entire family.. Speaking at least for my family (and I am confident in extending my comments to many friends in similar circumstances), all we ask from society are minor accommodations – compassionate acknowledgements if you will – so that our entire family can enjoy the same activities as others. If people would stop and just think for a moment, I trust they would see nothing here that suggests depriving them of their liberty or happiness!

        • Mandy

          Isn’t the DAS a ‘minor accommodation’ ?

          • Insboy

            And I agree with that – DAS worked fine for us – search for my comments earlier. But I object to are those in this string who would not extend basic kindness to us. From numerous comments here, it is sadly clear to me that many (not all, many) would not even be willing to do that.

          • Mandy

            I think it just becomes a matter of enough being enough. I don’t think anyone has a problem extending kindness to you, and the next disabled family, and the next…. But then at what point do we draw the line? A typical guest wait a collective additional hour each day of their vacation to ‘extend kindness’ when we’ve all paid the same price? On a week long trip that’s a whole day of additional waiting outside of the normal waits.

          • Insboy

            Point taken; and I’ve got it now. My family’s use of the DAS which allows us to wait awhile and come back to get in front of others and cause them an extra 20 seconds wait is much, much, much worse than if we had actually stood in front of them in line and caused them to get on a ride 20 seconds behind us. Thanks. Man, this new math is killing me.

          • Mandy

            Are you serious? Multiply that by thousands. What is it now, 1/68 with autism? And there are 30,000 rooms or so at WDW? So roughly 441 people with JUST autism getting a GAC on a given day. Include their families you’ve got 1764 people give or take associated with autism. That doesn’t include Down syndrome, CP, CF, PTSD, or any of the other reasons people and their families were using the GAC. If an autistic chil and a non autistic child walk into the park at the same time the non autistic child should automatically be resigned to wait an extra hour in their day just because they don’t have autism. Get serious. If you really feel slighted because people who pay the same amount of money as you do aren’t bowing down to make your trip easier you really need to get some perspective.

          • Insboy

            Yes I am serious, and my perspective is quite fine, thank you so much. I spoke about the DAS, not the GAC and have clearly stated in several places in the string under the original post that the DAS is an equitable and workable solution.

      • Crystal

        Do you even have a disabled child? Something tells me no because if you did you wouldn’t speak about people who work in Special Education like that. As a parent of more than one child in a SPED program, I thank God every day that there are people on this earth who are willing to spend all day five days a week in a classroom with multiple of cases of what I deal with at home. If you have a special needs child, imagine that child times 10, 12, maybe more, for 6-8 hours a day. Sure, there are generally multiple teachers, aids, nurses, etc. in those classrooms, but that is a lot for anyone to deal with even with help. And parents do often have the luxury of being able to “leave it all behind” while their children are in school. Robert Roberts, there is a special place in Heaven for you too, and all like you who do what you do with our special kiddos every day.

        • Boozwaah

          Why yes, I do work in the field, 26 years worth of it and if you had read my comment more carefully you would have saw that I said “WE” meaning, I am also a special ed teacher.

          I also have two grown kids, one with severe autism and one who is both physically and developmentally disabled. Parents do not get a break when their kids are in school. Because schools are part of the worries that they have. You have no idea what you assume. There are IEPS and services that parents have to fight for. there are medical and therapy planning. I spoke nothing wrong or bad about Robert. Just told it like it is. Parents worry around the clock . Teachers in general have it the easiest in the classroom. It is the aides that do most of the work.

          You are the one who have no idea what it is like for these parents. But you come on here all high and assuming. In case you are wondering, During the parents break time whille their kids are in school, they are out having “fun” at their 9-5 jobs.

  • sickening

    The cruelty to each other in this thread is disgusting. On both sides.

  • Mike

    I know plenty of people who abused the system by just renting a wheel chair so I am glad they changed their policy.

  • Susie Meyer

    I love the new DAS program. I had previously used the GAC and I think this new program is much fairer for everyone. Yes I may have to wait a little longer than my posted return time but it is never longer than 15-20 min. I loved that when Carsland opened they used the DAS method. Here is your return time….take a break, grab a snack, sit in the shade. Why should I be able to access the rides faster than anyone else. I pay no more for the privilege. I am grateful that Disney can accommodate me and my family. If I had to go through the stand by line…I would never get to ride at all. I may be mistaken but I am pretty sure that Disney does not have to offer ANY DISABILTY SERVICE at all….but only to make sure that all of their property is accessible. Be grateful for what they offer or there may be no special accommodations for any of us!

  • random-ap

    the thing most people it seems aren’t understanding is why this happened (the switch from GAC and DAS) people without disabilities were getting GAC’s and using them like candy, just because they didn’t want to wait in line. Disney became aware of this and made the switch, thus they are treating it like a fast pass. As someone posted, they GAC pretty much was a front of the line pass. Yes it sucks for those with a disability or impairment, but sadly people abused the GAC privilege, and Disney had to respond.

  • MickeyMouse4Me

    I’m sorry but no one HAS to go to Disney. These comments where a parent believes their Autistic child needs to get on a ride when they want to get on to prevent a meltdown or they need space while waiting etc. etc. is troubling to me. As a parent it is YOUR responsibility to ensure your child has a magical day.

    When you go to the grocery store or any other retail establishment do you insist on being rung up or served right away without the wait? Do you get to go ahead of everyone else so your child doesn’t have an episode? I doubt you do. Either your child can cope with the situation or you just don’t go.

    If you are a little person can you demand they lower the height restrictions on the rides to accommodate your height? If you have Celiac disease can you demand gluten free foods? Can you demand they prepare your food in a guaranteed gluten free kitchen with no chance of cross contamination? If your child is allergic to Vitamin E can you demand shade for that child on every ride? Do you think it’s ridiculous to expect little people, people with allergies and people with Celiac Disease to expect accommodations for their disabilities? Does having Autism somehow warrant an exception?

    I happen to be disabled and I’ve been very impressed with the accommodations Disney provides. Being disabled I have limitations. There are things I simply can’t do. That’s my issue. Not Disney’s. There are millions of people that cross the gates into the park every year. They can’t give everyone an experience you feel you are owed. If crowds bother your child go to Disney in their slower months. Stay on property and go in the evenings with the magical extended hours. Work with what you have.

    • smart girl

      You are amazing! Thank you so much for this really great speech. Please, never stop thinking the way you think, that alone makes you way less ‘disabled’ than most people on this planet. You are a true inspiration for many.

    • DisneyFan

      Disney is actually extremely prepared to deal with allergies. I worked at Disney World for a while in college, in food, actually. We had gluten-free options at every location I worked at. It might take longer, because it is a special order, but we still handled it. This was at quick service locations, not even a sit down restaurant where there are even more options.
      Just a note for anyone who has food allergies. :)

  • MomtoNicholasASD

    All you folks who are complaining that those with autism or other disabilities and how its unfair I have a question. Do you complain about all the very large parties there on make a wish? They wait in NO line at all and get front row seats at any and every show/parade? Oh and btw wheelchairs go thru every regular line except I believe 4 at wdw and those lines are longer than the regular stand by lines.
    Also the lawsuit was filed because Disney refused to answer or talk or even listen to what parents were saying. I’m not a part of the suit but know a couple ppl in it. I have video of cm’s saying things to my son that no one should be told!

    • Mandy

      MAW kids are entirely different and very few on a given day in the theme park compared to the thousands of GACs that were given out. Perhaps Disney didn’t respond to the minority of parents that were complaining because they don’t have to. They don’t owe you anything in regards to an explanation. They have to worry about abiding by the law (which they are) not your feelings. Disney will respond now, and I’m betting you won’t like how!

    • Jackie Rose

      Whoa! About the CMs.

  • Marie Grundy

    Some of these comments are terrible, I sometimes think my son is the lucky one being trapped in his own world and not being able to see the ugliness of the of the world today. If the most you all have to worry about is that a family gets on a ride before you, you are extremely lucky!.
    We take our son to disney because it’s one of the only things he has interest in, I worry constantly about how others perceive him and his disability I guess now I know.
    I’m sure we will as always have a great time. It’s just sad to see that there are so many bitter people out there.

  • Alice West

    I think unfortunately this is a classic case of the few “rotten” eggs destroying some thing for everyone. I do know folks who abused GAC. I have coworkers who specifically plan how they are going to get a GAC card for the specific purpose of not having to wait in line. Disney is like every other company, they respond to the ‘squeaky” wheel and the complaints come fast and furious when guest see a party of 10 “jump” the line at TSM.
    I hope this gets resolved to everyone’s satisfaction

  • PaulCyopick

    Special snowflake syndrome personified. My kid is special, and should get to the front of the line in everything in life. If not, I’ll sue!!!

    • Jackie Rose

      Everyone look at the bbbbuuullllyyyyy!

      • Amanda

        Not a bully if he’s right! You’re really going to sour when Disney makes these plaintiffs feel about 2 inches tall. The bullies! Big meanie heads!

  • Amyk

    I do not know what it’s like to be disabled or have a child who is. I would gladly let a family that is traveling with someone with special needs ahead of me.
    What I don’t understand is the wording of this lawsuit. They are asking for the same rights and access as non- disabled guests. But at the same time they don’t want to wait in line or return with a fast pass, which is what the rest of us have to do.
    Unfortunately greedy lazy people ruined the old system. It worked well for those who really needed it. Goofgal31 said it best. Do what’s best for your child. Disney does not guarantee that everyone will have a perfect day and get to ride every ride.
    My family still hasn’t been on Toy Story midway mania because we don’t want to wait two hours and fast passes are usually gone by the time we get there. I’m not going to demand that park fix that for me.

    • sweetreat

      Imagine you have no concept of anything new, that being taught it takes YEARS to learn in small tiny bits of information that may work.

      Now imagine you have no language to tell anyone what you are feeling. Imagine that your impulse is to lash out because you cannot tell people how you feel.

      No imagine you are a parent standing by a fridge with a screaming child because they cannot tell you what they want and you play “pull it all out and try to get the right answer?”

      • Nadia

        That is ridiculous. Disney is not trying to drive away those with disabilities. What a silly accusation. The things you mentioned are heartbreaking, and I do not think anyone would downplay them or say they are fair, but apples and oranges.

  • potatocake

    If only people wouldn’t abuse the policies….ONE BAD APPLE SPOILS……

  • Lisa

    I have a bladder condition, so i cant wait in line. But with the new system, and the new cards, iam given a card with a return time equal to the wait time. No issue, i can wait near abathroom until my return line. No issues. I do not see a need for immediate acess.

  • jayneaves

    As a parent 2 with autistic children, I have never used the GAC nor will I use the DAS next time. It is for each person to make their own decisions about what they do for their circumstances but my feeling is that we do our children no favors at all by giving them the expectation that they do not have to wait for anything. Do my children find it very difficult to wait? Yes Do they meltdown at times? Yes However, they do not need immediate or near immediate access, they need to learn to function in a world that is hard for them. I have read so many stories of people saying their autistic child can not wait more than a minute… really? What happens at the grocery store then? What happens when public restrooms are full? What happens when they are in the lunch line? I want my children to be as functional as they can be in the real world and I support them through the challenges and the meltdowns. We go every year to WDW for 2 weeks each time and have never needed any priority treatment. This is about the convenience of the parents and not equal access. No one, disabled or not, enjoys waiting, so we can all have equal non-enjoyment of waiting our turn! There is no case to answer here in my opinion.

  • Jane N

    I would ask that all you who feel you have the answer and judge others’ needs for accommodation be wary that this is a harolding attempt to change public attitude toward those with disabilities. How better to undermine the ADA than for one of the largest companies in the customer service industry to take the lead in calling disabilities a modifiable condition? Bravo for those if you who have accomplished this feat. However, as not all people are truly equal, neither are disabilities. Don’t fall into the trap of criticizing and undermining others with disabilities. Rather be supportive even if you disagree lest you find accommodations you have taken for granted under the ADA be lost in a tide of negativity toward the disabled.

    • Mandy

      If this is really about changing public attitudes towards the disabled, these people went entirely the wrong way. They make the disabled community, particularly the autism community, look terrible. It did more harm than good.

  • Christian

    Wow, this is a very charged issue. First, I do not have any kids to begin with so I wouldn’t know the daily life of a parent with a kid that has Autism or any other disorder. I would never wish anything on another parent or future child. Let us remember Disney is a private company, not a municipality. As long as they are following the ADA, they are well within their rights to change something as needed. We might see it as right or wrong, but in the end they have full control. This is a lawsuit that should never be allowed to see the light in court. I understand that Disney has warmly accommodated families with disabled members and the new system seems like a bitter sting to those families. Lets not be angry at Disney. Be angry at the idiots that abuse the system for their own gain. Disney is merely trying to stop something from getting out of control. Perhaps Disney could have went around this in a different manner but they are still attempting to accommodate the disabled. In the end, there are other theme parks out there. If you don’t support a business decision, either inform the business of the issue, or don’t support the business. Lawsuits are ridiculous in this situation…

  • Welcome to Lawsuit Land

    Here’s an idea – If you don’t like it… go elsewhere.

    What is happening in this country where every damn person is ENTITLED and expects for the world around them to give their blood to suit their individual needs.

    I have a soft spot for disabled children, and I believe their parents should know better than to put them in situations that may turn dangerous. But instead, they’ll sue until the world revolves around their demands.

    Life isn’t fair. Grow up. If you can’t manage a 2 hour line – don’t subject your disabled child to Disney ride queues.

    Shame on you idiots.

    • Jackie Rose

      What a big bully you are, calling parents of disabled children a slur commonly used to make their children cry.

      • Amanda

        Keep reaching Jackie.

  • Jim Brown

    I guess anyone who bitches and complains enough can get what they want! It’s the American way! Equality is not valid anymore. I think it’s terrible that people have taken advantage of the system that the company has put in place to be as fair as possible, however trying to justify a lawsuit is unconscionable.

  • Dusty

    You know…I love Disney because it really does create some magic in my life. Sadly, when folks on both sides of this argument get nasty and rude it diminishes some of the Disney magic. I was amazed to hear that some folks were renting themselves out with their GACs. I do think that speaks to the entitlement that is so prevalent and problematic with our society today. On the other side, if someone has a special need and the rest of us can not be patient and gracious, and kind, how sad that also is for our culture as a whole. So I guess I’m on MY soapbox. I’m also thinking that some of this dialogue has little to do with Disney, your kid, my kid, lines, access etc. When my nephew with Down Syndrome has been allowed a GAC, which allowed him into the fastpass line (not to the front of it) I was excited for him. (I’ve done lines with him and without him, I always have a good time, regardless). He smiles all the time when we are at Disney…on rides, in the pool, even in lines, short or long. (we have been there lots of times and not gotten him a GAC) Why we started to get one for him is some difficulties he had that are too complicated to discuss here. I think, for me, what the GAC did was allow our family to do Disney easier. And maybe that wasn’t/isn’t fair to all the other families who on a hot day with long regular lines would like to do Disney easier too. I get that. I think what it did for him, and maybe more so what it did for me…was allowed him to be “leading the parade” if you will allow me a Disney metaphor. Because most of his days…he never gets that chance. Parents all want their kids to be favored…we want them to be successful…to have great opportunities and grow up to be whatever they want to be. And all kids have some things that they won’t be able to do, no matter how hard they try. I can’t sing; I’m probably never going to win THE Voice, no matter how hard I try!!! But for my nephew, his list of what he can’t do or won’t be able to compete in…is way longer than that of most children. Everyone has struggles every day…but his really are harder. What many of us or our children can accomplish in minutes, he will work hard on for hours. But for that week we are at Disney…the GAC allowed us to do as much as a family with kids who do not have special needs. Not really more…but as much. Because even with the GAC…everything else still takes longer…walking from place to place, eating, getting dressed, taking a bathroom break, etc. Our next trip is in June, we are counting the days, he can’t wait, we talk about it every day. We will still have a good time. He will still have a good time; he will still love Disney. We just won’t get to do as much. HE won’t get to do as much. And for that I am sad for him. And in general I am sad that a group of people so needed to ruin what was there. We will find a way to make his trip as special as we can; because we love him, and he loves Disney.

  • tjc

    What has happened in this world… or DLand or DWorld to kindness to others and not being judgemental? I read so much greed and nastyness in these messages and parents and family members trying to defend their needs… somehow I do NOT think Walt Disney would approve of any of this – he made his Worlds to give pleasure and have EVERYONE feel like a joyful child – the original passes/decisions to make the experience a great one for children of all ages, colors, capabilities were made by him..I doubt very much if he would be a part of any of this – the corporation of Disney has raised prices dramatically twice during the past year and we all scrimp and save to give our children the Magic Experience – why must grown up humans want to put an end to it for others?

    • Dave Nicpon

      not all are scrimping and saving…I see the parks busier than ever….in fact many times the concierge level rooms with theme park views are the first to be booked full. I know some of it is all the guests from other countries pouring into WDW while the US dollar loses value compared to their currency…..but there are plenty here in the states spending like tomorrow is their last day….

    • Sye

      I didn’t realize you knew Walt personally! Seriously though… You are aware that Walt lived in a time where a child with autism would be called the R word and institutionalized? If you think he wouldn’t have looked at an autistic child stimming the same way as everyone else during his time you’re out of your mind. He was a business man. If something was going on in his parks to make the majority of his guests unhappy or their experience less than others he would change it.

  • Bob

    After reading all these posts.I think some of you are missing the point. I am sure Disney didn’t want to have to make these changes but because of the abuse by some people they had no choice.Some of their changes are good.Like having a picture of person with the disability added to the pass will help with people passing it around to people who dont need it. It is too bad that disney isnt able to ask for a letter from the doctor of the person who is requesting the pass. The letter wouldn’t have to give specific details of the persons disabilities. It would just have to state that they have a disability and request that disney help them any way they can.This would go a long way in curbing the abuse that we are now seeing.We have made several trips to disney. We have a son with physical diabilities which makes it hard for him to stand for long periods of time as he becomes fatigued easily.Before each trip we go to his doctor who supplies us with just that type of letter. We bring it with us each time we go just in case there is any question as to his physical problems. Even though we have never been questioned about his problems when we asked for a gac pass we were more than willing to show them the letter if they ever asked. I am not familiar with all the ada laws. I dont know if this would be a violation of those laws be I think it would help places like disney curb the abuse and help the people who really need the passes.

  • heycamster

    As a disabled guest and longtime passholder, I am very pleased with the new system on several levels. It conforms to other theme parks’ standards for access (see Knott’s Berry Farm, California Great America, etc.). My access request is not that I be placed before any other guest, but that I have an alternative to standing and being jostled which can compromise my balance on stroke affected legs. The system now is the realization of a true “come back” pass system. My kudos to Disney for placing service spots throughout both DLR and DCA where guests can request their next comeback pass rather than asking at the attraction itself.

    Disney finally took the right step in removing the responsibility of determining service
    needs from the cast members who were staffing attractions — each guest who appears
    with a mobility device/rental wheelchair or service pass can be directed to the correct line now. Too often in the past, when I requested a come-back pass at an attraction and showed the old service pass which had a big wheelchair rubber stamp, I was told that “this line is accessible” and refused a pass. There are not places to sit and wait near each and every attraction for the amount of the posted wait time.

    Today, I can enter the fastpass line at the time when my “wait” in the standby line would be completed – no prolonged wait, no falling, no leg fatigue. There are limits to the number of people in your party when using a new service pass and measures to ensure that a larger party really is together.

    Disney has taken into account the law, the need to provide reasonable access, the past exploitations of the system, and their long-standing focus on pleasing guests. If all guests are asked to wait the same amount of time and those of us with mobility (no stairs, no standing) issues are given a safe way to do this – I see win, win for everyone.

  • Brian

    Coming from a wdw cast member there was a lot of research and working alongside multiple disability organizations, the ads included, to develop the DAS system.

  • Brian

    The ada included. Crazy phone.

  • Marie

    As an Ex-CM and working in the park I have seen how guest abuse of the system and more with the GAS. Having a family with disability abuse of those privileges skipping line with the disable family and that person not raiding creating problems with the guest that spend like 1 hr and 1/2 in line. The only thing I have to say is good luck winning. And Have A Magical Day

  • Dave Nicpon

    Here is my two cents…where it was wrong was for someone disabled to have an entourage of people with them not having to wait….THATS WRONG! …If someone was disabled and had a single caregiver…then I dont have a problem with both of them getting access then….but now if someone has a whole group….give a group member a ticket…when they get to their turn in line to ride then the disabled person would have access to go with them. If the disabled person chose to ride with a cargegiver without waiting…fine…..BUT NOT THE WHOLE ENTOURAGE. This gets way out of hand because people were taking advantage of the situation. Somebody had osteoarthritis in a joint…got a handicapped status and then 10 people with grandpa or grandma skipped the line on every ride….WRONG WRONG WRONG.

  • Dave Nicpon

    by the way …I feel Disney should remove the special VIP “skip the line” passes they hand out to celebs……make them wait like everyone else. If they can make disabled wait….celebs should as well….

    • Susie Meyer

      Celebs pay thousands of dollars for that privilege. Anyone can rent a plaid if they have deep enough pockets.

      • Dave Nicpon

        celebs dont pay for that privilege….they are given it along with the rooms they stay in. Tom Cruise was allowed to stay in the castle with his daughter……i call bullshit. Give that privilege to a child that is terminal….not someone spoiled.

        • Mandy

          They allow MAW children to skip lines. I don’t have a problem with the celebrities going to the front as it’s a safety issue. There are maybe 1-2 celebrities being escorted around each day.

        • Susie Meyer

          Sure…and they let them take over the park for free whenever they want to hold a special event ie. Mariah Carey.

        • Nadia

          Things might appear to be “free”, and I am assuming you do not really know what was paid for and what was not, but Disney has $$$ as their primary goal. They are a business, after all. Celebrities bring publicity, publicity=money.

      • Doodles713

        Rent a plaid, that is hilarious. And Susie is correct. Disney does not just hand out free whatever to whomever. Celebrities still pay, as do day guests and hotel guests alike. And it’s some crazy amount per hour with a minimum hour requirement.

  • Sally

    This is the true question, how do disabled families deal with other lines and heavy crowds before arriving and once at theme parks? There are lines and heavy crowds checking into the hotel lobby, airports, buses, monorails, gift shops, arcades, pools, food/drink stands, shows, table/quick service restaurants, parades, and bathrooms. Its strange I only hear complaints about wanting “near immediate access” for rides. This is a fact, fast passes are a privilege not a right for “every” guest. The new Fast Pass Plus system gives “equal” access to attractions for everyone. The new DAS system is not requiring disabled guests to stand in “ride” lines( provides return times based on attraction wait times) and access to Fast Pass Plus. The problem is…

  • Kittenbear

    DAS is fair, but only if the return time grants immediate access. The way it should work is for the guest to receive a wait time based on how long the wait is when they “get in line”. They would be allowed back in that time period, the only difference is that they don’t have to wait in line and risk any meltdowns or anything. Say the wait is 30 min, the DAS guest would be instructed to return in 30 min and would then be granted near-immediate access to the attraction. That is fair to everyone, which means relatively equal treatment. The way the GAC worked was to allow near-immediate ride access…period. Say one guest gets in line at 1:00 for a ride with a long wait, then a GAC guest gets in line say at 1:15….the GAC guest will be seated before the others waiting in line before them. Unfair. If everyone “in line” waits the same amount of time, then it is fair. This is why I like the DAS. Also, guests in wheelchairs should be given access through a wheelchair accessible queue, but NOT priority access to the ride; wait the same amount of time. If you are in a wheelchair, you are not having to stand for a long period of time, so there is no real reason to have to skip the lines.With DAS, if someone attempts to abuse the system, it will be of no benefit to them because they have to wait the same amount of time as anybody else. Guests with disabilities benefit because they can spend that ride wait time to relax away from heavy crowds, grab a bite to eat (maybe they have blood sugar issues, idk) or whatever else they need to do that couldn’t be done while they are in line. This makes it fair for all involved, and I can’t understand what the fuss is about.

    • Dave Nicpon

      I agree

    • Anonymous

      Umm… That’s exactly how it works already.

  • Minie56

    I have a low functioning non verbal adult son with Down Syndrome who love Disney World so we make the trip down from NY every two months. I was disturbed about the change but I am hoping the DAS works for us. As I read these post I was astonished and saddened at the heartless comments from so many of you without special needs children….you really have no idea what is involved in raising someone with disabilities so please don’t be cruel . … ‘waltzed around like a queen with her prince’ is far from being the correct description of our life!!!

    • Mandy

      I have an autistic child, and I’m more appalled by the responses from the disabled community. It’s really no wonder people have that perception of us considering the complaints in this ‘lawsuit’ and responses on this thread.

    • Jackie Rose

      Some people just have a sick need to taunt, mock, and pick on those far more innocent than they ever will be.

      • Amanda

        And some people are truly self absorbed and entitled, expecting people to go above and beyond what’s legally required because their life is hard.

  • Mike Sangregorio

    I hate the fact that a group of people who took advantage of the system caused all the trouble in the first place. As a former Cast Member, I had to deal with people all the time who took advantage and put at risk others who actually needed it. It’s disgusting what lengths people will go to.

  • Doodles713

    Disney, as a company, sees millions of people each day. Every single one of those people is an individual with their own needs, wants and perceptions. The company is constantly asking for feedback, both positive and negative. The processes that they have to assuage the needs and wants of all of their guests is a long, arduous process. However positive or negative an individual may see the outcome, Disney has shown us that they are a very dynamic company, constantly changing their ways to better improve their brand. The simple fact is that no one system will ever 100% accommodate 100% of the guests that utilize it, whether it be the ticket media, Fastpass Distrobution technique, service recovery or how they accommodate guests with disabilities. We should, however, give Disney the benefit of the doubt and let them jump through the testing, legal hoops and whatever red tape they need to get through and know that they will do what is best for the company and also for their guests. Disney knows that they need to keep guests coming to their parks so they will figure out a strategy that will be best for most people. Again, it will most likely be a lengthy process, and may not fit every individual’s need, but they will absolutely try. Disney is always evolving, always trying to move forward.

  • paul

    The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
    and Revised ADA Regulations Implementing Title II and Title III

    THE LAW

    The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, State and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation.

    This is a hard subject but is sounds like most people including the people suing want disney to discriminate so they can be treated different and go straight to the front instead of being treated the same as all people.

    • Mandy

      Yes, sir. Disney can’t give one group of people more and take away from the others – regardless of which group that is.

  • GroveMom

    Some of you have made some interesting points and others of you clearly live a life free of autism or other disabilities.
    Someone mentioned that all kids tantrum when in long lines and I agree however not all people with children face the humiliation, and at time unkindness, from those who,don’t understand the reaction of an older child seemingly having a tantrum. During the first week of spring break my family visited Disneyland; my eldest son has autism. We paid for the a four day pass so we could intentionally spread our visit over time. This for many people is ridiculous and for others cost-preventative but for my family it was a necessity for my son can become overstimulated and then none of us enjoy anything. While in line for one ride my son was becoming agitated and starting to get upset. The woman in line ahead of us asked her child, as if we couldn’t hear, what was wrong with that kid? This is just one mild example of unkindness my family faced from. I love people’s suggestion of visiting Disney when it’s off season – love to but my job doesn’t allow for that.

    • Mandy

      That’s just people being rude. It’s wrong regardless, but Disney can’t implement a system change because people are jerks.

  • WDWBrat

    OK – let me express how I feel about the changes. First of all – understand that I have never traveled with anyone who used the GAC card under the old system. I honestly never gave it much thought. I generally am thankful that I am able – mentally and physically – to be able to enjoy Disney World without having a disability to deal with personally. However, in October, I got my first experience when travelling with not 1 but 2 disabled people. My mother – who has advanced stages of bone cancer, lung cancer (she is a nonsmoker) and liver cancer, and my boyfriend who was 45 at the time, who not only has had 5 back surgeries making it extremely difficult to be on his feet for long periods of time, as well as severe high blood pressure that prevent him from being in the heat for extended periods of time, but has severe social anxiety and claustrophbia coupled with several other mental disorders that make dealing with just a grocery store the way normal people do a large accomplishment with him. When we first started dating, and I told him about my Disney Addiction – he just said “not me. Not never. I could never do that with the heat and the crowds and the overstimulating environment – won’t ever happen.” It took me 18 months of cajoling him and convincing him how Disney accomodates individuals – and then the change happened 2 weeks before we were arriving.
    At first I was concerned but once I got on the phone with the Disability group at Disney and they explained the new system, we had no issues and in no way felt like he was getting lesser treatment because of his disability. We felt that once we arrived we would be on a level playing field with the folks who were having to wait in line to ride – we just weren’t being trapped in a queue line for an hour or longer. Instead we would find a place to sit close to the ride and wait until time. This was our plan. And it worked pretty well – ONCE we had the card in hand.
    Now understand that we were a large family travelling together. My mother and my sister’s family (her, her husband, 2 kids -5 & 17 – and our mom) staying on property at AoA and Me, my BF, my brother and his 3 year old in my sisters timeshare off property.
    When my bf and I went to get our card, we were questioned about the specific nature of his disability right there in the open with other people in close proximity. It was a bit embarrasing for a grown man to have to explain that the tight confining nature of queue lines for long periods of time could literally cause him pain physically, but also the stress of the situation would make his experience once he arrived at the ride (assuming he made it through) would be diminished from the stress. To somoene looking at him – he appears to be a strong linebacker of a guy in good health. But in truth it takes him over 2 hours just to get moving in the mornings from the physical pain he is in. Just getting to the park for him is an effort. Once all of this was explained the cast member advised us of how to best use the card and quite politely created it for him with no further questions.I might also mention that he and my mother both opted for the scooters in the park that day but he honestly found it to be so hard to get around on one that we gave up using it and just took our time going through the parks. (Scooters ar a whole isue unto themselves!)
    My mother however, when she asked for her card was denied one and told that she could take her scooter through the regular lines and there was no consideration of the fact that she had limited time in the parks. Incidentally – we were told later when we voiced this complaint that if you explain the limited time in the park to the cast member they will accomodate that. We know next time – if there is one.
    Mom ended up only riding 2 rides because of the lines and the hassle of getting through the lines on the scooter and missed opportunites to experience the joy of seeing her grandchildren’s expressions while riding.
    My boyfriend only used his card 3-4 times over the course of that first week trip so it was not as if we were abusing the service.
    In fact, since it was his first time at Disney and we had promised to see Cinderella before we left and hadn’t because of wait times. ON the last day we were there, we approached the CM at the FH and asked if he could use his DAS card there. THe CM gave us a time and when we came back she looked at him (he was having a very stressful day because of the heat and the crowds) and said “You need a bubble” – and he thought she was kidding him and said “Yes. I do!” and laughed and explained his crowd issues and told her how much he liked the system they had in place and that he felt bad for even using it. She was so nice and she said = We can do that! and she pullled another cast member and put them in line behind us to literally create a bubble of space for him in the FP line and then handed us off to the next CM inside the doors who knew that he had space issues who also prevented anyone else from coming in behind us until it had cleared out some.
    I can not tell you how impressed he was. I cried. It was the most magical experience to see CM’s not only recognizing the non-apparent disabilities, but also to recognize and treat them in adults with the same care that they do a child.
    We would never abuse this system. It’s a shame that folks think that because they are disabled that they should get instant access. It’s a shame that these folks don’t take the time to think about things and plan.
    I have a 24 year old stepson by my late husband that has Aspbergers. He gets overstimulated extremely easily and then the pacing starts and then the complaining and even though to most he looks like a perfectly normal individual – he can not process or understand when things go against his idea of what is right. I plan on taking him to WDW in the next year and am very thankful to know that Disney goes out of their way to accomodate disabled folks in the new way. The old way gave too much room for abuse and as many others have pointed out – gave an advantage of able bodied folks.
    Sorry so long. But seriously – this is a big big concern of mine. What a shame that people are so self-centered.

    • Sye

      I’m glad it worked for your boyfriend. I just wanted give you a heads up though that having a ‘limited amount of time’ in the parks won’t get any additional help. And I personally don’t believe it should. It’s just up to us to decide if it’s worth the amount of time we spend in the parks. Can you imagine all the people with 2 – 3 years olds saying the same thing and expectation accommodations?

      • WDWBrat

        Mom isn’t a huge Disney fan. She doesn’t get it the. Way I do (Thanks Daddy). So it probably won’t be am issue. I can tell you though that my BF’s expectations were surpassed by far and excuse of their care of him he is now as big of a Disney addict as I am. It’s not all about the rides you know.

        • Sye

          I’m glad he changed his mind. Hopefully you’ll have tons more vacations together to enjoy the magic.

  • cfioren317

    For anyone who does not have a special needs child or adult to comment negatively about the parent of a special needs child or the loved one of a special needs adult is 100% shameful. I’m embarrassed to be the same species of some of you people. The parents of special needs children are angels who have already been reserved places in heaven for all the things they do. Those of us without a special needs child take for granted handing our kids their clothes or their food and watching them go eat and get dressed on their own. Think for a minute how parents of a special needs child must clothe their children…feed their children….watch their children 24/7 because they can’t be alone. Whatever they have to do. I don’t have one, so I don’t even know 1% of what goes into it. What I do know is that is being a parent of a non special-needs child is difficult. I can’t even imagine how hard it must be…can’t imagine it.

    So, if they can have some peaceful time without any incidents or time to watch their children smile, then who are you to be so selfish and say things like ” why should they get in line ahead of us” or “why should more than one person get to be in line ahead with their child” or crazy selfish things like that.

    Shame on you people.

    • Sye

      Tons of the comments on here are from special needs parents… they just don’t agree. Sorry. If a disabled child and a non disabled child walk into the park at the same time the non disabled child shouldn’t automatically have an extra hour of waiting because she isn’t disabled. A non disabled child is JUST AS SPECIAL as a disabled child. I doubt anyone has an issue with a few families jumping ahead… but that’s not what anyone here is talking about. It’s thousands. Shame on YOU for thinking any child is less deserving… ANY CHILD. Disabled or not. Disney is not heaven – it’s a business. And it’s looking at things like a business.

      • cfioren317

        “If a disabled child and a non disabled child walk into the park at the same time the non disabled child shouldn’t automatically have an extra hour of waiting because she isn’t disabled.”

        Wow way to twist that around. How is it an “extra hour”? It’s the same hour as every other non disabled child.

        Are you really trying to say that a disabled child should have to wait the same hour as a non-disabled child? Seriously?

        • Sye

          Uh, yes I am excluding MAW children. And the point was it isn’t about ONE disabled child. It’s thousands, which in turn means people will be waiting for a collective amount of time throughout their day. What don’t you grasp about that? Would I let a few families jump ahead? Sure. What about 1,000 during my whole day? No. That’s unreasonable. Everyone has struggles, and what people go through outside of the park have NO bearing on what happens in it. Disney shouldn’t be (and doesn’t) thinking about anything other than what they can control on their property, not who has it worse and why. ADA requires equal, not extra. And thankfully, MOST parents of disabled children are reasonable and want nothing more than to be treated like everyone else and have the same opportunities, not greater treatment with preferential opportunities just because someone has a disability.

          • cfioren317

            Show me where you are seeing “thousands” of disabled guests are going to one individual park daily. Because that’s your issue, right? You go to a park, and there are “thousands” of families jumping ahead of you. So show me where that is cited.

          • Sye

            I’ll have to look for the link that actually gave numbers from California’s park. But it’s really quite simple if you can do math… new studies show that 1/68 kids have some form of autism (used to be 1/88, whichever you prefer to use). An average of 130,000 people per day visit Disney based on their annual attendance numbers. So out of that there are roughly 1,912 people with autism in the parks. That’s nearly 2,000 in and of itself which doesn’t include any of the other disabilities that qualify and use the disability services as well. From memory, I believe it was published that California Adventure was issuing 2000 GACs per day or something like that. Again, I’ll have to look for it. But it’s really not that hard to understand that there are so many people that use the disability cards that it was hindering park operations. FP lines are supposed to be fast. They’re back to being fast again with this new system.

          • cfioren317

            Once again, you are not debating what I wrote. I am talking specifically about special needs children and adults. If you want to tell me that GAC was giving out too many cards, then we agree. Pregnant women and kids with broken arms? Sorry, that’s why they offer insurance. When the kid is born or the arm is healed, then come back to the parks as non disabled guests. Nobody is defending those type of people on here. Personally, I think the healthy people who abused the original Disney process to the point where they had to change it are creatures.

            However, my simple statement was for some of the things I read in this comments section that prompted me to post. For someone to have the guts to tell someone who is the mother of a special needs child that she shouldn’t bring her child to Disney unless she wants to wait with all the other kids is just crazy. Maybe I’m oversensitive. I have never had anybody in my family be special needs and I am the father of two healthy (knock on wood) children. And I would gladly wait an extra 10 minutes on a ride if it meant that 50 families with special needs got ahead of me on that ride.

            Your silly assumption is that all 2,000 of these special needs people were coming to the same park as you and riding the same ride as you at the same time. It is probably closer to 700 at MK and then 300 at EPCOT, HS and AK. And that seems a little high, but whatever. Now, even if all 700 families jumped ahead of me at Space mountain, and I had to wait an extra hour with my two healthy kids, I would not care. For one thing, to me, waiting with my kids is fun because it is time they can’t do anything but stand around with me…they are trapped. And two, it’s called being a good person. Being thankful for what you have. And paying it forward.

            I have to be honest with you…someone who has to actually figure out the # of disabled people going into the parks daily so that they can then complain about them all getting in front of them in line and causing them to have to wait longer….I won’t even say it. I’ll just say Ugh.

          • Sye

            It’s a matter of simple math. It’s not that hard to figure out. Just like you may not mind waiting extra time for people in line, I don’t mind taking 20 seconds out of my day to do a division problem. Having a child with autism, I am up to date on studies and things that go on within the community. The number of 1/68 children having autism is incredibly recent. Even if it wasn’t, I’d know off the top of my head that previously the results were 1/88 – but I could see how a parent keeping up on the studies that involve her child would be atrocious.

            Anyway, my numbers included ONLY autism. That’s a small snippet of people that acquire the disability pass each day. So 2000 is much more than that. But I was trying to show you that a single disability creates thousands of people using the system. But even using your numbers (which are scewed, just like mine since it’s actually MORE people) if you wait 10 extra minutes for 50 people and there are 300 people using the system that’s still a collective hour of extra waiting simply because someone doesn’t have a disability. That’s wrong. I’m sorry you disagree. There is nothing heartless or rude about saying ‘hey, we all wait.. but let’s make your wait more comfortable’ at a THEME PARK where waiting is part of the game. We do an 8 day trip. That would add an entire 8 hours of EXTRA waiting just with that logic… and since it’s more, it’d be more than that. Not to mention it clogs up the FP lines… it’s just feasible.

            I can’t take my daughter to the bowling ally because of the lights and the sounds. Even if they were willing to stop with the lights and music, the sound of the ball cracking into the pins would set her off. But that’s the nature of the establishment. They can’t change that, and why would I expect them to? I make a choice for the well being of my child not to put her in that situation.

            And THAT’S where I see people saying parents shouldn’t be taking their kids to WDW. It’s in response to comments such as ‘my child will throw themselves on the floor and bang their head on the concrete repeatedly if they have to wait more than 10 minutes,’ or ‘my child will physically assault other people in line. We need immediately access to avoid that’ or ‘my son is a 200lb grown man and he will beat me up if we have wait any longer than 20 minutes tops.’ Those types of people really do need to re-evaluate their vacation destination for their child’s well being and those around them. As special needs parents, we are always evaluating a place before we go and assessing whether our kids can handle it… and the fact that people are not doing that with Disney and expecting Disney to completely accommodate things that parents should be responsible for is reprehensible.

            As far as the new disability pass (which is what this lawsuit is about), I find it to be great. Is it is as great as being able to walk up to a ride with a 1 hour or more wait and just hop into the 10 minutes FP line? No. But it’s a fair system. While I wait 40 minutes for Space Mountain I can head over to the Buzz ride and use a FP+ reservation, and then come out and meet Buzz himself, and then head over to Space Mountain. It takes some planning, but I just accomplished 3 things in the same time period that someone else is waiting in the standby line. That’s awesome.

            Your whole argument was that it was appalling that people wouldn’t ‘wait longer and like it’ for no other reason than kindness on a $5,000+ dollar vacation is, in my opinion, ridiculous. There is no reason for people not wait their turn, it’s just a matter of where.

          • cfioren317

            You are the queen of the straw man I have to give you that. My comments were against people who do not even like the advantage you get…the advantage that you just described….which is to wait for your ride, but not wait in line.

            What you are basically getting is a custom 40 minute FP for Space Mountain. If 2000 people get to do what you do, then they are cramming up the lines at Buzz, meeting Buzz, and all the rest of the rides near SM. One the one hand, you complained earlier about this…and now you are saying you are OK with it? I am totally confused by what you are trying to prove by having an autistic child and arguing with me for pointing out the callousness of those people with no sympathy for your exact plight but whatever. After reading your last statement, I have come to the conclusion that you just enjoy arguing for the sake of argument.

            Have a great day.

          • Sye

            Then perhaps we have a misunderstanding. Because I’m absolutely A okay with the DAS as it is now. What I’m not okay with is the complaining to bring back the GAC – which is the old card that allowed immediate access and increased the wait times. 2000 people using the DAS DO NOT cram up the wait times, but using the GAC they did, which is why the system changed.

            That is what this lawsuit is about – a few people aren’t happy with the DAS because they have to wait instead of getting the near immediate access they got with the GAC.

            I’ll just assume that you have little information on the disability programs with Disney since you haven’t used them and you were not fully aware of what this lawsuit was in regards to. I haven’t seen a single soul that is against the DAS as an accommodation for the disabled – they’re against the GAC (the old system).

          • cfioren317

            I went back and had to read some of the comments that prompted me to write my original comment…I had to sort the view by best…if these types of comments don’t sicken you, then I am not really sure what would.

            **************************************************************************
            What child (disabled or not) does not break down walking long distances, standing in long lines, and enduring heat all day. It has nothing to do with having a disability, all children behave the same way at theme parks, period. Their mannerisms and behavior are based on discipline and routine from their parents.

            My response: OK, so in this person’s mind, having a child with a disability is no different than a child without a disability. It’s all the parents fault. Uh-huh.

            **************************************************************************
            I’ve never understood why someone with disabilities should not have to wait in line like everyone else. Obviously, being disabled is unfortunate and no one would ever wish that on someone, but exactly to your point, there’s no good way for Disney to handle this, because it shows preferential treatment of guests. My advice, use the magic bands and set up fastpasses so you don’t have to wait in line for those rides, and visit at a time of year that’s less busy. That’s what I do anyway.

            My response: Contrary to what you write, Sye, there are more than a few people who feel this exact way…that YOU should have to wait in line “like everyone else”.

            *************************************************************************
            It should be the disabled person and one other that is allowed on the DAS card, the rest should have to stay in line and wait…… Your family is not disabled . I for one will continue pushing for this to take effect in all parks. To others write or call and ask for this. Thanks

            My Response: So this genius is upset because the DAS card allows the family to ride instead of the just disabled person and one other. Seems fair to me that a family of four shouldn’t get to stay together to ride the ride together so that this creature doesn’t have to wait an extra 15 seconds. Right.

            *************************************************************************
            Newsflash for you Geri – we have every right to comment, because people like you, that thought walking straight into a ride with no wait using the GAC, negatively impacted EVERYONE that was waiting in line while you waltzed around like a queen with her prince, riding all day long with no wait.

            My Response: This one was just pure genius…yeah, the family with a disabled child “waltzes around like a queen with her prince”. Very, very sad.
            **************************************************************************

            And this was literally the first 5 minutes I started reading the comments. I have no problem with them getting rid of the GAC card and replacing it with the DAS. I know what there is to know about both, and like I said, I know the GAC was being abused. We’ve all read the stories. But those 4 comments above have nothing to do with that. They have to do with callous individuals who have no clue what they are talking about.

            ps How does using your DAS card to be able to do other things, like ride Buzz and meet Buzz not cram up the times at the other things you are doing instead of waiting in line? Even if you go out and buy a hot dog, you are doing something productive with that 30 minutes of waiting that non disabled people won’t get to do. I’m not arguing against the DAS here…I just think it is ludicrous to ignore the effects that DAS has on other wait times…does it affect SM wait time? Probably not. But it does affect everything else you get to do while you aren’t waiting. And then those are things you don’t have to do since you didn’t have to wait.

          • Sye

            You sir, have a fundamental misunderstanding of the disability process at Disney. In October 2013 Disney changed their disability policy to the DAS – which allows guests to get a return time and come back to the ride equal to the standby time – 10 minutes. Prior to October 2013 someone with the old program (GAC) could walk directly into the FP line and wait 10 or so minutes while a typical guest waited in standby for however long. THAT is what people have a problem with – that a disabled guest could ride the same ride 5 – 6 times (and believe me, it’s happened. It’s called looping) while a non disabled family waits to ride it once.

            What you’re failing to recognize is that people saying ‘disabled people should wait just like the rest of us’ are referencing the difference between the GAC and the DAS – one had waits while the other does not. People aren’t pissed that a DAS has to wait outside the line, they’re pissed that people are complaining that they have to wait at all since they didn’t with the GAC. And I don’t disagree – everyone should wait just like anyone else, it’s just a matter of where.

            The DAS allows me to do other things and not cram up wait times because I’m in the standby line. I’m not getting expedited access. To get that hotdog I’m waiting in the same lines, for the same length of time – I’m not waltzing up to the front and bypassing the 5 other people waiting. If I want to ride Buzz and I have a FP+ I’m using the same service everyone else is. If I want to meet Alice by the teacups I wait in the same line as everyone else. The DAS is still an extra benefit obviously because I can do things while others can’t. That’s why I’m annoyed people care complaining about it. It was the OLD SYSTEM (GAC) that was clogging up the lines, allowing most disabled folk to bypass significant wait times and making the waits longer for other guests. The biggest complaint from the disabled community (a small minority) about the DAS is that we now have to wait… and that’s sad/crazy to me. If you really don’t see the difference of line efficiency between my family walking up to Toy Story Mania and jumping into the 15 minute fast pass line immediately (while it has an hour wait) and getting a return time to come back nearly equal to the standby line and then coming back, then you just don’t. But it seems to me you think people are annoyed that disabled get a return time to come back when they’re actually annoyed that people are complaining about doing just that. It’s not something you’ve ever had to use or research, so I can see why you wouldn’t quite understand.

            As far as the person who thinks the family should split up, that’s stupid. Sure. You’ll always have some of those people. Dancing around like a princess or whatever it said, not a great thing to say but frankly having seen the way some of the disabled community respond I could see why they give off that interpretation. To see some of the blogs that complain that their son will no longer be able to ride Space Mountain 9x in a row because now they have to wait (outside the line) certainly gives off that vibe.

            As far as an autistic child being the same as a non-autistic child… obviously they aren’t. BUT, I’ve used the same discussion point when someone uses the reasoning of having ‘less time in the parks so they should be able to do what a typical guest does in 8 hours.’ That’s just bogus. If someone has 4 hours to spend in the parks they should do 4 hours worth of things whether they’re disabled, non disabled, elderly, etc. That’s how life works. Using that reasoning a family with a 2 or 3 year old should be able to get the pass, because they have limited time in the parks. While I don’t agree that tantrums and meltdowns are the same, I do agree that we all have to work around those things and know how to deal with it given the situation. If I know my child can’t handle the loud boom of fireworks, then we don’t go to them if I can’t help mitigate that with noise cancelling headphones, etc. That’s just the way it is. If someone has a 3 year old they know they need to nap. They don’t drag them around until 9pm and expect Disney to accommodate the tantrum or do something so that it doesn’t happen in the first place.

            There is a large portion of personal responsibility that is missing from many of the posts from the disabled community in this thread – and that’s a problem. Thankfully, they are a small handful.

          • cfioren317

            Sye, let’s just debate my point on how using the DAS affects the wait times on other rides and we will agree to disagree on our feelings on what others have written.

            First, I know exactly how the GAC and DAS work. In the GAC, you could walk into the FP line anywhere and get ahead of the standby. As many times as you wanted. This directly affected the wait times for people in the standby line no doubt about it. Minus all the abuse, was this a good system? Personally, I never had a problem with it, but we’ll agree to disagree on that point.

            In the DAS system, you go to the front of SM and they give you a return time…say for example, 40 minutes. So you now have 40 minutes that the standby people do not have. Good so far, right?

            OK, so now, while the standby people at SM are waiting in line doing nothing…no eating, no seeing Buzz, no getting pictures with whoever…you are crossing those things off your list. You are also there adding to a line that the standby people can not add to while they wait for SM. So when you walk into the Buzz ride, even though you have a FP, you are affecting the wait time on that ride. You would not have been able to go to your FP time but for the DAS. And as for the standby people on SM, they would likely miss their FP window for buzz while waiting in line for SM. You are killing two, three birds with one stone. I didn’t say you cut in line to get a hot dog. But by buying that hot dog while “waiting in line for SM” you have effectively saved 15 minutes that somebody waiting in line at SM does not have.

            Again, let me be clear so nobody thinks I am being callous…I am not against the DAS. I just want to point out that while you may think it is not affecting the wait times for any rides, it most certainly is. And while you may think it is not a huge advantage, it most certainly is. Is it as much as with the GAC? No, but I will say this…had they simply forced a one-ride limit on the GAC and given it only to those who really deserved it, then the DAS and the GAC aren’t that much different. The only real difference is that you are getting to do a few other things during the 40 minutes that the stand by people are waiting in line. But had they limited it to just one ride using the GAC, what’s the difference between going to the FP, waiting 10 minutes then riding, then spending the next 30 minutes on Buzz and getting a hotdog while the SM people wait 40 minutes? None.

          • Sye

            We agree that the DAS is still advantageous over non disabled guests – which is one of the biggest reasons I have a problem with disabled guests complaining about it. We agree on that. I know that stand by people don’t have that benefit.

            However, using a FP+ for Buzz is entirely different. I’d hold that FP+ time regardless of the DAS and be in that line. There are a limited number offered to keep the times for those lines down. I’d be in that line regardless of the DAS. The DAS doesn’t allow me to go to that FP+ time. I’d be there regardless. The benefit is that the DAS is allowing
            me to wait virtually for something I wouldn’t be able to do otherwise -you’ve got that backwards.

            While I understand what you’re saying about standby lines – that I’m essentially taking a spot that wouldn’t be possible with the DAS – you’re right. However, the amount of time and clogging adding people to the standby line is a world
            apart from the FP line… a line meant to be fast. Having people go into the FP line was creating a bottleneck in the process. If they giveout 100 FPs per hour time slot in order to keep the FP lines stable, but 50 people with GACs go into that line, you don’t think that’s makingthe waits of FP and standby much longer? The difference is in the
            ability to spread out the people returning into the FP line. I can’t remember the formula (shocking I know, since I live to argue about disabilities!) but the ratio of FP:SB guests allowed through the line was extensive. If I go into the standby line, that wait time is able tobe monitored and in monitoring the standby time the DAS user of that ride will in turn wait the appropriate amount as well. Regardless, if Disney limited the use of the GAC to once per right you know darn well people would STILL have a problem with it and still cause a fuss. Because now non disabled folk can go onto a ride as many times as they like but someone can’t with the GAC unless they wait in a line (which they can’t do).

            So, I suppose it depends on how you look at standby times versus fastpass times and what actually makes them lengthy.

          • cfioren317

            Here’s the scenario I am thinking of…assuming all the wait times are accurate…tell me where I am off:

            You and a person without DAS have 3:00 pm FPs for Buzz. The wait is 1 hour for SM. Right now, it is 3:10.

            You can go get your 1 hour DAS for SM and then do your Buzz ride during that hour and then you go back to SM at 4:10.

            The person without DAS can only go to Buzz now unless they want to lose their FP since they won’t be out of SM until 4:10. So they use their FP at Buzz, and say it takes 15 minutes…now they get into line at SM at 3:25 and it is 4:25 before they ride SM.

            You are now 15 minutes ahead of the non-DAS person. There’s no other way to look at it. And that’s just one ride. With fast passes. If you extrapolate this out over the course of a day, you are either going to get to do much much more or you are going to get to do the same amount of things in much less time. Again, no problem from me. Just pointing this out. As you have said…I agree that the DAS people are stupid for arguing against it. They are getting the exact benefits as non disabled people…at worst. At best, if they plan it out like you do, then they can do two, three, four things while waiting that one hour outside the line.

            That’s a good point about the GAC adding to the FP time to wait. But if it were limited to once a day, then it wouldn’t be as much of an issue and they can even build in averages for GAC usage. I don’t think a court would allow them unlimited FP access, since that is not possible for stand by people.

            Maybe a combination of GAC and DAS…you get one GAC use and then unlimited DAS use. So you do get that first fast ride and then if you want to continue, you still have to wait, but you don’t have to wait in the line. As I have always said, I am not against the GAC. I am against the abuse of it. At its core, I still do think it is the best program for families with disabled children. Just no more than once and crack down on who gets it.

          • Sye

            Like I said, I understand what you’re saying about the wait times. However, in my opinion, it evens out. If the wait time in the FP line turns out to be 20 minutes instead of 10, I’m potentially waiting 10 minutes more than someone who got into the standby line at the same time that I got my return time. Or someone jumps in the standby line for SM at 3:00 and I have return time for 3:50 based on the posted wait time (1 hour minus 10) and the standby line is actually 40 minutes… I ride my Buzz FP+… the standby guest gets out at 3:45 and heads over to their FP+ at Buzz… I get back in the SM line at 3:50p and ride at 4:00p. By 4:05p we’re right about the same pace. There’s no way to make it completely even across the board. There’s too many variables. But if at the end of the day the balance is only shifted by 10 or 15 minutes, I think that’s as close as it’s going to get – regardless of who comes out on top with that (DAS or not).

            I think the 1 ride with the GAC before using the DAS still makes it much more desirable for abusers. I really don’t see the need to offer a benefit above and beyond the DAS, particularly since FP+ came out and can be scheduled in advance.

          • Sye

            Also, I mentioned my child because you seemed to think I go about my day dissecting line times and numbers in regards to the disabled when in fact, it’s part of my daily life. Your pompous accusation is what brought it about since you clearly have no idea what goes on with the parent of a disabled child.

          • Sye

            P.S. – that’s not including people who would obtain the old GAC who shouldn’t have been issued it in the first place – pregnancy (what?!), wanted expedited service in the parks… I had someone ask me once if they could get a GAC because her son had a broken arm and that would mean he’d tire out more quickly. No. Just no.

        • Nadia

          “Are you really trying to say that a disabled child should have to wait the same hour as a non-disabled child? Seriously?” Is that not the whole point of the ADA-equal access?

          • cfioren317

            Yeah I guess you are right. I guess everyone is right. I am the idiot for thinking that families with disabled children should be given special treatment and maybe put me and my family out a whole hour out of my day because they were allowed to get in front of me on the rides.

          • Sye

            I understand why you’re saying it, but it’s just not logical. If 2 people pay $100 there’s no reason one of those people should walk into the parks with an hour handicap because they’re not disabled. And that’s an hour per day.

            I offer kindness to people throughout the day – opening doors for a wheelchair user, grabbing something off the top shelf of the grocery store for someone elderly, etc. I don’t believe the majority of people are selfish jerks and I think most people would do a kindness for people if they’re capable… but people are looking at this like an emotional thing and it’s really not. It’s a business decision. Taking the emotional aspect out of it really helps see both sides of that. It’s a vacation – it’s not school, it’s not a job, it’s not a sports team. It’s a theme park.

          • Nadia

            This is not about whether there should be special treatment or not, though, the lawsuit is saying Disney is violating ADA. ADA calls for equal treatment, not special treatment.

          • NotMeThisTime

            I wouldn’t say you’re an idiot, but I vehemently disagree with you. The DAS is more than adequate, as it provides advantages to the disabled that the non-disabled don’t have, which is fine.

            But no, a disabled child is no more special than my non-disabled child. Period.

      • sweetreat

        Most autistic kids don’t spend the whole day at a park. I spend typically 3-4 hours before we melt down into a mess and leave.

        • Sye

          Ok? Mine spends all day. Others take a break and go back. If we don’t want people generalizing about autistic kids, you probably shouldn’t be either. We only know what our kids do.

          • sweetreat

            I am not generalizing, I am the parent of 3 autistic children.

          • James Woodlore

            3? Begging the question…..

          • Nadia

            When you say “most autistic kids”, you _are_ generalizing. 3 is not most.

      • Jackie Rose

        That non-disabled child, would she rather have meltdowns. Perhaps feeling intense pain when they hear a sudden loud sound. A feeling of immense fear at flashing lights. Perhaps they’d also like to lose their ability to speak. By all means that non-disabled child is welcome to all the “privileges” that come with cutting in front of the line in front of everyone else.

        • Sye

          These types of arguments are a optional and pointless. Frankly, they don’t matter. The disability isn’t changing so being bitter about it won’t do any good. And frankly, it doesn’t matter legally. Emotions don’t win in court. And let’s be honest, the type of child you just described sounds like a trip to Disney would be a nightmare 90% of the time FOR THEM. Sometimes parents really do need some better judgment versus their wants.

  • Disneyfanatic98

    If only Disney could keep it as it was but find a way to keep the disabled “tour guides” from doing it.

    • Nadia

      That was a very small portion of the problem with GACs.

  • Emylee Gussler

    I am a former CM and also have a child with Autism and I myself suffer from a disability. The old system was abused and that was unfortunate. I have not been to the parks since the new system was introduced, however when I was at the Disneyland Resort just prior to the new system, I found the manner in which the CMs handled our needs for accommodation at DCA (California Adventure) to be very good. We were given a return time, just like Fastpass users and were not limited to only a few attractions at a time. I do not feel that the new system would be descriminatory but as I said, I haven’t used it as of yet. I witnessed on both sides of the view the good and bad of the previous program and understand the irritation any accommodation for others can instigate in those waiting in line. However, until you have dealt with it firsthand, you don’t understand what it is like to be disabled or have a child who has an impairment or disability. No, the world doesn’t always accommodate those who live a challenged life as some do, but it was Walt’s dream to have a place where families could have fun, dream and play together. I can’t possibly imagine that Walt would want the magic and joy of his parks to be essentially denied or diminished for ANYONE, especially a child, simply because of a disability or impairment. No, he would want parents to be able to see their child’s face light up in those experiences and moments, no matter how small, where that child got to be “normal” and not have it tainted by the immense stress caused by a meltdown, overstimulation or the weight of dirty looks, pointing, whispers or laughter because they might act or look differently. It is a sad world we live in when those who are ignorant to the heartbreak a parent feels when their child is given extra challenges feel as if they have a right or the expertise to judge or make a call of bad parenting. A little patience, education, kindness and consideration really does go a long way. When I worked in the Park, I worked in Fantasyland…and there was nothing that brought me more joy than keeping that Disney magic alive for every child I met, no matter what their situation may be. And isn’t that what Disney is all about? Bringing joy to children and their families?

  • IVAN

    If you can’t wait in a line, perhaps a vacation to Walt Disney World or Disneyland just isn’t for you.

    Also, providing things to autistic children to occupy by them while waiting for an attraction return time using the “DAS” is a great idea too. (iPad, toy, book, etc..)

  • DevRose

    We were there last week and my daughter has multiple disabilities (cognitive and physical) and another child with severe adhd I thought the new DAS was incredibly accommodating. We had no issue getting the pass, they did not even ask for her diagnosis. They asked what our concerns were that we felt we needed one and they were in no particular order, endurance (which we solved with a wheelchair), resp issues because of the heat, anxiety, and the ability to access her medical equipment quickly if necessary (for suctioning or if she was needing extra water in her feeding tube). We have never experienced any place being that accommodating (other than universal studios two days later because they offer the same thing). There were five of us in our group and we used our fast passes for her absolutely HAVE to ride rides and the other four of us took turns riding space mountain (she could not ride it). My boyfriend ran ahead and got the return times while I entertained the three kids and sat in the shade and we rode the rides at the return time. We also rode rides during the last parade and fireworks when lines were down without having to use the DAS pass because all the lines were under twenty minutes at that time. I am grateful that Disney goes out of there way to be accommodating and realize they do not have to do as much as they do. I appreciate their efforts and am sad that no matter how much some places do and give, it just isn’t enough for some people. The only thing I wish Disney offered was the child swap out that Universal offered.

    • Nadia

      Disney does offer a riderswap. . .do you mean they are not offering it with the new DAS?

  • CM that cares

    Well as a Cast Member at Walt Disney World, I saw the people abusing the systems that we have in place every day the GAC system and even the DAS system. If you are a Cast the GAC was a nice system but it was flawed just like the DAS is. A lot of people really like the new DAS system though because it works a lot like the system that universal uses. Disney also in certain cases will give out a DAS Re-Ad pass which works as a Fastpass for any ride at any time and you would get enough for around 3 attractions. Now Disney I think need to give them out a little more sparingly than they do now but with this lawsuit maybe they will. The final thing I will say is that my girlfriend of 1.5 years has a19yr old Autistic brother and I have seen them go through the parks with the GAC and DAS the GAC works better but because a few people abused it Disney decided to get rid of it but a lot of people are trying to get it changed.

  • richh19191

    as a disney loving family, every year for the past 30, I have seen more changes then I care to mention, some very good, some not so good. we all deserve to have our moment of relaxsation and fun, anything that can be done to make that possible for families that have a member with a disability should and must be done so that all families can have an equally fun time. Now with that being said, I will tell you what I and other members of my family and friends find is the worst experience at disney,this is both a heaven send for some for others a convience to use in place of thier legs and that is battery operated motor chairs, if you need them they are gift from heaven, but we guessed 80% of these are not needed, they are a hinderence to all, they make for a miserable vacation, nothing like seeing a able bodied person riding around with 3 kids hanging from it, if anything will stop us from visiting this will be it………..

  • James Woodlore

    So. A person who cannot function under the best of circumstances…serious issues with heat, sound, lights, crowds, waiting, food allergies, disruptions to routine. And you want to bring said person(s) to the most crowded theme parks in the world, whose management is already the most accommodating of any theme park…and you are still not satisfied…so you sue.
    I certainly empathize with any special needs person and respect our responsibility to reasonably accommodate everyone’s needs.
    But I am finding it hard to work up any empathy for you, the parent for who nothing can please and who chooses faux martyrdom.

  • Jen

    Here is what people don’t realize, under the old system, even when their wasn’t abuse those with the GAC were riding about 12.5 rides on average a day while those who did not need the assistance were riding about 7.5 a day. This new system makes is MORE likely for Disney to “provide disabled guests the ‘full and equal enjoyment’ given to non-disabled guest”. I understand the stress and confusion from those who have been so used to the old system and don’t like the change, but Disney is still offering assistance to those families. They worked with many of the disability groups who agreed that this was the best way to fix the system while still offering assistance to those who need it.

    • NotMeThisTime

      And that’s what some people don’t like – their ride-time gravy train is over. Now, though they can still ride more rides than non-disabled guests, it won’t be as glaring a discrepancy.

  • hddg

    Ok, I have read some of the responses below. I worked an attraction at Disney for a year full time. I saw many people abusing the chance to have a GAC assistance card. Many of them argued with me because the cards are for the assistance of the person who needs it not the other 5 people attached to the card with the guest. I don’t know how many times I was hated because I followed the rules and not allowed family members to abuse the idea of the card. I also would assist the guest who did need the special care and make sure they had a great time. So in my opinion I almost wish Disney would make guests have to have a medical letter saying they need the DAS card and the use of an electric scooter. This way people would stop abusing the privileges for the ones who need the assistance.

  • independent

    Walt Disney World needs to get rid of fast pass lines and make every single ride ADA accessible. I hated GAC cards and can’t stand DAS cards. Disney brought this problem on themselves. If fast pass wasn’t created they wouldn’t have this drama. Disney doesn’t have to have DAS cards.

  • Shannon

    I was born and raised in Orlando and on the Disney (and other Orlando-based) theme parks, have worked there as a cast member and worked at Universal as well, in several venues including attractions… so I have definitely spent a lot of time in theme parks, as a guest (throughout my entire childhood, as an adult, and with my nieces) and as an employee. I was never, ever bothered seeing disabled folks and their families skip ahead of me in line, nor was I at all bothered when it came to acommodating them on attractions as an employee. I never saw anything but smiles and a sense of graciousness, not entitlement. I heard so many thank-yous and sometimes even tears of gratefulness. I am surprised to see that so many regular guests were annoyed by this. While the new system seems fair enough and could work for many people, I can respect that it may not work for everyone and immediate access might be a necessity for some families to get any enjoyment out of their vacations. Disney certainly does plenty and I don’t know if they deserve to be sued over the new system, however I am not informed enough on the difficulties the plaintiffs may have faced when trying other avenues of negotiation to pass judgement. Seems to me like the system just needs tweaking is all. But wow, was really unaware that so many people were angry over GACs… the way I see it, disabled and/or ill people and their families face so much on a daily basis, if getting backdoored on a ride at Disney gives them a few moments of stress-free enjoyment where they can forget about their daily struggles and just enjoy being a family on vacation it’s no big deal to me. Dealing with lines at the airport, grocery store, food service and what-have-you is one thing, that’s normal life and I’m sure it brings difficulties, but when families of the disabled are on vacation why not give ‘em a break from all that so they can have a moment of relief. Just thought I’d throw in my two cents as a person with no disabilities, with a disability-free family who has spent a great deal of time in Florida theme parks.

  • dan-tot

    I think what is happening is the 1%ers plus the one grandmother in a wheelchair and 10 other people connected to her getting in. I think it should be immediate family and that is it. Those people who think that someone that is disabled is getting by that is horse hockey. I would like them to be in the situation and see how they think they are getting by. I would love for my sister to walk and see Disney through normal eyes but she couldn’t. I would of loved last year my brother to see disney as he remembered it but being blind he could only listen.Now he is gone. The ones to blame is Disney for renting wheelchairs to people who are not disabled. I know we have all seen it. If they had a proof system that, I think would fix some of the problem. So all that are complaining go p%$ up a rope

  • Cappy

    Our family is planning to attempt Disneyland tomorrow. My husband is the member of our family that MAY need to use the DAS because of a brain injury that essentially wiped out his entire right hemisphere. He is able to walk well enough with a special device, but he has residual paralysis in his left arm, left inattention (his brain doesn’t always process things happening on his left), all sorts of perception issues – time, depth, executive functioning issues, etc. Our kids are 3 and 5. Most of the rides we go on (Carousel, Small World, teacups, and good grief I think we’ve spent half a day at that play area in Toontown) have short queues and are relatively easy to navigate. We would not use the DAS for those even if issued. But some rides like Dumbo, have cramped, long lines. I’m worried about people knocking him off balance or him just getting to a point of being cognitively and physically overwhelmed. We would much rather sit on a bench or a curb outside the line and wait our turn for 45 minutes. Shoot, I’d be willing to wait longer if it meant not having to risk triggering a seizure. Unfortunately, from what I’ve read the issuance of the DAS is completely arbitrary. That is the only problem I have with the system. In fact, my husband is assigned to the Wounded Warrior Battalion at Camp Pendleton and we were told by his Recovery Care Coordinator, that the feedback from families is that it is “hit or miss” even when the disabilities are essentially the same. Some guys were even told “just rent a wheelchair”. Clearly, the policy needs to be better defined and the cast members need more extensive training. The ADA, IDEA, etc are meant to LEVEL the playing field and give people what they need to be successful, not give an advantage. My husband doesn’t NEED to go to the front of the line. He does need to make sure he feels in control of his immediate environment to a reasonable extent. Standing in a line while little Tommy is swinging from the bar and his sister Sally is crawling between people’s legs while mom posts a selfie to Facebook is not really safe. That little area behind Dumbo? Yup, he can cop a squat and wait for our turn in “line”.

    We’ve downloaded wait time apps, Disney’s guide for guests with cognitive impairments, discussed how we will handle certain situations, but I would be a lot less anxious if I knew what accommodations were available and could then plan more thoroughly. Having the DAS be a big question mark is a PITA. I’m sure a lot of people reading this are wondering why the heck we are even going. The truth is I’m kind of dreading it. But my husband promised our daughter he would take her Disneyland when he returned from his last deployment in February ’13. One year and a massive brain injury later, he’s determined to follow through with an additional goal of NOT needing the DAS. Fingers crossed.

    • Mandy

      You sound like a reasonable person and I’m sure you’ll have a blast. When requesting the DAS I’d focus more on cognitive issues over physical which is where you’ll receive the wheelchair response

  • Taylor

    Interesting find on another site. I know Iger is not known to answer a lot in detail but this is telling IMO.
    March 18:
    From the Disney Shareholders meeting today. There was a question and answer session with Bob Iger. Jason Garcia from the Orlando Sentinel was tweeting as it was going on:

    @Jason_Garcia: Parent of autistic kids asks Iger if Disney will revisit its recent policy change allowing front of the line access for special needs.

    @Jason_Garcia: Iger doesn’t directly answer, but says Disney didn’t mean to take benefits away from those who truly need it….

    @Jason_Garcia: Adds that if autistic kids can’t wait in a 20-minute Fastpass line, Disney should accommodate. “We should be able to address that.”

    • Dan

      If they can’t wait in a 20 minute fast pass line the old system wouldn’t help them either.