Guest Assistance Card to Become Disabled Assistance Service

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There has been a lot of talk about the Guest Assistance Card. We posted a couple articles about some things we had heard floating around and it seems as though these changes are now slowly becoming a reality.

You may have heard already, but these changes were needed because of the abuse that was all over the news. I don’t like when people abuse anything. Especially because then it makes it harder for those of us that really do need this card.

For now, as far as I know, these changes will be taking place at Disneyland. I am pretty sure Disney World will soon follow. I think Disney’s system will probably closely resemble the Disneyland model, with the exception of the use of Magicbands which Disneyland does not have. It has been reported that the current GAC system will cease to exist as of Oct. 9, 2013. I know that date seems really close but remember we have been hearing about changes coming for a few months now.

The new system will be called Disabled Assistance Service.

The way it is now in Disneyland and California Adventure is, if you have a GAC you get a return pass, which works pretty much like a traditional fast pass.

Now with the DAS service it will go like this:

  • There will be Guest Relations kiosks set up all throughout the parks.
  • You tell the CM what ride you want to go on and they will check the current wait time on their iPad and then the CM will write out a return time on your DAS card. It is said they will subtract some travel time.
  • You can do whatever you want within that time. Just like with a traditional Fastpass.
  • Don’t forget, you must return within the time frame on the card, again just like a traditional Fastpass.

The way the GAC works now is you can enter through the Fastpass line to basically whatever ride you choose at whatever time you choose. I know there are different stamps for the GAC pertaining to different access for different disabilities. I hear that will also be no more. There will be just one DAS card for everyone who needs it. They will also encourage you to get a wheelchair( if your disability is physical)  instead of giving you the assistance. I know this because they have done this to me personally. To me that is inappropriate because as long as I can walk I will!

Currently the GAC is good for the length of your stay or if you are a passholder you can get it for 2 months at a time. As I have reported that has now changed. It is now good 2 weeks. I was told that this will continue down until you get it for one day and then no more. They are doing this to get all of the current GAC’s out of circulation. With the new DAS system the card will only be good for one day. However if you are staying for longer than that and you can prove it they may give it you for your length of stay.

Also your picture will be on the front of the card so they can verify that it is you that is in fact using the card and you are not passing it off to all of your family and friends.

It has also been rumored that DCA is making changes to their queue lines to accommodate wheelchairs and ECVs.

From what I have heard Disney World will also be associating a picture with the new GAC, or whatever they decide to call it. I was told that it will work with the new Magicbands. So if you are an annual passholder this will, or at least it should be, permanently associated with your Magicband. The CM I spoke to did not know how long the new card would be good for annual passholders but it should be a permanent thing in my opinion. Most of us who have disabilities will have them for life, unfortunately, so why make us have to constantly go back and ‘renew” something for a condition that is not going to change.

I know there a lot of questions as to how this will work for individual with Autism, well nothing has been said about that. I would imagine that Disney would not leave anyone out with the new rule change.

It has been said that Disney will allow CM’s to make a judgment as to who needs what service the most. Well let me say that Disney is smarter than that, they know that CM’s are not doctors and there is no way they can tell what is wrong with someone by just looking at them. I do not look disabled in any way. If you saw me you would never believe it but trust me I have many issues going on that are not seen. They are known as ‘Invisible Disabilities” and many of us have them.

I do hope this change is for the better but I have my doubts. Stay tuned because as soon as we know the latest so will you!

Wishing you Faith, Trust, and Pixie Dust



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18 thoughts on “Guest Assistance Card to Become Disabled Assistance Service

  1. My husband used a disability card on our last trip and at no time was it a “fastpass” for us. If there was a ride that he could not stay on his ecv in line, we were taken to a handicapped line, but we waited just as long as the other guests in most cases. In some cases, more if we were in a line waiting for a special train/car/ride. I think part of the problem is that the general public thinks that a disability card is a free”go to the head of the line now and get on the ride card’ and that created perception problems, that people with “invisible” disabilities were misusing the cards. It said right on our card, and was repeated by the hostess, that this was NOT a “fastpass” or a go to the head of the line card.
    I hope that it ends up being something that can be scanned/entered onto your magicband for the length of your trip – otherwise, it will generate some horrible (and well deserved) press for “the happiest place on earth”.

  2. If your daughter suffers from Misophonia and can’t be in crowds, is Disneyland really the best place to take her? Disneyland is probably one of the worst places to take a child who can’t be around others. Also, if a simple yawn, cough, etc. triggers a fight or flight reaction, what does she do on the rides? Misophonia means literally the “hatred of sound”. Obviously it isn’t enjoyable to her to be going on those noisy rides, let alone visiting a very noisy theme park………

  3. My son has aspergers and we have not shared that with him yet. We don’t believe he needs to be labeled with this at his age. If he has to have his picture on a card and no one else does, he will start asking questions.

  4. I’ve been trying to come up with a polite response to your snarky comment and I’m not able to do it when my “mama bear” instinct is kicking in. I’m glad the new system will work for you. I’m not so sure it will work so well for my family.

  5. DW (FL) has made large (wide) que lines so we can remain with our families without all the hassle. Those of us with ECV are transferred to wheel chairs. My problem is I can’t walk far, stand long periods or walk quickly; hence the use of an ecv. The wheel chair for the line works but is a hassle for my daughter since she has 3 young girls of her own to content to and one still uses stroller from time to time. So she needs to push me, chase them and try to hold the little one all at the same time. It can become cumbersome. The idea works for what Disney wants – the traditional mom, dad and 2 kid family but let’s be honest; most of us are not that these days. We are a migratory mix of generations, families and so forth. Anyway, overall that works in those areas and we are together without issue to others. On rides with moving walkways, that is where I have issue. Haunted Mansion has handled this well. The big ball has not. That rude operator and his assistant about broke my leg and further injured my back due to their actions (rather lack thereof due to refusal to slow the exit walkway) and then the ground person pushing me, on my back, telling me to hurry up. The spot she pushed me at almost took me to my knees on the walkway. This was the first ride of the first day and it almost ended our 2week stay right there. A little more pressure or my daughter not reacting as quickly as she did to remove this woman from me; it would have been hospital time and lawsuit to Disney. These folks cannot judge one’s disability. They need to LISTEN, HEAR and respond. If I could “hurry up”; my entire life would be different these days!

  6. Yes that is what happened to us, we were there a week and my husband had to leave the parks mid day in pain. As he was there with his daughter it took away a lot of the magic of her trip. Until a cm told us about the GAC.

  7. So with a disability I would have to go to a guest assistance kiosk and get a time stamp on my card for a time block to return for each ride. Im disabled that is the point of this card to limit my physical execration not to add to it. And what if there is a line. This does not sound right it would add more problems and stress to a handicapped person.

  8. They can encourage all they want, but they can’t force you to use one. And I am sure if you tell them that using a wheelchair makes things worse, they won’t make you get one.

  9. So now the new card will have us getting a fastpass like anyone else? OK.. so I don’t understand the issue. They will still allow use of the alternate entryways, but no more just running up to whatever ride and getting what I was calling it “the auto-fastpass”? That’s pretty much what the GAC was to me, and automatic fastpass to any ride. So we wait like everyone else?!?! OMG.. the horror. I know there is NOTHING to see or do while we wait for our ride time ***cue eye roll**

  10. I have a 25-year-old brother with Down Syndrome who uses the GAC pass at Disneyland. He is able to walk around the park but when it comes to standing in lines, he becomes agitated, even violent at times. My parents have a trip planned for 3 weeks from now and my mom was concerned after seeing (and being forwarded) all of the articles being posted, from the various sources, on facebook. She decided to call Disneyland guest relations yesterday (9/18) and flat out ask about it. Here is what she wrote in response on one of the posts: “I talked to Disneyland rep yesterday afternoon, they told me there was no change in their “handicap” pass. They are always trying to improve the way things are done, but they won’t punish or ignore the disabled. The guest relations of Disneyland is the best place to get answers.”

  11. I have a physical disability but using a wheelchair would only make me worse because I need to maintain what strength I have in my muscles, it sounds like they are copying universal and when I went there last year I was made to feel a nuisance and I really don’t want that to happen at disney! 🙁

  12. Our daughter is 11 and has autism as well. This GAC pass has been our only reprieve to be able to enjoy a family vacation where we can all let our guard down. I am really disappointed that they had to go to such lengths to make it almost impossible for some families to go. I understand completely it was being abused but to do this is just as wrong. I feel for you and all the other folks with autism. We never abused the card, if we could wait we did. This is a bad idea.

  13. I have an invisible disability unless I stand or walk a lot. Then I limp and can barely walk. Our trip is in 49 days. I have rented an electric wheel chair for the trip. I don’t mind waiting in line I just cannot stand in line.

  14. My daughter suffers from Misophonia and cannot be in crowds or close proximity to others. If she’s near someone that yawns, coughs, clear their throat or other bodily noises – she has a fight or flight reaction. The GAC enabled us to enter through the wheel chair area and gave her plenty of room while waiting for an attractions. What will become of the wheelchair entrances?

  15. i just tried to check both disneyland and wdw facebook pages…no comments are displaying. Did they get bombarded over this issue?

  16. I had to use it last year because of all of my health issues and it made a very nice trip for my husband and I . We are going again in Nov and I am not sure now how it will be but we will make it the best way we can. I can not stand for long periods of time so the lines for me are impossible. We did get some fastpasses which help and it wasnt until 2 days before our trip was over that we found out about the pass and it was told to us by a cast menber. So for 2 days it really was nice.

  17. after many many trips and so many memories we will no longer be able to do disney. My son is 24 on the autism spectrum. WDW is our favourite place, but without the GAC it is totally not going to happen. he will be heartbroken. It appears that disney is going the way of its competition, Universal. I thought disney was so much better than that. But apparently they have no real idea about autism at all.

  18. Sunshine… I was in WDW last week and was echoed most of what you have reported. I pray that with our 10 day stays, we are not going to have to go daily to Guest Relations. I will be watching closely, as I am the owner of Visit Mickey Vacations and we are specializing in travel for Special Needs. Me and my co owner both have children with “Invisible Disabilities” and it’s one of the reasons we opened our agency. We figured it’s hard enough to travel with a Special Needs child, and we want to take away all the details and planning, so they can get there and enjoy. I have been able to celebrate the way Disney treats Special Needs individuals and share that info with everyone… but I must admit I’m nervous for this change, not for just my family… but for all the Guests I want to help along the way.

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