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Old 10-08-2013, 11:03 PM   #106
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SueM in MN View Post
A good couple of reminders:

Everything is going to be new for guests using the new program, but also for CMs, so please everyone be patient with CMs and other guests.

There are people (like the protesters that are apparently coming to DL) who are hoping the program fails and really not giving it a chance. I just hope no one gets hurt out of all this.

One final reminder, the first few days and weeks are going to be the hardest because everything is just getting settled. It probably won't be all worked out for a while. Anyone going in the near future should expect waits and some snafus - expecting everything to roll out completely smoothly would be kind of like going shopping on Black Friday and expecting the stores to be completely empty - it's just not going to happen.
Agreeing with all of this.

I spoke to some of my favorite CMs tonight and they are terrified. It is the attractions CMs who will bear the brunt of the system change, even though they have NO control over it.

So if you are frustrated at an attraction, please do not be mean to the attraction CMs - they are just doing what they were told from above. I suggest finding the nearest kiosk (in DL) or asking for a lead (WDW) who can get you to someone from Guest Relations.

If everyone is patient, that will help the most!
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Old 10-09-2013, 02:15 AM   #107
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As a mother of 2 autistic sons (ages 19 and 10) who both have a difficult time being over stimulated, lashing out at people, being extremely disruptive (violent), completely unable to stand in lines, etc...I took them to Disneyland for years without a GAC.

I didn't even know such a thing existed until a few years ago. I learned to adapt and do what I could do with my kids at DL. We planned things, escape plans, etc, and dealt with things as they came. NOT having a GAC didn't hurt us at all. We went anyway and had WONDERFUL times!

In 2009 I was told about the GAC by my kids' therapist. She suggested it might make things easier for the 'rest of the crowd' because they were very disruptive in lines or very close proximity with strangers. The GAC did make things easier for us and I have been very grateful I learned of it and was able to use it the last few years.

That said, if they suddenly ended the GAC or DAS tomorrow, it wouldn't be any different for us than BEFORE I knew about the GAC. We don't get 'assistance' when we go most other places. We have to deal with what comes everywhere else.

I am grateful Disneyland has ANY accommodations for cognitive disabilities/autism and other non-mobility disabilities. Whatever this new system is I am grateful they have one at all. It will be different, sure. There will be pros and cons as there are with any plan like this.

No matter what my kids' issues are I WILL figure out ways we can go to Disneyland and have a great time regardless of any GAC or DAS they might provide.

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Old 10-09-2013, 07:47 AM   #108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KPeveler View Post
One of these people with a connection told me today that Disneyland would be using Wheelchair Return Cards at select attractions in Disneyland Park only (of course, everything in DCA is accessible).
So I guess that answers the question I had--because I was reading that wheelchair/ECV users did not need a DAS card so I wondered how that would work at non-mainstreamed lines. Disneyland has already been doing something similar at Star Tours so that works for me! I hope they do it for Pirates and Space Mountain because those alternative lines get so long!

Really wish I could go to the park today to see the new program in action for myself. It's raining here now (I live 15 minutes from the park) so that may reduce the crowd size and maybe make implementation on the first day a little easier (I hope).
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Old 10-09-2013, 07:58 AM   #109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SueM in MN View Post
A good couple of reminders:

Everything is going to be new for guests using the new program, but also for CMs, so please everyone be patient with CMs and other guests.

There are people (like the protesters that are apparently coming to DL) who are hoping the program fails and really not giving it a chance. I just hope no one gets hurt out of all this.

One final reminder, the first few days and weeks are going to be the hardest because everything is just getting settled. It probably won't be all worked out for a while. Anyone going in the near future should expect waits and some snafus - expecting everything to roll out completely smoothly would be kind of like going shopping on Black Friday and expecting the stores to be completely empty - it's just not going to happen.
This is what I am stressing over. I wouldn't take my son out shopping on Black Friday... but we're locked into this trip. We thought we were making a good choice in vacation time, but it ended up being the worst possible month to go. I'm gonna be nice and patient, but I'm just have a poor me time with this. Thousands of dollars and months of planning and research, so I'm hoping this changeover goes smoother than expected.
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Old 10-09-2013, 09:15 AM   #110
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Originally Posted by Aladora View Post
The new DAS is giving us what we have always claimed to need, an alternate way to wait. We will now be able to wait in an area or manner that gives us equal access to attractions without giving us faster entrance.
I, for one, am optimistic that Disney will continue to address the needs of those with disabilities on an individual basis. Even among those who share the same disability (e.g. autism) there is such a variation in needs. Everything I read seems to point out that, no matter what, under the new system Disney will be flexible and will listen to individual requests for accommodations. For instance, as mentioned in the above quote, for some people equal access means waiting in a quiet area until their scheduled return time. For others, like my son, who can only bear to be in park no more than 90 mins. at a time, equal access may mean faster wait times so that he might be able to ride e.g. three rides before his stamina is spent.
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Old 10-09-2013, 09:40 AM   #111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piratenightmares View Post
As a mother of 2 autistic sons (ages 19 and 10) who both have a difficult time being over stimulated, lashing out at people, being extremely disruptive (violent), completely unable to stand in lines, etc...I took them to Disneyland for years without a GAC. I didn't even know such a thing existed until a few years ago. I learned to adapt and do what I could do with my kids at DL. We planned things, escape plans, etc, and dealt with things as they came. NOT having a GAC didn't hurt us at all. We went anyway and had WONDERFUL times! In 2009 I was told about the GAC by my kids' therapist. She suggested it might make things easier for the 'rest of the crowd' because they were very disruptive in lines or very close proximity with strangers. The GAC did make things easier for us and I have been very grateful I learned of it and was able to use it the last few years. That said, if they suddenly ended the GAC or DAS tomorrow, it wouldn't be any different for us than BEFORE I knew about the GAC. We don't get 'assistance' when we go most other places. We have to deal with what comes everywhere else. I am grateful Disneyland has ANY accommodations for cognitive disabilities/autism and other non-mobility disabilities. Whatever this new system is I am grateful they have one at all. It will be different, sure. There will be pros and cons as there are with any plan like this. No matter what my kids' issues are I WILL figure out ways we can go to Disneyland and have a great time regardless of any GAC or DAS they might provide.
For DL this was us. I managed fine without the GAC for years. DL is a much easier resort to manage with special needs kiddo because everything is so close and accessible. We easily flip back and forth from one park to another depending upon the crowd levels and times attractions are offered. I also find CA park lower key and easier to your.

WDW is another story. I don't think I would want to visit there without a disability pass. I find it too spread out, crowded, exhausting, and overwhelming.
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Old 10-09-2013, 10:39 AM   #112
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Originally Posted by Minuet888 View Post
"Many people are afraid of the unknown and are feeling very vulnerable right now."

Thank you for posting that KPeveler. I think that really defines what I am feeling right now. As I've said many times before I am the only one who knows what works and doesn't work for my child and I kind of feel like Disney came in and said here, this is what works for your child. I am feeling very vulnerable right now and I don't like feeling that way especially when it comes to my son as I am the only one who can stick up for him. So please understand that from my point of view. Please. In the meantime I am going to take a break from this thread as it is stressing me out in all honesty.
And thank you admins for taking care of that other problem.
I think that what people have been trying to explain is that nobody is telling you how to tour. As you said, you know what does and doesn't work. All anybody is trying to say is to be open to different ideas of how to tour with your son. What you've been doing in the past isn't going to be an option any longer. So, what exactly does trigger him, what works for him outside of WDW when he can't do the same activity over and over, what works for him outside of WDW when there are crowds, etc? If you share things like that with us then maybe we can offer suggestions for how to make it possible to tour using the new DAS coupled with strategies that many of us have used successfully. I for one would love to help. What I can't do is say that you'll be able to continue doing what you have done in the past at WDW. None of us can. We're all trying to figure out how to adapt.

I get the anxiety you're going through. It's rough. Having to change something that's always worked is very stressful. Lets lean on each other during this change.
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Old 10-09-2013, 12:31 PM   #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiggerfied View Post
I, for one, am optimistic that Disney will continue to address the needs of those with disabilities on an individual basis. Even among those who share the same disability (e.g. autism) there is such a variation in needs. Everything I read seems to point out that, no matter what, under the new system Disney will be flexible and will listen to individual requests for accommodations. For instance, as mentioned in the above quote, for some people equal access means waiting in a quiet area until their scheduled return time. For others, like my son, who can only bear to be in park no more than 90 mins. at a time, equal access may mean faster wait times so that he might be able to ride e.g. three rides before his stamina is spent.
I agree with you that to some extent Disney will be flexible as possible to meet certain needs. However, I think you need to be realistic in that "faster waits" for less time in the parks is simply not an "equal" accommodation. There are many people who would appreciate faster waits and less time in the park, more time for something else. I don't see that happening with the DAS.

Have you tried taking a break (or 2 or 3) during the day? Maybe back to the resort to decompress and return to the park later? Or maybe just a quieter spot within the park to have a snack, listen to his favorite music (headphones), read a book or whatever helps to calm him? That would essentially extend your park day and allow you to get more done. Spreading out his rides with breaks between might actually increase his stamina because it's not constant back-to-back-to-back stimulation of 3 rides close together.

Just a suggestion ... I certainly hope you are able to find a way to make your vacations enjoyable!
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Old 10-09-2013, 12:44 PM   #114
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Originally Posted by lanejudy View Post
I agree with you that to some extent Disney will be flexible as possible to meet certain needs. However, I think you need to be realistic in that "faster waits" for less time in the parks is simply not an "equal" accommodation. There are many people who would appreciate faster waits and less time in the park, more time for something else. I don't see that happening with the DAS.

Have you tried taking a break (or 2 or 3) during the day? Maybe back to the resort to decompress and return to the park later? Or maybe just a quieter spot within the park to have a snack, listen to his favorite music (headphones), read a book or whatever helps to calm him? That would essentially extend your park day and allow you to get more done. Spreading out his rides with breaks between might actually increase his stamina because it's not constant back-to-back-to-back stimulation of 3 rides close together.

Just a suggestion ... I certainly hope you are able to find a way to make your vacations enjoyable!
This is exactly what we do. Even though our son is 8, we still go back to the hotel every day for "rest time." (We can't call it nap time, he gets really insulted because "only babies take naps!") We have lunch at the park then go back to the hotel for at least an hour. He can rest, watch tv or play on his DS, while my husband and I usually sleep!

We also spend a fair bit of time in the Main Street Cinema. It's rarely crowded, it's air conditioned and my son can decompress while watching cartoons. It's somewhere that I highly recommend to parents with kids who get overwhelmed for any reason, be it autism or any other reason.
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Old 10-09-2013, 01:23 PM   #115
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We got our pass! The line at guest services took about 10 min. I found out you can get a fast pass and a DAS return pass so it's not bad. We are at DL which is an easier resort anyway though.
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Old 10-09-2013, 01:26 PM   #116
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You know, just when I thought I had heard (and tried) every tip to extend my son's ability to stay in the park, you got me!! I have never been in the Main Street Cinema (even though I've been going to Disneyland since I was a baby in 1957 - AND worked there one summer too!). I love that idea...it sounds right up my son's alley, too! Thank you!
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Old 10-09-2013, 01:38 PM   #117
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We got our pass! The line at guest services took about 10 min. I found out you can get a fast pass and a DAS return pass so it's not bad. We are at DL which is an easier resort anyway though.
Thanks for the update! It's great to hear from someone who is actually at the park and actually getting a DAS instead of "what ifs and who knows!"

Quote:
Originally Posted by tiggerfied View Post
You know, just when I thought I had heard (and tried) every tip to extend my son's ability to stay in the park, you got me!! I have never been in the Main Street Cinema (even though I've been going to Disneyland since I was a baby in 1957 - AND worked there one summer too!). I love that idea...it sounds right up my son's alley, too! Thank you!
It's fantastic! Cool, low lighting, black and white cartoons with just music playing and it is rarely busy! What more could you ask for?

Although, to be honest, I am getting a bit tired of watching the same cartoons over and over and over and over but my husband and I tend to trade off, I'll stay with the boy while he goes and grabs coffee and then he will stay while I go and shop!

Glad I could give some helpful advice!
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Old 10-09-2013, 01:40 PM   #118
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You know, just when I thought I had heard (and tried) every tip to extend my son's ability to stay in the park, you got me!! I have never been in the Main Street Cinema (even though I've been going to Disneyland since I was a baby in 1957 - AND worked there one summer too!). I love that idea...it sounds right up my son's alley, too! Thank you!
I've been coming here for years and just noticed the cinema today! We are going to try that.
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Old 10-09-2013, 03:10 PM   #119
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I use an ECV in DL and am going to be there in 2 weeks. I will most definitley come back and tell you my experience with the new system!
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Old 10-09-2013, 03:38 PM   #120
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I use an ECV in DL and am going to be there in 2 weeks. I will most definitley come back and tell you my experience with the new system!
You will not need a DAS to use the ECV. If you have invisible conditions that are not met by using the ECV, then you may be eligible for a DAS in addition.
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