One of the things I love about Disney is how accommodating they are to all of their guests, especially those with disabilities and special needs. In fact, some may be of the opinion that they can be a bit too accommodating, or perhaps a better way to put it is people tend to take advantage of Disney.
I won’t point out my personal experiences but I will say that I’m pleased that Disney is revising some of their programs to better ensure all guests have a consistent experience. Because people tend to be very sensitive about these types of issues, I thought I’d put out there some of the information that Disney has provided me in case you’re looking for a place to get your questions answered.
In our continued efforts to keep you in the loop of Disney experiences that touch families, we would like to share an upcoming change in the Guest Assistance Card. Disney has an unwavering commitment to making our experiences accessible to all Guests. After careful consideration, we will be replacing the Guest Assistance Card with the new Disability Access Service Card on Oct. 9 to create a more consistent experience for all our Guests while providing accommodations for Guests with disabilities. Until Oct. 9, we will continue to use Guest Assistance Cards. We look forward to sharing more information about the Disability Access Service Card as we get closer to implementation.
We know that you often share news from Disney with other moms so we have prepared the following questions and answers.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How will the new Disney program work?
The Disability Access Service Card will offer Guests a return time for an attraction based on the current wait time. Guest Assistance Cards will continue to be in effect until Oct. 9. We look forward to sharing more information as we get closer to implementation.
Did Disney receive assistance in developing the Disability Access Service Card?
Yes, Disney is engaging disability groups, and Autism Speaks was instrumental in providing feedback as we developed this new process.
Why is Disney making these changes?
Given the increasing volume of requests Disney receives for special access to our attractions, we are changing our process beginning Oct. 9 so that it creates a more consistent experience for all our Guests while providing accommodations for Guests with disabilities.
Who will be eligible for a Disability Access Service Card?
Our goal is to accommodate Guests who aren’t able to wait in a conventional queue environment due to a disability (including non-apparent disabilities).
Will Guests on wish trips also use Disability Access Service Cards?
No. Guests who are visiting through wish-granting organizations will have access through a separate program.
What should Guests do if they have concerns?
Guests should contact Guest Relations to discuss their assistance needs.
*Will Disney still be the happiest place on Earth?
Of course, silly
*This is not an official Disney question. I added that one on my own.
Have a magical day!
Until I read this post, I had forgotten how a friend of mine took advantage of WDW’s disability policy with her child and using someone else’s pass. Then she offered it to me. I declined but remember being disappointed that she would consider such a thing. Good to know that the people/families who need a little extra assistance can do so without others taking advantage of.
So many people are up in arms about it. But there are lots of other ways that Disney is forced to protect itself, even from its own employees. Bottom line is that they simply want to make sure they are helping the people that need to be helped.
P.S. I had a friend that used to take advantage of her mother’s handicapped placard all the time. Just feels wrong. I’m thankful I don’t need that!
My brother broke his ankle just a week before his wedding and Disney World honeymoon, which he enjoyed from a wheelchair. The Guest Assistance Card really smoothed the trip for him, and while I can believe that people would take advantage of this service, I can’t help but be angry about it. It makes me sad that a company that was founded on bringing magic and wonder to families has to deal with assessing whether a customer is being truthful about their needs.
I don’t think they will be assessing as much as simply making it a little less easier to get a GAC. They really just want to help those people that need help. I’m pretty sure a groom with a broken ankle would qualify!