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Topic: Park queue concessions for visitors with mobility/other medical problems

  1. #1

    Default Park queue concessions for visitors with mobility/other medical problems

    Hi all

    We have been frequent visitors to Orlando and the attractions over the years whilst our children were young, that was until our son had a bit of a tussle with cancer. This brought about a four year gap whilst he battled and won his fight with the C.

    In 2016 we were back and were fortunate enough to stay at Give Kids The World, which as some of you may be aware, is a holiday village for youngster who have or are still battling life changing/limiting conditions.

    One of the greatest gifts from GKTW is the fast passes that allow unlimited superfast access to all rides/attractions in all of the main parks. These are amazing and make such a difference to a GKTW families visit, they are of course limited to the week you stay there and are a once in a lifetime only gift.

    Fast forward to our 2018 vacation which will see, most probably, our last visit to Orlando as a family - our kids are no longer kids! Problem is one of the many side effects of Chemotherapy for my son is multiple skin problems and tiredness. He also has a dodgy knee (after completing the BBC Children In Need Rickshaw Challenge in 2015 - funnily enough off to the Hosp today for an MRI on it to check it out, we know itís a meniscus tear/cyst, thankfully it is not a return of the C that we feared )

    My question is what, if any, concessions are available in the parks to families with members suffering from the above mentioned problems? I read on this forum a question being asked about diabetic people being able to queue hop due to this condition. I am Diabetic and would never dream of using that as a reason to gain fast access, however my son has difficulty standing for long periods (not helped by his tiredness) and is advised by the skin specialist to avoid the sun where possible. The likelihood of his knee being operated on and being fully functional before we go is very very slim, we are hoping to delay the operation until our return.

    I understand that there are concessions in place for people with poor mobility etc and wondered how we should go about requesting them? I guess itís a visit to guest services as soon as we hit the parks? Has anyone else been in a similar position and obtained any assistance? What does it consist of? I am sure that I read on here you may be granted extra fast passes?

    Whilst on the subject of fast passes how exactly do they work? We used them in Euro Disney many moons back, that was when you went to the ticket machines outside the ride and claimed a fast pass by popping your access card into it giving you a ride slot at an allocated time. I believe itís all done online now? Is it 30 days before you wish to use them? How long are they valid for! Is there an idiots guide to them on this forum?

    Thanks so much for taking the time to read this and extra big thanks if you may be able to offer any advice.

  2. #2
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    Hi,

    I can relate to some of your questions, our son Joshua has Autism/learning difficulties and is also non verbal.
    It is a challenge travelling to Florida but we have been around 10 times with him now. We can't queue for long, not because of mobility issues, just he doesn't understand the patience aspect of waiting in a queue, though to his credit he has improved
    dramatically over the years.

    There used to be a Guest Assistance Card (GAC), which was pretty much a front of the line thing but Disney changed that several years ago to the Disability Access Service Card (DAS).
    Because of these changes and the changes to the fastpass system it's more complex now, and I suppose with that comes a lot more planning.

    When we last visited last May it was our first time with the new DAS pass, and also using FP+ too. Our plan was to do what we have always done, get to the parks early whilst it's quieter and cooler. At that time in the morning some rides you will be able to get
    on without the need for any queuing at all. We booked FP+ timings using the My Disney Experience App on the rides that were 'must do' and used the DAS when we needed to. We found we could be in an area of the park where there were a few attractions we wanted to
    do, so I would often walk ahead to an attraction and book a DAS in advance knowing that we had 2 or 3 other rides we could get on first, either by FP or by rides just not being busy.

    Familiarisation of the parks, location of certain rides, was an advantage we had from previous holidays.

    Times have changed, and now even more planning has become essential, the internet, mobile phone apps, magic bands mean more planning than ever is needed, but you will find your way of doing things at the end of the day!
    We find with Joshua there is always the element of 'thinking on your feet' and prepare for change, I must admit we were worried about the change from the GAC to the DAS, but with good planning the DAS can become an additional thing to use rather than having to rely
    on it. I suppose we are lucky in that we have been many times, and also to DLP, so despite changes to the way things work, we had that experience tucked away to call on whenever we need it, and after all with our son our plans always change reflecting the situation
    at the time.

    In our experience Disney are very considerate for taking people's individual needs into account, we didn't miss out on anything we wanted to do.
    At the end of the day we all want to do what everyone else does. get on the attractions, eat out in restaurants and have the same opportunities that everyone else does, our 'special needs' makes that more difficult but with thought, planning and some help from
    the Disney cast members it's definitely achievable. The fact is we cannot wait for ages in line, so we have to plan and act around that.

    The advice you get from Disney may be different to ours, whilst Joshua uses a wheelchair that is because his condition means he cannot walk long distances, but that's not necessarily for physical reasons.
    We also always carry a medical cover note describing briefly his autistic background.

    I am sure you will get more advice and I am also sure I will think of other things to add!

    There are links below which may be of use on the disability guidelines etc, I could expand on all but I am sure you will get other replies so maybe have a read as a starter point?


    https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/en...-disabilities/
    https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/en...-disabilities/
    https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/bl...rd-fact-sheet/
    https://www.undercovertourist.com/bl...cess-das-card/
    https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/en_GB/fastpass-plus/
    Last edited by Johnny Sharp; 06-06-2018 at 09:38 AM.
    "No man stands as tall as when he stoops to help a child. Thank god Joshua has a very tall dad!" - Deb Ireland 2007


  3. #3

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    Hi Johnny

    Thanks so much for your reply, I will take a look at the links a little later, just off out to hospital.

    Forgot to mention that the info will also be used by family friends we are meeting in Orlando, they are at GKTW for the first week and then we share two weeks before they go and then we have a further week.

    Their son has Aspergers and multiple heart problems so they will have the magic pass for the first week and then hopefully a DAS card.

    Best regards

  4. #4
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    Hi HappyChappy - good to see you back on the forum and many best wishes for the upcoming trip.

    As regards the FastPass+ system for WDW, it IS complicated to start with but good to use once you've got your head round it and can use it to your advantage. It DOES require you to be organised and savvy about the online system, called My Disney Experience. You create a MDE account at www.disneyworld.co.uk in the first place and, as soon as you have your tickets (with their ref number) you add that to your account. Once you reach 30 days from your arrival date (presuming you are staying off-site), you can start to book FP+ rides (3 per day). It's pretty simple once you get going, but it's also worth having the MDE App on your mobile as well (as Disney has free WiFi throughout its parks).

    You can see the full explanation of MDE and how to use FP+ here: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/en...ey-experience/

    Have a good look at it and then come back with any further questions, which I'm sure we'll be able to answer

    As ever with an Orlando holiday, take things slow and steady and it will all work out!

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    Hi happy chappy and welcome back to the forum. It is good to hear your positive news. I'm sorry to say I cannot help with your enquiry as my experience relates to a different time period when Disney's approach to disabled guests was much different.
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  6. #6
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    You are correct that a stop at Disney's Guest Services for guests with disabilities should be your first order of business. They will assess your needs and offer the best assistance they can, given your specific needs. It may be a DAC or it may be something else.

    I haven't heard of DACs being given for things like diabetes. It was sometimes covered on the GAC, depending on the situation, but I THINK that was one of the things they did away with. I could be wrong, but that is my understanding. There was a tremendous amount of "abuse" of the GAC system, which is one reason they changed it, and I think fewer situations are covered by it now.











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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by happychappy1 View Post
    Hi Johnny

    Thanks so much for your reply, I will take a look at the links a little later, just off out to hospital.

    Forgot to mention that the info will also be used by family friends we are meeting in Orlando, they are at GKTW for the first week and then we share two weeks before they go and then we have a further week.

    Their son has Aspergers and multiple heart problems so they will have the magic pass for the first week and then hopefully a DAS card.

    Best regards
    Always glad to help, I am sure Guest Services (which you can find just inside the entrance of all the parks), will be helpful - we tend to always use the Magic Kingdom one as that's generally our first Disney park.
    "No man stands as tall as when he stoops to help a child. Thank god Joshua has a very tall dad!" - Deb Ireland 2007


  8. #8

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    Thank so much one and all.

    Lots to be goin* on with!

    Had a busy day printing bits off from t’internet and booking car etc on Virgin site.

  9. #9
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    Good luck with everything.
    "No man stands as tall as when he stoops to help a child. Thank god Joshua has a very tall dad!" - Deb Ireland 2007


  10. #10

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    Thanks Johnny

    Another quick question, if I may.

    Sort of nailed the Disney pass subject, but am now wondering if the other parks have a similar pass system?
    Last edited by happychappy1; 08-06-2018 at 09:06 AM.

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