Bad Attraction Assistance Pass Experience at US last time, really apprehensive for next time!

Discussion in 'disABILITIES!' started by mrjcuk, May 28, 2017.

  1. JellyFish72

    JellyFish72 Earning My Ears

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    I'm going to chime in with what happened to me at UO last year; maybe if enough people publicly voice their discontent with the ableism at UO (and I despise that term, but it's incredibly accurate here) things will change.

    I was in Orlando for a week last August, and was incredibly excited to do UO - I'm a huge HP fan, and I hadn't been able to go since the HP lands opened. It was my first time doing a parks trip since I was diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. EDS is a collagen disorder that (among dozens and dozens of other symptoms) causes significant joint instability and dislocations. I was in denial about needing mobility assistance, and thought that UO's Express would be enough to manage the day, like it had been the last two days at WDW.

    Everything was great, until Kong.

    There was not a single employee visible the entirety of the two hour line. Because of the way the ride loads, there are long periods of standing still (which is primarily what bothers me in lines) followed by short bursts of movement. As soon as I started feeling the standing getting to be too much, we started looking for an attendant so I could get out of the line and leave via an exit (the queue is so narrow, you really can't backtrack). By the time we made it to the front of the line, I was sobbing, had multiple dislocations in each foot, and had displaced tendons. Trying to leave the ride, I couldn't walk more than a few feet at a time. My mother went to go get someone from first aid to help - it took the better part of an hour for someone to show. All they were willing to do was hand us a manual wheelchair and leave us to our own devices (that being said, the first aid guy they sent was actually semi-aware of EDS, which is INCREDIBLY uncommon, so props to him). Because of this disorder, I can't propel myself in a manual chair, so my mother WHO HAD A STROKE THE MONTH PREVIOUS had to push me all the way back to the car.

    And it sounds like even if I had an ECV last year, I would have been in the exact same situation. It genuinely ruined the entire day for me last year, made the rest of my trip that much more difficult because I couldn't walk more than a few feet at a time, and it's made it so when I go back this August I'm skipping UO entirely.
     
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  2. DisneyOma

    DisneyOma DIS Veteran

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    But what would you like them to do? CMs in the queue - to be honest, I've never noticed CMs in any queue at WDW or Universal, except where they filter guests.

    Really, the main issue was that you did not see to your own needs - the denial was a hard lesson to learn. They gave you a wheelchair - did they charge you for it? Did you tell them your mom couldn't push the chair? How would they know she had had a stroke?
     
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  4. gottalovepluto

    gottalovepluto DIS Veteran

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    That's a serious bummer! ECVs are a godsend, please don't be ashamed to use one in the future. They made a lot of difference to our park touring and took a lot of stress off other members of the family in having to look out for my Dad.

    Something to remember... I don't think the employees are allowed to help you into the wheelchair at any park, lawsuits could fly left & right, it's how life is now. So, if you couldn't get into the chair 911 would have had to have been called for you (and at your cost).
     
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  5. mindy lou

    mindy lou Mouseketeer

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    I am so sorry this happened to you! My 10 year old son has EDS. Due to some current acute injuries and the normal EDS stuff I was planning on renting a wheelchair for him for our upcoming trip. Although your horrible experience was at Universal, it has really confirmed for me that he needs to have a wheelchair available. One dislocation/subluxation etc and the fatigue could ruin the rest of the trip! The wheelchair will be a way to protect his joints when needed, rest when needed and enjoy as much as possible.

    Again, I am so sorry you had such an awful experience but thank you for sharing it! I hope your next trip is magical!
     
  6. Theme Park Kid

    Theme Park Kid Earning My Ears

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    As someone who works in the industry, I can attest that these decisions are not easily made and are always made on a case-by-case basis. It it true that the parks have become stricter with assistance passes because of the sheer number of guests that ask for them so they can simply “skip” the line or receive a return time and go wait in another line. The intention is to blatantly cheat the system which in turn defeats the purpose of the accommodation. As someone mentioned in an earlier thread, mobility concerns do not necessarily “qualify” the guest for an assistance pass as wheel chairs and ECVs are available. These accommodations can even be arranged free-of-charge at Guest Services if the need is warranted. For those who decline these accommodations, a red flag usually pops up. Guest Services always tries to suggest and provide the best accommodation per guest. If a guest with mobility concerns declines appropriate accommodations it is perceived the guest is simply trying to “game the system”. In these cases the guest is made aware that if the wait times is the major concern, express passes are available for purchase (in the case of Universal Studios). In many cases, however, the guest service representative will document the request and grant the guest an assistance pass as a one-time exception. Because the guest has been made aware that on future visits this type of accommodation will not be provided it circumvents any future misunderstandings, inconveniences, or expectations.
     
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  7. Mrsjvb

    Mrsjvb DIS Veteran

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    my guess is too many people were attempting to claim disability in order to get the pass without having to pay for it.

    so the short answer is: budget for that pass in your trip if not having it will ruin said trip.
     
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  8. TheRustyScupper

    TheRustyScupper Do all the good you can, to all you can.

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    1) Sorry to hear of your experience.
    2) Sorry to hear of your opinion.
    3) However, WDW has to draw the line(s) somewhere.
    4) Without "relatively" clear lines, there is mass confusion and abuse.
    5) This was the problem with the old system and the reason for the new system and guidelines.
     
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  9. SueM in MN

    SueM in MN combining the teacups with a roller coaster Moderator

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    Just so people are aware -

    WDW - all attractions are accessible to power and manual wheelchairs to the point of boarding except Pirates of Caribbean (Manual chair only), Tomorrowland Transit Authority (not accessible at all), Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse.
    Most attraction queues are also ECV accessible.

    Universal/Islands of Adventures - Only Manual wheelchairs or non-powered mobility devices are allowed in lines. Powered mobility devices, which includes power wheelchairs and ECVs are not allowed in lines.

    This is a link to the Universal Rider’s Guide for Guests with Disabilities: https://www.universalorlando.com/web/k2/en/us/files/Documents/universal-orlando-riders-guide.pdf

    I have been to Universal multiple times in the past 5 years, but without my DD who is a wheelchair user. Because the rides are more ‘thrill type’ than most at WDW and because she would need to stay in her wheelchair, there would be little for her to do there.
     
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  10. cobright

    cobright DIS Veteran

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    Ugh, this reminds me of why I don't go to US anymore. Was there with my wheels assisted friend walking to ... I don't know, probably a minions thing ... and we were behind a really slow poke small family. So we passed them up and got in line. Keep in mind, our speed was walking speed. 2.5 mph, maybe. And I walked between my friends power chair and the family we passed so there was no complaint about her driving too close to this family or whatever.

    They complained and the US employee stopped us to let us know that we had to go no faster than surrounding pedestrians. I asked, "so, I as a pedestrian can speed up to overtake another pedestrian and that's fine, but she can't ever travel faster than the pedestrians around her simply because her legs don't work?"

    I was shocked that the answer was an unqualified, "yes, exactly".

    Sure enough it's on page 8 of that guide you link.

    That was all it took for me to write them off forever. Don't get me started on Bush gardens.
     
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  11. ttintagel

    ttintagel DIS Veteran

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    I do agree that a visual impairment would make it hard to navigate the queues, but most of the time the lines are moving pretty slowly so there is time to adjust - you wouldn't be going full speed into a queue chain.


    There are many fewer hazards outside of the queue areas. But the main difference is the lighting levels. They tend to be much lower in the queues, and there also tends to be a dramatic change in lighting between outside and inside. There are also often differences in lighting levels from one area of a queue to another. There's much less room to maneuver around things even if you do see them coming. For instance, I don't see the steps in the regular queue for Space Mountain, so when I finally do get to them and run into the bottom step, it takes me a minute or two to reorient myself, with a hundred people pushing from behind. I've been literally knocked to the floor both in Space Mountain and the Haunted Mansion because I couldn't see other guests coming at me in the dark in time to get out of the way. Try going through some of the queues sometimes with your eyes mostly shot or with really dark glasses on, and you may start to get some idea of how difficult and dangerous it can be for people with visual impairments.


    It's my understanding that some cast members at individual attractions at WDW will allow accommodations for visual impairment (including sitting where you can see in shows), but you have to ask and explain your entire situation to every cast member, and they have complete discretion over whether to say yes or no.
     
  12. EveDallas

    EveDallas Always keep fighting

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    Because it's nothing that can be sued over. If the issues can be handled with a wheelchair, then that is the suggestion they give. How is that lawsuit worthy?
     
  13. Belle1962

    Belle1962 DIS Veteran

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    I have always found UO/IOA to be a royal pain. Therefore, we cough up the $$ and stay onsite. Remember, one night in their hotels can give you TWO days of their express pass use. You are eligible to use it on your checkin days and on your checkout date so—- one night= 2 days. There are two types based on hotel. One gives you unlimited express pass to rides and shows and the other gives you one time use for each ride and show. Be careful which hotel you book. Since they are expanding their hotel operations there are now several tiers.

    They also offer the option to purchase express pass but we have never found it cost effective.

    I know this doesn’t work for everyone but for us it’s worth the cost to avoid all the hassles.
     
  14. ANW1982

    ANW1982 Earning My Ears

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    I was there this past week with my best friend who has stage 4 breast and liver cancer. She got clearance from her MD to go on this trip since her counts where all WNL. She has some fibrosis from the chemo so she gets short of breath easily. She did great the first day we were there but I could tell she was very tired, (She is VERY strong willed and never asks for assistance or uses the C word to get any kind of assistance ever) on the second day I just insisted we go to guest services to see what they had to offer, I was very disappointed when it was only a wheelchair. I felt so bad for her, I argued a little but she kept saying, it’s ok, I’ll be fine. UO will never get a dime from me ever again. Disney treated her like a queen!
     
  15. OurBigTrip

    OurBigTrip DIS Veteran

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    Based on what you wrote, a wheelchair sounds like the right accommodation; I’m surprised Disney didn’t offer the same for a stamina issue.
     
  16. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

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    The deluxe hotels (hard rock, Portofino, and royal pacific) offer unlimited express pass plus early entrance to at least Wizarding World each day.

    The other hotels (sapphire falls and cabana bay) offer early entrance to at least one Wizarding World each day.

    I “love” on the Uni boards and haven’t heard that the not yet built new hotel is offering an in between. But none of them are doing as you describe.

    What did they do different? Everything I’ve read about the das is that a wheelchair would have been suggested.
     
  17. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

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    I bet a different TM would have responded differently.

    But I have toured (Disneyland) for a few hours with someone that used her ecv as a battering ram, and seriously sped around at very dangerous speeds, so I can see the reasoning in the wording. It was a dis group meetup weekend and she was NOT fun to tour with because of how she used her scooter. (And I’ve toured with someone else who used her ecv politely and kindly, and she was a delight because wasn’t honking and yelling at people to get them to move)
     
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  18. DisneyOma

    DisneyOma DIS Veteran

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    What does TM stand for?
     
  19. lanejudy

    lanejudy Moderator Moderator

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    I believe it means "Team Member" -- much like employees at WDW are called CM
     
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  20. cobright

    cobright DIS Veteran

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    I've seen people drive their mobility devices poorly and disrespectfully, even dangerously. Sometimes all three at once. But to codify in the rules that a disabled person may not go faster than the pedestrians around her and then leave it at that is outrageous. It says nothing about safety, which it was meant to address, and ends up establishing able people as entitled to walk however slowly they like without fear that someone in a wheelchair might pass them.

    Your friend's one reason I think collision avoidance needs to be a priority on mobility devices, but I don't need to get out my soapbox this time.
     
  21. EveDallas

    EveDallas Always keep fighting

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    What else did you expect? A wheelchair is the standard for stamina issues.
     

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