DL & DCA -Disability Access Service Card- Post 1 update 12/7/14 DAS tied to ticket

Discussion in 'disABILITIES!' started by SueM in MN, Sep 29, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. IndianaPrincess

    IndianaPrincess Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    Messages:
    469
    I think the below post has to be the absolute best advice for a day at Disneyland. For those of us who are not regulars, this type of knowledge is priceless. I'm recently back and I can't tell you how helpful this "DAS plan" would have been! Thank you to cmwade77! Now anyone who is going and doesn't have an AP - trust me... print this out and take it with.

    NOTE - I know not everyone has a wheelchair. We got a stroller as wheelchair tag because my son uses it only to regroup or when having a tough time and we also have a wheelchair in our group. There is no way that we could have done as much as we did without having that tag or wheelchair as it allows for the wheelchair return card to be issued. The below plan doesn't work with it either. Consider that in your planning.

     
  2. IndianaPrincess

    IndianaPrincess Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    Messages:
    469
    Sorry for the delay. Honestly I was kinda turned off from helping people here as I seem to do a bad job walking the line. But I did promise to come back with my story.

    Looking back there were two specific times where I was really frustrated with the DAS. That's not to say that I liked the new program - many, many tweaks are needed, but there were two times I was literally holding back tears.


    1 - This first one is not a biggie and but it was a big bummer. While WDW has options for DAS use for some characters, DL and DCA has none. I went in knowing that you could only get a return time for a character with a FP, but I didn't know that would be 0 characters at DL. So now you know. ;) My son couldn't make it through any the character lines so that meant no characters for our family. We ran into a few on the street or in the Halloween area, so that was nice. The specific time that I was upset was at the kiosk in the area in front of the castle. I had just found out that there were no character options and I said something like "I know that at WDW there are options, so I'd like to suggest that DL puts in some sort of system to let DAS users see at least a few characters." The cast member just stood there and I'm like "I thought Disney was inviting feedback on the system." and the kid still didn't do anything. I thought at least humor me and write it down or tell me you'll pass it on!


    2 - So this was actually my breaking point - tears were involved. It was on our last day and we went to into Toontown midday. It was hot and crowded. My son was already in the stroller full-time as he was having trouble controlling his climbing on prior rides. I was the runner the entire trip as my DH mostly tended to his mother and we all managed the four kids (we took my niece and nephew). The kiosks were far and few between, but I never imagined that there wouldn't be one in Toontown. So after our group making the trek to Toontown, which I don't know why but the walk is really tough, pushing DS in the stroller and DH pushing his mom, we pulled FP for Roger Rabbit and I went looking for the kiosk. I couldn't find it anywhere (imagine that!) so I ended up at the Gadgets coaster and asked the CM that was walking by where the kiosk was. He told me that it was in Fantasyland. Let me state this very clear - I was never rude or mean to him. I was just exasperated and holding back tears. I said that I just can't make that walk all the way there. I was exhausted from just having made my way there and I just couldn't do it again. So for the first (AND LAST) time, I asked for a lead. He said he was a lead. So I asked if he could mark my time. The wait was 20 minutes on the sign that was directly next to us. He said no, return times are only given at the kiosk. I asked if there was any way a CM could go get a time for us. He said no, they aren't allowed to touch our cards. I asked if he could just note the time and we'll wait here and then let us ride in 20 minutes. No, he said he couldn't do that. If the wait was 10 minutes he could let us ride right away but 20 minutes needed a return time. I asked if he had any ideas and he said to go get a return time at the kiosk in Fantasyland. Okay I gave up on the DAS pass.

    Now up to this point, I assumed that the line was accessible just because it's not too old of a ride but I learned to check with a CM. I asked him if the queue was accessible. He tells me "No, it's not. You need to get a return time card at the kiosk." This is where I started crying. I told him that isn't true for any other ride. We've been getting them at the ride. At this point, he was being a total jerk to me. He's like "Well here we don't hand them out at the ride. You get them at the kiosk. I'm the lead and we don't carry return cards on us. You have to get one in Fantasyland." I finally firmly state (the most "mean" I was) "You are telling me that this ride is not accessible to my son without walking halfway across the park to get a time that would be the time of our arrival back whether it's for the DAS pass or the wheelchair?" He snapped back "I'm telling you to go to Fantasyland to get a wheelchair return card or a DAS return time."

    So crying Michelle returns back to the family. I talked to Miles and we decided to try out the line with him (MIL wasn't upset to miss this one). So we get in line and within a minute or two, a CM comes over to tell Miles to stop climbing (I was fine with what he was doing but I'm totally okay with the fact that CM wasn't - he was stepping up on the lowest ridge of the fake wall. We try to let him satisfy the urge in safe ways). I say something to her like "Sorry, he has a stroller but since we can't bring it in this line I'm going to have a hard time controlling him."

    My blood pressure when through the roof as she said that we needed to get a stroller wheelchair red tag and then we could go through the exit as it is wheelchair accessible. I told her we tried that but we were told that we had to get a return time card from the kiosk in Fantasyland. She's like "No, no we don't use return cards, just go to the exit and they'll take care of you right away." I said that it was a lead that I talked to and she asked for his name. She went and double checked and came back and sent us out of the line.

    We wheeled up to the exit and went on the next train. The original CM was working the ride and wouldn't make eye contact with me. I don't know what his deal was. I understand that at the beginning of the interaction, I was asking him to work with me outside the box, but that is exactly what guest relations told me that the leads had the ability to do. BUT the second part of the interaction, he just gave me incorrect information and I don't know if he really thought it was that way or if he was being a BEEP. The entire thing really sucked.
     
  3. Avatar

    Advertisement


  4. starshine514

    starshine514 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2010
    Messages:
    3,146
    So, after listening to the podcast, I emailed Disney Disability Services about our upcoming single-day trip to DLR. They finally called me back today and basically told me that it was ridiculous and that person on the podcast must be lying about the wait times she experienced. I didn't have time to jot down the whole list of return time attractions she listed, but did jot down the ones we're hoping to ride (IASW, JC, POC and HMH) that she says the return time will be issued for a wheelchair. She couldn't tell me if they would always issue a return time, even if the ride was walk on (but did ask if my mom could walk and if she could to just go through the regular line - I had to point out those pesky things like stairs (which my mom can't do) would keep my mom from going through a standard queue). I got the impression that she really has no idea what is happening in the parks, which is unfortunate. I still don't know if I can count on a return time being issued when I'm trying to schedule our FPs around the wheelchair return times.

    She did confirm that we don't need a DAS card for a wheelchair, and that DCA, Pooh, and Buzz will be the same for us.
     
  5. cmwade77

    cmwade77 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2005
    Messages:
    5,616
    I am curious if anyone who has been recently has also been told that their entire party needs to be present when getting the DAS, even if the party is 6 or fewer people?

    I have been hearing from some friends that went recently that were told this and others that weren't.

    I know that the official rule (according to the person on the phone that I have been working with) is that parties of 6 or less do not need to be present when you get the DAS, but I would like to know what people are being told.
     
  6. KPeveler

    KPeveler DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2006
    Messages:
    4,193
    According to a guest relations supervisor, any party larger than FOUR 4 are required to all be present in City Hall or Chamber of Commerce when getting a DAS.

    Also whenever a person is getting a Wheelchair Return Card at one of the 9 rides where such a card is necessary - the entire party riding the ride must be present to ACQUIRE the card. This means that runners can no longer be sent for wheelchair return cards. Runners can still be sent for DAS return times. This is especially frustrating for those of us with manual chairs or multiple disabilities in the group.

    At Mansion, if you are a " red card " meaning you take the wheelchair in with you to the ride, return times are being given out based on when they can next get you in the building. There are only 3 wheelchairs allowed in the building at one time. This means the return time may be longer than the standby time. They do not, however have a return window. It still says "return after 8" which means there are still backups and confusion over getting people on the ride.

    I had a DAS time for HM and when I arrived they assumed the DAS meant I could leave my wheelchair. I told them I needed a red card and I was told I would have to wait until the next wheelchair "slot" available. This was another 30 minutes after my wait time. I said I had a DAS and they said I had to wait anyway.

    I did not ride. I asked guest relations about it and they said I should have been accommodated immediately and sent in as soon as possible. They advised if I or anyone else was told they had to get an additional card at the ride to ask for a manager.

    I do not know how many red card wheelchair slots are open on their chart at HM but it stands to reason that there are only so many slots in a day. This could cause problems.
     
  7. cmwade77

    cmwade77 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2005
    Messages:
    5,616
    I can see major problems with all of this, they need to work this system out a bit better. I am still waiting on official written confirmation about the party size, but this will NOT work for our typical party, who shows up spread out throughout the day. It would mean going into guest relations at LEAST 3 times in one day.

    And the red card issue is something that definitely needs to be addressed better. I think the idea of having a return window combined with issuing based on available slots is probably a good idea.

    Having a return time on the DAS should bypass the return slots though.
     
  8. samnbilly

    samnbilly Loves the GF, &the Castle.All nurses go to Heaven.

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2003
    Messages:
    737
    I just returned home on 11/5 & when I went to GR for my DAS, she never asked to see anyone in my party. (There were 4 of us) The CM explained all of the rules & reg's & I was out of there in 5min including waiting time.
     
  9. cmwade77

    cmwade77 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2005
    Messages:
    5,616
    I wonder what would have happened if you had more than 4, based on the earlier comment on this thread.
     
  10. KPeveler

    KPeveler DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2006
    Messages:
    4,193
    Yeah there is little point in handing out "slots" for wheelchairs at HM if there is no return window, just a "return after." Also, in my mind, this means that there would be a set number of slots per day. I know they can only get so many people in at a time, and there is a set number of people with wheelchairs that can be in the Mansion in a day.

    My concern is that there may be a set number of slots they give out during a day. My wait time for the Wheelchair Return Time was NOT based on current stand-by times, but the next Red Card wheelchair time.

    I sincerely hope this system changes soon.
     
  11. cmwade77

    cmwade77 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2005
    Messages:
    5,616
    If you have already waited with the DAS, you should be the next wheelchair to go down, unless there are others with DAS return times ahead of you of course. That is what the official rues according to guest relations and two people from Disney. So, I would definitely ask for a manager if they try that again and you already have a return time.
     
  12. KPeveler

    KPeveler DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2006
    Messages:
    4,193
    That may be what they are saying but I wanted to give people the heads up in case there were other problems.
     
  13. cmwade77

    cmwade77 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2005
    Messages:
    5,616
    I understand, but my point is if something different is happening, you should ask for a lead. If that fails, then the area manager.
     
  14. Jperiod

    Jperiod I am the rebel spy!

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    Messages:
    548
    I just wanted to encourage everyone to email their experiences to disney, positive and negative. I just received a phone call back and they are def listening, though changes probably won't be happening for a few more months.
     
  15. KPeveler

    KPeveler DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2006
    Messages:
    4,193
    Renewed my DAS on Saturday, and still needed to have the whole party with me to get a number larger than 4. Also, you need to go all the way back to Guest Relations to change it - no accommodations are being made anywhere else. I have already run into problems with that, which generally results in us leaving someone off the ride.

    I have not even tried Mansion since the DAS vs Red Card mess - I will try it again soon to see if they have worked it out. I know how to ask for a lead and then a manager if I need to, but I do not always have the time, emotional energy, and patience (or someone in my group cannot handle it), so sometimes I just give up and talk to someone later.
     
  16. MinnieVanMom

    MinnieVanMom DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    Messages:
    5,486
    Wit all the changes and things still not working out for children with autism, we did cancel our trip set for May 4th. I am in the process of renting out our DVC points and now even considering selling it all together.

    We loved Disney, it was the escape from all the problems, even for a short time. Yes had problems while there but the rest of them seemed to fall away.

    Do you think there will be a time that WDW becomes more friendly for children with autism again? I liked to go to the park with DS and myself. I can't be a runner, dragging my son all over the park. He won't understand that we are not going on that ride now, just getting a ticket.
     
  17. Jperiod

    Jperiod I am the rebel spy!

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    Messages:
    548
    I forgot to say, when the guest relations called me back last week, she actually advised me how to get maximum flexibility for my child with autism since we had both a DAS and a stroller as a wheelchair tag. She said to always get a return ticket/time for both so DS could have choices where to go. It was strange to me how she would advise me to "work the system" since I thought the new DAS was changed for fairness and equality. I'm not sure how I feel about using it that way either since that would mean DS having to go up to more rides in the stroller when right now we only use it as a sensory break. I assume he has to be with us to get a wheelchair return card? Unlike the DAS?

    And i asked what would happen in queues he can't handle with waits of less than 10 min, like Matterhorn and she said we'd still be forced through the line switch backs with the DAS. However, if we used the stroller, they'd let us through the exit. That one thoroughly confuses me because what's the point of the DAS?

    And what happens when DS is finally too big for a stroller (he is now, but like I said, we just use it for short breaks or a place to sit, he switches with my DD)? I hope they come up with a more workable solution because I can't imagine resorting to a wheelchair to avoid certain queues.
     
  18. kylmac

    kylmac Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2011
    Messages:
    324
    MinnieVanMom-I am going through the same thing-we leave tomorrow for DLR and I have been trying to explain to our 12 year old with autism that we will have to get fastpasses for the rides and might not be able to go on all the rides. We are staying onsite so we will Morning Magic hours-hoping we can get alot accomplished then. Because of the busy time of year, I have no idea how this trip will go. We can only go during school holidays and have been wanting to go to DLR for years so we can see the Haunted Mansion with the Jack Skellington theme. We have never asked for front of the line but the GAC was a life saver as far as minimum meltdowns. We do have a typical child who also loves Disney so I would hate to stop going because of the new system. Willing to give it a try and see how it goes. I will post when we get back as I do not have a good computer to bring with me.
    Hang in there and Happy Thanksgiving!
    Elizabeth
     
  19. montreid

    montreid Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2013
    Messages:
    7
    Hope to hear positive reports back. DS is 12 also and over the years have made trips to DL specifically for his favorite ride, nemo submarines and talk with crush.

    We never really wanted him in stroller/wc, trying to enforce as much as possible the need to interact and social graces with other kids....despite him burning out a lot faster without one and resorting to breaks throughout the day back at the hotel to decompress him.

    The system currently setup really encourages this 'gaming' of WC+DAS--one that would actually be better on the endurance, but isolates him further from what some of the lessons that we are trying to impart while still having his fun time.

    Our trips with CAG never got the green light, fol pass. We were more than happy with his alternate access designation.....the last visit down there, we purposely avoided DL and went to Legoland instead since it was only week2 of DAS.

    Here's wishing you well....

    @MinnieVanMom - I believe WDW is better without the whole runner/kiosk issue in play. We have our passes still, and awaiting things to settle out before booking another trip to Orlando. Until then, we've made our way to Legoland and Universal Studio is on tap in the spring.
     
  20. becd

    becd Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2013
    Messages:
    228
    Hi - I just got back from a four day trip to DLR and will be posting my overall experience shortly, but wanted to let you know that when we rode Matterhorn with the new DAS we never waited more than five minutes and both times we were sent through the exit so I do not think you will have a problem.
     
  21. becd

    becd Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2013
    Messages:
    228
    Ok, I am a WDW veteran and DLR newbie so needless to say I was extremely nervous about trying the new system in a park I have never been to before, especially since I was bringing my DS-6 twins without my husband as a special "Mommy" experience with them. Much like many of your angels, one of my guys suffers from melt downs that can be pretty severe, especially when he is having the sensory overload that comes along with DLR. It was much easier to handle when he was younger and smaller because I could pick him up and remove him from the situation, but now it is almost physically impossible for me to lift him when he is calm, much less in the throes of a melt down. I do use a stroller to contain him, but I do not get the stroller as a wheelchair pass. We arrived at the park Thanksgiving evening and left yesterday afternoon around 3:00 P.M.

    As I said I was scared to death about what this trip would entail, but I have nothing but positives to report. We initially got our DAS at the chamber of Commerce in DCA. As many of you know, it is not a huge room but the one who needs the DAS had his noise reducing headphones on and I got them both to stand off to the side as I spoke to the CM at the desk so they wold not hear what I was saying. The woman who helped me could not have been nicer or more understanding. I briefly explained what his needs were and she did ask me a few follow up questions, but never asked me for his medical diagnosis or any thing along those lines. When she called him over for his picture she did ask him to remove his sunglasses and headphones, which did not thrill him but she made up for it by letting him push the buttons on the iPad. He thought that was pretty cool.

    Frankly I found the new system to be great. Yes the GAC was easier, but really there were very few differences in our trip with the new system. He does love thrill rides so we were hitting those and the waits, even on such a high capacity weekend, were not that bad. Once we had waited our allotted time, at each ride we were either sent through the Fastpass line or the exit. The only criticism I have, and it is a mild one, is that there needs to be more Information Desks in the park. When you are back in Toon-Town and trying to swim upstream through Fantasyland with a stroller to get to the desk there, it can be exhausting :)

    If anyone has any questions I will be happy to answer them. Let me also add that every CM we encountered with the DAS was as nice as they could be, in both parks. The did check the photo to make sure he was in our group, but it was all handled very politely and usually with a Mickey Mouse sticker:thumbsup2
     

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page