Most of us have seen the headline stories recently where people are outraged that the current Guest Assistance Cards are being abused as some “guides” are selling their services to those who do not want to wait in the regular lines. These cards were intended to help those with disabilities with shorter wait times as well as more comfortable places to fit their special needs while they waited for their turn. This pass was good for not only the disabled party member but also included up to five additional guests in the group.
While the old GAC cards were not instant front of the line access tickets like some assumed, they were still able to be exploited so that these guides could make huge money selling their services. Starting Oct 9 at all Disney parks the GAC will be replaced by the new Disability Access Service Card.
The Disability Access Service Card, like its predecessor, can be obtained through Guest Relations upon entering the park. As before no doctor’s note will be needed but for invisible disabilities such as autism, it might be easiest if a note is brought along to ensure the smoothest process.
After approval the guest with the disability will be photographed and this will be printed on the DAS to further prevent any exploitation of the system. This will ensure that the card may not be sold to or used by someone else as a way to shorten their wait time for rides at Disney.
Unlike the old GAC the new cards will not get the disabled guest a shorter line out of the sun to wait in. Instead the guest will receive a return pass with a reservation stating when they can come back and enjoy the ride or attraction. For the more popular attractions this can still mean a wait of over an hour. During that time the DAS cannot be used to make another reservation at another attraction, much like if you were stuck waiting in line. For some guests this will be a minor inconvenience while for others it will be a nice chance to shop, eat and enjoy other aspects of the park while waiting for their turn at attractions.
While some criticize the new system others are willing to give it a shot. Time will tell if the theme park got it right or if they will need to look again and revise the system in order to help disabled guests get the most from their visit to Disney World.
Find out more about the recent changes to the Disability Access Service Card