Disney looking to discontinue Guest Assistance Card

gac

Everyone remembers the news story from this past summer of the abuse of the Guest Assistance Card or GAC at the Disney Parks. Since then Disney has been looking for a way to phase out of the current system and put something new in it’s place.

My writer Sunshine was at Walt Disney World yesterday and went to pick her GAC due to her disability and found out that Disney has lowered the length of the Guest Assistance Card from 2 months to 2 weeks for guests (see image). Anonymouse spoke of the changes coming a few months ago and it looks like change is coming.

While the Customer Service staff would not release full details they did mention the GAC will somehow work together with your Magic Bands.



Keep in mind this is not official just like our post earlier this week about Fast Passes, but we all knew change was coming… As soon as we get more details or the Official Word from Disney we will have it here on Chip and Co.

*Update from Sunshine*

I was told they will be phasing out very soon. He said pass holders will get one good for 2 weeks and than just one day and then no more. They are replacing it with something else so while the GAC will be gone they will have something better he said. It will have to do with Magicbands and your picture may be involved to avoid fraud.

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Chip C

Owner at Chip and Co
Chip C is owner of and webmaster of Chip and Co - Your source for Disney Park News, Planning Tips, Giveaways, and More. When he is not writing about Disney News, or Planning Tips, you will find him counting down the days to his next Disney World Vacation. Be sure to follow Chip and Co on Google+
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  • http://www.chipandco.com chipandco

    They are doing that now in Disneyland I heard.

  • http://www.chipandco.com chipandco

    Think of your Magic Band as a ticket, doesnt matter if you stay on site or not.

  • Jody Severson

    So this is my question, and I am all for Disney doing something to eliminate the people who abuse this policy, but if you need a GAC once it is linked to Magicband you will basically be required to stay on property or will there be a way to get a Magicband if you are a local or lets say renting a off property home. We travel in very large multifamily groups when we come usually and it is economically smarter to rent a home.

  • LisaMarie McCarthy

    I was told if you have a wheelchair or ECV you don’t need the GAC. You would just use the handicap accessible entrances as usual. The GAC is for other things, for example, many CMs think my daughters wheelchair is a stroller, so we get the GAC pass to allow us to bring her wheelchair into lines. Also she is very pale and gets very overheated easily. So they usually give me a stamp for waiting in a shady place if available. These are things not visible so we need the GAC for that.

  • Alivia Chavira Charles Mcgrew

    So awesome! As soon as I saw the title I knew it was going to involve the magic bands. I’m sure that all of the proper docs will be required from now on and they correlate with the rooms being booked in the proper parties so that the fraud that was going on before will be a lot less likely to happen. *Fingers crossed*

  • Melissa Nicole

    I was there two weeks ago and also have a disability. I was told by several staff members these will in fact be discontinued and those with disabilities will be given fast passes to return at a later time just like regular fast pass holders. I think thi is ricidulous

  • JK

    I personally think the GAC return time Disneyland is using seems fair for everyone. Maybe we’ll see more parks using that in the near future.

  • Mimi Webb

    showing my sons handicapped ID wont be any problem at all for us=its state issued, it’s an id & goes along with his handicapped tag- putting on the magicband will make it virtually anonymous which is great for those of us who get the evil eye every time we try & use it to access an attraction & we will only have to basically do it once or should if they log it in with our family information/account that we all use for reservations in the first place-I’d rather have it be in our file somewhere that we have it, what its for & why-it will help coordinate the later features magicbands are said to allocate for (character interaction or attraction interaction based on that would rock-dont try & approach my screaming cryin child if our chip shows a big AUTISM note on the reservation for one-just an example-no its not necessary to disclose, but in the case of autism it can make every difference in the world as to the basic sensory issues needing covering…what a help that would be

  • Sarah Panariello

    My brother has autism and doesn’t like waiting on certain rides.

  • Autumn Barnes

    The abuse stems more from people who many not NEED a GAC but imply they do, or rent a Wheelchair or ECV to use that line. You aren’t suppose to have front of the line access with the GAC but because the “skip the line” name has been attached to the GAC by people who believe everything they read on the internet, or people who abuse the system, people who aren’t give the option to skip up to the front of the line or to use the wheelchair access line have actually been know to blow a fuse. A good friend witnessed a Father blow a total fit that ended with securities involvement at DL recently because they weren’t getting the stamp they felt they deserved or should have, vs the one the policy said they should have based on the physical limits described that the CM had..

  • Nikki Chatelain

    No offense taken, Autumn. I guess what I’m asking is this: Mom has been in a wheelchair for our last five visits, and the first time we got a GAC was on our last visit in January. We weren’t treated any differently or granted any special access because we had the GAC than we had on prior years when we just had her wheelchair (without the GAC). We were never escorted to the front of any line. We just entered through handicapped access as usual. I don’t understand what purpose it served (or was supposed to serve). I didn’t think you were allowed front of the line access because you had a GAC.

  • Autumn Barnes

    Let me start this with. Please do NOT think I am implying you are doing any of the following. I am just trying to answer your question… Answer: They are suppose to ask to see it to use the accessible line, and it should only allow the rider and 5 people to go on the ride using it. People have been severely abusing the system to skip the lines, even giving the GAC the name “skip the line pass” but those who just follow what they heard online… Also technically based on the regs on the back of it, if a ride has a FP on it, you should get the FP, and return to the accessible line with the FP and GAC. Most people don’t even bother, and many ride/line operators don’t properly enforce those rules.

  • Nikki Chatelain

    Quick question – what are the benefits of the GAC? My mom is in a wheelchair and has a handicapped tag and license. We got the GAC for the first time on our last trip and really didn’t understand why we needed to get it. No one asked to see it when we boarded via accessible entrances. Am I missing something?

  • Ruth Lindsey Haney

    I used it last year when MY hubbie and I went —-we both have mobility issues and we are not big on the rides but the few we did want to go on made a big difference to us in letting us actually be able to do it. We only got it for 1 park as well. I know that there are cases worse then ours and the need for the pass for those are so much, I hope Disney finds a way to help those who really need it get it. Anyone caught abusing the system should be banned from ever coming back to the parks.

  • Autumn Barnes

    CM’s shouldn’t even LOOK at Doctor’s notes per park policy. You also should never directly tell them a diagnosis due to privacy laws, and because the CM’s aren’t medically trained. The GAC program is an elective program that Disney is nice enough to set up. Technically all the HAVE to do is adhere to ADA requirements for line access and ride car transfer. Everything else they do is optional, and a part of what makes them awesome.
    Disneyland has been doing a “GAC Return Time” Pass in Carsland for the Racers for awhile now. Many of us knew there was a change coming to help kill the abuse and the “skip the line” stigma the GAC has earned. When it has gotten to the point that people are being COACHED to push for the GAC stamp they WANT, not that they need, it is time for a change. It’s sad that many people who don’t need this pass have abused it causing a need for changes.

  • http://www.chipandco.com Chip

    Well like stated on Facebook my writer Sunshine who uses a GAC was there in May when it was 2 months and just went yesterday and it was dropped down to 2 weeks. Not really something I have kept up with tbo.

  • Janet Zagardo Levins

    some people really need this. My son has autism and I always bring proof with Doctors notes. It really is not fare to people that need it when people abuse it.

  • http://www.chipandco.com Chip

    Yeah 2 weeks is plenty.

  • Proud to be American

    Who needs the card to be active for more than 2 weeks? Just locals? Certainly it isn’t an out-of-town guest. I would say that 2 weeks is more than reasonable and accommodating.

  • Aunesty Janssen

    The Two Week GAC’s changed months ago…