Disney Guest Assistance Card & A Fabulous Vacation

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 One of the things that made Disney’s Marathon Weekend so special for me was the arrival of my mother and cousin, Susie, later that day.  Susie now lives in Mississippi so I don’t get to see her very often. She hasn’t been to Walt Disney World since she was a small child.  My mother was the mastermind behind this trip.  We have been trying to coordinate it since last summer and this was the weekend it finally worked.  

                My cousin, Susie, is handicapped and blessing beyond blessing, I got to see Disney World through her eyes – like I never had before.   

                We started our journey by trying to decide what type of ticket they would need.  We were beginning this adventure Saturday and checking out Tuesday.  As an Annual Passholder, you take for granted that you can go in and out of the parks on a whim.  Not so for folks purchasing tickets.  We decided on a 2 Day Hopper.  That way we could see all 4 parks.

                As long as I’ve known Susie (my entire life), I have never met anyone that loves a gift shop more.  Anything you want to know about the gift shops on property – just ask.  I can tell you what merchandise is where, what is new & what is on the way out.  Susie chose a lovely array of souvenirs purchased all over Disney World property.  This may have been the highlight of her trip.

                Knowing that standing in long lines wasn’t an option for her, I went to Guest Services at Animal Kingdom, the first park we visited, and explained the circumstances. They gave me a Guest Assistance Card.  I was instructed to show it to the first cast member that I encountered at each attraction.  This card is a huge blessing.  I am so thankful that Disney offers this to guests that need assistance.  We were able to experience everything we wanted to see.  Without this card it would have been an entirely different trip.

                Susie really wanted to go on Splash Mountain and unfortunately it was being refurbed. She thought Disney should give her money back, but really her tour guide – moi –should have known. She was fine with it.  We’ll definitely have to take another trip down so she can go on one of my favorite attractions.

                Other than the gift shops, her favorite attractions were Toy Story Mid-Way Mania & American Idol Experience.  We saw the last regular show and then exited and reentered to see the finale show.  She got a kick out of it.  We were all groovin’ in our seats having a big time.

                I know Susie and my mom had a great time. I am honored to have been their tour guide.  I’ll do better next time and pay attention to the refurbs.            

               I’d love to hear about your experience.  You can follow me on Twitter @Caroline251

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Posted on January 25, 2011

14 Responses to “Disney Guest Assistance Card & A Fabulous Vacation”

  • I have been blessed to use Disney’s Guest Assistance Guard myself. If not for this card I would not be able to enjoy Disney World except to sit on a bench and watch everyone else. In other words, I would simply not go. I can enjoy my Disney World vacation because of this card. I went to Universal Studios Florida in 2004 and asked if they had something similar and was told no. I have never returned – it’s just not worth the money. Thank God Disney offers the GAC.

    • by Caroline Baggerly on January 26, 2011, at 11:01 am EDT

      Hi Cheryl,
      I am with you 100%. The Guest Assitance card is a lifesaver for those that need it. It is wonderful that Disney offers this. Another reason to love Disney :)

    • Universal now does offer a similar guest assistance pass. It doesn’t, however, allow more than one trip on a ride and on busy rides, you have to come back at a certain time and can’t use the pass in the meantime (similar to fastpass). Even with these restrictions, it worked well for my DD who also can’t wait in lines. Even worked at the new Harry Potter ride.

  • The GAC is wonderful! I don’t even bother to get it any more, but for 2 years my (mildly autistic – aspergers type) son was TERRIFIED of the stretching room, but was OK with the Haunted Mansion ride itself.

    Well, now he’ll gladly tell you that the Haunted Mansion is his favorite ride – and wouldn’t dream of skipping the wonderful stretching room. lol!

    I think that was the only ride we used it on. But it was well worth it!

    • by Caroline Baggerly on January 26, 2011, at 11:03 am EDT

      Hi Nancy,
      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. I agree the stretching room can be quite scary the first time. I’m glad everyone enjoys it now. :)

  • by John E. Levis on January 26, 2011, at 6:21 am EDT

    My wife and I have limited mobility and use scooters in the World. We can’t say enough good things about Disney’s accomidations for us.

    • by Caroline Baggerly on January 26, 2011, at 11:04 am EDT

      Hi John,
      Isn’t it great that Disney goes out of its way to make sure everyone can enjoy their parks. Thanks for reading and commenting!!

  • Great post Caroline! Though I have never used a Guest Assistance Card, I am so glad that Disney offers it so that everyone can experience the magic. I am glad it helped make your cousins trip wonderful and full of magical memories!

    • by Caroline Baggerly on January 26, 2011, at 5:24 pm EDT

      Hi Erin,
      The Guest Assistance Card made all the difference in the world. I really can’t imagine the trip without it. Disney gets a Big High 5 for the GAC. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I sure appreciate it. :)

  • Do you still need a regimented touring plan if you have the GAC that allows for alternate entrance access to the attractions? How does such a GAC alter the touring plan?

  • We are going to WDW in August with our three sons, two are on the autism spectrum. I am currently creating touring plans but am planning on getting a guest assistance card. I am wondering if it is necessary for me to go crazy on the touring plans because we will hopefully have the GAC? I am trying to be organized so we don’t need to use the card often but am aware that we will have to be flexible do to our special circumstances. We will be there the last week of august and the crowd calendar shows levels not really going above 4 during our intended stay so I am hoping the waits won’t be too bad. So the real question is do I bother planning every last minute (including multiple breaks) or just go with the flow and use the GAC when necessary? Thanks!!

    • We went to Disney World 4th of July week (the second most crowded week of the year). My son is autistic so we needed the GAC for him to be able to use an alternate entrance for the rides. He was able to go on all of the rides that he wanted with minimal wait. GO WITH THE FLOW! As anyone with kids on the spectrum knows, plans go out the window very quickly. If your kids are into the characters I strongly suggest reserving as many character meals as possible though. The GAC does not help you with character meet and greet lines but the characters come to your table at the meals.

      • Thank you so much!! I have two character meals planned,Crystal Palace for lunch and Chef Mickeys for breakfast so I think that will ensure we see the characters important to my kids. I also just got noise reducing headphones for the fireworks and loud attractions and shows. I am hoping they help! Just another cool product I found for our trip… temporary safety tattoos for kids with autism and typical children. Safetytats.com has a bunch of different varieties! They last last several days and you can get a two line tat for name and phone number or a one line tat! Very Cool!!! Thanks for your response! I am going to go with the flow and take my cues from the kids!

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