For those that are not familiar, the Disney GAC card (Guest Assistance Card) is a way for Disney to identify and help families that need special assistance. The GAC card is available for families with obvious needs such as a wheelchair, and for ones that are less obvious such as children on the autism spectrum.
There has been a lot of abuse of the GAC card, the most famous being a New York Post story that rich Manhattan Moms were hiring disabled people to pose as family members in order to cut lines at Disney World.
Earlier this summer rumors started swirling that Disney was getting rid of the GAC cards. The rumors ranged from speculation that there would be no replacement to a replacement that didn’t take into consideration hidden disabilities such autism. I wish it was needless to say that these rumors were unfounded, but even Disney bloggers have perpetuated the rumors.
As a 2013 Social Media Mom, I received this email from the Disney World Social Media team. I will continue to keep you posted as I receive more information directly from Disney.
Dear Disney Social Media Mom,
In our continued efforts to keep you in the loop of Disney experiences that touch families, we would like to share an upcoming change in the Guest Assistance Card. Disney has an unwavering commitment to making our experiences accessible to all Guests. After careful consideration, we will be replacing the Guest Assistance Card with the new Disability Access Service Card on Oct. 9 to create a more consistent experience for all our Guests while providing accommodations for Guests with disabilities. Until Oct. 9, we will continue to use Guest Assistance Cards. We look forward to sharing more information about the Disability Access Service Card as we get closer to implementation.
We know that you often share news from Disney with other moms so we have prepared the following questions and answers.
We appreciate your support and look forward to sending you more details as we get closer
to October 9th.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How will the new Disney program work?
The Disability Access Service Card will offer Guests a return time for an attraction based on the current wait time. Guest Assistance Cards will continue to be in effect until Oct. 9. We look forward to sharing more information as we get closer to implementation.
Did Disney receive assistance in developing the Disability Access Service Card?
Yes, Disney is engaging disability groups, and Autism Speaks was instrumental in providing feedback as we developed this new process.
Why is Disney making these changes?
Given the increasing volume of requests Disney receives for special access to our attractions, we are changing our process beginning Oct. 9 so that it creates a more consistent experience for all our Guests while providing accommodations for Guests with disabilities.
Who will be eligible for a Disability Access Service Card?
Our goal is to accommodate Guests who aren’t able to wait in a conventional queue environment due to a disability (including non-apparent disabilities).
Will Guests on wish trips also use Disability Access Service Cards?
No. Guests who are visiting through wish-granting organizations will have access through a separate program.
What should Guests do if they have concerns?
Guests should contact Guest Relations to discuss their assistance needs.
The Disney Kids have voluntary taken the Three Disneyland Moms pledge of Integrity. As part of that pledge we will never
never post rumors or items I know not to be true. If you are speculating on a new attraction, movie, etc., it is important that you clearly state that it is rumor or speculation and whenever possible, disclose where you got your information.