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Old 01-18-2013, 08:47 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Do I need to get a GAC?

(I think I may have posted this in the wrong place, so I'm reposting)
I have problems with both of my knees due to osteoarthritis and torn meniscus, especially climbing up and down stairs. I will not be using a wheelchair or ECV since WDW has so many benches to take a rest, if I need one. When we go to one of the many shows or attractions (like Toy Story Mania) at WDW if I could avoid climbing stairs, and would be allowed to sit in the handicap rows that would be most helpful. Do I need to get a GAC for our trip? That's all that I think I may need the GAC for. o
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:39 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I would say, yes you should get one. If you don't actually need it, you don't have to show it to a CM. But at least, if you discover that you really do need it ... it'll be there, ready to go.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:26 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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I agree. You should get one, just in case. When you ask for it, say you may need an alternate entrance, as you cannot do stairs.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:45 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I get one and ask for alternate entrances to avoid steps. I know at the Beauty and the Beast show we were allowed to sit the one the front rows so i could avoid the steps. same was true of the Stunt car show.
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:33 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Since you won't be using a wheelchair or ECV, I would say get one. Mobility devices tend to signal the CMs that you need a special entrance, no stairs, etc.

My husband uses an ECV, but I use a cane, mostly for stability. At TSMM, the CM intercepted me in line to direct me away from the stairs. At Fantasmic, I asked if there was a place to sit that didn't involve more than one or two steps, and they seated us in the reflective captioning area, one step down. But rather than count on the observational skills of the CMs, I would get the card so they'll know what your needs are.
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Old 01-18-2013, 05:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I didn't see GAC in the acronym list... what is that?
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Old 01-18-2013, 05:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I would get one just in case you do need it
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Old 01-18-2013, 06:58 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I didn't see GAC in the acronym list... what is that?
Guest Access Card

It's for guests with disabilities or other activity limitations.
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Old 01-18-2013, 07:10 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I too would say get it. You don't have to use it but you will have it in your pocket if you do need it.
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:26 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by susanktz View Post
I didn't see GAC in the acronym list... what is that?

GAC = Guest Assistance Card
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Old 01-19-2013, 02:50 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I get one and ask for alternate entrances to avoid steps. I know at the Beauty and the Beast show we were allowed to sit the one the front rows so i could avoid the steps. same was true of the Stunt car show.
For Beauty and the Beast, the back row is handicapped seating and does not require any steps.
Just so you are aware, going down to the front row involves going down a number of steep switchback ramps, and back up them to exit.

Many people with knee problems find that steep ramps are as hard for them as steps because of the angle.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Disney Franatic View Post
(I think I may have posted this in the wrong place, so I'm reposting)
I have problems with both of my knees due to osteoarthritis and torn meniscus, especially climbing up and down stairs. I will not be using a wheelchair or ECV since WDW has so many benches to take a rest, if I need one. When we go to one of the many shows or attractions (like Toy Story Mania) at WDW if I could avoid climbing stairs, and would be allowed to sit in the handicap rows that would be most helpful. Do I need to get a GAC for our trip? That's all that I think I may need the GAC for. o
As others mentioned, without a Guest Assistance Card, the CMs won't be able to see you have an issue with stairs.

I would suggest taking along the phone numbers of at least one of the off-site ECV rental companies. The average guest at WDW walks at least 3-6 miles per day and some of the lines are a long distance to walk - for example, the line for Soarin' is over 1/4 mile to walk in and another 1/4 mile to walk back to the ride entrance.

Even though it may seem like there are many benches, we had noticed as far back as 6 years ago, when my FIL died, that there seemed to be less and less benches. On our trips since then without him, we have noticed that even more of his favorite benches are no longer there.
So, it would be good to have the numbers of rental companies ready in case you need one.

Last edited by SueM loves WDW; 01-19-2013 at 06:18 PM.. Reason: Typos
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Old 01-19-2013, 03:35 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I'm going to add my 2 cents: I agree with everyone else.
Go ahead and get it, telling them what sort of assistance you might need (no stairs, place to sit to wait instead of standing in a large queue, etc.).
Then, if you don't need it, don't worry about it. The problem isn't with having it and not using it, but with needing it and not having it (and then having to go all the way to Guest Services to pick one up). Remember - you only need to get it once, at one park, and it's good for your entire stay and for all parks.
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Old 01-19-2013, 06:28 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone for all your great answers and suggestions. o
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:14 PM   #14 (permalink)
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[QUOTE=SueM loves WDW;4098336]For Beauty and the Beast, the back row is handicapped seating and does not require any steps.
Just so you are aware, going down to the front row involves going down a number of steep switchback ramps, and back up them to exit.

Many people with knee problems find that steep ramps are as hard for them as steps because of the angle.


The CM said the last row was for people at the parks with folks in ECVs and wheel chairs, since we had no such in our group, i didn't qualify to sit there. I'm sure you're right about the ramp, i just don't remember it being anything but one long ramp down on the east side. .

seems that not all CMs take people in the same way, however it was consistent that i wasn't allowed to use the benches that were allocated for the areas for EVC and wheelchairs. they were for people accompanying folks with EVC and wheelchairs.
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:17 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Disney Franatic View Post
(I think I may have posted this in the wrong place, so I'm reposting)
I have problems with both of my knees due to osteoarthritis and torn meniscus, especially climbing up and down stairs. I will not be using a wheelchair or ECV since WDW has so many benches to take a rest, if I need one. When we go to one of the many shows or attractions (like Toy Story Mania) at WDW if I could avoid climbing stairs, and would be allowed to sit in the handicap rows that would be most helpful. Do I need to get a GAC for our trip? That's all that I think I may need the GAC for. o
Hello! It looks like there are some good answers here. Remember that getting on and off attractions could be a bit taxing on your knees, and walking in the parks can be a real test of stamina. Just stay aware of how the terrain effects your energy level.

Hope you have fun!
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