One year. It’s been one year since the Disney company changed their policy in regards to special needs. It’s been a long year. It didn’t start out that well. There were lots of bumps in the road. Some things still need to be worked on. I really think Disney wants to do what is right for people with autism but they are simply getting bad advice from an organization that has no clue what it means to have a child with autism. That said, they are making changes that work for us.
The year did not start out well. We went from the Guest Assistance Pass with unlimited fastpasses and no wait to having to get a time and a limit of 3 fastpasses for one park. I’m not going to mince words. It was quite awful. Awful to the point that Logan did not want to go to the parks anymore. I seriously considered ending our annual passes. I managed to talk him into sticking it out. If we didn’t keep going and keep suggesting improvements then who would? Our biggest challenge has been and continues to be the inability to just pop in for a few hours on a whim. What used to be quality family respite time has vanished. Perhaps that’s what I miss the most.
The year did bring some welcomed changes. Disney is listening to our suggestions to a degree.
You no longer have to get the pass renewed every 2 weeks. This was simply annoying. Seriously, I wish they would link it to Logan’s magic band for the year. That is for another post altogether. As of now, for passholders, you have to renew it every 60 days.
You can now get unlimited fastpasses after you use your 3. You have to get them one at a time but it still works better. We save the DAS for the rides without passes left like Toy Story Mania or Mine Train Ride and try to get fastpasses for the others. You have to plan it so that you are using one while waiting for the other. So, we get a new fastpass on our way to use our DAS and vice versa.
Changes that still need to be made.
If the line is 10 minutes or less then please let us use the fastpass lane. Seriously. It’s not that we don’t want to wait. I’d love to have a child that had no problem waiting. But I have a child with sensory issues. He can’ t stand with people brushing up next to him. Let’s face it. Some people need to be handed deodorant not to mention the heightened sounds and lights. He will enjoy the ride a whole lot more if he didn’t need to navigate that as well. We aren’t hurting anyone by using the Fastpass line. There isn’t a long wait anyway. You take 10 minutes off our wait time . This would be a game changer for these kids.
Add in the shows like the Frozen sing a long or Fantasmic. By not having anything for the DAS at shows like Frozen or Fantasmic, you essentially make them out of our reach. Here’s what Deborah shared on my Facebook page:
The worst experience was at Hollywood Studios during the Frozen Summer Celebration. There were several places that would not accept the DAS card at all. One was the Sing-a-long show. We had to first wait in a very long line to get the ticket telling you which show you would be going to. They would not let me use the DAS card in any way to get through the line. Then when we returned to the show at the scheduled time, we waited in another very long line to get into the theater. Again, the DAS card was not accepted. I found the supervisor on duty and tried to talk to him about it and ask why they would not accept the DAS card in any way. He was apologetic but stood firm on the fact that there would be no way for us to use the card there. I was about ready to pull my hair out after that ordeal, but my daughter really wanted to see that show, so we suffered through the lines anyway. It was miserable. They also would not accept the card at Oaken’s Trading Post — not the store, but the other side where you could ice skate. We never did make it into that place since the wait was too long.
With lots of advance planning , the new pass works to an extent. Do not attempt to go with your child alone as you always need someone to go get a time while you do something else to keep the child calm. I can go solo with Logan now because he knows what to expect. That said, we always prep him with we are on our way to here so let’s get a time for here. We never stop for a time without having a ride to go to immediately so he doesn’t perseverate on the original ride.
How does this pertain to homeschooling you ask? Lots because you can’t learn without having fun. As you can see from all the other posts , we use these rides to enhance our learning. In order to do that, we must take into account Logan’s autism and what is capable of handling to get on the ride. It’s all part of our crazy world here in Autismland.
Day 1: Overview
Day 2 : Haunted Mansion
Day 3: Literature Selections
Day 4 : Nature Studies
Day 5 : Flower and Garden Festival
Day 6: American History
Day 7: Youth in Education Series