The Guest Assistance Card Program in this article is being replaced on October 9th, 2013. Please visit our page about the new Disability Access Service Card for the most current information.
When our family visited Walt Disney World a few years ago, our two year old son fell and broke his leg days before our trip. We considered canceling but his doctor reassured us he would be fine and that we should still go. After doing some research, we discovered that we could obtain a GAC (Guest Assistance Card) to help assist him.
What is a GAC?
A Guest Assistance Card can be obtained for guests in need of assistance due to a wide variety of disabilities such as: trouble standing, walking, autism, anxiety and crowd phobia to name just a few. The card will let cast members know that you may need special assistance while in queue or boarding rides.
How do you get a GAC?
To get a GAC, visit Guest Relations at the first park you visit during your trip. You'll need to explain to the cast member why you need a card. If you have a visible disability, it will probably be a little easier to get a card. You don't need to have a doctor's note because of privacy laws, but it can make it go a little faster if you do have one. If you don't have a doctor's note, just explain why you need assistance in the parks whether it is mobility issues, heat sensitivity, a child with special needs or visual impairments.
Not all guests need the same form of assistance, so Guest Relations will stamp your GAC with a symbol that will better tell the cast members in charge of an attraction's queue what services you need.
When you obtain a GAC, let the cast member know how long your stay will be and the GAC will be valid for the entire trip. You won't need to get a new card each day. Also make sure to tell the cast member how many people are in your party. The GAC will be valid for up to 5 people traveling with you.
What will a GAC let you do?
A GAC is not a special FASTPASS or front of the line ticket. You'll still have to wait in line, but it will be a bit more comfortable for you.
A GAC can be very useful for a family or person who is hesitant on visiting Walt Disney World because of a disability. GAC Policy differs in what they can offer from attraction to attraction, however Disney makes a huge effort to make everything accommodating for you! Don't be afraid to ask!
Have you ever used a GAC? What was your experience? Share your GAC story with us by leaving a comment below.