DIS Unplugged Podcast – 09/24/13 – Orlando Show

| September 24, 2013

In this week’s show, Disney revises their Guest Assistance Cards, a cancelled Disney Cruise leaves a woman out of luck, and we’ll go over the top ten DISboards.com threads of August 2013. Then, the team discusses this year’s Halloween Horror Nights event at Universal Studios Florida. All this and more in this week’s edition of The DIS Unplugged! Want to get in touch? Check out our contact page.

Audio Edition

09/24/13 – News, Housekeeping, Rapidfire:
[Download Mp3]

09/24/13 – Halloween Horror Nights:
[Download Mp3]

Video Edition

Show Notes:

Upcoming DIS Adventures by Disney Trips:

Give Kids The World Fundraising Events!

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Category: DIS Unplugged: Disney World Edition, Disney World, News, Podcasts, Show Notes, Universal / Sea World, Universal Orlando, Video

About the Author ()

I'm the Assistant Webmaster and Designer for The DIS and the Associate Producer for The DIS Unplugged podcast. I've lived in Florida for almost three years after graduating from Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania in 2010. I am a former Walt Disney World Cast Member and spent almost four years on Main Street U.S.A.
  • P Hilston

    I Love the DIS….well I love everything Disney anyway but I was pleased with the way you handled the issue of the GAC changes. I have needed to use a wheelchair any place I have to walk any distance. The first time I asked for a GAC I was “armed” with doctor’s notes and explanations and was pleased with the ease with which I was able to get one. My next trip involved over an hour wait in line to get the card….luckily my dear daughter in law held our place in line while I sat on a bench….I had decided to rent a wheelchair rather than travel with my own….if I could stand in line for an hour I wouldn’t have needed a GAC. We got through that one and had yet another marvelous trip.

    We have been planning a whole family trip to Disney for years (sheesh it takes that long to save for one)…There will be 12 of us….my hubby and I (I still use a wheelchair and need it more now than 3 years ago)….Our 3 sons and their families. Our 5 grandchildren range from 5 year old twins to 15. One of the twins is Autistic and her brother, a 6 year old has Down Syndrome. We made all our plans and our reservations for rooms and meals based on using a GAC when needed.

    Suddenly the rules are changing. I don’t fault Disney…..I was aghast when I read of the blatent misuse of the system and knew something had to change. The first change is that they are asking everyone to get a GAC at the beginning of each day rather than one for the whole week…..WHAT?…..folks neither my degenerative joint disease nor my granddaughter;s autism nor my grandson’s Down Syndrome are going away in the course of our trip and to have each of us….(and we will each need at least one companion to wait in line) to wait in line outside the park to acquire a card before each day is absurd. To me that is the biggest of the problems with the proposed changes.

    The written return pass is going to be yet another wait and I fear that there will be cast members who are less familiar with the changes so wonder about further questions and delays. Again, because of a few abusers there is going to be turmoil for children and adults who will literally have to suffer the ill effects of their diseases/disorders.

    We are lucky to be able to take 12 people to Disney….it literally is a once in a lifetime trip to get the whole family together and has been a dream of mine since my grown sons were boys. This is Christmas and Birthdays rolled up into one but it is a choice we have made to save, not do other things, and take a chunk of our retirement savings for this wonderful experience. We have reservations at some amazing character meals and at the fantastic Boardwalk Hotel……we have non refundable airline tickets but are seriously having to weigh if this trip is even possible if the changes, as currently stated, go into effect.

    I hope Disney uses these next days to look closely at the decisions they make in how to effect the needed changes to the GAC program. I would hate to not make this trip but I am NOT inflicting unnecessary waiting in line on a little girl who truly could not deal with it (the waiting for the GAC is just as difficult as the waiting for the ride) or for a little boy, in a child wheelchair whose view of adults legs and the jostling and confusion would not only make him uncomfortable but as a non verbal person he would have no effective way to tell us of his discomfort.

    Disney has proven to be very very sensitive to the needs of all its guests and we have until February for them to try ideas and “tweek” them as needed….Even though it would break my heart and even though we have non refundable air fare does not mean that we have to spend our room and food dollars at Disney. We will look might silly in our matching T shirts and the 3 little ones in their themed outfits and princess dresses at a place other than Disney but their needs and comforts WILL come first….if Disney can’t accommodate them it will be a terrible loss for us.

    Again thanks to the show for your clear and well considered attention to this matter. You always provide us with a wonderful, informative and entertaining look at all things Disney.

    Paula Carhart Hilston

  • Niewoe

    Thank you for sharing your outrage concerning abuses to the GAC system. Maybe the more it’s out there about how awful it is to falsify need, less people will do it.
    We try to visit Disney every year, are DVC members, and love everything about WDW. For the past 5 years, I have been dealing with constant back pain. From the outside, I look slow for a 36YO, but fine. (Anyone who has kids, also knows that you try to not show your pain in front of them, as much as possible.) On our last trip, I caved and got a GAC because standing still for too long increases my pain tremendously. The cast member who helped me was very nice, but looked frustrated. I know that he thought I was another “scammer” and I couldn’t blame him. But, this made me feel awful, angry, guilty (even though I have legit issues), and sad. I really hope there is a better solution for everyone who needs assistance and that Disney discovers it!

    Sidebar: I never used the GAC. I utilized the FP system or didn’t ride the rides. Most of the rides that I can actually go on, don’t usually have too long of a wait anyway. (I think it’s a small population of people with needs who can ride the bigger roller-coaster-type rides – but obviously there needs to be appropriate access for everyone.)
    I’m very concerned about how the new FP+ system will effect our trips, since I cannot ride the bigger rides. Since we all get 3 a day (supposedly), I envision my DH and DS riding together and me riding alone somewhere else. Anyone else think this will happen more?

  • RBloom

    Thank you for making known your experiences with staff, restrooms, etc. I’m penny-pinching to save for a Disney trip next year. It’s sad to hear that some of the things that make the ‘magic’ might be getting neglected. It’s the totality of EVERYTHING that you experience as a guest. We had the most amazing first trip to Disney in 2010 and it’s disheartening to hear that corners are possibly being cut. A Walt Disney World vacation is about twice the cost of our typical vacation and one won’t pay that kind of money in the future if the experience is similar to that at the larger amusement park in our state. Honestly, magic bands and fast passes are not as important to me as the amazing attention to detail that we experienced on our previous trip to WDW.

    You all do such a great job with these shows – my husband is involved with AV and I shared with him one of the previous podcasts that told of the guys walking to get to the villains event to get the story.

  • disgusted

    Don’t know why this is posting as “disgusted” because I’m not.

    I choose to use Vera because I am vegetarian and there’s no leather – in addition to liking the lightness of the bag. My college student uses them too. I love the Disney prints – will get the black because it’s more practical. I would love for them to do the big back pack in these prints because they are perfect while in the parks.

  • Guest

    I recently discovered your podcast while planning a family trip to FL, which occurred last week. I was looking into thoughts on MNSSHP because it was something we hadn’t done before. I grew up mostly in central FL and we’ve been frequent visitors to the parks for years (I can’t even count how many times I’ve been to WDW) but the parties started around the time we moved out of the state and I was wondering if it was worth the cost (for us, now all adults, it was worth it and we had a great time). I wanted to comment because we had several bad interactions with both cast members and bathroom cleanliness issues and immediately remembered your discussion about this issue in your podcast. You’re not alone in noticing this change. As I said, I’ve been going to the parks for 30 years and I completely agree that in the past few years, service has consistently gone downhill. We were at the parks in January and returned again last week to do MNSSHP and a day at Food and Wine. We were disappointed with both the bathrooms and cast members in both places. At MNSSHP, we stopped at the bathrooms at the transit center. I had to open 3 stalls before finding one that didn’t have a toilet full of unflushable awfulness and the floor was gross with visible “bathroom mud.” At the MK gate, we had not trouble entering but, when both my brother and I went to get a map, the cast member distributing them asked “do you both really need one?” Seriously, you’re policing your giant bin of park maps? On our first ride, Pirates of the Carribbean, which was walk-on, the attendant put 4 adults in a row. We’re not overweight, but three of us are around 6ft tall so two of us moved to the following row and the attendant yelled at us, told us to move to our designated row, and said if we did not do so, we’d be asked to leave the ride due to “noncompliance.” So, the 4 of us squeezed into one row on the boat (every other row had 3 people or less) and had a very uncomfortable ride. We were jammed so close together in the back, that my mom, who was sitting on the edge, actually left the ride with her entire side soaking wet. This was the first time I’ve ever seen anyone get wet on Pirates. This became a theme on our trip when, a few days later at epcot, three of us went on Nemo and were the only people in the ride. Now, for context, my friend and I are in our early 30s and my brother is in his late 20s. We weren’t teenagers looking for trouble and had not been drinking or being rowdy in any way. When we walked onto the conveyor belt to board the ride, the attendant at the entrance said nothing and waved us through. My friend and I got into one car and my brother got into the car behind. The attendant immediately began screaming “SIR! SIR THERE ARE THREE PEOPLE PER SHELL SIR! WHAT ARE YOU DOING? SERIOUSLY SIR, THREE PEOPLE PER SHELL!!” So, my brother got up and squeezed into our car (we were about 1/3 of the way down the conveyor belt at this point. At which point both the attendant at the conveyor belt entrance and the one at the other end began screaming “SIR! WHY ARE YOU MOVING?! DO NOT MOVE! NO ONE TOLD YOU TO MOVE! CAUSE ANY MORE PROBLEMS AND WE WILL REMOVE YOU!” At this point, we’re thoroughly confused because the first attendant pretty clearly told him to move. We reach the end of the conveyor belt, the door to the car closes, and the ride attendant at that end points at me and screams “YOU WATCH HIM! DON’T LET HIM MOVE!” To which I said, what are you talking about? where would he go? what is going on. Her response was to scream “WE HAVE CAMERAS WE ARE WATCHING!” I’m still confused about what happened. We also had a couple issues at the food and wine booths. The girl expediting at the Florida booth kept getting orders wrong and forgetting to hand people the correct food items. At Australia, we received lamb that was almost raw (i regret not taking a picture. even the outside was still pink). When we brought it to the booth’s attention, they argued with us and said “what do you want us to do?” and we said well, we’d like it cooked enough so that we don’t get sick. They finally gave us a new piece when two other customers in line held theirs next to ours and said “listen, they’re right. cook that more or give them a new piece.” I was really surprised that Disney did not replace food that wasn’t to our satisfaction, no questions asked, but was really surprised that they argued with us over something so clearly incorrectly cooked. We have continued to go to Disney for the excellent service and cleanliness but, if that is no longer Disney’s priority, we will likely begin spending our money elsewhere. This trip, we had a better experience with Universal at HHN than we did at Disney – we had great interactions with the employees and guest services was great at handling a problem we had with one of our express passes. However, to end on a positive note, we did have a great experience with certain Disney cast members. The individual directing guests to the exit at our Halloween party on 10/14 turned his “exit this way” motion into a variety of crazy dance moves. The Australian woman working the ticket booth at Epcot on 10/18 was possibly the nicest, most enthusiastic cast member that I have ever encountered. Everyone working in Japan was incredibly gracious and the Mexico mariachis seemed genuinely happy to be playing music for a living. These are the types of employees that we’ve appreciated at Disney over the years and we’d love to see it continue with ALL the cast members. We also really hope the apparent tendency to cram as many people as possible into rides, even when it makes no sense, will be stopped. Have you noticed them trying to do this lately? Thanks for the great info and I hope to use your site for info in the future (there are now far too many hotels for us to have stayed at the them all and we can’t even afford our favorite, then the only, hotels on site!).

  • lxhsuper

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