Disney’s Commitment Stays the Same Despite GAC Changes

disney guest assistance card changes

disney guest assistance card changes

Disney holds true to their commitment to provide all guest with a magical time.  Meg Crofton, President Walt Disney Parks & Resorts Operations, U.S. and France, sent the following information out regarding the changes to the Guest Assistance Card program.

Disney Parks holds a cherished place in the hearts of the millions of Guests who visit us each year. We know that is especially true for those of you who have a loved one with a disability. For many families, what would be impossible elsewhere is not only possible, but magical, at our parks and resorts. We are proud to play such an important role in so many of your lives.

So please don’t think, as I’ve seen online, that Disney doesn’t realize how hard and yes, impossible for some families to truly enjoy Disney Parks without assistance would be. They obviously do. And they do care that the program they set up to help our families is being abused to a point that has become beyond ridiculous. I can only imagine their frustration at this abuse. I’m so grateful they are working to resolve the problem – the abuse.

Unfortunately, our current program for providing access to attractions for Guests with disabilities has been abused and exploited to such an extent that we are no longer able to effectively sustain it in its present form. After careful consideration, and with the needs of our Guests with disabilities as our foremost concern, we are modifying the current program so that we will be able to continue to serve those Guests for whom the program is intended.

But we all need to be understanding and patient and see how things work out. Change takes time and adjustments to get the bugs out and get a new routine down but it can be done.

As with any change, there will be a period of adjustment, particularly for those families who have developed and refined their preferred ways of enjoying our parks with their loved ones over the years. I thank you in advance for your patience as we fine-tune our new program to mitigate the current abuse, while still providing the special experience our Guests have come to expect from Disney.

Disney magic hasn’t gone away for our families. They haven’t changed their commitment just because they are making some changes to stop the abuse of the assistance they wanted to provide for our families. It isn’t something they have to do. I think it’s important to remember that.

Our commitment to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all our Guests has not changed. We have long recognized that people may have different needs, and we will continue to work individually with our Guests with disabilities to provide assistance that is responsive to their unique circumstances.

I for one, will continue to trust Disney with our treasured family vacation time as often as we can. Nothing compares to the memories we hold from our visits to the Disney Parks, even if they came with a couple of meltdowns. The wonderful, cherished memories shine through my heart brighter than anything.

© 2013, Nanette Gomez. All rights reserved.

Where to Stay at Disney World – Planning Your First Disney Vacation

disney world resorts

disney world resorts

Last week, I shared with you some of our favorite resorts and locations both on and off-property when visiting Disneyland in California. This week I’ll be sharing with you some of my favorite resorts at Disney World in Florida. This way, you’ll know what your options are for both locations which will give you a better idea of what your choices are and what you will need to budget for for lodging.

I have personally stayed at a couple of the resorts at Disney World so I can tell you from experience what I like and didn’t like. And since I just love taking photos of the resorts, you’ll get a view from another resort guest and not a professional photographer who is there to make it look totally awesome. I want you to know what to expect as a consumer just like me.

It’s great to have choices and Disney World has got plenty of them for you. I’ve personally stayed at the Contemporary, Polynesian and Yacht Club. My review of the Art of Animation was a special sneak peek before it opened and is a gorgeous, family fun option for those with little ones or those who may have a large family and need the additional room. It is considered a value resort. Check out my reviews on the resorts below.

My favorite part about staying at the Contemporary was of course being so close to Magic Kingdom.

Favorite part of staying at the Yacht Club was the nice walk over to Epcot plus I loved the nautical feel to the entire resort.

Favorite part of staying at the Polynesian enjoying the feeling of being on an exotic island paradise. That and the fact that you can get a Dole Whip there too! Don’t know what a Dole Whip is? I must share that with you soon.

The pool here is absolutely gorgeous! My kids didn’t want to leave the arcade which many of the resort have including the Contemporary which I also had a hard time prying my kids out of.

Here are just a few photos from our stays at Disney World.

monorail at disney's contemporary resort

Disney Contemporary Resort

Disney's Contemporary

Disney Polynesian Resort


Disney Yacht Club Resort


Disney Art of Animation – Finding Nemo

Walt Disney World has so many options for lodging ranging in price from around $100 a night on up. You can see all the resorts here Walt Disney World Resorts. There are of course plenty of off property hotels as well. If you are ok with driving back and forth from Disney there are plenty of options but you will have to go back to reality and traffic, etc. Me? I like to stay in the magic and not think about anything else till I have to.

Next week, I’ll share with you some of places we love to eat at! Yum.

© 2013, Nanette Gomez. All rights reserved.

Where to Stay on Your Disneyland Vacation

where to stay at Disneyland

Last week we talked about planning your first Disney trip and some things to consider before deciding on which Disney destination would be right for you and your family – Disneyland or Disney World?

where to stay at Disneyland

Today, we will talk a little about where to stay at Disney. There are so many choices both on and off property. And again a lot will depend on two things – 1) your budget (I know, I hate to consider budget too when going to Disney but it is a must-do for most of us.) and 2) your family’s needs/wants.

Let’s start with Disneyland first. I have stayed both on and off property. In fact, rather than repeat my previous reviews, I will just link to them from here for you and you can take a look when you are ready: Howard Johnsons Plaza Hotel and  Disneyland Hotel.

You can also compare the three on-site Disneyland resorts: Grand Californian Resort and Spa, Paradise Pier Hotel and Disneyland Hotel and see what they each have to offer.

There are plenty of off-site “Good Neighbor hotel” options as well.

I will however, say that staying on property for us was so much nicer. While the kids loved the pool/water play area at the Howard Johnson’s and it was indeed walking distance nothing beats staying in the magic for me.  And with the completed renovations at the Disneyland Hotel my kids would absolutely love to be splashing around in one of their two new pools.

Before you decide to stay off property, take a look at the benefits of staying at one of the Disneyland resorts first and weigh that into your plans. Would the benefits of staying onsite outweigh the cost of staying off-site? Think travel time, fuel expense, how the kids will handle the walk after a long day at the park or if they will need a break, etc.

If you’ve got little ones, think about nap times. Sometimes even the big ones need naps. My husband got sick on one trip totally out of the blue. I was so grateful we were staying on property so he could rest when he needed it.

And nothing beats the Extra Magic Hours for us!

Next week I’ll share with you some Disney World resorts you should check out should Disney World be your Disney destination.

© 2013, Nanette Gomez. All rights reserved.