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  • We are visiting Disney in Feb with our 4 yr old autistic daughter, 2 year old and grandparents. We get the GAC card so she doesn't have to wait too long in lines. Can we use the swap pass too? We can't stand in place too long or she goes crazy..Help Please
  • - Asked by Jill from Nebraska on 8/23/2009
  • Hi Jill,

    How wonderful that your extended family is planning a Disney vacation!  Many families with children with Autism report that Disney is very accommodating to their special kids.   I'm one of them!  My son has an Autism Spectrum Disorder, and when he was younger couldn't tolerate long lines.  The Guest Assistance Card (GAC) will enable you to access attractions via an alternate entrance, that generally has a very short, if any wait.  In some cases, you will enter via the exit or the FASTPASS entrance or an entirely different handicapped entrance.  I never had a problem "waiting" with him on any of these alternate entrances, as the short line was always moving and required very little "standing still."  I think you will find that it will greatly facilitate your daughter's experience (and consequently, your whole family's trip).  The rider swap (or "baby/child" swap as it is also known) simply allows two adults to wait once, and "take turns" riding an attraction while the other is waiting with a guest (in many cases a small child) who is unable/unwilling to ride an attraction. 

    Another tip that might help your daughter feel more comfortable is to request a special needs sticker for your stroller when you receive your GAC.  The sticker will inform Cast Members that you should be permitted to utilize the stroller as a wheelchair, and access attractions via an accessible entrance.  This will enable you to keep your daughter in the stroller right up until the ride in many instances.  If you "load up" her stroller with activities and items she finds comforting, her wait might not be as noticeable.  I did this several times, and it seemed to work really well.

    There are many wonderful tips and accounts from families with Autism on the independent website  Simply type "Autism" on the home page if you are interested.

    I hope your family has a magical trip!

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