Guest Assistance Card Information
What is a Guest Assistance Card?
One of the best tools for families with Autism Spectrum Disorder who visit Disney Parks is the Guest Assistance Card. As parents of children with autism, you may have experienced frustration getting the support you need as you travel, because your child’s disability is not always visible to others around you. With the Guest Assistance Card, you have a visible and easy way to get the assistance you need as you travel through the parks.
Where do I get a Guest Assistance Card?
When you arrived at one the theme parks, simply walk up to any of the Guest Relations locations inside or outside the park entrance. At Magic Kingdom, there are Guest Assistance locations outside of the ticket entrance on the opposite end from the Monorail, or you can go to the City Hall on Main Street U.S.A. inside the park. At Epcot, Guest Relations is location on the east side of the entrance plaza. At both Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom parks, you will find Guest Relations to the left as you pass through the entrance. When in doubt, please consult a map or ask a Cast Member for directions.
How do I ask for a Guest Assistance Card?
When you are at the Guest Relations center, tell the Cast Member that you need a Guest Assistance card. They will need to know what type of assistance your child will need, and how many people are in your party. Most people find it easiest to tell them their child has Autism Spectrum Disorder, but it helps to articulate the best way for cast members to assist your child and your family.
Some things to ask for, depending on your child’s needs, include:
- Alternate waiting area: this allows your child a quiet place to wait his or her turn for the ride. Sometimes this is the handicapped entrance, but not always.
- Use a stroller as a wheelchair: this allows your child to continue to sit in his or her stroller while waiting for the ride. The stroller must meet some specifications for this assistance.
Cast Members are obligated to inform you that the Guest Assistance Card is not a “skip the line” card. You will still need to wait for rides – you just have the option to wait in a quieter area with less stimulation for your child. This is great for rides with noisy or crowded queue areas, or you can use the Fastpass system to minimize wait times on some rides.
For families with more than one child with autism (or with any other non-visible special needs), we recommend you obtain a Guest Assistance card for each child who needs the assistance. Cards are issued for the duration of your visit, and having a card for each child with special needs allows your party to split up and still receive the assistance needed for each child throughout the parks.
At the end of the trip, hold on to the GAC. The next time you come back to the Disney Parks, present the card from your previous trip. This will help the cast member to know what you had previously done and complete the next one.