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Six Flags Requiring a Non-specific Doctor's Note for Access Pass

rob0519

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
So, we're thinking of taking our son to Six Flags (Illinois) and I looked up their version of the DAS. Six Flags now requires a Doctor's note complete with Medical ID number stating the guest has a disability or other qualifying impairment under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), without naming the specific nature of the condition. (See below)

I called the park an was told as long as they do not ask for a description or name of the condition, it complies with HIPA. It was done to discourage people from showing up at the park and asking for an Access Pass to scam the system. The person on the phone says it's not a fool proof system, but most people who truly don't need the pass will not go to a doctor and request the note or will not get it even if they do.

It's basically the same plan, go to an attraction, get a return time, but you don't have to wait in the line. I don't see why Disney could not implement this process. It respects the privacy of the individual, but I'm sure it would cut down on the number of DAS cards given out on a daily basis.

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To receive an Attraction Access Pass you must have a note from a doctor. You will only need this note the first time you request an Attraction Access Pass. Your doctor should include the following information:

  • Doctor's name
  • Address of the doctor's practice (Printed stationary is OK as long as it includes the Doctor's medical ID number)
  • Phone number of doctor's practice (Printed stationary is OK as long as it includes the Doctor's medical ID number)
  • Name of person requesting the Attraction Access Pass
  • Statement indicating the guest has a disability or other qualifying impairment under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and/or applicable state law that prevents the guest from waiting in a standard queue.
  • Valid time period of disability (permanent or, if temporary, the valid time period the Pass is needed for)
  • Doctor's signature
  • The note must NOT describe or indicate the nature of the disability.
 

mimitchi33

Well-Known Member
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Thanks! This will be helpful for my trip there this summer...
Also, can someone please move this to a relavant forum, as this does not relate to a Disney park at all?
 

Goofyernmost

Well-Known Member
So, we're thinking of taking our son to Six Flags (Illinois) and I looked up their version of the DAS. Six Flags now requires a Doctor's note complete with Medical ID number stating the guest has a disability or other qualifying impairment under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), without naming the specific nature of the condition. (See below)

I called the park an was told as long as they do not ask for a description or name of the condition, it complies with HIPA. It was done to discourage people from showing up at the park and asking for an Access Pass to scam the system. The person on the phone says it's not a fool proof system, but most people who truly don't need the pass will not go to a doctor and request the note or will not get it even if they do.

It's basically the same plan, go to an attraction, get a return time, but you don't have to wait in the line. I don't see why Disney could not implement this process. It respects the privacy of the individual, but I'm sure it would cut down on the number of DAS cards given out on a daily basis.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To receive an Attraction Access Pass you must have a note from a doctor. You will only need this note the first time you request an Attraction Access Pass. Your doctor should include the following information:

  • Doctor's name
  • Address of the doctor's practice (Printed stationary is OK as long as it includes the Doctor's medical ID number)
  • Phone number of doctor's practice (Printed stationary is OK as long as it includes the Doctor's medical ID number)
  • Name of person requesting the Attraction Access Pass
  • Statement indicating the guest has a disability or other qualifying impairment under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and/or applicable state law that prevents the guest from waiting in a standard queue.
  • Valid time period of disability (permanent or, if temporary, the valid time period the Pass is needed for)
  • Doctor's signature
  • The note must NOT describe or indicate the nature of the disability.
Wouldn't someplace in there be required to know what type of accommodation needs to happen or are you just assuming it's the front of the line 'need'. I don't think that even the current system guarantee's front of the line, just use of the FP area. Short wait, but, not necessarily a walk on.
 

DrummerAlly

Well-Known Member
As a parent of a child with autism, I'd love this system. I'm dreading going to Guest Services and requesting a DAS and having to explain in front of my kid why they need the pass. Additionally, I'm terrified about the wait for guest services to request the pass while my child REALLY wants to go to Dumbo. Because she's a child with autism who "looks normal" to many people, I hate the feeling that I'm being judged as a scammer.

In my dream world, I'd fax my doctor's note to Disney ahead of time and have them place it on her magic band before we ever get there. This doesn't seem unreasonable to me. Win-Win for parents of children with special needs and the park who wants fewer people abusing the system.
 

AndrewsJ

Well-Known Member
As a parent of a child with autism, I'd love this system. I'm dreading going to Guest Services and requesting a DAS and having to explain in front of my kid why they need the pass. Additionally, I'm terrified about the wait for guest services to request the pass while my child REALLY wants to go to Dumbo. Because she's a child with autism who "looks normal" to many people, I hate the feeling that I'm being judged as a scammer.

In my dream world, I'd fax my doctor's note to Disney ahead of time and have them place it on her magic band before we ever get there. This doesn't seem unreasonable to me. Win-Win for parents of children with special needs and the park who wants fewer people abusing the system.
Thanks for your insight. It's a shame that people judge others like that because so many disabilities are not detectable by just looking at a person. I am not a parent of a child with a disability but I am a nurse. My patients are sometimes terminally ill and no one would ever know unless they were told. I also think your idea of faxing before hand and having it on the Magic Band is an awesome idea. It seems like it would save a lot of time for parents and Disney as well.
 

Goofyernmost

Well-Known Member
You cannot blame Disney for this. There are many ways to make this situation less embarrassing for the people with problems. Some righteous individuals sat in their comfortable offices and decided that they know what was best and the most politically correct way to go about this. The problem is that they do not know what it is like to be in this situation. The whole thing could be simple and not require any special "description" of a problem and what is needed in the form of accommodations. ADA was so bent on making it so that everyone be accepted that they left out guidelines that were workable and fair to everyone. They didn't take into consideration that people are inherently judgmental and don't trust others if there is not an obvious problem visible.

Is that the way we should be... no, of course not. Is that how we are... you bet. I worked with disabled/challenged people for years. There is no shame in having an issue, but ADA has made it so asking what the problem is will cause some kind of shame instead of just making an attempt to accommodate in the best way possible. I don't know a single challenged person that wouldn't be willing to give out that information if it meant that they didn't have to be looked at like they are trying to pull a fast one on all those healthy skeptical folks. It's a big problem and it isn't about to change until enough people let the "law makers" know the problems that their attempts to include everyone have created.

All that said, I don't believe what has been told as the new 6 flags requirement will be considered legal. All one can do is ask what type of thing that they require to be part of the fun. They put the, in this case, parks in deep jeopardy along with the person whose safety might be compromised by allowing them to participate in things that are potentially harmful to them. That covers many things like service animals that would be so easy to identify as legitimate. A vest from the internet does not a service dog make. ADA was a law with the best of intentions that just plain wasn't thought out sufficiently to make it completely beneficial to the handicapped not just physically, but, emotionally as well.
 

Corey P

Well-Known Member
Thanks for your insight. It's a shame that people judge others like that because so many disabilities are not detectable by just looking at a person. I am not a parent of a child with a disability but I am a nurse. My patients are sometimes terminally ill and no one would ever know unless they were told. I also think your idea of faxing before hand and having it on the Magic Band is an awesome idea. It seems like it would save a lot of time for parents and Disney as well.
But people scam the system all the time. A large amount of people.

Terminally ill? Everyone is terminally ill, everyone dies in the end. I hope when I go out I don't look like it.

I like the proof and add it to the MB. Seems like a good solution if you ask me.
 
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AndrewsJ

Well-Known Member
But people scam the system all the time. A large amount of people.

Terminally ill? Everyone is terminally ill, everyone dies in the end. I hope when I go out I don't like like it.

I like the proof and add it t the MB. Seems like a good solution if you ask me.
Of course they scam the system. I never said they didn't. And yes we are all dying but I think you know what I meant.
 

Goofyernmost

Well-Known Member
Something Disney should do IMHO the current system is not working.
Who is it not working for? From what I can tell the current system is as fair as the laws allow. Is it not working for the whiny people standing in line that are skeptical of the actual status of the person in question or is it for those that want to ride immediately and as often as they like? That isn't equality that is worlds above what everyone else is able to do. No one, should be asking for anything more then what everyone else has to deal with in those situations. Disney can and does ask what is needed, but, they cannot always accommodate, all they can do is a reasonable accommodation. I think, for the first time, they have succeeded in making it as fair as the law will allow.
 

rob0519

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
The Access Pass at Six Flags does nothing but allow an individual with an unidentified, but supposedly verified ADA acceptable condition to not stand in the normal queue while waiting the same amount of time as everyone else.

My daughter works at a an area wide service provider for people with mental disabilities. Every summer they have taken a group of adults to Six Flags and upon presenting their license all people in the group were approved to wait outside of the normal queue. This year however, Six Flags is requiring every individual in the group to have a Doctor's note in order to get the access pass. That the pass is good for the passholder and 3 additional people is of some help because the caretakers need to be on someone's pass as well. In the interest of "fairness for all" it seems common sense has gone out the window.
 

rob0519

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Wouldn't someplace in there be required to know what type of accommodation needs to happen or are you just assuming it's the front of the line 'need'. I don't think that even the current system guarantee's front of the line, just use of the FP area. Short wait, but, not necessarily a walk on.
I'm not assuming anything, especially front of the line access as I'm not sure Six Flags has any type of front of the line access. There is nothing in my original post about front of the line.

The point of the posting was to show that other parks are requiring some form of medical documentation, as non-descript as it may be.

Here is the description from the Six Flags website. Take it for what it's worth.
Attraction Access Pass
Six Flags offers an Attraction Access Pass for guests who are unable to wait in ride lines due to a disability, mobility impairments, or certain qualifying impairments. Any guest requesting use of one of these special passes will need to provide a doctor’s note at the Ride Information Center, located in Mardi Gras, at the time they pick up the pass. This new program replaces our old Equal Access Pass program.

What is the Attraction Access Pass?
The Attraction Access Program allows qualified guests to access attractions through an alternate entrance without waiting in the regular ride queue. Upon arriving at the attraction entrance guests participating in the program will receive a ride reservation time comparable to the current wait time for the same ride/attraction. At the designated time the guest and up to three (3) riding companions can then enter the attraction through the alternate entrance and proceed directly to the ride boarding area. Guests using the Access Pass wait the same amount of time as other guests but they don't have to wait in the regular ride queue.
 

rob0519

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Who is it not working for? From what I can tell the current system is as fair as the laws allow. Is it not working for the whiny people standing in line that are skeptical of the actual status of the person in question or is it for those that want to ride immediately and as often as they like? That isn't equality that is worlds above what everyone else is able to do. No one, should be asking for anything more then what everyone else has to deal with in those situations. Disney can and does ask what is needed, but, they cannot always accommodate, all they can do is a reasonable accommodation. I think, for the first time, they have succeeded in making it as fair as the law will allow.
The current system is probably as "fair" as it's going to get.

In the old days before we knew anything about Guest Assistance, we would stand in the hour plus line with our son. He has severe neurological issues and one minute he could be sitting quietly in his wheelchair and the next, something in his brain misfires and he could wind up talking to himself, biting his hand, bouncing up and down on the chair or some other disruptive action. Some people not all, would give us dirty looks for not "controlling" him. Others even said they paid a lot of money for this vacation and my son was disturbing their children and ruining their vacation.

Then came Guest Assistance where we were allowed to enter through an alternative entrance (usually the exit) or through the fast pass line. So now, the same people are saying "Why are they getting on the attraction ahead of my family?" "Why aren't they in line with the rest of us?"

So some people didn't want the disabled in the line because it's disturbing and they didn't want them getting ahead of them by not being in the line. It was a no win situation for us. We don't whine, don't write letters and don't sue anyone. We simply determine what the policy is and take what it allows. If the policies change we simply adjust.
 

Goofyernmost

Well-Known Member
The current system is probably as "fair" as it's going to get.

In the old days before we knew anything about Guest Assistance, we would stand in the hour plus line with our son. He has severe neurological issues and one minute he could be sitting quietly in his wheelchair and the next, something in his brain misfires and he could wind up talking to himself, biting his hand, bouncing up and down on the chair or some other disruptive action. Some people not all, would give us dirty looks for not "controlling" him. Others even said they paid a lot of money for this vacation and my son was disturbing their children and ruining their vacation.

Then came Guest Assistance where we were allowed to enter through an alternative entrance (usually the exit) or through the fast pass line. So now, the same people are saying "Why are they getting on the attraction ahead of my family?" "Why aren't they in line with the rest of us?"

So some people didn't want the disabled in the line because it's disturbing and they didn't want them getting ahead of them by not being in the line. It was a no win situation for us. We don't whine, don't write letters and don't sue anyone. We simply determine what the policy is and take what it allows. If the policies change we simply adjust.
Yes, and my point is that right now if you went to guest services and simply said... my son has a problem where he cannot stand, or sit, in line, then you would be told to go to the ride get a later time FP line access and come back at what is 10 minutes less then that current wait time in Stand-by. No documentation required because that is how the law reads. My point is that requiring a written note from a Doctor (which can be fabricated anyway) is not allowed under the ADA rules. If someone decides to push the point, 6 flags will lose very quickly. Everyone has to just stop worrying about heartless, self centered people and do what is right. Who cares what they think, do what is necessary and no one can ask more as long as you are being honest and not trying to scam anything. Everyone comes out OK. I assume that the problem with you son only happens when sitting in a line? If that is the case the system they have should work fine. If that happens at random, there isn't much that can be done. That could even happen when they are on the ride couldn't it?
 

rob0519

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Yes, and my point is that right now if you went to guest services and simply said... my son has a problem where he cannot stand, or sit, in line, then you would be told to go to the ride get a later time FP line access and come back at what is 10 minutes less then that current wait time in Stand-by. No documentation required because that is how the law reads. My point is that requiring a written note from a Doctor (which can be fabricated anyway) is not allowed under the ADA rules. If someone decides to push the point, 6 flags will lose very quickly. Everyone has to just stop worrying about heartless, self centered people and do what is right. Who cares what they think, do what is necessary and no one can ask more as long as you are being honest and not trying to scam anything. Everyone comes out OK. I assume that the problem with you son only happens when sitting in a line? If that is the case the system they have should work fine. If that happens at random, there isn't much that can be done. That could even happen when they are on the ride couldn't it?
Yes. My son's issues can happen sitting in car, sitting on a plane, in the movies, standing in line at the grocery store and yes, even on an attraction at an amusement park. His physical limitations keep him off the more physical rides so I don't worry about those.

I'm not an attorney, nor do I play one on TV so I don't know the legality of this. I just thought the whole Dr.'s note thing was interesting. It's easy enough for our Doctor to provide so I don't have a problem with it. I'd never heard of anything like this before so I thought I would post it.
 

Goofyernmost

Well-Known Member
Yes. My son's issues can happen sitting in car, sitting on a plane, in the movies, standing in line at the grocery store and yes, even on an attraction at an amusement park. His physical limitations keep him off the more physical rides so I don't worry about those.

I'm not an attorney, nor do I play one on TV so I don't know the legality of this. I just thought the whole Dr.'s note thing was interesting. It's easy enough for our Doctor to provide so I don't have a problem with it. I'd never heard of anything like this before so I thought I would post it.
You are correct, it would probably be fine, but ADA, if nothing else, tries to say, you shouldn't have to go through hoops to enjoy a theme park. That is what Disney tries to do, but, by doing that you get the judgmental group that are certain that you are putting something over on them and get upset. They are also stupid, so why worry about them.
 

rob0519

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
So, yesterday was our day at Six Flags Great America. The Guest Relations Office where you go for the Access Pass is maybe a quarter of the way into the park instead of at the front gate. Seemed like an odd placement, but whatever. We show them the Doctor's note, fill out a short form and they give us a cardboard Access Pass. If we decide to go back the information is in the system and we do not need another note.

Now I don't know if it's just this park or because it was a Tuesday, but none of the rides or attractions had a person stationed at the entrance to get a return time. So we fought our way up the exit ramps with him in a wheelchair as people kept streaming down. Once we encountered a team member, they were very nice, asked to see the card and put us on the next available car, train, vehicle, etc. so it worked like their paid "Flash Pass" system. Now we don't do any of the major roller coasters, so maybe they control this better at those attractions.

We may use it once or twice a year in the future again, but it will never replace WDW for our family.

A few other quick observations:
** I had not been to this park in over 20 years. It is much smaller and much less themed than the MK. It's mainly a thrill coaster park.
** They do have a small section of the park dedicated to rides for children say 3-7 which had lines of little kids all day.
** The food prices seemed as high, if not even a little higher in some cases than at Disney.
** It may be the cleanest park I've seen in a long time. Absolutely no litter on the ground, not one trashcan overflowing and no trash in any of the attractions that we saw.
** I saw a total of 2 EVCs in 12 hours and no more than a dozen other wheelchairs.
 
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