How much earlier should we arrive to the parks each day to pick up an Audio Descriptive device at Guest Relations each morning? Can we pick up at the outside GR or do you think we need to go inside? How do I indicate that on my touring plan? Will it really mess up our plans to start a bit later?
Well.... I can tell you what our experience was on our trip last year. We picked up an assistive listening device at all four main parks. We got to each early before park open but were unable to go to guest relations until they opened. But in each instance the parks opened before the posted time by 10-15 minutes so it didn't really throw off our plans. I hope you have a better experience than we did. Out of our entire vacation the only frustration was trying to get the devices from guest relations. But that still meant we had a wonderful trip. The problem for us was that at all four parks the CM told me they didn't have the device we needed. I knew they did but they didn't. It took several people and far longer than it should have to finally "find" it each time. When I called ahead and asked how long I should allow for the process they told me only 5 min. tops. That was not the case. But if the device you need is more commonly requested then it really only take you a minute or two. Once they find it it is a fast process. Last year I didn't put any time in my plans for the process, this year I am choosing a restaurant closest to guest relations and putting a "meal" in my plan at that restaurant for a few minutes which is really my time to pick up the device. Mostly I did that to try to get an accurate walking time to our next step and to see if it messed up our wait times so much that it would be better to pick it up another time. Hope this helps.
I will also add this in case you are interested. I contacted Disney and suggested that they allow guests to reserve a device in advance so that they have it ready and you can just scan your magic band to claim it and get on with your day. I think the same system they use for Fastpass would work well for assistive devices and save everyone time. If you agree you might send them an email and suggest it. I figure if enough people do they might consider it.
Once we had the device it was awesome for our son. He could hear the rides that had it SO WELL! Worth the frustration and I'm so grateful Disney does this. I also made sure to make that at least as clear as my frustration with the process.
Oh wow, @rlc9397, that's some really good info, thank you. I haven't been able to get any info on this at all anywhere else. That's what I'm worried about, that we'll "waste" half an hour or whatever while GR figures it out. I think it's all the same device, so I'm a little worried. That's a good idea to put a stop in the morning to pick it up. I'm a little torn, because the device is not absolutely essential, but my mom is low vision and having things described to her with this device would really improve her experience. Also, it would be nice to be able to "reserve" it for your entire trip instead of having to pick it up each morning. Thanks again for your help!
Glad to be able to share experiences and help each other out. When are you going? Let me know what works for you. If it reassures you, even with the delay and frustration it never caused us to miss anything and I had a pretty packed touring plan for each day. The parks all opened a little early. I debated if it was worth it for my son because only a few rides/shows at each park offer the service. After we saw his reaction to the first one, my husband and I knew it was all worth it! Also, I got the impression that it was just the particular attachment my son needed that was the problem. CM all very quickly found the main device but tried to convince me the only attachment available was the headset. I knew that wasn't true so I was able to convince them to keep looking. If we had only needed the one they were used to being asked for, we would have had it and been on our way in about a minute. Hope that proves to be the case for you!
Our first day at the parks is January 30th, at Epcot. I took your idea and added on 15 minutes at the start of our Touring plans to accommodate this stop, so hopefully that will work. It didn't seem to affect the timing of my plan that much.