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Are Theme Parks Accessible Attractions?
Everybody loves a day out and what better way to enjoy a day out with the family is by visiting a theme park.
Are theme parks accessible for disabled travellers?
Most theme parks have restrictions, but don’t let that make you think you are automatically disqualified from all the rides. Before booking a day out it is advisable to check with the theme park directly or through their respective Website to see if you will be able to enjoy the rides offered.
Most theme parks have a disabled guide which covers the areas as outlined below.
Ride access is probably the number one reason for visiting a theme park which makes it all the more important to make sure that you can access the rides of your choice. It goes without saying that contacting the particular theme park you want to visit beforehand is advisable.
Also to note is that just because a ticket has been bought and access to the park has been made, access to rides may not be allowed. Depending on your disability it may disqualify you from certain rides. In most cases theme park staff are trained so as to know if it is possible to access certain rides but if disqualified then the main reason will be due to ride safety.
How do you know if you can access a particular ride? There are information boards which contain restriction guides but also you can add some good common sense. Perhaps observing a ride from a distance will let you know if you will feel comfortable on this ride.
Ride Safety always plays an important role in theme parks. Certain rides may just be unsuitable for certain people and this cant be avoided. Pregnant women, people with heart issues, neck and back problems may find it too much of a risk to their health to go on a ride. The same goes with certain disabilities.
Allot of theme parks understand that because a disabled guest requires help, then they make a concession on the price. In order to receive a concession often some sort of proof is required. Some theme parks just require to see a blue badge while others require more comprehensive proof.
Most theme parks will allow helpers to assist a disabled guest. But provisos’ are often added. For example many theme parks allow for only one carer per person. The carer must be above a certain age. The carer will only be allowed on the rides with the disabled guest. The carer must help with any moving of equipment like the wheelchair and also help in lifting the disabled guest onto any rides and lastly the disabled guest must provide proof that a carer is needed.
Most theme parks have a no animal policy, but when it comes to guide dogs then these are allowable. For obvious reasons guide dogs are not allowed on most rides. Therefore if a disabled guest brings a guide dog, while they enjoy the rides the guide dog must be left with someone else from the group and must not be left alone.
Toilets always have disabled access and should be expected at all theme parks.
As with most public places, parking for disabled access is given priority. Spaces allocated nearer the main entrances and parking bays with plenty of room to leave the vehicle are always available.
As any large venue area will have many thousands of guests, then by law access to some sort of medical facilities are always provided. If you suffer from serious medical conditions that require specialized care then it is prudent to contact the particular them park directly to find out if care can indeed be provided if a medical emergency arises.
Restaurants and Shops
As eating out and the gift shop are a large part of the theme park experience then most theme parks make sure that their restaurants and shops are adapted to accept a disabled traveller. Theme park staff are trained to treat everyone as an individual, so if extra care or time is needed then this is taken into consideration.
So if you wish to enjoy a day out in a theme park then please find a selection of theme parks that offer appropriate access above.