IMAGE: Children and adults are excited by a plunging swinging ship ride. Photo by D Sharon Pruitt CC License
Many folks associate summer fun with going to an amusement park. Maybe you’ve been in line for a ride and noticed someone in a wheel chair and those with them, getting to bypass the line and even ride twice in a row. No, they didn’t pay extra for a fast pass. This is just one way that amusement parks can accommodate visitors with disabilities. As they guys at Different Spokes point out, it’s difficult to get in and out of a wheel chair. Once they are secured into a ride, it’s easier to go around again rather then get back into their wheelchair and go through the process again. Each person is effected by their disability differently. Some have trouble with the heat or difficulty breathing. They may have hydration, medication, or food needs that must be administered at exact times through the day. These are just some reasons why they are allowed to go to the front of the line. Just like anyone else who goes on a ride with friends and family, they get to bring them along. Yahoo! Accessibility “Cutting in line at amusement parks or fairs” by Different Spokes
Visitors who have a disability not as obvious as wheelchair use can contact guest services before arriving at the park and ask about getting a ride pass.
Last year an amusement park designed for people with disabilities opened up in San Antonio, Texas. Morgan’s Wonderland “was built in the true spirit of inclusion to provide a place where all ages and abilities can come together and play in a fun and safe environment. Morgan’s Wonderland, the world’s first ultra-accessible family fun park, encompasses 25 acres of rides, attractions and activities for everyone …” Aside from the rides such as a train and off road adventure, they have adaptive swings even for wheelchairs, accessible fishing spots and playgrounds. They do ask that attendees call ahead so staff will be ready to assist them. It also makes check in faster. At the Welcome Center check in each visitor gets an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) wristband. Visitors at use location stations throughout the park to see where they are at or to locate members of their party.
The Access Board has more information about accessible rides.