Theme parks and screaming out loud rides
- MemberFebruary 24, 2021 at 9:01 pm
I have a question regarding themeparks with rides: I was contacted by someone who loves the rides, is blind and has been denied access to rides in some parks around the world, even if accompanied. This is however not always the case, and he was able to scream his lungs out (I don’t know if he did, I always do on rides) in some themeparks. What is your experience with accessing rides, or not being able to access them?
- MemberFebruary 25, 2021 at 12:17 pm
I do NOT like rides but have been dragged on them.
AGES ago when I was a kid (like 25-30 years ago!) at Canada’s Wonderland there were some impossible rides (only stairs up and I use a wheelchair), but if you could access the ride they would often let you skip the line and go in through the exit. When the ride was over, they would offer you a second ride because transferring was difficult.
I also went on a few at Disney World but was easily carried on by my parents – though my pants fell off during one transfer. In front of the whole line. ?
After moving to Japan in 2007 I was reluctantly dragged to Tokyo Disney. You wouldn’t skip the line, but could make an appointment for a ride (ie instead of waiting 30 min in line, come back in 30 min). As long as your helper/family could get you on, it was fine. I have a picture of a terrified me with some other disabled friends on the log ride.
In Japan, that all changed March 11, 2011 with the huge earthquake and tsunami.
After the devastation, evacuations were definitely on everyone’s mind. This caused theme parks to change their policies on rides – you must be able to evacuate by walking on your own in an emergency. (Laws may have changed, but I’m not sure, but the parks’ rules certainly did.)
Shows etc are still accessible of course, but rides are only for those who can walk (and I assume navigate) out by themselves.
But, that is Japan.
Maybe @impactvacations can offer some insight? They are the pros when it comes to theme parks in North America.
- MemberJuly 23, 2021 at 6:58 pm
Ah, yes. The same happened to me on a school trip. The theme parc would let me skip the waiting line together with my companions (no further specifications). Needless to say, half of my class wanted to be my companions and dragged me along. At one point, the ride made a looping and my glasses fell off. Luckily only to the bottom of our cart.
- MemberMarch 3, 2021 at 8:50 pm
hehe, no Selim loves the adrenaline and wants to go on MORE rides, hence the request 😀
- MemberMarch 4, 2021 at 10:35 am
Are you looking in Europe or the States?
- MemberApril 16, 2021 at 11:47 pm
If your looking in Europe, Disneyland Paris is very good about their accessibility as well as a Disney-like park called Europa Park in Germany. They have some high thrill rides and are very helpful when it comes to access.
- MemberApril 16, 2021 at 11:46 pm
The rules around rides varies greatly in North America, it seems to be up to the discretion of the park or the company that owns the park.
Canada’s Wonderland does not have any wheelchair accessible rides (where you can roll right onto the ride) and if using a wheelchair they do expect you to be able to evacuate yourself off the ride if you are riding something like their roller coasters. However if you were riding the swinging boat or tea cups and had someone to assist you and you can transfer yourself (or with assistance) into the ride then there was no problem.
Little different for a place like Walt Disney World, where they have accessible rides where the wheelchair is secured right into the ride. These attraction vehicles in an emergency have to be manually released by a cast member so you can roll out of the attraction. Rides like their coasters where you have to transfer, you need to be able to evacuate yourself and get back to the loading station. Whether this is under your own steam or with assistance from your own traveling party usually does not matter. The point is the cast member cannot assist you. They are not insured if they hurt themselves lifting you or such.
- MemberApril 17, 2021 at 10:31 am
So, it does seem to be a worldwide trend. I guess when rules weren’t as established, there was more flexibility…
- MemberApril 20, 2021 at 4:46 pm
Hello thank you all for your replies, however the person I was inquiring about is blind, he does not have a mobility impairment, so the rules are again different. It all boils down, from the answers he has received from various theme parks, to the fact that he could make the evacuation in case of emergency complicated for other people… but it really depends on the structure of the rides and the specific evacuation setup.
- MemberApril 21, 2021 at 9:57 am
While he isn’t on TabiFolk, you may want to get in touch with Tony the Traveller. He has been around the world (many times over!) and is blind. He also likes extreme stuff like white water rafting, so rollercoasters are also likely up his ally. Maybe he can help?
Here is his website: https://www.tonythetraveller.com/
- MemberMay 7, 2021 at 4:50 pm
He was on the podcast you shared some time ago? He sure has travelled a lot!!!!
- MemberMay 7, 2021 at 4:54 pm
Oh I think I found it!
- MemberMay 7, 2021 at 4:57 pm
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