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Karen Wang
BY Karen Wang
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39 Theme Parks With Special Needs Access Passes

An increasing number of theme parks, including Disney World and Disney Land, have recently changed their policies for guests with disabilities, cancelling the access passes that allow guests with disabilities to bypass queues for rides.  Additionally, several large theme parks, such as Legoland California, Universal Studios and Dollywood do not publicly post their policies on access passes.

The reason for these changes is that the policies were being abused by tour guides with disabilities who charged a large fee to wealthy families to skip those long lines.  Some individuals also attempted to fake having a disability to acquire a coveted access pass.

Quite understandably, this news is very upsetting to individuals with disabilities and their families, who – like my own family – often plan their vacations around theme parks.  The good news is that there are many theme parks that welcome guests with disabilities and make special accommodations for them.  Some of these are big-name parks with multiple locations, others are small, family-owned parks highly rated by theme park aficionados.  A big bonus is that the whole family can have a great time at a fraction of the cost of a Disney vacation.  Here’s a list of 39 theme parks to consider for your next vacation.

1. Morgan’s Wonderland

amusement parkMorgan’s Wonderland in San Antonio, Texas is still the first and only theme park in the world where all of the rides are fully accessible and sensory-friendly.  The park was designed and constructed for the purpose of full inclusion.  Morgan’s Wonderland is a non-profit organization, and admission is free to guests with special needs ($15 per day for adults, $10 per day for children).

2. Holiday World

Holiday WorldHoliday World is located in the middle of a corn field in Santa Claus, Indiana, 3 hours south of Indianapolis and  90 minutes west of Louisville.

Don’t let the location discourage you – this park repeatedly wins awards for being the cleanest and friendliest park in the world – that’s right, cleaner and friendlier than the Magic Kingdom.  It also earns rave reviews from serious roller coaster enthusiasts and families with young children.

In addition, Holiday World welcomes 2,500 children with special needs and their families for a reduced admission fee once a year, and for the rest of the season offers a boarding pass to individuals with disabilities.  The boarding pass allows an individual with up to 3 companions to pre-schedule a boarding time for a specific ride without waiting in line.  Matt Eckert, president of Holiday World, has said,  “At Holiday World, we strive to be a park where children and adults with physical and mental disabilities can feel comfortable and safe, and have a really fun time.”

3. MarineLand

Marine Land CanadaMarineLand Canada in Niagara Falls, Ontario offers a discounted admission fee to individuals with disabilities. Guests with disabilities can check in at the Guest Services office to receive a ride wristband that allows the wearer and one caregiver to bypass lines.   In addition to roller coasters and family-friendly rides, MarineLand features shows with dolphins, orcas and beluga whales, and it’s less than one mile from downtown Niagara Falls.

4. Knoebels

Knoebels Amusement ParkKnoebels Amusement Resort is a family owned and operated theme park in the beautiful forested hills of Elysburg, Pennsylvania, just off Interstate 80 about 2.5 hours northwest of Philadelphia.

There is no admission fee – guests buy tickets for the rides. Guests with disabilities can receive a Courtesy Pass at the first aid station, which will allow the individual and up to 3 companions to bypass all lines and enter the rides through the exit gate.

Picnic pavilions are available to all guests on the grounds, and there is a campground adjacent to the park. When my family visited Knoebels, we were surprised at the ample shade in the park, as well as its relatively peaceful environment – not too loud and busy like other theme parks.  We enjoyed a very happy day Knoebels!

5.  Sesame Place

Sesame PlaceSesame Place in Langhorne, Pennsylvania (about 30 minutes northeast of Philadelphia) provides a wristband and Access Card to guests with disabilities to bypass lines at up to 6 dry rides and 3 wet rides per day.  Guests may enroll in the Ride Accessibility Program at the Welcome Center when entering the park.   Sesame Place features low-thrill family rides and non-scary Halloween attractions, so it’s perfect for a family with very young children.  Here is a link to the 2015 Ride Accessibility Guide.

6. Legoland Windsor

Lego LandLegoland Windsor, located in the United Kingdom about 50 minutes west of downtown London, offer a Ride Access Pass to guests with disabilities.  The Ride Access Pass allows the guest with up to 3 companions to bypass the queues on 10 rides in a single day.

The Legoland website also has detailed information about food allergens at all of the restaurants inside the park.  Legoland California and Legoland Florida do not post information about a ride access pass on their websites, instead encouraging guests with disabilities to contact Guest Services two weeks before their arrival to plan for their visit.

7. Sea World San Diego

Sea WorldSea World San Diego  provides a Special Access Pass to guests with disabilities, which places the guest in a Virtual Queue with a prescheduled boarding time for each ride.  Sea World also provides sign language interpreters for shows and tours, as long as the guest contacts Guest Services two weeks before the visit.

8. Darien Lake

Darien LakeDarien Lake Theme Park Resort in Darien Center, New York (about halfway between Buffalo and Rochester) has priority access entrances for its most popular rides.

Guests with disabilities may bring up to 5 family members to the priority access entrance, where the ride attendant will assign a boarding time.  The guest then returns at the assigned time for immediate boarding.  Darien Lake also has allergen-free menus at its on-site restaurants, as well as an accessible hotel and accessible RV campground at the park.

9. Six Flags

Six FlagsThere are 18 Six Flags theme parks and water parks in North America, and all of them offer a Rider Access Pass or Equal Access Pass for guests with disabilities.  These passes allow a guest with up to 3 companions to schedule a reservation time for a ride without waiting in line.  Here is a list of the Six Flags parks and their locations:

Ride_Zachs10. Cedar Fair

Cedar Fair is the parent company of eleven amusement parks, three separately gated outdoor water parks, one indoor water park and five hotels across North America.  The largest and most famous of their properties is Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, which has been named the “Best Amusement Park in the World” for 15 consecutive years by Amusement Today’s international survey.

In 2013, Cedar Fair uniformly modified its policies for guests with disabilities across all of its properties.  Guests with mobility impairments or Autism Spectrum Disorder may enroll in the Ride Boarding Pass Program, which provides pre-scheduled boarding times via the exit ramp for the most popular rides.

Assisted listening devices and sign language interpreters are available at all theaters and shows, but sign language interpreters must be requested a few weeks before the visit.  Additionally, the parks offer quiet, air-conditioned spaces  – usually the first aid station or family assistance building – for rest and re-grouping.  Here is a list of Cedar Fair theme parks with their locations:

Update: This post has been updated to reflect changes in policies at some amusement parks.

What is your favorite theme park?  What type of accommodations do you receive there?

Karen Wang

Written on October 10, 2013 by:

Karen Wang is a Friendship Circle parent. You may have seen her sneaking into the volunteer lounge for ice cream or being pushed into the cheese pit by laughing children. She is a contributing author to the anthology "My Baby Rides the Short Bus: The Unabashedly Human Experience of Raising Kids With Disabilities"
  • Stacy

    Great ideas. Thanks for sharing!

  • Kristen

    A lot has been said about Disney’s new system but many people have not tried it yet and I think should wait to pass judgement. We were in Disneyland this summer and they were trialing the new system on the Cars Land rides. The system really did work nicely we received a time to come back and entered through the fast past line. It was a much shorter wait than the regular line. It sounds like Holiday Land has a very similar system and it was listed as number 2 on this list. We bought a season pass to Six Flags GA last year and have found them to be the least accommodating for those who need alternate entrances. There are many rides in the children’s area that they will not allow a child on unless they are able to walk unassisted– a disappointment for a family with a child in a wheelchair.

    • Jodi

      We were at Disneyland in June and did not have a good experience. The ride kept breaking down and twice we missed the scheduled time since we had to take a break. Out of 6 attempts, we were able to ride the cars ride one time!

  • Kristy

    The theme park located inside the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN also has an accessibility pass. Many kids fly in to Minneapolis/St. Paul for surgeries at Gillette Children’s Health Care and spend the day or so beforehand at the Park at MOA. The only thing the Mall is lacking is nice changing facilities for larger children who are in wheelchairs and are incontinent.

  • Martha

    Disney did not cancel their access program, nor did their old program allow anyone to ever bypass queues. Depending on disability issue, the old program allowed them, in many cases, to go directly to the FastPass line thereby shortening the wait. Their new Disability Access System was put into place yesterday. While it is different, there is still an access program which is actually more lenient and flexible than some of the programs you describe in your list of 10. Though the program is new and a bit untested, to say it is outright cancelled is false and is doing families with special needs a great disservice. There are many special needs families who may feel the new Disney disability access system will work for them and they will be able to go to Disney and enjoy a vacation with their children. It may work for some, may not work for others, but to say it was cancelled is just not true.

    • Jennie

      Unfortunately, this is the ignorance of the able bodied and the whole reason why Disney does not see that this program does not work. They consulted an Autism group instead of other disability groups as well. It is VERY difficult being in a wheelchair and trying to fight crowds. It is also very difficult to be in the lines with people who are not in wheelchairs, for a multitude of reasons. Mainly, they let their children hang all over your chair, they are pushing your chair and you hit the people in front of you. They put their fingers and feet under my wheels. They get pissed when we run over their feet or bump into them but don’t bother to watch their kids. They have an attitude towards me when I have to ask their children to please get off my chair or to push me (why don’t I get the same respect others do? Would you let your children hang all over a strangers leg?) When we are waiting on inclines (which is very often the case) we have to constantly lock the chair so we don’t roll backwards or forward. It’s difficult to get our chairs (especially when we switch from manual to scooters for the long day) around all the corners. Not all the rides are wheelchair friendly. In the new rules, we have to go to the ride find out when they will have times for the disabled and then come back. We have to do this for every ride. I’d rather just go to the fast pass line and wait my turn then go, come back, go come back. We’ll spend the majority of our time going to rides then have to plan out when we can ride which rides. This means the likely hood that we can do as many rides as everyone else is slim. Any frequent disney goer (we have annual passes we will not be renewing until we see they have worked out kinks) knows the best time to go is EARLY. Get a head of the crowd because if you try to go backwards you are stuck in a gigantic crowd. Again, not a problem for someone who can walk and squeeze in and out of the people. However, I have to wait, scream, beg and deal with dirty looks from people I’m trying to get by. This IS NOT friendly to people with disabilities. The only way I would say this would be ok is if I can go to guest services and get ride times for each ride before we enter the park. I’m hoping that is what they plan on doing. Unfortunately, that, as far as I know, is not the case. We were just there Monday and when I asked they said no you will have to go to the ride find out the time and then come back (again more wheeling around the park for a person who has a physical disability) Instead it’s screw you, get a fast pass (even though we are going to pretend we aren’t calling this the fast pass). These are the things the able bodied people do not understand. They say ignorant things like if we can ride a ride then we can wait in lines. I don’t care about waiting I care about being treated like I don’t matter and my comfort is not as important as everyone elses.

      • Mike

        well put jennie…thank you

      • Pixxie13a

        This is my feeling exactly. I already find it difficult to maneuver while people are literally running around my son’s wheelchair. The number of people I’ve clipped accidentally in one day at Disney because someone needed to get around Josh is higher than a year of regular walking.
        In order for my family to do the new “Accessibility” program (or many others listed above) we would have to separate because there are 5 of us. Whereas a family that isn’t dealing with a wheelchair or special needs child are able to spend the day together.
        In 9 visits to Disney World growing up we never separated (there were 7 of us), we rode the rides together, joked in line together and spent the day together. Which, in my opinion, is how an amusement park visit should work. It looks like we are skipping our biannual trip to Disneyland this spring because its less accessible to Joshua. Now I have to figure out how to gently tell my other two children.

        • Peggy Gorman

          I agree we have been to Disney several times thanks to DVC which we purchased because of the way they treated our daughter , two young ladies now with downs. They use wheel chairs due to heart issues and low muscle tone and because people push them around in the crowd. They gave us the DAS and it was a disaster. I asked for another method and was told there was none. I wrote to Mr. Iger and worked out a solutions with guest experiences .Now they are not from what I am told, going to continue this. I was told to go to guest relations that have no interest in helping families like mine. I spent enough money on the DVC to buy a second home down there. I enjoy the accommodation and unfortunately feel like dirt thanks to the policy. I feel like I am begging for special treatment to ask for a return time. I also do not walk side by side with my husband and other daughter and many run between us. I do not know why Disney is so adamant , why not convert the FP+ to general fast passes for the special needs. That way we can get the park done in the morning and return in the evening when it is cooler. I would forgo the 6 fp+ you can get as we never ever make the time we can get. either one or the other has to go to the bathroom or we have accidents or just pushing them through the park at 56 yrs old is exhausting and we have to stop for my own health issues.

          I have seen a large decline in the special needs population since these low life people caused the problem. DISNEY jumped the gun, they had no problem shutting down the recent dinning issue they just had where a person made reservation under fraudulent names and sold those. But for us the
          took it out on the whole community. I am seriously thinking I should sell my DVC 480 points and move on with the girls to these other parks.

          to do that I need sever all ties movie club, disney parks , disney channel and finally stop buying anything disney.
          We are scaling our trips to 2 time a year and most likey will cut those to 1 time a couple of year to not at all.

      • Kd1219

        The old system was cancelled. When we first went (on mobility scooters) we went to the ride exit. We waited a shorter time but we did wait to get on the ride. There was no fast pass at the time. So the poster that said that they ‘never’ by-passed que lines is not accurate.
        Jennie you are right! I’m tired of ppl saying we want special treatment because we are disabled but as you gave some very good examples, we just want things more equal.
        We pay the same price and my disabled children nor I can ride many

        • Kd1219

          Of the rides. The fast pass is not a good option for our family. Some can not walk far or stand in line, others are on scooters or in wheelchairs. They have had multiple surgeries. Say we get a time of 2:15 to ride. What do we do for the 45 min before that? We can’t get food – it usually takes longer than that, can’t go to a show unless it is nearby and the times coincide, can’t ride another ride because we can’t use the disability pass again till the first ride is done, we can’t walk around and look at stuff because it’s too much walking for some of us AND our scooter batteries run out from rambling all over the place. So we basically will lose that time in the park. It would be hard to do more than 3-4 rides a day in that scenario. That is a lot of money for 3-4 rides.
          Things take longer for us, bathroom visits are much longer when you are incapacitated or have handicapped children. It is also hard when there are 3+ needing mobility scooters, wheelchairs or walkers.
          We couldn’t maneuver through the restaurants or gift shops easily because there was not enough room. My scooter battery died and we asked at every gift shop, kiosk, restaurant etc that we passed – with me husband pushing a very heavy scooter – and NONE of them would allow us to charge my scooter there. They didn’t even offer us assistance with pushing the scooter or giving us a ride to the parking lot.
          Two of us parents were on scooters due to our disability (it is inherited so some of the children have it) and some kids could walk and some could not because they had the same disability. They ride the scooter with a parent. Their own personal scooters! And Disney workers stopped them constantly saying the children could not ride on the scooter with parents but the children are too young to be in charge of a mobility scooter of their own and they can not walk! And the parents can not push them in a wheelchair since they need to be on scooters themselves. That isn’t very accommodating or disabled friendly. Ppl have all kinds of different family dynamics and one size fits all in accessibility isn’t the answer.

          • Amber Harbert

            Kd1219- If you use the fast pass in conjunction with the disability access pass, on top of the parades and low traffic rides, there should be no issue with wait times and long periods of nothing to do between rides. I myself am disabled and my son is autistic, so we look for such things to accommodate our needs.

        • Annoyed42

          I wish I could eye roll on here. The old system was not designed for persons using wheelchairs. The old system had stamps… one was a set of arrows, which was for people who didn’t understand queueing due to a cognitive disability- another was a wheelchair stamp which meant you used a wheelchair accessible queue. I have visited the parks SEVERAL times with family who use wheelchairs, and they had no problem waiting in the regular queue (which is designed to accommodate a wheelchair)… or with using an alternate entrance where necessary. Over the years, people complained that they didn’t want the wheelchair stamp because it “didn’t do anything.” (Because the lines are accessible)… so Disney started giving everyone the arrows… now everyone is entering using the exit or Fastpass. This is where the whole problem started. I am so happy the system was changed. People who need to wait outside of the line, those with Autism or other cognitive disabilities, are accommodated… those of us traveling with people in wheelchairs get to experience the park the same way we experience every other place in the world… through the regular access points. Good grief.

    • Mike

      At Disney as I write this. My daughter has CP and is confined to a wheelchair. We have to wait in the regular line unless you have a fast pass. Is this the disabilities access system you are talking about? Only one doing a disservice to the families with dissabilities is Disney.

      • Annoyed42

        No. There is an actual pass you register for where you get a return time for the attraction… the same way most parks on the above list do. If you went to Guest relations and said the issue was using a wheelchair… they are going to tell you to get in line because the lines are ACCESSIBLE (grocery stores and movie theaters don’t let you cut, do they?)… but if you say you can’t physically be in a line setting, they will issue you the pass.

    • Cathy

      WDW absolutely had offered a pass that allowed Autistic children no wait time. My son and our family utilized it since he was 2, and is now 14. We were issued a pass for the length of our stay that allowed us to immediately board rides/attractions at the exit with no wait time. You’re comment is absolutely false. And yes, the new policy should stop families with Autistic children from visiting.

      • Annoyed42

        Well so sorry you can’t use your kids to cut the lines anymore. My nephew is on the Autism spectrum, and we have no issues using DAS… but I guess it must suck to not get to just cut the line… wonder how life is in the real world? You get to use the special access line at the grocery store right?

    • Tracy Meade-rekus

      We just went to guest services, and they gave us a stroller to wheelchair pass. It got us past the long lines when we could.

    • Valerie Bourque

      Actually, guests with disabilities did used to be able to pass the queues. Most of the time we entered through the exit ramp and went ahead of everyone waiting, including fast pass holders. Some rides we took the fast pass lane but most, the exit ramp passing also the fast pass holders. We sis this for many years as season pass holders at Disney world. Now, the program is identical to what everyone can use to pre-schedule and ride rides with. So, technically he is correct. It is non existent now. You actually have to copy the so called “disability” pass and keep about 3 or 4 of them in use in order to ride rides as frequently as before because you are not allowed to have more than one ride listed at a time. Ex. you take your card to the ride and you get a ride time 2 hrs away. You then must wait 2 hrs to ride it and you cannot add another ride time to your card until that ride has been marked off. Therefore, you are still waiting 2 hrs, just not in the line. This system allows access to rides at the exact same frequency as every other person. So as long as you have 3 or 4 cards in rotation (you must duplicate it using a color printer and a little skill) then you are constantly riding a ride. It is a hell of a lot more work for the caretaker of a disabled person (severely disabled in our case) who is already extremely exhausted just to get the disabled person there in the first place, but it was easy to bypass the ridiculous non existent system they now use. It is exhausting pushing an adult size person who functions like an infant and can assist with nothing around in ignorant crowds that cut you off every 5 seconds and have absolutely no wheelchair courtesy. So,now i have to cover 5 times the amount of pavement to get the cards filled out but i just do it in groups close together then move to the next section. Get your photo disability access pass at guest relations and duplicate it several times. 3 cards in rotation kept us riding rides with no down time. I do however HIGHLY recommend blizzard beach for those with profound mobility issues. The lift takes you to,the tops of,rides and they have free pvc wheelchairs you can use for the day. They will take your chair down if they cannot send it down on the ride. We usually stop first at the lift station and just switch our chair,out for theirs and leave ours at the lift. Awesome water park experience for people who cannot walk.

  • Carol

    I was just at Disneyland prior to the cancellation of the guest access pass and it was wonderful. We did not have to wait to get our son on any of the rides. They were very accomodating and always let us go into a different entrance. It is a shame they have since cancelled this great program for children who really deserve it.

  • Rebecca

    Dollywood in Pigeon Forge Tennesse also accommodates the ones with disabilities….I took my 3 children and 1 of my cousins and we ALL got to use the access pass. I WILL go back because they showed unbelievable kindness to us while we were there.

    • Elisha Hannafey DeMaria

      Thank you- This is great news- we cannot wait to go!

    • Liza Dunn Rutherford

      Yes! Dollywood is awesome!

  • mommietofive

    We were at Cedar Point this summer and didn’t find them very accomodating at all. They do what Disneyworld and Disneyland are now implementing. We know our son won’t last long at an amusement park and find it hard to swallow paying $50-$90 to ride about 4-5 rides. I wish they would at least offer a 1/2 day pass. I’m happy to see that Sea World still wants to work with the special needs community. Wish that Disney had just asked for a doctors note rather than revamping and basically ruining the special guest pass.

  • Eddie

    We visited Michigan Adventure this summer with our children, including our 10 year old special needs son and it was HORRIBLE. This “access pass” was a joke. We would go to the ride where we would be assigned a time to come back. This involved the ride operator looking out over the line & guessing a time that we would come back, which in EVERY situation was considerably longer than if we actually waited in the line. We were not allowed to secure more than one wait time consecutively, so if they told us 2 hours to ride then we could not attempt to board another ride while we were waiting. The staff was rude and acted as if we were inconveniencing them on EVERY single ride. We ended up carrying him through most of the regular lines. In addition, we were told that due to the equipment manufacturer (??!!) that our son not be permitted to ride ANY of the rides in the waterpark area. In spite of being told that he could hold up his head, control his body, etc., which we could provide (he just needs help with loading and unloading (non-ambulatory). Absolutely would not recommend.

  • Allyssa

    Sesame Place, Busch Gardens and Hershey Park are absolutely wonderful!

  • grysmom

    All of the ones listed above (except Morgans) have the policy that Disney just implemented. (we were at WDW last week) It is difficult at best to get a power wheelchair through the queues. Disney did away with the alternative entrance for wheelchairs, now you are assigned a fast pass time. Six Flags has very few rides our wheelchair user can ride. Universal in Florida wanted us to take our son out of his wheelchair and lay him on the sidewalk to measure him to be sure he was tall enough to ride a ride! (needless to say it was our LAST trip there! and it was not a dangerous upside down ride because our son has brittle bones) Morgans is so wonderful, but if you do not live nearby, a very expensive trip for a few rides, but totally geared for handicapped children of all kinds. Disney is still going to be hard to beat for accessibility of the rides themselves, no one can top that, they have rides you just drive your power chair onto, never having to transfer…now if they would just let you drive them through a side door so you aren’t running over the toes of the hundred excited children in line, it would be perfect. AND I am talking real, self owned wheelchair, not the scooter that you walk into the park and rent because you want to get to the front of a line. JMHO Those people ruined it for those with REAL special needs. Even last week, we saw a family with 3 teen and preteen boys arrive at our resort, and pick up two rental scooters. They were all taking turns driving them around and racing them. So sad.

  • Jennifer

    Sesame place and knoebles were wonderful to us!

  • Jenn_Choi

    Oh, I have read Karen Wang’s work in the Short Bus book! I loved it! And I loved this article. Will be sharing. Thank you!!! Yes, Sesame Place was helpful, for sure. got my own Disney story… but am going to be a positive person today… no griping.

  • Ellen

    Dutch Wonderland in Lancaster Pa approached us upon entering and gave us a special needs access bracelet. Now I want one for everywhere!

  • Thanks for the list! I’m not a huge theme park goer, but I will bookmark the list for when we need it.

  • SheShells Jewellery

    Alton Towers accept a letter from a Doctor saying that queues will be a problem for the person involved rather than proof of a disability. Disabled people with DLA proof, pay for one full annual pass and get an extra carers one free, with open access so that anyone can accompany the person. I dont know how the day passes work as i only get annual passes.

    You then used to show your dla letter to get a wristband, but they changed the rules as obviously not all disabled people actually need one, hence why now a doctors not is needed instead, and you have to take the doctors note with you on every visit.

    I use a mobility scooter and iv always been given a wristband too. In my case i dont get dla so i cant get the free pass, however as a wheelchair user i am automatically entitled to a wristband for the rides.

    I would like to add that Blackpool Pleasure Beach is pretty much on my doorstep, but i refuse to visit because they only see a disability as ‘someone in a wheelchair’. When i last went i was fit and healthy but my son has aspergers and adhd but their rules meant he would still have to queue. It was a number of years ago, so you never know, maybe they have changed their outdated policies now. Maybe someone else knows better? xx

    • CherryPie

      I was also wondering whether the policies have changed as I have a “non-visual” disability (ADHD) and am going to Blackpool pleasure beach in two weeks (the week after my birthday) however they do not list which disabilities they cater to

  • LilMansMom

    PROSECUTE the cheaters, do not punish the disabled and their families. Limit the ones able to get fast entry to immediate family only, and then prosecute those who lie. SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa let you check in at guest services with special needs children and still, as of a couple weeks ago, let you go into the bypass line with your party. If they did not, I would have to stop getting annual passes for the family to those parks and not take my special needs son, who is medically unable to wait for a ride. Fast Pass is still WAITING and too much of it. The parks should just require a medical note or something and stop cancelling the fun for the disabled because of the evildoers of the world. Sad, very sad, that they think the programs they are using to replace the old ones are good enough. They most definitely are not and we will not be going to Disney any more. I wish they could travel once with my son to a hotel, theme park, or even live a typical day in our family’s shoes. You have no idea how tough it is. Then they would give special needs families the red carpet again. These children and families deserve a break once in a while.

    • annoyed42

      Looks like you can focus on SeaWorld then. Everyone wants equal treatment… right up until the point they don’t get special treatment… hmmm.

  • Elisha Hannafey DeMaria

    Add Hershey Park! They were amazing to us this summer <3

    • Elisha Hannafey DeMaria

      AND Sesame Place!!!

  • awesomecarlshow

    My wife is autistc and has CP we go to Darien Lake every year although she dose not need help walking she dose get scared some times with the crowds and panics the staff there are very good at being helpful in those situations. I am also special needs but are closer to being normal most people don’t realize it until they talk to me a while. Now as for Disney I grew up in California and went to FL a few times Disney it seems like has forgotten why Walt wanted Disney for. Yes to make money but to be a Magical place for kids and adults to enjoy. unfortunately it has lost its magic.

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  • Amy Holdin

    At one of these theme parks that uses boarding passes (I don’t want to call out the actual park, as I know a lot of people who still work there), we found that sometimes they were more of a hinderance. We had clients in wheelchairs who couldn’t go through the queues, as they were too narrow. We had to usually go to the exit of the ride and ask an attendant to sign our boarding passes and give us a fair time. They often estimated the time completely wrong, and at one ride asked us to come back in 30 minutes when there was maybe 40 people in line. If I had stood in the line, I would have waited approximately 5 minutes. I could not believe that some of the employees weren’t better trained, considering it is a park known for being family friendly and giving back to local charities. The year before we had gotten to jump the lines and I found that to be the preferred option for everyone, including the people in line who didn’t mind that we didn’t have to wait (our clients aren’t always the most patient!) and always cheered when the rides were ending to encourage our clients.

  • James Shoemaker

    Adventureland park in DesMoines, Ia is wonderfully accommodating, wheelchair riders enter through the exits of most rides and they allow 2 times through the ride to allow for the difficulty of loading and unloading handicapped riders.

  • Missy Martin

    Hi. I just wanted to say Thank You for including Holiday World in this blog. I have a child with Autism and H.W. is her favorite park. Not only is the park family friendly, easy going, but also also great value for families. Pay for a one day ticket and use of two areas within the park, Holiday World has a wonderful water park included in the ticket price. Splashing Surfari. Is also family friendly and also accomodating. Visit the website and be pleasantly surprised this gem of a theme park and town is in Indiana. I almost forgot, there is not a lot of dressed up characters to have to worry with.

  • Kathy Roles

    We went to Sesame Place when my son was younger. He has Down Syndrome. He was treated like a king. Starred in a movie and got to meet Oscar the Grouch after one of the plays on stage. He figured out really fast that because of the color of his bracelet that he got to go to the front of the line on the rides and at the water park!!! It was AWESOME!!!!

  • Joanne Goodrick

    Do you know any up in Canada’s?

  • Sharee Hester

    We visited Busch Gardens Tampa in December 2014 with our son, age 11. Our pass allowed us to schedule a time to come back and ride. When we returned, we had no wait time. Also, you could schedule as many rides as you could as many times as you could. Our pass was good for our entire party of six. Everyone was kind and respectful. Visit this park!

  • Ashley

    I was told last week by Hurricane Harbor in Arlington that they offer no type of disability accommodations for children with cognitive disabilities. Really regretting the season passes we bought since my son can’t handle the lines. I brought a doctor’s note and everything and was told sorry, we can’t do anything.

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  • Anna Lise

    We just had an awful experience at Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine relating to my daughter’s ASD and I posted a one star review expressing my frustration and explaining the situation. Feel free to visit their site and comment on my review showing the networking power of parents like us. Just liking my review or adding your own — hopefully supportive comment — might open their eyes to the needs of our kiddos. Here’s the link to their FB page with my review: https://www.facebook.com/GWLGrapevine

  • Criss Fowler

    I can’t believe Silver Dollar City didn’t make the list! They are so kind and very generous. They give my daughter (who happens to be blind) a free pass everything we go AND a “express” pass with up to 6 guests to go to the front of the line!!!! We love it there!!!! Everything they do makes it to where my daughter can enjoy an amusement park which is rare for her!!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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  • laura young

    Timely post , I Appreciate the info ! Does someone know if my company could obtain a blank OK DLS0791-94 version to type on ?

  • ashely gu

    My work colleague pulled a template OK DLS0791-94 version with this link https://goo.gl/NM8ca8

  • Flo

    Im looking for someplace to go its sad the majority only see autism my grandbaby has Cdls which is nothing like autism shes the size of a 3 yr old she doest talk or walk much and its really hard trying to find somplace for her to have fun …any suggestions

  • Erin Maynard

    Disney did not “cancel” their access program; they overhauled it. It is still up and running, there’s just less ways to abuse it now.

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