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Disable Girl Urges Theme park Boycott

The headline for this story caught my eye:

Disabled girl barred from theme park rides

I remembered one woman, an annual passholder at Disneyland, who drove her motorized wheelchair recklessly, was repeatedly warned about it, then was banned for a period of time. So I thought it might be something like that. Turns out this is a case of the amusement park operator following manufacturer guidelines.

Here an 8-year old girl who is a double amputee was refused access to 3 water based rides: a log flume attraction, a gentle floating boat ride, and river rapids raft ride. The manufacturer recommended at least one lower extremity for bracing on each ride. Although articifial limbs would work, the girl left hers at home this trip.

Another newspaper penned the same story with this headline:

Amputee Ride Policy Up To Parks

I’m sorry for 8-year old girl, who is quite capable enough to swim in the National Junior Disabilty Championships (think Disabiilty Olympics for youth), is denied access to rides that look safe enough from her viewpoint. But she falls into that grey area where parks can be held liable if they’re found to not be looking out for the safety of their guests. Right now what that safety is is defined by the ride manufacturer. I’m not all sure that is a good idea, as the manufacturer is still likely to take their profits into account when setting these standards.

If you want to get into another major discussion start to question if the ADA requires that all rides be designed to be disabled accessible. Then pair that with the recent court ruling in California that suggests theme parks to be held to a higher level of liability for their attractions. It puts theme park operaters between a rock and a hard place.

The recently publicized death and injuries at Walt Disney World probably has themeparks keeping a watchful eye on any safety violations. In the end, I think that is a good thing.

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1 thought on “Disable Girl Urges Theme park Boycott”

  1. We took my disabled grandchild to Disney World Fla. They were the most accomodating place I have ever experienced. The safety of all is what really matters, there is always the possibility of an accident and regardless of how good a swimmer you are it would be different if frantic people plus a ride malfunction [possibly capsized] were involved. I look forward to the next trip with my grandson who is nine years old now.

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