Theme park thrills

Theme parks are becoming more inclusive. As part of our Summer Series, we’re looking at fun days out around the UK.

Legoman_wheelchair_MerlinEntertainment
Credit: Merlin Entertainments
More theme parks around the country are adapting rides and facilities to be more inclusive to people with disabilities. Surrey's Chessington World of Adventures has free carers admission tickets, annual carers passes, accessible toilets and a Changing Places toilet that you can access with a RADAR key. If you take the relevant documents to either Chessington World of Adventures, Thorpe Park or Alton Towers you will be registered at all three parks. Windsor's Legoland has a sensory room that provides a quiet, calm space for anyone needing a break from all the excitement. Hampshire's Paultons Park (which includes Peppa Pig World) has park guidance for people with disabilities and you can see which rides are accessible and the min/max of carers permitted per ride. Merlin Entertainments (which runs attractions including Chessington, Thorpe Park and Alton Towers) is a member of the Disability Forum, which helps organisations adapt to become fully accessible to customers and employees with disabilities. It has also signed up to the Valuable500, which is aimed at improving their park environments for anyone with disabilities including both staff and guests. Merlin Entertainments has many theme parks and attractions that list their accessibility policies online. Sunrise Medical, which manufactures mobility products, has provided a list of theme parks based around the country here. There is a water park in Blackpool and an adventure wonderland with a small farm in Bournemouth. For a quieter day out, Redbank House, a sensory room hire company, has listed its top 5 sensory parks in the UK. It features The Playpark Exeter, which it describes as 'one of the most accessible and inclusive parks in the world'. Aden Country Park in Scotland is a 230 acre outdoor area with sensory gardens. Other places listed have sensory rooms and one has a SEND play facility, surrounded by trees.   You can gain free entry to many theme parks if you are a carer. Merlin encourages people to apply for a free family ticket (up to five immediate family members only) on Merlin’s Magic Wand Children’s Charity website. Not all attractions may advertise their discounts so it’s always worthwhile calling ahead to check, and to find out what documents you may need to bring with you. Have a fun day out wherever you decide to go!
Thorpe Park changing places
Changing Places toilet at Thorpe Park. Credit: Merlin Entertainments
 
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