The time to plan our summer activities is upon us. Check out our list below of the best theme parks with the best accommodations for families with special needs.
The Only Fully Accessible Theme Park: Morgan’s Wonderland
Topping our list of the best accessible theme parks is Morgan’s Wonderland. Located in San Antonio, Texas, it continues to hold the title of the first — and, unfortunately — only fully accessible and sensory-friendly theme park. It boasts over 25 accessible rides, playscapes and other interactive elements. Guests with special needs are always free.
Ride Accessibility Programs
Many theme parks offer ride accessibility programs, which vary by benefits and requirements to join. Theme parks offering these programs include:
Knoebels Amusement Resort
Unlike most theme parks, Knoebels Amusement Resort in Elysburg, Pennsylvania is admission-free. You buy tickets for rides once you enter the park. This is ideal for those wanting to enjoy the experience but have no interest in riding.
The park also offers a ride accessibility program. Guests show their IBCCES Accessibility Card at the Guest Services that allows the guest, along with an additional guest, to board rides through the exit gate and skip the lines. Knoebels is also a Certified Autism CenterTM. This means their team has received specialized training to ensure they can cater to children of all needs.
Hersheypark in Hershey, Pennsylvania also offers a ride accessibility program. To take advantage of the program, you must visit Accessibility Services and a team member will discuss the program as well as provide park-wide information, including ride safety. Together you’ll discuss your ridership requirements.
Located in Longhorne, Pennsylvania, Sesame Place offers priority boarding time to guests with disabilities through its ride accessibility program. Like Knoebles, they are also a Certified Autism CenterTM. And also like Knoebles, they require guests to show their IBCCES Accessibility Card at the Welcome Center.
Six Flags, with 27 locations throughout the U.S. Mexico and Canada, also offers all necessary accommodations for rides for guests with an IBCCES Accessibility Card. Through their Attraction Accessibility Program, guests visit the Ride Information Center to receive a Safety & Accessibility Guide that covers the rider requirements of each ride or attraction. They will also receive accommodations required to fully enjoy all the park has to offer.
It Pays to Plan Ahead
No matter which theme park you plan to visit, it pays to plan ahead. If you don’t already have one, register for your IBCCES Individual Accessibility Card (IAC) today. It’s an online application that requires you to upload necessary documentation, and once completed, gives you access to your virtual card.