Friday, June 15, 2012

How disability friendly is Dutch Wonderland?

I remember going to Dutch Wonderland when I was 8. For some reason, it was just me and my parents. I'm guessing Andy and Julie were at school or out with friends. I had fun but remember being carried on every ride. My Dad was sure tired that day!

Jeff and I took Laura when she was 3. Dutch Wonderland is an amusement park that focuses on ages 3-10, in my opinion. My nephew just turned 9 and he may get one more year. When Laura was 3, unfortunately it was over 90 degrees. The seats were burning. She didn't quite like being sprayed with water so the water park wasn't that great either.

I felt very disappointed to see that the only accessibility improvement was they added one family restroom. Really? Now that was 2 years ago and nothing has changed!!!

On Wednesday, I went with my Dad, Laura and nephew. I wasn't really into going because I knew all I'd be doing is sitting and watching in the heat. However, my daughter gave me the look (like the boy in Real Steal) and said, "When I'm on a ride, imagine sitting with me and having fun!" She hugged me and melted me. She's only 5 once so I need to enjoy it.

They made us pay full price even though I could not do anything. Even if my Dad transferred me into a ride, there were about 5-30 steps to even get close to transfer. The train could easily have a accessible car but didn't. It was probably the most inaccessible park I ever been to.

Now I don't want them to close by any means. Laura had a blast. The weather was beautiful, no crowds and no lines. They went on some rides up to 10 times. We were there for 9 hours!

Seeing pure joy on my daughter's face was worth being hot, crampy from sitting in my chair for 12 hours, and dehydrated because I can't use the bathroom myself. It really was.

I'd like Dutch Wonderland to spend a bit of money each year to make a ride a year more accessible. Also if someone is severely disabled, they shouldn't have to pay full price. I know it's tricky because people fake it but there has to be some way around it.

Join me and write or call Dutch Wonderland to make it more accessible for children and parents with disabilities. 
Dutch Wonderland
2249 Lincoln Highway East
Lancaster, PA 17602

1-866-FUNatDW (386-2839)

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