Accessibility at Theme Parks - EDRIC visits Disneyland Paris

Posted on Thursday 6th December, 2012

Earlier this year, EDRIC called on Disney and other theme parks to clarify their accessibility policies after some of our members experienced several instances of being barred from riding on attractions because of their limb difference. 

It followed an incident in the US where a US war veteran and double amputee fell to his death from a ride at a Theme Park in America.  EDRIC were concerned that Theme Parks may be operating a blanket ban as a result of this tragedy, rather than using a more common sense approach. 

Last month, EDRIC chairman, Geoff Adams-Spink, met officials from Disneyland Paris, along with colleagues from EDRIC French member organisation, ASSEDEA

They received assurances, and saw for themselves, the care that Disney take in ensuring that their parks are as accessible as possible.  It was explained to EDRIC that such incidences of apparent disability discrimination stemmed from individual employees misunderstanding the updated Disney accessibility policy and pledged to make sure that this was addressed through training. 

The Disney officials explained that, although some may not consider themselves to be "disabled", if they have a limb difference of any kind, it is always wise to register with guest services on arrival for an 'access card'.  This may also, in some circumstances, allow them access to fast pass facilities.  Click here to view the Disney online accessibility policy

Last weekend, ASSEDEA member, Marianne Durand-Perdriel who was part of the EDRIC delegation and who has, in the past experienced being barred from a Disney ride, tested this out for herself.  And she writes here in both English and French about her visit to Disneyland Paris


In French:

MarianneDimanche 2 Décembre, je suis retournée au parc EuroDisney, pour la première fois depuis mars dernier, où les cast-members m'avaient refusé l'accès à une attraction en raison de mon agénésie. 

Ils ont maintenant un système de cartes, différentes en fonction du handicap, qui clarifient et facilitent la situation.  Après avoir acheté son ticket d'entrée, il suffit de se rendre au City Hall, muni d'un certificat médical datant de moins de trois mois, et expliquant votre type de handicap.  On vous remet alors une carte avec des pictogrammes, chacun correspondant à une différence.  Dans mon cas, il s'agit de celui de « l'atrophie d'un ou plusieurs membres ».  Un A est noté dans la case d'à côté, certifiant que je peux faire toutes les attractions.  Il suffit de présenter la carte au niveau des tourniquets de chaque manège. 

Autre avantage : cette carte sert de coupe-file, pour cinq personnes maximum.  J'ai pu emmener mes quatre amies avec moi par les accès prioritaires, et lors d'une journée de forte affluence comme hier, c'est un véritable avantage.  La plupart des attractions affichaient un temps d'attente d'une heure à une heure et demie, et nous sommes passées en cinq minutes.  Nous avons pu refaire deux fois autant de manèges que nous le voulions, et profiter au maximum de notre journée. 

La carte est discrète, les cast-members gentils et professionnels.  Bref, il s'agit là d'un compromis clair et acceptable pour pouvoir profiter de nouveau d'EuroDisney !

In English:

On Sunday, December 2nd, I went back to the EuroDisney theme park for the first time since March, when cast-members had denied me the access to an attraction because of my limb difference. 

They now have a new system based on cards, which are different according to your handicap, and make the situation clearer and easier.  When you have purchased your entry ticket, you just have to go to the City Hall with a medical certificate made less than three months ago, stating the kind of disability you have.  You're given a card with pictograms which each represent a difference.  In my case, it's "atrophy of one or several limbs". 

There's the letter A in the square next to it, meaning I can access all the attractions.  You just have to show the card at the turnstile of each attraction. 

Another advantage : this card can allow five persons maximum to skip the queue.  I could take my four friends with me through the priority access, and on a busy day like yesterday, it was definitely a good thing.  Most of the attractions had a waiting time going up to one hour or one hour and a half, and we could access them in five minutes.  We went twice on many, and really enjoyed our day. 

The card is discreet, and the cast-members are nice and professional.  It's a clear and acceptable compromise to be able to enjoy EuroDisney again!

Tags: Disneyland Paris accessibility theme park discrimination limb difference France agenesie difference des members dysmelia amputee Article Article Article News Article


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