Mother claims Dorney Park discriminated against daughter with Down Syndrome

Posted Tuesday, July 19, 2011 1:35 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Lynnette Prescott, of Macungie, Lehigh County, said her two-year-old daughter was kept off a ride at Dorney Park on Friday because she has Down syndrome. Isabella, who is small for her age, was prevented from riding the Road Rally ride in the Planet Snoopy section of the park, a ride her mom said Isabella has ridden before.

Read more and see video from WFMZ/Allentown.

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Sunday, July 24, 2011 10:15 AM

I think the first post sums it up, that inconsistancies and lack of quality staff results in lots of stuff like this.

Things like this will never change unless the park does something to bring in better staff (like raise pay).

I just wish people would stop makeing a big public case and lawsuits out of this stuff. This is exactly why amusement parks are being ruined for most people, by the lawyers and parks (especialy corporate big time parks) coming up with unecesary and endless rules and policies which is worst at Cedar Fair parks. I don't like waiting 3 times as long for a ride to be loaded, checked, started because of all the endless rules and unneeded seatbelts and redundant checks.

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Sunday, July 24, 2011 11:55 AM
kpjb's avatar

I was unaware that amusement parks were being ruined for most people. Attendance would indicate otherwise.


Hi

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Sunday, July 24, 2011 5:18 PM

The park needs to issue an apology for putting the child at risk
any other time she may have rode it.

I have a question What is the age where you have to buy a ticket ?
Did the mother use her child's small stature to get her in free?

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Sunday, July 24, 2011 5:45 PM
LostKause's avatar

First of all, that would be an awesome apology for the park to give.

But second, implying that the mother bought the wrong kind of ticket for her disabled child to save a buck is a bit presumptuous and really wouldn't have anything to do with the situation, Kevin. I like to believe that most people are honest.


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Sunday, July 24, 2011 7:18 PM

Dorney Park's minimum age for a ticket is 3. We bought our next-youngest child, who turned three this past June, her first season pass this year.

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Sunday, July 24, 2011 9:44 PM

kpjb said:
I was unaware that amusement parks were being ruined for most people. Attendance would indicate otherwise.

Well the GP doens't seem to care, and neither do the parks, as long as people pay the gate price and buy the crappy overpriced food and play the games they're happy.

Of course these are things that most of the GP doesn't really notice (efficiency wise/rider policies/xtra seatbelts/xtra checks etc) for the most part, but being a long time enthusiast and seeing the parks change over time it really gets on my nerves, and I feel CF is the worst for this. I really steer clear of Dorney anymore though for many reasons, mainly do Hershey and Knoebels for the most part and things don't seem as stringent at Hershey, and pretty much non-existant at Knoebels.

But back to the topic at hand, after thinking of this, the people may have a valid point, either that or just a matter of inconsistancies from one op to another. I didn't really know about the age requirement on the ride of 3....I assume that's never really enforced and they just go off the height requrement. Now my one year old was allowed on the same ride earlier this season, with adult of course. I really don't see why the girl in question here should have been refused to ride (with adult of course). But again I guess technicaly if you need to be 3...but who knows....again too many fools making too many rules.

I wish we could go back to simpler times at the parks, but I guess it's just going to keep getting more complex and detailed with every lawsuit that comes to the parks...at least for the corporate/big time parks, at least alot of the smaller places like Knoebels are still run like the good ole days...

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011 1:06 PM

FloridaRider said:
Is it me, or did they take the comments off that News article? It was interesting to read, but now I don't see a link to any comments.

Here's a link to the comments: http://www.topix.net/forum/city/zionsville-pa/TN32OBIVMFJL46V0I

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011 2:39 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

kevin38 said:
The park needs to issue an apology for putting the child at risk
any other time she may have rode it.

We don't know if there was a policy change. Pretty sure someone said that with Plant Snoopy there were some height requirement changes, IRRC.

I have a question What is the age where you have to buy a ticket ?
Did the mother use her child's small stature to get her in free?

That's kind of accusatory and really doesn't have any baring on anything that went on, jeez.

Regardless of what happened, I have no issues with parents filing a lawsuit if the goal is uniformity (and not for monetary damages). Perhaps the park changed the requirements, which results in the child no longer riding. Perhaps the ride ops before weren't following policy. Perhaps the child never rode before. The only person here who seems to possibly know what went on from their perspective is the possible father posting.

I think the park did nothing wrong in denying the child, this isn't a case of discrimination. It may be a case of inconsistent policy, and if so, the park should definitely be more consistent.


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Tuesday, July 26, 2011 3:17 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Well, unless the only reason that the park could cite for not letting the child ride was "I didn't think she looked right." If there really isn't anything in the rider safety policies about turning away people who lack abilities that the daughter actually lacked (which is different from lacking abilities that the daughter *appeared* to lack) then I could definitely see it as discrimination.

I'm really not that concerned about whether she rode it in the past and why she was allowed in the past - just why she was turned away this time and whether it has merit.


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011 3:56 PM
rollergator's avatar

JohnP said:
Interestingly, here is another take on that issue from someone who is a lawyer (an amusement park lawyer at that!) http://legalrollercoaster.blogspot.com/2011/07/what-two-year-old-can-teach-us-about.html

Cool article...in some ways, I really do miss "the old days" when people could be...human. The increasingly corporatized and litigious society have taken us to a point where simple compassion isn't so simple anymore. "I'm sorry" is a phrase that now seems to implicate the speaker as being *at fault* even when the intent was merely to suggest feelings of sympathy and compassion for others in a difficult situation.

To quote Leroy Jethro Gibbs: "Never apologize - it's a sign of weakness".

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011 4:50 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Well part of the issue is the two conflated meanings of the phrase "I'm sorry."

There's "I'm sorry your grandma died" vs. "I'm sorry I killed your grandma." One expresses sympathy, the other regret.


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011 5:32 PM
Raven-Phile's avatar

Demitri Martin has a hilarious way to explain the difference/similarities between "I'm sorry" and "I apologize"


R.I.P LeRoi Moore 9/7/61 - 8/19/2008
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Tuesday, July 26, 2011 5:59 PM
Jeff's avatar

rollergator said:
To quote Leroy Jethro Gibbs: "Never apologize - it's a sign of weakness".

That you'd quote that show puts you in the demographic of people who thought Matlock and Murder She Wrote was cool. ;)


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011 9:25 PM
rollergator's avatar

Never liked either....but I always have a soft spot for The Andy Griffith Show.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011 1:03 AM
Vater's avatar

That show is the definition of timeless comedy. It's still hilarious.

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