Six Flags changes its line policy for disabled patrons

Posted Thursday, September 20, 2007 9:46 AM | Contributed by Outlane

Six Flags Inc. has stopped allowing disabled patrons to skip to the front of ride lines and is now requiring them to get a boarding time from an attendant and return then, as any patron can do with the amusement park company's "Flash Pass." The policy was prompted by abuses, including patrons who feigned disability and others with disabilities who gave wrist bands allowing them to move to the front of lines to others who are not disabled, she said.

Read more from The Star-Telegram.

Thursday, September 20, 2007 9:53 AM
Jeff's avatar The newer policy makes sense. That said, I'll never understand why there aren't certain employees or managers who are empowered to make exceptions where they make sense. I realize that there are implementation issues that have to be worked out, but this stuff isn't brain surgery. I don't think a family with autistic children is trying to scam anyone.
Thursday, September 20, 2007 9:53 AM
eightdotthree's avatar Good call.
Thursday, September 20, 2007 10:18 AM
The newer policy makes sense, and is what they should have done all along, but I'm disgusted by people who would feign disabilities and abuse the system.

Hell, I *HAVE* a qualifying disability (under most policies) and refused to use the system.

Thursday, September 20, 2007 10:26 AM
If you make an exception for one...then you end up making exceptions for everybody. This gets you right back to where you started.

I feel for this family. I work with autistic children...and can tell you that many of these families face a tough haul. Interestingly, there are many children with autism who would appear "normal" in controlled circumstances. Asking ride operators to make decisions that could come back to haunt the park seems a bit much. Trained professionals (doctors, therapists, etc) disagree on the autism spectrum. We argue among ourselves all the time.

The park is screwed no matter what they do. Media and tort law are never far away. Patrons with a moral and ethical character to not abuse line-skipping policies are harder and harder to come by.

Thursday, September 20, 2007 11:31 AM
Explaining a rule change to someone with the intellectual capacity of a three year-old that they can come back to ride in an hour can't be much more difficult than explaining to an average three year-old that they can't board their favorite ride any more 'till next summer or the summer after next.

Not that either one's much fun. But thanks to Chance Rides and Cedar Fair, I've had to do the latter. More than once...

Autistic children are not by definition physically challenged or even markedly challenged on a cognitive level. They can be fully capable physically, but quite lacking in social adaptation. So do you grant them the same courtesy as someone unable to stand for that length of time? See where the line gets fuzzy?

Sometimes rules aren't fun. But they're still rules and they're there for a reason. I've never minded someone getting front-of-line access due to any disability--or because they choose to pay extra for it. Be that as it may, this rule change is perfectly fair.


*** This post was edited by CoastaPlaya 9/20/2007 11:34:04 AM ***

Thursday, September 20, 2007 11:32 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar Disbabled? Wait your turn.

Got $80 for a q-bot? Welcome aboard!

I find humor in that. :)

Thursday, September 20, 2007 11:56 AM
I think it's more like, "Disabled? Here's a free q-bot that everyone else pays $80 for."
Thursday, September 20, 2007 12:01 PM
Kick The Sky's avatar ^^ (LG) This coming from the guy who probably charged for toilets in RCT ;)
Thursday, September 20, 2007 12:21 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar Come on, Bob. Charging for toilets in RCT was one of the best revenue sources in the game! You better believe I set a price on the restrooms in RCT. :)

Not saying I disagree with the new policy, because I don't. Just pointing out a place where silly things make me chuckle.

Thursday, September 20, 2007 12:41 PM
I never charged for toilets, but I did jack up umbrella prices in a rain storm. ;)
Thursday, September 20, 2007 1:15 PM
Were the game sufficiently programmable, Gonch would have charged for an open hole in the ground, then triple that amount for a Platinum Porta-pot with TP...


Thursday, September 20, 2007 3:57 PM
Kenmei's avatar I'm glad they finally made a change in regard to this! I agree with several people on this; it DOES make sense.

My forum members have a meetup at SFGaM every summer and one of the members is a TOTAL cheapskate. He literally fought with a park employee for twenty minutes trying to get in for free, then immediately did the same thing to fake his way into a handicapped pass. If it wouldn't have caused a big scene in front of several teenagers and kids within our group, I would have told him to take a hike.

People DO abuse the rules, it's sad but true.

Thursday, September 20, 2007 7:11 PM
First off...

Where is playa...and what have you done with him? :)

Second a father of a three-year-old myself, playa knocked that one out of the park! ;) I thought about posting similar while working today. Many times the lessons that need to be taught are not the easiest...but they do serve a purpose.

Friday, September 21, 2007 10:36 AM
Cedar Point has been doing this since 2004 (I don't know if they still are). When I went to Cedar Point in 2004, my sister had a broken foot, and she got a paper from guest services, that lists all the top rides. You hand the paper to the ride op at the entrance of the ride. We used it on Top Thrill Dragster. The ride op wrote on the paper 2 hours from the current time (the wait was 2 hours). At your choosen time, you enter the exit with 3 or 4 other guests. (can't remember if it was 4 total or 5 total).

We were there for 4 days, but didn't use the disablility form until the last day, and only used it on one ride.

Friday, September 21, 2007 10:50 AM
Hershey has the same policy and it works very well. I guess Six Flags is finally starting to see the errors in their ways.

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