Almost all theme parks in the United States of America offer services for individuals with physical disabilities. At Disney Parks and Resorts, for example, the system is known as Disability Access Services (DAS).
Other theme park properties have their own names for the programs they offer to assist disabled Guests, but the ultimate goal in all cases is to make the Park experience as pleasant as possible for those who struggle with mobility or have other physical issues.
Recently, one Guest visiting the Six Flags Great America theme park near Chicago, Illinois experienced an unfortunate breakdown of the property’s disability services, leaving her horrified.
Jordon (@jo_18g) took to TikTok to explain exactly what happened:
“The ride in question is Maxx Force at Six Flags Great America. So we go through the exit because that’s where most ADA entrances are, but there’s a big sign that says ‘ADA Entrance’ at the front of the ride, so we said, ‘Okay, we’re gonna go there.’
We get there and we’re like, ‘Wait a minute, there’s no space for the walker to go on the side of the roller coaster from the terminal for me to lower myself in. And I turn to the guy and I’m like, ‘There’s no space,’ and he’s like, ‘Oh, well, your friend is gonna help you,’ and I was like, ‘But what if I was here by myself? How would I do this?’
So that was the first [moment of], ‘This does not seem like this should be the ADA entrance. The ADA entrance should be the exit.’ So we were like, ‘Where are we supposed to exit? Where are we supposed to put the walker?,’ because there was no space.
He [the team member] was like, ‘Huh, let me go ask.’ So he goes and asks and the person comes up and he’s like, ‘Yeah, put it on the other side. That’s the exit. You have to put it on the other side.’
And we say, ‘How are we supposed to put it on the other side?'”
Jordon and her boyfriend were ultimately told to “lift it [her walker] up above their heads” and “put it on the other side” of the roller coaster tracks. She notes that the team member was making a lifting motion with his hands that should have been visible on camera when the couple complained.
At this point in the video, Jordon explains that her companion had to literally walk across the roller coaster ride to place her walker on the exit side. She added a caption that reads, “He slipped on the hood and almost fell through the track, this is why we complained.”
Many commenters noted that her boyfriend’s life was put at risk by the ride operator, as he could have very easily died if he had fallen through or become entangled in some fashion.
After this incident, Jordon explains:
“We go to Guest Relations, and the first lady is really nice. Then the second lady comes and she’s like ‘You walked across the track?’ and we’re like ‘Yeah, we were told to.’
Then she’s like, ‘Yeah, I’m going to need you to come sit in this room while we investigate that. You’re not supposed to do that.’ So we sit in the room and she comes back and she’s like, ‘Yeah, we talked to everybody there. They said that you didn’t even ask them where to go.’
We said, ‘We asked five people.’
At that point, Jordon and her boyfriend were told that the Guest Relations team had checked the cameras, which should have showed the ride operator making the lifting motion — since this seemingly was not seen, or was ignored, Jordon believes the camera footage was never actually checked.
Jordon — who is immobile without her walker — was told that she should have “put her walker in a secure location at the front of the ride” then walked to her seat and returned to get the walker later.
When she explained that she physically cannot walk without her walker, she was told that Six Flags would buy her “an ice cream cone.”
The situation seemingly has yet to be fully resolved. You can watch the full TikTok video below:
Six Flags Great America offers the following details about their American With Disabilities Act (ADA) program:
Six Flags’ Attraction Access Program is designed to accommodate guests with disabilities or certain other qualifying impairments so they may participate in the enjoyment of our Parks. Each attraction at Six Flags has been evaluated for the criteria necessary for an individual to ride safely. We strive to make sure that Six Flags is fun and accessible for everyone and lots of guests with disabilities enjoy the park every day.
What do you think about Jordon’s recent experience at Six Flags?