Mega Theme Park Chain Rejects Diabetic Guests, Refuses Medical Equipment

in Theme Parks

The entrance to Carowinds

Credit: Carowinds

Nowadays, theme parks have upped their safety and security protocols to ensure guest safety is always a priority.

At Walt Disney World, guests visit the most magical place on earth so that they can meet Mickey Mouse, see Cinderella Castle, and ride Seven Dwarfs Mine Train without a care in the world. They want to run from Haunted Mansion to Pirates of the Caribbean while sneaking in a churro in between. That being said, for those looking to enjoy a magical day at Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, or Disney’s Animal Kingdom, it all starts with going through security.

Crowds at Walt Disney World Resort
Credit: Marc Smith / Flickr

Disney World requires guests to undergo a security check at all of their theme parks and Disney Springs. Because Magic Kingdom and EPCOT are located on the monorail loop, guests will either undergo security at the Ticket and Transportation Center, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, or Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.

At times, we have reported that Disney security has caught guns and other violent weapons, stopping guests from entering the park. In most cases, guests forgot that they had the items on them and just had to return it to their car. That being said, it is good to know that Disney security is able to catch any culprit quickly.

There are other items that guests may not be able to bring into the park, such as drugs, or inappropriate clothing. Needles and such are also considered weapons, unless needed for medical use, of course.

Security at Disney World
Credit: Inside the Magic

At Carowinds theme park, things are a little different, apparently.

Theme parks worldwide are some of the most popular destinations every year. With exciting rides and attractions, thrilling coasters, fun entertainment offerings, and more, it’s not hard to see why Disney World, Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld, Six Flags, Carowinds, and Knott’s Berry Farm — among many more amusement parks — welcome millions of families every year.

As we mentioned, it appears that not all of these theme parks have the same protocols when it comes to allowing medical apparatus’ into the theme parks.

Carowinds is a 407-acre amusement park primarily located in Charlotte, North Carolina. Owned and operated by Cedar Fair, the park opened to the public on March 31, 1973. Carowinds straddles the state line between North and South Carolina, with a portion of the park located in Fort Mill, South Carolina.

The entrance to Carowinds
Credit: Carowinds

It was constructed at a cost of $70 million following a four-year planning period led by Charlotte businessman Earl Patterson Hall. Carowinds also features Carolina Harbor, a 27-acre water park that is included with park admission. Annual events include the Halloween-themed S-Carowinds and the Christmas-themed WinterFest.

Being Cedar Fair owned, Carowinds is part of a much larger chain of theme parks, all of which follow the same rules and regulations.

One guest named Daniel Glauser reported that he was denied entry to Carowinds due to him having Diabetes supplies, which is against the ADA.

I got denied entrance to @Carowinds because I had Type 1 Diabetes supplies. Unbelievable.

The purpose of the Americans with Disabilities Act law is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. The ADA gives civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion.

This includes allowing guests who are ill the ability to have their medication with them.

Multiple guests who read Daniel’s story noted that this is against the ADA, and that Carowinds was in the wrong. One reader said, “Sounds like it’s grounds for a lawsuit. Are you sure you haven’t escalated it high enough?”

Fury 325 coaster track at Carowinds
Credit: Carowinds

Daniel replied, “I did. They said I could not enter and I tried to explain it was for my Type 1 Diabetes. They escorted me out and told me to bring back only what they wanted me to bring in (which isn’t all the required equipment I need).” After another reader said that this was “absolutely unacceptable”, Daniel stated, “It is. I called @Carowinds and they confirmed I could bring it in. By law they are required to let me bring it in.”

Another reader shared that this has also happened to them at Carowinds, “I had a similar experience with them as well. I have epilepsy and need to bring a bag with me as well that has emergency supplies in case I have an issue. Carowinds is the only park I have had an issue with dealing with my disability. I haven’t been back since”

Carowinds does have a safety policy for what is allowed in the theme parks, “Guests arriving at the park will go through metal detection every public operating day. All bags, purses, backpacks, waist packs, etc. are subject to inspection prior to entering. Sharp objects (including pocket knives and metal chains), firearms, or other items that could be considered a weapon are strictly prohibited and should be left at home or secured in your vehicle.”

That being said, medical equipment would be excluded per the ADA.

Carowinds has been under scrutiny as of late, and this recent debacle certainly does not help. 

This year, Fury 325, one of Carowinds’ most popular coasters, went viral after Guests pointed out a massive crack in one of the coaster’s support beams, exposing severe damage to the ride’s integrity and alarming netizens with the high risk of the coaster collapsing.

Inspection Begins on Coaster Following Terrifying Incident
Credit: Carowinds / Inside The Magic

While witnesses have publicly stated that theme park personnel had “no urgency” in repairing the nearly collapsed coaster, Carowinds has provided continuous updates detailing the repair process, tests, and inspections to prepare for the reopening of Fury 325.

Per Carowinds, “Fury 325 has reopened following the completion of the repair and testing process and a final inspection by the North Carolina Department of Labor’s Elevator and Amusement Device Bureau (the Bureau). The return to operation marks the end of a comprehensive plan dedicated to ensuring the safety and operational readiness of the coaster.”

carowinds winterfest ride
Credit: Carowinds

Unfortunately, the nearly collapsed coaster hasn’t been the only reason to put Carowinds in the eye of the storm. Earlier this year, a teenager was banned from the amusement park after committing an unprecedented offense. Additionally, nationwide unruly behavior has caused Carowinds — and most of Cedar Fair Entertainment Company-owned and operated theme parks, including Knott’s Berry Farm — to bar select guests from entering the Park.

Broken rides mixed with another possible lawsuit for refusing medical supplies to guests has left many with a sour taste in their mouth when it comes to the theme park.

Do you think that Carowinds is in the wrong for refusing Diabetes supplies?

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