Does traveling fill you with apprehension because you have special needs? Never fear! I'll go and give you insider tips so your trip is fun and accessible. My experiences focus on challenges with standing and walking. If you have questions about other modifications, email me and I'll answer if I can. This weekend we visited Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. The biggest mobility challenge? Getting into the park.
The idea is that there is a Blue Lot (my label for Disability Parking) where you catch a shuttle to the main gate. All well and good if the process worked. Which it didn't.
We arrived at 11:30am, about an hour after opening. The shuttle line is for everyone. There isn't a space dedicated to riders with disabilities. I could have gone to the front, I suppose. No one was around to answer questions and I didn't want resentful glares and accusations of cutting since my disability is not obvious. As for benches to use while waiting, forget it. Not one in sight. The shuttle took awhile to arrive, then filled quickly so we didn't even get on that one. We gave up and decided to walk the quarter-mile or so to the entrance. By the time we were crossing the road, they were unloading the shuttle saying there "difficulty with traffic." We reached the front gate to see a shuttle finally depart to pick up the people back at the parking lot. If we waited, it would have taken at least forty minutes to get from the parking lot to the park.
The same story played out as we left around 7:30pm. The line was so long, at least three shuttles full of people, yet only one shuttle passed us as we walked back to the car. It would take more standing-time to use the shuttle than to walk.
The park itself is spread out and requires a lot of walking from place to place. Each path winds through nature and the hills are not particularly steep so it didn't bother me.
On the positive side, the park has lots of benches. Yay! My daughter is six, so we didn't ride any of the big coasters. Her rides all had lines that only lasted a turn or two. Within sight of each ride, I easily found a bench to sit and watch her. As the park filled up, of course, the benches could be full. But whenever I needed to sit, I easily found somewhere to chill. Trees provide ample shade.
We also took breaks watching the shows- the tiger show and the dolphin show this time. Arriving about twenty minutes before showtime gave us plenty of choices for seating.
The Six Flags official website is here. I did not find a page dedicated to guests with disabilities. They do rent wheelchairs, though someone strong better be along to push :). There is an assistance pass available to help with long lines. I believe that they write down return times for riding. Ask at the gate where to get that pass. We never needed it because we were on the kid rides which didn't have long lines, anyway.
We do have the season pass so I'll update further as we visit again and I learn new tips and tricks for making active days and places fun for everyone!