Busch Gardens: Angry Letter from CustomerBusch Gardens Tampa: A bad experience at Busch Gardens, Tampa
From Daniel BinderHello,
Posted June 14, 2006 at 9:34 AM
A co-worker of mine sent me a letter that he wrote to Busch Gardens, Tampa, regarding his family's experience there. Thoughts? I found this to be very interesting.
Have you ever had an experience that was so unexpected, so totally illogical, that you were completely flummoxed? Numb? My family and a family friend had such as experience this week at your park.
Our 18-year-old son decided that the ideal way to celebrate his high school graduation was to travel from our home in Jacksonville to Busch Gardens primarily for the rollercoasters. His plan was to invite his best friend, a 17-year-old young man whom he has had the pleasure to know for about 6 years. The young men were accompanied to Tampa by my wife, with the idea that they would enjoy the offerings from the park independent of her parental intrusions- what better way to celebrate oneï¿½s passage into legal adulthood? So, the trip was planned to begin on Monday, June 12, 2006.
So far, this story has got to be so totally ordinary, so completely mundane, that it is begging to be deposited into file 13 without further attention. The story is, I think youï¿½ll agree, a bit more unique because the young men were not able to fulfill their plan. You wouldnï¿½t allow it. My sonï¿½s friend was prohibited from the coasters because of a manufacturerï¿½s safety recommendation. You see our friend has a prosthetic lower limb that he has worn his entire life.
Brace yourselves- here comes the litigious third strike, the kind of advocate- for- the- handicapped garbage that people are getting so very tired of, right? After all, there is this Americans with Disabilities Act but it only states ï¿½reasonableï¿½ accommodations, right? And to ask your company to provide a rollercoaster ride for this youngster is simply not reasonable. Period. End of discussion. The lawyers have looked it over. Rubber-stamped the policy. We have firm legal ground to stand on. With both good feet. Certainly if the papers or local T.V. news got hold of the story, we could explain. Who would want to go to Busch Gardens if they had to endure a flying prosthetic leg bashing them in the head? Or even worse, a flying handicapped kid falling from a coaster? Can you imagine the pain and suffering of little children who witnessed that grisly mess? Would the Coen brothers pick this story up and write a screenplay? Could this be the next ï¿½Fargoï¿½? I can just imagine Carl Hiassen silently cursing that weï¿½ve gone and done it again- messed up another opportunity for him to write fiction about unfair, bizarre happenings in his adopted state.
Now, let me try to inject this story with some facts. Like many tourists, my family made reservations at a hotel near the amusement venue. Then, Tropical Storm Alberto formed in the Gulf. They had to decide what to do and decided that this was THE vacation, you know the one that has saturated the mind of a young adult to the exclusion of food, social contact, and bathing for months. So they went, driving through a pretty mean little storm to get there. It was true. Check the date. The young men wasted no time to get to the park. Arriving there, they discovered the cause of my total flummoxation (word). The operator of the ride informed them in no uncertain terms that my sonï¿½s friend could not ride the coasters. You see, you need both legs for this ride. My sonï¿½s friend is one of the coolest customers I have met. Heï¿½s used to his physical situation since heï¿½s been living with it, well, his whole life. He knows he has to make some adjustments here and there. He gets by and he makes no complaints. Knowing this lad, I am sure that his reaction was, ï¿½No problem. If youï¿½re concerned about the prosthesis, Iï¿½ll remove it and hop on into the seat.ï¿½ Knowing this lad, he would be doing it with his killer smile and without batting an eyelash. Did I mention that he does this every day of his life? The real question at this point is where I should insert the information about him being a boy scout working toward his eagle this summer and his stellar academic performance at one of the two award-winning Duval County public schoolsï¿½I guess here is as good a place as any. Heï¿½s not reckless and heï¿½s not a fool.
So, you have to picture this because you will NEVER in your wildest dreams understand what this feels like, nor will I. Hereï¿½s this guy and my son standing there, being told that he cannot ride the coasters that they planned to ride from about three months ago when the vacation was originally planned. The vacation that was going to be threatened by a tropical storm. The one that would have been meaningless for my son if he went it alone, because he wanted his friend with him to experience it.
Now, hereï¿½s the most ironic part. I decided to save this for the end of the letter, being the provocative letter-writer I am. Our young friend has visited your Busch Gardens before and been on these rides. With fake leg. During the summer. In shorts. No problem then.
Now for the response from your customer service representative. Youï¿½re going to love this because you had to think that this part DID NOT go as well as expected, judging from the tone of this letter and where Iï¿½m thinking of sending it. We had to bring in our fixer, our closer, our quasi-lawyer. The person just meant for the job. My wife. You see, sheï¿½s a mother, and you shouldnï¿½t mess with mothers, but you did. And even though this boy, technically, belongs to another couple, heï¿½s really a little like a second son to us and we kid around about such things. She went to that customer service person and yes, she demanded that the boys receive a full refund for their trouble. She also wanted an explanation. ï¿½Itï¿½s because of guest safety. The manufacturer recommends that all riders must have enough strength at their knees to hold themselves in the seat.ï¿½ Our sonï¿½s friend has, what the old comic used to say, ï¿½Muscles on his musclesï¿½. Heï¿½s a mature, physically strong lad. This is obvious to a casual observer. Now get ready, because I know youï¿½re going to love this next part. ï¿½Itï¿½s on our website.ï¿½ So, reluctantly, and Iï¿½m sure this made management proud because we canï¿½t be giving punk teenagers (especially ones who complain about our safety limits) their money back, she agreed to refund the tickets. Geez, this is America, let us get a clue! Read the website. Donï¿½t be such a shameful, victimy type person! This reminds me of the voice activated systems that we endure in America that remind us that while our business is important to them, please listen carefully and press this and that and whatever! So, my wife is still trying to get a logical explanation from this employee who probably wished by that time that she had evacuated to higher ground, to explain why the boy was permitted to ride these rides before but not now. Our friend walks well but with a noticeable limp. She offered that he probably was wearing long pants at the time. So, the boy (who was the most flummoxed of us all, since it was he who was the featured person) might have said something or maybe he decided to keep it to himself because you canï¿½t really fight this kind of ignorance or soft peddled *# without a shovel. But he told me later that he never wears long pants to venues like this because, it turns out, he is like all the other kids and long pants in Florida get hot, donï¿½t you know. And that prosthesis actually gets sweaty! So, no, he wore shorts in the past and had no problem. Maybe because his parents were with him and they knew their sonï¿½s rights like the back of their hands? Itï¿½s anyoneï¿½s guess.
So, once they arrive home, one day early from the trip, I got into the act and started asking the lad some questions. No, he has never had a problem with this before in amusement parks, even this one. No, he doesnï¿½t routinely check websites for important information about disabled persons. And, by the way, in his 17 years of life, he has almost forgotten that itï¿½s such a big deal. In fact, it is. And thatï¿½s the moral of todayï¿½s lesson, class: no matter what laws are on the books and policies public places have, you still have to fight for your rights all the time. Sad, isnï¿½t it. Be glad youï¿½re not 17 with part of a limb missing. Because you donï¿½t have to give it a second thought. An entertainment venue indeed!
Now, you customer service types like to read the finale- thatï¿½s the part where the griper really shows his hand and expresses the outrageous thing he has been building to for the entire letter. Comp tickets? Money? A six-pack of BUD?
I should tell you something about myself. I really enjoyed Busch Gardens in the past and have visited your parks in Florida and Virginia. I work at a special school in St. Augustine where we educate deaf and blind children and so this whole issue of accessibility is on the forefront of my professional life every workday. You might say Iï¿½m sensitized to the ways in which the promises made in various legislations such as ADA, IDEA, and other alphabet soups are played out (or not) in reality. I hear the horror stories and the success stories.
So, Iï¿½m going to start by telling you that I will never come to your park again, nor will my family, friends, and frankly any person I can convince. Whatï¿½s the old marketing advice: ï¿½Please a customer and they will tell three people about you. Dissatisfy a customer and they will tell 20 people.ï¿½ In my case, you can multiply that by 2. That also goes for the many Anheuser Busch products on the market. I will share with my peers at work what occurred here, because it simply cannot be fixed with free tickets, coupons, or a courtesy letter from some sycophant whose job it is to limit liability for your corporation. I will inform others of what happened, because, hey, itï¿½s not like anyone lost a leg on a ride at Busch Gardens. God forbid. Letï¿½s keep our perspective. You are, after all, an enterprise that promotes itself as a recreation, a diversion from the stresses or school or work, a place to enjoy a few safe thrills and buy some overpriced hot dogs in the process.
Will this letter go to a lawyer? Not from me. But itï¿½s going to my sonï¿½s friend and if he and his parents decide they need a lawyer, I would be behind them 100%.
Will this letter go to the St. Petersburg Times or Miami Herald or Jacksonville Times Union? That will depend on the boyï¿½s sensitivities. He might not want to make such a big deal of it. But you have to admit; it would be a pretty interesting story. Especially with summer being your biggest time and all. I really, really want to show it to Carl Hiassen, I might feel the need to do that anyway. Or maybe the Coens.
What will you do about this? How many people with various handicaps will get this kind of rude treatment when they come to your park? How many letters just like this one have you already received? Iï¿½d suggest that you review your whole policy about people with disabilities. But you wonï¿½t. Unless you are under some threat. Let me make my point as clear as I possibly can. You had no reason to deny this young man access to the roller coasters. You treated him with no respect. And then you covered yourselves with insipid explanations. This kind of thing should never happen in the great United States. Not in the year 2006. Not by a company that promotes itself as a haven for family recreation. You ought to be ashamed of yourselves.
- T (Real Name Edited Out Specifically For This Post)
Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. This discussion has been archived, and is not accepting additional responses.
From Pete BrechtI think this guy needs to get a grip and some perspective. He seems ready to start a publicity war over the fact that an amusement park is sticking firmly to the safety guidelines established by the ride manufacturers.
Posted June 14, 2006 at 10:24 AM
From Chris WaltonI really feel for the kid, but is all this ranting and raving really going to solve anything?
Posted June 14, 2006 at 10:51 AM
Do you think this one letter is going to push BGT to the brink of closing their gates for good? Don't you think Anheuser-Busch receives hundreds to thousands of letters of complaints each year with threats of legal action? What makes this letter any different from the rest? Because the kid has a disability? Do you know how many disabled guests visit theme parks every day and have a perfectly fine, pleasant experience? Let this guy blow off some steam, but if he thinks this is going to push some policy changing action I think he's in for a rude awakening. Don't get me wrong, I understand where he's coming from and I don't agree with Busch for not allowing the visitor to ride after removing the limb.I do understand from a guest safety point of view as far as projectile prosthetics go if he left the limb on, but the argument about not having strong knees to support the rider if the prosthetic was removed doesn't sound like a valid point, I know I never have to rely of my knees to keep me in my seat on any coaster I've riden. But good luck to him and his cause, if he gets the letter in the St.Pete Times or Tampa Trib that may be enough to get the attention of Busch Gardens, but I don't see it going that far.
From Donna Tolliver-WalkerI don't know how far he'll get with this, but a less flippant tone with all that "I asked the lad" and writing as though he is telling a wryly amusing story does not go well for selling his point with me.
Posted June 14, 2006 at 11:58 AM
I admit, I couldn't get through his every word, but at one point he talks about the handicapped young man's "rude treatment" -- was someone rude by enforcing the safety policy?
His point about the young man having ridden before -- well, I don't think it will get much play to make the argument that just because some safety recommendations might have been ignored or interpreted differently before, that they should continue to be now.
It IS a disappointment to plan a vacation and have things turn out to be far less than you hoped. But this is a young man, not a little boy. I'm sure he took things in stride, maybe better than the letter-writer. Surely he was able to get on some rides? Or did he only want to ride coasters?
Actually, I'm starting to wonder why I'm even taking the time to address this. The letter writer obviously thought he had a legitimate gripe; I'm less convinced.
From Daniel BinderA lot of good points were brought up.
Posted June 14, 2006 at 2:16 PM
I am not sure where I stand on this, because I do not have all the facts. I do have a unique perspective in that I am Deaf. I went to Disney 2 years ago, and deposited 100 dollars for this 3 to 4 pound captioning device that I carried with me onto some of the rides. What they didnt tell me was that I had to inform the ride operator each time before every attraction to flip on the switch that activated the captioning within my device.
When the problem was finally figured out, 3/4 th of my day was gone, and I was a little dissapointed with this whole thing because the device hadn't worked up to that point. I'm into thrill rides, and Disney being Disney, I at least wanted to know what they were talking about on the dark rides or during the 3D shows.
Disney was nice and gave multi day park hopper passes and I appreciated that gesture from them. I asked them to have the switchs on all the time. I don't see how it would cost more money, as it is simply an electronic signal being transmitted from a location within the ride to my captioning device.
With that said, let's be realistic. On the Hulk, there's no way I'm objecting that I can't hear the "I think it's working....". I could hear it if I wore my hearing aid, but it would fly off during the ride, and I'd be out a cool thousand bucks. So, I always pocket it. Do I ask for an interpreter to sit next to me and sign what Bruce Banner is saying just before lift off? Of course not. I m there solely for the thrill ride and adrenaline rush.
Now, if we're talking a show or a dark ride, that's a little different. I'd at least like to know what Spiderman and the villians are saying, and Universal doesnt have that yet, but thats OK. I'm not getting worked up over it. Progress takes time. Both Disney and Universal have interpreters at live shows at fixed times, and are very accessible to deaf people in my opinion. The only pitfalls are when rides break down and announcements are made overhead. You see people leaving and you ask them whats happening, and they may say "The ride broke down" and you follow them out only to see the coaster running with people in it on the tracks smoothly, meaning you now have to go back in and get back in line. Things like that are things that people with disabilities or handicaps encounter daily but that are rarely noticed by "normal" people.
I think BGT was thinking they wanted to do the right thing. The guy with the artificial leg was thinking, I deserve the right to be able to ride. BGT, if they said it was because of no knee strength, was clearly not being upfront. If BGT is still in litigation from the 2005 lawsuit, that may explain why they cannot discuss anything, nor can they allow anyone else ride the coaster because thats ammo against them in the lawsuit.
I don't think knees are the issue when Montu uses OTSR. I would think it was much safer for a guy with no legs to ride Montu than it would be for a guy with no arms, but maybe thats just me.
I agree that sometimes, it is simply just "tough luck, buddy". I do question the reasoning behind not allowing someone to remove their leg in order to ride the attraction, since it s not a problem at Universal (Mummy).
From Erik YatesThis will seem insensitive to some. But I always laughed at the warning that Busch Parks puts on its coasters. There are signs telling you that if you wear a prostetic device you have to secure it or take it off. I saw nowhere in there that this option was given. Could it be that the boy was insulted by being asked to take it off? Could it be that his leg loss was so far up past the knee that it could be considered a hazzard that he would fly out of his seat? You wouldnt be able to tell with this letter. I agree, it seems very pointless and threatening. Upset is one thing, but to go on tyraids like that, no way to get results. And what is this demanding that Busch build a coaster for people with disabilities? Kind of a joke. Chances are they were allowed to go on rides like Gwazi and Cheetah Chase, even Kumba Scorpion and Python, but they wanted to ride the big boys, Sheikra and Montu. Or it could be that they made such a stink about it that they were asked to leave. Either way, I think the only way a lawyer would touch that is if he was a friend of the family.
Posted June 14, 2006 at 2:25 PM
From Erik YatesAnd to further add "credibility" to this post, the author felt it necessary to post it word for word on about two other sites that I've seen.
Posted June 14, 2006 at 7:06 PM
From Jake CountissThe dude that wrote the letter needs to calm down. I don't know if it was a big deal. He needs to tell what ride they were turned away from. The only ride I could see you needing two legs two ride is a stand up coaster which the park dosen't have. Maybe it was a missunderstanding or something but if he was turned away it obviosly had to be for more reasons than that.
Posted June 14, 2006 at 8:36 PM
From Daniel Binder
Posted June 14, 2006 at 8:33 PM
Attack my credibility if you will, but my co worker is a reputable member of the school and is involved with the community and church. This happened.
Do I have a vendetta against Busch Gardens? Of course not. Why would I? I've never been there, although I have always wanted to go there.
I posted on three different sites, because it was a slow day and my original post did not appear on this site until a few hours later. I wanted to get responses so I could find out if there were other incidents or what policies might be like at other parks for such customers. I also go to IOACentral, and posted there, and got a lot more responses in a quick time. I also posted at Busch Adventures, a site I entered for the first time, because who better to give me information about prior incidents or their views on the incident.
Mr. Yates e-mailed me wondering if I had a vendetta against Busch Gardens. I replied to him explaining everything that I typed above in this post as well. I have no interest in stirring trouble. All I can tell you is the story happened, and the guy who wrote it is 100% legit.
By the way, it was very interesting to see the different messages that came out of the three boards I posted in, and I got a better insight on how people may view this from various ways.
From Robert NilesAngry letters accomplish... zilch. Just report problems, with no embellishments. Think like a newspaper reporter. If something went wrong, the higher-up who gets the letter will know it from your short, to-the-point description. And he/she will respect you more for not picking a fight. Then conclude with a request for a specific, reasonable remedy. I'm sure folks on this board would have plenty of informed suggestions for what would be appropriate, if one asked nicely.
Posted June 14, 2006 at 11:21 PM
From Audrey Hamlin"Embellishment" is the right word when it comes to the content of this letter. Though the gentleman has every right to be upset, this letter reads like a work of creative nonfiction, saturated with sardonic remarks and dramatized emotion. He may be a "provocative letter-writer," but is it appropriate to drone on about the problem? I agree with Mr. Niles that the excessive complaining accomplishes nothing.
Posted June 15, 2006 at 1:51 AM
I've had incidents at amusement parks that absolutely infuriated me and I vowed to come home and post the nastiest complaint. But the truth is, I either lose the vindictive tendencies by the time I get home or else I post a trip report and leave it at that.
I wonder, though, did this guy go to park operations or any other authority while he was at the park? It seems like someone with more knowledge of park policies would have surely OK'd the boy on coasters, especially given the knowledge that he had been on them before. (???)
From Melinda WebsterI feel really bad this boy ney, Lad, was not allowed to ride and the trip was a waste. Busch Gardens did refund them the money if I read correctly above. A letter asking for written rules regarding disabilities in the theme park and a brief description as to why you are requesting them would be sufficiant. I understand the need to write a letter about practices and proceedures but the condescending nature of the letter was not needed. I feel like he is insulting the intellegence of who ever reads this with all of his ten cent words and wry pop culture tangents.
Posted June 15, 2006 at 7:20 AM
From Erik YatesI agree. Its okay to be upset, its okay to write a letter, but handle it a little bit more professionally, and make it to the point. More details such as ride name, workers names and dates would also help.
Posted June 15, 2006 at 2:05 PM
From Jason JacksonHaving worked previously for a theme park, I can tell you that the ride manufacturers basically set the safety guidelines for the rides. They will make changes and sometimes this affects existing rides and the changes come mid season. This sounds like a B & M Coaster Requirement as their ride safety requirements do affect extremities and guests without extremities may not be able to participate. The thing to remember is that it is a safety reason. Now if the ride operator was rude, that is another issue all together.
Posted June 15, 2006 at 7:57 PM
From steve leeDaniel, in regards to the captioning devices: I work part-time in a movie theatre, and we feature hearing impaired devices (overglorified headphones, to be honest). Anytime someone gets one of the devices, they have to let us know ASAP so we can reboot the transmitter. Left on their own, they have a tendency to stop working. Once we hear there's a headset in use, we simply unplug the unit and plug it back in and it works out any bugs (I once thought this was all for nothing, but a few weeks back someone's headset didn't function until I did the whole "unplug/plug in" thing). I have no clue what kind of technology the parks use, but it's possible theirs may be a little hinky at times as well, which may be why they're only activated when necessary. Or maybe they're powered by a hamster in a wheel and they let him have breaks every now and then.
Posted June 15, 2006 at 8:32 PM
And as for the original letter. A picture tells a thousand words. A thousand words bore the hell out of a reader. Tell your friend to skip the pregnancy next time and jump straight to the birth (oh and didn't Universal replace someone's prosthetic limb a year or two back after they lost it on Dueling Dragons? Imagine that flying off during a near miss...)
From Erik YatesSteve, I said the same thing on another board. While it wouldnt be funny to see someone get hit with it, it would be quite funny to see somone go to the top of an inversion and have it fly off. The crowd reaction alone would be priceless.
Posted June 16, 2006 at 2:18 PM
From Deborah DavisYes, a leg was lost on Dueling Dragons. Universal mounted a search (even draining two lakes), but never found it. Here's a link to the article if anyone is interested:
Posted June 16, 2006 at 3:17 PM
From Daniel BinderThanks for all of the information. I want to apologize to the board if anyone felt like I was posting for reasons to slander Busch Gardens. In hindsight, and after discussing with one board member, I agreed that I should have just started a topic asking people about prosethetics and roller coasters and interesting stories, because that's the information I was aiming for all along.
Posted June 16, 2006 at 3:21 PM
I haven't heard what anyone has said about the difference between having prosethetic arms and prosethetic legs regarding Roller Coaster policies. I still think an arm-less rider on an inverted coaster is more dangerous than a leg less rider due to the restraints used.
Thanks for the heads up on the captioning,
The visual being provided of a prosethetic flying off a coaster is morbid, but funny, nonetheless
From Erik YatesEither armless or legless on a coaster could be dangerous. I would tend say that that the type of seats on Montu and Dueling Dragons however, would lend themselves to be more dangerous for a person missing a leg as the harness comes over the shoulders and buckles between the legs. A person during a hard banked turn theoretically could be thrown out of the harness because the leg is not there to hold them in. A person missing an arm, unless they lost it at the shoulder, would still have their legs to hold them in. I have never really thought about it more than this topic, and never really researched it, but in my mind that would be the situation that makes the most sense.
Posted June 17, 2006 at 7:37 AM
From steve leeThey never found the leg? Sounds like some lucky fan got a souvenier!
Posted June 18, 2006 at 10:12 AM
From Jason MooreIt may have only shown up locally, but I seem to recall a story sometime in the past couple of years regarding a young girl who was not allowed to ride certain rides at Busch due to her disabilities. There were news reports showing her family protesting if I remember correctly. Could the incident with this girl be part of the reason for stricter enforcement of existing policies now? Does anyone else remebmer what the exact story was with that child?
Posted June 23, 2006 at 8:57 AM
From Erik YatesThe exact story was that the girls father was suing Busch because of their policies, saying that it was discrimanatory. The father owned a shop that made prosthetic devices. I dont remember the details, but it was said the girl was forced to ride the ride when her father was forced off. That was about two years ago, though.
Posted June 23, 2006 at 1:47 PM
From Gareth HJust something I noticed:
Posted June 23, 2006 at 10:01 PM
At the entrance to Dueling Dragons there is a warning about riders with prosthetic limbs should take extra precautions.
This must have been erected after the $14,000 limb went flying off and was never found.. Universal replaced this one of a kind prosthetic in case you were wondering
From Deborah DavisActually, there were two cases: the one that Erik mentions is a lawsuit brought on by a prosthesis maker who was forced off Montu because of his prosthetic leg. They wouldn't let his daughter off and she was (according to the suit) "traumatized" by having to ride it alone.
Posted June 24, 2006 at 6:53 AM
The story Jason mentions had to do with a disabled girl (I think she was missing several limbs) that was in town for the paralympics. Their gripe wasn't so much that she couldn't ride the coasters, but that she wasn't allowed on most of the other rides (including the little kiddie boats in Land of the Dragons). Seems to me, BGT comped the entire family's day at BGT, and they went to Adventure Island a few days later.
From Erik YatesThere is video of the leg flying off of Dragons, it goes right into the lake, and though they dredged the lake and everything else, the leg was never found. Universal has the sign, but it also sticks to the same thing that BGT does, and does not allow someone with a prosthetic device. They do allow them on Hulk, but at Sea World they do not allow them on Kraken. Its all because of the wide open cars or floorless cars.
Posted June 24, 2006 at 9:56 AM
From PAM YOUNGTHIS HAPPENED TO MY FAMILY LAST OCT. LET ME START BY SAYING MY HUSBAND IS A FATHER OF 3 BOYS, AN ABOVE THE KNEE AMPUTEE, AND A PROSTHETIST. THE IRONIC THING IS THAT WE WERE THERE BECAUSE WE WON SOME TICKETS FOR A SILENT AUCTION THAT WERE DONATED TO THE BARR FOUNDATION (A FOUNDATION THAT HELPS AMPUTEE'S ALL OVER THE WORLD) I WAS OUTRAGED WHEN WE WERE TRYING TO RIDE THE ROLLER COASTER AND WE WERE TOLD THAT WE COULD NOT RIDE BECAUSE MY HUSBAND IS AN AMPUTEE (MIND YOU HE ALWAYS WEARS SHORTS NO MATTER IF IT IS 10 DEGREES. HE DID NOT WANT TO MAKE A SCENE BUT I WAS OUTRAGED. HERE WE ARE A NORMAL FAMILY TRYING TO HAVE A VACATION WITH OUR CHILDREN AND WE ARE BEING DISCRIMINATED BY AN AMUSEMENT PARK. THEIR IGNORANCE OF MY HUSBAND'S DISABILITY AND OTHERS WERE IMPEDING ON US. I TRIED BEING NICE AT FIRST TO EXPLAIN TO THESE PEOPLE THAT IT WOULD NOT COME OFF UNLESS MY HUSBAND TOOK HIS PANTS ALL THE WAY OFF. HOW EMBARASSING TO EVEN HAVE TO EXPLAIN TO STRANGER'S WHO HAVE NO BUSINESS KNOWING ANYWAY. WHEN THAT DID NOT WORK I JUST STOOD THERE AND INSISTED THAT WE WERE GOING TO RIDE BECAUSE IT WAS DISCRIMINATION, AFTER 2 OTHER PEOPLE WERE CALLED IN WE WERE FINALLY ALLOWED TO RIDE. THEY DIDN'T LIKE IT BUT NEITHER DID I THAT THEY WERE KEEPING US FROM HAVING A NORMAL OUTTING LIKE EVERY OTHER FAMILY. JUST BECAUSE MY HUSBAND HAS AN ARTIFICAL LIMB. HE IS A FATHER AND HUSBAND FIRST, A VERY GOOD PROSTHETIST WHO JUST HAPPENS TO BE AN AMPUTEE. PEOPLE IN THE ABLE BODY WORLD HAVE NO IDEA OF THE 100'S OF DIFFERENT PROSTHETIC COMPONENTS THAT MAKE UP A PROSTHESIS OR THE WAYS TO HOLD THEM ON, AND AN AMPUTEE SHOULD NOT HAVE TO INSIST ON THEIR RIGHT TO RIDE. THIS IS THE ONLY AMUSEMENT PARK THAT WE HAVE EVER BEEN TO THAT WAS THIS RUDE. WE HAVE TOLD EVERYONE WE KNOW AND WE WILL NEVER GO TO A BUSH GARDENS THEME PARK AGAIN. WE LOVE CEDAR POINT, BUT I CAN HONESTLY SAY THE PLACE YOU ARE TREATED THE BEST IS DOLLY WORLD, AND I KNOW THEY DON'T HAVE NEARLY THE AMOUNT OF RIDES OR COASTERS THAT OTHER PARKS DO BUT THEY GO ABOVE AND BEYOND TO MAKE YOUR EXPERIENCE A PLEASANT ONE UNLIKE BUSH GARDENS. IF ANY ONE EVER DOES A CLASS ACTION I WOULD GLADLY JOIN BECAUS3E THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS. BELIEVE IT OR NOT PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES JUST WANT TO LEAD A NORMAL LIFE LIKE EVERYONE ELSE. SHOULD I MENTION THAT WHILE ON THE SAME TRIP THE HYATT REGENCY IN TAMPA THINKS IT IS JUST FINE TO PARK CARS WITHIN ONE INCH OF YOUR DOORS WHEN YOU PARK IN A HANDICAP PARKING SPACE AND THEY DO IT ON A ROUTINE BASIS DAY IN AND DAY OUT, SO YOU HAVE TO TAKE YOUR TIME TO FIND ONE OF THEIR ATTENDANTS TO MAKE THEM MOVE THER CARS. TALK ABOUT OUTRAGED THEY SAW MY RATH AS WELL. IT IS VERY SAD THAT A HANDICAP PERSON HAS TO FIGHT TO HAVE A NORMAL LIFE.
Posted June 27, 2006 at 6:25 AM
From Gareth HSorry, but if you want me to read this please turn off caps lock!
Posted June 27, 2006 at 7:55 AM
From Daniel WilliamsMrs. Young, do you believe that places like Busch Gardens specifically make up these rules to discriminate against you and your family? Or, is it remotely possible that based on manufacturer recomendations and through trial and error of the operation of their very expensive, state of the art attractions that the policies that they set forth are based on what they believe is the safest operation possible?
Posted June 27, 2006 at 10:37 AM
I've been dealing with this specific problem from park's perpective long enough to have come to the conclusion that to descriminate is to choose... Choosing to treat one class of individual with less respect than others. Making decisions based on the safety of ALL park patrons and employees is not, nor will it ever be, discrimination. Had I been the supervisor in that particular Busch park that afternoon (and its not THAT long since I was), I would have handled things the exact same way. Under NO circumstances do you violate what you belive to be Best Practices in regards to safety, because "Just this once" is just as unsafe as any other time.
I hate telling guests that they cannot participate in the activities that they have saved their money for, stayed up late the night before because they were so excited, and waited in line well beyond what I would consider reasonable. Its my personal policy to refund any amount of money that represents what a guest or their group is unable to particpate in.
The only thing that gets anywhere near as bad as the feeling mentioned above, that at times I have to be the bad guy, is when I have to walk upon a guest, yelling and screaming at the 16-18 year old kid that is just doing his or her job, following the procedures. You want to yell and scream, and inflict your "RATH," please find me. The kids that are working their butts off for not enough pay just do the best they can. You'll find me (and other's like me), pretty reasonable.
I'm sorry if my opinions and experience differ with any other posters here. I tried staying out of this thread, but I believe that an alternate opinion should be heard. I'm not a BGT employee, and am not aware of the specifics of either of these instances, however, am pretty familiar with how safety rules get made.
[edited for typos]
From Erik YatesMrs. Young,
Posted June 27, 2006 at 3:08 PM
Your story sounds like the lawsuit that was filed against Busch, so therefore I cant take what you say with any truthfulness. Nothing against you or your family, just that if you are indeed the family that sued or is sueing the Busch parks, then your take is a bit one sided, and I'd like to hear from someone else at the park that day. Also again, Safety first. What you said is very congruent with what I've been told, above the knee and shoulder amputees are not really allowed to ride coasters of this nature because of the chances of injury. I am sorry that you had a problem, but it also seems that you seem to have something to prove by unleashing your "wrath" upon anyone who has the misfortune of making a mistake around you. If it is justified, so be it, but you just announced two instances where it could be seen as an over reaction. Just sayin.
From Bruce MorganIn my humble opinion, safety, not fun, is the first consideration ALL involved parties should have. I took my parents to WDW a couple of months ago. My kids insisted they ride TMRR and Splash Mountain. Granted these two rides are not as intense as the mega-coasters of parks such as BG; however, my father has some health problems that raised a red flag in my mind. I was truly concerned - maybe over-concerned - about his safety. I discussed the nature of the rides with my parents, and they both decided it would be fine for my dad to ride. He experienced these two attractions for the first time and thoroughly enjoyed them. IF my parents would have said that riding would not be a wise choice, I certainly would have understood and went on my merry way. You see, I absolutely adore the coaster rides at MK, even after fiding such coasters as Montu, Kraken, and Apollo's Chariot; yet, I considered the potential of adverse effects on my father's health. We could have passed these up and experienced a ton of fun at the Magic Kingdom. SAFETY - not FUN - is the primary issue for all people at the theme parks, employees and visitors.
Posted June 28, 2006 at 5:39 AM
From Melinda WebsterPlease for the love of all that is good - turn the caps off - its hard to read and I feel like you are yelling at me! I do feel bad and I can't believe this is still going on, but they are just doing what they have determined to be the safest for all that are involved. I highly doubt that they are discriminating against your husband or the kid in the mentioned above. No we as a general population do not know all that is involved with his prosthetics becuase we don't deal with them on a daily basis like this women aboves family does, but get over it already!
Posted June 28, 2006 at 9:05 AM
From Sean RustI think that the Busch safety code states that persons with prostetics can't ride b/c it may fall off or riding it without it may pose a rist of falling out. I don't necessarily agree or disagree with that statement, but I think that's what it is. It's just like persons with an above 54" wait not being able to ride. Maybe the person just didn't see the prostetic before.
Posted June 28, 2006 at 2:10 PM
From Anthony MurphyI really think that it was more of a safety precaution than anything else. They did not want the kid of fall out of the attraction after all! Of course, him going on it before makes it very problematic!
Posted June 28, 2006 at 7:57 PM
Honestly, and this is my own opinion, but I feel that the author of the letter has blown it WAY out of proportion. If somebody wants to write a letter, fine though I think that the kid or his parents whould write it. Writing a letter about this is probably the right action to take, but to make it long and with "taunting" sentences is uncalled for in my opinion. It is making seem that the kid was murdered in the park! He wasn't! Should they have let him ride or handled it better? Yes, but I feel a letter like this is a little more excessive.
That is just my opinion folks! I do believe that the guy should have been allowed to go on it, but safety is first there!
From PAM YOUNGNo Erik Yates I am not the family that is sueing Bush Gardens nor have I ever sued anyone. Just because I stood up for our rights to ride as a family did not mean that I was yelling or screaming at anyone which I never did. I have always stood up for what I believe in strongly. I think you can be firm in your opinion without yelling and screaming. Maybe I should have thought about how the word rath came across and looked for another word. What most people do not realize is that prosthetics are not cheap and they range from $10,000.00 to 90,000.00. My husbands in particular cost $50,000.00, now do you think the owners really want to risk this to ride a ride if it were possible for it to come off? Certainly not! I deal with handicap people on a daily basis and I see on a daily basis how uninformed people have no idea about prosthetics. As for the second incident it was not a mistake it is there everyday practice. (They admitted it)When we came back from our seminar at the hotel it was pouring the rain and because of their parking practices I had to go hunt down the attendent (in the hotel) all the while praying that the downpour would not ruin the $50,000.00 leg. Since it is computerized it is like submerging your cell phone, therefor trashed beyond repair. Most insurance companies only allow one per lifetime, or 1 every 5 years, do you really think people intentionally want to ruin their prosthesis? One way to be fair to people would be to ask them to sign a liability paper to the effect if their prosthesis causes any damage they would be liable. We wouldn't have a problem with that and I don't think most people who WEAR Prosthesis would either, because they are the ones that are WELL informed as to their condition. Maybe I sounded harsh but you don't realize how wrong it is to fight to be treated as differently abled.
Posted July 4, 2006 at 4:00 AM
From Erik YatesI understand your concern completely, and what the hotel did was wrong. It is completely common place for a practice like that to take place though. I've done lots of work for Make A Wish and Give Kids the World in Orlando, and even their parking spots arent very accomidating for wheelchairs, and wheelchair vans. They try to be, but unfortunately as vehicles get bigger, the spaces themselves dont. Now back to Busch Gardens, I dont know your specific details any longer, as I dont care to search back through history to find it. But seeing how unfair it seemed,I checked out a number of theme park websites. On most of the websites it says that though people with prosthetics are allowed on their coasters, people with leg amputations above the knee and just below the shoulder are not allowed for safety reasons, which is completely understandable. If you have a prostesis other than these you are allowed to ride, but you must remove your arm or leg. That is not repressing, but due to safety. If you want rides that everyone can ride, disney is very accomodating. Not very fair, I know, but the rides that these other parks offer put a lot of strain and force on people that do not have missing limbs. A seemingly healthy boy just died on Rockin Roller Coaster at disney from a heart condition that may not have been triggered otherwise. The forces of the ride triggered it. If forces of a ride can do that, could you imagine the effects it may have on someone missing a limb? Sure it wont cause a heart attack, but the risk of sliding out or being thrown out must be there or they wouldnt have such restrictions. Safety is the first and foremost concern of theme parks. Waivers would be seen as an irresponsible action, one that does not protect the park from lawsuits.
Posted July 4, 2006 at 4:18 PM
From Daniel WilliamsPam,
Posted July 4, 2006 at 12:37 PM
Just a counter point. If you think that him riding is possibly unsafe enough to warrant a waiver, then should every guest of the park that could possibly be hit also sign a waiver?
From PAM YOUNGI Never said I thought it was unsafe for him to ride, which it isn't if you know Your facts. I give up trying to get a point across and now I know why this was the first and last time I will try to give my thoughts on anything. I only said the waiver as a way of shutting up someone who doesn't know the facts about amputations and prosthetics. The people responding have never gotten the point and it is useless.
Posted July 12, 2006 at 7:53 PM
From Gareth HPam , maybe if you didn't have the attitude at the start that you have now maybe you would have a more appealing answer for yourself!!
Posted July 13, 2006 at 7:49 AM
From Daniel WilliamsI have got to second Gareth here. Pam, all I did was counterpoint your arguements. This is something that you obviously feel strongly about, as do I because I deal with the same problems on a daily basis, just from the other side.
Posted July 13, 2006 at 1:47 PM
I am sorry that you had a bad experience. However, decisions made in the vien of safety aren't discrimination.
I am sorry you had a bad experience on this board. Forgive us if we have different opinions based on our experiences. Isn't that what a discussion is supposed to be?
From Erik YatesAgreed. Discussion boards are for opinions, and it is my opinion that theme parks continue to do what they feel they need to do to keep people safe. And again as stated before, maybe if you would have come across in a different manner people wouldnt have taken the stance they have, perhaps? I still dont see someone signing a waiver at a theme park if they wear a prosthetic device, it still doesnt protect them from lawsuits if that device comes off and hits someone. Or what if that person dies on the ride, and you, being the wife left behind didnt consent to him signing a waiver? Still does not protect the park.
Posted July 13, 2006 at 3:12 PM
And I may not know about the "facts about amputations and prostethics" but I do think a theme park does, and it is their parks and the safety of their guests that they are concerned about. The Americans with Disabilities Act has done a great job of trying to keep everyone, not just theme parks, from discriminating people with disabilites, and it has had a very large impact on theme parks with things from removing curbs to shorter waiting lines for the disabled (which is abused by people who are not disabled, including the families of disabled.) This was taken from a letter from the department of justice:
The ADA does not require affirmative action or preferential
treatment of individuals with disabilities. Public
accommodations, however, are required in certain cases to make reasonable modifications to their policies, practices, or procedures when modifications are necessary to afford goods, services, facilities, privileges or advantages to individuals with disabilities. See section 36.302 of the title III regulation at page 35596-97, and preamble at 35564-65. In light of this requirement, an amusement park may be required to modify its policies to allow an individual with a disability to be admitted to an attraction without waiting in line, if delay would prevent the individual from participating in the service because of the nature of the disability. :::::
The whole letter can be viewed at: http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/foia/cltr065.txt
Notice is does say that it does not require theme parks to give preferential treatment to guests with disabilities, only make an attraction better accessible for said guest. I dont think, however, that includes putting a person at what THEY see to be a potential risk. Again thats me, but I am uninformed and ignorant to the whole thing PAM YOUNG.
From Gareth HNice one
Posted July 14, 2006 at 9:59 AM
From Erik YatesSorry, but I feel the need to defend my view point should it seemed challenged and called out.
Posted July 14, 2006 at 1:59 PM
We all know the world is a rotten place where people get treated poorly and the poverty stricken become more so while the extremely wealthy become more so. However, that doesnt mean that theme parks are guilty of discrimination against the handicapped or physically challenged. They discriminate against things they wont be sued so easily for.
From Marcus BrunoriHere we are in July of 2009 and it seems that this has been going on a few years now so I guess the 10 minute debate to each supervisor going up the chain never works.
Posted July 14, 2009 at 6:50 PM
I am a 100% disabled veteran and use the handicap services wherever I am at and no problem. Disney World is a dream and NEVER gave me a hassle like Busch Gardens.
I went to guess services and asked for a special access pass to avoid waiting in line because I can't stand for long periods of time. The woman asked what my condition was and I was like what the hell does that matter, Busch Gardens has no business or right to ask me such a thing...All's they need to know is I'm handicapped.
So I said "My backs screwed up” That could mean anything form pain in my sacrum to bulging disks.
I got my pass and went to get on a ride with my kids and the lady at the ride said I was not allowed to ride because my disability disallowed me to. Apparently if they feel you can't do it they print a menu of things you can't ride on your access pass.
So I went back to the guest relations and they refused to change it. They said now that they knew what my disabilities are; it is in the computer and always will be.
This goes against ALL that is freaking holey.
I argued the fact that they already have a disclaimer at the entrance of the ride that someone with back problems should not ride.
In other words I can ride the ride just they aren't responsible. Fine with me, I'm a big boy to make my own decisions.
I said, if I want, I can go to any ride and wait in line, ride and that's ok but if I want to use the handicapped pass I WILL NOT be allowed and ALL managers agreed.
As long as I don't use their special needs pass they don't give a crap or actually enforce a NO-HANDICAP policy.
This, in my opinion is discrimination against handicapped people in its worst form.
Neither a doctor nor anyone of qualification has determined I don't have the ability to endure whatever ride I decided to ride. I was labeled, processed and shoved into a general category just because #1...I decided to answer their question that they should by law, NOT be allowed to ask and #2...Answered it truthfully. I asked the manager "what if I just said I had a hurt foot?" The answer, then it would NOT have been put on the access pass that I could not ride a particular ride.
There again, dishonesty would not have labeled and banned me from the ride...BUT I am not banned from the ride, just using their handicap assistance pass to get to their ride.
There is more to the story but I was offered a refund which I took, it was $6.00 less than what I paid for the ticket but I just said the hell with it.
I told them my personal guarantee that I will NEVER step foot on Busch Gardens property ever again, not me, not my wife, not my 4 kids. EVER!!!
I will not pay all that money to be discriminated against and everyone in earshot should not put up with that kind of garbage especially in today’s economy when customer satisfaction is everything.
I have a pension for the rest of my natural life and I am more than happy to spend it somewhere where I am both valued and wanted as a customer.
From Andrew HoldenNo offence, but Busch Gardens has a good point. If you have a back problem then it is very probable that you will be injured on roller coasters of the intensity of those at Busch Gardens. This is once again a whole bunch of ranting that will get you nowhere. I'm not discriminant against disabled people in ANY way, but the fact of the matter is, roller coasters were CREATED to be forceful and thrilling. People with certain conditions should not ride roller coasters BECAUSE of their forceful nature. If you are too injured to not be able to stand in a line for extended periods of time, you should not ride because a rollercoaster is a lot more physically taxing than a queue. Busch Gardens has policies for a reason and they are not going to change them because of guest complaints. They are there for guest safety. I'm sorry you cannot ride, but it is for your own good.
Posted July 14, 2009 at 7:06 PM
From Nick MarkhamOkay again, why do we seem to look at threads that are so old!
Posted July 14, 2009 at 7:42 PM
From Andrew HoldenI don't know, I just felt like I HAD to respond.
Posted July 14, 2009 at 7:49 PM
From steve leetl; dr
Posted July 14, 2009 at 8:17 PM
From Nino BrunoriThank you for your response.
Posted July 14, 2009 at 9:09 PM
After just 10 minutes of researching you will find that this is an ongoing habit with Busch Gardens and they have disallowed people with missing limbs that I have found going back to 2005.
Yes they have policies in place...to protect their interests and no one's arguing that point. They already have a disclaimer at the entrance to the ride that covers that.
However unless they actually see visible signs such as a missing limb you are free to ride and take the risk like anyone else. In my case I am not allowed to use their handicapped access pass on certain rides because they feel that I am not capable.
This is based off of a question that they should have never been allowed to ask and I gave them a generalized answer. As well I highly doubt that someone sitting in guest relations making theme park money is capable of making a valid medical determination.
NOW and a very good point. They have me and my condition on record in case I plan to ever return and change my story.
I have been labeled and discriminated against by a company which is clearly in violation of the American with Disabilities act.
If they truly and lovingly cared about me in all manners they would post my picture at every ride which they deem I can't go on with a health inspector barring me from using the ride but they can't do that. All's they can do is not allow me to use their own, controlled handicap special access pass which in theme park design is to help the handicapped get to the ride safely and avoid long line standing.
This is the same as putting in a wheelchair ramp and telling you that you can't use it.
They only thing these huge companies take serious is a good lawyer because they certainly didn't care when they lost about $360.00 in annual ticket sales from my family of six and another $62 bucks for lunch which was nothing than a Turkey sandwich and coleslaw. Not to mention lost revenue from snacks and other merchandise.
Research and find out the real story behind that old woman who spilled her hot coffee and sued McDonalds. You will be surprised to hear the truth about the case. That it happened many times before and McDonalds purposely overheated the coffee in order to disguise the taste of subpar coffee grounds instead of spending the extra money on better coffee and maximizing their profits.
Relevance you say?
Most large companies like Busch Gardens or any other will do anything they deem fit to maximize profits and what's in the best interest of the company and they give little to no spit about you! The auto makers are finding out the hard way all of a sudden wouldn't you agree?
The only thing I wanted to do was enjoy a nice summer day with my kids at a theme park and instead got an avoidable boat load of crap from from Busch Gardens. Disney World is about 30 more minutes away, costs about the same and NEVER gave me anything but the best service in the world and even bends over backwards to help me if there is an issue. They will get my business solely from now on.
Why do you think they had to create the Americans with Disabilities act and create handicapped spaces? Because we have compassion for our fellow man! What, Here in the United States! PALEEEEEEEZE!
I never realized how much the handicapped needed protection until I became one.
From Andrew HoldenThe park is NOT being discriminatory. Sure, maybe the park needs to be a little more specific when they hand out handicapped passes, but it is definitely not like putting a wheelchair ramp in and saying you cannot use it. It is like putting a wheelchair ramp in and going up it only to find out the door at the top is locked.
Posted July 15, 2009 at 9:09 AM
I know this is frustrating, but the park in no way breaks the ADA. Busch will FREELY let you ride using the regular access line, you just cannot use the special access line. Giving you a health pass that prohibits you from riding is not only smart on the part of Busch, but also responsible. If you rode one of their roller coasters and just happened to get injured, I'm sure you would just turn around and blame Busch for letting you ride after they knew you had a disability because you obtained a disability pass. Once again, Busch has YOU in mind, they are doing this for YOUR personal safety, not only protecting themselves from fraud and utter stupidity.
Finally, this has nothing to do with corporations that don't care about their customers, only about the money. Placing a picture of you at the front of every line is not only unreasonable, but ridiculous. Do you know how many pictures would be at the front of every line, quite a few. Then the attendant at the line would have to check EVERY SINGLE ONE of the THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE who pass through his line every day. Sure the parks are a tad overpriced, but do you know how much it costs to feed and take care of EVERY ANIMAL Busch owns? Including all the Tigers and Hippos and Rhinos just to mention a few of the larger ones.
This is not to mention Busch's lawyers who would probably have a heart attack themselves if they knew someone with serious back problems got anywhere near the ride. Seriously, what Busch did was for your own good and your ranting and raving probably wont even do a hint of damage to their company or even their reputation. Busch Gardens is still a shining star to me and will most likely always stay that way.
From Gareth HBusch coasters are tough on the body.
Posted July 15, 2009 at 9:53 AM
As a responsible Adult, with disabilities, you should NOT have even attempted to ride a ride with those forces as it won't help your back one bit (As a back pain sufferer I"ve been an idiot and ridden a few Busch Gardens coasters and regreted it. I won't make that mistake again)
Busch can't take the risk and the bad publicity if you were to be injured.
If you were injured on the ride and couldn't exit, consider also the hassle to the emergency services who would have to enter the park to assist you, along with the downtime of the attraction.
In addition, the cost involved to you (Ot the tax payer) if that situation were to arise.
I"m not trying to be mean or heartless, but looking at all of your posts, you don't seem to consider anyone else other than yourself in this.
Be a responsible Adult and be a good example to the family you were visiting with.
From Jason JacksonWell I don't believe the Disney parks have too many B & M coasters, but the B & M Coasters have quite a few ride restrictions based on the manufacturers (that would be B & M) and not Busch Gardens decisions.
Posted July 15, 2009 at 10:05 AM
From TH CreativeIsn't the reason behind not allowing guests with prosthetic limbs ride because of egress conditions? Meaning if the coaster broke down as it was traveling inclined up a lift and the guests had to disembark the disabled guests would not be able to safely evacuate the attraction via catwalk stairs?
Posted July 15, 2009 at 10:50 AM
This is an academic question and not an advocacy of a park's justification.
From Andrew HoldenYou are correct. I have read stories on this website about how Disney cast members have asked if a disabled person would be able to evac the ride if it broke. I was even in a group that was asked this question once.
Posted July 15, 2009 at 11:29 AM
From Nino BrunoriWow, I didn't expect so many responses.
Posted July 15, 2009 at 10:59 AM
As to your comment they DO have to provide handicap access to rides per law.
The United States has laws against discrimiation.
As I stated already, they have a readable sign saying basicly, ride at your own risk. They announce it every couple of minutes, bla bla bla...healthy enough to ride.
If I choose to take the risk and exagerate a pre existing condition, that is on me.
THey don't care if I ride their rollercoaster as long as I don't mention openly that I am handicapped. Does that sound familiar about Gay people?
Regardless of how you or they spin it...They said I cannot use their handicap access line to ride rides they deemed I am not capable of riding. That in plain english is descrimination.
Someone without medical knowlege had determined I was not capable of riding certain rides. My name and medical condition is now stored on an amusement parks computer..Someone who is not my doctor, insurance company, best friend, family or whatever.
What is going to be the next comment if they "accidently" sell or give that information to someone else? Opps! Oh Well!
It is against the law to ask anyone with a handicap what is your problem and if you don't tell me you won't get service.
The way they did it was "What is your condition?"
Why does that matter, that is none of your business?
"We have to put something down or we cannot process your pass"
If they would have told me up front that this would have happened I would have lied my ass off and said I had a bad funny bone.
They are deceptive and descriminating no matter how you slice it and I was catagorized, labeled, and placed in the same realm with all other handicapped people who they seem unfit to ride their ride.
You can call it peach cobbler all day but in plain english it's descrimination. period..end of story.
Going back to a familiar subject of those missing limbs.
Even if that one person missing a leg goes through the regular line they are denied the right to ride even if they are a healthy individual otherwise. Is that descrimination?
If Busch Gardens started to justify legaly why they shouldn't allow gay or black people on their rides would you aggree with that?
Of course it sounds rediculous and now you are thinking this guy has no argument.
You start to justify decrimiating against one group that opens the door to be allowed to do it to someone else. This also is why it is not tolerated for anyone but for some reason Busch Gardens is not called on this.
Did you know that Disney World used to not allow you inside the park if you had long hair? What changed their minds? Loss of sales or a lawsuit?
Something to think about.
From Randy CloverI don't want to rain on your parade, but having long hair and being disabled are very different. These other guys are right, you would have to be able to get down in the event of an emergency stop.
Posted July 15, 2009 at 11:46 AM
Also, under the ADA, amusement parks have to make a reasonable attempt to allow you access. I have studied this while working on projects for allowing people with disabilities onto certain right (creating transfer devices for step down rides). While I understand your your complaints, it is a not as easy as a wheelchair ramp or elevator. There is not only the risk of getting you down, but the more difficult task is getting you out of the seat. There could be many lawsuits that come from this action alone. I will leave you all to your imagination as to what these might be. This is where the major draw back comes from. They have to design the trains in such a way that they will hold someone through the thrilling an aggressive movement and yet make it easy enough to safely, appropriately, and consistently remove someone from the train. Parks practice removing someone if it must be done, however it is not something they look lightly upon.
Again, not a shot at you, just an engineering eye looking at the situation.
From Andrew HoldenThis is the problem with the world today, everything has to be a lawsuit. Everything bad that happens to people today HAS to be someones fault and they are always showing hate or ignorance, at least so it seems in this day and age.
Posted July 15, 2009 at 12:10 PM
According to Webster, discrimination is to make a distinction. You are throwing around that word waaaay too much. Everyone discriminates every day. Between genders, ages, and many other everyday things. So yes, I admit, it is discrimination, but it is not discrimination with bad intentions. It is a necessary discrimination for your safety.
From Andrew HoldenThere is a roller coaster in Korea at Lotte World that I would really like to ride one day. It is a really cool coaster called Atlantis Adventure. However, you have to be under 6' 2" to ride. I just so happen to be 6' 4". I think it is outrageous discrimination against the tall people. So what if most Koreans are short. It should be my choice to ride even if I am too tall. I should be able to decide if I want my own head chopped off or not. I really want to ride. This is ridiculous. They are just trying to rob me of my money!
Posted July 15, 2009 at 12:27 PM
From Pyra DongHonestly, this letter winds around so many times and doesn't get to the point quickly... so the author's attempt to solidify his point by adding all the thoughts in his mind are actually lessening the seriousness of the situation.
Posted July 15, 2009 at 7:26 PM
THIS IS A POINT THAT EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW-- theme parks are NOT ONLY ABOUT THE RIDES!!!! Especially BGT!! It's a world class zoo, has broadway quality shows, and yes-- even smaller rides someone w/ a prosthetic limb can ride. When you pay to enter, you're only paying to get in a park. After that, it's up to YOU to do whatever you want in there.
I agree that I am also mad at the BGT staff-- but i'm mad that they didn't catch the young man riding the rides w/ a prosthetic leg sooner.
The letter's author should realize that the park is looking out for the safety of its guests. As BGT says... the only thing MORE IMPORTANT than it's guests having fun in its park is their SAFETY. Unfortunately, no matter how strong your 1-legged friend may appear, if SheiKra breaks down (as it loves to do) w/ him on it, he will have to haul himself down the 200 foot stairs BY HIMSELF. The operators don't do it.
From Joe Atchison IIIHe has a lot of good points, but they are lost in that travesty of a letter. That letter will get him nowhere.
Posted July 18, 2009 at 11:55 AM
From Eric MaloneI read about half of it. It, honestly, really needed a tl;dr. So, I'm going to supply one! Feel free to use it.
Posted July 18, 2009 at 7:18 PM
tl;dr: My son's friend couldn't ride the rollercoasters with his prosthetic leg on.
Having said that, my opinion on the thing is that it's a waste of time. It seems more like a nitpick than a travesty.
From Sarah MeeksWell, looks like I will never go to Busch Gardens. I'm blind, and I don't want to get denied access to any ride. There is nothing I can't ride! Noone denies me access to amny ride or I will throw a fit until I get on the ride!
Posted July 19, 2009 at 8:07 PM
From Orion MithrandiI fell bad for the kid, BUT what if his prostetic leg did fall off and hit someone in the face or he couldn't hold himself upright?? Dont be so upheaved to call out the employees because there the ones actually caring for that boys safety! Get a F***** grip! If u have never worked at a theme park then shut up! Ive worked at many theme parks and the employees are there to help! The Disability Act is enacted if the company provides sutible entrance to the rides but if you cant get ur self in or cant hold urself up then sry charlie its not safe and it is up to the employee to make that decission. So if thet employee saw fit that the coaster was not safe for the boy then he is not allowed to ride bc the employees are sticking to their saftey guidlines!!! and thank you pete for seeing this!! The ride manufacture gives them the guidlines and the employees enforce them, got a prob. dont complain to the employees or the company this guy shouldve written this letter to the manufacturing company not to busch gardens!!
Posted September 29, 2009 at 10:31 PM
From Gareth HBliiiiiiiiiiiiimey, this old thread, again!
Posted September 30, 2009 at 3:23 PM
From Jason JacksonCan we archive this thread and make it go away!
Posted October 1, 2009 at 8:18 AM
From Gareth HSure can Jason, 26 to go!
Posted October 1, 2009 at 1:15 PM
From Bob MillerOh well, 25 to go!!!
Posted October 1, 2009 at 3:19 PM
From Bob MillerOh, by the way James, I just got Zachary a six month membership in the POTC online video game. He wanted it for his birthday on the 24th, but kept begging me, so I got it today instead. He loves the game. How old do you have to be to use guy liner? 24 to go!!! :)
Posted October 1, 2009 at 3:27 PM
From David GrahamOk let's realize 1st that it's not just BGT, all parks have rules. When I worked for Dinsey in 90's (sadly I remember the 4, forget what they are called right off, but rules to live by at Disney I guess for here) Saftey, Courtesy, Quality, Show and I'm sure Everest, Space, or Rock/Roll Coaster has rules. I agree EVERYONE should be equal, but saftey first above all. And not to make fun of it, but I took a picture at Hulk a while back and don't see it any more. But I always had to laugh at this sign and had to have a picture of it, was the "removal of limbs." I agree it's not fair to those who are denied the right to ride, but I go back to not only safety and if they had to evac a ride, but that one person who will sue even though they knew the risk.
Posted October 1, 2009 at 8:59 PM
I still blame that old lady who put McD's hot coffee between her legs, it spilled and then she sue and won due to burning herself with hot coffee(go figure coffee is hot). Thanks to her, people will do stupid lawsuits over the lack of common sense all the time now. Maybe if people still had common sense now days, we wouldn't have all the warning labels on everything on how and what not to do with a product or even a ride.
Heck, I think I'm going to go sue Bud now for having beer googles a few times, I didn't see a warning label lol ;o)
From David GrahamForgot... #68 so not sure on peoples math, Gareth you must have learned to count different in England LOL, but 100-68= 32 so not sure how you had 26 :o)
Posted October 1, 2009 at 9:03 PM
And I went to Orange County Public Schools LMAO
From Gareth HAh bugger off, ha ha! Lack off sleep, went back to all threads and obviously looked at wrong one.
Posted October 1, 2009 at 10:42 PM
So, umm, one less from what it was when you showed me up! Git ;)
From Andrew HoldenThis would be called...beating a dead horse!
Posted October 2, 2009 at 3:41 AM
From Bob MillerDavid, thanks for doing the math, I just went by what Gareth stated. Gareth, sure your not having senior moments like Rob and I do. And David, I could never figure out how the jury gave that lady money for doing something so stupid. Why didn't she sue the coffee maker company for making the coffee so hot or was that part of the law suit? Oh well, subtrack 1 from the last total!!!
Posted October 2, 2009 at 5:58 AM
From Jason JacksonHoping to make it go away. One more thread added!
Posted October 2, 2009 at 6:12 AM
From David Graham#73 and will do my part to help kill dead horses, and Gareth you know I had to be a TH(lol)on that and point it out. Least it wasn't the you wrote and in reponse LOL TH ;o)
Posted October 2, 2009 at 6:38 AM
Yeah Bob, I wish we could go back to that day the stupid lady won and know what the jury was thinking, knowing just from that one case, how they opened the door for stupidity to be ok in this country. If I'm an idiot and do something wrong, I'll sue instead of taking responsibility for my own actions, I just don't get it.....
This is why theme parks and really any company has to safe guard for these people.
Maybe we can get this one closed by end of day? I know maybe Alan Grayson can assist on the best way to handle this thread LMAO
From Bob MillerDavid,#74, do you like the Mets?
Posted October 2, 2009 at 6:58 AM
Did you know Mets spelled backwards is Stem!!!
From Bob MillerJason, #75, did you know that Mason spelled
Posted October 2, 2009 at 7:02 AM
backwards is: No Sam
From Jason JacksonNo I did not. Jason spelled backwards is No Saj!
Posted October 2, 2009 at 10:01 AM
From TH CreativeMr. Jackson writes: "#76."
Posted October 2, 2009 at 4:53 PM
I Reply: #77
From Andrew Holden# 78, anything to make this thread go away! This one has bothered me from the first time it was brought back and did not go away. The ignorance of people bewilders me.
Posted October 2, 2009 at 6:50 PM
From Melissa FaulknerIT'S ALIVE!!!!! BWAHAAAAAAAAA BWAHHAAAAAA!!!!!!
Posted October 2, 2009 at 7:47 PM
From Gareth HUm, #80.
Posted October 2, 2009 at 11:46 PM
Why am I still up at 2.46am? Why am I looking at this post? What is the meaning of life?
From Gareth H#81.
Posted October 2, 2009 at 11:47 PM
Maybe I should start drinking, maybe I shouldn't.
Just remember, Wear Sunscreen!
From Gareth H#82,
Posted October 2, 2009 at 11:47 PM
So like, I was totally gonna go to Cali this weekend, but Paris was all like, no way, I'm totally fetch and thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiings!!
From Gareth H#83
Posted October 2, 2009 at 11:50 PM
Vassup people, mit dem Bruno.
I ist here vit mein Uber friend, Davit, he is totally hot dis season ya.
Cum unt si him at the parks unt stuff.
From Gareth H#84
Posted October 2, 2009 at 11:51 PM
That's it, I can't post anymore, someone else has to take over.
My brain hurts and I just can't think anymore. 9 minutes until I finsih work, wooohooo!!
From TH Creative#85 It's Saturday. It's Orlando. We're goin' to Disney World.
Posted October 3, 2009 at 3:34 AM
From Ryan Sanford#86
Posted October 3, 2009 at 6:57 AM
From Gareth H#87, I think.
Posted October 3, 2009 at 9:24 AM
I'm up, I"m working and I have no plans for this evening.
HHN Takes over Uni, so thats a no no as I have an off-peak pass, think I'll head to Seaworld and get me some free Candy, might as well grab some pics at the same time!
From Bob Miller#88 Norton spelled backwards is:
Posted October 3, 2009 at 12:43 PM
If it's not Ron, who is it?
From Bob Miller#89 Do you like to Draw things?
Posted October 3, 2009 at 12:46 PM
Draw spelled backwards is:
That is where they're going to put me, in a mental ward if I don't stop reading things backwards. :)
From Bob Miller#90 Tamara backwards is:
Posted October 3, 2009 at 12:50 PM
A Ram At!!!!
At what, I don't know?
From Bob Miller#91
Posted October 3, 2009 at 12:53 PM
On a somber note, yesterday was my ex-wifes' birthday (Zacharys' grandmother). We were close friends over the last 25 years of her life. So Zachary and I had a little quiet time together to remember her. For those who may not know, she passed away in early June.
From Bob Miller#92 Where are you Gareth?
Posted October 3, 2009 at 1:01 PM
From Tony Duda92 Haven't been posting the last month. I'll restart slowly with this so I don't get light headed.
Posted October 3, 2009 at 1:00 PM
From Bob Miller#93 Hellooooooooooooo anyone out there to finish up this old thread?
Posted October 3, 2009 at 1:04 PM
From Tony DudaDarn, that was actually 93 and this is 94, I am rusty.
Posted October 3, 2009 at 1:03 PM
From Bob MillerSorry about that tony that edit button is a great thing?
Posted October 3, 2009 at 1:04 PM
From Tony DudaBesides my rust, Bob ruined my numbering, this should be 97.
Posted October 3, 2009 at 1:06 PM
From Bob MillerI won't number this one tony, you finish this one out if you want!!!!!
Posted October 3, 2009 at 1:07 PM
From Tony Duda99, Bob you can close it.
Posted October 3, 2009 at 1:08 PM
From Bob MillerTo James and TH and Tony and Gareth and everyone else, lets send this one home. This tired old horse needs a rest!!!!!! Thanks for the Honor Tony. :)
Posted October 3, 2009 at 1:14 PM
This discussion has been archived, and is not accepting additional responses.
Plan your theme park vacation with our readers' travel guides:
Top U.S. Theme Parks
Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Other Top International Parks
Readers' Top Themed Rides
Top Roller Coasters
Top Theme Park Shows
Features, News and Advice
2013 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May
2012 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2011 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2010 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2009 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2008 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2007 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2006 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2005 Blog PostsDec.
2004-2005Staff column archive