Whether you’re a thrill-seeking dare devil, or prefer something more sedate these UK-based theme parks offer a great day out for all the family and provide great accessibility for wheelchair users.
Drayton Manor Theme Park, near Tamworth
Drayton Manor is a theme park which caters for all the family. Young children will be enthralled by Thomas Land, whilst thrill-seeking teenagers and adults can ride Acropolis, with its 54 metre free fall drop! There’s also a host of attractions, including the Bryan’s Works Museum (a collection of penny slot machines), a dinosaur trail and mini golf. The park also incorporates a 15-acre zoo, with over 100 different species of animal.
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In terms of accessibility, Drayton Manor has an easy access system for improved access to rides for those with disabilities and their carers. Ride hosts are also available to help those with disabilities board the rides. Wheelchairs can be hired and there are accessible toilets in all toilet blocks. The park also features a Changing Place facility with hoist tracks, although you will need to take your own sling.
If you would prefer to go for a few days, you can book an accessible room with a wet room and support rails in the Drayton Manor Hotel. All areas of the accessible hotel room can be reached and accessed from a wheelchair, including the wardrobe and the height adjustable desk. Rooms can be booked to include bed and breakfast and park tickets. There is also a camping and caravan site for those who are more able.
The theme park's website features useful information on accessibility within the attraction.
Oakwood Theme Park, Narbeth
Adrenalin seekers might want to check out Speed, the UKs first beyond-vertical-drop rollercoaster at the Oakwood theme park in South Wales. There’s plenty for younger visitors too, including the Neverland area, where the rides are themed around the Peter Pan story, beginning in the theme parks interpretation of Kensington Gardens in London, before riding in a London taxi to ‘Neverland’. There is also an on-site arcade, an area to pan for gold, mini golf and an air target shooting range.
Ride Access Passes are available to those who struggle to stand for long periods of time, or who require step-free access to the rides and provides alternative access to a number of attractions. Just bear in mind that you will need to show some form of proof of eligibility to receive this. One carer can accompany a disabled visitor into the park free of charge.
Wide level walkways make the park easily accessible for wheelchair users, with wheelchairs also available to hire from the park. There are a few parking spaces reserved for Blue Badge holders.
A Changing Places accessible wet room with a changing bed, hoist and toileting facilities is available on site as well as two other accessible toilets.
Their website offers a good resource of accessibility information for the park, including details about taking guide dogs, the parks ticketing policy and parking information.
Sundown Adventure Land, Retford
If you have young kids, you may prefer Sundown, which is specifically designed with children under 10 in mind and includes small rollercoasters and attractions such as the Singing Pet Shop where little ones can make the animals come to life and sing. The park also has several play areas both indoor and outdoor – perfect for burning off that extra energy.
Parking for disabled visitors is available near the main gate and the paths are flat with no hills. Wheelchairs can be hired on site. Concessions are available to disabled visitors and their carers. Accessible toilets are available throughout the park.
More information about accessibility at the park can be found in their disabled access report.
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Adventure Wonderland, Bournemouth
Adventure Wonderland is another park aimed at children aged up to 11-years-old. Children have the opportunity to pet small animals at Cuddle Corner Farm and ride and stroke ponies at Pony Palace. There’s also mini rollercoasters and tea cups, alongside the Wild Thing Indoor play centre – a good option in the case of bad weather.
Disabled visitors can get a discounted entrance ticket with a free carer’s ticket. Paths are predominantly flat and wheelchairs can be hired. Accessible toilets are available throughout the park. The parks services and facilities for people with disabilities can be found on their website.
Sandcastle Waterpark, Blackpool
If a Waterpark is more your thing check out the accessible Sandcastle Waterpark, which includes rides such as Aztec Falls, where you drop – in complete darkness – from the top of the falls to the revolving gulf of the Aztec Bowl! Or try the Thunderfalls where you race on two slides. Looking for something calmer? Head to Typhoon Lagoon, float about and wait for the waves to start.
Concessionary tickets are available for disabled visitors and their carer. The pool is easy to access thanks to level, easy access floors and water wheelchairs which can be hired. There is wheelchair access to the interactive exhibits and ramp access leading directly to the pool. They also have two accessible Changing Places wet rooms, one with a H track hoist. Both of the Changing Places wet rooms have changing beds with plenty of room. There are also plenty of accessible toilets with grab rails. The Waterpark also runs a series of accessibility evenings and have assistance in place for deaf and blind or partially sighted visitors. There are six spaces reserved for Blue Badge holders enabling users to park for up to three hours.
The Sandcastle Waterpark has extensive accessibility information on their website.
The accessibility of these theme parks means they’re great for a family day out. Of course, there may be some safety limitations in terms of the rides that you will be permitted to go on. However, with so much to do at each place and with an abundance of inclusive facilities we’re certain you would have fun regardless and if you have little ones watching the smiles on their faces as they come face-to-face with Thomas, or zoom down a waterslide makes for an even more perfect day out.
Sunrise Medical’s range of powered and manual wheelchairs and mobility scooters are perfect for days out with the family, whether you’re experiencing the thrills and spills of a theme park or a more sedate country ramble.