So I and The Lovely Rhonda found ourselves in San Diego for a long weekend a couple of weeks ago, and decided to jaunt up to an amusement park north of Los Angeles. We’ll call it “No Flags Non-Magical Molehill.”
Owing to my sad, poorly-designed feets, I rented a scooter. I have a disabled parking pass, it’s cool. This is how it is for me now.
We attempted to board a ride, but were turned away for lack of an “equal access pass.” This is a photocopied pamphlet full of rules and information. They mark it with the frequency one may access the attractions, which evidently varies from day to day. On this day it was marked as “45 minutes.” The attendant is to then mark the ride and time each time you access an attraction. The wait times for many rides was 30 minutes or less — resulting in fewer rides for a disabled person than non-disabled.
We then attempted to board another ride. We went up the exit lane, as instructed on tiny lettering on the standard-disclaimer sign on the ride’s entrance, only to find a dusty elevator bearing a sign instructing us to notify an attendant to use the elevator. But, there was no way to do so, no bell or anything. We backtracked to the photo counter where they try to sell you the pictures they take of you screaming your way down the big money shot hill, if that is you are so fortunate as to find yourself actually riding the attraction. The girl there did not know how to summon an attendant.
At this point I was angry and wanted to leave, frustrated by attempting to access the attractions — arguably the whole point of a theme park — for an hour with no success. We filed a complaint with guest services, who by the way are most assuredly unable to issue refunds or in any way try to make things right other than to say things like, “I can get you on any four attractions that you want right now, ma’am.” I said no, I don’t want to have to beg you people to ride the damn rides.
We did ride one ride before giving it up. Once again we made our way up the very narrow exit lane where we found an actual, functioning elevator that did not require an attendant to use. At the top, I found a couple of women with baby strollers occupying the very tiny landing. I had to ask them to please move so that I could get through. Then we had to wait for the ride to get out and all the passengers to squeeze past us. There was no shade or shelter here, unlike the areas for the able-bodied. We rode the ride, and on exiting found the same ladies waiting. The attendant was chatting with people sitting in the front of the ride, who were not being required to exit, so I surmised that he knew them and was allowing them to ride repeatedly, and these women were part of their party. He did not pay any attention or ask the ladies to move.
We left at this point. Why bother?
I was told that “someone” from the park would contact me regarding my complaint, but no one has and it’s been more than a week. Today I contacted them via their website and just to be thorough, registered a complaint through ada.gov.
Scooter rental: $40
Filing complaints with the feds: PRICELESS.