Is Dorney discriminating against disabled kids?

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Re: Is Dorney discriminating against disabled kids?

Postby stealth220 » Mon Jun 02, 2008 8:16 am

One last post on this issue. ADA laws only state that the park has to provide access to the ride platform so that guests with mobility issues can ride. It does NOT say that special access guests must go immediately to the front of the line, nor does it require that employees give them that option or even where to sit on the ride. Again, the new special access policies are in place to allow guests who otherwise cannot access the ride platform through the normal queue to wait the length of the queue and have access via a separate entrance (elevator or ramp). No jumping the line, no re-rides, no special privileges. Just equality for both sides.
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Re: Is Dorney discriminating against disabled kids?

Postby GIVEMEABREAK! » Mon Jun 02, 2008 10:46 pm

After Reading the Subject responses I am embarassed and appalled at the inabilty of people to have any compassion at all...It is obvious to me that not one of these posters has a clue what it is like to have a child or family member that is either handicapped (physically or otherwise) or in some way in need of extra support in their life. This mom (family) has found one thing that has made their child happy and that are able to enjoy family time together Believe me they do not have much "family" time that is happy. Reading these post I see not many of you have been taught compassion or even chose to teach your children how to have compassion for others. That time in line could be the best "teachable moment" but from the looks and sounds of these posts it it will be a "teachable moment of insensitivity and intolerance". I will hope that your children have people in their lives who will teach them love, and caring.

As a mother I applaud this family for not chosing to hide their daughter. They are trying to help their other daughter accept the disability of her sister and give her some posotive time in her life that she can do something fun with sister, and all you are worring about is that they are "getting ahead of you in line". They don't seem like a family that want to abuse the system, but a family that is trying to enjoy the moments that have.

I hope that no one has to go through what this family obviously has to go through to have fun with their family. And I hope no one is ever told that they should stay home because they are disabled..as it was suggested by a poster. I also hope that you never have to walk a mile in this families shoes..because you all will get BIG blisters....


Here are some websites that might help you in your teaching of COMPASSION AND Tolerance..
http://www.kidshealth.org/parent/emotio ... rance.html
http://www.tolerance.org/teach/activiti ... .jsp?ar=85
http://family.go.com/parenting/article- ... fferent-t/
http://michelleoneilwrites.blogspot.com ... ldren.html
Last edited by GIVEMEABREAK! on Mon Jun 02, 2008 10:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is Dorney discriminating against disabled kids?

Postby tricia51 » Mon Jun 02, 2008 10:54 pm

I agree with with give me a break..learn compassion!!
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Re: Is Dorney discriminating against disabled kids?

Postby tricia51 » Mon Jun 02, 2008 11:02 pm

For all of the heartless remarks..You need to remember That karma can come at any time..Pray it doesn't come to you. I have healthy children and Grand children and I will teach them to be thankful for their lives and to have compassion on others that struggle. I feel sorry for you and your family that can't wait a few min. more ,so a child can enjoy a ride with her family that means the world to them. Why so mean?
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Re: Is Dorney discriminating against disabled kids?

Postby stealth220 » Mon Jun 02, 2008 11:30 pm

The previous 3 posts seem to miss our point: the very few people who do abuse the system make everyone suffer. Nobody is trying to insinuate that this family has even attempted to take advantage of the special access policy. What we are trying to do is point out that this new system is in place to make sure that some of the previous problems that the park has had (and other parks throughout the CF chain) do not recur. This is unfortunately very common in society: because of a few people crossing the line, everyone is punished. We don't need links posted about "compassion and tolerance" websites. If you actually read the posts in this forum no one is trying to deny that autism is a very prevalent issue, and we do sympathize with the family, so attacking the previous posters about our supposed immorality, bigotry, and unsympathetic comments is completely unfounded and out of line. The point that everyone is trying to make, I think, is that the new system attempts to eliminate abuse of the special access entrance and that any exceptions to this system are not feasible. Please understand where we are coming from, because we do understand where you are coming from.
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Re: Is Dorney discriminating against disabled kids?

Postby phillydude » Tue Jun 03, 2008 12:08 am

I spoke from experience in my post... my sister-in-law is a special education teacher who deals exclusively with autistic children who are much as the OP described... and she was sitting right next to me and helped me write my reply. As a professional in this field, she was appalled that the family was putting the child into a situation which would be so emotionally overwhelming as an amusement park. She also expressed to me the potential dangers for a child such as this (which were later mentioned by another poster) in an emergency situation... whether that was caused by an outside force (such as a mechanical breakdown) or by the child's own emotional or mental state.

And as for my pwn children, they often spend time with my SIL's students, and accompany them on group outings to museums, restaurants, and other social activities... so they are well aware of the problems faced by those less fortunate than they are. They are compassionate and kind to these kids, many of whom are their age. But that doesn't mean that they would want them to cut in line in front of them at an amusement park...

The OP asked for input, and we honestly gave her input. I'm not at all surprised that some people (interestingly enough people who have never posted here before) would take offense to that kind of free exchange of opinions.
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Re: Is Dorney discriminating against disabled kids?

Postby Dude » Tue Jun 03, 2008 2:26 pm

Folks, when all is said and done, what we are dealing with here is waiting a few minutes in line for a ride at an amusement park. It’s not life and death. It’s not nuclear war. It’s not brain surgery. It is simply a question of the extent to which intelligent, compassionate and caring people (including corporate citizens of a community) are willing to make accommodations (which, by definition, means slightly inconveniencing others) so that less fortunate individuals and families may enjoy hard-to-find, quality, family time that many of us take for granted.

The fact is that there are amusement parks around the country – and that definitely includes Hershey – that allow immediate access to rides for individuals and their families with autism. Dorney had that same policy in effect for several years. Dorney changed the policy this year.

It seems to me that a company that runs a family venue should be willing to make reasonable accommodations – whether required by the ADA or not – so that all families and patrons, including those with physical or neurological disabilities, can maximize their experience and have fun. Does that mean that some of us will be inconvenienced by these accommodations? Sure. But I am willing to make the trade-off of waiting a few extra minutes – and explaining to and teaching my kids why we have to wait just a bit longer for “our turn” – so that others with more difficult circumstances not of their choosing can also enjoy family time together.

No one wants to suggest that children with disabilities are not entitled to a day at an amusement park; maybe in the Dark Ages these kids were hidden from public view, but we are a bit more enlightened than that. And let’s not substitute our judgment on how to raise a child, or how a family should spend time together, for the judgment of the parents. Clearly these parents are not knowingly placing their children in harm’s way by going to the amusement park any more than by taking them to school, to the doctor, or to the supermarket. There are experts who opine on anything, but no one knows their kids - and their kid's limits - better than the parents.

It’s important to understand that getting a boarding time simply does not work for children with autism. There is a neurological impediment to understanding the need to wait, to return later. Unless one is willing to ban these kids from the park, the only solution is immediate access. It's that plain and simple.

Is immediate access a perfect system? No, because there are those who will abuse it. But the really disappointing piece in all this is that Dorney has decided that it’s either “all or nothing.” Dorney recognized in previous years – as other amusement parks recognize today – that immediate access is necessary to accommodate children with autism. But because some have abused that system, Dorney has decided to do away with it completely. “Collective punishment” is a concept abhorrent to us all.

At a minimum, I would like to see Dorney – and CF – work with the affected communities to find a way to make this work. That would be the compassionate, sensitive, and tolerant thing to do. And in the end, it would be a smart business decision as well.
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Re: Is Dorney discriminating against disabled kids?

Postby phillydude » Tue Jun 03, 2008 3:34 pm

Dude wrote:Folks, when all is said and done, what we are dealing with here is waiting a few minutes in line for a ride at an amusement park. <snip> At a minimum, I would like to see Dorney – and CF – work with the affected communities to find a way to make this work. That would be the compassionate, sensitive, and tolerant thing to do. And in the end, it would be a smart business decision as well.


Well spoken and agreed.
How would you feel if you had a plate of fresh hand-cut french fries and wanted ketchup but instead I threw a dog turd on top of them and said, "It's better than nothing?" - modernphoenixv2

People have to eat. - Dick Kinzel
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Re: Is Dorney discriminating against disabled kids?

Postby SteelForcer06 » Tue Jun 03, 2008 4:06 pm

Im not trying to say that autistic kids should be hidden from the world. All im saying ive seen autistic kids stuck on rides and they do try and get out...

Please dont give me this compassionate BS alright its unneccessary for anyone to be sitting here giving me websites to visit so i can work on my compassion... Just because i have an opinion on an issue neither you or I can change does not mean i need compassion training!
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Re: Is Dorney discriminating against disabled kids?

Postby SteelVenomFan » Tue Jun 03, 2008 5:43 pm

I don't agree with immediate access for anyone regardless of any condition they might have. I believe EVERYONE should be treated EQUALLy. If 1 person has to wait to get on a ride, then everyone else should.
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Re: Is Dorney discriminating against disabled kids?

Postby PepsiFan01 » Tue Jun 03, 2008 6:26 pm

This is an interesting topic and props to those who are being respectful and offering logical arguments for their opinions.

Is immediate access a perfect system? No, because there are those who will abuse it. But the really disappointing piece in all this is that Dorney has decided that it’s either “all or nothing.” Dorney recognized in previous years – as other amusement parks recognize today – that immediate access is necessary to accommodate children with autism. But because some have abused that system, Dorney has decided to do away with it completely. “Collective punishment” is a concept abhorrent to us all.


CF has a lot of policies that are debated. That's the nature of policies in general. It does tend to be CF's way to make policies that they consider fair all around the boards for everyone, rather than to favor or accommodate a group of individuals. Reasons include potential abuse of a policy and because making exceptions to policies often creates backlash when one thing is allowed and another is not, or when one group is allowed something and another is not, as opinions on this board are showing. It does seem that there was abuse of the former policy and that is what led to their decision this year.

It seems to me that a company that runs a family venue should be willing to make reasonable accommodations – whether required by the ADA or not – so that all families and patrons, including those with physical or neurological disabilities, can maximize their experience and have fun. Does that mean that some of us will be inconvenienced by these accommodations? Sure. But I am willing to make the trade-off of waiting a few extra minutes – and explaining to and teaching my kids why we have to wait just a bit longer for “our turn” – so that others with more difficult circumstances not of their choosing can also enjoy family time together.


I completely like what are saying here and in a perfect world, perhaps everyone would understand that it would be a nice thing to do and would even go out of their way to let people with disabilities ride first. But CF is a business and tends to think more...generically, I want to say, instead of considering individual stories, because of the reasons I stated before about policies. Lots of things are black and white, and no in-between. The entire disability rate was done away with a few years ago because people were stating disabilities that could not be outwardly seen which was tricky and still others had no disability at all but were asking for the rate and it had to be given...some were honest, some were not. CF's answer was to get rid of the rate, everyone is the same, due to the abuse.

To the original poster and anyone else who feels strongly about a certain policy, my opinion would be to write the GM a personal letter. You may not get the answer you want or hope for, but it lets your voice be heard, and as a paying guest, there is nothing wrong with that.
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Re: Is Dorney discriminating against disabled kids?

Postby tricia51 » Tue Jun 03, 2008 6:35 pm

phillydude wrote:
Dude wrote:Folks, when all is said and done, what we are dealing with here is waiting a few minutes in line for a ride at an amusement park. <snip> At a minimum, I would like to see Dorney – and CF – work with the affected communities to find a way to make this work. That would be the compassionate, sensitive, and tolerant thing to do. And in the end, it would be a smart business decision as well.


Well spoken and agreed.


:D Thank You!! I agree!! You wrote a great ans., it was everything, I was thinking and just couldn't find the words. Tricia51
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Re: Is Dorney discriminating against disabled kids?

Postby jeffpiatt » Tue Jun 03, 2008 8:37 pm

well i hate to get in here when it's this close to a flame war but Ceder fair had to deal with the major issue that was occurring people getting an generic disability sheet and using it to circumvent the line to "assist" an disabled person why "5" people were needed to help them was debatable but most ops would not argue and risk getting in trouble this new time card restricts access to those the ada intended for use these gates. But the ball is still in your cort an deciding if your child can handle the situations the ride may present. while she would panic in a standard line this gives you an chance move about the park and return for access to the ride.
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Re: Is Dorney discriminating against disabled kids?

Postby dorneydude » Wed Jun 04, 2008 12:42 pm

My two cents,

Remember handicapped parking. Now everyone has one of those damn placards. I seldom see anyone with any visible handicap coming out of a car parked in one...half the time the spouse is likely using the placard. Soemtimes they probably do not even desever the damn thing. Anything can be a handicapp now a days. I bet I could one for my allergies! Perhaps the same thing was starting to happen at CF parks---too many people for too many reasons jumping line. Note I mean the MAJOR CF parks, likely not DP. Folks at smaller parks also seem more compasionate and understanding...especially when most rides have only a 20 minute wait anyway. The fairest thing is that the person in the wheel chair go to a waiting area designed for them but must wait as many minutes as they would have if they waited in line. I am sure this could be done somehow.

As for folks who have issues waiting in line, in any area, I think is great the park lets them come back later...ideally the time should be only as long as the wait when they approached the ride. Making them come back in an hour or so could be a real nussance but then again its up to the park I guess...and up to the affected person not to come back, or organize a boycott or something...its a free country.....

I'd have no problem letting someone with a disabilty in front of me if they asked...life's too short to get worked up.
---the ORIGINAL DorneyDude
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Re: Is Dorney discriminating against disabled kids?

Postby DorneyDiva » Mon Jun 09, 2008 4:21 am

As the OP, I appreciate everyone's input and opinions since that is what I asked for. One post did sum it up for me so I will not go into anything else especially since as one person put it, the flaming is starting. I do want to say that I did write to DP and CF before posting here. The season is now over for my family and we won't be purchasing passes again.

I also wanted to quickly clarify Hershey's policy as I received a letter from the company. Hershey does have a "wait time" policy in effect that is the same as CF, however, if a person is unable to be accommodated by this policy, they are willing to give you an alternative access pass which will allow for either immediate boarding or boarding after only a few minutes. Knoebels and Sesame Place also have this type of rule, but those parks are not "big" enough for my kids anymore.

Best wishes to all and have an enjoyable season at the park.
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