[blindkid] Canes and amusement park rides?

Richard Holloway rholloway at gopbc.org
Fri Aug 6 17:35:41 UTC 2010

Blind guests have, in fact, even fought to get canes into Six Flags,  
quite literally. As some of you may or may not be aware, Six Flags in  
Atlanta refused entrance to a number of blind cane travelers (or more  
specifically told them they could come in, but not with the "sticks"  
which looked like "weapons")-- this was, as I recall, during a NFB  
National convention in Atlanta-- perhaps in 2004? I cringe as an  
Atlanta native over the matter, but it could (obviously) have happened  

Here's a link to that story:


I suspect most any Six Flags now has policy to clarify that canes can  
come in with blind cane travelers. (We have never had a problem going  
to that same Six Flags with our daughter and her cane.)

Still, ideally, you might want to call ahead to any park you plan to  
visit for the first time and ask what sort of accommodations they  
offer. This will help confirm that there should be no cane entrance  
issues, but more importantly it will help you deal with the much more  
likely confusion of how to get a cane most easily to the ride exits  
properly and safely.

The point of the past discussion I had mentioned (in my earlier post)  
was that the "magic ticket" (whatever it was called) solved the whole  
thing-- when you come to the ride they KNOW to look for the item  
you're wearing (I assume similar to an ID card around your neck like  
at a convention maybe?, or perhaps it could be a wrist band?) they  
know the guest needs their attention and some possible help.

If you want to do the full wait in line (which is not practical at all  
for say, a wheel chair user-- at least in some queues-- the chairs  
simply won't fit) you could probably wear the pass through the two  
hour long ride queue, then just get the needed help as you get on the  
ride, but it is almost certain that all the parks have a relatively  
seamless system to get wheelchairs and walkers to ride exits so it  
should be nothing for them to transport a little fiberglass cane 50  

Incidentally, the most recent Six Flags policy I find online shows  
that Six Flags offers a pass to skip the line but not the wait (as of  
about 3 years ago, I think?) and also Disney apparently does not  
officially let you skip the wait but lets you wait up front for the  
rest of your party to come through the line.

In fact the reason (as posted by a former Disney employee) they tend  
to put people through rides more quickly with the pass is generally  
that the special needs guest, especially if they have more space  
requirements than most guests (think of the footprint of a wheelchair  
or walker) sort of clogs up the loading platform area. So the  
employees run through those who they can faster to clear out space.

Surely there are other needs that make waits very hard for some  
guests, but blindness alone would not seem to make that list of  
reasons to jump the line. Still, we can all reasonably make use of the  
appropriate portion of such accommodations when needed-- just my  
thoughts on the matter.


On Aug 6, 2010, at 12:06 PM, Kim Cunningham wrote:

> Jessica,
> I am very concerned that you are telling a mother to LEAVE THE  
> CHILD'S CANE BEHIND! Would you ask a parent whose child needed a  
> wheelchair or crutches to leave them behind? Even if the child has  
> some usable vision, what happens when the child enters a dark room  
> or into the bright sunlight? Do you really think blind children  
> should be led around as if they aren't able to navigate on their  
> own? Do other kids their age have their mothers or fathers holding  
> their hands? We have fought so hard for school district's to get  
> children canes, I can't hold my tongue when someone suggests leaving  
> it behind.
> Just my two cents.
> Kim Cunningham
> --- On Fri, 8/6/10, Jess sA Mobile <jess28 at samobile.net> wrote:
> From: Jess sA Mobile <jess28 at samobile.net>
> Subject: Re: [blindkid] Canes and amusement park rides?
> To: "'NFBnet Blind Kid Mailing List, (for parents of blind  
> children)'" <blindkid at nfbnet.org>
> Date: Friday, August 6, 2010, 11:28 AM
> Holly,
> Since he really doesn't need it except for identification purposes  
> that it
> might be better off if you just keep it at home. Unless you have  
> someone who
> isn't going to ride all the rides and he/she would just hold on to  
> his cane.
> You've done sighted guide with him correct? It might just be better  
> if you
> do sighted guide in a situation like that especially if he wants to  
> go on
> every ride.
> Jessica
> -----Original Message-----
> From: blindkid-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:blindkid- 
> bounces at nfbnet.org] On
> Behalf Of holly miller
> Sent: Friday, August 06, 2010 8:56 AM
> To: NFBnet Blind Kid Mailing List, (for parents of blind children)
> Subject: [blindkid] Canes and amusement park rides?
> What do you do with them?  We're taking Hank to 6 Flags for the  
> first time
> next week.  I haven't been in a loooong time so I'm not familiar  
> with the
> rides anymore.
> A folding cane wouldn't be an issue but I'm thinking a straight cane  
> isn't
> always going to fit in the seat.  Some rides have you get off at a  
> different
> place than you get on so you couldn't just leave it with the  
> attendant I
> wouldn't think.
> Thanks!
> Holly
> -- 
> http://www.raceforindependence.org/goto/Hank
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