The UK’s Most & Least Accessible Theme Parks

December 9, 2019

Theme parks are a brilliant day out with lots of fun for all the family. In the UK, we have many amazing theme parks to visit. However, if you, a friend or family member has a disability, you might have some concerns about the facilities and assistance available to you whilst at one of the UK's many theme parks. 

UKS Mobility have ranked each of the UK's biggest theme parks from least to most accessible based on a range of factors including: their park facilities, number of accessible pathways and entry fees for visitors and their carers. View the results below!

Main Findings


  • - 80% of the UK’s most popular theme parks don’t offer specialist facilities (e.g. quiet hour or quiet room) for guests with autism. The 4 that do are Legoland Windsor, Pleasurewood Hills, The Milkyway Adventure Park and Sandcastle Waterpark.

  • - 35% do not offer any discount on entry to guests who have a disability, even if they may not be able to ride the attractions.

  • - 35% do not offer accessible changing facilities in their parks.

  • - 90% of theme parks do not offer facilities for guests with a hearing impairment

  • - 35% of theme parks do not offer specialist facilities for people with a visual impairment

Methodology

To determine which UK theme parks have the best accessible facilities, we created a points system divided into the following sections: General facilities, Facilities for hearing impairment, Facilities for autism/ learning difficulties, facilities for physical impairment and facilities for hearing impairment. Within these sections we included a variety of different measuring factors that each theme park was judged against based on the facilities they offer. 

For each measuring factor, the most favorable option received one point, less favorable received 0.5 points and unfavorable received 0 points. These points were then added up to give each theme park a total score in each of the 5 sections as well as an overall score.

Outside of the categories that these 19 measuring factors were sorted into, we also awarded an extra 1 point for every extra facility listed on a theme park's website not included in our ranking system. In total, 7 extra points were awarded to the theme parks.

The points were awarded as follows:


GENERAL FACILITIES 

Total points: 8

FACILITIES FOR HEARING IMPAIRMENT 

Total points: 2


Disabled parking..... 1 point awarded

Disabled toilets per km2..... 0.1-1 points awarded

First aid centre..... 1 point awarded

Ticket discount..... 0.5-1 point

Ticket discount for carer..... 0.5-1 point

Accessible pathways..... 1 point

Accessible changing areas..... 1 point

Mobility scooter friendly..... 1 point



Hearing/ Induction loops..... 1 point

Ear defenders..... 1 point

FACILITIES FOR AUTISM/ LEARNING DIFFICULTIES

Total points: 3

VISUAL IMPAIRMENT 

Total points: 3


Sensory space/ quiet room..... 1 point

Quiet hour..... 1 point

Ride access pass..... 1 point



Park signs with clear, contrasting colours..... 1 point

Clear map with contrasting colours..... 1 point

Ride access pass..... 1 point

EXTRA POINTS AWARDED:


Gulliver's World:

Guide for guests with special needs (1 point, facilities for autism/ learning difficulties)

M&D's:

Large format map available (1 point, facilities for visual impairment)

The Milky Way Adventure Park: 

Large format site map and guidelines are available (1 point, facilities for visual impairment)

Sandcastle Waterpark: 

Audio commentary (1 point, facilities for visual impairment), large print map (1 point, facilities for visual impairment)


View our entire data set here.

Sources:

https://www.altontowers.com/

https://www.legoland.com/

https://www.thorpepark.com/ 

https://www.draytonmanor.co.uk/ 

https://www.chessington.com/ 

https://www.blackpoolpleasurebeach.com/ 

https://www.flamingoland.co.uk/ 

https://www.gulliversfun.co.uk/ 

https://paultonspark.co.uk/ 

https://pleasurewoodhills.com/ 

https://www.crealy.co.uk/ 

https://wicksteedpark.org/ 

https://scotlandsthemepark.com/ 

https://www.themilkyway.co.uk/ 

http://adventureisland.co.uk/ 

https://www.sandcastle-waterpark.co.uk/ 

https://www.twinlakespark.co.uk/ 

https://www.oakwoodthemepark.co.uk/ 

https://www.lightwatervalley.co.uk/ 

https://www.flambards.co.uk/