Thank you for the kind welcome oto this group! I never saw myself as ever having the need to find out what is accessible in an amusement park, they have always been my passion and when I became disabled I was determined it would not stop me from visiting.
Cedar Fair parks are about the best I’ve seen in accommodating people with disabilities. It’s not really published for everyone to see, I think because it is easy to play the system, which sometimes is maddening but I try not to focus on that. My main park is go to is Kings Island in Mason, Ohio, about a 45 min drive from Cincinnati. They offer handicap parking but I need to warn you guys, it’s a SMALL lot, so you need to get there early. We’ve had to where we didn’t come until later and my husband had to park the car in the regular lot. If you are lucky enough to park handicap, it’s a very short walk to security and the front gates.
Each Cedar Fair park has the handicap system but it may be called something different, for Kings Island and Cedar Point it’s called the boarding system. What you do is before entering the park you will head to guest services and ask for a boarding pass. For the first time there’s 5 questions they will ask such as can you brace with both your arms and legs, what is your handicap, etc. It’s really nothing though and they don’t ask for proof. I always keep my sheet from my previous visit so then all they have to do is fill out a new sheet. They do not allow any prosthetics on the big rides but there are plenty of other rides. Your pass will be good for that day and you and three other people can use it. What this does is let’s you bypass standing in the lines. When you find a ride, you take the pass to the exit where there will be a ride operator, they will take the sheet and give you a time to come back, so while you’re waiting you are able to stroll around the park, look in the shops or grab a bite to eat. Depending on how busy the ride is, is what determines your ride time. It is supposed to be however long the regular line is, is how long your wait will be. Now I will say this, 9 times out of 10 the wait is never as long as the regular time. Because we go so often the ride operators get to know us and kindness towards them goes a long way. Also, when you get the initial ride time, you do not have to go up there, just someone in your party. Most of the rides are pretty easily accessible. For those that there are stairs, there is an elevator, only the disable person and an employee can use it, as it’s a very tiny elevator, the rest of your party will do the stairs and meet you up at the exit. Another really great perk to this system is they ask you where you would like to sit. For the general public this probably isn’t a big deal, but for someone like me that is a roller coaster fanatic it’s huge!!! Here’s my favorites at Kings island… Diamondback either front or back row, Mystic Timbers row 11, The Beast row 17, Banshee row 1, Backlot stunt coaster the first car back row, Flight or Fear any odd row number, Racer red side row 1. These are just a few of the bigger coasters. At cedar point I like all front row except Rogaru i like last row. For the most part this green sheet will save you tons of time.
Most of the park is pretty flat and is not hard to navigate. Unfortunately the way the park is set up you can’t really use the train to get to one side of the park to the other. But Kings Island is not that big of a park, but if you have mobility issues they do have daily rental of wheelchairs and electric wheelchairs. Regular wheelchairs are $15 and electric are $45 and you have to have a deposit, but I’m not sure how much. If you don’t like big thrill rides there is a lot of other things to do, their children’s area, Planet Snoopy, is amazing, besides kiddie rides they have a petting zoo and activities for the kids. There are numerous shows throughout the park, they usually start around Memorial Day and go thru mid August. In the Kings Island Theater they have their big show, last year it was Gravity, a show by Cirque de Soleil, it hasn’t been confirmed yet but it’s looking like it will be back this year and let me tell you it is the show to see! For one thing it gets you out of the hot sun and is a nice air conditioned building. Secondly the show is amazing, we probably saw it at least 20 times. It’s a combination of acrobats, bmx bikes, tumblers and comedy, fingers crossed it comes back with the same cast. Seats fill up and you need to be there about 30 min before showtime. Last year they also had a country singing review in the festhaus, and a Snoopy lunch show, dog acrobatics in the outside show place and even a motorcycle/high wire act outside. There are always peanuts characters out roaming the park that you can get pictures with.
We have season passes that include everything…parking, entrance, 2 meals a day, unlimited drinks and fun pix which are on ride photos and photos throughout the park. For the average guest that comes just for the day, I highly recommend the all day dining pass. It is $29.99 and it let’s you have a meal every 90 min. Many families use this and split the meals, as it’s a lot of food. The food can be hit or miss, but that’s with any park. My favorites are Coney BBQ, Reds Hall of Fame Grill and Chicken Shack. Without the dining plans food can get very expensive, about $15 for a burger and fries. They also have small food stands that offer funnel cakes, cinnabon, and their famous blue ice cream, which is a blueberry soft serve ice cream.
From memorial day thru labor day they have a water park that is open as well, Soak City. It’s a great place to cool off but lounge chairs become hard to find as the day goes on.
At night at 10p they have a fireworks show that closes the park, it is really worth staying for.
There are many hotels in the area, our favorite is the Kirkwood Inn, BUT it not handicap accessible. We’ve never had an issue up until a few weeks ago as I booked several of our summer trips. Evidently they now cannot guarantee a first floor room, which makes me sad as there is no elevator for the second floor. I think we are going to be having to find a new place as after a long day at the park there’s no way I will be able to do the stairs.
Well I hope this helps someone, if you have any questions just give me a holler.