Waterparks are a great way to cool down during the warm weather months of summer. They provide fun attractions and activities for the whole family to participate in. While there are few fully-accessible parks, many offer accessible features. Standard accessible parks may also offer splash activities, ones which involve some water though are not a water park.
- Morgan’s Wonderland and Inspiration Island
This is the first truly accessible water park, created along with a theme park, both designed and built specifically for people with special needs. The park focuses on bringing all people together, regardless of if they do or do not have a disability, creating a place of inclusivity. They have almost 15 different areas or attractions that include a sensory village, several playgrounds, a carousel, a train depot, a Ferris wheel, swings, and a music garden.
- Cedar Fair
Cedar Fair has 13 different amusement parks across the United States and Canada, home to some of the highest-rated roller coasters in the world. They offer several different forms of accommodations to help their guests access their attractions. For example, they will assign times for rides to users who are unable to stand in line or allow other members of their party to wait in line for them. In addition, they provide ratings and guidelines for each attraction to show how intense the ride is and what the potential restrictions are, such as if they can accommodate wheelchairs or if the user can be transferred onto the ride.
- Disney Water Parks
Disney World in Florida has two water parks, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon. Many of their attractions require a transfer from your wheelchair to a flotation device, though not all do. They offer several lazy rivers, water slides, raft rides, and wave pools, just to name a few.
- Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari
This park, located in Santa Claus, Indiana, is home to both a theme park and a water park. Their water park has lazy rivers, tide pools, water playgrounds, and multiple levels of water slides which vary in their ability to accommodate people with different levels of mobility. They offer a guide which explains what the minimum requirements are to be able to ride their attractions, and most offer the ability for another person to directly accompany anyone in need of assistance.
- SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment Waterparks
This entertainment corporation owns 7 different parks: Adventure Island, Aquatica, Busch Gardens, Discovery Cove, SeaWorld, Sesame Place, and Water Country USA. They each offer their own accessibility guides which outline the mobility levels required to ride each attraction they have. Their parks often cater to people of specific age groups, meaning they offer a huge variety of different activities. Some of these include water chutes, lazy rivers, wave pools, water playgrounds, and animal experiences with animals such as penguins, dolphins, and sea lions.
- Legoland Parks
With locations across the world, including ones stateside in California, New York, and Florida, the Legoland Parks offer a number of different activities for the family. Their locations in California and Florida include water parks in addition to their amusement parks, with California even offering their Sea Life aquarium which features over 5,000 real life sea creatures and multiple encounters and educational programs.
There are dozens of different parks across the US, each with their own approach to accessibility. Make sure to check their websites, as each will offer a guide which explains the level of accessibility offered by each and every attraction. Calling ahead to double check that everything is listed correctly and is in working order can also help to prepare you as much as possible for your adventure. Most parks also offer a form of a disability pass, which allows your party to skip the lines, to access accessible entrances, or receive other accommodations to help your visit go smoothly. Visiting parks is such a great experience for families of all ages- so no matter where you end up, make sure to have a great time!