Bush Gardens Ride Accessibility Programme

Florida Guide > Other Parks

The Ride Accessibility Programme is designed to help anybody with a condition or disability which could affect their enjoyment of Busch Gardens theme park. Anyone who would benefit from the programme should visit Guest Services on entrance to the park. Here they will be asked a few questions regarding their condition, such as ability to stand for long periods, ability to support oneself etc. In just a few minutes a personalised yellow certificate will be issued to you which has details of all rides on the park and any special conditions which must be adhered to eg if guests must be accompanied by a supervising companion. The certificate also shows the number of people in the party.

All written and verbal safety warnings obviously still apply and guests still have to fulfill the relevant height restrictions. I have a condition which makes it difficult to stand in line or walk for long periods and therefore use a wheelchair when out for a day. I was asked a few questions with respect and soon on my way to enjoy a day of fun.

There are one or two attendants at the beginning of each ride and I was asked to show them my certificate on arrival. They checked the details on my form and then directed us to the relevant entrance dependant on the ride

On most rides we were directed via the fast pass entrance to minimise waiting and walking. . As it was October the park was fairly quiet but I believe at busier times if the fast pass slot is full a ticket is issued for the next available time so it’s possible to do something else while you’re waiting. Also on some of the rides, such as Cheetah Hunt, we were directed via a lift so we didn’t have to use stairs. The disadvantage of this is that occasionally you miss out on the ‘back story’ to some of the rides so some of the atmosphere can be lost but to me the disadvantage is far outweighed by the advantage. On some of the rides, such as Skyride my certificate detailed that I could not ride alone and must have a companion who fitted the ride criteria to supervise. I believe there are some rides such as Montu which amputees may not ride. We ate at the Dragon Fire Grill where unfortunately we had just missed the Treasures of the Mirage show but saw that there were several tables reserved for wheel chair users at the front. Path surfaces were on the whole fine for pushing a wheelchair or buggy.

Obviously because everybody’s limitations are personal, I cannot comment on all instances but I found the Ride Accessibility Programme a very positive experience. All the staff I encountered were very pleasant and helpful without being over-friendly and patronising, which can be an issue. In short, I had a great time! My inability to walk long distances did not interfere with my having great fun with my family – Thanks Busch Gardens! !

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