View Full Version : Handicap Accessible??

04-23-2009, 12:37 PM
Just wondering if everyone pretty much adhere's to making everything handicap accessible throughout their haunt or does it even matter? I'm not trying to come across as an ass about this but is there some sort of claus that could suggest that your place is just not designed for someone to complete while in a wheel chair?

Over the past 5 years, I can only remember about 3 or 4 people that come through in wheel chairs that entire time at our place and during those times we designed everytihing with that in mind. This year we have added a second floor and some low rise areas where you have to practically crawl through. We could create short cuts but that is going to take up extra space and they would still miss out on things.

What brought this to mind is we have some members that claim that there are people out there that are handicap just looking to sue if we dont accomidate for them. Is this a myth?? These days, there's always someone looking to make a buck for nothing so who knows?

Wondering what anyone else's take is on this?

Ken Spriggs
04-23-2009, 12:45 PM
I would think you should build a bypass no matter what for areas like that!!!

That is the smartest way to NOT open the can of worms!

04-23-2009, 12:55 PM
When we started building our attraction we made it fully wheelchair accessable for just one reason... Because we wanted to.
It also doesn't hurt the feelings of any fire inspectors to have it that way..
We too only have about 10 or so come through but wow what a reaction they have. Also to hear that they have never been able to go though a haunted attraction is very cool...

04-23-2009, 01:11 PM
Short, easy answer is yes you do. There is no clause that says if its difficult, you dont have to. There are some exceptions relating to retrofitting existing businesses, but not for new. There are no exceptions for temporary events either. The federal ADA is the baseline, but many states have enacted variations of the federal requirements. In all the cases I know of, the state amendments are more stringent.
The problem here is that law that addresses our unique type of amusement attraction has not been written. There is a draft that covers amusement rides and also miniature golf. These regs do take into account the unique character of the attraction. That really leaves it up to the local jurisdiction to establish the requirements that you must adhere to. A conservative town will hold you to laws that cover public facilities, other wont. That still wont protect you if you get an unhappy disabled customer.
As for people going around suing, yes it is real. Look it up on the net. Some states, such as California, where it got out of hand, have enacted legislation to restrict damages and that has slowed it down to mostly legit claims. I have no idea about other states.

04-23-2009, 01:25 PM
We can make short cuts...no problem. They will miss out on about 50% of the haunt though. In that case I suppose we could offer a discount because of this.

Thanks for the input guys!

04-23-2009, 01:31 PM
From a purely technical viewpoint, that is really not compliant. An alternate path around a element works but effectively restricting access to half the haunt does not cut it. Its a difficult call, I know, all for an issue that may never arise.

04-23-2009, 02:18 PM
Our park is handicapped accessible, however some of the props in a few of our areas (like the Caustrophobia II) make it difficult for wheelchairs. We can deflate it and re-inflate it in a matter of minutes as there is no other way to bypass it.

All of our haunts are one-story and use ramps to change levels instead of stairs. I don't think we've ever had a complaint in nearly 10 years.

One thing I do as an actor is to sneak behind the person pushing the wheelchair and request that I take the reins. They go on a wild ride for a few seconds before I return them to their party and usually feel thankful that we paid them a little extra attention. (this doesn't always work with small children)

Jim Warfield
04-23-2009, 05:51 PM
About a woman in a wheel chair who had a very good time going through a haunt, laughed and laughed, then a day later discovered that she had broken her leg when she fell out of her chair in the haunt!
I think the person telling me this was her relative. They said the good time she had was worth the leg. Maybe she was confined to the wheel chair for a bone problem?
I have had many groups of retarded people come through my house and the looks of joy and wonder are pricless!
First they look at me as if to say, "This guy can't be normal, why is he running free?"
Then they might get a scared expression followed by the previous mentioned looks of joy and wonder as they relax and enjoy the experiences here.

04-23-2009, 10:56 PM
At the Darkness we have an elevator that will lift them up to the second floor and a wheel chair can get through the entire attraction however they have to back track to the elevator once they are done.

At Creepyworld or should I say outdoor haunts there is nothing you can do to make them accessible. Its outside it is what it is...they can either go over the ground or they can't but there is nothing keeping them from making it through ramps on anything and everything but it would be hard.

We simply tell people what we have going on before they come... most ask well in advance.


04-23-2009, 11:17 PM
Don't know what your floorplan involves, we always build a bypass, sometimes they may have to miss a room, but can still get through.

Could have something to do with the fact that our first building inspector had a child in a wheel chair, but I think it's just generally a good idea if you can do your best to accomodate.


Mr Nightmarez
04-24-2009, 07:33 AM
We make attempts to be handicap accessible but we are not... As we are in a cave. We have had some people make an attempt but we have to send security to help them get through.

When I had a building - we always made it handicap accessible. Good practice and view from public's eyes. (As they scrutinize you anyway) Build ways around non passable areas and when designing remember the ADA.

04-24-2009, 07:58 AM
We have always been wheelchair accessible although we have never had anyone with a wheelchair come through. We had one guy call but never was able to make it out.

04-24-2009, 08:32 AM
I make sure that we build most of everything wide enough to get a wheel chair through however it would be very costly for us to provide an access such as an elevator to the second floor for an unseen number of handicap customers. Plus to exit the final room, there are steep slides that ends in ball pits to go to the next level. I hate the fact that someone with a disability would miss out on this part but what can you do?

04-24-2009, 09:00 AM
We are in Philadelphia PA and I would say we get about 5 wheelchairs a season. We have always made it a point to do everything we can to be ADA. In almost every case they have about 8 to 10 people with them and they come back every year because we are ADA and not to many places are. I also make sure to send a manager with them who helps guide them through the line areas to the front of each haunt and to hang back to make sure they have no problems with there trip through the haunt and they always come out thanking us. It is also one of the thing we go over with the actors before the season to make sure that just because they are in a wheelchair or some other kind of brace or what ever still scare them the same , thats why they are there. I would say do what you can, it might be a small part of your gate but it is worth it in the end.

Robert Dudzieck
Fright Factory PA

damon carson
04-24-2009, 03:57 PM
Your not gonna make a big profit but you will put some smiles on some faces if you do. That alone is worth it.

Phil Miller
04-24-2009, 08:18 PM
for the past 6 year we get a bus load of handicap patrons, all in wheelchairs.
We are not ADA but we try to be as much as possible, keep in mind we are a 1,300 acre farm.
We have 8 attraction and amusement rides, 6 of our attractions you can get through no problem, all passage ways are 36"- 48" and ramped.
Our 7th attraction is our hayride, they have stairs on the back. we assist handicap patrons on the wagon without the wheelchair, we run the wheelchair to the drop off point of the hayride.
Our 8th attraction The Attic is on 2nd floor of 100 year old barn, stairs meet commercial code, 7"/11" and sprinkled but not ADA. this is the only attraction that they can't go through.