If you or your child have reduced mobility, but love the thrill of roller coasters and adventures, an accessible amusement park is where one gets to experience the fun. Going into the holiday season we have looked into some of the best theme parks in Europe striking a good blend between fun, entertainment and accessibility for wheelchair users and guests with special needs.
Top 10 amusement parks for kids with disabilities:
- LEGOLAND Deutschland, Günzburg, Germany
- Thorpe Park Resort, Surrey, United Kingdom
- Sandcastle Waterpark, Blackpool, United Kingdom
- Disneyland in Paris, France
- Tusenfryd, Oslo, Norway
- Dyreparken Kristiansand, Norway
- Gardaland, by Lake Garda, Italy
- Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen, Denmark
- Liseberg Nöjespark, Gothenburg, Sweden
- PortAventura, Salou, Spain
The good news is that an increasing number of theme parks change their policies for guests with disabilities. We would love to hear your first-hand experience if you have tried any of the amusement parks on our list, or if you have other suggestions. This way we can ensure that we are continually improving our tips - and your holiday experience.
1. LEGOLAND Deutschland, Günzburg, Germany
Experience great family fun LEGOLAND Deutschland, a fully accessible park in all respects. The theme park offers 64 attractions, most of them accessible to guests with disabilities and with fast track options. A Holiday Village is part of the LEGOLAND Resort in addition to the theme park and offers a variation of overnight stay possibilities; such as in a Pirate Island Hotel, themed cottages, castles, at a campsite and even in camping barrels.The theme park is perfect for families with children of the age between 2 and 12 years old.
2. Thorpe Park Resort, Surrey, United Kingdom
Home to thrilling rides, attractions, live events & a themed hotel, Thorpe Park Resort is the ultimate destination for your family day out. A Guest Experience team will help create a personilized Accessibility Day Planner where individual needs are met. This includes The Ride Access Pass, a system they have in place to help guests who require extra assistance or are unable to queue due to a condition or disability. This allows access to rides and attractions via a virtual queuing system for the person and up to three assistants. Guests with a disability are entitled to a free carer ticket and a second carer ticket at half the on the day price of a standard Theme Park ticket.
Changing places facilitiy includes a hoist, adult changing bed, height adjustable sink, shower and toilet as well as plenty of floor space to allow room for two assistants.The park offers accessible parking and several other services. Start planning your visit by visiting their Accessibility web page here.
3. Sandcastle Waterpark, Blackpool, United Kingdom
For rainy days, or just to assure comfortable and warm water in combination with thrilling attractions, check out the accessible, and also the UK's largest indoor waterpark.
This is an award winning Accessible Venue, carefully designed to give all guests an inclusive and great experience. Guests with mobility impairments meet barrier-free and step-free access throughout, well equipped changing rooms including ceiling-track hoist, and water wheelchairs free of charge. Read more in the extensive accessibility information on their website.
4. Disneyland in Paris, France
Disneyland Paris was the second Disneyland theme park to open outside the US and was launched in 1992. With all the Disney-themed rides and attractions it’s a must for fans of the films, and it offers several services so as to help guests with disabilities or special needs enjoy every magical Disney moment. All toilets, restaurants, and shops are wheelchair accessible. It’s possible to rent wheelchairs and request a minibus.
5. Tusenfryd, Oslo, Norway
About 20 km south of Oslo in Vinterbro, this amusement park is set up to welcome visitors with disabilities and a guide to the 31 attractions available shows each level of difficulty, so it’s easy to find out whether each one will suit your kids. The park itself is easy to navigate in a wheelchair.
6. Dyreparken Kristiansand, Norway
Dyreparken in Kristiansand welcomes everybody to some wonderful days at the Zoo, the Water park and Abra Harbour with the Pirates. Here you can rent el. or manual wheelchairs and carriages. Most activities are accessible for people with disabilities with own wheelchair entrances. Both restaurants, toilets, wardrobes and accommodations have been adapted to facilitate wheelchair users.
7. Gardaland, by Lake Garda, Italy
Experience the fantastic adventure of Gardaland Resort, Italy’s largest theme park, situated by Lake Garda, in the northern part of the country. The emotions of an incredible Amusement Park, a completely themed Aquarium and a unique adventurous hotel await you. The Gardaland Resort has developed guides for guests with disabilities to help you get the most out of your visit. Check out the guide for guests with mobility limitations here.
8. Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen, Denmark
This classic old faire started in the mid-19th century, and some of that nostalgic magic remains. But of course, the Tivoli has also been modernized and caters well for kids with different needs. You can try the many rides, have lunch or dinner – and if you’re not in the mood for adrenalin, the gardens are beautifully tended. All entrances to Tivoli are open to wheelchair users and guests with limited mobility, and those who use electric wheelchairs can recharge the batteries on-site.
9. Liseberg Nöjespark, Gothenburg, Sweden
This park is one of the most visited amusement parks in Scandinavia, noted for its wooden roller coaster Balder. It’s been a long ambition of Liseberg Nöjespark to make the amusement park and its activities accessible to everyone, including special parking and free access for carers, as well as a limited number of available wheelchairs (it’s advisable to pre-book if you want one of these).
10. PortAventura, Salou, Spain
This resort is on the Costa Daurada in Spain, near Tarragona, and is the most visited theme park in Spain and the sixth most visited theme park in Europe. It gets the thumbs up from many families, and here you’ll find rides suitable for everyone in the family and all abilities. At PortAventura you can rent wheelchairs and the park’s six theme areas have been adapted over the years so that guests with disabilities can enjoy themselves as much as everyone else.
First published: 20.06.2018. Last updated 15.07.2021