My Autistic Child

Parenting Children on the Autism Spectrum

Visiting Flamingo Land With an Autistic Child

We recently visited Flamingo Land theme park in Yorkshire with our autistic children. Here are some tips to help visitors with autism to get the most out of their day.

Parking and Tickets

Unlike some of the larger theme parks, which have huge car parks, Flamingo Land has quite a user-friendly car park. Everything is in easy reach of the gates. Car parking is free and there are designated Blue Badge spaces right by the entrance. Even though we have a Blue Badge, we decided not to use it as everything was a short walk away.

It is best to book tickets online. Carers get in free and it is easy to add this to your booking. Just be sure to bring any evidence with you to the theme park. DLA or PIP letters will be accepted. Remember to bring photographic evidence to accompany it.

Access Pass

Flamingo Land has an access pass system for those who cannot stand in queues. Autistic people may find it very distressing to stand in a queue because of the noise and crowds. They may also find waiting very difficult and uncomfortable.

To get an access pass and band, just head to the First Aid office just as you go into the park. The staff are very helpful and friendly and you can show them your disability evidence documentation. Again, be sure to include photographic proof that the person on the document is the same as the person applying for the pass.

You will then be issued with a pass, as seen in the image above. The disabled person will be designated one carer, who will wear a wristband. Unlike some other theme parks, which allow multiple family members to ride together, Flamingo Land only allows one.

Using the Accessibility Pass

To be fair, the queues are quite short for most rides in the park, and in most instances we found that we didn’t need the pass. However, for some of the more popular rides, the queue pass was invaluable.

The rider goes to the disability gate, usually the exit of the ride, and shows their pass and wristband. The ride operator will then allow them onto the ride but will also mark their card with a time that they can next use it. This is a form of ”virtual queue.” For example, if a ride queue is 45 minutes, the rider will not be able to use the pass again for the same length of time. This is in fairness to the other park guests. It saves the disabled person from having to stand in an uncomfortable queue and during that time they can either ride one of the smaller rides, or do a different activity.

There are 9 spaces on the card, but it you fill them up, you can get a new card from the office. We didn’t use all of the spaces in our card.

Other Accessibility Information

Flamingo Land also has a number of facilities to help disabled people to have an enjoyable day out. There are disabled changing facilities, which are accessible by RADAR key. Wheelchairs are free to loan with a non-monetary deposit such as a driving license or passport.

Some areas of the park can get very loud, so I’d also recommend breaking the day up by going to the zoo area, which is quiet and peaceful of things get too much.

If your autistic child loves days out like this one, I’d recommend reading my article about the Max Card, which has many discounts and perks for autistic families.

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