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Warning changes to Legoland exit passes!!

(62 Posts)
lisad123everybodydancenow Fri 29-Mar-13 12:16:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

wasuup3000 Fri 29-Mar-13 12:31:50

Yep They are doing that at Drayton Manor as well 10 rides.

lisad123everybodydancenow Fri 29-Mar-13 12:53:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

nannynick Fri 29-Mar-13 12:53:26

Is it like the RAP card that Chessington have used for several years?

Inappropriatelyemployed Fri 29-Mar-13 13:13:58

So if you can't access rides without the exit pass, what are you going to do? It means you are not able to access the park in the same way as an able bodies customer but you still have to pay full price.

I think it is a bit low to be honest. First MMW stop providing complimentary tickets on some spurious argument about an increase in applicants (which they have never clarified when I have questioned) even though they are funded by the massively wealthy Merlin Ents, no doubt as a tax relief against their corporate profits. Then they limit the rides people with disabilities can go on.

I know that giving away free tickets is a ex gratia gesture for which we can all be grateful but this is not a little charity which has to fundraise. It's funded by a multinational corporation and I just don't believe their assertions.

This just makes it look like customers with disabilities are not welcome.

Awomansworth Fri 29-Mar-13 13:40:39

When did this change... NT dts1 has been badgering us for months now, and we were considering a visit when we were visiting family down south next week.

I've just checked the website and the terms and conditions do state up to 10 rides only can be used with the pass... we won't be going if this is the case as dts2 (ASD) would not be able to access more than 10 rides, and frankly I'm not happy with this policy, just doesn't sit right with me.

http://www.legoland.co.uk/Plan/Guests-With-Disabilities/

lisad123everybodydancenow Fri 29-Mar-13 13:53:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

silverfrog Fri 29-Mar-13 14:25:42

That is pretty shocking tbh. Maybe they are basing it on the 'average' number of rides that a typical visitor manages in a day?

I knew they had changed it to being a pre-registered service, and the chessington style pass, where a time is noted and before that time you cannot go on any other major rides (but can go on the smaller ones) was used last year.

We didn't renew our passes this year - dh needs a fairly major op which will restrict our days out for most of the season, and a faff with baby ds as well, but we have had premium annual family passes for years now. Not anymore, it seems.

lisad123everybodydancenow Fri 29-Mar-13 14:39:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Icedcakeandflower Fri 29-Mar-13 14:39:35

I haven't personally been to Legoland although ds has been with friends many times.

At a local theme park, Paulton's Park, each disabled child is given an exit folder so that you may access each ride ONCE. However each disabled child in the party is given an exit folder, so there is nothing to stop you using one folder at a time, giving the party two goes on each ride. Hope that makes sense.

Could something like this be done, assuming there is more than one disabled child in the party?

I'm beginning to think that I need to be a bit more proactive about this stuff. I've booked a themepark, and paid for fast passes to accomodate ds (asd) - dismissed applying for the RAP as we don't have a blue badge. Maybe I need to actually not just try to cope, and do stuff like this to make life easier.
Anyway, sorry. That is a bit pants.

CwtchesAndCuddles Fri 29-Mar-13 15:00:25

The last time we went to Legoland and had ride access passes we didn't go on more than 10 rides the whole day so I don't think it will make a huge difference to us. We have bought Merlin passes this year and will have a few visits there but not all full days.

They do seem to be making it much more difficult to get a ride access pass this year.

nannynick Fri 29-Mar-13 17:31:16

Being local to Legoland, only go for a few hours... so unlikely to do 10 rides. However condition 8 I do wonder about:

Legoland RAP T&Cs
"Guests with Ride Access Passes may only ride each ride once within an hour."

So does that mean no return to the same ride within an hour - which I feel is reasonable.
Or does it mean no going on ANY ride within an hour - which is unreasonable, given that some rides are very short and may have short / fast moving queues.
Rides like Atlantis have a fast moving queue as the ride is constantly moving, so on a non peak day it may not be worth using the RAP if the child concerned will queue for a few minutes without causing too much trouble - there is always a bit of a queue for Atlantis anyway once inside the building.

If it is only one ride an hour, then are they trying to make people stay in park longer... and thus spend money (on coffee in my case).

lougle Fri 29-Mar-13 18:59:25

I read that as each ride once, per hour. So, if you can access 10 rides and it takes you 4 minutes to get from one ride to the other, 2 minutes on the ride itself, then you should able to access the first ride back at the beginning by the time you reach the last ride.

However, if they are also implementing only 10 rides, then in effect, you'd only be able to go for an hour.

Inappropriatelyemployed Fri 29-Mar-13 20:57:39

May be raise any concerns directly with the CEO Nick.Varney@merlinentertainments.biz

Anonanonuk Fri 29-Mar-13 21:27:32

Have a look at Legoland's facebook site, there is also a thread on there with people complaining about the new Exit Pass policy.

lisad123everybodydancenow Fri 29-Mar-13 21:42:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

wasuup3000 Fri 29-Mar-13 21:58:05

My lot love Alton Towers if they did this there then I'd think I'd be giving them a sickie off in term time as can do without additional stress...

Inappropriatelyemployed Fri 29-Mar-13 22:23:13

Perhaps copy Lego in too. This can't be good for their brand.

I put up with the nasty, expensive, corporate greed of this place because my son adores Lego. It just annoys me. He has no friends at school. Socially, things just ge tougher as he gets older and he struggles to feel positive about himself. But he loves Lego and feels like an expert and he loves Legoland.

We have spent thousands over the years on Lego sets for Christmas and Birthdays and trips to Legoland.

But you just feel that they take the devotion of these young children ( and there seems to be something particularly attractive about Lego to children with autism) and fleece them.

Lego wake up to this!

lisad123everybodydancenow Sat 30-Mar-13 08:05:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Anonanonuk Sat 30-Mar-13 09:19:07

Yes unfortunately there is a similar attitude from some parents of non disabled children now on Legoland facebook wanting it to be fair for all children ie non disabled get on up to 10 rides so special needs children should only get on 10 as well. Well I wish life was fair for all children but for some disabled children it certainly is not. Unfortunately the world is not very geared up for the needs of disabled children. Try taking a disabled child in a wheelchair to: a local playground - you can't as play equipment is not accessible to wheelchairs, shops - many not accessible still to wheelchairs, cinema - wheelchair spaces in worst part of seating usually right next to the screen, swimming - most places don't have disabled changing rooms with change beds and hoists, play schemes - if they even want to take your child you get charged three times as much, to go to the toilet in a public place - can't as nowhere has a change table and hoists for older children so your child will have to be permanently in nappies., .... Legoland was a place we could take our physically and mentally disabled child without much hassle and have a fantastic time. Unfortunately Legoland (and many other theme parks) are now putting more conditions on Exit Passes and reducing the rides suitable for wheelchair users eg. At Legoland The Dragon used to be accessible to the disabled but now anyone who can't walk can not go on it anymore. Having looked at the planning application for the new Duplo area, again I could see little of the play equipment being wheelchair accessible. So I just don't understand why some parents of non disabled children think that special needs children should only have the same rights as non disabled children when Legoland might be the only place a special needs child can visit because of their disabilities. Why do some parents of non disabled children begrudge special needs families because they might get a slight advantage by having an Exit Pass and in the past might get on slightly more rides than them. Perhaps they should try life with a disabled child and see what difficulties life then throws at them.

Inappropriatelyemployed Sat 30-Mar-13 10:26:28

The essence of equality is that some people need special exemptions/advantages to make them equal.

This is what are laws are built on.

The fact is that treating everyone the same, means placing some people at a disadvantage. Its about equality of outcome.

The fact that raising this has resulted in some parents expressing views which demonstrate a very limiting understanding of the purpose of the exit pass in equality terms shows how damaging and unhelpful the move is.

Well done Merlin Ents. Do you even have an inclusion officer?

Inappropriatelyemployed Sat 30-Mar-13 10:27:03

Should be 'our laws' not are laws, obv.

lisad123everybodydancenow Sat 30-Mar-13 10:32:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Anonanonuk Sat 30-Mar-13 10:42:54

I would suggest people put their views on the new Exit pass policy on the threads on the Legoland facebook as Legoland customer services do read their facebook site.

Might be worth also commenting on the Merlin Annual Pass facebook site as well as I haven't seen a thread about it on there yet so many Merlin Pass holders may not yet be aware of the Legoland changes.

Inappropriatelyemployed Sat 30-Mar-13 10:43:46

Ask them how they see this fitting with the reasonable adjustment duty under the Equality Act?

lisa - is that really what it says? shock imagine all those disabled customers begging to be allowed to pay the full amount!

Do you ger a free helper pass?

I rang Chessington because I was so worried about how ds would manage, and he pays but I go free. I bough fast passes rather than apply for a ride access pass because of all the faff involved - letters from gps etc. Is that not the same at Legoland?

elliejjtiny Sat 30-Mar-13 17:27:13

I got in free as DS2's carer last time we went to legoland (October 2011)

montage Sat 30-Mar-13 21:42:23

"When I brought passes their website said "we don't wish to discriminate against disabled and therefore they pay full price". "

Good grief.

If they don't want to provide any concessions to people with disabilities, that's one thing.

They don't seem able to see the wider picture of access and the actual low level constant discrimination in how places and systems and schedules and rules and expectations are consistently set up for fully able-bodied, NT people and that putting in ramps and an exit pass system as an afterthought for people with disabilties does not in the least level the playing field for something that should be as simple and pleasurable as a day out.

But to put it like that. Good grief. It's practically cameronspeak.

Dinkysmummy Sat 30-Mar-13 21:50:07

Cameronspeak! grin that is awesome!

Inappropriatelyemployed Sat 30-Mar-13 21:58:43

Don't do Facebook, I'm afraid. But perhaps people should write to their local paper to spread the good news about this enlightened corporation.

Cupcakequeen2013 Sun 31-Mar-13 16:07:50

Don't want to cause controversy but as the parent of a non special needs child, this actually sounds very fair. Without an exit pass we have to queue for every ride we do, so are unlikely to be able to do more than 10 rides in a day due to time spent queueing. Whilst I agree that children who are unable to queue should have an exit pass so they can still participate, I do feel all children should have the SAME rights as each other. So this limit means that all children, special needs or not can ride a similar number of rides, whilst queueing if able and using an exit pass if unable to queue. 10 rides is more than a family without an exit pass would do in peak season, parents need to realise that legoland aren't trying to make their day more stressful by limiting rides but infact making it more equal for everyone.

elliejjtiny Sun 31-Mar-13 17:00:48

But children don't have the same rights as each other. My DS2 doesn't qualify for an exit pass as his disabilities are just physical. Having autism is like being in a different country than your native one with a different culture that you don't understand. If a child who has autism needs an exit pass to enjoy legoland, they should have one, for as many rides as they can do. We always manage to do more than 10 rides but that's because FIL was in the army so DH does things military style, eg fast and organised!

lisad123everybodydancenow Sun 31-Mar-13 17:11:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Inappropriatelyemployed Sun 31-Mar-13 17:44:05

Cupcakequeen- that is exactly the point isn't it? All children do not have the same rights.

You say able bodied visitors may not be able to go on more than 10 rides in peak season but that is only your perception. In any event, there is always the potential to do more than 10 by going out of season, or going a little earlier or staying longer. The limit on the exit pass means that a child with disabilities will never be able to do more than 10 rides. So how is that 'equal'?

I am always really amazed that people with no experience of disabilities resent or begrudge marginal concessions which are only aimed at creating a level playing field because some people need additional advantages to be treated equally.

Do you equally resent specific seats on trains or buses for people with disabilities or discounted rail fares or disability benefits or lifts or car parking spaces for the disabled? All these simple concessions provide an advantage which is aimed at securing equality if result.

It is what the law requires - the Equality Act sets this out because attitudes clearly won't change in their own without legal imperative.

It better benefits all to have a society where all are given an equal chance to reach the same outcomes and that means giving certain group specific advantages and protections some times.

Tooloudhere Sun 31-Mar-13 18:03:39

As the parent of two sn children I think it is fair overall. I have one child with learning difficulties who does not understand and can't do waiting. The pass allows you to do the average number of rides in a day with an exit pass. The same as anyone else go if you go out of season it is likely there will be things that you can go on without using the exit pass.

It may not be popular but it isn't fair on people in a queue to have to wait longer and longer if people with exit passes go round again and again. Life isn't fair, our kids got a crap deal being how they are but in my opinion something like this isn't a true equality issue. Go on then flame me I am ready.

wasuup3000 Sun 31-Mar-13 18:12:24

So its 10 rides per disabled guests then according to an anwer given to this question via facebook - ""We are sorry if this was not clear and would like to confirm that a Ride Access Pass is issued to each disabled guest who meets our eligibility criteria as detailed in the link below. We look forward to seeing you and your family soon. www.legoland.co.uk/Plan/Guests-With-Disabilities/""

CwtchesAndCuddles Sun 31-Mar-13 18:15:15

Tooloud

I agree with you!

We have been twice with ds who has learning difficulties and ASD and on both visits we have not had more than 10 rides.

I'm happy that we get to enjoy Legoland in the same way other families do, without the exit pass we wouldn't be able to take ds.

lisad123everybodydancenow Sun 31-Mar-13 19:03:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Inappropriatelyemployed Sun 31-Mar-13 19:32:47

"a true equality issue" - what is one of those then? Do we grade equality issued now according to some undefined importance hierarchy? The Equality Act doesn't.

Perhaps it is similar to the issue of the "real poor" as opposed to the undeserving poor? Or "proper" human rights as imposed to unimportant ones?

Why has the issue become clouded by the suggestion it is to stop people going on the same ride again and again? If that is the real justification, the scheme should identify that and deal with it.

But it doesn't. It says exit passes allow ten rides not you can't go on the same ride again and again. And it really doesn't matter if other able bodied customers usually only go on ten or 9 or 15, the fact is, as a matter of law, they are not subject to any arbitrary restriction.

i just think we have got to get away from this 'god bless you guv for allowing Tiny Tim to enter your park and go on a few rides first' attitude.

If there is a scheme for a legitimate reason, because it represents a reasonable adjustment, how does that adjustment expire at ten rides.

My son cannot access much of what they offer at the best of times. He is devoted to Star Wars, but there is no way we would be able to cope on one of their oversubscribed Star Wars days. It is not like they make any reasonable adjustments to allow access at these types if events.

I might not feel so annoyed but this is a nasty, multinational corporation with very poor customer service which is already fleecing parents. All parents. And this is not the first time it or its 'charity' arm have introduced changes to restrict access for those with ASD.

Tooloudhere Sun 31-Mar-13 19:45:52

Aside from the fact that it is a money grabbing corporation that charges the earth for a 'family' day out I do believe they are making reasonable adjustments.

There is a system that allows our children and others who can not queue the chance to ride the same number of rides using the exit pass as an average family manages in a day. The system this year is stricter than in previous years.

I do not know what everyone else wants for their sn kids but I don't want them to have positive discrimination either that sets them further apart. No other member of the public gets to go round upto 30-40 rides in a day so why should we.

lisad123everybodydancenow Sun 31-Mar-13 19:47:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Tooloudhere Sun 31-Mar-13 19:49:45

When I say true equality issue, they are I believe letting our kids have equal access I.e. what everyone else is getting. They may not be doing what some people want and the word equality is turned round saying our kids only enjoy the day out if they can do x,y and z your not letting them do this therefor discriminating against their disability.

lisad123everybodydancenow Sun 31-Mar-13 19:53:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

googlyeyes Sun 31-Mar-13 19:59:47

It's only 'fair' if NT families are capped at 10 rides too.

I simply don't believe that there were hordes of disabled children and their families clogging up rides and adding significantly to the queuing time for other visitors. That has never been the case when we've been in the past.

I'm not going to bother taking ds1 this year. I refuse to give any money to a company which expects me to feel grateful for any concessions, however much they have been curtailed due to my perceived sense of entitlement.

Fuck that. Disney manage to make their parks accessible without limiting no of rides etc and they get hundreds of thousands more visitors. And their staff have had decent training re disabilities and inclusion. Last time we went to legoland the girl manning the ride shouted out 'ok, how many people and how many handicapped?'

Says it all!

Tooloudhere Sun 31-Mar-13 20:05:01

That's the point though, according to whatever data they use other people get to ride on average ten rides a day and that is what they are providing.

If that's what sort of number you ride using the exit pass before this was introduced I don't get the problem.

lisad123everybodydancenow Sun 31-Mar-13 20:10:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

googlyeyes Sun 31-Mar-13 20:18:18

Yes, other people aren't prevented from going on more than 10 rides

lougle Sun 31-Mar-13 20:18:21

"That's the point though, according to whatever data they use other people get to ride on average ten rides a day and that is what they are providing.

If that's what sort of number you ride using the exit pass before this was introduced I don't get the problem."

Ok, if they want true equality, issue all ticket holders with a card which they must carry around. When they reach 10 rides, they can nolonger queue for rides.

Fair?

Tooloudhere Sun 31-Mar-13 20:32:33

There will always be different views. We have had this very conversation between Dh and I as Drayton manor/ Thomas land have introduced a virtually identical policy this year.

We ended up agreeing on the number of rides and could use it to our advantage to make going home easier. We were annoyed at the rules that 'non ambulatory' customers could not use certain rides. Ds4 is non mobile and a wheelchair user and could not independently get on the ride so would not be allowed to ride. He is too small for the bigger rides still but they are basically saying he can never ride them as he can't be assisted to get on and off. We thought that was discriminatory but I am sure others will not.

lisad123everybodydancenow Sun 31-Mar-13 20:41:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Tooloudhere Sun 31-Mar-13 20:47:12

But surely if discrimination and equality is about giving everyone a chance to enjoy the same things in life there should be measures to make sure that the rides are accessible.

Why hop up and down on one leg wanting things for one group of disabled people but not another?

Fluffy1234 Sun 31-Mar-13 20:49:42

Do you think my son who suffers from epilepsy would be eligible for an exit pass if our doctor wrote a letter? He gets very tired ( due to his meeds) and hot (he has a problem with regulating his body temperature) and distressed in queues.

Inappropriatelyemployed Sun 31-Mar-13 20:51:11

Now someone has reported me for posting the CEO's email address.

This email address is readily available on the internet. Please look at this site which can be quite helpful for identifying those at the helm and thus responsible for large organisations and their policies.

It is also easily available elsewhere with a quick google.

This is not a private email address. It is a business address and it is publicly available on the internet. I tend to think those paid substantial amounts for running massive corporations should have such issues brought to their attention

Ultimately, anyway, emails sent to CEO email addresses are never dealt with by the CEO but by a customer service team or a similar team in the Directors' office.

Perhaps someone is a bit confused.

elliejjtiny Sun 31-Mar-13 20:55:02

lisa DS2 is physically disabled and he's never been entitled to an exit pass, that's not a new thing. I'm never sure whether to be annoyed about it or not though, after all he can queue. I think I earned my free ticket last time though when I carried him through the adventure playground thing because he wanted to go on the slide grin

lisad123everybodydancenow Sat 06-Apr-13 13:00:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

beautifulgirls Sat 06-Apr-13 14:41:43

So if 70% of visitors accessed under 8 rides, why restrict everyone to 10 rides as this is not going to reduce their queues. Grrr.

Inappropriatelyemployed Sat 06-Apr-13 15:01:22

My thoughts exactly beautifulgirl. It's a load of nonsense. If 70% were having only 8 rides or less, how many were actually accessing over 10 rides? How many guests with disabilities did they speak to?

How will this make any difference to queues?

Simone007 Wed 10-Apr-13 17:46:42

Hi! I was thinking of visiting LEGOLAND this Saturday with my two. My DS (7) has ASD and awaiting dx for Dyspraxia. Days out can be a nightmare as he becomes very anxious waiting in queues and standing within close proximity to others. I hadn't realised about 'exit passes' until reading this. Does anybody know how do I go about arranging this please? We are planning on visiting Saturday - have I left it too late to organise?

lisad123everybodydancenow Wed 10-Apr-13 18:08:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Scruffey Wed 15-May-13 22:27:33

2000 people per day using this facility was clearly the problem. Is the implication that some were abusing the policy?

MareeyaDolores Wed 15-May-13 23:41:58

"Which on some days was as much as 2000 guests"

That's probably one term-time day when half a dozen special schools came on their pre-booked, expensively paid for, trips.

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