My name is Sabrine and I'm an intern at Accessible Travel Netherlands. Recently I started with my thesis for Accessible Travel Netherlands. With pleasure I work together with Veroniek Maat. This blog is about 5 theme parks in the Netherlands that offer accessibility for people with accessibility needs. Enjoy reading!
1. Efteling – Kaatsheuvel
Efteling is a unique theme park with a fairytale atmosphere and a wide range of thrilling and enchanting attractions, making it ideal for the whole family. Set amongst natural surroundings, Efteling captures the magic of all seasons and welcomes you 365 days a year!
If you wish to make use of Efteling’s special facilities for visitors with disabilities, you must produce a valid medical certificate (max. 2 years old) from an independent doctor, which states that you are unable to visit the park and/or its attractions without assistance. Efteling requests this certificate because visitors with lesser-known or not immediately obvious disabilities (such as blindness, deafness or autism) are also welcome to make use of the facilities for people with access needs and our employees are not qualified to make such assessments themselves. If you are wheelchair dependent, you do not need to request a certificate. People with accessibility needs receive a € 2.00 discount when purchasing a ticket at the entrance gate. A maximum of three assistants may also make use of the park’s access facilities. A maximum of two assistants applies at The Flying Dutchman.
Slagharen is one of the populair theme parks in Holland. With their 1.4 million visitors Slagharen is the number 2 most visited theme parks in Netherlands. There are a lot of rides, mostly old fashion fairground rides but also 2 roller coasters and a Log Flume.
There are attractions which are easily accessible for people with accessibility needs. However, there are a number of attractions which are more difficult to access. The staff of Slagharen can help you make sure that as much as possible remains accessible. Most attractions are accessible to people with accessibility needs via the exit. A member of staff will be able to help if necessary. Furthermore, most of the shows are easily accessible. Ask for a brochure at the reception, listing all the attractions and their accessibility. All toilets have facilities for any visitor.
Walibi is a unique concept of leisure parks based in 3 countries in Europe. Virtually all the attractions in Walibi Holland offer the possibility to be accessed using the exit. In most cases there is no possibility to sit while waiting, when needed it is recommended to bring a wheelchair. Accessibility wristbands are available at the Guest Service desk. With this wristband, you and a helper can make use of the arrangement for people with accessibility needs at Walibi. If your disability is not visible, a medical certificate is needed in order to get an accessibility wristband. Every visitor with accessibility needs may take up to 1 supervisor through the exit. When using the other entrance, you should take the same waiting time as the regular guests, unless you have a Fast Lane ticket. On the website of Walibi Holland is an PDF-file , which clearly indicates the accessibility of the attractions and restrictions. You can find more information about the attractions on the website of Walibi Holland.
Madurodam is an interactive miniature park where you can discover what makes Holland so unique in 1:25 scale model. Madurodam is easily accessible for people with accessibility needs. The entire miniature city is on one level and accessible from the upper level via a gently sloping path. Furthermore, the restaurants are wheelchair accessible and equipped with disabled toilets. The car park has special disabled parking spots.
People with accessibility needs pay the normal admission price. If a person is dependent on a carer, the carer receives free admission. Other family or group members pay the normal admission price.
The majority of the rides in Amusement Park Toverland are accessible for people with limited mobility using a wheelchair. The staff members of Toverland will happily assist you while entering and exiting rides. In most cases you can enter a ride using the exit of the ride when in a wheelchair. Disabled guests can be accompanied by a carer when entering through the rides exit. In some cases special facilities are accommodated like an elevator at Dwervelwind and Djengu River. A minority of the rides is not accessible to wheelchair users, for example the Survival Trail. On the Attraction pages is listed whether a ride is accessible to wheelchair users. For guests with a disability which is not visible a special ride-entrance passes are available. These passes can be acquired from the reception desk by showing a doctor's note. Wheelchair users can hire a wheelchair for free, but they will ask for a surety of €50,-.
By writing this blog I realized that a lot of theme parks in the Netherlands have no or too little information about accessibility on their website. Obviously, this is a missed opportunity for these theme parks. On the other hand, some of the popular theme parks have for example a map or document available on the website and at the park entrance, which describes the accessibility of different attractions.
To get more information about the accessibility in theme parks, you can go to the website Uitmetkorting.nl. They published a list of all popular theme parks where you can read if these parks are accessible enough for people with accessibility needs.