I usually go to Kings Dominion twice a year: once in the summer with family, and once in the spring with my school. Every time, one of my parents has to come the park and to help me rent a scooter. The cost of scooter rental is expensive -- $50 per day. Although I understand they need to cover the basic cost to maintain the scooter, but the high rental cost seems extreme, and I don’t think they should make a huge profit at the expense of people with disabilities.
A general admissions ticket costs around $80 per person. In my case, we have to buy at least two tickets plus scooter rental. The scooter rental is extra burden. The large financial burden causes my family and me wonder if it is really necessary to go to amusement parks.
I am fond of roller coasters because they give me a sense of freedom. Although I am not capable of any physically adventurous sports, I love to ride roller coasters because I see them as a mentally adventurous activity. The adrenaline rush from roller coasters has taught me to be courageous and to be happy in the toughest moments.
Disabled kids already are challenged and struggle to move around, so why should we face more challenges when all we want is to enjoy amusement parks like other kids? Many families will make the decision to not go to amusement parks because of the huge financial burden.
About 20 percent of the U.S. population has some kind of disabilities. I am sure that there are many people within the disabled community are in the same situation.
I am blessed to be able to walk short distances in school or around the neighborhood, but I cannot handle long distance walking in very large public places. I don’t own scooter at home, but I need to rent one at the park. My case is not an isolated one, I am sure there are many disabled people who is similar to my situation. I am trying to advocate for such people. We should all be able to visit amusement parks without having to worry about having to pay extra money for the devices we need to enjoy them.
When I go to the grocery stores like Costco and Walmart, electric scooters are placed at the front entrance. They are available for anyone for free to take them as needed.
When I travel by airline, there is free wheelchair services upon request. A person who works for the airport usually serves and pushes the wheelchair for free.
Why should amusement parks place a high price tag on their scooters? Why shouldn’t amusement parks provide free scooter and wheel chair rental to its disabled customers?
Zhang is a high school student who lives in the Chantilly area of Fairfax County. We reached out to Kings Dominion for a response to her request and will print their reply when we receive it.