7 Special Accessible Vacation Spots
Park City Mountain Resort, UT.
This resort works with the National Ability Center to make adaptive skiing and tubing a whole family experience. They have trained instructors, specialized equipment and offer snowboard and ski lessons for people with any type of disability. All instructors are specially trained in the adaptive techniques of 3-track, 4-track, mono-ski, bi-ski, guiding skiers who are blind, and teaching people with cognitive and developmental disabilities. The revamped lift, with rubber and wood platform, enables tubers to sit on their tubes on the lift. www.visitparkcity.com
Dollywood, Gatlinburg, TN.
This park has all the adventure and excitement of a huge amusement park with the added scenic benefit of being located at the base of the Great Smokey Mountains. Many rides and attractions are accessible to guests who can be lifted from their chairs with assistance from a member of their party such as Barnstormer, a swing ride which has seats. Some rides can accommodate guests who must remain in their wheelchairs, two of which are River Battle and Adventure Mountain. There are many other rides and attractions available to guests with disabilities; a complete guide can be found on their web site which provides information on rides that are appropriate for people with special needs. www.dollywood.com
Hershey Park, Hershey, PA.
This park has over 60 rides and lots of attractions although Hershey is probably best known for its chocolate wonders. They have an Attraction Accessibility Program for people with special needs. The wristband allows that person and three guests to bypass the long ride lines, with set ride times on up to ten specific attractions. The Boardwalk is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day weekend and is included in the admission price. The park is also open on several other times during the year for special occasions such as Christmas and Halloween. Hershey posts the ride accessibility guide, and the questionnaire online; information should be filled out prior to arrival for ease of admittance. All guests with special needs should inquire at the ticket window about reduced admission price to the park. www.hersheypark.com
There are many other places, parks and resorts for people with special needs to vacation and explore. Cruising is a great way to spend quality family time and both Disney disneycruise.disney.go.com and Carnival Cruise Line offer excellent options www.carnival.com (camp carnival). All inclusive beach resorts are another wonderful way for families to stay together and play together. Beaches is the all inclusive family side of Sandals, they have several resorts in Jamaica and one in the Turks and Caicos. www.beaches.com
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This post originally appeared on our May/June 2012 Magazine