Seattle, WA—The amusement park industry is not only growing, but it is also becoming a more diverse one, thanks in large part to the success of the Seattle-based amusement park amusement park.
The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is currently conducting a pilot project for the Seattle-area amusement park in which a wheelchair-accessible ride will be offered in the park.
It is currently not a priority to build a wheelchair accessible ride at this time.
“We are working with WSDOT to help ensure the ride is wheelchair-friendly,” said Seattle Parks & Entertainment (SPE) President and CEO Bob Toth.
“It is our belief that with the right type of design, we can have a ride that is accessible to both the disabled and the general public.”
SPE, which operates four theme parks in Seattle, has been working with Seattle to find a suitable ride for the park, and the team has now decided to go with the Segway Wheelchair Ride.
The ride, which will feature an interactive “museum” for the visually-impaired, is expected to open to the public in early 2018.
The Segway is not the only wheelchair-accessible ride in the area, as WSDOC hopes to have a wheelchair access wheelchair ramp at the park in early 2019.
“Our intention is to eventually have all of the parks having a wheelchair ramp,” said Toth, who added that the park is looking for additional assistance from the private sector.
“The Seattle Wheelchair rides are not the first, but we have been working on them for a while.”
The Seattle park is not alone in its interest in creating accessible rides for the people with disabilities.
Seattle’s Parks and Recreation Department recently announced that it is working to develop a wheelchair ride for Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.
In the city’s Capitol Square, SPE has also been working to build the first wheelchair accessible rides in the city, which are being developed by the nonprofit Capitol Park Access.
The park is also working to add a wheelchair and wheelchair lift at its new Seattle Central park.
SPE also has partnered with Seattle-area wheelchair user organization Wheelchairs For Seattle to develop wheelchair accessible ramp accessibility for the first time in the Seattle area.
In an effort to make Seattle more accessible to the visually impaired, SPEs plan to use its wheelchair-equipped Segway to deliver disabled individuals to the park as well as to other attractions.
“At SPE we have an incredible amount of pride in the fact that we are a wheelchair inclusive company and are always striving to improve our accessibility,” said SPE Director of Parks & Parks, David Legg.
“Through this partnership with Segway, we are providing an opportunity for people to get in and enjoy the ride, as well.
With the addition of Segway and the park’s new wheelchair ramp, we believe the park can now provide more people with a wheelchair in the future.”
“We have a lot of pride with what we are doing at SPE and in creating an accessible ride for people with the disabilities,” said SPE President and COO, John Sperling.
“With the Segways Wheelchair, we have created a safe, accessible ride that has become one of our most popular attractions.
We believe we can continue to grow our park and create opportunities for others to participate in the rides as well.”
SPES has been expanding its accessibility program for over 10 years, and in 2018 the organization announced the addition the first two wheelchair-only rides at its Seattle Central Park, one that was designed specifically for people who use wheelchairs and one that will have two accessible ramps.
“SEATTLE IS A COST-EFFICIENT AND ECONOMIC PLACE,” said John Spelling.
“A large part of this is the fact the ride has been built using the same design and materials that the Seattle Center rides use.
This is great news for our employees and our guests.
It has also added to our existing network of accessible ride locations in Seattle.”