Make the most of your day
Over recent years, we’ve been thrilled to welcome more and more guests with disabilities to Merlin theme parks far and wide. To ensure that we meet and exceed the diverse needs of our guests, we're committed to listening to feedback and reviewing our facilities and the way we do things.
We’re excited to share with you the following improvements to the Ride Access Pass scheme for 2020, which we hope will make a visit to one of the UK Resort Theme Parks even more accessible and utterly enjoyable for you and your family!
The information on this page will help you to plan and get the most out of your day. If you’re looking to register for a Ride Access Pass, we are asking all guests to pre-register for a Ride Access Pass so scroll down to our online registration form. Filling this in will save you time on the day of your visit.
The Ride Access Pass will give you the option to visit your first ride and use the Ride Access Pass entrance, a time will be marked on your card which is when you can use the next ride.
To adhere to strict government guidelines Ride Access Pass Queue lines may not be available on all rides. Unavailable rides include:
- Tomb Blaster
- River Rafts
- Griffins Galleon
Buying Tickets & Entering the Park
A ticket-holding guest who presents one of the following documents to any Admissions kiosk, can be issued one free Carer Ticket, and a second carer at a reduced rate:
- DLA, PIP or Attendance Allowance award letter (dated within the last 24 months)
- A valid Blue Badge
- Letter from a GP or consultant confirming the need for a full time carer. This does not need to be a letter of diagnosis. (dated within the last 24 months)
Please note that the above documents will not necessarily allow a guest to redeem a Ride Access Pass. See the top of this page for the required documents.
- If you’re arriving by car or minibus, Disabled Parking is available in both our Lodge Gate Car Park. Please follow the attendants’ instructions.
- To use these parking spaces, you must display a valid blue badge in your vehicle. Car parking costs £4 per car per day.
Adventurers with a disability can obtain a transferable Carer’s Pass for Merlin or Chessington Annual Passes. To find out more, please visit the Merlin Annual Pass Hub in Mexicana.
What is a Ride Access Pass?
This year, we’re making it simpler and speedier than ever to register for a Ride Access Pass!
All you must do is register once, with either Alton Towers Resort, THORPE PARK Resort, Chessington World of Adventures Resort or LEGOLAND Windsor Resort and you will be given a Merlin Yellow Ride Access Pass card on your first visit. This card will be your Ride Access Pass ID for all your visits over the following 24 months, which will have your name, photo and carer requirements on it and will be valid at all 4 parks.
Ride Access Passes are reserved for adventurers who do not understand the concept of queuing; have difficulties with everyday social interaction; have a limited capacity to follow instruction or to understand others’ emotional feelings or expressions, and may become agitated or distressed having to wait for extended periods of time; and permanently non-ambulant guests.
Having a registered disability does not mean you automatically receive a Ride Access Pass.
If you would like to register for a Ride Access Pass, please email us at Accessibility@chessington.co.uk with the below information:
- First name
- Last name
- The date of your first visit (when you will collect your pass)
- To support your application, you will be required to provide evidence of your disability (check documentation below), dated within the last 24 months, and attach a scanned copy of this to your email.
After receiving your email, our team will respond to confirm your eligibility within 7 days. You will then be provided with a link to register your details for your Ride Access ID Card online. Please follow the instructions and complete the form, and you will receive a confirmation email once this has been submitted.
On the day of your visit, please bring along the Case Number that you will receive in your original email, and also the confirmation number from your application to collect your pass! Passes can be collected at Guest Help and Information in Adventure Point
All Resorts will accept the same documentation and have the same process of approvals for your registration. One of the following pieces of documentation is required for Ride Access Pass:
- A certified NHS letter from your doctor or consultant clearly stating why you are eligible for the Pass (dated within last 2 years)*
- A letter or statement from a professional body (e.g. a Nurse or a BUPA Healthcare Advisor) clearly stating why you are eligible for the Pass (dated within last 2 years)*
- A DLA, DWP or PIP letter stating you are entitled to higher rate mobility allowance - please note, we will only accept higher rate mobility allowance for a Ride Access Pass, no other letters will be accepted (dated within last 2 years)
- A blue badge along with an additional form of photographic identification
- A valid Access Card - New for 2020 – We will accept guests who present an Access Card with the Queueing logo on it. These cards are available here.
Documentation must be presented alongside valid photographic ID for the named recipient (if a photo is not already included on the document).
Ride Access Pass Process
- Pass users must visit Guest Help & Information each day, where they’ll pick up a green Ride Access Pass card. Adventurers also have the option to collect a wristband, if they do not wish to show their gold Registration Card at each ride.
- Most rides have a designated entrance for Ride Access Pass users. The entrance for each individual attraction is highlighted in the Accessibility Guide.
- On arrival, the Ride Attendant will ask to see today’s Ride Access Pass, alongside either a valid gold ID card or a wristband.
- Before allowing access to the ride, the Ride Attendant will mark the card with the time at which the Pass User can enjoy their next attraction – placing them in a ‘virtual queue’. (This time is calculated by adding the queue time of your current attraction, to the time now.)
Once your pass is full, you can return to Guest Help & Information, where we’ll replace it with a new one (you must bring your completed card).
A maximum of three companions may accompany the pass user on any one attraction, and can be interchanged throughout the day. For some pass users, a companion will be compulsory – further details can be found in the Accessibility Guide.
Height, size and other safety restrictions also apply, and are detailed in the Accessibility Guide as well as on signage throughout the park.
If you have already registered and have a photo card in 2019 then simply present this card before it expires on your next visit to a Merlin UK Theme Park. We’ll then issue you with a shiny new yellow pass valid for 24 months, without having to show any further documentation!
So there we go, we listened to your valued thoughts and feelings, the key feedback being the importance of consistency across the Theme Parks. We absolutely agree! We hope the improvements we have listed will help you have many more enjoyable and memorable experiences at Merlin attractions in 2020. As always, we welcome any and every bit of feedback from you, our friendly teams at the Resorts would be more than happy to listen!
WHEELCHAIR & MOBILITY SCOOTER HIRE
Wheelchair hire is available from Adventure Point Gift Shop and is charged at £10 per day, plus a £50 fully refundable pre-authorisation on a credit or debit card. Registered disabled guests with documented proof may hire a wheelchair free of charge, but a £50 pre-authorisation will still apply - please speak to a member of staff on your visit for more information.
Mobility Scooter hire is available from Adventure Point Gift Shop and is charge at £35 per day plus a £50 fully refundable pre-authorisation on a credit or debit card.
The number of wheelchairs and mobility scooters we hold is limited, and we cannot guarantee their availability. Please note that loss or damage may result in a charge. Failure to return will result in a charge of £185.
Ride access with cast, air boot & splint
Unfortunately as a health & safety requirement adventurers with a cast, air boot or splint will be unable to experience some of our attractions.
First Aid Centre
This is located in Forbidden Kingdom, next to the entrance to ZUFARI: Ride into Africa! The First Aid Team caters for a number of special needs, including the cold storage of medicines.
Toilets with disabled access are available throughout the Park and you’ll find their locations marked on the Park Map
Disabled Changing Places Toilet
Our Changing Places toilet is located in Wild Woods with a height adjustable changing bench, shower, toilet and a hoist. To access please use a RADAR key, or speak to a member of staff.
Guest Help & Information
Located in Adventure Point, this should be your first port of call. The Guest Help and Information Team can offer advice on ride access and restrictions, issue Ride Access Wristbands and Passes (conditions apply) and provide further information on facilities for adventurers with a disability. Guest Help & Information can also check Adventurers’ heights to confirm which rides they can go on.
Restaurants & Shop
If you need assistance when visiting any of our shops or restaurants, you’ll find Hosts on hand who will be happy to help.
Making our attractions accessible to everyone is exceedingly important to us, however safety must remain our number one priority. During the registration you will answer a couple of short questions which will assess if a carer / helper over the age of 14 is required to ride with you on rides which have complex evacuations. If you require a carer/helper you will be given a Red Wristband when you visit an attraction, if you do not require a carer/helper you will be given a Yellow Wristband. At Chessington World of Adventures Resort, if you are unable to ascend / descend 25 steps in the event of an evacuation you will be given a Pink Wristband.
- For safety reasons, the number of Ride Access Pass users allowed on certain rides at any one time may be limited. Parties may be divided into smaller groups and there could be a wait before boarding.
- In certain situations (such as extreme weather conditions, mechanical problems or power interruptions) it may be necessary for adventurers to be evacuated from a ride, possibly from the highest point.
- For safety reasons, users of some Ride Access Passes must be accompanied by at least one companion aged 14 or over, unless otherwise stated. If required, at least one companion must be present at Guest Help & Information when collecting the Ride Access Pass.
- Companions accompanying a disabled companion on to rides must sit in the same carriage, boat, seat or row, and they must be able to assist with loading and off-loading (including transfer to and from wheelchairs). Our ride hosts will provide instruction but, for everyone’s safety, they cannot help with lifting.
- Helpers must be able to communicate safety restrictions and messages, and assist with any emergency or evacuation procedure, which may involve lifting and transferring their disabled companion from a ride into an evacuation chair or harness at high level.
- Disabled adventurers may be accompanied by a maximum of three companions at any one time.
- For your comfort and safety, please note that the information shown here is in addition to the general ride restrictions that apply to all adventurers. These are shown at the entrance to each ride and it is the responsibility of all adventurers to check these before deciding to ride.
- Several rides are unsuitable for adventurers with heart, neck or back conditions, or anyone that had undergone recent surgery.
- On many of our rides, adventurers must be capable of bracing themselves in an upright position. These rides are indicated in our Accessibility Guide.
- As well as complying with all ride restrictions, it’s a good idea to watch our rides in motion before deciding whether you’d like to ride.
Do I have to pre register for a Ride Access Pass?
Yes, to assist in our new Safety & Hygiene measures by reducing the contact and length of time with in our Guest Services.
I have a RAP card from 2019 season (which has a 2 year expiry). Do I need to re-apply?
Yes, following improvements to the Ride Access Pass scheme for 2020, which we hope will make a visit to all four of the UK Resort Theme Parks even more accessible and utterly enjoyable for you and your family! We will be accepting 2019 Ride Access Passes as proof of requirement for the 2020 Season registrations.
Do I have to apply to each park separately?
No, registration from one is valid at them all.
Can I collect my RAP card from a different park to the one I applied to?
Yes you can however please state on your application to ensure no waste of a pre-printed pass at a Theme Park Resort.
Do I still need to get a daily time card & wristband?
Yes, you will be given a daily time card accompanied with either a Red or a Yellow or a Pink wristband.Download Disability Guide