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Mrpq

Prosthetics and Riding Rides

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I forgot to mention this in a recent trip report and I figured this would make a good topic in itself

 

While at Hershey back in Aug   we noticed a younger boy who had one prosthetic leg (knee down)  Must have been like 10-14 years of age.  We noticed him basically everywhere we went in the park, he actually was getting around better than most people.  He was on a bunch of the same rides we where on, including coaster.  While we where on line for lighting racers we saw he was in the train in front of us.   They wherent dispatching the train and you saw the ride ops talking in the corner.  After about 5 mins they went over to the boy talked with him, couldn't here what he was saying, but the ride ops head kept making the "no" motion, the look on the kids face was of disappointment.  After that went on for a little while they un locked his car and he got off the ride.  I can only assume it was because of his leg and at this point myself and everyone around us knew exactly what had happened and we all got pretty bummed out.  Even the lady next to us with her kids said she saw him earlier in the day riding other coaster.    

 

His leg only seemed to have the issue from the knee down so not really sure why such a big deal was made.  If you saw him walking/running during the day you would think there wasn't even an issue at all.

 

My point is what's the rule with cases like this?  I see some rides (in general) state "you need 3 functioning limbs to ride"  

 

I felt bad for the kid.

 

I assume this is a state by  state law?  When we went to Cedar Point in July a guy with a full leg cast road Maverik with no issue.  it was even to the point he had to prop his leg up and place it between the row of seats in front of him.  That to me is worse then the little boys situation

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It depends on the manufacturer and park and probably state law as you mentioned. Some B&M coasters have a special harness that allows people missing a limb to ride. It has some multi point harness that attaches to something on the back of the train. I rode Nitro 3 or 4 years ago when an employee was testing it. I think Griffon at Busch Gardens Williamsburg has something similar.

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Lap bars require full legs to work properly and safely. That's just the physics behind what keeps you secure.

 

Each ride is different, each park is different. I believe there's generally no laws about this besides that the park must follow the manufacturer's guidelines, otherwise they'd be undoubtedly liable in the case of an accident. So the ride manufacturer will make these requirements for each ride. Sometimes parks strengthen them more.

 

The concern with prosthetics is that they could come loose and fly off, injuring someone or something. For this reason, most parks require prosthetics to be taken off for the ride, and then the normal body requirements are in effect from there. I know a few parks have started allowing prosthetics as long as they are certified by their manufacturer to withstand a certain level of g-forces, but I don't remember which parks. (Not Six Flags)

One thing Six Flags (and Great Adventure specifically) helped pilot is a restraint system for B&M coasters that allows more people with certain disabilities to be able to ride.

 

The tough part about this is avoiding discrimination lawsuits, so employees really can't approach a guest about this issue unless the employee is 110% sure they have a prosthetic. A lot of people sneak onto rides when they know they aren't allowed to be (most commonly with missing the height requirement), so the "I've been riding coasters all day" statement is very common, but completely meaningless.

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I mean this kids leg stood out because he was wearing shorts, but if he had pants on there is no way it would have been noticed.   I felt for him

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