Six Flags Entertainment Corporation, is now the world’s first theme park company to revolutionize and design a specialized restraint harness that allows access to ALL Six Flags Thrill Rides for guests with physical disabilities*.
In addition, as the world’s first theme park company to be accredited, at all properties, as Certified Autism Centers™, autistic guests and their families can now explore more inclusive options while visiting the parks. This accreditation is in partnership with the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES), the only credentialing organization providing this form of certification. As part of the program, park leadership is trained, and additional support elements are identified to have for guests. The development of specialty guides has also been designed to highlight the various sensory impacts of each ride or attraction to help with planning a day at a Six Flags park.
“Six Flags is proud to be the industry leader on these innovative programs that allows our guests to enjoy the more thrilling rides that our parks have to offer,” said Selim Bassoul, Six Flags President and Chief Executive Officer. “This offering, coupled with the IBCCES certification at our parks, shows our unwavering commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Our Company is truly dedicated to this initiative and making sure that encompasses our guests with abilities and disabilities. We all benefit from a more diverse, inclusive society, that is understanding, accommodating and honors one another’s differences while pulling together for the common good.”
Six Flags leads the industry as the first theme park company to manufacture and offer a custom restraint harness, with multiple sizes that are able to accommodate riders with physical disabilities such as a missing limb or appendages starting at 54” tall. Approximately 98 percent of all Six Flags theme park rides are equipped with an individually designed harness. Certain rider restrictions and qualifications will apply.
“Six Flags is synonymous with thrills, but safety and inclusivity is the cornerstone of everything we do,” said Jason Freeman, Vice President, Public Safety and Risk Management. “We are proud to implement these key, new safety programs that bring thrills within reach for all guests,” regardless of disability or limitations he added.
This restraint harness system, coupled with the Certified Autism Center™ accreditation, are just two examples of Six Flags’ dedication to diversity and inclusion for all guests. IBCCES conducted onsite reviews of Six Flags parks across the country, as well as in Mexico, to provide additional recommendations from industry experts and autistic individuals’ perspectives on understanding what autism is, strategies for communication, and best practices for enhancing the onsite experience.
As Certified Autism Centers™, US-based Six Flags Parks will provide:
- Trained, helpful, front-line team members equipped to better assist autistic guests and those with other sensory sensitivities to help them enjoy their time at each park;
- A sensory guide for every attraction that provides insight into how the attraction or ride may be affected by each of the five senses to make it easier for individuals and families to plan activities that align with their needs;
- Low sensory areas to allow guests with sensory sensitivities to take a break and relax in a less stimulating environment;
- An updated Accessibility Guide will be available online on each park accessibility page and Guest Services area; and
- Park-wide implementation of the IBCCES Accessibility Card program. This is a free online program with mobile app option for guest to use when requesting assistance or accommodations at any of the Six Flags parks. To learn more about the program visit accessibilitycard.org.
“Completing the certification process across all of the US parks is a momentous accomplishment for the Six Flags team. We know they are committed to continuous improvement and being a leader in this industry, and we look forward to supporting their teams in the future as they continue improving accessibility for all visitors at their parks,” said Myron Pincomb, IBCCES Board Chairman.
*some restrictions apply