Utah's amusement-ride mecca, Lagoon, offers a multitude of opportunities to the handicapped.
Though officials at the 140-acre resort report that all but one of the park's 38 rides are technically accessible to those in wheelchairs, they caution that several have "difficult access.""Our goal at Lagoon and Pioneer Village is to offer each guest access to all rides and attractions unless the safety of our guests and or park employees becomes a factor," Lagoon's policy guide says.
"Depending on the handicap, some guests may not be allowed to ride certain attractions. A guest may be denied access to a ride due to its nature or design. The ride host or hostess will make the final decision. . . ," the guide says.
The Sky Ride, a cable chair ride over the park, is not generally accessible to the handicapped.
"A physically restricted guest should have someone accompany him to the park. . . . This guest must then help the handicapped guest in and out of the ride. Ride operators may not assist due to the risk of operator injury and inexperience in handling such situations," the guide says.
However, "all ride hostesses are specially trained to hold the ride long enough for boarding the handicapped," Lagoon spokesman Dick Andrew says.
Several attractions at Lagoon are particularly accessible to the handicapped, including Pioneer Village, Lagoon A Beach, Music USA, Arcade, stage shows, games, food concessions, picnic terraces and campground facilities.
Though Lagoon offers no discount for those with handicaps, it has cut the day pass for all 1991 guests, Andrew says.
The general all-day pass (for those 55 inches tall and up to 54 years old) now costs $16.95 and includes Lagoon A Beach. The same pass last year cost $20.95.
"We have made a conscientious effort to increase the value of our guests' purchases," Andrew says.
The resort's Kinder pass (age 4 and up to 50 inches tall) is $13.50, and the toddler pass (3 years old and younger) is $8.50. An all-day pass for those 55 to 65 years old is also $8.50, and those 66 years old and older can receive a free pass.
Passes purchased through group promotions are considerably less expensive.
"A major portion of our business is group passes," Andrew says.
The parking fee is $3, and of the 2,000 stalls, 14 are designated for handicapped only.
Also, Lagoon has six wheelchairs for rental at $3. A driver's license is used as a deposit.
"Though it's fairly common that all the wheelchairs are utilized," Andrew says, "I don't think we have a big demand for more wheelchairs or we'd obviously get more."
Barbara Toomer, a wheelchair user who lives in the Salt Lake area, said Lagoon seems to go out of its way to accommodate the handicapped, though she said she hasn't worried about getting on any rides for years.
"I'm probably too old for that type of entertainment," she said.
"Even the stores in Pioneer village are easily accessible," Toomer said.
"Due to the nature, design and force of the rides Fun House, Jet Star, Log Flume, Roller Coaster, Terroride, Water Skeeters and Colossus, wheelchair guest may experience difficulty entering these attractions," Lagoon's policy guide says.
Individuals with disabilities are also cautioned about several rides because of their nature and design. While those in wheelchairs have access to Boomerang, Musik Express, Rock-o-plane, Roll-o-plane, Kidde Boats and Scamper, Lagoon advises riders to use "discretion."
On four rides, Lagoon requests that athe handicapped have a companion accompany the handicapped person and provices specific seating requests.