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Making Coasters Accessible

May 17, 2010

Busch Gardens is pleased to announce the purchase of a separate harness, from ride manufacturer Bolliger & Mabillard, that will allow some guests with amputations to ride three of our biggest roller coasters.

In the past, Alpengeist, Apollo’s Chariot and Griffon have had rather restrictive manufacturer requirements for guests with amputations. In previous seasons, guests could not ride Apollo’s Chariot if they had an amputation above the ankle. Guests who had an amputation above the knee could not ride Alpengeist or Griffon.

These new separate harnesses will allow some guests with disabilities and amputations to ride where they couldn’t before. With the assistance of the harness, guests are able to ride Apollo’s Chariot if they have an amputation at or below the knee. Guests with a single amputation above the knee are now capable of riding Alpengeist and Griffon.

Our pursuit of and investment in this harness emphasizes the commitment of Busch Gardens to safety, while allowing us to accommodate guests who have been unable to enjoy the thrill of these three roller coasters. While not all guests with disabilities will be able to ride, we hope that the installation of these harnesses will allow more to enjoy the thrilling drop on Griffon, the inversions on Alpengeist and the hair-raising airtime on Apollo’s Chariot.

Park Operations Manager

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Michael W. permalink
    May 17, 2010 10:32 am

    It’s wonderful that these rides are more accessible. Kudos to B&M!

  2. Angie permalink
    May 17, 2010 10:42 am

    What about larger guest? I’m a large woman and love to ride but it makes it hard to ride some rides because I can not fit well in the seats.

  3. Mike permalink
    May 17, 2010 11:18 am

    I have to agree with Angie. I am a larger guy myself, and I love roller coasters. The lack of accommodations is the primary reason I have not been to the park in almost 6 years. The only two rides I could comfortably enjoy were Loch Ness Monster and Big Bad Wolf.

  4. Mike permalink
    May 17, 2010 11:20 am

    I would like to add though, Kudos to BGW for the changes they did make, even though I am not an amputee myself, the fact that they are making considerations for folks with disabilities is something to be applauded.

  5. May 17, 2010 1:16 pm

    Bravo to BGW for upgrading the rides to accommodate disabilities.

    Additionally, to Mike and Angie, I’m a large guy myself. I can barely ride Alpie and Griffon comfortably, unless I’m in the “big guy” seats. Mind you that the “big guy” seats are there for guests that are bigger than most.

    However, I think that’s the most BGW needs to do for accommodation. Not every seat should be “big guy” seats, because there is a point where that could be unsafe for typical guests.

    • Mike permalink
      May 18, 2010 11:35 am

      I agree that not every seat should be a “big guy” seat. But the ones that do exist are not significantly different from the others. The big difference on Alpengeist isn’t the size of the harness, it’s the location of the belts. Instead of one in the middle, it’s two towards the outside. I’d like to see seats with slightly larger harnesses (only one or two per train, mind you) . I’m not meaning this as a criticism of BG, mind you, because most parks don’t make any kind of accommodations. See Cedar Point for a good example. I just think that if BG wants to continue to set itself apart from other parks, this would encourage more people of a larger size to visit.

      And let’s face it, we can all use the exercise from walking that beautiful park!

  6. Robb permalink
    May 17, 2010 4:39 pm

    Hey Rob…

    What do the restraints look like/do to the average rider?



  7. Jennifer permalink
    May 20, 2010 5:34 pm

    Its great that BG is helping people with disabilities. Being married to someone with disabilities gave me a new look at life. These people didn’t ask for any of the problems they have and should be allowed to ride and do things the rest of us take for granted. Please keep up the good work!!

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