Parents Of Two Girls Say Six Flags Workers Insisted They Had To Stay With Their Wheelchairs During Show

The parents of two five-year-old girls who have similar medical conditions and use wheelchairs to get around say they were told at a Texas Six Flags park that their daughters would have to remain sitting in their wheels during a live show, and couldn’t sit on their parents’ laps where they could see better. Either that, or the wheelchairs would have to be parked outside.

The two families were attending a live stage show at a theater inside Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington, reports CBS 11 DFW, and had parked the girls’ wheelchairs in the designated handicapped section.

But the little girls couldn’t see over a railing that was blocking their view from there, so their parents simply moved up a row, carrying the girls so they could sit on their parents’ laps and be able to see what was happening on stage, leaving the chairs behind.

That’s when they say theater employees told them they couldn’t let the chairs stay empty and would have to sit in them during the show.

“That’s taking her rights away. The rights that every other kid in the theater has to sit with her parents, or on their laps if they choose. Our kids didn’t have that right because of their chairs,” said one of the moms.

The other option, they say, was to take the wheelchairs outside of the theater and park them with the strollers. That’s affecting the girls’ mobility, the parents argued — they’d have to be carried outside instead of wheeling themselves.

“They are handicapped. That would be the same thing as me asking you to leave legs outside and you have to physically crawl inside to join your family. I’m not going to do that,” said the other mom.

According to the families, park employees said the policy was city code. But when CBS checked with the fire marshal, he said there’s no such requirement that a person has to stay with their wheelchair in a public space. It just can’t block exits or an egress.

The families left, instead, and filed a formal complaint with guest services.

The park has since responded with a statement, after CBS 11 contacted it:

“We apologize to the girls and their families. Unfortunately, there was a miscommunication of our safety policy and the matter has been corrected. Our goal is to provide a day of safe fun for all of our guests and we invite both families to return to the park as our special VIP guests.”

The girls’ parents say they just want people to be more aware of the rights of those using wheelchairs.

“When this happens, that makes them see they are excluded. They are being discriminated against because they can not walk in there with their two feet and go sit with their families,” one of the mothers said.

Parents: Six Flags Employees Made Handicapped Girls Feel Different [CBS 11 DFW]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.