Gulliver’s Land has defended its policy of not allowing carers in for free after a complaint from a furious mum of a disabled child.
Lorna Marsh paid £89 for an annual pass for four-year-old theme park fanatic Phoebe, who has severe learning difficulties and autism.
She assumed, as her daughter’s full-time carer, that she would go in free under Equality Act legislation.
But a recent visit ended in disaster after Lorna was “treated appallingly and aggessively” by the manager and ordered to leave, she claims.
“We go to Gulliver’s Land regularly on Phoebe’s pass. She loves the place and I’d always been allowed in free on previous visits” said Lorna, who lives on Oakridge Park.
“But this time the manger demanded I pay £10.95. I only had £6 on me, so I was told in no uncertain terms that I had to leave.”
Under Equality Act guidelines, most UK visitor attractions allow carers in free.
Little Phoebe, who struggles to cope with change, promptly had a “complete meltdown” when they were told to go, said Lorna.
“I begged the manager to let her have a go on just one ride. But he refused and towered over her, scaring her.
“We left the park with both of us in floods of tears. I felt so humiliated.”
A spokesman for Gulliver’s Land said carers had to pay a concessionary rate.
She denied the manager was rude and said Lorna was treated courteously.
She said: “We feel our concessionary rates, ride access passes and special needs guides are favourable and fully inclusive.
“We speak regularly and extensively with visitors with special needs in order to ensure that we are offering the most inclusive access solutions.
“We are proud of the work we do...”
Gulliver’s ask for a letter from a GP or professional for a disabled person to avoid queuing. They say one in 40 young visitors is on the autistic spectrum.