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Accessibility


Gardaland 4 All


Following the success of the first edition of ‘Gardaland 4 All’, held in 2016, the Italian theme park, in collaboration with Village 4 All, held two days of meetings with 13 national associations representing different types of disability: physical, cognitive and sensorial. The aim is to share ideas to further improve the park experience for visitors with particular needs...


he participants’ visit to the park kicked off with an entertaining testing session, evaluating some of Gardaland’s rides, including the renovated I Corsari dark ride, steel Vekoma coaster Mammut, the adrenaline-filled dive-coaster Oblivion - The Black Hole and the panoramic Flying Island. This year, Gardaland invited a mystery guest to anonymously visit the park in the months before the meeting to evaluate, in complete autonomy, how accessible all the rides are After the visit to the park was a round table, at which all participants were able


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to offer their suggestions to try to make the park more usable from different perspectives. Interesting proposals emerged, including simplifying the layout of the park’s map; inserting indications indicating the best routes to reach the various rides; using digital tools to further improve the information on various aspects of accessibility (thus improving awareness before entering the premises); implementing an area for guide dogs; improving the accessibility of accommodation facilities and finally introducing a ‘decompression’ area where overwhelmed guests can deal with all the stimulations of the park. General manager Danilo Santi commented: “Together we have discussed projects, ideas and suggestions to make Gardaland become an even more inclusive park.”


An ongoing commitment The Gardaland 4 All project, which began two years ago, has already resulted in a number of improvements in terms of receptiveness and accessibility of the rides, allowing the park to analyse issues, understand petitions and verify their feasibility, keeping in mind every normative limitation and ensuring total safety for all.


A key result has been the introduction of the Easy Rider service, devised in


collaboration with the ProgettoYeah! Association to ensure fun inside the park for people with disabilities such as visual limitations, reduced mobility, autism or Downs Syndrome. Easy Rider, active from April to July and through September, aims to support groups by putting together personalised itineraries based on their individual needs, accompanying guests to the entry of each ride and explaining its characteristics, and finally by placing bookings on behalf of guests at the restaurants of the park. An agreement between Gardaland and the Consortium of National Associations of People with Downs Syndrome aims to regulate access to rides while ensuring that all safety norms related to evacuation are complied with. A Welcome Desk for the disabled has been introduced with trained personnel, as well as the creation of three different guides, each one dedicated to a different type of disability: cognitive, physical and sensorial. Gardaland has furthermore increased the accessibility to the park’s rides for guests with particular types of disabilities. Guests that are partially or totally visually impaired can now access all rides, whilst in terms of physical and cognitive disabilities there has been a marked increase of the number of accessible rides, with works in progress to keep expanding this list. With its Gardaland 4 All forum, the Italian park has set a great example for all


operators: this type of dialogue is essential to foster a culture of accessibility and openness for all.


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