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Inclusivity is key


Inspired by founders Nick and Nicola Laister’s eldest daughter, Olivia, who has cerebral palsy, Fairytale Farm meets the needs of disabled children, while still being an attraction that the whole family can enjoy together. As the UK comes out of lockdown and visitor attractions begin to re-open, Bryony Andrews, editor of Park World’s sister publication GlobalAmusementsandPlay.com, spoke to Nick Laister.


F Nick Laister 40


airytale Farm, based in Oxfordshire, UK, first opened in 2013 and forms part of what was once a 30-acre farm. The area open to the public


is around 5.5 acres. Mainly outdoors, key attractions include the Enchanted Walk, Huff & Puff Adventure Playground and Alfie & Friends Animal Area. An indoor café and shop, a play room, an indoor model village called Mouse Town and interactive display Mother Goose’s Garden Party complete the attractions line-up. “Like a large proportion of families with a severely


disabled child, we had children who were not disabled too, explained Nick. “Although there are a number of centres for disabled children, these tended to be somewhat institutional, always requiring advance booking and they don’t really provide for the children who are not disabled, leaving them largely on the


sidelines. On the other hand, most mainstream visitor attractions (theme parks, zoos, farm parks) do their best to accommodate disabled children but are generally not fully accessible, leaving the disabled child on the sidelines. Fairytale Farm was designed to allow these families to enjoy a day out completely together.” Fairytale Farm’s key aim has always been inclusivity.


“We want to be an attraction that the whole family can enjoy together, whether disabled or not disabled. Every single member of the family can have a positive experience at fairytale Farm – and the experience will be together as a family. For me personally, I want Fairytale Farm to appear a simple pleasure, slightly old- fashioned even, but with some high technology behind it that the visitor doesn’t see.” Many of the park’s attractions, such as the Giant’s


SUMMER 2020


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