The Good, The Bad and the Discriminatory

Ever find yourself looking at a long queue and inwardly dropping to your knees in utter despair and pain and total exhaustion and then just giving up because standing in that queue simply isn’t going to happen? Screamingly frustrating and limiting isn’t it?! I have spent the last 7 years trying to avoid places that involve queuing – namely theme parks, public transport, pubs & bars and those most unavoidable of places – shops! If I am presented with a queue you can forget it. Bizarrely I find standing still even more painful than walking (and walking is enough of a challenge) – Anyone else find this?

This is why I was utterly DELIGHTED to discover the Paulton’s Park Access Pass when we decided to take the kids to Peppa Pig World. Oh My God what a difference it made. I simply showed a medical letter describing my condition to the first aid nurse and she issued me with a wristband allowing me and my family to skip all queues for the rides (restricted to one go per ride)! Aside from being a lifesaver for me and my legs it also meant we didn’t have to spend an hour at a time queuing up with fidgety toddlers. On the whole the process was very discreet, but at one point we found ourselves being ushered on in full sight of a line of bored and impatient onlookers. As we took our seats in the cart we proceeded to inch our way past the glaring queue at a pace of approximately 0.2 miles per hour. Oh the pain of it; cue serious eye diverting. And while I know I shouldn’t have felt this way, I am all too aware that my disability is pretty much INVISIBLE, and it does seem that most people don’t get what they can’t see. But what a fantastic day we had anyway!

Such a different experience to the one I had at Legoland 4 yrs earlier! On pre-booking I was told I could hire a wheelchair for the day as they don’t offer a queue pass but we were staying the night in their over-priced themed hotel, which was the complete opposite end of the park to the entrance where the wheelchairs are kept. None of the staff were willing to help, so I sent my husband over to get one but by the time he got there they had run out. My legs were particularly bad and I was struggling to walk let alone stand in a queue so we asked at the info point if anything could be done to allow us to go on some rides. Her response? “You could just buy one of our Q-BOT passes” (at a cost of £75 each). When I questioned this she simply said, “Well, you HAVE come during the holidays!”… True, we had and it was extra busy as a consequence, but I’m afraid when you’re married to a teacher that is the only time you can flippin’ visit anywhere!! Needless to say we went on a total of 2 pathetic rides and I’ve struck this place off the list of places that we can visit.

Any similarly good or bad experiences?

First published 2 February 2017

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