A mother has hit out at theme park staff after her blind son who uses a wheelchair was forced to stand up straight – to test if he met ride height requirements.
Little Cameron Alderman, three, was taken to Drayton Manor for a special Christmas treat by a blind childrens’ charity.
He had queued for the Jolly Buccaneer ride for around 20 minutes when a female staff member said he needed to stand up to see if he was tall enough.
His mum Carla told the woman that Cameron uses a wheelchair because of mobility issues and also has Norrie disease which means he is totally blind.
She said there was a ‘rude’ exchange and she was sent to the park’s Guest Services.
A team leader then asked Cameron’s dad Adam Alderman, 31, to hold his legs straight and his head up while he was measured – at which point the youngster got visibly distressed.
His disgusted parents eventually stormed out of the park after staff told them Cameron couldn’t be measured properly – but that he ‘looks under a metre’.
Carla, 26, said: “I think it’s disgusting how you can force a child with mobility issues to do something he doesn’t understand and make him really upset.
“It was meant to be relaxing family day out.
“We went to guest services where I explained the situation.
“The woman in there gave us a queue jump pass but said Cameron would still have to be measured at every single ride.
“In the end my partner just picked up Cameron and walked out of Guest Services. We were really upset. We’d only just arrived and we wanted to go home already.
“I felt upset we had been treat this way and were made to force Cameron to get out of his wheelchair which was making him upset. I was really angry.”
Mum-of-three Carla says the Christmas trip on December 4, organised by Blind Children UK, was ruined and she was disgusted by the way her family were treated.
Drayton Manor has invited the family from Bristol back for a free day out, including lunch, but Carla wants staff to be trained in helping people with disabilities.
Steve Lomas, head of park operations at Drayton Manor Park, said: “To ensure Cameron was safe to go on the ride, the family were directed to our Guest Services department and his parents gave consent for Cameron to be measured to ensure he could demonstrate the brace position required for the ride’s health and safety. During this time, he became upset.
“We have been in contact with the family directly and we value their feedback.
“The health and safety of our visitors is of paramount importance and riders must meet height restrictions on the Jolly Buccaneer to ensure their safety and wellbeing is in line with the ride manufacturer and HSE guidance and regulations.”