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Paralympian Movie World Embarrasment

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http://www.mydailynews.com.au/story/2011/09/13/paralympian-movie-world-embarrassment/ A PARALYMPIC gold medallist and Order of Australia recipient has been left feeling humiliated after she was denied access to all rides at Movie World last week. But the theme park said a change in safety policies meant the mother of two was not allowed on any ride that moved. Ms Tracy Barrell attended the theme park as recently as two years ago and was not denied access to any of the amusements or rides. At the time of her last visit she was given an individual assessment. "The lady tested my grip strength and stability and gave me a white band that allowed me to access the rides," she said. Ms Barrell said she wanted to know why she was not informed the she may not be able to access the rides until she was about to board the Road Runner Rollercoaster. "I purchased a VIP pass for myself and my two children, so I had made it through ticketing and turnstiles and had my photo taken and sat through a 4D show," she said. "It was not until I was at the front of the queue and about to take my turn on the ride that it was suggested there was a problem." Ms Barrell said she was then forced to "bulge her way back through the queue" to leave the ride. Operations park supervisor Cameron McKay said he received a call mid-morning about a guest queuing for a ride, before he requested she come to guest services for assessment. "Tracy had to work her way back through the queue because it is just the design of the attraction," Mr McKay said. Mr McKay said an incident in the United States, where a double amputee was killed after being thrown from a lap-bar roller coaster, had caused theme parks to review their policies. "I explained there were lots of other shows and motionless attractions that she could access," Mr McKay said. Ms Barrell said she didn't think it was fair one incident had affected policy in theme parks worldwide. "One disabled man is killed and that changes things for all disabled people," she said. "Able-body people are killed and injured on rollercoasters all the time, but able-bodied people are still allowed to ride." Mr Cameron refunded half the cost of Ms Barrell's VIP pass so she could still accompany her children to the park. Ms Barrell said she just wanted to be able to enjoy the rides like everybody else. I havnt included her photo in this post but you can get it on the link. I feel sorry for Ms Barrell but can totally see where Movie World are coming from. I think they did the right thing refunding half her VIP pass, but by doing it they may open thr floodgates to other guests who may have a disability who cannot ride some or all of the rides. If I have motion sickness and cannot ride the rides should I get a discount ? The comments on the link seem to fall on both side of the argument as well. What are your thoughts ?

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I'm a mixed bag of emotions in regards to this news. I can see where both sides are coming from with this policy. I honestly don't see how anyone could be ejected from Road Runner but other rides I could see why they might be nervous after the Superman: Ride of Steel accident at Darien Lake earlier in the year (Which is what Movie World is obviously referring to) as they don't want even the slightest chance of it happening again within the park. While yes it is a shame for Tracy, safety always comes first. I'm sure they would have individually assessed her still as to what rides she could go on. I would assume the rules for most rides would be you need to be able to hold on to the harness without any assistance and be able to place at least one limb on the ground of the carriage at all times (except Lethal Weapon and Batwing obviously) and I do understand the park's stance on this now. Especially if a review in the companies policy allowed her to ride a few years ago. I will also say I'm very glad that the park refunded half the VIP pass cost so that she can still attend with her family, which goes to show that there is still customer service around. It may not be much but it's still something.

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i can see the frustration from Tracey's perspective, but at the end of the day Safety is 100% paramount at all times, especially in the leisure industry where safety standards are monitored closely and accidents and/or mortality leave a lasting negative public perseption, regardless of cause or fault, which result in decreased visitation. I think Cameron did the absolute most he could in refunding 50% of the VIP pass price and explaining the legality and regulations that apply since the incident in the US. The disappointing thing for me is that despite Cameron's and MW's best efforts, Ms Barrell has made the decision to run to the media and cause an uproar that did not need to happen. She has purposefully done this to tarnish MW/WVTP reputation and tried to paint them with the discrimination brush - which certainly isnt just or fair given what has occurred. To be honest i think in doing show she has shown herself to be of poor character and morals. I feel for her circumstances, but being a paralypian, a priest or a president doesnt allow you to bypass the safety systems that are created to keep you safe and the leisure operater in business!

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"Able-body people are killed and injured on rollercoasters all the time, but able-bodied people are still allowed to ride."

Please enlighten me? I didn't think that theme park accidents/deaths happened 'all the time'. Carnival and theme park rides are supposed to (and do) have excellent safety records...

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A good source for theme park accidents (in the USA) is this link http://www.themeparkinsider.com/accidents/ Im not sure what Tracey is trying to acheive by going to the media though

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See she completely lost me with her "people are killed all the time" line. Every death us too much. After each fatility steps are always taken to make sure they don't happen again. The Big Thunder death saw a change to procedures and maintenance at Disney. The ejection deaths of overweight people saw a redesign of intamins restraints, and changes to existing rides. The solution to stop amputees falling out is probably to stop the amputees riding. It's no different, it's just unfortunate that she is affected.

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"Able-body people are killed and injured on rollercoasters all the time, but able-bodied people are still allowed to ride."

But that's faulty logic. Able bodied people aren't killed because they are able bodied (And coaster accidents don't happen "All the time") But sadly, a double amputee died, because he was a double amputee, or else he wouldn't have come out of the ride.

"One disabled man is killed and that changes things for all disabled people," she said.

Because theme park operators learned from their mistakes. That's why. Edited by Gazza

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My biggest surprise about this article is that it quotes "Operations Park Supervisor" Cameron McKay. Don't they have PR people to respond to something like this? A staff member of that level I would have thought shouldn't be giving quotes to the media.

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It read to me as the woman was recounting what he said, or did I read wrong? Given that's one of the highest responsibility roles at the park I would say they are very equipped to speak to the media.

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During my daily routine of getting up to date with the news so I know what the hell some of the guests are talking about came across this: http://news.ninemsn.com.au/slideshowajax/world/177005/amputee-thrown-from-rollercoaster-dies.slideshow I applaud MW for not allowing her on the ride. If this had happened prior I wonder if her attitude would be different?

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Woah, ninemsn must not update their slideshows that often. The event it refers to DID happen prior to this MW incident... It is the soldier killed at Darien Lake that was mentioned in this topic.... The very reason for the double amputee rule change.

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