Theme Parks with Crohn’s? Access Card to the Rescue! 

Roller Coaster at Thorpe Park

Living with Crohn’s doesn’t have to mean missing out on the fun!

As a parent with Crohn’s, theme parks used to be a recipe for anxiety. Endless queues, unpredictable bathroom needs, and the constant “what if?” But then, I discovered the Access Card, and it’s a game-changer for our day trips! I just received mine, and I’m so excited to put it to the test at Thorpe Park next week with the little ones.

No More Queueing Anxiety!

Let’s be honest, theme parks during peak times are stressful for anyone, especially those of us with Crohn’s. The thought of being stuck in a queue for hours, with bathroom needs potentially striking at any moment, used to keep me away altogether. But the Access Card seems like a solution.

Discreet Communication, Reduced Stress

The Access Card allows you to discreetly communicate your bathroom needs. Instead of having to explain your condition to every staff member, the card uses clear symbols that staff are familiar with. This takes away the awkwardness and allows you to focus on the fun with your family.

Peace of Mind with Every Step

Knowing you have a “bathroom pass” thanks to the Access Card provides a huge sense of peace of mind. It allows you to relax and truly enjoy the experience, not constantly on edge, wondering “when” or “if” you’ll need a break. This reduction in stress makes a world of difference for those of us who already deal with the daily challenges of Crohn’s.

Finding Friendly Facilities – The App Advantage

The Access Card doesn’t just help with communication; it also comes with a handy app. This app helps you locate accessible toilets – a godsend in unfamiliar places like theme parks. No more frantic searches or worries about finding a suitable facility – the app does the legwork for you!

My Experience with Applying for the Access Card

I can tell you, the application process for the Access Card was a breeze. It’s all done online, and you just need to fill in your details and upload a recent letter from your NHS gastroenterologist department (which I simply downloaded from my online NHS patient portal). The whole process took less than an hour, and I received an approval email the following day! Now, I’m eager to see how it works at Thorpe Park.

Top Tips for Using Your Access Card at Merlin Entertainments Venues (Including Thorpe Park!)

Here’s a heads up for anyone planning a trip to a Merlin Entertainments theme park, like Thorpe Park: To avoid any waiting times upon arrival, it’s crucial to link your Access Card with Merlin’s system beforehand. This way, everything is prepped for your visit, and you can skip the guest services queue.

For those planning a visit to popular destinations like Legoland or Chessington, the Access Card ensures a hassle-free experience too. And don’t forget to explore the benefits of the Access Card at renowned theme parks like Alton Towers, where it can streamline your visit and enhance accessibility.

A Gentle Warning About Registration

Registering the Access Card with Merlin’s website wasn’t the smoothest process. It involved a slightly clunky checkout for a free Merlin Ride Access Pass. But honestly, a few extra clicks are a small price to pay for a stress-free theme park experience with the kids! Or so I thought…

The Merlin Entertainment Experience: A Cautionary Tale

As someone who values accessibility, I recently navigated the process of obtaining an Access Card for Merlin Entertainment venues. While the initial steps were smooth sailing, I encountered a hiccup that’s worth sharing.

Don’t Forget to Pre-book Your Visit

In the midst of excitement, I overlooked the crucial final step: pre-booking my visit. Ride Access Pass reservations for UK theme parks are now exclusively online, necessitating advance planning. Without this step, my journey hit a roadblock upon arrival at the accessibility kiosk.

On the Day Dilemma

Despite my eagerness to explore, I found myself at a standstill. Though I promptly visited the accessibility kiosk, my failure to pre-book rendered me ineligible for a Ride Access Pass on that day. To compound matters, the staff, regrettably, displayed a lack of empathy. Despite explaining my oversight, they offered no assistance, stating that all passes for the day had been allocated, leaving me without recourse.

A Lesson Learned

Reflecting on this experience, it’s clear that foresight is key. Pre-booking your Ride Access Pass at least a week in advance is advisable, ensuring a seamless and stress-free visit to Merlin Entertainment venues. Remember, a little preparation goes a long way in enhancing your theme park adventure.

Living Life to the Fullest with Crohn’s

Crohn’s doesn’t have to hold you back from enjoying life’s adventures. The Access Card is a fantastic tool that empowers you to manage your condition and participate in activities you might have previously avoided. So, don’t let your worries stop you – grab your Access Card, pack your sunscreen, and get ready for a fantastic day out with the family!

Can I skip theme park ride queues if I have Crohn’s?

Not entirely. The Access Card doesn’t grant automatic “front-of-the-line” access. However, it can significantly improve your theme park experience by allowing you to explain your bathroom needs discreetly to staff. In some cases, theme parks may offer alternative queuing arrangements, like designated accessible queues with shorter wait times. It’s always best to check the specific policies of the theme park you’re visiting beforehand.

Does the Access Card work at all theme parks?

The Access Card is accepted at over 3,000 venues across the UK, but participation varies. It’s a good idea to check the Access Card website ( to see if your chosen theme park is included.

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