Canada's Wonderland charges guests to use wheelchairs and people aren't happy
One recent visitor, Jasen Prince, set the discussion about Wonderland's alleged accessibility shortcomings in motion after being forced to pay $50 to rent an electric wheelchair.
In an interview with CityNews, Prince said that he was forced to pay a deposit on the wheelchair. "It's bad enough I'm paying full-rate and now you're telling me I have to pay $50 every time I come, on top of this."
Upon returning the wheelchair at the end of his visit, Prince claims that "I asked if they were going to put the deposit credit back to my card and he said it was a non-refundable deposit."
Grace Peacock, Director of Communications for Canada's Wonderland, refutes the specifics of Prince's claims in an email to blogTO, saying that "the term non-refundable deposit is not correct. It's a rental fee."
"Guests who require a wheelchair or electric convenience vehicle are welcome to bring their own to the park at no cost," says Peacock. "Canada's Wonderland does provide rentals of these devices as a convenience on a first-come-first-served basis."
Peacock directs to Wonderland's accessibility page, which states that "Single strollers, double-seat strollers, wheelchairs, and electric convenience vehicles (ECVs) may be used during your visit to Canada's Wonderland, and you are welcome to bring your own."
Guests requiring the use of a wheelchair unable to bring their own are provided with the option to rent a manual wheelchair for $20 plus applicable taxes and fees, or $50 plus taxes and fees for an electric wheelchair.
Though Prince suggested in his interview with CityNews that the rental was framed as a deposit, there is not a single instance of the word "deposit" on Wonderland's wheelchair rental information page.
The incident has triggered an outpouring of anger on social media, with one comment summing up the public response, saying, "Seriously, that's disgusting." Another commenter suggests that Prince should "Direct this to Ontario Human Rights Commission."
Prince's is far from the first negative experience for a park visitor experiencing mobility issues, and search results yield many instances of guests feeling belittled and overlooked, with accessibility-related complaints ranging from guests barred from inaccessible rides to fees for wheelchairs.
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