Legoland Discovery Centre Manchester is delighted to announce the implementation of a range of new accessibility initiatives throughout the attraction.
Now part of the Hidden Disability Lanyard scheme, the attraction invites visitors with hidden disabilities, and their families, to collect a green lanyard on arrival to act as a subtle sign for staff that additional assistance may be required, similar to the Sunflower Lanyard scheme which has proved to be successful at various UK airports and Sainsbury’s supermarkets.
Guests are invited to enjoy a newly open quiet route around the attraction, circumventing the most visually stimulating parts of Legoland Discovery Centre Manchester that some may find overwhelming.
The introduction of an updated ‘ride access pass’ provides an alternative for those who are unable to queue for the attractions rides. Effectively a reverse virtual queue; LEGO fans who qualify for the pass will be invited to board through the ride exit to limit queuing and make the process as stress-free as possible.
The popular intu Trafford Centre based attraction has also introduced a Changing Places forthose who require assistance when using changing facilities. Located by the main toilets, the larger cubicle includes a bed with a hoist, easy access toilet, lower sink and coat hooks. The space meets the strict requirements to display the Changing Places logo and has already received praise from visitors.
Michelle Parr, a Merlin Annual Pass holder who regularly visits the attraction, has previously struggled to make the most of their time in the attraction. She stated their family visits were previously cut short due to needing to locate the nearest Changing Places to change their 12 year old son with complex needs.
In an email to the attraction, Michelle said: “In the past we have always had to leave within an hour or so as there has been nowhere suitable to change our eldest son which means that our youngest hasn't been able to take part in many of the activities or has had to pick and choose 1 or 2 things to do.
“What a difference this weekend was. We spent the afternoon having fun, building Lego and even managed to catch the show in the 4D cinema. All stress free as we were able to change our son easily when required. This will also mean that Grandparents will be able to take him out for the day here as they can hoist him when needed. This is a huge help.”
Themed around a Lego pirate island, the space has been designed to integrate into the rest of the attraction, with additional sensory lighting in the ceiling to help create a calming atmosphere for those using the facility.
To support in the implementation of the new accessibility facilities, the attraction has worked closely with the Disability Advice Forum to create an Accessibility Guide, outlining all new and existing initiatives in an effort to help guests before and during their visit. Copies are available online and at the entrance of the attraction, and the team are available to offer recommendations on how to tailor a visit to suit a broad variety of needs.
Commenting on the newly introduced initiatives, Jenn McDonough, General Manager Manchester Cluster, Merlin Entertainments, commented: “Legoland Discovery Centre Manchester is passionate about ensuring that all our visitors have a brilliant time at the attraction. We hope our new accessibility features make it easier for all our guests to build fantastic memories.
“We are really proud to announce our involvement in the global Hidden Disability Lanyards campaign. Our staff have worked really hard to ensure they understand the variety of ways by which they can support our guests and ensure they are able to enjoy the attraction.”
As part of the ongoing commitment to making the centre as accessible as possible, on Thursday 17thOctober from 2pm they will be hosting their annual ‘Fun Without Fear’ Halloween event.
This event is designed to be autism friendly by reducing the elements throughout the attraction which can be overwhelming for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This gives those with autism and additional sensory needs the chance to enjoy all the elements of the Halloween ‘Brick Or Treat’ event, free from the challenges that a visit may usually present.
For further information about the new features or to learn more about the attraction’s wider accessibility initiatives and requirements, please visit: https://manchester.legolanddiscoverycentre.co.uk/plan/accessibility/