Autistic boy denied Thorpe Park access pass because 'he wasn't disabled enough', raging mum claims

Tracy Ham was left "raging" after visiting the park on Saturday May 28 with her son Zachary

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An autistic boy was denied an access pass by Thorpe Park because “he wasn’t disabled enough”, his raging mum has claimed.

Tracy Ham qualifies for Disability Living Allowance because her son Zachary Relfe, 13, has autism meaning he finds it hard to queue.

But Ms Ham has said that a new policy at the theme park means her son was unable to get the pass.

Thorpe Park have since spoken out about the incident
Thorpe Park have since spoken out about the incident

Upon arrival at the park on Saturday May 28, officials told her that she had to fill out a form with seven days notice.

While Ms Ham said she wasn’t told about the policy change, Thorpe Park say they had notified her before their visit.

The park allowed Ms Ham to fill out the form on the day, but it was rejected because Zachary receives middle-rate care and not high-rate care.

Ms Ham said: "I was raging.

"I was just really angry that my money and time had been wasted, and disappointed his birthday had been ruined.

“He looks forward to his trip to Thorpe Park every year.

"The person who gets the rage off the child is the mother, he could not go on the things he wanted to go on.

“It was just a waste of time. If I had known I would not have gone there," she told MyLondon.

After being refused the access pass, Ms Ham and Zachary spent the next four hours walking around the park, but he was unable to handle any long queues.

Ms Ham then headed back to customer services, before again having an access pass application rejected.

She continued: "a shame the day was wasted.

"Because of the way my son is we do not go out that often, which made it harder again.

“There's a lot of people who go with disabled children so I imagine it's affected a lot of people."

A spokesperson for Thorpe Park told My London: "As part of our ongoing focus on providing the best possible experience for our guests when visiting our UK theme parks, we have listened to guest feedback and have moved to an advanced registration for our Ride Access Pass.

“Documentation is requested to ensure the Ride Access Pass remains effective for guests who need it, and by doing this in advance the process is more efficient for all.

“Advance registration reduces on the day queuing, which helps all of our guests to enjoy the best possible experience at our theme parks.

"There have not been any changes to the criteria or the documentation for Ride Access Passes that we accept this season.

“The only change is the simplification of the process by centralising it and moving it online, rather than at the attraction, so guests can simply apply online ahead of their visit.

“This change helps ensure we have consistency across all our theme parks, and gives our guests the best possible experience when visiting our attractions by saving them time on the day of their visit.”