Alton Towers Resort, Britain’s number one theme park, has recently opened a new Changing Places toilet in the Admissions Plaza area of the Theme Park. Installed by Closomat, the hi-spec facility is a very welcome addition, providing disabled guests with quick access to a hoist-assisted accessible toilet and changing facilities on arrival at the park, as well as just before they leave at the end of the day.
The Changing Places includes an adult-sized, wall-mounted, height-adjustable changing bench, height-adjustable sink, full ceiling-tracked hoist, peninsular toilet with space either side for carers and plenty of room for mobility equipment (12m²). The Changing Places toilet is accessed via radar key – available to loan from Guest Services if required. There are three other similar facilities in the park, which were also installed by Closomat. They can be found in X Sector (12m²), Fountain Square (approx. 9m²) and Gloomy Wood (approx. 9m²), ensuring disabled guests are never far from a suitable toilet.
Kate McBirnie, Head of Guest Excellence at Alton Towers said:
At Alton Towers Resort, we care deeply about creating magical and inclusive experiences for everyone. We recognise that in-order to provide an accessible and inclusive experience, Changing Places are simply a ‘must’.
Feedback is so important to us. Most of our development is driven by our guests. We monitor this hourly, daily and throughout the season, it really is that important. Guests have told us these new facilities make the day that bit easier and it reassures them of how much we want them to feel comfortable and enjoy themselves.”
Campaigner Sarah Brisdion’s disabled son requires Changing Places, she said:
Having use of the Changing Places when you first arrive will make an incredible difference to families like mine, especially if they have travelled a long distance to visit. Being able to freshen up and start the day in comfort is something many of us take for granted, but when you have significant intimate care needs, it can be difficult to find appropriate facilities on days out. With the help of the experts at Closomat, Alton Towers is really leading the way for family attractions, with top-class Changing Places rooms.”
Over lockdown, Alton Towers Resort also started a company-wide accessibility ride review. Additional accessible features added to the park include: ride restrictions altered to give guests more freedom; accessibility equipment available to support access or to assist in the unlikely event of a stoppage in an unusual place; new signage and accessibility guides including a partnership with AccessAble https://www.accessable.co.uk/alton-towers-resort/; Makaton training for entertainments teams; hoists in hotels and the waterpark; deaf guards for rooms on request and portable hearing loops in all major restaurants plus two dedicated quiet rooms, one in the park and one in Alton Towers Hotel, fitted with sensory equipment to support guests who experience sensory overload or need some downtime as part of their experience.