SHAKOPEE, Minn. (FOX 9) - A young man from Wright County is hoping an embarrassing experience at Valleyfair encourages the company to look twice at their policies after being denied entrance to a ride due to his use of a prosthetic device.
Juan Cambara, 19, was at Valleyfair in Shakopee last Sunday when a ride operator informed him he was not allowed on the “Delirious” ride due to safety concerns.
“He said, ‘excuse me, I’m going to have to stop you. You guys can’t get on the ride because of your prosthetic,’” explained Cambara’s girlfriend Nashelly Gomez who was with him at the time. “We asked why and he just said, ‘due to security reasons,’ that’s it.”
According to Valleyfair’s website, they do not allow prosthetics on certain rides “unless they can ensure the device is properly secured and will remain in place during the ride.” The website also states that some of the ride manufacturers, including the manufacturer of Delirious, prohibits guests with any prosthetic device from riding.
“There’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to go on a ride when you can show them that you can secure it,” said Cambara. “It’s not coming off unless I really try and take it off.”
Amputee advocacy group Wiggle Your Toes said this could be an opportunity for Valleyfair to educate themselves on the technology of prosthetic devices and update their policies.
“I think that speaks volumes in itself that [Cambara] wasn’t concerned as an individual who depends on a prostheses because he knew the capabilities and response of his prosthetic arm,” said Wiggle Your Toes founder and double amputee Aaron Holm. “Maybe they just need to update themselves on how far we’ve come in this industry.”
In an email statement, a spokesperson from Valleyfair said, “The safety of our guests is always our top priority which is why we strictly follow manufacturer safety requirements…We encourage guests with disabilities to visit our Guest Service Team upon their arrival to the park for a personalized visit plan.”
But, Cambara says he doesn’t feel like he has a disability. He says he does everything he did before he lost his arm, which is part of why he can’t understand why he was turned away from the ride.
“I think that speaks volumes in itself that he wasn’t concerned as an individual who depends on a prostheses because he knew the capabilities and response of his prosthetic arm,” said Holm.
Valleyfair says all its ride operators go through internal training and third-party certification on ride safety procedures. They also say ride safety guidelines are posted at the entrance of every ride, as well as on their website.