Wheelchair user claims local theme park is breaking ADA laws

FEDERAL WAY, Wash. -- A visit to Wild Waves Theme Park turned into a wave of disappointment for one Lynnwood man, who claims the slides and rides he wanted to enjoy weren't accessible to him because he uses a wheelchair.

Mike Arendt came to the theme park last Friday with an able bodied friend looking to have some fun in the water.

Arendt said when he and his friend got to the top of one long ramp, they found two slides closed and others locked off to wheelchair users.

Arendt believes that lack of access violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.

"I'm thinking, 'How can they be allowing this with all of the new ADA laws and rules, to have it all barricaded off?'" Arendt said.

He finally got to float down the Lazy River, but he said the slides were off limits to him. When he tried to uses the rides, he said the elevator meant for wheelchair users didn't work. He said he couldn't get to the restaurant area either.

While many rides were available to him, Arendt said the ones he wanted to use were not.

"No, the whole day was wasted for me," he said.

The park's manager said he believes Wild Waves is complying with ADA laws, but park officials are checking into Arendt's concerns.

Arendt said he'd love to return to the park one day, but only if he can take advantage of everything it has to offer.

"If they fix it and get everything completed, yes, I'd like to try out the rides and take the whole day and have a fun time," he said.

The park has a brochure with a long list of slides, rides and activities and how to access them with wheelchairs. Arendt said he hasn't filed any formal complaint, and just doesn't want others to go through the same experience he did.