Essential Companion Tickets 

From Monday 1st January 2024,  Knowsley Safari is changing its admission policy regarding free access for carers.  

We are proud to partner with Nimbus Disability, operators of the Access Card scheme, who will now process all ‘essential companion’ (previously ‘Carer’) eligibility.  

We have always been proud to offer free carer tickets for guests who require additional assistance when visiting our park and now with this new process, it means you will no longer need to bring confidential and sensitive documents with you on the day. You will now need to apply online for an Access Card through Nimbus Disability, at least 7 days before visiting.   

All applications must be completed online, at least 7 days before your visit. We are unable to accept any same-day applications. 

What do I need to do?

  1. Visit

  2. Choose between a free card, only accepted at Knowsley Safari, or upgrade to receive access to thousands of venues for just £15.00 for 3 years.

  3. Start Your Application.

  4. Allow 7 days for your application to be processed before visiting Knowsley Safari.

  5. If a +1 +2 or +3 symbol is displayed on your card, you can bring the equivalent number of Essential Companions with you. 

  6. Essential companions will be added to your booking on arrival and the essential companion ticket will be issued. 

Nimbus Disability will individually assess your needs, with the help of your supporting documentation and statements through their detailed application process, to determine if you qualify for a free Essential Companion Ticket. They will handle all your details safely and securely, without Knowsley Safari viewing the reason why you require additional assistance.  

Please note that you will only receive a free Essential Companion Ticket when accompanying a paying guest. We do not accept Nimbus cards for guests under 3 years of age and they will be required to pay the toddler price for entry.

It is important to note that having a disability does not mean you will automatically receive this service. 


An essential companion ticket allows an additional guest to enter the park accompanying a paying guest, to assist with their visit, free of charge.

Following a successful application through our partner Nimbus, an Essential Companion ticket can be picked up from the pay lanes, located at the entrance.

An Essential Companion ticket is available for guests where support is needed that is significant, substantial and in excess of what could be reasonably expected of family/friends already accompanying the guest. The support must be due to disability-related needs.

If eligible, a guest may be entitled to more than one (but no more than 3), essential companion tickets. The number of tickets will be allocated depending on the assessment from Nimbus and with the appropriate +1/+2/+3 symbol, assigned to your application/Access Card.

Essential Companions must be over 12 years of age. If aged between 12-17 years, they must still be accompanying a guest over 18 years of age.

All applications need to be submitted via the Nimbus Disability website, a direct link can be found above.

Applications are free of charge for guests who only wish to register their need to visit Knowsley Safari. Your application, if approved, will be valid for 3 years. On each visit, you will need to provide your application details to the Ticket Office on arrival to collect an Essential Companion ticket.

You will also have the option to upgrade to a full Access Card at a cost of £15. Access Cards are valid for 3 years and are widely accepted across thousands of locations across the UK and beyond, including many other amusement parks and leisure attractions that offer similar assistance.

If you are not able to use online forms and would be unable, because of the nature of your impairment, to apply online, Nimbus will be able to assist with telephone registration on 0330 808 5108.

If you already have a full, valid Access Card, you will only need to bring it along with you on the day and present it at the Ticket Office. If you have been issued the +1/+2/+3 symbol, you will be able to collect an Essential Companion ticket. 

If you have an annual pass with us and have previously had free carers, you will also now need to apply for an Access Card through Nimbus. If your application is successful, you will be able to collect a free companion ticket on each visit, from the Tickets Office. You will be able to apply for free or you can upgrade to a full Access Card.

You will not need to make an application each time you plan to visit as once approved, your application through Nimbus is valid for 3 years when visiting Knowsley Safari or 3 years with an Access Card.

The Access Cardholder or individual who applied online needs to purchase an individual ticket online in advance, the Essential Companion ticket can be collected on the day, if approved by Nimbus, from our pay lanes located at the entrance.

An Essential Companion ticket allows an additional person to enter the Park with a paying guest to assist with their visit, free of charge. Both people must enter Knowsley Safari together, and the named person on the Access Card must be present, your ID will be checked by our admissions team.

Essential Companion tickets are only available to accompany paying guests, we will not accept applications for children under 3 years who do not pay for admission. Free returns/complimentary tickets will need to apply online/present your card or application details as usual.

We remind all applicants that the +1 is not a discount for carers.

In the past, many venues may have operated a buy-one-get-one-free scheme for disabled customers but our approach is more detailed than this, so please read carefully before submitting a response.

The +1 is not about the fact that you need care and support, and this part of the form is not to question that you may need a certain amount of support when out and about.

The +1 symbol can only be awarded where an individual's needs are so significant or substantial that, without support, the price of a ticket to bring a carer would place the customer at a significant disadvantage when visiting paid-for events, and as such, it is the responsibility of the venue to subsidise the cost of this by issuing a reduced price / complimentary companion ticket.

The support needed must be in excess of what could be reasonably expected of family/friends already accompanying you and must be due to disability-related needs.

For children, and young children especially; the +1 can only be considered where the needs are outside of the range of what can be expected of parental responsibility - even if this means that your child needs more support or supervision than another child of similar age.

The decision to add +1 is not based on care needs but by the disadvantage imposed by charging additional fees for a carer to attend. At events where you would be attending with your child as part of the family group, you will be charged as a fee-paying parent just like all other family groups enjoying an event.

The +1 can only be considered where the support you require results in the cost of a carer ticket being an unreasonable barrier to your being able to attend.

Remember - this is not about whether your child needs care and support but whether the cost of a ticket for the person providing that care and support should be waived as a reasonable adjustment

Evidence notes

It is highly unlikely (but not necessarily impossible) that we will be able to award this symbol based on diagnosis alone so the evidence you send in must demonstrate the significance of need.

PIP, DLA and AA care components themselves may not necessarily indicate this. Each is awarded for daily personal care needs but may not transfer to the level of support needed at a paid event, but can very often be a good indicator as to the level of need you support, especially when submitted alongside additional supporting information.

Unfortunately, due to the nature of the applications and to ensure that the team at Nimbus have enough time to process all your supporting documents, you will not be able to apply with less than 24 hours' notice. Applications are still possible within 7 days, however, this provides significantly less time for an application to be reviewed.

Any guest who has not applied online through Nimbus, or if they have applied but have not had a reply so have no confirmation or card details, will not be able to collect a free Essential Companion ticket. All members of your party will have to pay for their admission to enter the park, as all guests require a valid ticket.

Please note that our staff are unable to review or approve any supporting documentation presented on arrival other than a valid Access Card or a Nimbus approval e-mail for a visit. Any such requests will be declined, and all guests will be required to pay the full on the day admission price to enter the park.   

For further details regarding Nimbus Disability and the Access Card scheme, please click here.

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