LEGOLAND® Florida Resort has announced that it has officially been designated as a Certified Autism Center. This Resort-wide designation includes LEGOLAND® Theme Park, LEGOLAND® Water Park, LEGOLAND® Hotel, LEGOLAND® Pirate Island Hotel, LEGOLAND® Beach Retreat and Peppa Pig Theme Park, which opened earlier this year. The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards awards the CAC certification to organizations that complete guest-facing staff training and certification, as well as other requirements including offering accommodations for visitors with cognitive differences.
IBCCES conducted an onsite review Resort-wide to provide additional recommendations and options for autistic visitors and their families, as well as sensory guides to help guests understand and plan for the sensory impacts of each ride or attraction. The IBCCES training program includes information on understanding what autism is, strategies for communication, and best practices for enhancing the onsite experience. The training program includes information from industry experts as well as autistic individuals’ perspectives. The certification also requires ongoing continues learning, support from IBCCES, and periodic renewal requirements to stay certified.
“We are proud that LEGOLAND® Florida Resort has partnered with The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) to earn our designation as a Certified Autism Center™ across LEGOLAND® Florida Theme Park, Water Park, three on-site hotels, and the all-new Peppa Pig Theme Park,” said Kelly Hornick, Head of Marketing & Communications for LEGOLAND® Florida Resort and Peppa Pig Theme Park. “We are passionate about being the Resort for families to build awesome vacation memories, and we are thankful to our partners at IBCCES for helping us be more welcoming and more inclusive to more families, including those with sensory needs.”
Many autistic individuals and those with sensory sensitivities may find it challenging to visit new places or plan family trips due to lack of staff training and understanding, potential for sensory overload, and need for flexible options or accommodations. In response to this need, IBCCES created training and certification programs specifically for attractions, hotels, zoos, aquariums, and other recreational locations to ensure all families and individuals can make memories and have fun.
According to Legoland Florida, there will now be trained, helpful, front-line team members equipped to better assist autistic guests or those with other sensory sensitivities and help them enjoy their time at the resort, and a sensory guide for every attraction that provides insight into how the attraction or ride may be affected by each of the five senses to make it easier for individuals and families to plan activities that align with their needs and accommodations.
Legoland Florida says there will also be sensory areas to allow guests with sensory sensitivities to take a break and relax in a less stimulating environment. Guests can also pick up an updated Accessibility Guide at www.legoland.com/florida and at Guest Relations areas.