Monday, December 4, 2023

LEGOLAND Florida Resort earns resort-wide Certified Autism Center designation

LEGOLAND Florida Resort becomes the first theme park resort complex to become a Certified Autism Center (CAC). This Resort-wide CAC designation includes LEGOLAND Theme Park, LEGOLAND Water Park, LEGOLAND Hotel, LEGOLAND Pirate Island Hotel, LEGOLAND Beach Retreat and Peppa Pig Theme Park, which opened in February just steps away from LEGOLAND. The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) 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 continuous 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 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.”

Peppa Pig Theme Park located at the LEGOLAND Florida Resort in Winter Haven, Florida. Photo courtesy of Merlin Entertainments.

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.

As Certified Autism Centers, LEGOLAND® Florida Resort will provide:

  • 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;
  • 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;
  • Low sensory areas to allow guests with sensory sensitivities to take a break and relax in a less stimulating environment;
  • An updated Accessibility Guide available online and at Guest Relations areas.

“IBCCES is thrilled to partner with LEGOLAND Florida Resort to help them enhance the guest experience in this unique setting that provides a comprehensive experience for families to stay and play together,” said Myron Pincomb, IBCCES Board Chairman. “Their commitment to ongoing training and accessibility enhancements helps ensure there are more options for families to make memories together that we all cherish.”

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