Legoland Florida is a theme park located about 50 miles south of Orlando in the city of Winter Haven. It is the ultimate haven for children of ages 2-12 with over 50 rides, shows and attractions alongside the Legoland WaterPark. Thousands of children visit the park each year and this past month, the park unveiled a number of sensory-friendly features for its visitors with autism.
Visitors with autism can now take advantage of an assisted, no-cost access pass called the “Hero Pass”. This pass facilities standing in line for an attraction by allowing visitors with autism, and their families, to bypass the standby line by reserving a ride time to return and ride the attraction. Legoland has also designated a number of “quiet rooms” throughout the park that allow visitors to take a break from all the stimuli. Within these rooms one can find noise-cancelling headphones, weighted blankets, squishy toys and LEGO® building tables all complementary resources for guests.
The park has also installed “social stories” throughout to help children on the spectrum anticipate scary or overwhelming moments. These stories “offer an illustrated, step-by-step walkthrough of every ride and show, so guests won’t be surprised by periods of darkness, loud noises, bright lights”, according to the Legoland blog.
Employees, also called “Model Citizens”, are being trained to assist families and caregivers of individuals on the spectrum in given situations.“We continuously teach our team to, above all, be patient with each guest and treat everyone with the respect they deserve,” said Haley Travis, a leader in Training & Development. “We have a wonderful opportunity to build and grow how we approach guests with autism spectrum disorders.”
More information on resources for families with autism can be found on the Legoland website, along with a special discount of $48 on adult tickets for the month of April and May.