LEGOLAND Sensory-Friendly Experiences: Three Theme Parks Become Certified Autism Centers

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Selective focus on Halloween decorations outside the main entrance to Legoland

NEWS - LEGOLAND is working to make three of its locations Certified Autism Centers with special attractions and features.

LEGOLAND is a family theme park brand focusing on the toy system of the same name. It has locations around the globe, including California, Florida, Japan, and Malaysia. The park has attractions for children and children at heart.

A Safe Space For Everyone

Scott M. O’Neil, CEO of Merlin Entertainments, which owns LEGOLAND, said the following in an interview with USA Today.

"One of our core values is around belonging. What, to me, is most exciting is creating a space for children on the spectrum to know that they can come with their families and friends and have a fun and safe and enriching experience and hopefully create memories that last a lifetime."

In 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that about one in 44 children in the U.S. has autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The report also says that boys are four times more likely to have autism than girls.

LEGOLAND And Its Autism-Friendly Ventures

Visitors pass through the entrance to Legoland Florida in Winter Haven, FL,

A person with autism can find it challenging to communicate and interact socially. Their senses can become overloaded with sights, sounds, and other encounters, making it difficult to learn, move, or pay attention.

LEGOLAND’s theme parks in Florida, California, and New York are acknowledging these challenges and bringing new features to cater to individuals with autism.

Guests can expect each attraction to have a stimulation rating for each sense. Visitors can choose if they want to experience the park's features without significantly overloading their senses.

Autism-Centered Amenities And Features

Each LEGOLAND theme park now has unique amenities and features that cater to individuals with autism.

LEGOLAND Florida and New York have quiet rooms where guests can take a break. At LEGOLAND California, the sound effects on the Ferrari Build & Race ride are muted from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.

Legoland California,, is a theme park located in Carlsbad, California, based on the Lego toy brand.

Guests visiting these LEGOLAND parks can also request earplugs and first aid services. An Assisted Access Pass is available for anyone with a disability or medical condition.

At the time of writing, LEGOLAND’s California and Florida locations had met the requirements for being a Certified Autism Center. LEGOLAND New York Resort should have the certification by spring 2023.

Myron Pincomb, board chairman of the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES), has expressed the organization’s willingness to partner with LEGOLAND, as he said in a press release:

“IBCCES is honored to work with all LEGOLAND® Parks in North America to make sure autistic and sensory-sensitive guests and their families can make treasured memories and enjoy all the amazing experiences LEGOLAND has to offer.”

Pincomb also says that programs presented by IBCCES offer long-term support and ongoing training to LEGOLAND staff to help improve accessibility for all of the park's customers.

Benefits Of An Autism Certification

With LEGOLAND becoming a Certified Autism Center, it can now provide unique benefits to its guests. These advantages include:

  • Serving individuals with autism in the best way possible and providing appropriate care.
  • Improved communication with parents and community members about autism.
  • Enhanced accessibility at the parks and reduced risk of sensory overload.

Positive Response From The Public

View of the entrance of Legoland California, an amusement theme park based on Lego toys located near San Diego, California.

Even before the autism certification from the IBCCES, LEGOLAND was an advocate for improving accessibility for all of its guests.

One TripAdvisor user recounted her 2014 experience in one LEGOLAND location, saying the park’s staff understood the nature of autism and helped her children enjoy the park's amenities.

Interested visitors can use LEGOLAND’s online help center for concerns and inquiries. Another way to reach the park is by emailing them.

Related reads:

Journey To Serenity: An Autistic Man’s Story Of Coping Through Art And Travel

Blast From The Past: Disneyland’s Mickey & Minnie Runaway Railway Finally Opens

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