WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (April 28, 2022) — LEGOLAND® Florida Resort becomes the first theme park resort 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 earlier this year 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 continues learning, support from IBCCES, and periodic renewal requirements to stay certified.
“We are proud that LEGOLAND® Florida Resort has partnered 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.
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 will be available at www.legoland.com/florida/ and 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.”
For more than 20 years, IBCCES has been the leader in cognitive disorder training and certification for healthcare, education, and corporate professionals around the globe. IBCCES is the only credentialing organization providing this type of certification, which includes evidence-based training as well as the perspectives of autistic individuals, alongside other tools and resources such as onsite reviews and customized recommendations, and renewal requirements to ensure the program is a long-term commitment that has a lasting impact.
IBCCES also created AutismTravel.com, a free online resource for parents that lists certified destinations and connects families to other resources and each other. Each destination listed on the site has met the Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) requirements.
About LEGOLAND® Florida Resort
LEGOLAND® Florida Resort is the ultimate vacation destination for families with kids. Located 45 minutes from Orlando and Tampa, the Resort features an interactive, 150-acre Theme Park with more than 50 rides, live shows and themed attractions inspired by popular LEGO® brands and characters, a seasonably heated Water Park, that is open year-round, with more than a dozen family water slides, and three uniquely themed on-site accommodations. Located 130 kid-steps away from the Theme Park’s front gate, LEGOLAND® Hotel and the new LEGOLAND® Pirate Island Hotel bring the Theme Park fun into the hotel with nightly entertainment, resort pools, and guest rooms with separate adult and child sleeping areas, and in-room treasure hunts. Just across the street, LEGOLAND® Beach Retreat features beach- themed bungalows in village-style layout centered around outdoor play areas and unforgettable Florida lake views.
See www.LEGOLAND.com/Florida for more information and follow @LEGOLANDflorida on social media.
About Merlin Entertainments
Merlin Entertainments is a global leader in location-based, family entertainment. As Europe’s number one and the world’s second-largest visitor attraction operator, Merlin operates 138 attractions, 23 hotels and 6 holiday villages in 24 countries across 4 continents. Merlin’s purpose is to deliver memorable experiences to its millions of guests around the world, through its iconic brands and multiple attraction formats, and the commitment and passion of its employees.
See www.merlinentertainments.biz for more information and follow on Twitter @MerlinEntsNews.
Learn More About Becoming A Certified Autism Center™
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