- By March 31, 2023, all LEGOLAND Resorts in North America will receive Certified Autism Center™(CAC) distinction.
- As part of this certification, all employees will be highly trained to ensure any visitors on the autism spectrum or with other sensory disorders can enjoy the best possible visit.
- Specially designed on-site offerings include quiet rooms, sensory guides, and low sensory areas.
LEGOLAND® Resorts believe awesome is for everyone! Today, LEGOLAND® California, LEGOLAND® Florida, and LEGOLAND® New York Resorts proudly declare that all Parks will become Certified Autism Centers™ (CAC) by spring 2023.
The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) granted LEGOLAND Florida and LEGOLAND California with autism certification in 2022. LEGOLAND Florida’s three onsite hotels, as well as Peppa Pig Theme Park, just steps away from LEGOLAND, are also all Certified Autism Centers™. IBCCES is the only credentialing organization providing this type of certification, which includes evidence-based training as well as the perspectives of autistic individuals. In addition, the organization provides resources such as onsite reviews and customized recommendations, and renewal requirements to ensure LEGOLAND Resorts have the tools and support that can make a lasting impact for all guests.
Merlin’s newest North American Park, LEGOLAND New York, will officially become a CAC when it reopens for the 2023 season on March 31. All Resorts worked with IBCCES to train and certify staff in sensory, environmental, and emotional awareness – ensuring families can build a bricktastic vacation and make unforgettable memories
“LEGOLAND Resorts are designed to inspire creativity amongst children of all abilities – our rides, experiences and entertainment all foster a child’s imagination through a lens of belonging.” says Merlin Entertainments CEO Scott O’Neil. “With 1 in 44 children diagnosed with autism in the U.S.A., we want to build understanding and empathy while also ensuring our teams have the tools and support strategies when engaging with a neurodiverse population. Through this certification, we’re providing our guests with more opportunities to create and play their way, while supporting parents through every step of the vacation planning journey.”
Here’s what families can expect as part of the new LEGOLAND Resorts experience:
- Trained front-line team members equipped to better assist autistic guests or those with other sensory sensitivities.
- Pre-planning resources available for guests on the Resorts’ websites.
- Across the three Resorts, every ride will have a posted sensory guide developed by IBCCES indicating whether there are bright lights, loud sounds, or any features that guests might need to plan around. Rating each attractions’ sensory levels – touch, taste, sound, sight, and smell – makes it easier for families to plan activities that align with their needs and accommodations. On the guides, there is a Park map marked with low-traffic areas for visitors in need of a low-sensory break area.
- Low sensory areas allow guests with certain sensitivities to take a break and relax in a less stimulating environment. From 1- 2 p.m. at LEGOLAND California, their newest attraction, LEGO® Ferrari Build & Race, all sound effects are turned off for families looking for a less overwhelming experience.
- LEGOLAND Florida and LEGOLAND New York offer quiet rooms dedicated to children with varying sensory needs – where guests can decompress with weighted blankets, dim lighting, and tactile toys.
- Upon request, First Aid offers ear plugs to assist with sound and overstimulation and “Assisted Access Passes” can be requested at Guest Services.
“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,” said Myron Pincomb, IBCCES Board Chairman. “Our programs will provide long-term support with ongoing training and other supports to the Resorts in achieving their objective of providing accessible options for all visitors.”
Current sensory guides and resources can be found here:
https://www.legoland.com/california/media/b1oahwwa/llcr-sensory-guide.pdf, https://www.legoland.com/florida/media/g4ffsjti/22-llfr-sensory-guide-theme-park.pdf, and https://www.legoland.com/new-york/plan-your-visit/know-before-you-go/certified-autism-center/
Committed to providing The Global Standard For Training and Certification in The Field of Cognitive Disorders – IBCCES provides a series of certifications that empower professionals to be leaders in their field and improve the outcomes for the individuals they serve. These programs are recognized around the world as the leading benchmark for training and certification in the areas of autism and other cognitive disorders.
About LEGOLAND® California Resort
LEGOLAND® California Resort includes LEGOLAND® California, SEA LIFE® aquarium, LEGOLAND® Water Park, LEGOLAND® Hotel and LEGOLAND® Castle Hotel. All are geared for families with children between the ages of 2 and 12. At LEGOLAND California, you’ll find more than 60 rides, shows and attractions including the new LEGO Ferrari Build & Race and The LEGO MOVIE WORLD based on the blockbuster films The LEGO® Movie™ and The LEGO® Movie™ 2: The Second Part. The new land fully immerses guests into the LEGO® Movie universe and places them onto the streets of Bricksburg. LEGOLAND Water Park features more than seven slides, sandy beaches and the unique Build-A-Raft River plus Pirate Reef and LEGO Legends of CHIMA Water Park comprising 10 acres of water fun! The nation’s first LEGOLAND Hotel features 250 rooms, all themed either as pirate, adventure, kingdom, LEGO® Friends and LEGO® NINJAGO™! North America’s first LEGOLAND Castle Hotel features 250 rooms, fully themed as Knights and Dragons, Royal Princess and Magic Wizard. For more information, visit www.LEGOLAND.com or call (760) 918-LEGO (5346).
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 LEGOLAND® New York Resort
AWESOME AWAITS at LEGOLAND® New York Resort, the ultimate LEGO® theme park destination, just outside New York City in the beautiful Hudson Valley! At LEGOLAND New York, kids ages two through 12 and their families can ride, climb, splash, and build their way through seven themed lands. Transform into a Minifigure on the world-premiere LEGO® Factory Adventure Ride, master the art of Spinjitzu on LEGO® NINJAGO® the Ride, save the kingdom on the Dragon Coaster, and explore awesome LEGO built cities in MINILAND! Adding to the multi-day destination experience, the bricktastic fun continues at LEGOLAND® Hotel, open year-round! The only LEGO themed hotel in the Northeast, it features 250 rooms in four themes: LEGO® Pirates, Kingdom, LEGO® Friends and LEGO® NINJAGO® – all just steps away from the theme park! The park is easily accessible by car, Metro-North train and direct bus service on Coach USA from Port Authority.
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 more than 140 attractions, 23 hotels and 6 holiday villages in 25 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.
Learn More About Becoming A Certified Autism Center™
Fill out the form below to learn more about our CAC Program, which includes staff certifications, training options and center certification.