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Autism-Friendly Theme Parks, Attractions & Venues in Orlando

Several attractions in Orlando, and throughout Central Florida are accommodating and entertaining for kids with autism. Check out these autism-friendly ideas that the whole family will enjoy.

Autism-Friendly Theme Parks, Attractions & Venues in Orlando

April is National Autism Acceptance Month, and Orlando features several attractions, sports teams, theaters that include accessibility features designed specifically for those with autism and developmental disabilities


From sensory-friendly theme parks and museums to theatre performances offering sensory bags, altered performances and awareness training, Orlando offers various engaging and autism-friendly activities promoting inclusivity, and memorable experiences for individuals with autism and their families.




Autism Friendly Theme Parks


Autism-Friendly Theme Parks, Attractions & Venues in Orlando LEGOLAND FLORIDA

LEGOLAND Florida

LEGOLAND Florida Resort partnered with The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) to become a Certified Autism Center across the Theme Parks, Water Park and three on-site hotels.


LEGOLAND Florida was the first LEGOLAND park in North America to become a certified autism center, and in addition to being ADA compliant and offering the HERO Pass, several more services and initiatives are provided to help families with special needs enjoy their visit.


Quiet Rooms

Specially equipped quiet rooms are available in the Annual Pass office, First Aid and Baby Care facilities. These rooms are equipped with noise-canceling headphones, toys and LEGO building tables to help reduce sensory overload.


A similar space is available within Guest Services at LEGOLAND Water Park.


Social Stories

The LEGOLAND Training & Development team has created “social stories” that offer an illustrated, step-by-step walkthrough of every theme park ride and show. These stories help to prepare guests for periods of darkness, loud noises, bright lights or other elements that might be frightening or overwhelming. They’re available for review at Guest Services.


Sensory Guides

LEGOLAND recognizes that some guests may have difficulty processing or handling different sensory experiences. To help guests know in advance of experiencing attractions, they have put together Sensory Guides that rates the sensory levels of all the attractions in the park.


There is also a Sensory Guide at each attraction. The Sensory Guide show each of the five senses and rate the experience 1 through 10. Download the guides here.



Peppa Pig Theme Park

Peppa Pig Theme Park partnered with The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) to earn its accreditation as a Certified Autism Centre (CAC) before the park opened to the public in 2022.


All the staff at the world’s first Peppa Pig Theme Park are trained on how to interact with children with autism and their families. In addition to staff training, IBCCES conducted an in-depth review of the new Park to develop a detailed Sensory Guide. This guide features a review of every attraction by providing insight on how a child with sensory processing issues may be affected by each of the five senses.


You can download the accessibility guide now, or pick up a copy at the park entrance. 



SeaWorld Orlando

Sesame Street Land at SeaWorld Orlando partnered with The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES), to become designated as a Certified Autism Center (CAC), offering specialized services to guests with autism and other special needs.


Certified Staff

Sesame Street Land at SeaWorld Orlando Ambassadors receive specialized training to ensure they have the requisite knowledge, skills, temperament, and expertise to cater to all children, including those with special needs.


Training focuses include: sensory awareness, motor skills, autism overview, program development, social skills, communication, environment, and emotional awareness.


Sensory Guide

The Sensory Guide provides insight on how a child with sensory processing issues may be affected by each sense for rides and attractions at SeaWorld Orlando. Download a guide here.


Ride Accessibility Program (RAP)

SeaWorld Orlando's Ride Accessibility Program was designed to allow guests to fully participate and enjoy our parks while keeping in mind the safety requirements of our rides and attractions.


Quiet Room

Guests in need of some quiet time and relief from sensory stimulation can utilize a quiet room located inside the Child Care Facility in Sesame Street Land at SeaWorld Orlando. This room has features and comfortable seating for guests needing a break.


Low Sensory Area

Guests in need of a less stimulating area in the park are encouraged to visit the area between Dolphin Cove and the SeaWorld Rescue Center. 



Discovery Cove

Discovery Cove at Seaworld Orlando has partnered with The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) to become designated as a Certified Autism Center (CAC), offering specialized services to guests with autism and other special needs.


Certified Staff

Discovery Cove Ambassadors receive specialized training to ensure they have the requisite knowledge, skills, temperament, and expertise to cater to all guests, including those with special needs.


IBCCES Sensory Guide

The IBCCES Sensory Guide provides insight on how a guest with sensory processing issues may be affected by each sense for experiences at Discovery Cove. Download the Sensory Guide.


Quiet Space

Guests in need of some quiet time and relief from sensory stimulation can utilize the Quiet Space located near our First Aid unit. This space is a low traffic and low noise area with seating for guests who need to take a break.


Discovery Cove has lots of open, clear space; this makes attractions and services more accessible and reduces “sensory overload” for guests with cognitive disorders like autism spectrum disorder (ASD). People with autism often experience hypersensitivity to touch, taste, sound, smell and sight. Discovery Cove is quite serene and relaxing, with opportunities for higher stimulus activities such as animal encounters and swimming.


Autism-Friendly Theme Parks, Attractions & Venues in Orlando UNIVERSAL ORLANDO

Universal Orlando Resort

From high-speed attractions to energetic live shows to large walk-around characters, some of the entertainment offerings at Universal Orlando Resort’s theme parks may overstimulate the senses.


A Quiet Room is available at Universal Studios Florida, located at Health Services – Production Central at the front of the park. This room offers a quiet and low-stimulation space for Guests. It is equipped with rubber floor tiles, an activity wall panel, dimming lights, and two hiding tunnels.You will not be required to reserve the room; however, you must wait until the room is vacant to use.


.Additionally, to help each guest and their families enjoy their time comfortably and safely, Universal has created a guide outlining what to expect in each theme park, including attraction information, areas with limited visitation or good viewing distractions, dining information, and other helpful resources. Download the Planning Guide for Guests with Cognitive Disabilities


Autism-Friendly Theme Parks, Attractions & Venues in OrlandoAutism-Friendly Theme Parks, Attractions & Venues in Orlando

Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World Resort offers a host of services to help Guests with cognitive disabilities—including those on the Autism Spectrum—maximize their Resort experience.


For more information, please email disability.services@disneyparks.com.


Rider Switch

Parties with more than 2 Guests may be able to take advantage of the attraction Rider Switch program, which enables you to experience an attraction while another member of your party waits with the Guest who does not ride. You then “swap” to enable the other party member to enjoy the attraction without having to wait in line again.

For further information on how to use this service, please speak with a Cast Member at each specific attraction.


Break Areas

Should the Guest with a cognitive disability become over-stimulated or need some down time, dozens of areas are available throughout the parks where a Guest can “take a break.” To locate the nearest area, please ask a Cast Member for assistance.


For a complete list of locations, please download the Guide for Guests with Cognitive Disabilities.


Helpful Guide

Each attraction at Walt Disney World Resort is different from the next and features a variety of special effects including scents, flashing lights, loud noises and periods of darkness.


For more information on experiences all across Walt Disney World Resort, please download the Attraction Details for Guests with Cognitive Disabilities or the more general Guide for Guests with Cognitive Disabilities.



Autism Friendly Attractions



Crayola Experience

Sensory Sundays are offered on select dates throughout the year at Crayola Experience at The Florida Mall, when the attraction will open early at 9 am.

 

These special mornings are designed for kids and families who would like to experience the attraction adapted just for sensory needs:


  • Lights will be dimmed

  • Music will be turned off

  • Quiet room available

  • Paper Towels available in the restrooms

  • Special Character appearance at 10:00am

 

Upcoming dates: April 21, August 18, September 22, and November 17.



WonderWorks

WonderWorks hosts Sensory Days for Children and Adults with Special Needs, where WonderWorks’ exhibits are altered to provide limited stimulation for children with special needs.


The music in the facility is lowered, any loud exhibit is not operational and they stop the inversion tunnel, creating a safe environment for kids to enjoy the facility without feeling overwhelmed.


Parents, caretakers, family and children can come to WonderWorks for $15 per person during this event.



iFLY Orlando Indoor Skydiving

Individuals with physical or cognitive disabilities can soar beyond their own expectations and indoor skydive in a fun, positive environment at iFLY Orlando Indoor Skydiving on International Drive.


The All Abilities program includes special assistance with orientation and pre-flight prep as well as personalized, one-on-one air time with a world-class iFLY instructor.



AMC Theaters

AMC partners with the Autism Society to offer unique movie showings where they turn the lights up, and turn the sound down, so you can get up, dance, walk, shout or sing! The Sensory Friendly Film Program is available on the second and fourth Saturday (family-friendly) and Wednesday evenings (mature audiences) of every month.


Local theaters that take part in the program are AMC DINE-IN Disney Springs 24, and AMC Altamonte Mall 18.



Orlando Museum of Art

On select Sundays, the Orlando Museum of Art offers its Creative Connections program. This program connects visitors of all ages with developmental and learning disabilities and those on the autism spectrum to art and the world around them.


In an environment where there are no wrong questions or answers, the Creative Connections program will spark imagination and foster creative expression.


FREE, pre-registration is required. Please call 407.896.4231 ext. 262 or email education@omart.org to register.



Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens

Central Florida Zoo has partnered with KultureCity, a non-profit organization focused on creating welcoming and inclusive environments for individuals with unique abilities, to become a certified sensory inclusive facility.


Sensory bags are available at the Zoo’s Admissions Window and are equipped with noise-canceling headphones, cue cards, fidget tools, and other resources. These bags are available to borrow, free of charge, for guests with sensory needs.


Signage is posted throughout the Zoo indicating potentially high-noise areas, as well as designated Quiet Areas for individuals who need to take a break.



Brevard Zoo

Brevard Zoo helps visitors on the spectrum to enjoy an unforgettable day.


Sensory Bags

As a KultureCity Sensory Inclusive certified organization, the zoo offers both sensory bags and lanyards for our guests to borrow. Both items can be checked out at Guest Services and the Cape to Cairo Express ticket booth on a first-come, first-serve basis. Each bag includes a weighted lap pad, noise-canceling headphones, fidget toys and other items that may help guests with unique sensory-processing needs get the most out of their Zoo experience. There is no charge to use a sensory bag. The lanyard can be check out separately if guests do not want to check out the bag.


Sensory Guide

The Sensory Guide is a tool to help you plan your visit if guests in your group have sensory sensitivities. Zoo activities, tours and loops have been individually assessed by their sensory experience, including the sensations of touch, smell, sound, sight, movement and complexity. Sensations are rated from “mild” to “high.” You can view (and download) the sensory guide here


Quiet Zones

The Zoo offers three quiet zones. A quiet zone is a designated space that people can retreat to when they feel overwhelmed and overloaded by the sensory input from the zoo environment.  The Quiet Zones are located at Sea Turtle Beach and the Wetlands, which are accessible without a zoo staff member. The Quiet Zone located in the Exceptional Nature Space is behind the scenes of the zoo and will require a staff member to escort guests to the zone.



Florida Children’s Museum

Florida Children’s Museum in Lakeland works in partnership with the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (C.A.R.D.) at the University of South Florida to be Autism Friendly. Their Social Story can help prepare your child for a visit to the Museum. View it here.


In an effort to ensure everyone feels comfortable playing and learning, families can check out a Sensory Kit during their visit. Simply visit the front desk where you purchase tickets to request one.


Kits include: Noise-reducing headphones, Sunglasses, and a Handheld fidget toy.


Bok Tower Gardens

Bok Tower Gardens is recognized as an ‘Autism Friendly’ business by the Center For Autism & Related Disabilities (CARD) at the University of South Florida.


They have collaborated with CARD to provide tools for individuals with autism spectrum disorder and other sensory processing or cognitive impairments in order to make your visit special and enjoyable. To learn more about CARD-USF visit USF.TO/AUTISM


The Bok Tower Gardens Social Experience Guide is a picture book-style guide, which walks visitors through the Garden and what they might experience, provided at The Front Desk in the Visitor Center.


BTG’s Visitor Services desk has a Sensory Kit which includes noise cancelling headphones,

crayons, paper, and fidgets. See host for check out on a first come, first served basis.



Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex has partnered with The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) to become a Certified Autism Center across the visitor complex.


IBCCES has worked with the visitor complex to conduct a staff-wide autism sensitivity and awareness training. In addition, they have conducted an in-depth review of the visitor complex to help develop a detailed Sensory Guide. This guide is a comprehensive planning tool that provides insight on how each attraction may affect each of the five senses. You can download the guide here.


Also, For guests with autism, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex provides a limited number of noise reduction earphones to guests. They may be checked out for use during your visit at the Information center. They are available on a first come, first served basis and must be returned before the end of the day.



Autism Friendly Venues



Kia Center

As the first NBA arena in Florida certified by KultureCity as "sensory inclusive," Kia Center offers the following resources for patrons with sensory processing needs: sensory bags, weighted lap pads and photosensitivity glasses (which can be checked-out at guest services at no cost). Bags also include a special badge for guest recognition, fidget tools, noise-canceling headphones and other items.


Kia Center also has a sensory room for guests with special needs. This dedicated space gives families a safe and calming place to take a break, whenever needed, during events.



Camping World Stadium

Sensory accessibility resources and dedicated sensory rooms are available inside the Camping World Stadium.


Sensory bags are available with headphones, cue cards, a lanyard and fidget toys. Visit the guest services booth inside Gate A for more information.



Inter&Co Stadium

At the home of Orlando City Soccer Club and Orlando Pride, Inter&Co Stadium in partnership with Kulture City, offer sensory bags which are available to check out from the Guest Services Booth located on the SE Main Concourse, across from section one. Sensory tools and a quieter space are also available at each First Aid station located across from sections 2 and 21.



Dr. Phillips Center

Dr. Phillips Center’ s vision is to ensure the arts are accessible to all. They are committed to providing the resources and tools necessary to ensure every guest enjoys the same quality experience when attending our performances and events.


Sensory-friendly environments and tools help guests with a sensory processing disorder enjoy performances with the opportunity to enjoy decreased or increased stimulation as needed. These options are very helpful for people with anxiety, ADHD, dementia/Alzheimers, PTSD and, most of all, for people on the autism spectrum.


Dr. Phillips Center is a Certified Autism Center, designated by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards. They offer various sensory-friendly options for guests who need additional or less external stimulation. Aside from hosting sensory-friendly performances of shows, they also offer a “quiet room” program. This resource includes items guests can borrow from concierge to bring into the theater, including fidget tools, weighted blankets or ear protection. Find out more here.


Autism-Friendly Theme Parks, Attractions & Venues in Orlando

Orlando Family Stage

Orlando Family Stage offers sensory-friendly performances of select titles each season.  These performances are designed to provide an accommodating and supportive experience for families with individuals with Autism, sensory differences, and other special needs who process sensory information differently.


With each Sensory-Friendly Performance, Orlando Family Stage provides patrons a Social Story, a resource guide for parents and children to help them get a feel for the theatre experience before the day of the show, and a Coping sheet, a condensed version of the Social Story.



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Autism-Friendly Theme Parks, Attractions & Venues in Orlando

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