The sights and sounds of a theme park are exciting, but they can be stressful and over-stimulating for guests with sensory issues or cognitive disabilities. That’s why Legoland Florida has announced a partnership with Autism Speaks to make the Winter Haven attraction more welcoming for families with autism spectrum disorders.
As a first step, Legoland Florida is currently installing a large panel of hands-on, sensory-stimulating activities in a quiet space within its former Annual Pass processing center. This will be the first of several planned projects designed to make Legoland Florida Resort a more autism-friendly destination. Autism Speaks staff members and volunteers will consult on the development and installation of “quiet rooms” and other resort facilities designed to meet the needs of guests with autism. The organization also will help Legoland Florida Resort create online “social stories” that will provide illustrated walkthroughs of its attractions, shows and other guest amenities, and will consult on other autism-friendly initiatives such as a park map designed for guests with special needs and possible revisions to its existing Guide for Guests with Disabilities. Autism Speaks staff members and volunteers will also conduct training sessions at the resort at least twice a year and will supply educational material to be distributed to all new hires.
In addition, Legoland will sponsor the Kids Zone area during the Autism Speaks Walk on April 23 at Tropicana Field in Tampa, Fla., and on Saturday, Nov. 12, during the Autism Speaks Walk at Cranes Roost Park in Altamonte Springs, Fla. And in honor of World Autism Awareness Day, observed on April 2, Leogland Florida Resort is participating in the Autism Speaks Light It Up Blue campaign by shining blue spotlights on its whimsical entrance arch.
To learn more about Legoland Florida, visit the www.legoland.com/florida.