The upcoming Peppa Pig Theme Park in Winter Haven, Fla. has announced that not only will it open as a Certified Autism Center, but has revealed a look at a newly-designed accessible ride vehicle.
The news was revealed to attendees at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) Expo earlier today, along with the news that a full Accessibility Guide and other longer-term plans for continued updates are in development for the park’s experiences.
Peppa Pig Theme Park is teaming up with the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) to earn its accreditation as a Certified Autism Center (CAC) when it opens on Feb. 24, 2022. IBCCES will work with Peppa Pig Theme Park to conduct a staff-wide autism sensitivity and awareness training, in addition to making more tangible updates to the in-park communications. The training covers the areas of sensory awareness, environment, communication, motor and social skills, program development, and emotional awareness, and includes a comprehensive autism competency exam.
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The extended commitment will require the park to continue with ongoing staff training past its grand opening in order to ensure that team members, known as “Puddle Jumpers,” have the requisite knowledge, skills, temperament and expertise to interact with all families and children with special needs, specifically on the autism spectrum.
In addition to the staff training, IBCCES is conducting an in-depth review of the new park to develop a detailed Sensory Guide that 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. This will serve as a planning tool that will offer the information needed to make it easier for parents and families to plan activities that satisfy their child’s needs and accommodations.
The ride that now features a new, wheelchair-accessible ride vehicle is Peppa Pig’s Balloon Ride, where guests can sit inside whimsical baskets crafted to look like hot air balloons. These vehicles, shown above, are specially designed to allow children who use wheelchairs to roll onto the “balloon basket” without needing to transfer.
In addition, the park’s marquee water play attraction, the Muddy Puddle Splash Pad, has been developed with kid-friendly accessibility in mind. The ground will be specially graded for wheelchair use and several heights of water play elements are being choreographed for all guests and all abilities. This includes a tunnel of water hoops that can be navigated in a wheelchair and other splash surprises at varying height levels.
Other accessible adventures in the park include Peppa’s Pedal Bike Tour, where children in wheelchairs will be able to maneuver and explore the trail without leaving their chairs; George’s Fort, where the greenery-covered maze walls have been mapped out to all ADA guidelines and standards; and the Fun Fair, where free game counters have been constructed at accessible heights so they can be enjoyed by everyone.
Located just steps away from Legoland Florida Resort, Peppa Pig Theme Park will open to all guests on Feb. 24, 2022. To learn more, visit PeppaPigThemePark.com/Florida.