Because AWESOME is for everyone
When it reopens for the season on March 31, 2023, LEGOLAND New York will become the newest LEGOLAND Resort to be designated a Certified Autism Center by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). This means that all of the resort sites in North America will have this distinction: Florida and California received autism certification in 2022, joining Florida’s three onsite hotels, as well as Peppa Pig Theme Park.
“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.”
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Here’s what families can expect as part of the new LEGOLAND Resorts experience:
- LEGOLAND team members will be trained to better assist autistic guests and those with other sensory sensitivities.
- Pre-planning resources will be 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. This will make it easier for families to plan activities that align with their needs and accommodations.
- Low-sensory areas will be available to allow guests with certain sensitivities to take a break and relax in a less stimulating environment.
- 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 earplugs to assist with sound and overstimulation.
- “Assisted Access Passes” can be requested at Guest Services. With this pass, families can visit their first ride and not have to wait in line. After that, they choose a time to visit their second ride and head to that ride at the designated time without having to wait in line. This process continues throughout the day.
- Guests who use strollers as wheelchairs can obtain a special tag that allows them access to all venues.
“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,” says Merlin Entertaintments CEO Scott O’Neil.