Legoland’s Peppa Pig Theme Park in Florida will be a Certified Autism Center (CAC) when it opens in February 2022.
According to the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES), a Certified Autism Center is a “facility or organization in which at least 80% of their staff is highly trained, fully equipped and certified in the field of autism.”
Legoland has also pledged to becoming a CAC by the time of the Peppa Pig Theme Park grand opening. This will include Legoland, its water park and the three on-site hotels.
The designation is just one of the ways the Peppa Pig Theme Park will endeavour to be an accessible and inclusive resort for all guests.
The theme park will receive help from the IBCCES to organize staff-wide autism sensitivity and awareness training, which “reviews the areas of sensory awareness, environment, communication, motor and social skills, program development and emotional awareness” and involves an extensive exam. Staff will carry on with training past the park’s opening.
IBCCES will also aid the park in creating a sensory guide – every attraction will be evaluated to determine how a child with sensory processing issues may be affected. The park will develop an accessibility guide that will “help all families be aware of the many services and access options that will be available so they can plan the ultimate day of adventure for their preschoolers.”
These announcements were made at the IAAPA Expo in Orlando. A new ride was also revealed, which will allow for “increased accessibility for children with wheelchairs.”
The Peppa Pig theme park will feature Peppa Pig’s Balloon Ride, where guests can ride in “whimsical baskets” that look like hot air balloons. Children who use wheelchairs will be able to board the ride without getting out of their wheelchairs.
Merlin Entertainment and Technical Park worked together to design the new rides so that “more children could experience it safely along with a grownup.”
“This is just one part of a larger commitment from Merlin Entertainments to develop attractions that can be enjoyed by all guests, of every ability,” the press release reads.
Children will also be able to stay in their wheelchairs while traversing the “sensory-rich trail” of Peppa’s Pedal Bike Tour.
The Muddy Puddles Splash Pad has been built with ground specifically graded for wheelchair use. There will be “several heights of water play elements” so that all guests can enjoy the water attraction, including a tunnel of water hoops guests in wheelchairs can access. The park’s carnival games have been constructed with accessible heights in mind.
As well, George’s Fort, the park’s maze, has been designed in accordance to all ADA guidelines and standards, according to the press release.