Any trip to the theme parks requires a good deal of planning and preparation. If you or a family member have a disability, you are probably wondering where to find information on accessibility at the theme parks. Fortunately, all the major Orlando theme parks have accessibility guides on their websites that highlight important information for people with disabilities. If you and your family visit SeaWorld Orlando, you’ll find they have taken things a bit further. In addition to ride accessibility programs and planning guides, SeaWorld is also a Certified Autism Center.
What is a Certified Autism Center?
On April 2, 2019, which is World Autism Awareness Day, SeaWorld Orlando announced that it is now a Certified Autism Center. So, what exactly does that mean? It means that at least 80% of SeaWorld staff members are highly trained and fully equipped to serve those with cognitive disorders, including Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The certification is provided by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES).
In addition to the initial training, SeaWorld staff receive continuing education on a variety of topics, including sensory awareness, communication, motor skills, social skills, and more. You can feel confident asking team members for further information or assistance at any time during your theme park visit.
Other accessibility features at SeaWorld include:
- Quiet rooms with adjustable lighting and comfortable seating
- Noise reducing headphones available for use at the park
- An IBCCES Sensory Guide™ for those planning a trip to SeaWorld
The IBCCES Sensory Guide™ can be downloaded on the SeaWorld website. It contains valuable information including insight on how those with sensory processing issues may be affected by each sense at each attraction. With this information, you can easily plan an itinerary that will work for you and your family.
Ride Accessibility Program at SeaWorld
In addition to the above resources, SeaWorld also offers a Ride Accessibility Program (RAP). The RAP was designed in accordance with safety recommendations from ride manufacturers to allow as many guests as possible to enjoy the park’s attractions. The RAP includes Special Access, which places you in a virtual queue if you or a family member are unable to wait in line.
To participate in the Ride Accessibility Program at SeaWorld, visit the Informational and Reservation Counter/Guest Services. There you’ll find a complete list of attractions and rider requirements. Once you’ve enrolled in the RAP, you can start using the Special Access programs and enjoy the rides.
You can read more about the Ride Accessibility Program on SeaWorld’s website, as well as get information on service animals, wheelchair rental, and more.
Accessibility at Aquatica
Just like SeaWorld Orlando, Aquatica is also a Certified Autism Center. In fact, it is the first waterpark in the world to be designated as such. This means that Aquatica and its staff members are uniquely qualified to provide a fun and memorable theme park experience for all guests, including those with autism. You can download the IBCCES Sensory Guide™ for Aquatica on their website. This guide will show you a list of all the rides and offer insight on how those with sensory processing issues may be affected by each sense at each attraction.
Other accessibility features at Aquatica include:
- A quiet room with adjustable lighting and comfy seating
- A low sensory area
- A Ride Accessibility Program (RAP)
Accessible Orlando Hotel near SeaWorld
Rosen Inn is located 5 minutes from SeaWorld and offers all guests exceptional service during their stay. Accessible public areas and guestrooms are available at Rosen Inn. Amenities you’ll enjoy at Rosen Inn include free Wi-Fi, free parking, an accessible swimming pool, and on-site restaurants. To book your stay, call 407-996-4444.