by Maya Lora, The Ledger/TNS | November 18, 2021
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — Legoland’s Peppa Pig Theme Park will be a Certified Autism Center when it opens in February 2022.
A Certified Autism Center, or CAC, 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,” according to the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards. Legoland has committed to also becoming a CAC by 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 strive to be an accessible and inclusive resort for guests, according to a press release.
The theme park will work with the IBCCES to conduct 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 includes a comprehensive exam. Staff will continue to undergo training past the park’s opening.
IBCCES will also review the new park to develop a sensory guide, which will review each attraction to determine how a child with sensory processing issues may be affected by each sense on each ride. 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 this week at the IAAPA Expo in Orlando. A new ride vehicle for the park was also unveiled, 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” designed to look like a hot air balloon. Children who use wheelchairs will be able to board the ride without getting out of their wheelchairs.
Merlin Entertainments and Technical Park worked to develop the new ride vehicles so that “more children could experience it safely along with a grownup,” according to the press release.
“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 remain in their wheelchairs while navigating 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.
Additionally, George’s Fort, the park’s maze, has been mapped out to all ADA guidelines and standards, according to the press release.
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