5 Autism-Friendly Amusement Parks in the U.S.
Being autistic doesn't mean your child can't have fun!
Autism-Friendly Amusement Parks
Visiting an amusement park isn't exactly at the top of every parent's list of family vacation ideas when they have an autistic child.
With the loud noises and bright lights, it can be too much for your little one to handle.
But the times, they are a changing, as more and more theme parks have started to be inclusive for guests of all abilities. Even Disneyland has taken strides towards better accommodating patrons with autism.
So if you thought going to one was out of the question, think again. Scroll below for five autism-friendly amusement parks across the U.S. you should visit with your kids.
Inspired by the children's TV show Sesame Street, Sesame Place is the world's first theme park designated as a Certified Autism Center. Their staff is even fully trained in autism sensitivity and awareness. Featuring Sesame Street-themed rides, shows, and parades, the amusement park also features amenities such as quiet rooms, noise-cancelling headphones, low sensory areas to unwind, and low sensory parade viewing.
Along with being able to meet the likes of Big Bird and Elmo, kids will also be able to meet Julia, the first autistic muppet.
Your little one will certainly have the time of their live while visiting this theme park.
Location: 100 Sesame Rd., Langhorne, PA 19047
Noticing the need to better cater to their autistic patrons, Dollywood (yes, Dolly Parton's very own amusement park) created a [Calming Room] to serve the needs of their guests that may experience sensory overload while visiting the park. The room features a weighted blanket, fiber optic strands, and a teepee to put your child at ease.
While the attractions, parades, and shows aren't necessarily autism-friendly, the Calming Room will help children who get easily overwhelmed during their visits.
Location: 2700 Dollywood Parks Blvd., Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
Morgan's Wonderland was created by Gordon and Maggie Hartman and inspired by their daughter Morgan to do things never before accomplished for individuals with special needs and their families. This one-of-a-kind theme park stretches 25 acres in Texas and was built specifically to be all-inclusive for children of all abilities and ages.
Not only is it perfect for an autistic child, but it was created with the needs of those with cerebral palsy, cognitive, hearing and vision impairments, and other disabilities. Oh, and did we mention there's free admission for guests with special needs? How could you not visit this place?
Location: 5223 David Edwards Dr., San Antonio, TX 78233
Legoland Florida Resort
Wanting to make their amusement park more inclusive, Legoland Florida Resort add amenities such as quiet rooms, noise-canceling headphones, and more. They have a Blue Hero Pass for guests on the autism spectrum that allows the guest's entire group expedited access through the entrance of popular attractions.
On top of all that, their Training and Development team created social stories, which offer an illustrated, step-by-step walkthrough of every theme park ride and show, so guests won't be surprised by periods of darkness, loud noises, bright lights, or other elements that often can be frightening or overwhelming. We know we don't have to tell you, but these are indeed all important things to know when taking an autistic child to an amusement park.
Location: 1 Legoland Way, Winter Haven, FL 33884
Edaville Family Theme Park
Part of Edaville Family Theme Park is dedicated to the characters from Thomas and Friends, and is appropriately named Thomas Land. There, children with autism will be able to experience a train ride in a quiet car designed specifically with them in mind. Other than that, there are plenty of quiet rooms equipped with weighted blankets and puzzles to calm your child down, if that's ever needed.
Location: 5 Pine St., Carver, MA 02330