Families with children that have autism or have to use wheelchairs will find experiences geared towards their needs at Legoland Florida Resort’s Peppa Pig Theme Park when it opens next year.
At the IAAPA Expo, Legoland Florida announced that the new park, geared towards preschoolers, will open with a certification of being friendly towards guests with autism from the Jacksonville-based International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES).
The certification means that park staff will have completed training on autism sensitivity and awareness. The park will also a sensory guide with information about those with sensory processing issues may be affected by all Peppa Pig Theme Park rides and attractions.
These resources will help families of children with autism make easier decisions to plan activities around their “specific needs and accommodations,” according to IBCCES chairman Myron Pincomb.
Legoland plans on achieving the same autism certification for its existing theme park, water park and hotels by the time Peppa Pig Theme Park opens on Feb. 24, 2022.
For guests that use wheelchairs, the new park’s Peppa Pig Balloon Ride will allow them to enjoy the attraction without leaving their chair.
Additionally, the Muddy Puddles Splash Pad will be graded for wheelchair use and include a tunnel of water hoops that can be traversed in a wheelchair.
Keith Carr, director of design and construction for Merlin Entertainments, told Theme Park Tribune that Legoland is looking into how wheelchair-friendly design can be incorporated into existing and future attractions.
So could a future roller coaster allow guests to remain in wheelchairs? “That’s a good question,” Carr said. “It really depends on the intensity of the ride and how that safety rating plays into it.” He added, “I think you’re going to see us looking at the easier rides doing more inclusivity that’s easier to implement, and then trying to scale up to see how we could do the more challenging rides.”