As an autism mom I know how hard it can be to take your child to crowded and busy places. Theme parks can be especially overwhelming and that’s why I get really excited when I find places that are “autism friendly” or have special accommodations.
*This post is done in partnership with Legoland Florida. They provided me with tickets in exchange for my honest review.
The first and most important thing is to plan your visit ahead of time. Checking out the Legoland Florida site is a great place to start! There’s actually an excellent resource guide for guests with disabilities that is filled with tons of information. Definitely worth the read!
When we first arrived at the park we headed straight to guest services to get a Blue Hero Pass for David (my son with autism). A Blue Hero Pass is specifically designed for guests with autism and allows them (and their party) to “skip” the line of an attraction or have a much shorter wait time. We love this pass and are so grateful Legoland offers this. It really helps reduce the stress David may experience through over stimulation.
On our first visit last year we also got a sticker tag for the stroller that made it equal to a wheelchair. This is wonderful for those times David just wanted to curl up in the stroller and be “alone” or have some peace. We didn’t need it this time because he was fine without a stroller.
Legoland Florida also has new “quiet rooms” for guests on the spectrum to go if they are feeling overwhelmed and need some calm. You can find these spots on the map below marked by the light blue puzzle piece. Click the image to download the map.
One of the quiet areas is in the Imagination Zone where kids can build with legos and play games. We all loved hanging out in the gaming room. Both of my boys were in heaven with all kinds of video game systems and different Lego themed games. It was nice to sit and relax out of the hot sun and in a quiet space for a while.
Aside from quiet rooms and special passes, Legoland Florida has equipped their employees (called Model Citizens) with new training and skills so they are better prepared for guest with autism. This is something I really appreciate and admire from a company. When they take the time to train their employees it means they truly care and it makes me more comfortable taking my family there. They even offer visual guides of the rides and attraction for guests to review!
Read about our first visit to Legoland Florida here!
Something else my husband and I noticed this time is that even if the park was packed it didn’t feel super packed. This is a big deal because with David we don’t like to be anywhere really cramped where he can move around freely. There are so many grassy areas to just sit and enjoy the day as well as exploring Cypress Gardens, a restored an historic botanical garden.
A few extra tips:
- Show your child videos and photos of the park before your trip to help them see it and prepare themselves. This really helped my son!
- Pack lots of snacks and water. If you want to save some money, pack your own lunch too! You are allowed to bring in small coolers and there are lots of areas to sit and eat a homemade lunch. For more details on this click here.
- Take your time and follow your child’s lead. Don’t try to do too much in a short amount of time because it can just stress everyone out. Plan ahead and choose what you really want to do and plan to be flexible.
- Noise cancelling headphones can help your child if it gets to loud.
- Check the park calendar and plan accordingly!
If you have been wondering whether to take your ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) child to Legoland Florida, do it, take them!
It’s a great theme park with tons of attractions made especially for kids to enjoy and they are very autism-friendly. We ca n’t wait to go back!