Hooray for more inclusivity! Aquatica Orlando announced that its staff has completed autism sensitivity and awareness training.

By Emily Elveru
January 18, 2019
Aquattica sign
Credit: Courtesy of Aquatica Orlando

January 18, 2019

Last April, Sesame Place made history as the first autism-certified theme park in the world. And to start the year, another big name is making strides toward more inclusive family fun: Aquatica Orlando has become the world’s first Certified Autism Center water park. We don’t have enough heart-eyes emojis for this!

The park completed a staff-wide autism sensitivity and awareness training as well as an onsite review of the park property and guest experience that’s in conjunction with the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES).

“Aquatica Orlando is proud to provide fun and memorable experiences through exceptional service,” said David Heaton, vice president of Aquatica Orlando, in a press release. “We continually strive to create safe and meaningful experiences for all of our guests, and we are committed in our efforts to offer families inclusive activities for children with autism and other special needs.”

Aquatica Waterpark
Credit: Courtesy of Aquatica Orlando

In addition to training, the park’s website will provide pre-visit planning resources including a sensory guide developed by IBCCES to make it easier for parents to plan activities specific to a child’s needs. It will also share how a child with a sensory processing issue may be affected by each attraction in the park.

"We know that training and certification is the best way for organizations to ensure they can accommodate all families,” explained Myron Pincomb, IBCCES board chairman. “We’re proud to help individuals have a safe and enriching experience when traveling or visiting a new place. With the rise in diagnosis rates of cognitive disorders, there is a huge need for these options and for organizations to make a long-lasting commitment to their guests."

Another cool thing? The waterpark’s newest attraction, a two-person tube waterslide called KareKare Curl, will open this spring. Time to plan your visit!