Florida Is Now Home to the First Autism-Certified Water Park: Aquatica Orlando

It’s official: Aquatica Orlando is the first autism-certified water park in the world. Yup. The. World. 

The wave of theme park inclusiveness began back in 2018, when Sesame Place became the first ever autism-certified theme park, and we have a feeling this is just the beginning. According to an Instagram post from earlier this month, the water park has achieved their accreditation after collaborating with the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards. But what does this really mean? 

Well, for starters the staff was required to participate in mandatory training on autism sensitivity, awareness, communication and motor skills (plus an exam). This is all, of course, to better help the staff when dealing with children and park attendees that have special needs. 

In addition, the park will now offer resources for pre-visit planning as well as sensory guides providing information on how individuals with any sensory-processing difficulties might be affected by different attractions. Guests can also visit the “quiet room” and “low sensory areas,” which provide adjustable lighting and comfortable seating areas for anyone to relax when needed. 

In the words of IBCCES board chairman Myron Pincomb, “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.”  

A water park that can accommodate all of its guests equally? Now that’s something worth celebrating.