Autism/Disabilities Accommodations at the Parks
Please note this post was last updated on July 2015
Do you have a Lego fan in your house? Luckily we live close enough to one of the most fun things to do in So Cal, Legoland. My 7 year old is crazy about the Lego Friends. From the building set (which are taking over my house) to the T.V shows and books she just can't get enough. So when we heard that Legoland was opening up a brand new area dedicated to the friendly fab five, I promised her we would go and visit during her summer vacation. It's a bit of a drive for us, but let me tell you....It's so worth it!
Being a "pro" at most of the larger amusement parks, we have learned the in's and out's of each parks disability program and found that they all work pretty much the same. Here is where the but comes in.... Legoland's system is by far the easiest to navigate and the most autism friendly one....Period! With all the issues that can be associated with Autism, it can greatly limit a families time spent at a given park/event. Medical conditions, crowds, loud noises and sensory issues to just name a few can make even the most excited and prepared of children have to leave all too soon. This is where the Assisted Access Pass comes to the rescue, allowing families of children with ASD to get though the park smother thus making for a more enjoyable visit.
How do you get the Assisted Access Pass at Legoland?
How do you use it?
Visit one of two customer service windows located at the entrance of the park to the right or the one located on the right just before the ticket booths. You will be asked a few questions as to your child's limitations and your concerns. Upon the granting of the pass just present it at the ride of choice entering at the marked exit/handicap entries. At that point you are on your way with very little wait time and no crowded lines to tend with..
Pros and Cons (and some handy tips)
From Coping, sensory and crowd tolerance I've tried to cover most issue you may run into at a park of this type..
- Prime your child ahead of time where you are going and what to expect. There will be crowds (especially during the peak summer months) there will be noises around the park, there will be lots of walking up and down hills (Legoland is not flat by any means)
- Do a little research on the Legoland web site before your visit if you can and plan your rides and way around the park for must see's and desired rides if it's your first visit.
- Most rides are suited for children up to 10 years old (in my opinion). We first visited when my girl was five, almost eight now she enjoys all the rides the park has to offer.
- Water your kids thing?The splash pad in Heartlake City will not only cool your kids off (and you too) but is a great sensory experience.
- The Assisted Access Pass does not guarantee immediate boarding, but it will be less crowded in the ride queue and it will be much, much faster, trust me on this point.
- The entire park can be done in 5 or 6 hours on a good day given it be in the slower part of the year. The weather can be fickle too so pack for both hot and cooler weather items if visiting in the summer months.
- Use a stroller. Not only for your child's comfortable but it provides a break from the crowds and the bonus is the hands free places to put your stuff. Rentals if you find you need one are available inside the park.
- You will find the LEGO CHIMA water park and the SEA LIFE Aquarium on the grounds (at an extra cost) if your child is drawn to water, plan accordingly and have a good transition plan ready to implement. Aquariums are always a great calming experience and a great way to round out your visit too. (you can exit the park directly from there)
Overall the park employees are very friendly and helpful. Oh and if your child wants to sit in a particular spot on the ride or in a car of a specific color, just make your wants known, I have found they are more than happy to accommodate these types of requests.