Hopebridge Top 5 Autism-Friendly Vacation Spots
July 12, 2019
July 12, 2019
Planning your vacations shouldn’t be stressful. We know it can be, especially when traveling with a child on the autism spectrum. Taking a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) outside of their comfort zone, routine, and familiar environment can be overwhelming for many parents. We at Hopebridge want to take some of that stress away by offering up our top 5 autism-friendly travel destinations. These unique vacation spots have gone the extra mile for children on the autism spectrum and are fun for the whole family!
Sesame Place, Langhorne, Pennsylvania
Sesame Place is the first theme park in the world to be designated as a Certified Autism Center (CAS). Just north of Philadelphia, Sesame Place is a perfect place to enjoy a variety of fun rides, shows and activities for all members of your family. Sesame Place has been nationally recognized for its thorough training of employees on autism, sensory awareness, social skills, communication, motor skills, emotional awareness and much more! On top of its trained staff, the park also has quiet rooms, noise-canceling headphones and low-sensory areas. They also provide low-sensory parade viewings, special character dining accommodations and meet-and-greets with Julia, Sesame Street’s first character with autism.
LEGOLAND Florida Resort, Winter Haven, Florida
Located outside Orlando, LEGOLAND Florida began launching a variety of services and initiatives in 2016 to become an autism-friendly family destination. The park created quiet rooms for families to take a break. Noise-canceling headphones, weighted blankets, squishy toys and LEGO building tables are some of the complementary resources available. The resort also offers a “blue hero pass” for guests on the spectrum. The pass allows the guest and their family expedited access to popular attractions.
LEGOLAND Training & Development team created social stories to provide an illustrated, step-by-step walk-through of every theme park ride and show. This allows guests to know ahead of time what rides have loud noises, periods of darkness, bright lights or other elements that might be overwhelming for some. All these special touches make LEGOLAND Florida a great autism-friendly vacation spot!
Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Disney World is a world-famous vacation destination for families. For those families visiting the park with a child on the autism spectrum, Disney World has services and strategies to help their experience magical. Disney World offers a Disability Access Service Pass that allows pass holders to avoid lines at rides. It has stroller and wheelchair services, break areas, companion restrooms and additional accommodations to assist families.
Disney also offers a visual guide of the park for individuals with disabilities that you can download before you go. Disney even provides a special guide of the resort for guests on the autism spectrum. For these reasons, we must include the most magical place on earth!
Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio
Cedar Point’s autism accommodations can provide for a great getaway for families. Cedar point offers a special pass that allows you to schedule times to ride attractions. The park offers a Parent Swap program and KidTrack wrist band, which assists you and park personnel if your child is known to wander. Cedar Point has Family Care Centers and other places that act as quiet spaces to take a break and cool down. Additionally, there are several family restroom facilities for those who need support. You can download the Cedar Point mobile app to check on ride wait times, attraction accessibility, events and more.
Morgan’s Wonderland, San Antonio, Texas
Morgan’s Wonderland in San Antonio, Texas is a one-of-a-kind theme park specifically for individuals with special needs! It is the world’s first “Ultra Accessible Theme Park”. The park offers an impressive number of traditional and adaptive rides, swings, and activities to suit all ages. It also has a Sensory Village and entertainment that teaches messages of inclusion and kindness. To top it off, children with special needs, including autism, receive free admission! Time to start planning a Texas vacation.
Bonus: International Travel
A Million Senses, Greece
A Million Senses will arrange everything a family with children on the autism spectrum need to take a family vacation to Greece. The company currently has contacts on a number of islands and will organize everything from ensuring that a family’s hotel room is in a quiet section of the hotel, to arranging twice-daily activities led by speech and occupational therapists for children with ASD that also gives parents and other family members some individual time. If you’re looking for a vacation abroad that is fully adapted to people on the autism spectrum, Greece may be the place for you!
We hope these autism-friendly vacation ideas provide you and your family some fun options for your next family vacation!