Aquatica Orlando becomes first water park in the world to be a certified autism center


  • Photo via SeaWorld
Aquatica Orlando announced today that it has been certified by the International Board of Credential and Continuing Education Standards as the first water park in the world to be a Certified Autism Center.

Guest will now have access to services and tools which include pre-visit planning resources on the Aquatica Website, such as a sensory guide developed by IBCCES, and specific information about attractions and experiences to help guests make the best decision that suits their individual needs.

In-park accommodations will include a quiet room inside the park with adjustable lighting and a comfortable seating area for guests to take a break.

“As the first water park in the world to complete the training and become a Certified Autism Center, Aquatica Orlando is proud to provide fun and memorable experiences through exceptional service,” said David Heaton, Vice President of Aquatica Orlando in a statement. “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 Orlando says that the autism training focuses on areas of sensory awareness, environment, communication, motor and social skills, program development and emotional awareness along with an autism competency exam.

To maintain their certification Aquatica Orlando must take the autism training every two years.

"We know that training and certification is the best way for organizations to ensure they can accommodate all families,” said Myron Pincomb, IBCCES Board Chairman. “IBCCES is proud to work with Aquatica Orlando and other leaders in the industry to increase the availability of certified options and 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."

This certification follows the accreditation of its sister park Sesame Place as the first CAC theme park last April.

Starting this year, SeaWorld Orlando and Aquatica now provide free admission to Florida children aged 5 and under.

Stay on top of Orlando news and views. Sign up for our weekly Headlines newsletter.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.