This Major Florida Theme Park Just Opened a Quiet Room for Travelers With Autism

The space is intended for guests who need a break from noise and crowds

Universal Orlando Quiet Room

Courtesy of Universal Orlando

From rip-roaring rollercoasters to candy floss and spinning teacups, visiting a theme park with children can create remarkable family memories. However, for parents of children with autism, extra planning and preparation are necessary. Now, one major amusement park is committing to making the theme park experience for those with autism a little easier.

Universal Orlando announced this week that it has opened a new "quiet room" within its park that caters to guests with autism and other cognitive disabilities. The room is intended for visitors who may find themselves overstimulated by the noise and crowds of big parks and may need a quiet and calming space to take a break.

Many on the autism spectrum are hypersensitive to sensory aspects of their surroundings, including lights, volume, movement, and smell. In 2021, the CDC reported that approximately one in 44 children in the U.S. is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.

Universal's quiet room, which is open during park hours and is located to the right of the Studio Audience Center and Lost and Found, features rubber floor tiles, an activity wall panel, and two hiding tunnels. Guests won't be required to reserve the room but will need to wait until it is vacant to use. A 30-minute time limit is encouraged.

Quiet rooms, or "sensory rooms" as they are sometimes known, have traditionally been found in occupational therapists' offices and residential homes for adults with low-functioning autism. In recent years, theme parks have been at the forefront of adopting quiet rooms for autistic travelers. Dollywood opened a "calming room" in 2016, and Legoland Florida opened its own quiet room in 2017.

Article Sources
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  1. Travel Weekly. "Universal Orlando Opens Quiet Room for Guests with Autism." March 14, 2022.

  2. Verywell Health. "What Does Autism-Friendly Mean?" July 26, 2020.

  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Data & Statistics on Autism Spectrum Disorder." Accessed March 14, 2022.

  4. Verywell Health. "How to Create a Sensory Room for Your Autistic Child." January 21, 2022.

  5. People. "Inside Dollywood's 'Incredible' Calming Room for Children with Autism." Accessed March 14, 2022.

  6. HuffPost. "Legoland Park Includes 'Quiet Rooms' and Other Features for Guests with Autism." Accessed March 14, 2022.

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