Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom has earned the Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) designation, granted by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). The certification demonstrates the park’s commitment to providing a supportive environment for guests with autism and other sensory disorders.
To receive the CAC designation, Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom staff completed sensory disorder training to learn how to better communicate and engage with guests with sensory needs and their family members, as well as safety concerns and protocols. The park also received a certification review provided by IBCCES.
“We continually strive to be “the place to be for fun” for all of our guests, and becoming a Certified Autism Center through IBCCES demonstrates our commitment,” said Michael Fehnel, vice president and general manager of Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom. “In developing our employees through these training programs, we are able to ensure meaningful experiences for everyone who steps through the turnstiles, as well as enriching programs that our employees can carry with them throughout life.”
In addition to the CAC designation, the park offers accommodations such as their sensory and quiet room, boarding pass program, quiet outdoor spaces, complimentary sensory packs, sensory friendly entertainment at PEANUTS™ Showplace, a Family Care Center and gluten-free food options for guests of varying needs and sensitivities.
Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom has also designed an annual specialized park-wide program, typically in the month of July, for guests with autism and other sensory disorders called “Autism Awareness Week.” During this week, a portion of their ticket proceeds are donated to the Autism Society of America (ASA).
“We welcome Dorney Park to our family of certified centers. By completing our training and review process, the park staff have elevated their commitment to providing the best possible experience for all guests to meet the growing need for trained and certified entertainment options so all families can make memories together,” said Myron Pincomb, IBCCES Board Chairman.
As a leader in healthcare, corporate, and education certification for 20 years, IBCCES recognized the need for more trained and certified travel and entertainment options. In response to feedback from families and individuals with sensory needs, IBCCES adapted its evidence-based programs specifically for amusement parks, zoos, resorts, aquariums, and other family entertainment venues.
IBCCES also created AutismTravel.com, a free online resource for parents that lists certified destinations and connects families to other resources and each other. Each destination listed on the site has met Certified Autism Center (CAC) requirements.
Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom is located in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and has been in operation since 1884.