Seaworld Autism Accessibility Guide and Tips for Visiting
Ride Accessibility Program (RAP) at Sea World for Disabilities and Autism
If you aren’t sure if your child can manage a day at SeaWorld, here is what they offer for those with Autism and disabilities to navigate the park. To enroll in Seaworlds Ride Accessibility Program make your way over to Guest Services (located to the right upon entering the park) and just inform the staff of your childs limitations and your concerns. You will receive a list of the rides' attractions and the requirements for riding each. Visiting any amusement park can be challenging for families with children on the autism spectrum, this system helps make your visit more enjoyable. Find more tips below and how the Ride Accessibility Program works below.
With the RAP you will be able to utilize Seaworlds Special Access Program. Special Access is designed to allow guests to enjoy attractions without waiting in queue lines and instead wait outside the ride for an equal time as the estimated boarding time is. During your wait (if there is one) you are free to grab a bite to eat, use the restroom, check out another attraction until your time comes up. Larger rides utilize this virtual queue system on busier days. These attractions include Bayside Skyride, Electric EelTM, Journey to Atlantis, Manta Shipwreck Rapids, Skytower and Wild Arctic. For these attractions you will do the following:
Proceed to the ride entrance with your RAP sheet and request a boarding time from the entrance ambassador. If the entrance is not staffed, you may proceed to the ride exit to request a boarding time. The time provided on your RAP sheet will be based on the current estimated wait time. (none are posted).
For smaller attractions you will do the following: Proceed to the ride exit/entrance (marked with disabled access sign) and inform the ambassador that you wish to ride. You may be asked to wait 1-2 ride cycles prior to boarding.
Only the number of guests listed on the RAP sheet (guest utilizing RAP and maximum of 5 additional) are able to board with the guest needing special access. More than 6 will be asked to use the ride entrance. The guest with the disability must ride in order for their party to take part in the RAP. Here is the full Accessibility Guide for Seaworld.
Pros and Cons:
With no listed estimated ride boarding time it can be a guessing game as to which ride to try to plan for next based off shortest wait times (unless ride queue is visible).
RAP works for shows to be seated prior to park guests.
Virtual queuing keeps your child comfortable outside the ride queue.
Companion tickets are available for caregivers! This is a free service to those who are caregivers, here is how it works: If you are visiting just for the day, the guest with a disability may have any single-day ticket purchased for them. Upon their arrival to the park, the visiting companion may stop by the Tickets and Reservations counter and they will issue a complimentary single-day ticket to that person. No proof of disability is required.
Food and snack policy: Hard and soft coolers, glass containers, bags of foods, picnic style meals including but not limited to sandwiches, sodas, and alcohol may not be taken into the park. Bottles of water (one per person) and single-serve sized snacks (approx. 2oz or less) are allowed to be brought into the park. If you are bringing food, picnic areas are available outside the park adjacent to the entrance/exit plaza. Be sure to get your hand stamped if you will be returning to the park upon exiting.
Tips for visiting:
Buy your tickets in advance to avoid the ticket booth.
Research ride height requirements before your visit HERE most are 42” and under.
If your child still uses a stroller, by all means bring it.
Try to ride larger/most popular attractions first thing to avoid the longer wait times.
If you live close enough, consider an annual pass so trips can be shorter if it is too overstimulating for your child to try doing it all in one day.
Have an exit plan if transitioning is an issue.
Break up your day with sensory activities like the touch tanks.
I always suggest visiting during the off season if possible and getting to the park at opening.