Valleyfair is excited to announce that Autism Awareness Week will take place from July 16 - 22. During this time, the park and its employees will focus on enhancing the lives of all who are affected by autism by providing specialized services and entertainment all week. Valleyfair has taken steps to be well-prepared to welcome and provide accommodations for all types of disabilities, including autism. As you know, advance planning is a requirement for any successful theme park visit with a person with ASD. Keep reading for more details on how you can make it the best day ever at Valleyfair during Autism Awareness Week!
Download the Autism Awareness Week Flyer
Join us on Monday, July 16, as we kick off Autism Awareness Week with the help of our friends at AuSM. The Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM) is a non-profit organization committed to education, advocacy, and support designed to enhance the lives of those affected by autism from birth through retirement. They will be in the park from 10 AM - 1 PM near the amphitheater to assist families and this is a great time to learn about more of their upcoming events.
1. Check out our sensory-friendly shows
Entertainment has always been a huge part of the amusement park experience. Our specialized shows will have the following features in order to be as inclusive as possible:
• Limited attendance: We understand that large crowds in close proximity can often be overwhelming for individuals with Sensory Processing Disorder and Autism Spectrum Disorder. For performing arts experiences, we will be using smaller venues and blocking out seating or upper tiers.
• Shorter length: The shows will be no longer than 45-60 minutes and have no intermissions.
• Modifications to sound and lighting levels: Amplified sound and special effects will be lowered or subdued. Lighting will be bright enough to see around the room without being harsh. We will also eliminate strobe lighting effects.
• Noise canceling headsets/earmuffs: These will be made available in guest services at the entrance to the park.
2. Quiet rooms in the park
Valleyfair has a multi-sensory and calming room next to Guest Services that can be accessed by visiting Guest Services. This dedicated space provides tools for family members or caregivers to intensify or reduce sensory simulation in a controlled environment. The Family Care Center can also be used as a quiet place and is located in Planet Snoopy. If you need first aid assistance, please visit the first aid building near Mad Mouse.
3. Inclusive food items
Valleyfair makes every effort to accommodate the needs of our guests. We have options for those who are wheat/gluten-free and/or dairy-free, as well as vegetarian-friendly options. We also have lists of food items which contain peanut/tree nuts and items that contain eggs. Please visit our website for the full list of dining options.
4. Strobe lighting
If you are sensitive to rapid or strobe lighting, please avoid the following rides: Corkscrew, Wild Thing, and Renegade. All other rides will not have strobe lighting and will be inclusive to all riders.
5. Other Special Valleyfair Offers
When you arrive at the park, please proceed to Guest Services located at the Front Gate.
All guests with mobility impairments or ASD can now receive a Ride Boarding Pass with wait times. A pass may be issued depending on the needs of your group, including a boarding pass used for scheduling times to ride attractions. We also offer KidTrack, a wristband program, which will assist you and park personnel in reuniting your group should you become separated. Another new feature is our Parent Swap. This allows one parent to ride while another parent waits with the child. When the ride is complete, the parents swap child responsibility at the exit.
Please note: Guests who wear headphones of any type will not be able to wear them while riding our attractions. We have available disposable ear protection for use at Guest Services.
Valleyfair is a wonderful destination for families and friends to visit. Our goal is to make your experience at the park both smooth and full of family fun. Please let us know if you have any further questions by contacting (952) 445-6500 or by talking to a Guest Services representative at the park.