We've covered Disney and Universal's disability programs, and today we're covering SeaWorld! Like Disney, SeaWorld's disability policy has changed in recent years. If you're heading to any of the SeaWorld parks soon with a person who has a disability, you'll need to know as much as possible about the park's accessibility program to ensure a fun and stress-free time. These changes are great news for families with a child or adult with a disability. The latest additions are designed to better accommodate guests with developmental, sensory and cognitive disabilities, including autism.
This addition is great news for families traveling with a child or adult with autism or another disability that makes it difficult to tolerate lines and waiting areas. In some cases, the party will be granted what SeaWorld calls Special Access, meaning they can board the ride immediately, usually via a separate entrance. This is only offered on select rides and attractions and can help your group enjoy the park. On busier days, you might be placed in a virtual queue, so you can visit the ride entrance and get a return time – then enjoy the ride without delay.
SeaWorld offers the Ride Accessibility Program (RAP), which gives special access for those who cannot wait in a conventional queue; the pass is very similar to the way Universal's and Disney's passes work. The RAP allows you to schedule a return time at an attraction so you aren't waiting in a long queue. When you return for your scheduled time at an attraction, you'll access the ride through an alternate queue, usually the exit or the Quick Queue. Let's hop right into the overview!
Overview of SeaWorld's Ride Accessibility Program
We've collected everything you need to know about using and enjoying SeaWorld's RAP program for guests with disabilities. Traveling with a child or teen with Autism? SeaWorld has programming just for you! Learn about SeaWorld Orlando's Certified Autism Center here.
Where do I enroll in the Ride Accessibility Program?
Once you arrive at SeaWorld, go straight to Guest Services. If you're in Orlando, Guest Services will be found on your left in the row of buildings shortly after you enter. While in San Diego, Guest Services will be on your right, and if you're in San Antonio, you'll find it right before you enter the park.
How do I get the RAP?
While at Guest Services, you'll discuss your disability and accommodation needs. SeaWorld is fully ADA compliant and very disability friendly; you will not need to provide a doctor's note or details about you or your loved one's condition. You do need to let them know what accommodations you need (avoiding lines, using a stroller as a wheelchair and other needs). If you meet the RAP requirements, you'll be able to utilize Special Access. Special Access is only available for certain rides, and is not available for shows, special events, parades, meet and greet priority access, gift shop check-out or restaurant lines.
For more information, view SeaWorld Orlando's Accessibility Guide for an extensive overview of the services and facilities offered at the park. If you have any specific questions ahead of your visit, you can email Guest Correspondence at SEAguestcorrespondence@SeaWorld.com or call 407-545-5550.
How Does SeaWorld Orlando's Ride Accessibility Program Work?
When you enroll in the Ride Accessibility Program at the Guest Service counter, you'll receive a list of the rides and attractions and the requirements for riding and enjoying them. Once you have enrolled in the RAP, you'll be able to utilize the Special Access program.
What do I do once I've received my RAP sheet?
Once you've been given RAP, go to the first attraction you'd like to experience. For smaller attractions, proceed to the ride exit/entrance and inform a team member that you wish to ride. You may be asked to wait one to two ride cycles prior to boarding. For larger attractions (i.e. Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin exhibit, Ice Breaker, Infinity Falls, Manta, Mako, Kraken, Infinity Falls and Journey to Atlantis), proceed to the ride entrance and request a boarding time from the entrance ambassador. If the attraction is not staffed, proceed to the RAP location listed on your form to request a boarding time. The time provided on your RAP sheet will be based on the current estimated wait time.
Only the guests listed on your RAP sheet (the guest utilizing RAP and a maximum of five additional guests) will be able to board the ride. Also note that the guest with the disability must ride in order for their party to use RAP.
If you have to return at a designated time, you can go experience other attractions, grab a snack, rest, etc., then return at the time and show the pass to the employee.
Can I have more than one return time at once?
No, you can only hold one return time at once.
How long do I have before I need to return to the ride?
Once the clock hits your return time, you'll need to return to the ride within a half hour.
What if the park is extremely busy?
If you happen to be at the park when it's extremely busy and wait times are more than 15 minutes, then we recommend looking into the Quick Queue Unlimited pass at SeaWorld. With the pass, you can hop onto some rides while you wait for your return time.
Hopefully this overview of SeaWorld's Ride Accessibility Program gave you some useful information! If you have any questions at all, please let us know in the comments below!
Related: Overview of Disney's Disability Access Services Card
Related: Full List of Disability Access for Disney World Attractions