You may be asking yourself whether Gilroy Gardens is appropriate for guests with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or whether your loved one on the spectrum will be able to handle the theme park experience. Gilroy Gardens has taken steps to be well-prepared to welcome and provide accommodations for all types of disabilities, including autism and related disorders. To continue to provide equal access for all guests, be aware that all guests with mobility impairments or ASD will receive a Ride Boarding Pass with wait times. Please review the Boarding Pass Program for more details.
As you know, advance planning is a requirement for any successful theme park visit with a person with ASD. Your visit to Gilroy Gardens will include a plethora of sensory stimulation including crowds, loud theatres, coasters operating, lights and noises, waiting in line, to mention a few. At Gilroy Gardens, we strive to provide equal opportunity to all of our guests while providing a variety of options tailored to specific needs. Our highly trained staff is knowledgeable and eager to assist.
Read "How to Enjoy the Amusement Park" by the Autism Society
You can find information on our rides and attractions in advance on the website. The park’s Guest Assistance Guide is also available for download. The Guide outlines the specifics about each attraction, including height requirements and health restrictions. Feel free to contact our Call Center in advance at (408) 840-7100 with any additional questions.
When you arrive at the park, please proceed to the Welcome Center located in Sugar Plum Plaza.
- Please have the individual requiring accommodation accompany you to the Welcome Center.
- 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 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.
- Additionally, if you need to rent a stroller, wheelchair or locker, proceed to Stroller Rental just inside the front gate.
- Please re-visit the Welcome Center if you need any additional help with your day.
- We also recommend that as an added safety measure you take a photo of members of your party (especially if you have a child with ASD who tends to dart away or wander off) on your mobile device. This photo can be of great assistance to quickly reunite your party if you are separated.
During your visit:
- 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 the Welcome Center.
- If you are separated during your visit, please contact any park employee for assistance.
- Ride delays may occur while riding and members of your party may be required to sit quietly until the ride is restarted or guests are escorted off the ride.
- Please be aware, if an evacuation is required, guests may need to maneuver across catwalks from the highest point of the ride and down steeply inclined steps.
- If you have any doubts whatsoever about an attraction’s appropriateness for the individual with ASD, please have someone in your party ride it first to make an informed determination.
Gilroy Gardens offers our guests several restful locations places that your party can enjoy during the day. The park has a first aid station behind Monarch Garden. You may access the area via the gate at the exit of the Quicksilver Express ride. Additionally, our air-conditioned restaurants may provide a nice break from the sensory stimulation.
Gilroy Gardens 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 (408) 840-7100 or by talking to a guest service representative at the park.