PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — WonderWorks hosted their monthly Sensory Night on Sunday.
For this event, WonderWorks staff alter games and rides throughout the amusement park for children and adults with special needs.
Sounds are lowered, lights are dimmed and a few extreme exhibits are completely shut down.
It takes place from 4 p.m. until close, and tickets are discounted to ten dollars per person.
“We can be able to have it to where, ‘Oh yeah, some of the big noises are off’ to where they can enjoy themselves here still,” WonderWorks employee Matthew Chapman said. “Some of the rides are able to be turned off for them to be able to ride them and not be affected by the outside forces of whatever it is. It makes everybody be able to feel that we do think about everybody while we’re here at WonderWorks.”
Chapman has been working Sensory Nights for about a year and a half.
“It makes me feel pretty good to be able to see that you are making a change in life: whether it’s not your life, whether it was unintentional, you’re still touching the lives of anybody who comes through this building,” he said.
For his coworker, Dianmarie Dejesus, her first Sensory Night was a memorable one.
“They had the opportunity to enjoy everything in there and they have a lot of fun,” she said. “I saw them like having fun with employees and then I was having fun with them all the time they were like saying hi. They were like so happy to go inside.”
It’s a job neither of them would like to give up.
“It’s not hard for me. I like helping them,” Dejesus said. “Sometimes they come not on Sensory Day, so I like taking the hand and then even give them hugs and everything.”
Despite the alterations of games and rides, all children and adults are still welcome on Sensory Nights. For the next one, tune in to this Facebook Events page.