My family and I had the pleasure of being invited to attend the wonderful special abilities night at Diggerland USA in NJ, (SAND Event). This night is hosted by SAMBULANCE. It is a night full of sensory friendly fun for children and adults with special needs & their families and friends. SAMBULANCE hosts several of these wonderful nights at Diggerland USA and Sahara Sams Waterpark throughout the year. We had the pleasure of attending the SEAS Event at Sahara Sams before, but this was my families first SAND Event at Diggerland USA.
When we arrived we were greeted as always with a smile, from Annie Peters of SAMBULANCE. She is always so friendly and willing to help me with any questions or needs I have. We all got our wristbands on and headed in to the park.
When we first walked in there were some vendors set up. All different types of vendors, from therapists, to jewelry and more. We chatted a bit with each and were able to have a paper stamped to enter to win a family 4-pack of tickets to Diggerland USA. After our time at the vendors, we headed straight to the rides.
Our first ride was the Skid-Steers. My husband got to drive and the kids had fun riding along. After that, we went to Operation Battle Truck. There we got to drive in an actual military vehicle. My husband and daughter did a few rides after that one on their own, while I took my son to the playground to play. He had fun climbing and going down the slide over and over. What was nice is the event only sells a limited amount of tickets, to keep the park from getting overcrowded. Even the playground had only a few kids on it, making it so much easier and safer for my son to play without me worrying.
After some time on the playground, we headed to some of my son’s favorite rides. He loves the Dig-A-Round and the Barrel Train. We got to ride every ride in the park that we wanted and more. There were no lines for any rides and little waits also. Another plus of the SAND Event, knowing there won’t be any meltdowns because of long waits and crowds. You can view a description of all their rides and height requirements right here on their website.
SAMBULANCE and Diggerland USA really put on a wonderful event. They shut the arcade down during the event, make sure to have smoothly run rides and little to no waits. Tickets sales allow them to keep the park from being too crowded and there is staff everywhere in case you need help. All the rides are open and many measures are in place to make it a great evening for families. This is a list of what they modify for the event from the Diggerland USA Website:
SAND Events Feature the Following:
- Limited Ticket Sales
- Reduced Sensory Input from Lights and Noise
- Free Ear Plugs Available Upon Request
- Ride and Operational Accommodations
We spent 3 wonderful hours in the park and had a blast. Not one single meltdown from my son the whole time. Without crowds to overwhelm him or loud noises, the night went so much easier. We could let him run and play without worrying he would get lost in a crowd, we practiced our waiting skills while we stood at each ride, but didn’t have to wait long. So, it was perfect way to practice. And come the end of the event, my son was still smiling and happy. That is such a big thing for our family. It made me happy to see how much fun he had and know he could be out having a great time without getting overwhelmed. You can read more about the event details on their SAND Event page.
Another thing I love about these events that SAMBULANCE hosts, is meeting other special needs families. It is so nice to be around others who understand what you are going through. Others who know how tough it can be to bring our kids to places when there is noise or crowds and why events like this are such blessings for us. We spent time chatting with several people we met there and watched our kids smiling and giggling, all sounds of pure happiness!
The next SAND Event at Diggerland USA is scheduled on Friday, September 9th. You can buy tickets on the SAMBULANCE website for the event.
The next two SEAS Event at Sahara Sams are scheduled for Friday, October 7th and Friday, November 18th. You can purchase tickets for those events on the SAMBULANCE website.
I can’t wait to attend the next SAND Event and SEAS Event. It makes me so happy to see not only my son and our family, but so many other families having such fun at these events. I’m looking forward to going back soon.
I can not thank SAMBULANCE enough for hosting these great events! Also, thank you so much to Diggerland USA & SAMBULANCE for having us. We had a blast and will be back very soon!
**I was given tickets to attend the SAND Event at Diggerland USA. All the opinions in this post are fully my own and in no way influenced by SAMBULANCE or Diggerland USA.**