“My best day ever!” was how one child described MAIER’s MFP Fall 2016 Our Day to Play at York’s Wild Kingdom. Seventy families from across the state gathered at York’s Wild Kingdom on September 17th for “Our Day to Play” hosted by MAIER’s Family Partnership. Children with ASD of all ages, armed with their yellow “VIP” bracelets and their families, fanned out around the zoo and amusement park to enjoy the animals, test their courage on the amusement rides, and experiment with new foods.

Young boy smiling with headphones on amusement rideFamilies attending the York Wild Kingdom event shared their experiences at the Park with us in the days after the event. Their words tell it best, so here’s a sample of the feedback we received:  

Our son, who is 12, just loved it- both the zoo and the amusement park. He was very excited to see the animals, especially the monkeys, and he tried several rides that were new to him, and did great!”

“We as a family were able to have time to spend together, which is sometimes very hard with our already busy routine. Between school and therapies alone, we sometimes have a hard time to gather as a family and just enjoy ourselves.”

The kids and everyone had a wonderful time, and it was great to see all the other yellow [VIP] wristbands out and about.”

“The ride operators at YWK were very accommodating to our ‘special needs’ and we had such an enjoyable day.”

A grandmother who attended the event with her grandson shared their experience, writing:

Two boys outdoors signing 'Peace' sign“I accompanied my little grandson to the event and he could not stop telling people that it was his Best Day Ever! He’s always been afraid of rides, but this day he couldn’t get enough of them!  He and I went on the Super Slide 4 times and I’m sure it would have been more if the line had been shorter!  Another big favorite was the butterfly house.  He was so excited to see the creatures land on me!  (It must have been my floral Backpack!)  We were at the park for over 5 hours and then I took him to the beach.  He enjoyed the puddles and I had brought along sand toys so he was ecstatic!  I got him home by 8pm, sound asleep!”

Special thanks to York’s Wild Kingdom for partnering with us for this fun MFP event and many thanks to all the volunteers and sponsors who made this day possible! To read more about this Maine Family Partnership event check out our website and view our photo gallery on MAIER’s FB page .