LUZERNE COUNTY, Pa. — Inside the Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre Township is a new way to experience Disney On Ice. For some families with special needs children, seeing a show just isn't possible.
"These families, including my own, are not able to attend shows similar to Disney On Ice because of the sensory overload that often comes with an autism diagnosis," said Lindsay Dragon, executive director of Parenting Autism United.
But the cast wanted to make sure everyone got to experience the magic.
So, members of Parenting Autism United, based in Luzerne County, brought their kids to the arena for a "low-sensory" skating event. No flashing lights or loud music, just skating arm-in-arm.
"It's very, very nice to share my passion and love for the sport and for Disney and share it with them," said Alejandro Garcia with Disney On Ice.
Members of the Wilkes University ice hockey teams were also part of the day, sharing their love for skating with kids who have never had an experience like this.
"Just seeing the joy on everyone's faces just brings joy to everyone. Constant giggles, constant smiles, just having fun and letting loose," said Emma Bresett.
After spending some time on the ice with the cast, the kids got a special surprise from some well-known Disney faces.
Mickey and Minnie Mouse made a grand entrance — skating around, saying hello to each child, and later posing for a group photo before Mickey and Minnie had to skate off for rehearsal.
"It's very good, they love me!" said Noah Rowe of Dallas.
"I've cried a few times already, and my face hurts from smiling so much. Seeing how we go through so many struggles, seeing a success like today is what we are here for," said Dragon.
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