The other side of the “Wild Lights”


Maleah Evans , Reporter

Seeing the Wild Lights at Sedgwick County Zoo as an employee is a different experience.

It’s magical but it is also more chaotic than most people realize. General admission gates close at 5 with Wild Lights gates opening at 6, that leaves an hour to get the entire Zoo prepared for the evening.

In that hour, the restaurant needs to prepare their themed menu for the evening, the lights need to be turned on, the Zoo Store needs to prepare their Wild Lights merchandise, and the ticket booth needs to reprogram their computers to be ready for the night.

As an entry employee, I’m sure is it’s not as stressful for us as it is for the other areas during set up. However, once the sun goes down and the lights come up, our job here gets a whole lot more stressful.

We’re in charge selling tickets to guests, printing off online tickets that have gone haywire, as well as renewing memberships so people can get that discount. Some unfortunate souls from admissions get the job of scanning in all the guests that come in. All from when the gates open at 6 p.m. to when they close at 9 p.m..

Granted that may not seem like a lot but most of the time there are two people scanning and three people in the ticket booth with our managers running around assisting where they’re needed. Attendance can range from around 400 on a slower night when the weather is bad to over 4,700 on a great night.

Great thing about Wild Lights is that we host pretty much any time, rain or shine. The only weather occurrence that would have us shut down is thunder or lightning.

Come see our Wild Lights from 6-9 p.m, Wednesday’s through Sunday’s until December 5th.