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Wichita’s Drone Light Festival returns to Exploration Place on September 21-23, 2023!


The show will provide breathtaking views of 300 synchronized drones (100 more than last year!), fully choreographed with music. We are planning some exciting enhancements to the experience, including new custom drone formations, floating Chinese water lanterns, projections on the Exploration Place buildings and a concert lit by more than 2,000 candles.  

SEPTEMBER 21 - 23, 2023

Carload Pass Includes: 

  • Reserved parking spot. 

  • Admission for all vehicle occupants (maximum 9). 

  • Prime viewing of the drone light show. 

  • Outdoor festival atmosphere with live music, games, exhibits, demos, food trucks and more! 

  • Full admission to all Exploration Place exhibits. 

Individual tickets (no parking included) are also available. 

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Thursday - Saturday, September 21 - 23, 2023
Gates open 6 PM  

Drone light show begins at TBD



Carload Pass (Carload parking & admission for up to 9 guests)        $65 ($50 for Members)

Individual Tickets  (No parking, guests must walk in)                        $15 ($12 for Members)  

Parties of 10+ Call 316-660-0609

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What is a Drone Light Show? 


Drone light shows are performed by swarms of lighted drones arranged into aerial formations.  Almost any image can be created in the sky by a computer program that turns graphics into flight commands and communicates them to the drones.  The lights can be animated, and choreographed with music, to create a mesmerizing and powerful experience.  


What should we expect for the 2023 Drone Light Festival? 


The program will be presented by Firefly Drone Shows, one of the most experienced operators in the country.  They are launching 300 drones into formations that will soar up to 400 feet above the Wichita skyline (as a point of reference, the Epic Center is 320 feet tall).    

*NEW for 2023* This year's show will feature 300 drones, compared to the 200 drones in 2022.


A variety of animated scenes will be presented, including several that have been customized specially for us.  We’re keeping some of them secret until the actual show… but, yes… we are planning to have a giant Wichita flag in the sky!  The show will culminate with a special lighting of the Keeper of the Plains fire pots. 



When should we arrive? 


The gates will open at 6 pm and we encourage you to come early!  On the grounds, there will be live music, demonstrations, games, local vendors, food, drink and other entertainment.  It’s also a great opportunity to explore Exploration Place which is fully included with your admission to the event.  In addition to all of our established favorites don’t miss the acclaimed permanent exhibit Health Inside Out.

Please note that if you have purchased a Carload Pass, that all guests must arrive in the same vehicle and none can walk-in separately through the gate using that pass. Because you have purchased a Carload Pass it will guarantee you parking at the event.

Details subject to change as we get closer to the event.


Where’s the best place to watch the show? 


See site map for details. Our advice is to find a spot on the river bank or river path that provides a clear view of the Keeper of the Plains, and the two bridge pillars. If you can see all three, you should have a great view. The sound system will cover the whole viewing area.

*NEW for 2023* The launch site has been updated from 2022 and we can confirm that the show will be directly over the Keeper.


What happens if the weather is bad? 

The drones can fly in wind speeds of up to 25mph –by comparison - 20mph winds will cancel most fireworks shows. The show may be delayed for up to 1 hour to allow temporary weather conditions to pass. In 2022 we had to move the launch time forward in order to avoid pending storms.


In the event of cancelation or delay, announcements will be made as soon as possible via email, social media and using the sitewide PA system. Please make sure you are on-site 60 minutes before the show's start time in case there is a last minute weather change.

In the unlikely event of complete cancelation, the rain date is Sunday, September 24.  The show will be held unless Exploration Place makes the decision to cancel due to wind, lightning or other unsafe conditions. 


Will there be accessible parking and access? 


A wheelchair accessible viewing area has been assigned for the drone show itself. See site map for details. The Exploration Place buildings and exhibits are ADA compliant.

Accessible spaces will be made available to Carload Pass holders in accordance to all city and county ordinances. Individual tickets, even those with a Disabled Parking Placard, do not include parking.

Am I able to leave the event and come back later?

Re-entry is not permitted for vehicles. If you need to leave the gated area by foot, stop at the check-in tent and get a wristband for re-entry. Without a wristband, you will not be able to re-enter. 


Are refunds available? 


Tickets are sold by specific date, with no refunds or rainchecks. Rain dates Sunday, September 24. If the event is cancelled due to inclement weather ore technical issues, the price of your ticket will be converted into a tax-deductible donation for Exploration Place. No refunds will be issued. 

Can I bring blankets and chairs? 


Yes, feel free!  Be aware that much of the prime viewing area is a grassy slope. Some areas may be unsuitable for chairs. 

What should I leave at home? 


Please do not bring alcohol onto the site.  Glass bottles and containers are also prohibited.  

Why is Exploration Place doing this? 


The mission of Exploration Place is “to inspire a deeper interest in science and technology through creative and fun experiences for all.”   We believe this is a creative and fun way to appreciate the increasing importance of drones and UAVs in the modern world.  

Why should I watch this at Exploration Place? 


Like fireworks, the drones will be visible from miles around and all spectators are welcome, wherever they are.  But the prime viewing spot will be at Exploration Place, for two big reasons.  (1) The positioning and orientation of the show in the sky will be optimized for spectators watching from Exploration Place.  (2) The show is choreographed to music that will be played through a sound system that covers the Exploration Place grounds. 

How do I get tickets for VIP seating?


The VIP area is reserved for show sponsors and for our party hosts. Find out more about becoming a party host HERE.

How can my business or organization become a vendor?

Find out more about becoming a vendor or displaying your organization during the event HERE.

Can I volunteer to help at the event? 

Yes! We love volunteers. Individuals and groups (age 16+) can find out more about volunteer opportunities and register for each night HERE.

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