Morgan’s Wonderland in San Antonio is a magical place. This year marks the 5th anniversary of this inspired theme park. Persons with disabilities and their friends and families can play together in an inclusive environment. Obstacles are considered challenges to be overcome. “No” is not part of the vocabulary at Morgan’s Wonderland. Rides are for everyone—no restrictions. Children with physical or cognitive disabilities play with their friends and family members side-by-side. Wounded Warrior moms and dads using wheelchairs have the chance to participate, giving them opportunities to play as a family without barriers.
Morgan’s Wonderland is the first theme park designed for persons with a variety of disabilities. It was inspired by Morgan Hartman, daughter of Gordon Hartman. Gordon conceived his idea of the park while watching Morgan, who has cognitive disabilities, attempt to play ball with a group of children during a family vacation. The children didn’t welcome Morgan, and that was the catalyst he needed. When he searched for a theme park for people with a variety of disabilities, he realized he would have to build his own. The journey from a dad’s dream to the reality of Morgan’s Wonderland took 5 years. Today, the park is popular around the world, attracting visitors from all 50 states and over 50 countries.
A visit to Morgan’s Wonderland starts at the Welcome Center. Worried about one of your kids running off or getting lost? Safety is always first at the park. Families receive group wristbands for each family member. If you lose sight of your group, just scan your band at one of the stations throughout the Park and see where to locate the other members of your group.
No visit to Morgan’s Wonderland is complete until everyone has the chance to ride the carousel. It’s for everyone. Typical carousel horses share the platform with moving chariots. Wheelchairs are safely locked into the chariots that move up and down so that everyone an amazing ride. The train circling Morgan’s Wonderland has wheelchair accessible cars. No one has to miss the fun of riding the Wonderland Express!
Plan on a full day to see all the attractions at the park. Accessible playgrounds offer wheelchair swings and other adapted activities. Play at the Sensory Village where you can anchor your own TV show, shop and check out at the grocery store, and visit the interactive room where you can play with several different virtual props. Other attractions are the Walk and Roll Path surrounding the Park, Waterworks, the Music Garden and the Wharf, where you can fish (catch and release) to your heart’s desire.
People with disabilities always receive free entrance to the park. Reduced rates are offered for young children, seniors and military. So take the day, have fun and create new family memories!
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After getting the life-changing news that we were going to be parents, Rick and I had to face the challenges of parenting a child with profound healthcare needs.
Sam Allen has high-functioning autism. He was recently recognized as a Student Success Story at the Texas Council of Administrators of Special Education (TCASE) annual conference.