Seven years ago, I heard about a new theme park opening up in San Antonio that would be handicap accessible. At the time I had two kids, my oldest (Chance) with Angelman Syndrome and pregnant with my third. Chance had just gotten his wheelchair and with almost two siblings, we were so excited there will be a place for all my kids to play together.
Morgan’s Wonderland was developed by a dad (Gordon Hartman, a very successful San Antonio real estate developer). When his daughter, who has some disabilities, had trouble playing with others her age, he wanted to create a place that gave everyone the same opportunity to play equally. He was able to gather city leaders, and pull together the finances and planning, and create a place everyone could play.
We were so excited when we had the opportunity to go the opening week. The whole place has been so well thought out. When you first get there and check in they offer waterproof GPS wristbands. This allows you to let your kids have a bit of freedom, they have map kiosks around the park you can check in and see where the kids are playing. I still only allow the kids to play close to wherever we are, but its comforting if the kids wander off a little I can quick check on them.
At Morgan’s Wonderland they have several attractions that are completely accessible. The carousel has several adaptive seating options, so depending on your level of support needed you will always be able to enjoy going around and up and down. There is also a fun off road adventure. There is so much to do when your there, between all the playscapes (all with wheelchair friendly ramps) and wheelchair swings, music park, play sand, the remote control boats and even fishing! Our day is never complete until we take the train all the way around the small lake.
Now they’ve added on Morgan’s Inspiration Island. It is an additional admission but totally worth it. Especially with our hot Texas summers. It has 4 giant splash pad play areas, and one area even has warmer water for people that can’t handle the cold water. What makes this water park even more special was that they have waterproof wheelchairs that you can use (for free!) while you play, including a air powered chair for those that use a powered wheelchair.
Whether your a special needs family or not, this place is truly meant for all. I highly recommend visiting, especially if you are able to visit on one of their fun holiday events! We go every Halloween and Christmas, they put on fun shows, sweet treats and a petting zoo!
Morgan’s Wonderland has been an incredible gift to our city, with its vision of full inclusion, where everyone can play together. Since it’s opening I have seen many of our public parks incorporate more accessible features like adaptive swings, soft flat landscaping, and wheelchair friendly paths. It has truly fostered a more inclusive community through out the city and for that I’m incredibly grateful.
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