If you have a child with a disability you may want to move to San Antonio, TX. Because this where you will find, starting in April 2010, the first Ultra Accessible Family Fun Park. Here you will be able to have your wheelchair go up and down on the carousel, just like everyone else. You will be able to ride a train around the park and sit anywhere on the train you want. You can explore the Sensory Village, a pretend play town filled with sensory activities. Sensory activities don’t stop there, oh no, there is so much more.
There is a water play area and a walk way around the lake with exiting light displays. There is a musical garden and a sand circle. You can even go fishing. There are not one, but two playgrounds-with a total of 30 swings–5 different types of swings. And let’s not forget the Off-Road Jeep Adventure.
Many of things you can play on and with at Morgan’s Wonderland never existed before Gordon Hartman put his mind to providing an oasis for those needing a safe place to relax and enjoy the outdoors. Hartman, who has a daughter with cognitive disabilities, had a desire to re-imagine the possibilities of what an inclusive park could be. He let his imagination run free and thus there is now a carousel where the animals have specially designed safety backs to provide stability and wheelchairs have special chariots that go up and down.
There is more…If you are interested in playing basketball or volleyball there is an inside gymnasium. If you want to watch a performance there is an amphitheater looking over the lake. If you need shade, there are shade and misters everywhere throughout the park. There are picnic tables, concession stands, and places for birthday parties. Even the rest areas are unique. Each rest area is designed with the architecture, landscaping and sounds of different countries.
Morgan’s Wonderland is 25 acres with room for expansion. People have been calling from all over the world to learn more about this one-of-a kind family park. It won’t stay one-of-a-kind for long. Once the park is open and running smoothly, Hartman and the non-profit organization he started to operate Morgan’s Wonderland, will start dedicating their time to help other communities replicate what they have done in Texas.
Once the park opens in April, in order to visit, you will need to pre-register either by phone or on-line. This allows them to have all of the needed information prior to your arrival and will speed your entrance into the park. All of the people visiting will be given wristbands that provide state-of-the-art security technology. These RFID will hold important medical information and will help guests to locate all the members of their party quickly.
And even though Morgan’s Wonderland is being compared to Disney World for people with disabilities, families will not go broke visiting this park. People with disabilities will be able to enter the park for free, along with one caregiver. The remaining people will have to pay a nominal admission fee. Sports Outdoor and Recreation (SOAR), the non-profit running Morgan’s Wonderland, also operates the South Texas Area Regional (STAR) Soccer Complex. The profits from the sports complex will go to the daily operations of Morgan’s Wonderland.
It appears that SOAR and Gordon Hartman have thought of everything. Including hiring someone with 18 years experience operating Sea World to help with operations to ensure everything runs smoothly. To ensure that every aspect of the park is truly ready for operations, they are having test runs of the operation of the park prior to April to so that everything runs how they envisioned and they will have time to make needed adjustments.
It is not always the case that family entertainment centers offer the combination of strong dedication, great imagination, and superb business acumen such as Morgan’s Wonderland has. It is this combination that will enable to this park to last while other family entertainment centers close.
Morgan’s Wonderland and STAR Soccer Complex are located just northeast of downtown San Antonio at Thousand Oaks and Wurzbach Parkway. This is the former site of the Longhorn Quarry and is directly across from the new North East ISD Stadium Sports complex.
So make your plane reservation now! April in San Antonio. What a great place for a family vacation. Learn more about Morgan’s Wonderland and visit San Antonio’s visitor’s bureau to find other great things to do while you are there.