Morgan's Wonderland

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Morgan's Wonderland
Morgans Wounderland Entrance.jpg
Entrance of Morgan's Wonderland
Slogan Where Everyone Can Play
Location San Antonio, Texas, USA
Coordinates 29°32′20″N 98°23′31″W / 29.539°N 98.392°W / 29.539; -98.392Coordinates: 29°32′20″N 98°23′31″W / 29.539°N 98.392°W / 29.539; -98.392
Opened March 3, 2010; 5 years ago (2010-03-03)
Visitors per annum 500,000
Area 25 acres (0.10 km2)
Website www.morganswonderland.com

Morgan's Wonderland is a 25 acres (10 ha) accessible amusement park in San Antonio, Texas, USA for children and adults with special cognitive and physical needs. The park, which opened in April, 2010 on the site of the former Longhorn Quarry, was developed by Gordon Hartman,[1] a former real estate developer from San Antonio. He said that his daughter Morgan, who has a severe cognitive delay, inspired the creation of the park.[2]

Non-profit Morgan’s Wonderland is the very first theme park of its kind. Now in its fifth season, the park has welcomed more than 500,000 guests from all 50 states and 49 other countries.

Admission for those with special needs is free; admission fees for accompanying family members, friends, caregivers and the general public are nominal.

History[edit]

Beginnings[edit]

In 2005, Hartman sold his successful homebuilding business to establish The Foundation so he and his wife, Maggie, could pursue their dream of helping children and adults with special needs. Their devotion to this cause is inspired by their 21-year-old daughter, Morgan. Her soaring spirit despite physical and cognitive challenges sparked within the Hartmans a deep desire to create Morgan’s Wonderland, a haven not only for those with special needs but also for their families, caregivers, friends and the general public.

Morgan’s Wonderland opened March 3, 2010, and celebrated its grand opening April 10, 2010, with NBA legend David Robinson and actress Eva Longoria as special guests. Completely wheelchair-accessible, the $34 million park features more than 25 elements and attractions including rides, playgrounds, gardens, an eight-acre catch-and-release fishing lake, 18,000-square-foot special-event center, 575-seat amphitheater, picnic area and rest areas throughout the park. Visit www.MorgansWonderland.com for the latest information on operating days, admissions and special events.

The concept[edit]

The concept for the park is similar to a sensory garden. It is an example of adaptive recreation for children. The attractions are designed to be interactive for children with various abilities and disabilities. The guiding principle for Morgan’s Wonderland is inclusion. “Morgan’s Wonderland is a special place where anyone can have fun,” says Gordon Hartman, CEO of The Foundation, “but it was created with special-needs individuals in mind. Morgan’s Wonderland is just like any other theme park except for the added benefit of a culture and environment that assures 100 percent enjoyment by everyone who enters through our Welcome Center. Unfortunately, countless children and adults with special needs do not have access to facilities that can help them fully enjoy outdoor recreation. We truly hope Morgan’s Wonderland will begin to change that.”

Wonderland, Texas[edit]

Morgan’s Wonderland is the anchor of Wonderland, Texas, a new family destination that exists for fun as well as helping the special-needs community. Other attractions are the STAR (South Texas Area Regional Soccer) Complex, the San Antonio Scorpions FC pro soccer team, Toyota Field multi-purpose stadium and Monarch Academy at Morgan’s Wonderland, a school for students with special needs. Morgan’s Wonderland is also the home of STRAPS (South Texas Regional Adaptive and Paralympic Sports) which is the first and only sports program in the Southwest to provide comprehensive recreational and competitive sports opportunities for those with physical disabilities including individuals who are visually impaired.[3]

Attractions[edit]

The park has a carousel, an 8 acres (3.2 ha) lake, off-road vehicles, a miniature train decorated to appear like it is from the 1930s, a sand circle play area, swings, and "playscapes."[1] The carousel sits flush with the ground and has "chariots" that wheel chairs can be secured in that move up and down as the carousel turns. There are traditional and adaptive swings that hold wheel chairs.

GPS adventure band[edit]

Early on in the design was in the design and construction phase of Morgan's Wonderland the public was asked what was most important consideration element of the park they should focus on. The number one response was safety. Safety concerns not only were taken into consideration when the designing the custom rides and playgrounds to make them as assessable as possible for all abilities including those in wheelchairs other safety considerations needed to be addressed. These concerns range from ensuring everyone stays within the park boundaries to both the special needs person and their caregiver knowing where each other are all-times within the park. [4]

To achieve these concerns Morgan's Wonderland uses state-of-the-art technology RFID (Radio Frequency Identification). RFID consist of the GPS Adventure Band and the location station. Each guest is required to wear a GPS Adventure Band while within the park. Each GPS Adventure Bands have an unique identification number which is electronically assigned to both the individual and the identification number the group or visiting party is assign. To ensure that Morgan's Wonderland has enough GPS Adventure Bands for each member of your party advance reservation are required which are done on the parks website or by telephone. To use the GPS Adventure Band while within the park the visiter locates one of several identification stations scattered throughout the park. Upon scanning GPS Adventure Bands on location station scanner the exacted real time location of each group or party member is displayed the on location station screen. [5]

Sponsorships[edit]

On August 28, 2012, Toyota was named presenting sponsor of Morgan’s Wonderland. Toyota will provide major financial support for the 25-acre theme park.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Theme park for special-needs children opens in San Antonio." Daily Travel & Deal Blog at the Los Angeles Times. Saturday May 1, 2010. Retrieved on May 2, 2010.
  2. ^ Berman, John. "American Heart: Creating a Theme Park for Those With Special Needs." ABC News. March 9, 2010. Retrieved on May 2, 2010.
  3. ^ "South Texas Regional Adaptive and Paralympic Sports". South Texas Regional Adaptive and Paralympic Sports (STRAPS). Retrieved March 31, 2015. 
  4. ^ Ross Hibert (Director) (2010). Morgan's Wonderland KSAT Special (Part 1) (Television production) (in English). San Antonio, Texas: KSAT. Retrieved April 1, 2015. 
  5. ^ "GPS Adventure Band". Morgan's Wonderland. Esd and Associates. Retrieved April 1, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Toyota Announces Presenting Sponsorships of Morgan’s Wonderland, New Scorpions Stadium". finchannel.com. 2012-08-29. Retrieved 2012-08-30. 

See also[edit]

External links[edit]