When I was a child, I absolutely loved going to amusement parks. I give much credit to my parents, who carried me up and down flights of stairs just so I could laugh and enjoy roller coasters, log flumes, and any other ride I wanted to experience. In San Antonio, Texas, there is an amusement park and now an additional water park that welcomes people with disabilities.
Morgan’s Wonderland is a 25-acre fully inclusive amusement park that opened in 2010. Morgan’s Wonderland is a nonprofit amusement park and it is the very first of its kind in the world. It has welcomed millions of visitors from the United States and worldwide. It has also won multiple awards locally, within the state and nationally.
The rides are completely wheelchair accessible, and everything is designed to accommodate disabilities. The inspiration for Morgan’s Wonderland came from Gordon and Maggie Hartman, who have a daughter with both physical and cognitive disabilities. As a parent, you always seek to make sure your child can be included in as much as possible. With that in mind, Gordon Hartman set out to create this totally inclusive amusement park.
The amusement park is not just for people who have disabilities. It is for everyone to come and enjoy together. People who have disabilities are granted free admission and everyone else has a very reasonable fee (up to $17), especially compared to other amusement parks. I think having a totally inclusive amusement park is a phenomenal concept because even now I love to go on amusement park rides, but most of the time, getting on is nearly impossible or dangerous. When you can’t do something that most people can do, you can’t help but feel left out. So, having an amusement park like Morgan’s Wonderland makes me feel very excited and happy.
Recently, Morgan’s Wonderland opened another amazing inclusive park. This time, it’s an inclusive water park! The water park is called Morgan’s Inspiration Island, and it opened just in time for the summer season. There are not any ramps at this one-of-a-kind park, and finally, people with disabilities can enjoy a water park, too.
First off, I wondered how in the world a water park could be wheelchair inclusive. Wheelchairs, especially motorized wheelchairs, will often break if they get wet because of the electronics and such. The creators of Morgan’s Inspiration, however, have created a waterproof wheelchair that can get wet without a problem. There are three types of wheelchairs to use, depending on your need. You can use them for free, and it’s first come, first served. They even have a motorized wheelchair that is waterproof and runs on air. Dressing rooms are not a problem; they’re fully accessible. Some have Hoyer lifts for transferring and adult-sized changing tables.
I am thrilled about Morgan’s Wonderland and Morgan’s Inspiration Island, without even going there yet. I hope to be able to visit soon and enjoy an amusement park with my children with no barriers. I also hope that other amusement parks achieve similar accessibility for everyone.
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