The grand opening for the world’s first fully accessible amusement park is set for April 10th, 2010. But families who want to be a part of the park’s soft launch can take advantage of early registration dates available NOW by going to the Morgan’s Wonderland reservation site.
The promotions team from Morgan’s Wonderland is spreading the word about the many features of this amazing park. “Everything is geared towards inclusion at this one-of-a-kind park,” states an email circulated to parents of special needs children on AISD lists. The message continues, “All kids can enjoy the carousel, train, swings, 3 large playscapes (designed with those who use wheelchairs in mind), a fishing wharf with a catch and release program, driving an SUV, and more!”
Several Austin families have already planned trips to the park and one of its first visitors will be the principal from Gullett Elementary School in Austin. When Janie Ruiz heard about the plans for Morgan’s Wonderland, her first comments were, “How exciting…it’s about time!” After over 20 years as a teacher, administrator, and principal in Special Education in AISD, Ruiz’s next thoughts were, How will this work? How will the facilities and programs meet the wide variety of needs and situations? She is also very pleased to hear that the park fees are affordable.
Ruiz is excited to make it to the park and “thrilled to learn from this model and bring ideas ‘home’ to Gullett in Austin.” Gullett Elementary strives to be a model special education program in AISD. Ruiz will join a friend and her son as they explore the park for the first time in early March 2010. Ruiz plans to approach the park both as a parent of a child with special needs and as an administrator always seeking new ideas and innovation on behalf of all children, both typically developing and with special abilities.
The inspiration for Morgan’s Wonderland is a vibrant teenage girl named Morgan Hartman. The Morgan’s Wonderland website explains that, ” It is Morgan’s fervent hope that everyone with special needs- young and old, healthy or ailing, introspective or outgoing-will be touched in a very special way by this park” (source). The 25 acre, ultra accessible, ‘special place for special friends’ in San Antonio, Texas is the realization of that hope.
Reservations must be made in advance so that the volunteers and staff at Morgan’s Wonderland can best meet the needs of visiting children and families. This includes limiting the number of visitors at one time so that the park is always at a ‘comfortable capacity’. Admission to the park is free for children with special needs and only $5 for accompanying friends, family, and helpers.
“An oasis of friendship . . . a shrine of inclusion . . . an unforgettable wonderland . . . Morgan’s Wonderland!” ~ Morgan’s Wonderland web site.
Morgan’s Wonderland is located in San Antonio, Texas 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 Heroes Stadium, the new North East ISD Stadium and Sports complex. For reservations, see Morgan’s Wonderland reservations online or call 210.637.3434.
For more information about the funding and history behind Morgan’s Wonderland visit the OUR HISTORY section of their website.
more photo credit: Francesco Marino
To receive future articles by Courtney Crow Wyrtzen, scroll to the top of this article, and click on SUBSCRIBE. Your e-mail address will not be shared with anyone else. Do you have a story idea? I’d love to hear from you! E-mail your ideas to me at [email protected] Find me on twitter: CtyExaminer, too.