Morgan’s Wonderland – the world’s first and only ultra-accessible theme park specifically designed with special-needs individuals of all ages in mind but built for everyone to enjoy – will embark upon its fifth season Friday, Feb. 28.
“It’s truly a park of inclusion,” said philanthropist Gordon Hartman, CEO of The Gordon Hartman Family Foundation who – along with wife Maggie – spearheaded the creation of Morgan’s Wonderland and opened it in the spring of 2010. “We continue to generate incredibly positive feedback from those with and without physical or cognitive challenges. It’s been gratifying indeed to welcome more than 400,000 guests from all 50 states and more than 40 other countries in just four years of operation.”
Encompassing 25 acres in Northeast San Antonio at the intersection of Wurzbach Parkway and Thousand Oaks Drive, Morgan’s Wonderland is completely wheelchair accessible. It offers a variety of attractions including rides, gardens and playgrounds. Admission for those with special needs is free; admission fees for accompanying family members, friends, caregivers and the general public are nominal. For the latest information on days of operation and admissions, visit www.MorgansWonderland.com
Other highlights of the 2014 season will include:
- special events such as daily operation and guest entertainers during spring break (March 7-16);
- Joy, the park’s butterfly costumed character who’s scheduled to interact with guests and pose for photos beginning this spring;
- periodic special appearances by rescued dogs Stinger and Wonder, animal ambassadors for Morgan’s Wonderland and the San Antonio Scorpions FC; and
- STRAPS (South Texas Regional Adaptive and Paralympic Sports), which enables athletes with physical challenges and special needs to play soccer and wheelchair basketball at the Morgan’s Wonderland Event Center, thanks to assistance from The Boeing Co., Warm Springs and the Scorpions.
To provide non-profit Morgan’s Wonderland with a steady revenue stream to help defray operating expenses and to expand programs and services for the special-needs community, Hartman acquired a North American Soccer League (NASL) team – the Scorpions – that competes at colorful new Toyota Field, an 8,000-seat, multi-purpose stadium. The Scorpions will kick off their 2014 NASL season in April following a number of warm-up matches in February and March.
All Scorpions and Toyota Field net profits have been earmarked for Morgan’s Wonderland. This is the first time a professional sports team has been organized to benefit those with special needs, Hartman noted. More information about upcoming matches and tickets is available at www.SAScorpions.com
The inspiration for Morgan’s Wonderland came from Hartman’s 20-year-old daughter Morgan. Her soaring spirit despite personal challenges sparked within Hartman a deep desire to create a haven not only for those with special needs but also for their families, caregivers and invited friends.
Morgan’s Wonderland is part of a larger 106-acre area now known as “Wonderland, Texas.” In addition to Morgan’s Wonderland, Toyota Field and the Scorpions, this destination for family fun features the STAR (South Texas Area Regional) Soccer Complex, which offers 13 lighted soccer fields for tournaments, league play and clinics, and Monarch Academy, a school for students with special needs that opened next to Morgan’s Wonderland in August 2011. For additional information, visit www.MonarchAcademy.net