‘No One In This World Can Love A Girl More Than Her Father’ a quote by Michael Ratnadeepak a quote that’s fitting to Gordon Hartman from Texas, who created Morgans Wonderland.
Mr Hartman is the creator of Morgans Wonderland, a 25 acre non-profit theme park in San Antonio, city in Texas for all ages and disabilities. He created the theme park for his daughter Megan who has the cognitive understanding of a five-year-old and a form of autism. He and his wife found that when Megan was a young child there wasn’t many places to take her where she could play easily and with other children who have the same ability. When taking Megan to a normal theme park they realised that other kids were not very welcoming to her and that could be due to not understanding the difficulties she had. Gordon and his wife Maggie looked extensively to find a place to take Morgan where she would feel welcome and found there was none which led to Gordon creating his very own theme park for his daughter.
What They Did Next
The loving father sold his homebuilding businesses and set up a foundation called ‘The Gordon Hartman Family Foundation’ and began building the world’s first ultra-accessible theme park. The family started by setting up meetings with a number of different consultants, doctors, therapists and other people with disabilities to help create the park which they dedicated to their daughter. Gordon told a news report that: “We wanted a theme park where everyone could do everything, where people with and without special needs could play.”
The park, which is in San Antonio, Texas, cost £26 million in total and opened in 2010. It is the first of its kind in the world. Home to a specially-designed carousel, Ferris wheel and adventure playground, all rides are customised to be fully accessible. As this is a not for profit organisation the entrance is free to anyone with a special need or condition and admission fees for accompanying family members, caregivers and the generic public is normal price.
Morgans Wonderland Expands
Due to being so popular the park was expanded earlier in the year and Morgans Inspiration Island was created and opened. This was a fully accessible water park which has proved to be very popular since opening with many parents stating that their children have never been able to experience anything like this before.
The organization’s mission statement is: “To provide a safe, clean and beautiful environment free of physical and economic barriers that all individuals – regardless of age, special need or disability – can come to and enjoy,” and is often accompanied by the motto, “Where Everyone Can Play!”
Such admiration for a loving father and mother who’s created such a unique space that has helped many people. Hopefully this will continue to grow and other countries can offer ability friendly spaces for kids of all ages and abilities to go and have fun.