Morgan’s Wonderland: A Theme Park for Special Needs Children

Morgan's Wonderland

Last week, one of our authors posted an article about some sensory challenges her child experienced while on a trip at Disney World.

With these types of issues common for special needs guests at theme parks, San Antonio-based philanthropist Gordon Hartman recently opened “Morgan’s Wonderland,” a 25-acre amusement park designed for special needs children, while still appealing to everyone.

Inspired by his own disabled daughter’s exclusion from playground activities, the park is both innovative and heartwarming, with attention paid to every detail, including a Braille-decorated jungle gym wide enough to fit two wheelchairs side-by-side, waist high sandboxes accessible to all and an indoor extravaganza of activities called “Sensory Village." 

Generously spread out, yet designed to not be exhausting, the one-year-old park has about 20 attractions from active (Butterfly Playground) to easygoing (a train circling a mile-long loop through the park and around a lake). Most tranquil is the Sitting Garden, a quiet enclave that’s a favorite among parents of children with autism.

The first of its kind in the nation, Morgan’s Wonderland has attracted more than 100,000 guests to San Antonio, despite having little national advertising. Individuals with autism, orthopedic impairments, mental retardation and seizure disorders are among the most regular visitors, yet all children will enjoy its many opportunities.

As guests arrive at the park, they are assigned special RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) wristbands that identify their family or group. Monitor stations are located throughout the park and if a family becomes separated, they can quickly be reunited when a bracelet is scanned.

In a true testament to the generosity of the park’s creator, admission for people with special needs is free and adults accompanying them are just $10. General admission is $15. Reservations are recommended as the number of guests is limited to ensure the quality of the experience. However, people traveling long distances and arriving without reservations won’t be turned away.

Morgan’s Wonderland also features a community outreach in the form of an Adaptive Sports and Fitness Program, Scholastic Field Trips and Extended Learning Outreach. The Monarch Academy, a special-needs school initially serving grades six through twelve, will be opening at the end of this summer.

More info can be found at

2 Responses to Morgan’s Wonderland: A Theme Park for Special Needs Children

  1. soooo fabulous!!!as an autism mom I would certainly welcome on of these in Florida, Disney has presented a challenge to us as well, although I do appreciate the help they provide like the Guest Assistance Card, we would not even be able to attempt a visit if not for that.

  2. Susan says:

    Yes, hope this idea will spread across the country…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Important Disclaimer

All information in this site is presented for support and educational purposes only. It is not intended to substitute for medical treatment or visiting a licensed medical physician.

Visitors who desire to apply or use any information listed herein are urged to consult with licensed healthcare professionals first. All information is deemed reliable but its accuracy can't be guaranteed.

Did You Know?

  • * In 1970, Autism affected 1 out of 10,000 children
  • * Autism now affects 1 out of 88 children
  • * Autism affects 1 in 54 boys
  • * 1.7 million Americans have some form of autism
  • * 4 out of 5 autistic children are boys

RSS Latest Article Entries

  • Pioneers of Change: How Two Mothers are Making a Difference August 16, 2014
    Out of the enormous tragedy that is Sandy Hook, rays of light are shining forth. Scarlett Lewis is the mother of Jesse Lewis, a six year old victim of the massacre. Moved by the words “Nurturing, Healing, Love” that her son wrote on a blackboard days before his death, she has created the the Jesse […]

Home - Autism Symptoms - Autism Videos - Autism Organizations - Autism Message Boards - Articles - Autism Recipes - Hyperlexia - Fragile X - Tag Cloud - AQ Test - Contact