Just in time for some summer fun, a first-of-its-kind splash park designed from the ground up to accommodate people with various special needs will make its debut in San Antonio, TX on Saturday, June 17. Morgan’s Inspiration Island, part of Morgan’s Wonderland Parks, is a $17 million water park that features five play areas with pools, geysers, jets, water cannons and other elements as well as a five-minute jungle-themed riverboat ride with twists and turns.
“Like Morgan’s Wonderland, Morgan’s Inspiration Island is not a special-needs park; it’s a park of inclusion,” said Gordan Hartman, founder of Morgan’s Wonderland, in a press release. “Both were designed with special-needs individuals in mind and built for everyone’s enjoyment.”
Hartman also said that he and his team worked with water park consultants from Texas, Arizona and Canada as well as doctors, therapists, special educators and families to create the tropical-themed destination. Morgan’s Inspiration Island is completely wheelchair accessible, and one area even offers the ability to condition water to a warmer temperature for those sensitive to cold. Parents can also obtain waterproof wristbands with tracking technology so that they can easily locate their kids. Additionally, park officials have reported that specially-designed waterproof wheelchairs built just for the park will be available for visitors.
The splash park will be free for individuals with special needs, just like Morgan’s Wonderland, though Hartman recommended making advance reservations online. The splash park will be open daily until the middle of August before switching to a weekend schedule through September.
“Our goal is to provide a great guest experience in an inclusive, safe, comfortable, not-overly-crowded environment,” Hartman said in the press release. “Because of the great anticipation for the opening of Morgan’s Inspiration Island, we respectfully request everyone’s patience and cooperation as we fine tune the park.”
“When Morgan’s Wonderland opened in spring 2010, we really didn’t know what to expect, but the park’s popularity has grown tremendously and encouraged us to add Morgan’s Inspiration Island,” he said. “Now, we’ll have two attractions like none other that everyone – regardless of ability or age – can enjoy. Morgan’s Inspiration Island promises to give individuals with physical or cognitive special needs a place where they can splash and play without barriers.”
Overlooking the theme park’s 8-acre catch-and-release fishing lake, Morgan’s Inspiration Island’s focal point focal point is a seven-story lighthouse with a rotating beacon on top that can be easily seen from IH 35 a half-mile away. Included in the park is the River Boat Adventure ride, which twists and turns for more than five minutes through a jungle setting with bird and animal sounds in the background. The five water play areas – Hang 10 Harbor, Rainbow Reef, Shipwreck Island, Harvey’s Hideaway Bay and Calypso Cove – provide a variety of splashy elements such as raintrees, falls, pools, geysers, jets, water cannons and tipping buckets.
Hartman went on to describe that the park “recently unveiled with the University of Pittsburgh revolutionary new wheelchairs propelled by compressed air. Our guests in expensive battery-powered wheelchairs can’t afford to get them wet, so we have special Morgan’s Inspiration Island PneuChairs™ available first-come, first-served, along with two other waterproof wheelchair models – a push-stroller type for guests needing assistance from a caregiver for mobility and a rigid-frame, manual wheelchair for guests who can push themselves. The first PneuChairs to go into service are prototypes that are already undergoing significant improvements.”
“In many ways, creating Morgan’s Inspiration Island feels a lot like it did when our team designed and built Morgan’s Wonderland with a focus on special-needs individuals – it’s never been done before. For the past three years, we’ve been collaborating with water park consultants from Texas, Arizona, Florida and Canada as well as local doctors, special-needs therapists, special-education teachers, parents and caregivers. We believe Morgan’s Inspiration Island will be tremendously popular because both children and adults in wheelchairs will be able to have fun in the South Texas sun.”
To learn more about this new splash park, visit Morgan’s Wonderland. Don’t forget to check out our article, Planning Your Next Family Vacation: Best Amusement Parks in San Antonio, for more summer fun.