Wonderful Wonderland theme park for those with disabilities
Most of us think our dad is number one; they're superheroes to us. But one particular dad in Texas could well beat them all to the top spot.
When Gordon Hartman noticed there were no suitable theme parks for his disabled daughter, Morgan, to enjoy, he decided he would build one. Simple.
Morgan's Wonderland was opened in 2010 as the 'world's first ultra-accessible theme park' as a place where people with or without disabilities are free to play together.
With specially designed rides for wheelchairs, including a carousel. Ferris wheel and adventure playground, the park allows disabled guests a chance to experience fairground rides just like anyone else.
A fully wheelchair accessible water park was added this year with waterproof motorised wheelchairs which run on compressed air rather than batteries.
Not only that but there is also an accessible river boat ride so those in wheelchairs are able to enjoy the rides with everyone else.
Hannah Bottomley, clinical negligence solicitor at Potter Rees Dolan, said:
A wonderful and inspiring story for a Friday! I think it’s amazing that Gordon has created Morgan’s Wonderland after he was concerned that there were limited places where disabled and able bodied children could come together, play together and be equal.
The emphasis is on accessibility and is something I find truly inspiring and it would be great if something like this was available in the UK so disabled people here, like our some of our clients, were able to enjoy a similar ‘Wonderland’. Good work Gordon!
Watching children with or without special needs play together is what it's all about for Gordon who initially created the park when he noticed Morgan was being treated unfavourably by other children when she was younger.
Although, as Hannah says above, it would wonderful to have something like this closer to home, Gordon has no plans to extend further than Texas even though he has received hundreds of requests to do so.
He feels he wants to concentrate on this area and expand to develop the educational needs of children and teenagers but will work with any organisations who plan to build something similar elsewhere.
Anyone with a condition can access Morgan's Wonderland for free and a third of the park's staff also have a disability so if you're ever in the San Antonio area in Texas then perhaps check it out!