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Welcome to Morgan’s Wonderland

Children with disabilities can enjoy all the rides and attractions at Morgan’s Wonderland. 

A large atrium leading to a building entrance with a sign reading Morgan’s Wonderland

© Universal Images Group—Getty Images

Gordon Hartman’s daughter, Morgan, has a disease that makes it difficult for her to speak. When Hartman noticed that this made it hard for Morgan to play with other kids, he decided to build a theme park where all kids would feel included. He called it Morgan’s Wonderland, in honor of his daughter. Today, Morgan is all grown up, and millions of kids enjoy the accessible theme park that she inspired.

Located in San Antonio, Texas, Morgan’s Wonderland has rides, playgrounds, a make-believe village, and more. Each attraction is designed to be used by children with disabilities (though every kid is welcome). For example, all the rides are built so kids who use wheelchairs can enjoy them. And because many kids with autism are sensitive to loud sounds, nothing in the park is noisy. 

“It’s the small things that make the big difference: Having fun,” Hartman told CBS News. “And for too long, I think, individuals had to watch and say, ‘I wish I could.’ Here at Morgan’s Wonderland…you don’t watch. You participate.”

Recently, Morgan’s Wonderland added even more fun features. There’s a new movie theater that gives kids the feeling of riding a roller coaster. There’s a zip line that lets riders soar over the park’s lake. Another new ride is a cross between bike-riding and hang-gliding. 

“It’s just simply mind-blowing to know that there’s a place like this where we can enjoy the things that most people—typical people—[get a chance to do] across the world and around the country,” Victoria Garcia-Ammann told Texas Public Radio. Garcia-Ammann’s daughter, Emily, has a disability.

Hartman is now building an accessible hotel. He’s also planning to teach other business owners how to make stores, hotels, and restaurants more accessible to everyone.

Check out the slideshow for more photos of Morgan’s Wonderland.

© Universal Images Group—Getty Images; Nan Palmero (CC BY 2.0)

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Did You Know?

Morgan’s Wonderland has welcomed visitors from all 50 U.S. states and more than 120 countries!

A world map indicates San Antonio, Texas, with a star and a photo of a water tower that says Wonderland Parks.

© Pytyczech/Dreamstime.com, Nan Palmero (CC BY 2.0); Photo illustration Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

A Playground for All

In 1984, New York City opened the Playground for All Children, the first playground ever designed for children either with or without disabilities. The playground includes a suspension bridge, slides, swings, a water wheel, and sports fields. Each feature is built so that children who use wheelchairs, crutches, canes, or walkers can enjoy it. 

Today, there are six Playgrounds for All Children in New York City. There are also many other accessible playgrounds around the world.

All images – Tdorante10 (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Loop the Loop!

© Sihasakprachum/Dreamstime.com

A roller coaster is a thrilling ride! Did you know that people have been braving roller coasters for hundreds of years? 

You can learn more about roller coasters at Britannica.

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Word of the Day

accessible

Part of speech:

adjective

Definition:

easily used or accessed by people with disabilities adapted for use by people with disabilities

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