SAN ANTONIO – Unique Morgan’s Wonderland, still the world’s first and only theme park designed with those with special-needs in mind and built for everyone’s enjoyment, will add attractions totaling $6 million in preparation for its 2024 season that begins in the Spring.
“Thus far, Morgan’s Wonderland has welcomed 2.7 million guests from all 50 states and more than 120 other countries,” said Gordon Hartman, who along with wife Maggie co-created the park, thanks to the inspiration of their daughter with special needs, Morgan. “It’s now time to refresh and add new elements that will constitute our largest expansion since we opened in 2010.”
Major additions will include a 4D cinema giving guests the sensation of riding a thrilling roller coaster; passenger boat ride across the park’s 8-acre catch-and-release fishing lake; Rocket’s Sky Flight Adventure, a four-seat zipline that soars above the lake and that’s named after one of the super-hero mascots comprising the park’s Wonder Squad; Jette’s Magic Bikes, a wheelchair-accessible ride named for another mascot that’s in keeping with the park’s butterfly theme of enabling everyone – especially those with special needs – to soar to new heights of enjoyment. Upgrades to food outlets and other park facilities will complement the new additions.
“To facilitate construction throughout the park, Morgan’s Wonderland will close for four months following our popular More Delightful Than Frightful celebration of Halloween on Tuesday, Oct. 31,” said Richard Pretlow, park president. “This means we will be unable to present ‘A Wonderland Christmas’ special holiday entertainment on evenings in late November and December leading up to Christmas. We plan to partner with another organization to be able to provide a holiday experience outside of Morgan’s Wonderland for 2023 members and season pass holders.”
Pretlow described the major attractions to be added at Morgan’s Wonderland as follows:
4D Cinema in Sensory Village
“Sensory Village, a collection of storefronts housing attractions that stimulate the senses, will be the site of the 4D cinema. We believe the manufacturer from Canada is the only company that’s able to provide a platform with unique features necessary for riders in wheelchairs to have the same roller-coaster-type experience as typical riders. Examples of the unique elements are electric actuators that deliver smooth and accurate motion effects, a custom video screen size for guests of all abilities and a motion-disengage option for those who do not wish to experience coaster-like sensations.”
Passenger Boat Ride
“All passengers, including guests in wheelchairs, will board the covered boat from a newly-constructed pier and dock adjacent to the Pirate Island playscape, then enjoy a smooth cruise around the lake. Passengers on the boat ride will have the best view of guests enjoying the new zip line crossing directly over the lake.”
Rocket’s Sky Flight Adventure - Zip Line
“A manufacturer from Utah will install the first-of-its-kind, 4-seater zip line that can accommodate riders with disabilities and special needs. This same company successfully created the first-of-its-kind 2-seater zip line at Morgan’s Wonderland Camp, and they are now committed to increasing capacity and allowing more riders to enjoy the thrill of zip lining at Morgan’s Wonderland. In this new iteration, a pair of riders will sit back-to-back in the carriage that allows for two different experiences on one zip line. The carriage also will have room for respiratory equipment or other gear required by the rider with special needs, plus additional restraints for riders with poor head and upper body control.”
Jette’s Wonder Bikes
“The wheelchair-accessible Jette’s Wonder Bikes designed by an internationally-known Italian company will feature six, hang-glider-style cars that gently fly in a circular pattern. Each is equipped with pedals that riders can use to make the cars swoop up and down. Guests unable to access the pedals can use hand cranks instead.”
“We’ve worked closely with the manufacturers to make sure our new attractions are in sync with the rest of our Ultra-Accessible™, fully-inclusive park,” Pretlow noted. “We’re excited about these additions and updates to an already incredible park that’s known around the globe. We believe guests of all abilities will enjoy them as we pursue our mission of inclusion – bringing together those with and without special needs for fun and a better understanding of one another in a colorful, upbeat, non-judgmental environment.”
Looking ahead to the 2024 season at Morgan’s Wonderland, Pretlow said information about season passes on sale for $50, and year-round annual memberships on sale for $75 can be found at https://MorgansWonderland.com/tickets-passes.
Morgan’s Wonderland is located in Northeast San Antonio at 5223 David Edwards Drive, a half-mile west of IH 35 near the intersection of Wurzbach Parkway and Thousand Oaks Drive. For the latest information on days and hours of operation, admissions and special events, visit www.MorgansWonderland.com, or call (210) 495-5888.
Ultra-Accessible™ refers to removing both physical and economic barriers that confront children and adults with special needs. This means that those with and without special needs can come together in a fully-inclusive environment for interaction and enhanced understanding of one another.
Morgan’s is the nonprofit umbrella organization that coordinates planning, fundraising, marketing and communications for the Morgan’s Wonderland “family” of Ultra-Accessible™, fully-inclusive endeavors designed with individuals with special needs in mind and built for everyone’s benefit. Related ventures include Morgan’s Inspiration Island splash park, Morgan’s Sports complex, Morgan’s Camp and Morgan’s MAC (Multi-Assistance Center) that offers coordinated medical and non-medical solutions to problems faced by children and adults with special needs. All of these and other initiatives focus on the Morgan’s mission of inclusion. For more information, visit www.Morgans.org.