There's Finally a Water Park for People With Disabilities

Mom and special needs son playing in water
Robin Jerstad/Jerstad Photographics

Amusement parks are a top destination for families, inspiring many to map out age-appropriate rides, nearby restrooms, and concession stands. But not everyone gets included in the fun. In the sea of moms and dads standing in long lines with their children, some parents are more concerned about whether or not their child can even enjoy the attractions. Morgan's Inspiration Island is noted as the "world's first ultra-accessible splash park," open to people of all abilities, which makes this San Antonio, Texas, destination a godsend for families who have children with special needs.

  • Morgan's Inspiration Island is a new wheelchair-accessible destination at the Morgan's Wonderland theme park that's making a splash.

    Families with children of all ages and abilities can enjoy the tropical-themed island's six attractions -- including five water play areas -- without being left out or made to feel unequal due to any special needs.

    More from CafeMom: 6 Things Parents of Kids With Special Needs Wish You Would Say

    "Morgan's Inspiration Island -- like Morgan's Wonderland -- will concentrate on inclusion and inspire guests with special needs to do things previously thought not to be in their range of capabilities," Gordon Hartman, the park's creator, notes in the company's press release.

  • Advertisement
  • There are even waterproof wheelchairs available (on a first-come, first-served basis) for families who can't afford to get their own wet.

    Major score!

  • What makes the island unique is that it's not only a special needs splash park, but a place that provides fun for all kids -- the way it should be.

    "Like Morgan's Wonderland, Morgan's Inspiration Island is not a special-needs park; it's a park of inclusion," Gordon Hartman, the park's creator, notes in the company's press release. "Morgan's Inspiration Island promises to give individuals with physical or cognitive special needs a place where they can splash and play without barriers."

    More from CafeMom: The Never-Ending Learning Curve of Having a Special Needs Child

  • Both Morgan's Wonderland and Morgan's Inspiration Island were inspired by Gordon's daughter, Maggie, who has special needs.

    After noticing children were nervous to play with his daughter while on vacation years ago, this father was determined to make a difference and create a welcoming environment that would help remove both physical and mental barriers for everyone.

    "Those without disabilities and those with, including individuals in wheelchairs, guests with hearing and visual impairments and even guests on ventilators, will be able to play alongside each other and gain a greater appreciation of one another," Hartman mentions on the company's website.

  • Since the park's June 17 opening, parents have been praising Morgan's Inspiration Island for what it means to their kids.

    "I've never heard of anything like it," Danielle Reichstein, a mother of a son with developmental issues, tells KSAT 12 News. "It's been great to have other kids that are willing to work with [my son] just as much as they want the extra help as well," she adds.

    More from CafeMom7 Inspiring Photos Highlight the 'Super Powers' of Special Needs Kids

  • Families just can't get enough of Morgan's Inspiration Island ...

  • ... including older children who've never been able to enjoy a water park like this before.

    "Some of [the guests] are older, have really never, ever been included into water fun, and it's why we do what we do," Ron Morander, Morgan's Wonderland general manager, tells KSAT 12 News. 

  • With the long days of summer ahead, we can only imagine how much fun families will have at such a wonderful place of inclusion.

disability family special needs summer break