Amusement Parks

All welcome in Morgan’s Wonderland, San Antonio’s wonderfully accessible family theme park

Last updated 21st March 2024

Morgan’s Wonderland in San Antonio, Texas, is the world’s first theme park designed for visitors with special needs. Andrew Dent visited recently and discovered it really is as wonderful as it sounds.


Water Works, Morgan’s Wonderland, San Antonio

Another wonderful reason to visit San Antonio this year

There are many reasons to visit San Antonio. It’s the second largest city in Texas and the San Antonio Zoo is one of the finest in the country. The historic Alamo museum is certainly worth your time, and the riverwalk winding through the city centre justifies a half-day or even a boat trip. But the one thing not to miss is Morgan’s Wonderland: the world’s first and only theme park designed for visitors with special needs.

Morgan’s Wonderland is built on love and you feel that everywhere

Created in 2010 by successful local property developer, Gordon Hartman and his wife Maggie, the park is named after their daughter Morgan who has both cognitive and physical special needs. When I met Gordon recently he explained that he knew Morgan loved being in swimming pools with other kids, but the crowds, noise, splashing and blinking lights were too much for her.

So he looked around for somewhere she could enjoy comfortably and share with others who didn’t necessarily have any special needs. Then, as he couldn’t find exactly what he had in mind, like any good entrepreneur, he decided to create it himself.


Accessible fun for everyone, Morgan’s Wonderland, San Antonio

Ultra-accessible but mostly just amazing fun, for all

Today Morgan’s Wonderland is still run as a non-profit, and over the years has attracted more than 2.5 million visitors. About one-in-four people visiting have special needs and they come from all 50 US states, as well as some 120 countries worldwide.

As the park is considered ‘ultra accessible’, all physical barriers that normally challenge children and adults with special needs have been removed.

This is not a place with lots of the whooping and screaming you find at standard theme parks, and anything that might trigger has been dialled right down. The fun on the other hand definitely has not. Many of the rides are wheelchair accessible and because I have a family member who is autistic, I could see it through her eyes and imagine how amazing it would be for her to have a park like this in New Zealand, where she lives. Almost as importantly, I can see how wonderful it would be for her Mum.


Whirling Wonder, Morgan’s Wonderland, San Antonio

Visit San Antonio in 2024 for the all new Morgan’s Wonderland

In 2023, the park closes after its annual Halloween Celebration – ‘ More Delightful , than frightful’ – for a massive refresh and expansion before the 2024 season. With this in mind, management has extensively researched the best ultra-accessible equipment manufacturers worldwide, so as well as suppliers from the USA, Canadian and Italian companies are also involved.


Sensory Village, Morgan’s Wonderland, San Antonio

An inclusive and nurturing park, that’s magical for kids

One of the new attractions in the fabulous Sensory Village will be a 4D Cinema which includes a platform that lets wheelchair users have the same rollercoaster type experience as regular riders, without any discomfort. Jette’s Wonder Bikes is a planned carousel-type attraction where hang-glider-style cars rotate at a gentle pace and riders can pedal or use hand cranks to move cars up and down to give the sensation of flying.

Then there’s a new zipline which features respiratory equipment along with additional restraints for those with less head or upper body control. And operating just below that, is the Passenger Boat Ride with its new and fully accessible pier and dock.


The magic of Christmas, Morgan’s Wonderland, San Antonio

As the park offers attractions for people of all abilities it’s a wonderful place to visit, even if you don’t have special needs’ kids. In fact it’s a truly inclusive and nurturing environment, and all credit for that goes to Morgan, Gordon and Maggie. We cannot wait to see fully refreshed and expanded Wonderland from March 2024 onwards.

Plan a visit to Morgan’s Wonderland

How to get there

UK flights to San Antonio, from 13 hours

Where to stay

Valencia Riverwalk, San Antonio, family rooms (2 adults, 2 children) from £170 per night

Book Valencia Riverwalk, San Antonio

Good to know

Morgan’s Wonderland re-opens in March 2024