Special needs inclusion just got cooler with the opening of Morgan’s Inspiration Island. For kids confined to wheelchairs, family vacations can be limited, especially in the water park arena. Until now. San Antonio, Texas, is home to the world’s very first ultra-accessible splash park. Morgan’s Inspiration Island welcomes guests of all ages and abilities to get wet and have fun. The splash park is an extension of Morgan’s Wonderland, the unique all-inclusive theme park featuring rides, playgrounds and other attractions with special needs families in mind. Whether someone in your family is wheelchair bound, has hearing or visual impairments, or has any other special circumstance, Morgan’s Inspiration Island has something for everyone. What’s more, children with special needs get in FREE!
The lighthouse at Morgan’s Inspiration Island guides visitors to its location.[/caption]
A WATER PARK FOR EVERYONE
Although Morgan’s Inspiration Island is a bit far off from Tennessee, it’s unique attributes makes it worth the necessary advance planning. Furthermore, the attraction’s not just for children with disabilities. “Like Morgan’s Wonderland, Morgan’s Inspiration Island is not a special needs park; it’s a park of inclusion,” says Gordon Hartman, founder of The Gordon Hartman Family Foundation, an organization which pursues endeavors benefiting the special needs community. “Both were designed with special needs individuals in mind and built for everyone’s enjoyment,” he adds. In addition, Hartman notes the splash park concentrates on inclusion while inspiring guests with special needs to do things they once thought impossible. They can enjoy the same fun and activities alongside their typically developing siblings and friends.
Over-sized changing rooms are wheelchair accessible.
Before your family makes a splash, make sure your child’s wheelchair is waterproof. If it’s not, don’t worry. Morgan’s Inspiration Island loans out special waterproof wheelchairs on a first-come, first-served basis free of charge. There are three different types of chairs available suitable to a variety of needs. Once you’re set, get ready for a wet and wild adventure in one of the oversize changing rooms.
Harvey’s Hideaway Bay has a tipping bucket and lots of other spray features.
WATER PARK ATTRACTIONS
Morgan’s Inspiration Island boasts several fun attractions. The River Boat Adventure Ride lasts more than five minutes. It features lots of twists and turns through a jungle-like setting with wild bird and animal sounds for added effect. The splash park also has five water play areas – Hang 10 Harbor, Rainbow Reef, Shipwreck Island, Harvey’s Hideaway Bay and Calypso Cove. Each area offers a variety elements like rain trees, falls, pools, geysers, jets, water cannons and tipping buckets. Kids can roll right up with ease in their wheelchairs to get in on the cool water action, too.
The warmer waters at Rainbow Reef make water play enjoyable for the most sensitive of visitors.
The Rainbow Reef area boasts warmer water temperatures so guests with sensory issues to cold water can happily splash and play without incident.
The park offers waterproof wristbands with RFID technology. If your child separates from you, just go to a Location Station to easily find them. Since there’s no swimmable pool, there’s no need for lifeguards on duty at the water park. Hungry? Take the accessible ramp up to the snack bar where you’ll find options like hot dogs, chicken strips, nachos, fries, cotton candy, ice cream and soft drinks at affordable prices. If food allergies are an issue, you can bring your own cooler, though it must stay at Morgan’s Wonderland where picnic tables await.
Morgan’s Inspiration Island
5223 David Edwards Drive
San Antonio, Texas 78233
Hours: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. (select days in July 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. and varying hours in August) Open daily throughout the summer until mid-August and then on weekends in August and September.
Admission to both parks: $27 ages 18 and older $21 ages 3 – 17, seniors and military with valid ID Free ages 2 and younger and any child with a disability Discounted twilight admission available
Admission to Morgan’s Wonderland only: $17 ages 18 and older $11 ages 3 – 17, seniors and military with valid ID Free ages 2 and younger and any child with a disability