The all-inclusive splashpark in San Antonio, Texas, has been designed especially for people with differing abilities to enjoy.
The world’s first all-inclusive splash park
Morgan’s Inspiration Island, which calls itself the world’s first accessible waterpark, has been designed especially for people with mobility issues. What’s more, every visitor with a disability gets free entry! Morgan’s Inspiration Island
was built in the true spirit of inclusion to provide a place where all ages and abilities can come together and play in a fun and safe environment. It is the world’s first ultra-accessible family fun park, encompassing 25 acres of rides, attractions and activities for everyone, and all are welcome!
Designed to cater for everyone regardless of their ability or age
The water park is part of Morgan’s Wonderland, an accessible theme park in San Antonio that opened in 2010. Owners Gordon and Maggie Hartman named it after their daughter, Morgan, who has both physical and cognitive disabilities. Inspiration Island will, the Hartmans say, be “The world’s first all-inclusive splash park."
The $17m park, overlooking the Wonderland’s fishing lake, will have six attractions including a jungle-themed five-minute river boat ride which is wheelchair accessible. Five tropical-themed “splash pads” or play areas will include elements like geysers, water cannons, jets, “raintrees” and “tipping buckets”.
Rather than risk damaging your own wheelchair, the park has designed specially accessible, waterproof wheelchairs, which are powered by compressed air instead of batteries. The lightweight chairs, which weigh about half that of a normal power chair, are handed out for free on a first-come-first-served basis.
Waterproof buggies and manual wheelchairs are also available. Service animals are allowed in the park, though not on the splash pads.
Other features include water temperature control, so cold-sensitive visitors can still use the attractions, special quiet areas for those sensitive to noise, and high-tech wristbands designed to locate guests who might wander. Even the water is constantly filtered and recirculated, to make it Eco-friendly as well as as healthy as possible.
Morgan’s Inspiration Island is not a special-needs park; it’s a park of inclusion
Srin Madipalli, CEO of Accomable, who has done everything from scuba dive in Bali to wheelchair-trekking in Yosemite, told Julia Buckley, for The Independent: “Morgan’s Inspiration Island would have been an absolute dream to me as a kid. Accessibility is so often an add-on or an afterthought, but here they’ve really thought through everything to make the park ‘ultra-accessible’."
“I love the high tech features. I have very little muscle function, and get cold quickly, so the way they can change the water temperature, is ideal. It shows a brilliant level of insight into different individuals’ needs, which is really quite unusual. Normally a waterpark on this scale might offer an accessible changing room and a pool hoist to help you get into the water but very little else. The fact that this waterpark has accessibility built into every feature is truly inspiring – and looks like great fun!"
“It’s great to see such inclusive facilities being developed.”
But don’t think of it as a park for disabilities. “Like Morgan’s Wonderland, Morgan’s Inspiration Island is not a special-needs park; it’s a park of inclusion,” Gordon Hartman said in a statement. “Both were designed with special-needs individuals in mind and built for everyone’s enjoyment.”
What’s more, prices are well below usual theme park rates. Visitors with disabilities get in free, while regular entry costs $17 for adults, and $11 for children.
Below: Gordon Hartman, owner and founder of the park, speaks about how he originally designed the park for his own daughter, Morgan, and what it means to him.