Gordon Hartman spent 22 years as a homebuilder, helming Gordon Hartman Homes and related real-estate endeavors. In 2005, however, Gordon walked away from his business to create something bigger: Morgan's Wonderland, a nonprofit theme park named for his daughter, who has physical and cognitive challenges.
At first glance, Morgan's Wonderland seems like a standard amusement park. But a closer look reveals a place that promotes inclusivity—not just in its mission, but in its construction. Designed with individuals with special needs in mind, the park offers plenty of fun rides, such as traditional, adaptive, and wheelchair swings, as well entertainment like interactive shows and a roving group of superheroes who've transformed their disabilities into super abilities.
That's only the beginning, though. Read on to learn about how Morgan's Wonderland stacks up by the numbers:
The $34 million, 25-acre amusement park opened in 2010. The sprawling site is home to more than 25 attractions, including an 8-acre catch-and-release fishing lake, an 18,000-square-foot special-events center, and a 575-seat amphitheater.
The amusement-park rides include the 5.5-story-tall Whirling Wonder, a colorful ferris wheel featuring 12 gondolas, and an elaborate carousel with specially designed wheelchair chariots. The latter was named one of America's best by Travel + Leisure in 2012.
There's no shortage of entertainment, either. Guests can stop by Sensory Village, which houses the Saddle-Up Stable's two mechanical Equicizer horses. Visitors can attend Starlight Amphitheater's live-action stage shows and interactive performances, such as "The Adventures of Wonder & Stinger," the story of two dogs finding new friends and a new home at the park.
The fun center is also home to stunning views. The Walk & Roll Path, for example, offers panoramic looks at both Morgan's Wonderland and Toyota Field. Meanwhile, Doug Roper’s 25-foot-tall Taking Flight sits at the park's entrance. As the largest cast-bronze sculpture in San Antonio, it was made with 800 pounds of clay, 1,500 pounds of steel, and 6,200 pounds of bronze.