Dad creates $32 million theme park for daughter with special needs

- A Texas dad opened an amusement park for his daughter with special needs after realizing that other theme parks in the area just didn’t suit her.

Gordon Hartman began building a $15 million theme park, "Morgan’s Wonderland," in 2007.

The park is named after his daughter Morgan, who has a severe cognitive and physical delay as well as a form of autism.

The park opened in 2010.

“It feels fantastic because we get to see people who are not given the opportunity to [experience] the type of rides we have, get on a carousel, get on a train easily, fishing... All these things they’re not allowed to do because of their cognitive or physical situation,” Hartman told

The 25-acre park, which is located in San Antonio and has 26 different activities, features a wheelchair-accessible Ferris wheel and carousel, as well as a miniature train.

Hartman said he came up with the idea in 2006 when he visited a swimming pool with Morgan. His daughter, who was then 12, attempted to play with some kids in the pool, but instead of engaging with her, they quickly left the pool.

“[Morgan] looked around and gave me that look of, 'I don’t understand,'" Hartman said. "I jumped back in and we played for a while. All Morgan wanted to do was ask for interaction with the kids.”

The loving dad began thinking of places he could take Morgan. He thought of Disney, but knew parks of that nature were too noisy and crowded for her.

“What we found was there was no place we could find that’s an ultra-accessible fully-inclusive park,” Hartman said.

So the dad decided to build the world’s first “ultra-accessible theme park.” Having already started a non-profit foundation for children with special needs in 2005, The Gordon Hartman Family Foundation, Hartman knew how important it was to have something like the park for kids like his daughter.


Up Next:

  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories you may be interested in - includes Advertiser Stories