San Antonio, TX, USA — Representatives from cities across the nation and around the world interested in building ultra-accessible theme parks like Morgan’s Wonderland will attend a day-and-a-half, how-to symposium at the San Antonio park Friday and Saturday, Sept. 13 and 14.
“Since the opening of our unique and colorful park in 2010, we’ve received hundreds of inquiries from cities near and far,” said philanthropist Gordon Hartman, CEO of The Gordon Hartman Family Foundation who came up with the idea for Morgan’s Wonderland. “So we’re going to share in great detail what’s required to create a multi-million-dollar, completely wheelchair-accessible theme park. We’re expecting attendees from Texas, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Arkansas, plus representatives from cities in Colombia, Mexico and Honduras.”
Symposium speakers will be Hartman; Steve Richards, COO of Sports Outdoor and Recreation (SOAR), the organization created to raise funds for non-profit Morgan’s Wonderland and oversee its operation; General Manager Ron Morander; principal architect Robert Luna; designer Tracie Ochoa; and SOAR Communications Director Bob McCullough. Sessions will be held at the Morgan’s Wonderland Event Center.
Discussions will cover a broad range of topics including site selection, land acquisition, fund-raising, design, construction, operations and maintenance. Participants will tour Morgan’s Wonderland in depth and also visit other facilities near Morgan’s Wonderland dedicated to benefitting the special-needs community.
Individuals, groups and foundations interested in attending the symposium or developing their own Wonderland park can call toll-free (855) 206-2112 or e-mail [email protected].
“Morgan’s Wonderland is a classic case of ‘thinking outside the box,’” Hartman said. “We’ll do our best to encourage our guests to do just that as they plan their projects. Let’s hope that as a result of our information-sharing we’ll see more parks that emphasize inclusion and bring those with and without special needs together for fun and understanding.”
Situated on 25 acres in what once was a limestone quarry, Morgan’s Wonderland features more than 25 elements and attractions including rides, playgrounds, gardens, an eight-acre catch-and-release fishing lake, 18,000-square-foot special-event center, 575-seat amphitheater, picnic area and rest areas throughout the park. The park is the hub of a new destination for family fun that’s becoming known as “Wonderland, Texas.”
The nearby STAR (South Texas Area Regional) Soccer Complex offers 13 lighted soccer fields for tournaments, league play and special events. Net profits from STAR Soccer go to support the operation and maintenance of Morgan’s Wonderland.
Similarly, net profits from the San Antonio Scorpions FC pro soccer team and the team’s new home – 8,000-seat, multi-purpose Toyota Field – are earmarked for the expansion of programs and services for the special-needs community at Morgan’s Wonderland.
Monarch Academy at Morgan’s Wonderland is also located next to the theme park and accommodates students from 6th grade through high school. The school focuses on getting each student ready for independence and employment through reading and math instruction, plus social and life skills and vocational training.