Everyone wants to be welcomed and feel like they belong wherever they go. Unfortunately, many people around the world feel excluded owing to external conditions or personal characteristics. Morgan Hartman, an autistic person, was in this situation.
Morgan’s father, Gordon Hartman, wanted to do something to make his daughter feel more accepted. Gordon proved that a father’s love knows no bounds when he built his daughter her very own amusement park. The devoted father will never forget the fatal day when he was finally able to see his daughter feel completely at home.
Gordon looked all around the United States and even abroad for an amusement park that seemed to be entirely inclusive of individuals from all walks of life, including persons with impairments. Morgan had previously struggled to make friends and fit in with her peers at a local public swimming facility.
These were just a few of Gordon’s major sources of inspiration when it came time to build the amusement park of her dreams for his then-12-year-old daughter. Gordon began working on the project in 2006, and in April 2010, he finished what he started.
Morgan’s Wonderland, in San Antonio, Texas, is now a safe and enjoyable destination for children and adults of all ages. It’s an amusement park where anyone who walks in can have a great time and meet new people. Continue reading to learn more about this remarkable story.
According to the official Morgan’s Wonderland website, Gordon got the idea for the amusement park after observing how other children responded around his autistic daughter. Morgan was 12 years old at the time and had a difficult time connecting with others. Gordon desired for his daughter to be able to make friends with individuals her age. Regrettably, the other kids at the public pool where they visited did not know how to interact with Morgan. Morgan chose to sit and watch rather than join in the excitement at the pool.
Morgan’s adoring father channeled his grief into a new goal: to establish a public space where Morgan could mingle with people without feeling awkward or alienated. When he found there was none, the determined man set out to make one for himself.
Gordon conducted multiple meetings to gather money and consult with architects, engineers, doctors, and therapists, according to PEOPLE. He was able to secure $35 million for the park’s design, and work on it began in 2007. The park, which is totally accessible, opened its doors to the public in April 2010. Morgan’s Inspiration Island is a water park located within the amusement park.
Morgan’s Wonderland is currently a wonderful place where children of all abilities may congregate and feel accepted and loved. “It feels amazing because we get to see people who, for the most part, don’t get to enjoy or go on the types of things that we have, like being able to ride a carousel,” Gordon told Inside Edition.
“Little things can make a tremendous difference,” he noted.