In 2010 Morgan's Wonderland, a wheelchair-accessible theme park opened in San Antonio, Texas, providing free entry to anyone with a physical or cognitive special need.
The park's popularity has been so overwhelming, that they are now opening a water park where people of all ages and abilities can splash around, get wet and have fun.
As the world's first completely accessible water park, Morgan's Inspiration Island features a river boat adventure ride, an eight-acre catch and release fishing lake, and five different tropical-themed water play lands.
There are also three models of waterproof wheelchairs available at the park, including one which is powered by compressed air, because guests in expensive battery-powered wheelchairs can't afford to get them wet.
"Morgan’s Inspiration Island – like Morgan’s Wonderland – will concentrate on inclusion and inspire guests with special needs to do things previously thought not to be in their range of capabilities,” says Gordon Hartman, founder of the Gordon Hartman Family Foundation.
“Those without disabilities and those with, including individuals in wheelchairs, guests with hearing and visual impairments and even guests on ventilators, will be able to play alongside each other and gain a greater appreciation of one another.
"Morgan’s Inspiration Island promises to give individuals with physical or cognitive special needs a place where they can splash and play without barriers.”
The theme parks are named after Hartman's 23-year-old daughter with special needs, Morgan.
"We decided to call it Morgan's Inspiration Island because Morgan truly has been the catalyst for every project we've pursued to help the special-needs community," Hartman says.
Waterproof wristbands feature RFID technology so that parents can go to a location station and see where their children are. Meanwhile, the water temperature at Rainbow Reef is easily controlled so that guests with sensitivity to cold can still splash and play.
Morgan's Inspiration Island opens officially on June 17, but some groups of people with special needs have been given early access to try out all aspects of the splash park.