Seeptember 12, 2017
SAN ANTONIO – Unique, colorful Morgan’s Wonderland has been proclaimed “Park of the Year” in the prestigious 2017 Golden Ticket Awards sponsored by Amusement Today, an internationally known publication that has covered the amusement industry for the past two decades.
Publisher Gary Slade made the announcement at the annual Golden Ticket Awards ceremony held this year at Lake Compounce in Bristol, Conn., the oldest operating amusement park in the U. S. He lauded Morgan’s Wonderland “for its ongoing mission to provide a safe, clean and beautiful environment free of physical and economic barriers.”
He further noted that non-profit Morgan’s Wonderland and a new, ultra-accessible addition – Morgan’s Inspiration Island splash park – both were designed with special-needs individuals in mind and built for everyone’s enjoyment.
“We gratefully accept this tremendous honor on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of special-needs children and adults that Morgan’s Wonderland and Morgan’s Inspiration Island have brought joy to over the past eight years,” said Gordon Hartman, founder of The Gordon Hartman Family Foundation, which since 2005 has pursued numerous initiatives to help the special-needs community.
“We’re proud that special-needs guests enjoying our parks can do so free of charge. Our friends with special needs already have many barriers to deal with, so it’s important that we eliminate a potential economic barrier of entry that might prevent enjoyment of our unique place on earth.”
Morgan’s Wonderland also was a top-5 finalist in the Best Children’s Park competition, one of 23 categories in specific areas of park operations such as best food, best landscaping and best new ride.
“Our goal is to provide a great guest experience in an inclusive, safe, comfortable, not-overly-crowded environment,” Hartman said. “When Morgan’s Wonderland opened in spring 2010, we really didn’t know what to expect, but the park’s popularity has grown tremendously and encouraged us to add Morgan’s Inspiration Island. Now, we have two attractions like none other that everyone – regardless of ability or age – can enjoy. Both concentrate on inclusion and inspire guests with special needs to do things previously thought not to be in their range of capabilities.
Morgan’s Wonderland spreads out over 25 acres in what once was a rock quarry and offers more than 25 attractions such as wheelchair-accessible rides, playscapes and gardens. Morgan’s Inspiration Island features five major tropically-themed splash pads, the River Boat Adventure ride and support facilities such as the Wheelchair Valet, where guests can transfer out of their battery-powered wheelchairs into waterproof wheelchairs for maximum aquatic fun.
The parks are located in Northeast San Antonio at 5223 David Edwards Drive, a half-mile west of IH 35 at the intersection of Wurzbach Parkway and Thousand Oaks Drive. More information including operating schedules, admissions and special events can be found at www.MorgansWonderland.com.
Founded in 1997, Amusement Today covers international amusement and water park news and trends. In its 20-year history, it is a five-time winner of various awards from the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions.