Nine Special-Needs Children from Sweden to Visit Morgan's Wonderland Oct. 30
The reputation of Morgan’s Wonderland as an international special-needs destination continues to grow.
At 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 30, seven boys and two girls with special needs from communities all over Sweden – from Luleå in the far north to Ronneby in the south – are scheduled to visit the world’s first theme park designed with special-needs individuals in mind and built for everyone’s enjoyment. The special 5,300-mile trip to San Antonio and Morgan’s Wonderland is being made possible by Min Stora Dag (My Special Day), a non-profit organization headquartered in Stockholm that grants wishes to children with severe illnesses and medical conditions.
Seven of the nine children ages 10 to 15 rely on their wheelchairs for mobility, said trip organizer Helene Benno of Min Stora Dag. Their challenges include severe rheumatism, cancer, hydrocephalus and other disabilities. Each will be accompanied by a parent as well as a Min Stora Dag representative and a volunteer, who is a pediatrician.
“Our goal is to provide a truly memorable experience for these special guests,” said Ron Morander, Morgan’s Wonderland general manager. “Slowly but surely, the word about our unique theme park is spreading around the globe. Since we began in 2010, we’ve been fortunate enough to welcome guests from all 50 states and 55 other countries worldwide.”
Last year, Min Stora Dag completed more than 1,000 projects including group activities and camps as well as 279 individual wishes. In all, 2,500 children with special needs took part in activities arranged by Min Stora Dag. The organization’s patron is Her Royal Highness Princess Madeleine.
Project Angel Fares, created by Johnson Bros. Bakery Supply of San Antonio to help deserving special-needs children living outside San Antonio visit Morgan’s Wonderland, is participating in this venture along with a Swedish native, Charlotte Jakobsson Muniz, who lives in San Antonio.
“Earlier this year, I found Morgan’s Wonderland on YouTube,” Benno said. “When I realized this is the only theme park in the world for children with special needs, I got both impressed and interested. Normally we only do trips within Europe, but this year since Min Stora Dag has been in operation for 15 years, we’re stretching the limits. So I visited Morgan’s Wonderland in March and became even more convinced about bringing children there.
“This is the biggest activity our organization has ever done abroad. And all of this because I sat in Stockholm and saw a YouTube clip about Morgan’s Wonderland very far away!”
Morgan’s Wonderland, which is completely wheelchair-accessible, features more than 25 elements and attractions including rides, playgrounds, gardens, an eight-acre catch-and-release fishing lake, 575-seat amphitheater, picnic area and rest areas. For more information about the park’s operating schedule, admissions and special events, visit www.MorgansWonderland.com.
The non-profit theme park and other endeavors to help those with special needs – the nearby STAR Soccer Complex, San Antonio Scorpions pro soccer team, Toyota Field multi-purpose stadium and The Academy at Morgan’s Wonderland school for students with learning challenges – were created through the vision and leadership of The Gordon Hartman Family Foundation. Net profits from STAR Soccer, the Scorpions and Toyota Field help non-profit Morgan’s Wonderland meet operating expenses as well as expand programs and services to benefit the special-needs community.
Morgan’s Wonderland is located in Northeast San Antonio at the intersection of Wurzbach Parkway and Thousand Oaks Drive, a half-mile west of IH 35.