Opening of Morgan’s Inspiration Island Splash Park Attracts International Attention

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July 27, 2017
Morgan’s Inspiration Island, the world’s first ultra-accessible splash park where guests of all ages and abilities can get wet and have fun together, has attracted international media attention – both traditional and social – since opening June 16.
 
“Traditional media outlets like  the ‘CBS Evening News’ and social media outlets that reach millions upon millions of people heralded the news of this unique park’s opening,”  said Gordon Hartman, founder of The Gordon Hartman Foundation, which since 2005 has pursued endeavors benefitting the special-needs community.  “Like Morgan’s Wonderland, Morgan’s Inspiration Island is not a special-needs park; it’s a park of inclusion.  Both were designed with special-needs individuals in mind and built for everyone’s enjoyment.”
 
Hartman said Morgan’s Inspiration Island will be open daily until mid-August and then on weekends in August and September.  He recommended that guests go online in advance at www.MorgansWonderland.com  to book admissions to the new park.  He also noted that non-profit Morgan’s Wonderland admits anyone with a special need free of charge, and the same policy is in effect at Morgan’s Inspiration Island. 
 
“Our goal is to provide a great guest experience in an inclusive, safe, comfortable, not-overly-crowded environment,” Hartman added.  “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.  Morgan’s Inspiration Island promises to give individuals with physical or cognitive special needs a place where they can splash and play without barriers.”
 
Morgan’s Inspiration Island overlooks the theme park’s 8-acre catch-and-release fishing lake.  The focal point is a seven-story lighthouse with a rotating beacon on top that can be easily seen from IH 35 a half-mile away.  Six major elements comprise the $17-million, tropically-themed island paradise inspired by Hartman and his wife Maggie’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 said.
 
The River Boat Adventure ride twists and turns for more than five minutes through a jungle setting with bird and animal sounds in the background.  Five water play areas – Hang 10 Harbor, Rainbow Reef, Shipwreck Island, Harvey’s Hideaway Bay and Calypso Cove – offer a variety of splashy elements such as raintrees, falls, pools, geysers, jets, water cannons and tipping buckets.
 
 “To make Morgan’s Inspiration Island truly ultra-accessible, we collaborated with the University of Pittsburgh on revolutionary new wheelchairs propelled by compressed air,” Hartman said.  “Our guests in expensive battery-powered  wheelchairs can’t afford to get them wet, so we have special Morgan’s Inspiration Island PneuChairs™ available first-come, first-served, along with two other waterproof wheelchair models – a push-stroller type for guests needing assistance from a caregiver for mobility and a rigid-frame, manual wheelchair for guests who can push themselves.  The first PneuChairs to go into service are prototypes that are already undergoing significant improvements.”
 
Hartman said spacious private areas are available where guests can transfer out of their wheelchairs into Morgan’s Inspiration Island waterproof wheelchairs.  Other facilities include the Rusty Anchor Galley Grub and Little Italy Bistro food outlets for snacks and beverages; the Surf Shack Gifts and Gear sundries shop offering items such as sunscreen and souvenirs; a panoramic viewing deck; an air-conditioned party/meeting room; and private cabanas for rent.
 
He further pointed out that the splash park has been designed with water conservation in mind.  Water used in the various play elements is filtered continuously and recirculated, and it’s stored in huge underground concrete tanks when the park is not in operation. 
 
“Morgan’s Inspiration Island – like Morgan’s Wonderland – concentrates on inclusion and inspires guests with special needs to do things previously thought not to be in their range of capabilities,” he explained.  “Those without disabilities and those with, including individuals in wheelchairs, guests with hearing and visual impairments and even guests on ventilators, can play alongside each other and gain a greater appreciation of one another.
 
Detailed information and Q&As about Morgan’s Inspiration Island as well as the latest updates about Morgan’s Wonderland admissions, days/hours of operation and special events/celebrations can be found at www.MorgansWonderland.com.  The 25-acre theme park is 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. 
Contact:
Bob McCullough, PR Director
(210) 495-5888