Morgan’s Wonderland will open an hour earlier on most days during the 2012 summer season to take advantage of milder morning temperatures for guest comfort and enjoyment.
The unique, safe and affordable theme park offering a variety of attractions including rides and playgrounds for everyone’s enjoyment will open at 9 a.m. (instead of 10 a.m. previously) Saturdays from June 2 through Aug. 25. Likewise, park operating hours will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, June 5 through Aug. 17, and 11 a.m. (instead of noon previously) to 4 p.m. Sundays, June 3 through Aug. 26. Morgan’s Wonderland will be closed Mondays during June, July and August.
“Hot afternoon temperatures that accompanied last year’s record drought prompted us to review our operating schedule and decide to open the park earlier during the summer months,” said Ron Morander, Morgan’s Wonderland general manager. “We believe our guests will welcome this change that was made with their comfort in mind.”
In addition, Morgan’s Wonderland will host summer-long celebrations. On Wednesdays, the park will offer added-value entertainment such as popular Zoofari live-animal shows and fascinating Dinosaur George talks about prehistoric times. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, various groups such as Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts and youth sports teams will qualify for special admission discounts. On Wednesday, July 4, Morgan’s Wonderland will salute active-duty members of the armed forces (who present their military IDs) with a reduced admission rate of $8 per person, plus free hot dogs and apple pie.
This year, the 25-acre park is offering discounts for active-duty and retired military personnel, senior adults and children, plus season passes and discounted multi-ticket packages. Admission for those with special needs is always free of charge, while admission fees for accompanying family members, friends, caregivers and the general public are nominal.
The latest information on admissions, operating days/hours of operation and special events/celebrations can be found at www.MorgansWonderland.com.
Furthermore, Morgan’s Wonderland is now the scene of Senior Fridays, special activities for senior adults featuring fishing, ballroom dancing, sports and recreation classes and other popular pastimes. And, on specified days, the Moms’ Coffee and Conversation Group meets for free coffee and conversation while their kids enjoy supervised play and activities. The Morgan’s Wonderland website contains additional information about Senior Fridays and Moms’ Coffee and Conversation, plus bookings for birthday parties as well as both indoor and outdoor special events.
In December, “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” is scheduled to air a two-hour, ABC-TV special that documents the recent construction of a home for a wounded warrior coordinated by Morgan’s Wonderland. It was the first time in the popular TV show’s nine seasons that a non-profit was tapped to serve as general contractor. Also on December weekends, the park will open for “Christmas Around the World,” special holiday entertainment for the entire family.
“Non-profit Morgan’s Wonderland is the very first park of its kind because it was designed with special-needs individuals in mind but built for everyone to enjoy,” said philanthropist Gordon Hartman, CEO of The Gordon Hartman Family Foundation. “It’s been gratifying indeed to welcome more than 200,000 guests from all 50 states and almost 40 other countries in a little more than two years of operation. We’re eager to build on this success and attain even greater milestones this year.
To provide Morgan’s Wonderland with a steady revenue stream for expansion of programs and services, Hartman has acquired a professional soccer franchise – the San Antonio Scorpions FC – that’s competing in the North American Soccer League, one step removed from Major League Soccer. All Scorpions net profits are earmarked for Morgan’s Wonderland. This is the first time a professional sports team has been organized to benefit the special-needs community, he noted. More information is available at www.SanAntonioScorpions.com.
The inspiration for Morgan’s Wonderland came from Hartman’s 18-year-old daughter Morgan. Her soaring spirit despite personal challenges sparked within Hartman a deep desire to create a haven not only for those with special needs but also for their families, caregivers and invited friends. “Inclusion is the overarching objective for Morgan’s Wonderland,” he explained. “Our vision is to play an instrumental role in helping establish more ultra-accessible family fun parks throughout the nation and the world. Already we’ve received expressions of interests from more than 20 cities globally.”
Morgan’s Wonderland is part of a larger 106-acre sports venue to encourage inclusive recreation whereby individuals of all abilities can play side-by-side. The next-door STAR (South Texas Area Regional) Soccer Complex offers 13 lighted soccer fields for tournaments, instructional clinics and special events. Just as is the case with the San Antonio Scorpions pro soccer team, proceeds from STAR Soccer go to support the operation and maintenance of Morgan’s Wonderland. Another park spinoff is Monarch Academy, a school for students with special needs that opened next to Morgan’s Wonderland in August 2011. To learn more, visit www.MonarchAcademy.net.Morgan’s Wonderland is located at 5223 David Edwards Drive in Northeast San Antonio just off IH 35 at the intersection of Wurzbach Parkway and Thousand Oaks Drive. For more information, visit www.MorgansWonderland.com.