Morgan’s Wonderland

We did the last thing we would normally do and went on a Memorial Day weekend trip. We don’t love crowds, and that’s putting it the polite way. Back when we were a solid homeschooling family that wasn’t a problem. But with public school comes responsibility, and giving up our off-day trips is the only downside we’ve seen to putting Gabe in school. It’s a price we’re mostly willing to pay.

Sea World in San Antonio was the first stop, and it’s one I’d take back if I could. I’m not a hater of the park, but (and yes, I expected it, but STILL!!) the place was so packed we could hardly walk. Long lines for everything, and the shows went, well…not flawlessly…at all. Only my husband managed not to complain that day, so he wins the good sport award. I really have nothing positive to say about that part of the trip, so I’ll leave it there.

Day two was all I could have hoped for and more. Morgan’s Wonderland is a wonderland indeed. If you have a family member with special needs you have to go there. That’s an order. But let me tell you why.

When you step inside, they give each member of your group a bracelet that keeps track of your location. Worries about becoming separated, or even worse, your precious child leaving the park alone, disappear. You scan your bracelet at locations around the park, and it will tell you where your group is. The bracelet is also your key to some unique fun. The attractions greet you by name and then send you emails when you create something. Here’s the car Gabe designed. (His name is Christian. I didn’t know how this would work, so I put in his full name when I bought our tickets. I recommend just putting in the name your child uses.)

The park is never crowded. We literally never waited in a line for anything all day long. Gabe rode the carousel three times in a row because he didn’t want to get off. I’m told they do have busier days than what we experienced, but they don’t allow the park to get full. For this reason, I also recommend buying tickets ahead of time, and so do they. We started on the carousel, and we couldn’t have been luckier. It had an elephant! This elephant got more than one kiss from my little angel.

They had special places for wheelchairs on the carousel as well. And I should point out that the rides cost no additional money. The price for the day was ridiculously low. Next we drove the cars. Well, Gabe drove, and the rest of us cheered him on. These are wheelchair accessible, too.

The train takes you around the pond. You can also walk around the pond, which is worth doing. The trail features rest areas designed as different countries. I’ll show those later. I recommend riding the train early, because you get a good view of other things to do.

Sensory Village!!

Inside the Sensory Village, which is air conditioned, there are a few rooms where you can try out different activities. In one room you can design your car (as shown at the top) or drive in a simulator. Dad and Gabe checked that out…

Gabe’s favorite room had screens with shadow and light play. The staff at Morgan’s Wonderland is always around to help you figure out what to do, and in this room it really came in handy. Here’s Gabe using his shadow to catch drops the way they showed him.

There are two other screens as well, but I won’t spoil it for you! He also loved the floor mat, which reacted to the way he walked on it.

There’s a grocery store where children can shop, weigh produce, scan items and run the register. Gabe put the mustard in the register, which I thought was strange until his father came in later and did the exact same thing. Great minds think alike?

There’s a weather room where you can see yourself on tv and take pictures, which will be emailed to you, and there’s a room with horses to sit on. Sensory Village was one of our favorite features.

I was surprised by the price of food. It was reasonable, with plenty of options. We got our Sierra Mist Naturals for $1.50 from the machine. I don’t think I’ve seen them that low at any other amusement park.

The gym is a great place for older kids to hang out, especially if they need a break. And let’s face it. Siblings to special needs children do sometimes need a break. Noah had a good time playing basketball and getting away for a while.

Then Noah and I took a walk around the pond. What we saw…

The first rest stop…Mariposa.

Shanira, where Gabe and Dad joined us.

Kojima

My personal favorite.

The water play area was a hit for the whole family…

While Dad fished, the boys fired water canons…

And Gabe gave Pirate Cove a thumbs up!

On top of all this, there are several playgrounds and concession stands. There’s plenty to do to keep the family entertained for hours, and the environment is completely stress free. You can play in the sand pit or play instruments and even some things that we never tried. We’ll be back, maybe every year. Maybe more often than that. Please spread the word to all your friends with special needs. This place needs to be shared!

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~ by Rachel McMahon on June 1, 2011.

4 Responses to “Morgan’s Wonderland”

  1. AWESOME pictures, Rachel!! As always, but I genuinely enjoy seeing your family so happy!! 🙂 mmmmmmwah!

  2. good job babe!

  3. I so enjoyed reading your blog and viewing your incredible pictures. I am a special education teacher in Nacogdoches, Texas planning a class field trip to Morgan’s Wonderland next spring. Your family’s experience will be most helpful in my fundraising and support efforts. I am glad it was as “wonderful” as it looks!!! 🙂

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