Dad Builds Theme Park For Disabled Daughter

Look, I know most of us think our dads are the best in the world, but we’re kidding ourselves. Because Gordon Hartman from Texas decided to build his own theme park after he realised there were none out there for his disabled daughter to go to.

And this isn’t some rubbish, back-yard fair ground. Nope, this is proper. Check it out:

Credit: Robin Jerstad/Jerstad Photographics/The Gordon Hartman Family Foundation

Credit: Robin Jerstad/Jerstad Photographics/The Gordon Hartman Family Foundation

Gordon got the idea to build the theme park while on holiday with his family, at the time his daughter Morgan was 12, and he noticed that she struggled to make friends in the pool, because the other children shied away from her.

Gordon believed this was because the other kids didn’t know how to behave around Morgan, who has the cognitive understand of a five-year-old and a form of autism.

He told the BBC that while she was growing up there were so many places they couldn’t take her. After looking for places that would make Morgan feel welcome and where other people would feel comfortable around her, Gordon and his wife Maggie found there were none.

Credit: Robin Jerstad/Jerstad Photographics/The Gordon Hartman Family Foundation

Rather than moan about it they decided to create their own. He sold his homebuilding businesses and set up The Gordon Hartman Family Foundation – a non-profit organisation which helps people with disabilities – and began building the ‘world’s first ultra-accessible theme park’.

He told the BBC: “We wanted a theme park where everyone could do everything, where people with and without special needs could play.”

The family consulted a range of doctors, therapists and people with disabilities to help create the park, which they named Morgan’s Wonderland.

Credit: Robin Jerstad/Jerstad Photographics/The Gordon Hartman Family Foundation

The park, which is in San Antonio, Texas, cost $34 million (£26m) in total and opened in 2010.

It’s got a specially-designed carousel, Ferris wheel and adventure playground, all rides are fully accessible, and entrance is free to anyone with a condition.

Earlier this year the park was expanded when Morgan’s Inspiration Island was opened – a fully accessible water park. And visitors have flocked to the site with many parents telling Gordon their children had never been able to experience anything like this before.

Well done, Gordon.

You can find out more about Morgan’s Wonderland and The Gordon Hartman Family Foundation here.

Featured Image Credit: Robin Jerstad/Jerstad Photographics/The Gordon Hartman Family Foundation

Claire Reid

http://www.ladbible.com/more/interesting-inspirational-dad-builds-theme-park-for-disabled-daughter-20170804

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