SAN ANTONIO – Thanks to its affiliation with the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA), unique Morgan’s Wonderland theme park will welcome children with critical illnesses through the IAAPA World Passport for Kids Program, offered to children and families who have stayed at the Central Florida-based resort, Give Kids the World (GKTW) Village.
“Our mission is inclusion, bringing together those with and without special needs in a safe, colorful, non-judgmental, barrier-free environment for fun and a better understanding of one another,” said Ron Morander, chief operating officer of Morgan’s Wonderland, the world’s first theme park designed with special-needs individuals in mind, and nearby, ultra-accessible™ Morgan’s Inspiration Island splash park. “So it’s altogether fitting for us to welcome GKTW families who are facing tremendous medical challenges.”
GKTW Village in Orlando, Fla., has hosted more than 170,000 families from all 50 states and 75 other countries since it was founded in 1986, Morander noted. The 84-acre, non-profit resort features 166 fully-accessible villas and a host of accessible venues and attractions for fun and relaxation. The Village exists exclusively to serve critically-ill children and their families.
When children and families who’ve visited the Village head home, they receive the IAAPA World Passport for Kids, which provides complimentary admission to IAAPA member facilities like Morgan’s Wonderland for a one-year period following their visit to the Village.
“Families who have children diagnosed with critical illnesses face many challenges in life,” said Village spokesperson Jessica Mueller. “At GKTW, we create a week absent of worry and filled with fun, and with the IAAPA World Passport for Kids Program, families can continue making memories together once they return home. We’re thrilled to have Morgan’s Wonderland involved, and we’re sure many of our families will be excited to experience such a popular, accessible theme park.”
“In addition to our new association with GKTW, we’re proud to have worked for almost a decade with other partners – notably Make-A-Wish and Project Angel Fares – that seek to help children in difficult circumstances,” Morander said. “Morgan’s Wonderland has been privileged to host more than 100 children for each of these wonderful organizations.”
Established in 1984, Make-A-Wish Central & South Texas has granted thousands of kids’ wishes with the help of more than 250 active volunteers as well as generous donors. Research shows that kids who have wishes granted build the emotional and physical strength to fight their illnesses. For more information, visit www.cstx.wish.org.
Project Angel Fares, spearheaded by Johnson Bros. Bakery Supply Inc. of San Antonio, raises funds to help deserving families who live significant distances away from San Antonio visit Morgan’s Wonderland. The organization pays for transportation, lodging and some miscellaneous expenses. For more information, visit www.ProjectAngelFares.com.
GKTW Village is located near Central Florida’s most-beloved attractions. Critically-ill children and their families are treated to week-long, cost-free vacations, complete with accommodations in whimsical villas, transportation, donated attraction tickets, meals and much more. The extraordinary, life-changing experiences offered by GKTW are made possible through the generosity of dedicated corporations and countless individuals. For more information, visit www.GiveKidsTheWorld.org.
Morgan’s Wonderland, which is completely wheelchair-accessible, features more than 25 attractions including rides, playscapes and gardens. It recently qualified for TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence Hall of Fame. Next-door Morgan’s Inspiration Island offers lots of get-wet fun in the Texas sun, thanks to sprays, geysers, dumping buckets and the like. The splash park last year earned a spot on TIME Magazine’s list of World’s Greatest Places. For more information about the non-profit parks, visit www.MorgansWonderland.com.
Morgan’s Wonderland and Morgan’s Inspiration Island are 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.