Monday, October 3, 2011

Morgan's Wonderland

This weekend was my third or fourth volunteer session at Morgan's Wonderland, the world's first and only ultra-accessible amusement park.  I read about it in People magazine and decided that if stationed in San Antonio, I would investigate any volunteer opportunities there.

Of course, they need volunteers and money!

 It is such a life-affirming place--- the visitors are so friendly and so warm and loving toward their children (contrast with the screaming, teeming hordes at any large amusement park) and the kids - special needs or not - play in an unencumbered, un-self-conscious way.  My volunteering consists of just being 'present'- averting playground mishaps, taking pictures for families so everyone can be in them, mostly just chatting with people--who are very eager to talk about their stresses, their children and just how wonderful this park is.  For many it's a respite where their child won't be stared at, made to feel 'other' or different.

A couple of anecdotes:
I talked to the pediatrician mother of a child with severe developmental delay and seizure disorder and it was so interesting to hear that a diagnosis can allude even the most educated and pro-active parent. (Her child has a genetic form of epilepsy that went undiagnosed for several years).

Yesterday I saw a paraplegic father playing with his three young children- it had not occurred to me that the park would also serve the needs of parents who cannot access or utilize normal gravel or sand parks.  I helped him out of his wheelchair onto the roller track (much like this)

and his kids clambered on as he pulled himself along and the sight made me understand the genius and the great humanity of the park.  It was incredibly humbling.

 A grandmother told me that she brings her grandkids so they 'just see that everybody has challenges, and everybody is just trying their best.'

This is the video we watched in orientation.  It's a quick trip to Teartown via Snuffle City.

Here's the history of the project.  I'm looking forward to further involvement - it's like dipping a cup into a wellspring of the human spirit, resilient and loving and ever hopeful, ever joyful.


  1. woah - this is incredible julie! thanks for sharing. such a cool place!

  2. It is amazing and such a treasure!