Imagine a family campout in the Hill Country. You spend your days ziplining, riding horses, playing on a beachfront and scaling climbing walls, among other activities. At night, you gather around the fire pit before retreating to your cabin. Sounds amazing, right? It’s possible for everyone, including those with special needs, at a unique resort outside San Antonio. Morgan’s Wonderland Camp stretches across 102 acres and can accommodate campers of all ages and abilities.
The site is part of the Morgan’s Wonderland group of attractions, created by a Texas father and mother who wanted their daughter—who was born with physical and cognitive disabilities—to have the same opportunities for fun as any other child. Morgan’s Wonderland opened in San Antonio in 2010 and became the first and only fully accessible theme park. In 2017, Morgan’s Inspiration Island splash park opened. (Read our story about the parks here.) An accessible sports complex opened in spring 2021, while Morgan’s Wonderland Camp began accepting reservations in fall 2021.
“Being able to attend camp and experience the fun and thrills alongside those with and without special needs is something that truly benefits an entire family,” says Sarah Wallace, assistant camp director. “Parents are able to connect with like-minded individuals and those that have experienced the same struggles, overcome the same obstacles, and lived similar lives. Children both with and without special needs are able to see one another free from judgment and barriers—all while having fun, creating lasting memories and building lifelong friendships.”
Spots will fill quickly, so don’t want to sign up for the next Family Weekend Camp. Registration takes place online, and parents can sign up for the Morgan’s Wonderland Camp newsletter to get notified about registration periods. (Scroll to the bottom of morganswonderlandcamp.com and look for the “Contact Us” section for newsletter signup.) Keep in mind that Family Weekend spots are limited due to COVID-19 precautions.
Wondering what exactly your crew will do when you arrive at camp? There’s something for everyone, with all activities designed to be what the camp calls “Ultra-Accessible”—so they can be enjoyed no matter what the camper’s abilities. For example, the four challenge course tracks include wheelchair paths as well as walking tracks, a giant swing, seated zip lines and climbing towers with various modes of accessibility. There’s also an archery range, trail and arena rides, a hands-on nature center, enclosed field house for sports, bikes for every ability, a fully accessible amphitheater for skits and songs, and much more.
Family Weekend campers with special needs participate at no cost. Meals and lodging are included in the fee paid by family members ($150 per person); cabin features include as air conditioning, a screened porch, Wi-Fi, a refrigerator, washer and dryer, shower stalls, a bathtub and bunk beds (the bottom bunk is low to the ground to make things easier for those in wheelchairs). The camp also has medical staff members on-site. In addition to offering Family Weekends, Morgan’s Wonderland Camp has opportunities for corporate retreats and partner organization camping.
Photos courtesy of Morgan’s Wonderland Camp