Water parks are in their prime during the summer. Who wouldn’t want to spend a hot summer day riding cold water attractions? You’re having a blast and cooling down at the same time, it’s killing two birds with one stone! Such water parks, however, are known to be inaccessible to those who have disabilities. Well all of that has just changed as the world’s very first water park for people with disabilities has just opened! It’s called Morgan’s Inspiration Island and it’s designed for a range of various disability identities. Best part: anyone with a disability automatically has free admission into the park.Such rides include an accessible river boat ride and different types of splash pads (which are more accessible than pools to mobility-disabled people). The splash pads could range from water cannons to rain curtains to surfaces with geysers.
It’s called the PneuChair. Instead of batters, the chair uses compressed air to move, ultimately making them waterproof and inexpensive to produce. The park’s guests are allowed to use the chairs for free so that they don’t potentially damage the standard battery-powered wheelchairs they regularly use.
In addition, the PneuChair only takes 10 minutes to recharge itself with air and run just as long as any electric wheelchair (which would normally take eight hours to recharge).
To help cater to guests with special mobility needs, the park also offers a model that can be pushed by a caregiver and a traditional manual wheelchair.
This way, if they do get separated from their parents, the park’s staff can easily locate them. The park also offers the ability to change water to warmer temperatures. This way, guests that are sensitive to the cold can still enjoy the park.
Nonetheless, the park only allows a limited amount of attendees at a time to ensure a “milder experience” than common theme parks.
The water is filtered 24/7 and then recirculated. This also aids those who may have immune sensitivities who worry about the water’s quality.
A lot of other water and theme parks in the United States have some accessible attractions, however Morgan’s Inspiration Island is the first to make accessibility universal.
The act, however, doesn’t apply to the actual rides and attractions, ultimately making most water parks’ rides inaccessible to those with mobility disabilities.
They wanted to build a space that would be welcoming to those with disabilities. Nonetheless, they refuse to gain the title of a “special needs park.” Instead, the creators want Morgan’s Inspiration Island to be a “park of inclusion.”
Wonderland is a 25-acre fully accessible park that first opened back in March 2010. Morgan’s Inspiration is located right next to Morgan’s Wonderland so that attendees can easily park-hop between the two.
“But the park’s popularity has grown tremendously, and encouraged us to add Morgan’s Inspiration Island. Now, we’ll have two attractions like none other that everyone — regardless of ability or age — can enjoy.”
The two met up and worked with doctors, therapists, park consultants, caregivers, special education teachers, park consultants and the disability rights community to help develop the water park.
Before the grand opening, however, the park invited a few people with disabilities into the park to help test out all its components and receive feedback on how they could improve.
After that, it’ll only be open during the weekends of August and September. Future accessible Morgan facilities are currently in the making and will be added soon.