SAN ANTONIO – It's a whole new chapter for Morgan's Wonderland, and it's arrived just in time for Saturday's high temperatures.
After nearly two years of construction, the first ultra-accessible water park opened up within the theme park.
Highlights include a seven-story lighthouse and five play areas and everything is wheelchair-accessible.
"I've never heard of anything like it," parent Danielle Reichstein said.
Reichstein said her son has developmental issues.
"It's been great to have other kids that are willing to work with him just as much as they want the extra help as well," Reichstein said.
After a week of testing, staff members said the grand opening was a success. The 90,000-gallon, tropical-themed paradise cost about $17 million to build and allows parents and children of all abilities to play together.
"We're about inclusion and that oasis of inclusion," said Ron Morander, general manager of Morgan's Wonderland. "Today is fantastic. I mean, it's hot. Kids want to be in the water. It's a beautiful day."
Special wristbands worn by the children allow parents to track them at a location station, and special noise cues guide the visually impaired around water elements.
A waterproof motorized wheelchair, the first of its kind in the world, uses compressed air to move. The park provides the wheelchairs to replace electric chairs, meaning more kids can join in on the fun.
"Some of them (guests) are older, have really never, ever been included into water fun, and it's why we do what we do," Morander said.
The park is open daily throughout the summer. Starting, in mid-August, it will only be open on weekends.
"We love it. We'll be back. We'll definitely even make the trip out of town a few more times this summer," Reichstein said.