Morgan’s Wonderland aims to ‘deliver joy’ despite park’s closure

Lucky area families are getting surprise visits from park staff during COVID-19 pandemic

SAN ANTONIO – Morgan’s Wonderland, an amusement park for individuals with mental and physical disabilities, is not letting the current health crisis stop them from delivering joy to families this summer.

Last week, the park kicked off its newest program, “Delivering Joy,” which acts as a sort of live-telegram service for park participants that aims to bring joy to the lives of individuals who may need it most during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The park’s Delivering Joy team started arriving at the homes of program nominees the week of July 20. This week’s winner was Kati Gonzales, who has had a rough summer after a surgery left her stuck in a wheelchair.

The team, led by the park’s butterfly mascot, Joy, began making its rounds to homes in the area to uplift spirts with entertainment.

Park founder Gordon Hartman said the park had to make a “difficult, but necessary” decision to close for the rest of the year.

“On May 28, we announced the difficult-but-necessary decision to close Morgan’s Wonderland for the rest of 2020,” Hartman said in a press release. “But our mission of inclusion has not diminished one bit. We received so many heartfelt messages that inspired us to think out of the box, outside the park, to go beyond Morgan’s Wonderland. Our doors may be currently closed, but we’re committed to safely delivering joy to the front doors of our friends who need it most.”

According to the park’s Director of Entertainment Nikki Young, each visit by the team will be unique to the level of joy that needed by the individual.

“It could be just a Wonderland-A-Gram (like a telegram containing good wishes) or a Doorway Dance Party or even a Driveway Dance Party, if space allows for it,” Young said in a press release. “Folks also can take Porchtraits (photos) with Joy. Whatever we do, we’ll practice all mandated safety measures; even Joy will be wearing a mask. We hope Delivering Joy will give our friends who are having the most difficult time a bit of a reprieve with our safe and socially-distanced house visits.”

To learn more about the program, view the video in the player below:

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