And the ‘Father of the Century’ award goes to… Gordon Hartman, a Texan man who built his daughter an entire theme park catering to her special needs.

The idea for ‘Morgan’s Wonderland‘ emerged back in 2007, after noticing the way other children refused to play with his then 12-year-old child, Morgan, at a local pool.

Hartman said it pained him to see Morgan, who has cognitive and physical delays in addition to a form of autism, alone in the pool, so he jumped in and played with her while thinking of places he could take her that would allow her to interact with other kids, Inside Edition reported.

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Image: MorgansWonderland.com

He thought of a number of popular parks, such as Disneyland, but decided they’d be too noisy and crowded for her.

“What we found was there was no place we could find that’s an ultra-accessible fully-inclusive park.”

Gordon Hartman

That was when Hartman decided to build the world’s first “ultra-accessible theme park”.

Working with doctors, parents and special-need therapists, the park officially opened back in 2010 in San Antonio.

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Image: MorgansWonderland.com

Inside, visitors will find 26 different activities designed specifically with special needs people in mind, such as wheelchair-accessible Ferris wheel and miniature trains.

Hartman said the park attracts some 100,000 people every year, including those with and without special needs.

Recently, the 25-acre park expanded with a water area called ‘Morgan’s Inspirational Island’, which the father hopes will attract even more visitors.

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Image: MorgansWonderland.com

“When we opened this, we didn’t know if it was going to work. We knew we were gambling with a $35 million investment,” he said.

“All we wanted to do was bring people who have special needs and people who don’t have special needs together and play.”

Gordon Hartman

“What we’ve already seen is that it does work. We’ve had children of severe special needs playing alongside other children in a water environment,” he continued.

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Image: MorgansWonderland.com

Morgan’s Wonderland is free to patrons with special needs and is a completely nonprofit park where “no one makes any more than six figures”.

“To see the smiles and see the stories and listen to the stories of first time ever, that’s incredible,” Hartman added.

“I can’t even give you words that describe what that feels like.”

Have you visited Morgan’s Wonderland? Tell us about your visit below.