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Frequently Asked Questions

  • hat is Spirit of Discovery Park? Spirit of Discovery Park (SoDP) is a grass-roots, economic, and educational initiative of inclusion through the creation of impactful family experiences, equal opportunities to educate and employ hundreds of people of ALL abilities, including our converting Veterans, and open the eyes of the Region.  A theme park for EVERYbody, including our Veterans, no matter their mental, physical, or social capabilities, will draw national and international guests and our efforts will have an immense, vertical reach on the economic impact especially employment, tourism, and hospitality. The ancillary businesses that will be impacted will be extensive, florists, restaurants, gas stations, hair and nail salons, drug stores, movie theatres, retail stores, etc. 


       As SoDP expands our grassroots initiative, we continue to serve           the disabled community all while moving our mission forward.  We         have implemented programs and projects, that encompassed our         3 “E” practices: barrier-free Entertainment, life-skills Education,               and meaningful Employment.  Through our partnerships, SoDP is           bringing a small component of the grander campus to the                       community NOW while providing life-skills training and job                     opportunities for those with ALL abilities. 

  • What was the inspiration behind it? Jamie Peniston Vann is the President and Founder of St. Louis Recreation Development Group, Inc., doing business as, Spirit of Discovery Park. Her passion for this project was sparked by a conversation, in March 2011. Jamie's friend with 3 children, one with Downs syndrome, expressed that her family wouldn't be visiting Disney World, "the happiest, most magical place on earth," and was interested in Morgan's Wonderland, the ONLY ultra-accessible amusement park. This conversation ignited her core belief; to bring great value and create equality, fairness, and inclusion for others. Five years later, in February 2016, Jamie's same friend shared her family's memories created at the amusement park in San Antonio. Right then, Jamie saw the need for families with disabled loved ones to have the same experiences of fun, discovery, and community involvement as those which are available to able-bodied individuals, so she made one phone call and the rest is history. Through Spirit of Discovery Park, a calling was answered and set in motion to give the gift of "ordinary" to the extraordinary by providing memories through an experience of joy, laughter, and for people with all abilities.

  • Where will it be located? The team at SoDP is diligently working to solidify our FOREVER HOME. We have determined 3 sites and continue conversations with the members of those municipalities as we continue our efforts.

  • How much money has been raised? To date, SoDP has raised over $350K.

  • How far along are you?  SoDP's has determined there will be three phases, fundraising being a constant. Currently, we are in the Fundraising/Planning phase.

  • How much will it cost to build? Our original estimate of $35 Million was based on the first conceptual concept of 35 acres, over 7 years ago. We are unable to say at this time due to inflation on materials and the rise of land costs.

  • When will construction begin? Construction can and will begin as soon as land is secured, site plans are approved, and initial funding has been raised.

  • When can I visit?  SoDP is estimated to take 24 - 36 months to build.

  • How much will it cost to get in? Admission for guests with a disability will be FREE to attend. Each accompanying guest will be able to enter based on a nominal fee. Weekend, Season, and Attraction Passes will also be made available.

  • What will be a part of Spirit of Discovery Park?  SoDP will be a fully accessible “EPCOT of 40 years ago in the center of the United States.” -Tim Blank, President & Founder, Urban Farm Design Company.

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