Jacob Robinson, founder of Dig World, decided to create a construction theme park because of his seven-year-old son’s love for construction equipment. The theme park, which opened last year in Katy, is the first of its kind in Texas and allows kids and adults to safely operate construction equipment.
Q: Why do you think it’s important for more theme parks to cater to those with disabilities?
“My son, Pierce, is seven years old. He was born with no health issues. He was progressing just fine. Then, in 2017, he contracted bacterial meningitis. He was in the hospital 75 days, a coma twelve of those days. We left the hospital with a different son than when we entered. He’s nonverbal, epileptic, deaf, in a wheelchair, lower mental capacity. Our life got turned upside down. [When] we were creating the park, the idea was we wanted people like Pierce to be able to come to the park. We shut down the park once a quarter and we host families for free, as long as they have one individual in their family that has some type of disability or special need. The reason is we want those individuals to have a unique experience. We want those individuals to be treated normally. We want those people to have a fun time. At the same time, we want the siblings to have an experience. We want parents to come that night, and say ‘Hey, listen, if it takes your kid 10 minutes to get on that machine and have a good time, take 15.’ We want you to enjoy it. We’re all in the same boat tonight. Everybody around you is like you.”
Q: Do you have a favorite part of the theme park?
“The tried and true is people love to get on that excavator and dig dirt. From a two-year-old to a couple weeks ago we had a 73-year-old birthday party. It was just her life goal to dig some dirt with a machine. I think it’s just a fun, unique experience that people love to be a part of.”
Q: If you had to pick a restaurant to go to in Houston every weekend, what would it be?
“Pappas Steakhouse. I love the old-school feeling of it. I love the service of it. I’m like a kid in the candy store whenever I get to go. Somebody’s taking me next week, and I’m very aware that it’s one week away.”