Wonderfest Interview


So tell us a little about "Wonderfest", how did it come about?

Well we have built up quite a community on the Internet, through our website wonderlandhistory.net, through our Facebook page and also through Twitter. We have managed to bring together a lot of people who are genuinely passionate about Australia's Wonderland / Wonderland Sydney, who went there as children, who worked there and who wish to share their nostalgia about the place. We aren't doing anything more than providing a vehicle for this to happen. We just facilitate the conversation and help to draw out people's stories and their memories about Wonderland.


So you don't just do this alone?

No there is a team of people all who help contribute regularly to the site in one way or another and help to keep everything moving smoothly. I couldn't do this alone and special thanks must go to Simon, Dave, Danny & Brendan especially for helping to keep the place running and contributing content to the website, without these people's help we wouldn't really have this community. Especially Danny, it's his footage that really triggered the idea for Wonderfest.


So what can we expect from "Wonderfest"?

Well first of all this is an online event, so anyone who has access to their computer or mobile phone can come and take part and join the conversation. We wanted to do something a little different and hold an event. Usually we manage to source new material from our community, (photos, videos, memorabillia) and we put it up on the website, on facebook, on twitter on youtube and then everyone shares a discussion about it and shares their own stories about the content. We received from Danny almost 90minutes of extremely rare and never before seen footage from Wonderland (filmed in 1987) and we thought that the best way to release this footage would be to feature it in some sort of streaming event. The idea being we invite everyone to watch it at the same time and talk about it in real time. This is how Wonderfest was born. We have built upon this idea and we are going to be broadcasting more than just Danny's footage. We will also be showing some never before seen footage from other eras of Wonderland's history, culminating in footage taken on the final day of operation including the closing of the gates for the final time.

So what is in the footage?

Well I don't want to take away too much of the suprise, but there is footage of some rides that were removed from Wonderland long before the place closed. I am most looking forward to Danny's footage from 1987 . There is some onride footage of everyones favourite rides and of course a visit to Wonderland wouldn't be complete without some Hanna-Barbera Characters which also feature. We also have some extensive footage from the final weekend of the operation of Wonderland including a lot of never before released footage from this time. We will be taking Wonderfest guests on a walk around the entire park from the very top of Hanna-Barbera Land all the way down to Goldrush and the Beach capturing every ride (including everyones favourites, Space Probe, Demon, Bush Beast, Snowy River Rampage), it's going to feel like you are back there once again. Sprinkled in with all this footage will be a few little other Wonderland suprises as well, so it should be very exciting and anyone who wants to re-live their childhood should come along.

So how can people participate?

Join us online at 8pm Sydney time on Thursday the 26th of April 2012 at www.wonderlandhistory.net/wonderfest and this is where the event will be happening. The real-time discussion will be taking place on both Facebook & Twitter (under the tag #imisswonderland for twitter users) which is embedded into the website for the event. So come along it should be a fun night and come and share you stories about Wonderland. 

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