NAME: Peter Zammit
TOWN/SUBURB/CITY/COUNTRY CURRENTLY RESIDING: Blacktown-ish, NSW
TOWN/SUBURB/CITY/COUNTRY YOU GREW UP IN: Bankstown, NSW
As a customer how many times do you think you went there? My family and I went there around once a year - around 10 or so times.
What is your earliest memory of Australia's Wonderland? I was probably around 8 years old when we first went to Wonderland. I remember it being a little overwhelming. Prior to this my only experience in a theme park was Luna Park and that was quite small. This place seemed like a small country. I remember seeing a lot of rides I was too young to go on at the time, so Hannah Barbara Land was my section of choice.
Tell us the funniest thing that ever happened to you or you saw at Wonderland: Not keeping my legs together while coming out of the massive water slide at The Beach ... I can laugh about it now.
Yes you had to be careful doing with that. For both sexes it was a problem. The number of guys who would hang round at the bottom of the slides hoping to catch a glimpse of a girl losing their top was ridiculous) Yeah I saw plenty of that without even looking out for it. I also happened to see someone throw up underwater there.
How did they do that? Did the lifeguards clear everyone out of the pool? Im not sure how it was done or how they felt afterwards, but I can still picture the mess that suddenly surfaced. Trust me .. no lifeguards were needed to clear everyone out ...
What was your favourite ride and why? The Snowy River Rampage. The line you had to wait in every time tells all - the ride was epic, especially in Summer!
Were there any rides that you were scared of? If so why? The Demon. There's just something about going backwards that fast and high in the air that didn't sit right with me.
You still went on it in the end though right? Hmmm .. sadly no. The combination of direction, speed and altitude made me chicken out. If it was still there today I would have definitely gone on it by now though. You might have to make the trek over to Alabama and go on it there.
Did you ever get stuck on any ride(s) If so what happened? No, but I have a vague recollection of people being stuck at the apex of a hill on The Bush Beast.
That wouldn't suprise me. Sometimes it used to get stuck on the back curve near the M4 if the wind was blowing strongly from the north. I imagine getting everyone down wouldn't be a quick process either. Bring sunscreen and a good book.
Did you ever meet anyone special at Wonderland? I met a cardboard cut out of Kylie Minogue and had a photo taken with it as a souvenir, which was lovingly thrown out by my Mum a while back.
Were you a big Neighbours fan back in the day? Id say more of a Kylie fan at the time. What can I say? There was something about the tomboy look Charlene had that I found rather interesting ;)
Did you ever go on a date to Wonderland? If so, how did it go?: Girls still had cooties during the majority of Wonderland's existence. We stopped going towards the time I started dating.
When was your last visit to Wonderland? I can't pinpoint the exact year, but it wasn't that long after The Demon was introduced .. yup .. I never got to go on Space Probe 7 :(
Now that is a big shame. Sure was. Strangely enough, despite my fear of The Demon, I actually wanted to go on Space Probe at least once even though it stood higher and was a free fall.
How did the closure of Wonderland make you feel? A little shocked. I remember talking about going with friends before it was announced. That last visit never did eventuate. I now live close to where Wonderland was and I can still picture the rollercoasters and the Zodiac in the horizon as I drive by.
When you think of Wonderland now, what does it mean to you? It was a big part of my childhood. Something to look forward to each year. It may sound a little melodramatic, but when I learned of its closure it was like losing a childhood friend.
Any other stories related to Wonderland? I remember my sister having a crush on one of the dancers in Brand New Beat, so of course we had to see the show multiple times each visit. I can still remember the theme song and it's playing in my head right now.
Can you remember where abouts in the park the show was performed? I would ask you to hum a couple of bars, but it doesn't really translate to a written interview. I think I've managed to suppress most details. All I remember were the colourful costumes and the now-cheesy 70's and 80's music they sang. I can give the theme song a try if you like. It went like "(something something something) BRAAANNNDDD NEW BEAT (something something something) MOOOVVEE YOUR FEET" etc.
I also remember learning how to swim in the large pool at The Beach by copying what everyone else was doing. I remember my Mum freaking out when I ventured out into the deep end. I was determined not to leave until I had this whole swimming thing mastered and made my parents wait .. for a whole hour or so.