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Wonderland Sydney is closing!


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#1 Flea

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Posted 16 February 2004 - 05:33 PM

Hi guys, A former staff member of Wonderland has just informed me that all staff had a meeting today. Upper management informed them that Wonderland will be closing down sometime in March. It does make sense, since many people have stated earlier that Wonderland would be closing down in March. However, this is a rumour - so lets hope this isn't true. Liam

#2 Bussy

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Posted 16 February 2004 - 05:38 PM

THIS IS NOT A RUMOR IT IS FACT. Wonderland Sydney is closing! A press release will be out tomorrow stating that at the end of the Easter Holidays Wonderland Sydney will be closing. The staff were informed tonight at a meeting held by Stephen Galbraith, CEO of Wonderland Sydney. To the approximately 500 staff, good luck in finding new employment. "The Bus is now leaving for Burraneer Close Reserve, NSW"

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#3 Richard

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Posted 16 February 2004 - 06:54 PM

I've merged the two threads together given that they were about the exact same thing and posted five minutes apart. Have fun! :)



#4 coasterfreak

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Posted 16 February 2004 - 06:55 PM

I really hope that this is not true. I have grown up there and will be sad if it does close. I really cant imagine Sydney without a major theme park. coasterfreak
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#5 DisneyDoll

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Posted 16 February 2004 - 07:28 PM

Well...It just came over the TV that it WILL close in 8 weeks
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#6 screammachine

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Posted 16 February 2004 - 07:37 PM

So did Wonderland go bankrupt or what???? Maybe there is another reason behind it. Dammit!! This completely sux!! Sydney doesnt have a major themepark apart from Luna Park!!! Ooohhh how great will that be! Screammachine
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#7 Wonderbuzz

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Posted 16 February 2004 - 07:50 PM

Hi all. I guess I can help verify this as I am a current (but not for long) Wonderland employee. Yes, the fact is that Wonderland Sydney will be closing at the end of April 2004. A meeting was called by the CEO this afternoon to deliver the very sad news to the employees. Despite all the rumours that have been floating about over the years, I chose to ignore them since they went on for so long and the place was still standing, but I never through that the day would actually come. I've been avoiding posting information to forums like these at the fear of getting into trouble. If you're wondering what I do at Wonderland, well I won't reveal that now. I'll just say that I've been there for almost 4 years, you've no doubt seen some of my work, and I've seen alot of what went on behind the scenes. We can only hope that Wonderland Sydney goes out with a bang in its last remaining days.

#8 Flea

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Posted 16 February 2004 - 08:12 PM

I'm just in total shock that the news is confirmed. It's gone. I got so damn attached to the park I didn't even realise it until now. This was the action of Sunway, no wonder they weren't investing in the place. I guess all I can do now is go there as much as possible and soak in the good times.. Dude, it feels like someone has died or something.. Liam

#9 Jaggie

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Posted 16 February 2004 - 08:20 PM

Well, i have just got on, and the news hasn't even soken in yet, i've wiped away the tears, yes i will admit i cried, to type this. Wonderland feels like a family member to me. I just can't believe that it has gone, and i have become sooooo attatched to that place. EVERYONE on these forums, in Sydney are coming to Wonderland between now and close time. We are all going to meet, for the last time at the wonderful place it is. I am glad for one thing though, and that is that i know it's closing. I rather it be that way than me turn up one day to the front gates to see them closed. One last thing, i am going to go out of my way to make sure Sunway knows how i feel! that's all i can say for now

#10 Scared of Jack

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Posted 16 February 2004 - 08:33 PM

So April 26th is D Day! If they knew how to run the park properly it would still be standing and operating! And yes, to the 800 plus workers good luck in finding new employment and wish you all the best. To the most enthusiastic and dedicated guest? FLEA! Although i didnt get to meet you, I must admit you will be sorely missed. Your one cool dude! Oh my god! Reality has hit! What will Kevin do now?

#11 GoGoBoy

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Posted 16 February 2004 - 08:40 PM

Richard - is there any way you can change the title of this topic? Now that it is confirmed I think it needs to be something more appropriate like 'Wonderland Closing - It's Official'. It is such a MAJOR issue afterall. I have managed to gather some info which has come direct from this evenings meeting. Some of the points the CEO made are as follows: *The CEO said that he could not guarantee that the park would actually stay open until the end of the April school holidays, although he is going to try. He said he would play it by ear as it depends on how many staff actually decide to stay around until that time *The park was in financial difficulty when Sunway first purchased it around 8 years ago *Sunway were able to spend some money refurbishing and upgrading the park but were not able to spend any large amounts of capital due to the state of the parent company (thanks to various factors like the asian economic crisis). Because of this, no major new attraction could be added to Wonderland *Wonderland was apparantley badly affected by all the recent negative world events which is supposedly a major reason the park is closing. He felt that in the last 5 years however, the park had greatly improved and thought it was an effort to be proud of. He said the park had been able to fund much of its improvements and refurbs from its own operating revenue (or something to that effect) *When Wonderland would have a good year the CEO would promote this fact to the board of directors at Sunway but the board would say to Stephen "we just can't keep doing this anymore (loosing money)" *He mentioned that the parks in QLD are in a better financial position compared to Wonderland and are generating profits which is why they are still open *A small number of staff will remain in the park after it closes to perform various jobs. Wildlife staff in particular will be required to stay on for some time to help with the transportation of the animals to other venues etc. *The CEO also said that once it has closed, the theme park will remain as is until further notice. Apparantley the board of directors has not given him any information regarding the future of the site but there was some "interest" already expressed in the site (ie. the land) My personal opinion remains the same as it has always been. I truly feel that things may have been different if the Malaysian company Sunway had not taken over. Sunway was not able to (or reluctant to) invest the necessary capital to truly boost Wonderland's performance. They have allowed the park to close without any thought as to how this may impact on Sydney. The fact is they probably don't care. Wonderland is a Sydney and Australian icon. I believe that Sunway have had their sights on that parcel of land that Wonderland has been sitting on for some time. In time, I'm sure they will redevelop the land for the expansion of the business park. As I have always said, this will mean almost instant profits for them. Unfortunately they are just not interested in investing any more time nurturing one of Sydney's most loved assets

#12 coasterfreak

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Posted 16 February 2004 - 08:42 PM

Lets hope that someone can step in and take over Wonderland for some bargain basement price. I suppose that in these days with the price of land becoming so high there really is no room for parks like this. This reminds me of a park in the US called Opry Land who closed a park after 20+ years of operating to build a shopping centre. I am generally a quiet viewer of this website and am glad that I am not the only one feeling like a part of me is gone. I am so pissed off and so angry... I will have to resort to visiting Luna Park, a park with no rollercoasters. Looks like a few days of work during the week to get some time at the park while its quiet. All the best guys, Neil coasterfreak
IT'S GONE...

Get out of everyday land... Get into Wonderland!
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#13 Flea

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Posted 16 February 2004 - 08:54 PM

To the most enthusiastic and dedicated guest? FLEA! Although i didnt get to meet you, I must admit you will be sorely missed. Your one cool dude!


Thankyou for those comments mate, we should meet up sometime during the final weeks of Wonderland :)

Thanks for the very informative post GoBoi. I'm quite disturbed by the fact that companies are only interested in the land. Surely Sunway would have made some attempt to sell the park? Who wouldn't have loved a "Six Flags Sydney"?

Liam

#14 Scared of Jack

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Posted 16 February 2004 - 09:06 PM

No one will take over and buy it! Knowing that the park is closing would you hang around till April? For Sure I wouldnt! I'd be out there looking for another job right this instance, with an employer who treats their workers with RESPECT! And yes, by reading my posts, of coursed Im PEEVED OFF! In how they handled it!.

#15 Jobe

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Posted 16 February 2004 - 09:09 PM

Well. Its now official. I havent posted in quite a while myself but i certainly feel that this is a tragedy. Its terrible for the industry in Australia. Lets face it- you have to ask the question..what went wrong??? The place seemed to have good attendance levels and was located in Australia's most densley populated city. Its tantamount to criminality the way it was rundown. Still the writing appeared to be on the board. Is there any chance of a buyer stepping in and ressurecting the park to its former glory?? Shattered Jobe

#16 Johno

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Posted 16 February 2004 - 09:29 PM

I am going to be handing out bloody promo's just to help Wonderland! I am gonna make them, then hand them out to everyone, I can't let Wonderland close, Wonderland is my LIFE! I have my own Wonderland Sydney draw in my desk, YES I have a draw just for Wonderland! From park maps to on-ride photos, Wonderland Sydney cups to great outdoors video of Wonderland Sydney, that I watch like over 100 times a year! I AM A TRUE WONDERLAND SYDNEY FAN! I love Wonderland like it's my life! Every day last year after school, I would jump on the Wonderland Sydney web site, just to see what new promo's they have. I remember my first vist to Wonderland, how happy I was after waiting years to go! My sister and brother would go but I wouldn't, waiting till it was my turn, then finally I went and I fell in love with it straight away! Even before I went I knew that there was something about it that made me love it so much. My mum came home tonight and my sister told me the news. My mum was listening to the radio and herd that Wonderland Sydney would be closing sometime in april. Tonight I went into my bathroom and just cryed, telling myself that this isn't happening, I prayed to GOD telling him that this is the only thing in my life that I truly love. I don't care if I don't get a job or buy a house or car, I just want what makes me happy! Please Wonderland, I need you! :( When I hand out the papers it will have a date on it that hopefully people will take to mind and go on that day to Wonderland so then we can show that people still care and go to the place we all love. Maybe "SuNwAy" :mad: will finaly see that people ARE attached to the place and love it the way we all do! I am so shocked at what is happening! I always love to draw the top of Space Probe and how beautiful it is. I dreamed that maybe one day I would run Wonderland. (via CEO) I NEED YOOOOU!!!! Please don't break my heart!

#17 willsy

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Posted 16 February 2004 - 09:35 PM

If this rumor is true where do you's think the Demon and Space Probe will go??? The space probe would fit in my back yard just nice

#18 coasterfreak

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Posted 16 February 2004 - 09:44 PM

I just saw on Ten news that the closure was due to skyrocketing insurance payments and a massive debt. I for one am taking a day of work and am going tomorrow just incase they do not make it till April 26th.
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#19 Flea

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Posted 16 February 2004 - 09:47 PM

The story was just on Ten news as breaking news. Sandra (stuff-up) Sully stated practically everything that was discussed here, and that the CEO couldn't find a way out of the financial rut. As soon as I saw that, it really did sink in. Liam

#20 HussRainbow

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Posted 16 February 2004 - 09:48 PM

How stupid, Hopefully I will be comin to Syd for the easter show, so I will be able to visit the park before it closes, ride all the rides, well except for Wave Swinger, we got 2 travelling. Hey ya never know it might become a travelling model.
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#21 GoGoBoy

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Posted 16 February 2004 - 09:49 PM

That's one of the things that makes me so angry with Sunway. All the previous owners of the park sold Wonderland to other companies rather than shutting the place down. Sunway is not going to do this. Why is that? My guess is that they want the land to sell off and develop for the business park. Come on guys, we all had a suspicion that this might happen. It wouldn't make sense building an ugly business park so close to a theme park if this wasn't the case. The CEO avoided this topic by saying he had not been told what was going to happen to the site. He did mention there was some interest in the site but this could mean anything. I can guarantee to you right now that the site will NOT re-open as a theme park. If this was going to happen Sunway would have made sure they sold it first before announcing its closure

#22 willsy

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Posted 16 February 2004 - 09:57 PM

I say FU*K the owners and lets take over wonderland and keep it going for everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#23 coasterfreak

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Posted 16 February 2004 - 09:59 PM

Its on news.com.au now!

See here
IT'S GONE...

Get out of everyday land... Get into Wonderland!
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#24 willsy

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Posted 16 February 2004 - 10:11 PM

We shouldnt go saying it offical yet because that news story on news.com.au was only what an emploee said, we should wait for a offical press statment from the park than we can coment or say what we like. Just wait till it's offical, I dont want it to close, Now i gota drive 14hour to go to a theme park :( :(

#25 Flea

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Posted 16 February 2004 - 10:14 PM

^ I'd say it's pretty darn official, since the parks CEO Steven Gailbraith stated that the park would close (along with a bunch of employees). Also, you wouldn't have to drive 14 hours to go to a theme park - Luna Park is opening on April 2nd!




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