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AlexB

Everything you ever wanted to know about Wonderland

64 posts in this topic

I thought i'd start this off, rather than waiting for a specific question to jar another topic. Everything you ever wanted to know about wonderland. every snippet, tidbit and factoid... 1) Wonderland had three public parking bays. it was rare in the 90's that number 2 would be used, but it did fill all 3 in its opening season. the parking bays at wonderland had guard towers, which in earlier years was manned by lookouts to ensure the safety of your vehicle. Parking was chargeable, and it used to be a huge operation every morning with staff directing traffic to the most available area to park in. 2) Wonderland's entry gates used to be at the site of the retail plaza. you would walk up the hill (towards the most recent entry gates which didnt exist then) and the first thing you would see as you walk up would be bounty's. When the retail plaza was built, temporary entry gates were built at the entrance to the retail plaza, so you could not enter the shop without a ticket. Later the permanent gates we know today were constructed, which gave a nice little "void" area containing the retail plaza, the memories photo lab, the "plaza room", guest relations, first aid and security, and the outback restaurant. 3) Originally, the water features in the park were (mostly) all connected. The paddleboat lake supplied water to the fountains around the merry go round. the merry go round's water trickled down towards zodiac and into the waterfall on the site of space probe. the waterfall went under a couple of bridges and into the main lake, the lake fed down into goldrush past dragons flight and next to the skyhawk site. it went behind the bakery building, down behind the retail stalls and games, past goldrush theatre it continued to meander on down to snowy river, where it spilled into the bottom of snowy, near the holding reservoir. a pipeline was laid between snowy's holding lake, and the paddleboat lake, and the water was pumped back up to the top. After modifications and the introduction of the wildlife park, the paddleboat lake was cut off from the main line, as was the merry go round, which then had its own recycling pump. the pipeline was re-fed to the waterfall at the space probe site, and this cycle continued until closure. For the skeptics, it was easy to determine - dump a bottle of morning fresh into the fountain at merry go round, and watch the bubbles appear lakeside an hour later. check the paddleboats at the end of the day and sure enough little detergent bubbles had found their way to the top lake. thats all for now. who has something to add?

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The bell that chimed in the clock at the rear of the plaza wasn't acutally a bell. It was the sounds of a bell from an audio CD being played through a loud speaker. All was controlled by a simple 386 computer (which was common for the time it was installed) running a custom program located in the audio studio/admin building. Who said old computers are useless? The park background music was also run on a PC (can't remember if it was a 386 or 486), with 6 x SCSI CD-ROM drives and a custom program to start playing upon boot up.

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contrary to popular belief, there weren't many cameras in the park. Snowy had its own independant system, to monitor the ride, as did bush beast to monitor the lift hill. excepting this, the park surveillance system mainly covered the retail sections of the park, the plaza, demon manor and also the car park, however there was one camera mounted on probe that could oversee most of the park, albeit at a long distance. a few other cameras were mounted in places that were necessary, but very few cameras actually covered the park the clock was real, it kept time, but the chimes itself were computer controlled

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Was the clock a real clock, or was it also a fake thing?
It was a real clock that kept real time. I'd imagine that it was in the form of an electric motor and a simple circuit as the time of the clock was also controlled via the computer. And if I recall correctly, it took about half a day to speed cycle through in order to turn the clock back one hour for daylight savings.

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Façades are very common in theme parks. It's expensive and time-consuming to build with real bricks or stone or concrete, and there's every chance it will be removed in the future for retheming or to make way for other things. Every single building in the main street at Warner Bros. Movie World is a façade.

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I mean, it looked real cheap, as there was a giant sized crack, and you could see all the way through it, and see the green tin roof. I ain't saying there is anything wrong with that. Just that they didn't maintain it much.

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I think one of biggest façades at Wonderland was the Koala Valley rock waterfall. The one that ran along the timber walkway that starts from Koala Photo Spot. Alot of the rocks were either fibreglass or a hard sponge/foam (not sure of the proper name for it), including the large rocks with the Wildlife Park logo "chiseled" into them near the Woolshed. Also things like the tombstones around Transylvania were sponge/foam with a timber frame inside, although along the pathway up to Demon many of the tombstones were real concrete.

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Yeah, they of course are polystirene, the easiest thing to make models out of. I mean, look at the Transilvania Entry gates, they were completely Polystyrine. (Accept for the Pillars). Some more q's. 1. Why was the Wildlife Park Entry Gates closed down? And 2, where did the Jurassic Park stuff go after the thing finished?

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There was one camera in the Space Probe launch area that went directly to security. Things you didn't know about Wonderland, hmmm where do I start? Baby ducks regularly got sucked into the pumps at Snowy. "The Bus is now leaving for Baby Creek Bore, South Australia"

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Actually the security camera on the Space Probe was extraordinarily good when it originally worked. One could read a number plate on a car going through Maccas on the M4 up the road. You could also spy on the pesky ride operators picking his/her nose and talking on the headsets at T3 at Snowy. For those of you who thought they were alone there....

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And that is relevant, how? They got a new security system good on them. Going by the date on that article the system wasn't even in operation for a year before the closure. "Wonderland Time" as we called it was the most inaccurate time piece on the planet. It would chime every 15 minutes but would be around 5 minutes off every time. Example, it would be 5:05pm or 5:10pm by everyone’s watch and we were walking out of the park and the chime would be going off, look up at the clock and it says 5pm. "The Bus is now leaving for Clock Spring, South Australia"

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Yeah, they of course are polystirene, the easiest thing to make models out of. I mean, look at the Transilvania Entry gates, they were completely Polystyrine. (Accept for the Pillars). Some more q's. And 2, where did the Jurassic Park stuff go after the thing finished?
It all ended up becomming themeing for Goldrush. It was used to build the tunnel at the entrance to Goldrush as well as the Tunnel that they built around Snowy. The plane sat out the back in the Graveyard, and is still there now no doubt.

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Here's a question... What is/was the massive antenna behind Zodiac for? Always wondered about that one... the theory of it being a giant lightning rod came up yesterday :)

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It was indeed a lightning rod and let me tell you it was brown trousers for me during a huge storm that hit the park. I was waiting for it to get struck but it didn't happen. As far as I know it was never hit during park hours but Skyrider was. It was there before Space Probe was built before anyone starts saying otherwise. "The Bus is now leaving for Lightning Knob, NSW"

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The Rod. I have always wondered what that was there for too. I always thought because it was there before Space Probe, it was a like light to warn pilots of the ride being there.

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Buzz Wrong. Lightning hit the Skyrider tower behind the Galaxy Theatre. No, no one was on the ride at the time as it had closed due to the storm. "The Bus is now leaving for Buzzandan, NSW"

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