general news

21.01.2016, 13:08 hrs
Age: 2 Year(s)

Annual Preview 2016

One shouldn’t soothsay but one thing we know for sure: 2016 will be a very special year for the Wunderland. In summer we will be celebrating our 15th anniversary and we have taken on the challenge of opening the Italy theme world this year in autumn. Until then we have to overcome a few obstacles and also our up and running site has a few challenges for us in store this year.

“I Can’t Afford It”
Last year we set a new visitor record: 1,251,598 people have come to visit our exhibition in the past 12 months. We want to share this success with the people who are underprivileged in their everyday life and will therefore grant free access on 15 dates in January for all of those, who couldn’t afford to see the exhibition otherwise. We hope these people will have a few great hours and we can make them smile a little. Please share the news so more people can take advantage of this offer.

The dominating subject this year will definitely be the new Italy theme world. It is already now the most elaborate and sophisticated theme world in the history of the Wunderland. After years of extensive labor we will open it this year and with it enhance our exhibition with a fantastic new highlight. We plan on opening this fall, but until then there’s a lot to be done. Even though the Amalfi coast is ready and the area of Pompeii is nearing completion we are only starting to sculpt Tuscany’s landscape and there is only a rough draft of Liguria so far.

Finishing South Tyrol will be the next milestone and after that the completion of Tuscany. Also we plan to complete the Collosseum in the first half of the year which is one of the most elaborate models inside the exhibition due to its filigree construction and therefore will become one of the biggest highlights in the new theme world. Other buildings in Rome also prove to be quite a challenge for our model builders, for example St. Peter’s Basilica which is huge even in the model version.

And there are challenges for the technology department as well, most of all the Vesuvius. After the initial promising tests with the kinetic sand it sadly showed, that this type of sand cannot be used long term and now we are working full pressure to search for alternatives. A number of push button actions are also being developed, for instance the high bay warehouse, the mono railway in the amusement park and the big marble manufactory.

There is a lot to be done within the existing site as well: We want to optimize a few things and of course the complicated technology and mechanicals need permanent servicing. One thing we want to optimize is the catapult at the airport. The natural wooden surface is continuously working in itself, changing the opening slot of the runway which is using up a lot of material. We are developing in this area and have already found some promising ideas we will have to test. And 11 years later Scandinavia’s ship steering is still on our to-do list. We are very hopeful to test a system this year which will work under changing conditions (radio, air movement, water flow, and turbulences) even long term and with the necessary precision.

Our work on more and more complex technology and on a multitude of servicing tasks is slowly but steadily outgrowing the size of our existing technology workshop. This is why we will be remodeling the technology and mechanicals workshop this year, now that we have finished renovating the engine workshop last year. It will be brought up to date and we will install additional working spaces. Of course it will stay open, so visitors can always sneak a peek at what we are currently working on.

Speaking of room: We have cleared some space in our storage units and have done some major spring cleaning. There will be a big sale on eBay by the end of January. And it’s about time, after a two year pause. If you need models for your own model railway or you would like to start a new hobby and build a Wunderland of your own, will have the chance to purchase model building articles at bargain prices. Some really rare things and some that are by now out of production are also for sale.

2016 promises to be a year full of events. The work involved in the makeover of the new web page was a lot more than we had initially anticipated, and by now we are done with the grunt work and have moved on to optimizing the pages. We really hope the new page will be online soon. It will have a new design; will be much more practical in many respects also for mobile phones and tablets, and our online presence will be much more user friendly. We will be offering almost all content in English as well to provide our international guests with more information on the Wunderland. We hope you will enjoy the new web page as much as we do and are looking forward to receiving your feedback.

Apart from this we have some very special dates in our schedule: It’s a well known fact that we are a bunch of football lunatics and we are so looking forward to the European Championship this year. Of course there will be some events matching this tournament, but we will keep you in the dark for now.

And in summer there is another big event, since it will be 15 years ago this summer, that the Wunderland opened its doors to an audience for the first time. Back then no one would have thought what would become of this crazy idea. We will take the anniversary as a reason to look back in gratitude on these past and adventurous years and we will also take it as an incentive to walk further along this road and let all the so far unrealized ideas come to life in our little world. But that will be subject to the previews of years to come.