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16.08.2016, 11:12 hrs
Age: 1 Year(s)

15 Years of Wunderland

it's our Birthday and we look back on 5479 wonderful days.

Dear friends and companions,

today 15 years ago we opened the doors to Wunderland. It is our birthday, so to speak, and we want to take this as an opportunity to say thank you look back a little bit – the celebration will have to wait until after the opening of our Italy section.

We are looking back on fifteen, almost fairytale-like, years. If somebody would have told us back when we opened Wunderland for the first time, that we would receive around 1.3 million visitors a year from all over the world and would one day belong to the most popular attractions in Germany, we would have surely thought they were crazy. Especially in the last few months before the opening we were constantly called nutcases and almost nobody believed that model trains could lead to success.

To be honest, despite all our optimism in the beginning, we were still scared as hell. On the first day we hoped for a long queue at the entrance, but only a few hundred guests actually came. Only on the following weekend salvation came with a queue leading far outside our doors. This was the beginning of a fairytale, which enables us to tinker with creative ideas every day.

And this is what we want to say thank you for. Since then we received almost 15 million visitors in Wunderland and this strong support is the reason we can focus on all our small playful details. Over 350 “Wunderlanders” are creating small things with lots of love and devotion. We can afford to play around without looking to closely at the figures and without following strict rules. For us, it is not about creating something in a set amount of time, but to tell great stories. This freedom surely is not always very efficient, but leaves us room for creative and loving details and ideas. We believe that love cannot be expressed with numbers. And we are well aware of the fact that we couldn’t work like this, if not this many of you would come and visit us year by year. For this, THANK YOU and a small promise: When you reach the age of 15 you get closer to becoming of age and puberty makes you want to dismiss everything childish. We will stand against this and will ensure that playing around, tinkering and creating will always be our number one priority.

We are unbelievably thankful for the last 5479 days and are hoping for many more to come.

Thank you for your wonderful support!

Your Wunderland Team

Kurz vor der Eröffnung 2001 wird fast Tag und Nacht gearbeitet. // As the opening date apporached, we worked nearly every day and night.

Am 16. August 2001 eröffnet Hamburgs Bürgermeister Ortwin Runde das Wunderland. // On August 16, 2001, the mayor of Hamburg, Ortwin Runde, opened Wunderland.

Nur 1 1/4 Jahre später eröffnet Hamburgs neuer Bürgermeister Ole von Beust den Hamburg-Abschnitt. // Only 1 1/4 years later, Hamburg's new mayor Ole von Beust opened the Hamburg section.

Mit Amerika folgt der fünfte Abschnitt schon 2003. // The USA followed as the fifth section in 2003.

Schon 2004 ist der Platz zu eng. Ein neues Stockwerk kommt hinzu. // In 2004 we are already running out of space and need another floor.

Im Juni 2005 wird Skaninavien mit 30.000 Litern Echtwasser eröffnet. // In June of 2005 we are opening Scandinavia with its 30,000 liters of real water.

In den darauffolgenden Jahren entsteht die Schweiz in 140.000 Arbeitsstunden. // In the following years we have been constructing Switzerland in 140,000 man hours.

2007 wird die Schweiz unter anderem von DJ Bobo eröffnet. // In 2007 Switzerland was opened by DJ Bobo.

2008 & 2009 folgen die Sonderausstellungen Die geteilte Stadt und Utopia. // In 2008 and 2009 our special exhibits "A City Divided" and "Utopia" follow.

Und der Bau am Flughafen beginnt natürlich und wird 5 Jahre dauern. // And construction of the airport starts and will take 5 years to finish.

Im Mai 2011 wird Knuffingen Airport unter anderem von Niki Lauda eröffnet. // In May of 2011 Knuffingen Airport is opened by, amongst others, Niki Lauda.

Ein komplett neues Stockwerk folgt 2012. // A completely new floor follows in 2012.

Im Mai 2013 geht es dann richtig mit Italien los. // In May 2013 the construction of Italy is being kicked off.

2014 werden erste Gleis verlegt. // The first tracks are layed in 2014.

Und 2015 alle Gleise an den Rest der Anlage angeschlossen. Weltrekord. In der letztem Septemberwoche mit 15 Jahren und knapp sechs Wochen folgt dann die Eröffnung Italiens. // And in 2015 all new tracks have been connected to the rest of the layout. World Record. In the last week of September, with 15 years and six weeks, the opening of Italy will follow.