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Annual review 2017

Another year has passed and once again we wonder where the time has gone. We have summed up the major events of 2017 for you in this review.

What a year! It has been a while since political and social developments have kept us all this busy and on our toes. Everything appears to be changing. And of course this has made an impact on the Wunderland as well. Nevertheless, we are happy to let you know, that our little Wunderlandians mostly survive in a state of permanent joy.

Maybe this is due to all the lovely large visitors who have provided us with the foundation for a very special initiative. Just as in the previous years we have invited everyone into the Wunderland for free who is unable to afford the admission fee. It was overwhelming. The scenes in our entrance area were very emotional- on both sides of the desk. It truly made us happy to be able to help others and our visitors had some very happy moments at the Wunderland. It was a classical win-win situation.

After this there were a few milestones to celebrate: Knuffingen Airport accomplished 1 million take offs and touch downs on February 2nd. We celebrated this moment with lots of confetti and an elaborate Facebook live event. You may review the video here on Facebook. Shortly after the model train hit a new record: on April 12th our trains had rounded the globe 250 times, covering a distance of 10 million real life kilometers. You will find the video here.

In May the world caught up with us. Not only Trump with his fantasies of walls but also some other walls in the minds of Europeans in several countries made us build a symbolic wall at the Wunderland. This wall drew the line between America and the rest of the Wunderland. It was meant to represent the wall people were carrying in their heads and it received worldwide news coverage. Fortunately we have taken down that wall and for 2018 we have devoted ourselves to building bridges.

In July we started the first round of our treasure hunt. For those who visit the Wunderland and discover all of the 15 details depicted in the tourist guide, may participate in the game and win a real dream vacation.

There was another reason to celebrate in August: Due to a representative survey of the German board of tourism the Wunderland was reelected for the second time as most popular tourist attraction in Germany! We are very proud of this award and were even more happy to welcome our 16 millionth visitor at just the same time. We would not complain if it stayed the same in 2018, you may vote for us again, if you like. to survey

The parliamentary election was our dominating subject in September. Due to the current political situation we decided to make people aware of the catastrophic consequences of not voting. The video was shared throughout the country and currently shown in the SPIEGEL annual review as important for 2017. You may watch the video here. Don´t forget to switch on English subtitles.

In October we had a new special arrival in or shop: a monopoly game in the Wunderland edition. It is a great honor to us, that this classic board game is now available in the Wunderland design. You may also purchase it through our online shop.

Shortly after this Frederik’s and Gerrit’s biography hit the book stores. During preparations of the launch we learned how hard it has become for traditional bookstores to compete with the online market. We therefore decided to not sell the book in our online shop. Instead we asked the customers to purchase it through their local book dealer in order to support them. As a thank you we promised to sign each pre-ordered copy personally if it was bought through a local store. It was simply incredible, that the book landed number one of the Spiegel bestseller list. 

The kindergarten days are taking place again from December until mid-January. During this time all kindergartens may visit us free of cost. It is always such a sight to watch the children’s eyes light up once they are inside the exhibition and we hope to infect some of them with the love for model building in the future.

Of course this year was full of construction, small and large likewise. We were able to rent additional space in our Block D in the warehouse and win additional space for locker boxes and more spacious washrooms, which was important, since we had to reduce the size of the washrooms on the third floor to make room for Venice. Of course Venice was our leading motto for this year, also for the model builders.

Some of the older sections have undergone remodeling as well: Austria has been snowed upon and an area in America has been planted newly with sequoia trees. In Knuffingen we renovated the highway and also planted new greenery, since the green had grown pale over the years. In the meantime our technical department is working on the Formula 1 race track for Monaco and new push button inventions for Venice.

We launched a new video series in 2017: The Wunderlandians. Watch the videos here and get to know our modellers, technicians and other collegues. Make sure you switch on the English subtitles. 

All in all the Wunderland had a very moving and exciting 2017, which we will not forget. Together with our team we wish you Merry Christmas and a happy 2018!