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Wonderland flys high in Docklands

04 Feb 2016

Wonderland flys high in Docklands Image

The Wonderland Fun Park is here to stay and will be moving to a new home in Docklands.

The park closed on January 26 in preparation for the move to its new home below the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel.

Operated and owned by Melissa Head and Colin Davis, Wonderland Fun Park has been based at its Harbour Town Shopping Centre site for the past six years.  

It will reopen on March 25 at its new location under the name Wonderland under the Melbourne Star.

The new entertainment destination will feature festival stages, children’s attractions and amusement areas, its Spiegeltent, event space, a garden and a retail store.

Wonderland began looking for a new home at the start of 2015 after the park was offered a short-term lease, rather than the long-term agreement hoped for.

The park had been located on a site at the rear of Harbour Town owned by Ashe Morgan, which will eventually become the site of Hoyts Cinemas.

“We began looking for alternative locations for Wonderland and that’s basically it,” Ms Head said.

“The Melbourne Star has been wanting to activate its piazza. We started talking and the rest is history.”

While the new site is just a stone’s throw away from the old Wonderland site, the move requires the Spiegeltent to be dismantled and rebuilt.

Knockout Events, which Ms Head also manages, recently won a tender to co-ordinate and event-manage Port Douglas Carnivale in May. The tent will travel to northern Queensland and then return to Docklands in time for The Australian Burlesque Festival.

Melbourne Star Observation Wheel general manager Garren Cox said his team was pleased with the opportunity to work even more closely with Wonderland.

“Wonderland’s move over to the Melbourne Star Piazza strengthens an already rewarding relationship for both parties,” Mr Cox said.

“The Wonderland product complements the experience that we offer at Melbourne Star and builds upon the growth and development taking place in the Docklands precinct.”

Mr Davis agreed that the new site offered some great opportunities for Wonderland.

“The Melbourne Star Observation Wheel is a great centrepiece for our guest entertainment experience,” Mr Davis said. “Our partnership with a fellow visitor attraction is a great synergy and supports driving new and repeat guests to Docklands.”

Ms Head said she saw a wonderful future for Wonderland under the Melbourne Star.

She said the move would result in some changes to the format of the existing business with a greater focus on events to add to the already successful Docklands Blues Music Festival and “bigger, high profile” shows at the Spiegeltent.

“We will have ride activations on the weekend and larger activations during school holidays,” Ms Head said.

She said Wonderland would be offering packages with the Melbourne Star.

“We’re both visitor attractions and partnering up with a major destination attraction for Melbourne is amazing,” Ms Head said.

“It’s a match made in heaven.”

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