‘Huckleberry Hound’, ‘Snaggle-Puss’, ‘Scooby Doo’ & ‘Yogi Bear’ dancing on stage, in Hanna-Barbera Theatre (Johnson&Johnson) – 1986.
My Mum eating an ice-block next to the fountain in Medieval Faire – 1986.
My Mum sitting next to the ‘Knight & Dragon’ Statue in Medieval Faire – 1986.
My Mum with ‘Fred Flintstone’ in Hanna-Barbera Land – 1986.
My Mum with all the costumes next to ‘Captain Caveman’, in the Dressing Room – Character House, 1986.
My Mum holding the tongue of ‘Captain Caveman’, behind the gates at Character House – 1986.
My Dad with Mum dressed as ‘Fred Flintstone’, in the Dressing Room at Character House – 1986.
My Dad in the ‘Kelly Gang Cutouts’, outside ‘Ned Kelly’s Getaway’ in the Gold Rush – 1987.
My Mum in the ‘Kelly Gang Cutouts’, outside ‘Ned Kelly’s Getaway’ in the Gold Rush – 1987.
My Mum infront of ‘Merlin’s Notions and Potions’ in Medieval Faire – 1987.
My Mum with ‘Jabber Jaws’ behind the staff gate (Character House) – 1987.
My Mum with ‘Huckleberry Hound’ & ‘Merlin’ infront of ‘Boo Boo’s Balloon Race’ – Hanna-Barbera Land, 1987 (Winter Costume).
My Mum & Dad with ‘Yogi Bear’ (Julia Marshall) in Hanna-Barbera Land – 1987.
My Dad on a wooden horse outside the ‘Jousting Ring’ in Medieval Faire – 1987.
Please do sit back and relax to this 52 minute home video my Dad, Merlin the Magician, created with fun-love. It is a very special glimpse into life of one of the world’s greatest occupations – working at Australia’s Wonderland 1986.
The main contents are =
– Opening Day – TV News Report
– Davo the Magician’s Magic Paint AD
– Merlin the Magician’s Home Videos = Behind the scenes in Character House. A walk around parts of the park. Various Wonderland shows (the Golden Nugget and Pirate Show).
– And so MUCH more to enjoy!
I love the look of 80s home videos. I also love the look of the cameras themselves (interesting indeed). Dad’s box-like handheld camcorder also had a heavy “pack” part which hung slung around his shoulder, down by his side. Quite a heavy kit, simply for home video recording. I’m so glad that all this footage was able to survive the test of time (so far). The one thing we have lost, unfortunately, is a copy/recording of the Wonderland Pre-Opening TV Advertisement. Dad wore a pink jacket instead of Merlin’s costume, marching under the Hanna-Barbera Rainbow with all the characters. We think the footage was either recorded over, or just simply lost in time, in the grand pile of VHS cassettes. I hope that someone out there has a copy to share with us, someday! That would be beyond amazing!!!
By the end of 1987, the American management team went back to the United States, passing on everything to an Australian management. Also leaving along with the American management – the professionalism and artistic freedom. Most of the Atmospheric Performers chose not to re-apply.
I don’t know what happened to all of the performers, but I do know that ‘Merlin’ went on to live a normal life, with a regular job – also performing Magic in restaurants around Sydney. Rob Spence married a French girl, and moved to Europe – where he has built a career as a well-known comedian. —-
I hope you have enjoyed, to some degree, these two special postings. It took a lot of time and effort to piece together these many memorable and personal pieces. Please do follow the current ‘Wonderland’ Group & Facebook Page for all future updates on the planned/upcoming Wonderland Park 2.0, and Wonderland Museum. It is very interesting to see all the possibilities developing over there – Vivat Wonderland!