Quote from Phitzke
Torre del Mar on the first day of the season. At that time, if I remember correctly, I met a few users via onrie.de. JUK, Mostar and a few more (these are still members of the HAPA forum). We had a great day in the park, together we made the very first trip on the Torre del Mar. It was the first time I was out with people who were just as interested in amusement parks and roller coasters as I was. And in this special case even the HANSA-PARK. So I had the idea during the day: If there is this group of people who are so interested in a topic like Hansa Park, then there is certainly a lot more out there. The idea of offering these people a platform for exchanging, getting to know and meeting people was born and has not let go of me since that day.My first memory of the idea with the forum takes me to 2005. More precisely with the opening of the
Philip knew from HANSA-PARK, some of whom are still known as "old hands". They filled the first pages in the first topics, which were called "Architect's drawings from the park?!?", "Rinaldi" or "Convert to USB 2.0". There was also speculation that Michael Jackson might have been to HANSA-PARK. A local newspaper was the source of this speculation. At that time, however, the focus was not so clear. Of course, the focus was on HANSA-PARK, but basically everything was talked about. The design also fluctuated slightly between colored and eye cancer. But that was hip back then.The community was formed at the time from the friends that
In the 2006 season an attempt was made to organize a first joint meeting, which proved to be somewhat difficult with a total of 8 members. In November 4 people finally got together and did not make their way to HANSA-PARK, but after a short walk around the closed park the Tivoli in Copenhagen was headed for as an alternative destination. This trip was supposed to start a tradition that led to many more Christmas visits to Tivoli.
2007 was all about the 30th anniversary of HANSA-PARK. The forum is growing in popularity, albeit slowly. Back then, social media did not really prevail in order to be able to make targeted advertising. At that time, the search engines had to be sufficient to attract new users to the forum. So it was quite fitting that the HANSA-PARK made a big announcement. There was talk of a roller coaster, which should open in the 2009 season. This message gave the HAPA forum an unexpected push. Many HANSA-PARK fans, looking for information, ran aground here and quite a few have stayed to this day.
Shortly before the end of the season, there was also a change for the platform.
Quote from Phitzke
Unfortunately, I was not very familiar with the topic of Internet forums, which is why I initially opted for a free provider. Until 2008 we had a very small but active group of users between 8 and 40 users. I got to know Vonikx personally in the 2008 season (maybe earlier). He offered to host the forum with the software he had purchased on his server, which brought us a big step forward in technology. He also took over the hosting costs for many years, thus doing a great service for the forum.
The HAPA forum relied on the forum software from Woltlab, with which we still work today, which is why all topics can still be found in the forum since this move. The new forum had a lot of convenience to its predecessor, which made it popular and appealing. The timing couldn't have been better. Thanks to the many exclusive roller coaster newsletters, the community grew rapidly in the following year. At the start of the 2008 season, 7 months after the start of the HAPA Forum 2.0, 100 members were already registered.
One main topic in 2008 determined: The curse of Novgorod! What will the roller coaster be like, what does the story promise about the ride and the topic and will it open on time? As a new ride, the bell was more of a side note. When the first divisional cut was officially made in June and the first marking points appeared in the park, it gradually became clear where the new roller coaster would pile up, and no, it was not on the free space next to the Barracuda Slide. The HANSA-PARK provided the fans with facts and speculations all year round, via newsletter and later on the website kataplektor.de, which was created especially for the roller coaster. The mood in the forum simmered, which can still be recreated there today. Each new piece of information was received with excitement, then critically verified and then discussed several times. The forum members were very creative, which culminated in a 45-sentence confused fictional story about Rurik and his family. In 2008, the waiting time was waited until the longed-for opening of the Novgorod curse.
The forum was a cauldron full of emotions. Unfortunately, this also included insults, know-it-alls and those who did not want to hear other opinions. To tame the crowd, Philip got support in the form of forum members Marc and Andreas, who he used as moderators to bring order to the forum. All team members first had to learn how to properly settle disputes in an internet forum, how to calm down angry users and how to punish them appropriately. Quite often, the team had to listen to censorship and repression when the going was tough. Therefore, everyone was happy when new pictures of the construction site distracted from personal sensitivities.
Quote from Phitzke
When the construction of the Novgorod curse became known, our user numbers skyrocketed. Within a season from 40 to over 400. That also brought me to the point where I could no longer act the community myself and used the first moderators. On the opening day of the Novgorod curse there was the first major gathering of members and since we had been following the construction for months, we all couldn't wait.
On April 9, after numerous months of speculation, HANSA-PARK opened its doors for the 2009 season. All participants were able to win a so-called premiere trip on the curse of Novgorod for a very special day. The first day in the park was accordingly full, as everyone hoped for the longed-for opening of the roller coaster. However, they stood on shaky legs. A few days earlier, the TÜV climbed over the track and there was no information from the park as to whether the roller coaster had passed the test. That was still not clear at 9:00 a.m. on April 9th. At the provisional entrance, the fans lined up and the line of waiting people stretched to the bay knot. The press represented that the weather was perfect, there was just no car. Finally, around 11:30 a.m., the first trip of the Novgorod curse took place with premiere guests. The TÜV finally approved the system, but with the restriction of only being able to use one vehicle, since the block system still had to be checked and a multi-train operation was therefore not possible. The waiting time for a trip with the Novgorod curse was over 4 hours. Even the forum members were impressed. You didn't know that from HANSA-PARK. But the members waited ironly and were rewarded with a ride in the end.
The enormous growth in the forum due to the Novgorod curse finally led to the very first large HAPA forum summer meeting. As with the moderation work in the previous year, this well-organized fan meeting should be a huge hurdle. The team asked Andrea for help with planning and implementation. It became the driving force, which occasionally kicked the team into the very best, so that the event did not run out of air before the scheduled date. They worked out lists of participants and tables, discussed barbecuing in the trapper camp and, together with HANSA-PARK, planned some program items to prepare the participants for an unforgettable day. All of this was new to the still young organization team, so the respect for the day, which was finally there on August 29, was correspondingly great.
The event started with a surprise for the 40 participants: a backstage tour under the Novgorod Curse station with the technical director Henrik Kazanczuk, and a look at the workshop, the computer room and the electric motor with its flywheel drive. At that time lunch was still held separately. Not everyone was willing to share a barbecue for a few euros more. But after a few mood drives, everyone came back in the evening for the long-awaited extra ride time on the curse of Novgorod. Some members even arranged to camp together and celebrated until late at night. Despite the rainy weather, it was an all-round successful day.
Not only the old hands were a household name in the forum. Another party developed this season, consisting of far younger members. They were affectionately called the frog group by some and consisted mainly of boys and girls who had just reached the age of entry into the forum. Some of those old hands had made it their task to make the frog group known to each other in the park, provided the parents gave their consent. Thus, the first cross-generational group was formed, which also met privately in real life.
In general, 2009 was a special year, characterized by many emotions, new friendships and a rapidly growing community. The five-year anniversary continued on this emotional wave. After a heartbreaking farewell on the last day of the season in 2009, many could hardly wait for the new season. A Christmas party and another trip to Copenhagen could help a little over the winter break. In the meantime, Novgorod's curse was no longer as much in focus as before. There was a lot of discussion and entertainment about everything: HANSA-PARK, amusement park and private.
The next generation of the HAPA Forum V3 has already been worked on in the background. Under the working title "Gerbil Project", a portal should pave the way for new extras and expand the already established forum. A historical database as well as an attraction gallery, gastronomy presentations, an event ticker and calendar, a news system, the popular Hapa counter and a chronicle of the forum were planned. For this Andrea became a permanent member of the team to create content for the V3 together.
Coincidentally, coincidental work was still being carried out in parallel on the completion of another project with similar endeavors, which bore the name Hansapark History. This mess of colors, crass colors, indefinable shapes, and clip art had been written by Nils. With the announcement of the V3, he sought contact with the forum management. He thought it appropriate to help the forum with the already finished content. Let's be honest, actually he just wanted to distinguish himself with the project. Without further ado, the name was changed to Hapa History and docked with the forum.
Unfortunately, the portal never made it ready for publication.
The first anniversary was nevertheless celebrated, especially on August 7 with over 40 registered guests. The summer meeting was packed with a program: a "Chinese rally" for the purpose of getting to know each other, mood drives to heat up, a large grill buffet in which everyone now participated and two ERTs. Premiere was also the first participation fee for a meeting in the history of the forum, which led to hair-raising discussions, leading to the suspicion that the team was going to pluck the money. In the end, nobody complained anymore. The group even stayed together throughout the day, which we still consider the most important feature of our meetings.
At the end of the season we looked back on five wonderful years full of expectations and emotions. The next five years are to follow, in the next chapter on the chronicle of the HAPA forum.