One of my all time favourites: The “Miniatur Wunderland” in Hamburg/Germany, supposedly the largest miniature railway attraction in the world. And there are not only trains, there are cars, container ships and even airplanes moving around, fully automated. See for yourself in their official video on YouTube:
I hv been there 3-4 times in the past 10 years – the kids loved it, and I loved it even more. You can definetely spend more than one day in there and always find more and more fascinating details.
Miniatur Wunderland Shanghai
I havent seen anything similar in Shanghai. Well, there was the “Christmas Train” in the Hilton Hotel lobby every year (old video from 2008) and we enjoyed that display every year. Compared to the Wunderland it was tiny but nevertheless a miniature railway sytem. Believe it or not, it has been cancelled this year. How long did it run ? 10 years ? Too sad.
Now living in Shanghai since 1999 I already had this idea several years ago: Why not set up such a “Wunderland” in Shanghai ? I am sure the Chinese audience would just love it. Imagine a replica of PuDong with the highrises of LuJiaZhui, HuangPu River and the Bund, the MagLev, PuDong Airport and and the Yangshan Deep Water Port – all miniaturized to HO scale. Add the HongQiao Hub in another display and then some models of Switzerland or Germany to showcase further landscapes. Special areas could show the railway to Tibet – the highest in the world.
I think it would just work out perfectly and add another major tourist attraction to Shanghai while she is evolving to be more and more of a tourist attraction every year; just to mention a few: the F1 Race Track, Disney Land opening soon, Sea World, dozens of Museums, the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center on Peoples Square, the Expo 2010 Site …among many others.
UPDATE 07/2014: I contacted Wunderland Hamburg and asked them whether they would be interested in a another Wunderland in Shanghai. They wrote to me, that they want it to be unique and do not plan to open any further Wunderland in any other country.