Dreamland and Margate are practically synonymous with each other – and now – Dreamland is back! After a multi-million pound investment, a fresh and imaginative re-envisioning and a lot of passion and hard work from local people, the doors opened once again yesterday, 19th June 2015.
It was an amazing day and we are excited to be able to tell you about this new attraction on our doorstep, which we’re sure many of you can’t wait to visit.
Margate has been on the up again for some time now. The regeneration of the Old Town and the opening of the Turner Contemporary Gallery, along with the new high speed rail link between all the Thanet towns and London have all made a big difference to the town’s fortunes. Lots of positive press and recent comments from our visitors all say the same thing: Margate is back on the map. But without Dreamland at its centre many people felt that something was still missing. The new look, retro-themed, amusement park is set to change all that – it’s a real delight!
The entrance is via Hall by the Sea Road, down the side of the iconic Dreamland cinema building on the seafront. Entering via the large glass doors we found ourselves first in an entrance foyer with a well stocked gift shop full of cleverly themed new and vintage items for sale. From ice cream cone shaped bottles of bubbles for £2, to quirky jewellery, to “scream if You Want to go Faster” tea towells in Dreamland font and distinctive pastel colours, we knew we’d find something fun to buy to remind us of our trip on the way out, but for now we hurried on through, past the vintage arcade games and Roller Rink in the free section of Dreamland, before the ticket barriers, eager to see the park itself.
Dreamland has created 250 new jobs and the staff were clearly all thrilled to be part of the historic reopening wreathed in smiles and jollying everyone along throughout our visit. Many of those working on the rides told us they had also worked at the park in their younger years and were delighted to be back there again. Entertainment included random staff performances of song and dance which added to the celebratory atmosphere. We couldn’t resist joining in as the whole merry go round burst into song, led by a comical chap dressed in a top hat and tails like an old style circus ringmaster – and later dancers mingled with the visitors and had many of us, adults and children alike, spontaneously dancing along with them beside the rides. There was a real party atmosphere.
Oh but the rides. They are what make Dreamland unique and oh-so-special. The restoration of the original wooden scenic railway, as the park’s centrepiece, has been the subject of much excitement for amusement park lovers worldwide and everyone locally, but it wasn’t ready in time for yesterday’s opening. Some wondered if that would put a dampener on the Dreamland experience for early visitors. Well we can assure you it didn’t! There were LOTS of other rides to go on and all were great fun. Our favourites were the Hurricane Jets, which you can control yourself, going up and down as high or low as you like as they spin around (pictured above).
Others were thrilled by the Crazy Mouse which is a spinning roller coaster style ride you need to be brave to go on! The dodgems were the bumpiest, funniest bumper cars we’ve ever been on, the Helter Skelter the highest and fastest we’d ever experienced, the Jumping Pirate Boats were just like being at sea me hearties and the small children who came with us loved the whole experience, there was lots for all ages, the tinies would have happily played for hours in the miniature vintage cars beneath the Monotopia…their little faces were all smiles the whole time we were there.
So we recommend you plan a visit for yourself. Once you’ve paid the entrance fee all rides are free, there are several food and drink outlets, all serving up seaside favourites including fish and chips and ice cream, but with plenty of variety. Entertainment this summer includes Messham’s Wall of Death displays which are not to be missed, other entertainment and new rides are being added all the time. You’ll have to book in advance to go to some of the themed club nights with the likes of Sink the Pink from London. Chas and Dave might not be busking at Margate station the day you come (as they did yesterday) but you know you want to get daaaan to Margate (as the song goes) and get some Dreamland action. If you’re staying in one of our comfortable holiday properties you can be in Margate in 5 minutes by train from Broadstairs – or cycle, bus or drive in just slightly longer.
Tags: accomodationChas and DaveCrazy MouseDreamlandHoliday letsHurricane JetsmargateScenic Railway