The initial £7m relaunch in 2015 failed to succeed and the park went into administration in 2016
DREAMLAND in Margate loves an opening night.
It’s only two years after the theme park in Kent first reopened its doors after a multi-million pound restoration and it is having yet another launch party.
Despite big dreams and high expectations, the initial £7m relaunch in 2015 failed to succeed and the park went into administration in 2016.
According to reports, the previous summer had seen just half the expected number of visitors turn up try out the vintage amusement rides.
New owners took over once again and a hedge fund injected £25 million into the park to pay for another makeover.
The result is Dreamland mark III, which opens its doors on May 26.
It has been updated and re-landscaped during the winter to showcase the best selection of vintage rides, art installations, street food and live events.
The ride line-up now includes the Brooklands Speedway, Wedgwood Teacups and the Magic Mouse, and a new garden boardwalk gives visitors the chance to admire the antique menageries from the 1800s, capturing the fascinating history of the site.
Meanwhile, the food being served up includes pizza from wood-fired ovens, and Mexican tacos – said to be a vast improvement on the food offerings of the last two years.
On the seafront, the original Thirties Cinque Ports pub is being brought back to life – a haunt of mods and rockers in the Sixties, it will offer modern pub food with a front-row view of Margate seaside.
This summer will also see the opening of the region’s only rooftop bar, with fantastic views over the town’s skyline.
The park is free to enter and guests just pay per ride.
Dreamland started life as a dance hall, pleasure gardens and amusement park in the 1880s, but it was only given its official name in the 1920s.
The jewel in its crown was the mile-long wooden rollercoaster, The Scenic Railway.
Grade II listed, it is the oldest rollercoaster in the UK — and has been painstakingly restored after a fire in 2008.
After Dreamland closed in the early part of this century, it was a decade-long grass-roots campaign that brought it back, under the creative direction of artist Wayne Hemingway.
It reopened with 17 rides from each decade up to present day, from the 1930’s Kiss Me Quick Caterpillar, through the vintage children’s pedal cars of the 1940’s to the tea cup ride of the 1960’s.
As amusement parks go, it’s small but it packed a lot in, including rides, vintage arcade games and a retro-look roller disco.
But the park struggled to take off, despite its popularity with locals, Instagram-using fashionistas and fashion editors who used the site for photoshoots.
Guests complained that some of the rides weren’t always in use and the owners later complained that they hadn’t had enough cash to spend on the revamp.
Now though, the park is said to be restored to its former glory, with new rides, landscaping, a food court and the addition of a 15,000 capacity music venue, where Damon Albarn’s Gorillaz are hosting a music festival called Demon Dayz in June.
Steven Mitchell, Interim CEO at Dreamland Margate, said of the opening weekend in late May: “Our opening weekend celebrations are a sign of things to come at Dreamland.
‘We have curated a new age of seaside culture and are presenting something truly unique in Britain today, all while embracing our rich history.
‘We’re incredibly excited to relaunch the park and are sure it will have a lasting effect on local people and businesses. There’s a great future ahead.”