|Slogan||We cater for pleasure|
|Owner||Thanet District Council|
|Previous names||Bembom Brothers White Knuckle Theme Park|
Dreamland Margate is an amusement park and entertainment centre based on a traditional English seaside funfair located at Margate, Kent, England. The site of the park was first used for amusement rides in 1880, although the Dreamland name was not used until 1920 when the park's Grade II* listed Scenic Railway wooden rollercoaster was opened.
The number of amusements at the park increased during the 1960s and 1970s, and in 1981 the site was sold to the Dutch Bembom brothers, who renamed it "Bembom Brothers White Knuckle Theme Park". The name remained until it reverted to Dreamland in 1990.
In the early 2000s, the park began to enter into decline, and a number of rides were sold to other theme parks. The park's owner announced in 2003 that Dreamland would be closed and the site redeveloped, although the listing of the Scenic Railway meant it could not be moved. The site was sold to Margate Town Centre Regeneration Company in 2005, and this company proposed a residential redevelopment. A number of local residents then launched a campaign to restore and reopen Dreamland instead, although final closure was later in the same year. The site then fell into a state of disrepair as objections were raised to redevelopment plans, and was subject to a series of arson attacks including one which significantly damaged the Scenic Railway.
The public campaign to restore the park continued, and in September 2013, ownership passed to Thanet District Council after a compulsory purchase order was approved by a High Court judge. In 2014 it was confirmed that the park would be redeveloped. It re-opened in June 2015 as a "Re-imagined Dreamland". The operating company became insolvent in December 2015, but continued to operate under administration. A second refurbishment and relaunch took place in 2017, funded by the major creditor.
- 1 History
- 2 Rides and Attractions
- 3 Festivals
- 4 Sunset Sessions
- 5 Live Music
- 6 In popular culture
- 7 References
- 8 External links
The Dreamland site was a salt marsh known as the Mere that was inundated at high tide until 1809 when a causeway and seawall were built. In 1846 a railway terminus was built on the present Arlington site for the South Eastern Railway, followed in 1864 by a further terminus, for the rival London, Chatham and Dover Railway on the site of what is now Dreamland Cinema. The LCDR (under its subsidiary the Kent Coast Railway) completed this terminus in 1866, but no public service was ever offered. The junction faced Ramsgate, so a local Margate-Broadstairs-Ramsgate train service was envisaged.
Dreamland’s remote origins as an entertainment venue date from the same year, when London restaurateurs Spiers and Pond opened a restaurant and dance hall in the unused railway terminus on the Mere causeway. Not being very successful, this 'Hall by the Sea' was bought by the Reeve family of Margate in 1870 for £3,750, who also gradually acquired the low-lying land at the rear of the Hall.
In 1870, circus entrepreneur George Sanger went into partnership to run the 'Hall by the Sea' with Thomas Dalby Reeve, the then Mayor of Margate. After Reeve’s death in 1875, Sanger became the sole proprietor of the Hall and the land behind it. This land behind the Hall, the former 'Mere', was turned into pleasure gardens with a mock ruined abbey, lake, statues and a menagerie – as well as sideshows and roundabouts. Animal cages and Gothic walls on the present Dreamland western and southern boundaries (now listed Grade II) date from this time. The main purpose of the menagerie was to act as a breeding and training centre for animals used in Sanger's travelling circus.
The first amusement rides were installed as early as 1880 when 'Sea on Land' machines were installed. Passengers sat in ‘boats’ that were made by a system of levers to pitch and roll as though at sea – a direct antecedent of the contemporary ‘flight simulator’ rides. In 1893 a large skating rink was built. Shortly after this, the park gained some notoriety as the venue for the murder of a sex-worker by the local circus strong man.
Sanger died in 1911 during a scuffle arising from the attempted murder of a friend (although Sanger himself may have been the intended target), and the park entered an uncertain period as part of the attraction was the charisma of the man himself. In the end, the site was purchased from his estate in 1919 for £40,000 by John Henry Iles, who had already set up theme parks all over the world, including at Cairo, Berlin, Petrograd (now St Petersburg) and Pittsburgh.
Inspired by Coney Island, which he had visited in 1906, Iles renamed the site 'Dreamland' and initiated work on the construction of the Scenic Railway rollercoaster in 1919, having purchased the European rights to the Scenic Railway design from inventor and patent holder LaMarcus Adna Thompson. The ride opened to the public in 1920 with great success, carrying half a million passengers in its first year. Iles also brought to the park other rides common to the time including a smaller roller coaster, the Joy Wheel, Miniature Railway, The Whip, and the River Caves.
A ballroom was constructed on the site of the skating rink in 1920, and in 1923 Iles built his variety cinema on the site. (In 1926, he was also responsible for the building of Margate's lido on the seafront.) Between 1920 and 1935 he invested over £500,000 in the site, constantly adding new rides and facilities and culminating in the construction of the Dreamland cinema complex in 1934. Iles ceased to be a director in 1938 and the business was taken over by his son Eric.
Three generations of the Iles family – John Henry, Eric, and John – controlled Dreamland from 1919 until its sale in 1968. The new owners, Associated Leisure, introduced many innovations to Dreamland, including squash courts and, in an echo of the Sanger era, an ice rink and zoo. Much of the planting of the pleasure gardens dating from the 1870s survived until the 1970s when the gardens were removed and the rides expanded. 1976 saw the debut of a revolutionary new ride, the 'Orbiter', unveiled by travelling showman and Dreamland lessee Henry Smith, a ride which went on to become highly successful in other amusement parks and travelling fairs around the world. Smith, himself a descendant of George Sanger, also had a Skid, Waltzer, Speedway, Tip Top, and another Orbiter up until the park's change of ownership in 1981. 1980 saw the opening of a 240-seater 148 ft high Big wheel.
Dreamland was purchased by the Dutch Bembom Brothers in 1981. They owned several other amusement parks in continental Europe and renamed the site Bembom Brothers White Knuckle Theme Park, bringing in a new headline attraction in the form of the Anton Schwarzkopf-designed Looping Star roller coaster. The name change lasted until 1990, when it reverted to Dreamland. Other changes they made included ceasing evening hours and charging for admission, rather than per ride. They also introduced many new ‘high-tech’ rides that updated the park and made it, by the late 1980s, one of the top ten most visited tourist attractions in the United Kingdom.
In common with other traditional British seaside resorts, Margate's economic base depended on residential holidaymakers staying for several days, usually families holidaying for a week or more. This was supplemented by day-trippers on weekends and public holidays, when the resort could become very busy. With the rise of cheap package holidays abroad from the Sixties, however, the residential holiday trade progressively collapsed in the Seventies. This meant that footfall at entertainment venues in these resorts, such as Dreamland, declined sharply on summer weekdays while remaining relatively buoyant at weekends.
Day-tripper trade at Margate remained substantial, but the loss of holiday revenue meant that the town began to struggle to maintain its infrastructure. This, in turn, started to affect its attractiveness as a day destination. However, the investment by Bembom Brothers indicates that this was not regarded as an appreciable threat to Dreamland at the beginning of the Eighties.
More immediately serious was the opening of much larger amusement parks closer to London, on expansive sites and with ample vehicle parking. Thorpe Park opened in 1979, and Chessington World of Adventures in 1987. At this time, the fastest train journey from London to Margate was just under two hours, and Dreamland has never had any public on-site parking.
In 1996 the Bembom family sold the site to local entrepreneur Jimmy Godden, who had previously operated the Rotunda Amusement Park at Folkestone and Ramsgate Pleasure Park at Ramsgate. At this time, most of the rides they owned were relocated. The 'Looping Star (Great America)' went to an amusement park in Budapest together with the looping boat ride The Mary Rose. The Looping Star's sister ride made a brief appearance for two seasons at Margate (previously at Camelot Theme park) before leaving again for its current home, Loudon Castle theme park, where it is called the Twist 'n' Shout.
After his purchase of the park, Godden was able to secure European and regional grant aid to assist in an initial £3m redevelopment. However, during Godden's tenure many of the rides were sold off, including the big wheel which had dominated the Margate skyline for two decades but was dismantled and sold to a park in Mexico.
In 2003, Godden announced that Dreamland would close down and the land would be redeveloped. A vocal section of public opinion supported continued use of the Dreamland site as an amusement park, along with a government report in 2004.
After the closure announcement, Dreamland was sold to Margate Town Centre Regeneration Company (MTCR) in 2005 for £20m. A number of local residents then formed the 'Save Dreamland Campaign'. The campaign proposed to turn Dreamland into a heritage amusement park, consisting of a number of vintage rides and attractions from other British amusement parks. Some rides were obtained by Save Dreamland and placed in storage.
Although it was initially announced that Dreamland would close in November 2003, it operated during 2004 and 2005. Definitive closure to the public was in 2005 and all of the rides apart from the Scenic Railway were then removed from the site. The Scenic Railway had been granted Grade-II listed status in 2002, and so could not be moved or dismantled.
Part of the Scenic Railway was damaged by fire after an arson attack on 7 April 2008. About 25 per cent of the structure, boarding station, storage sheds, and trains were destroyed and had to be removed as irreparable. The physical security of the site was upgraded, and the surviving structure surveyed. Some of the surviving machinery and chassis from the cars were salvaged and stored on site. Another suspected arson attack was carried out on the site on 28 May 2014, but this was confined to a disused building near the Scenic Railway.
On 25 April 2008 the Dreamland cinema's Listed building status increased from Grade II (buildings of special architectural or historic interest) to Grade II* (particularly significant buildings of more than local interest). The cinema, which featured a Compton theatre organ, was closed in 2007 following the opening of a new multiplex cinema at Westwood Cross. The buildings were placed under renovation and the Dreamland sign on the front tower has been refurbished with LED lighting and shines brightly at night.
The defunct cinema was sold by MTCR, by then renamed DreamlandLive Ltd. This was before the result of a court appeal by this company to stop Thanet District Council taking possession of the theme park under a compulsory purchase order, served in June 2011. The CPO was approved in August 2012.
The success of the Save Dreamland Campaign in attracting public awareness led to the establishment of the Dreamland Trust, a registered charity, in 2007 to co-ordinate a re-opening project.
A total of £18m in public funding was subsequently awarded to the project, to restore, preserve and maintain the listed structures, which included the Scenic Railway, menagerie cages and some of the internal building spaces. This money was also used to purchase five heritage rides.
On 16 November 2009, the Dreamland Trust was awarded a grant of £3m by the Heritage Lottery Fund with further funding of £3.7m and £4m coming from the UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport and Thanet District Council respectively, to restore the Scenic Railway and to develop the former Dreamland site as necessary for rejuvenation.
The Scenic Railway was regarded as being the focus of the rejuvenation of Dreamland as a heritage amusement park. Work began in September 2014, with a complete refurbishment of the track and new trains being built.
Some historic rides from other parks were donated to the Dreamland Trust and put in storage for restoration at a later date. The majority of unique old rides at Pleasureland Southport were donated, which included the 1940s Caterpillar ride, King Solomon's Mines wooden roller-coaster (formerly of Frontierland, Morecambe and later moved to Pleasureland Southport), workings from the Ghost Train and River Caves, the Hall of Mirrors, Mistral, Haunted Swing and the Skyride (Chairlift ride). The Junior Whip which stood at Blackpool Pleasure Beach was also donated.
Wayne Hemingway, his wife Gerardine, and the 'HemingwayDesign' team were appointed as designers of the envisaged new Dreamland in 2012. This includes the creative vision for re-imagination and branding.
An additional £10m in private funding was invested in the re-opening of Dreamland by the commercial operators chosen to run it, Sands Heritage Ltd. These funds were used to introduce a collection of 17 additional rides to create the amusement park, as well as a Roller Disco & Diner, Amusement Arcade, Vintage Pin Ball Arcade, Dreamland Emporium and The Octopus's Garden. The running agreement between Sands Heritage and Thanet District Council involved the former taking out a 99-year lease of the freehold property owned by the council as a result of the CPO, while the council remained responsible for certain aspects of repair and maintenance including as regards the Scenic Railway. Part of the capital raised by Sands Heritage was a £600 000 short-term secured loan from Arrowsmith Master Fund, an investment company based in the Cayman Islands. This company also held 31% of the share capital of Sands Heritage.
Opening of Re-imagined Dreamland
The park's centrepiece, the Scenic Railway, was still in the process of being rebuilt by Thanet District Council. It opened to the public only on 17 October 2015, owing to delays in rebuilding the train carriages. Member and press previews took place on 16 October 2015. Sands Heritage put in a claim for lost revenue as a result of the delay, which was settled in November with a compensation payment by TDC to Sands Heritage after the delay to opening the Scenic Railway forced the company into administration.
On 8 December 2015, Sands Heritage were forced to apply to the High Court for a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) in relation to a debt of £2.9m owed to Arrowgrass. At a meeting on 23 December 2015 the company's creditors agreed to accept the CVA, allowing the company more time to pay off its existing debts. The insolvency administrators appointed in the CVA were Duff & Phelps.
The financial failure was attributed primarily to the number of visitors in the summer season of 2015 being half of what was predicted for the capital structuring of the project. Media reports estimated the cash loss suffered by the company as being on the order of £5 million. The major contributing factor for visitor shortfall was the delay of the Scenic Railway project, leading to a premature opening when preparatory works were incomplete. The management team and the administrators, Duff & Phelps, abolished the entry fee to drive footfall.
In August 2016, the CEO of Dreamland, Eddie Kemsley, resigned. A creditors' meeting held in August 2016 revealed that creditors were owed £8.34m, with Sands Heritage having an overall balance sheet shortfall of £14m (£10m of which reflected the investment made by Sands Heritage themselves). An auditors' report to Thanet District Council in December that year revealed that several of these creditors were small local businesses with little hope of any repayment.
The administrators initially expressed their hope that Dreamland as a business could be sold as a going concern in March 2017. Their half-yearly report to creditors (December 2015 to June 2016) when they revealed that operating losses during the period were over £1m or about £41 000 per week. Factors cited included bad weather in early summer and the failure of the Scenic Railway in mid-June.
The Scenic Railway had been restored by Thanet District Council following the arson attack. The ride is powered by cable haulage, a rare form of traction worldwide, and the wrong sort of cable had been specified. The skills required were so specialist that sourcing them was only successful after the summer season was over. The administrators indicated their intention to seek compensation for the failure.
Arrowgrass covered the operating losses for the summer season of 2016 with a further loan of £1m, secured on the premises of 49–51 Marine Terrace. An extension of the administration period was sought, and granted.
The investment company had increased its lending to just under £10m, to allow for a re-vamp of the business. The new loan was used to re-landscape the site and to add new rides, with refurbishment of the Cinque Ports pub.
The improved park was announced as reopening on 28 April 2017; however this was later delayed to 26 May. A major new feature was the increased capacity as music venue, and in July 2017 the park hosted a sold out concert with Gorillaz attended by 15,000 people.
In October 2017 the park exited administration. The park added nine new rides in 2018, and reverted to a free-to-enter price model for its 2019 season opening. The company reported its most successful year to date September 2019, with more than 650,000 visitors during that year.
Rides and Attractions
|Scenic Railway||J.H. Iles (rebuilt by WGH Engineering)||Wooden Roller Coaster||1920 (Rebuilt in 2015)|
|Air Force||Soriani||Zamperla Air Race 8.2 (Trailer model)||2018|
|Austin Cars||Hayes Fabrications. Refurbished by Littleboy's Vintage Restorations||Car Ride||2015|
|Beehive Coaster||D.P.V Rides "Big Apple" type Roller Coaster. Relocated from Luna Park Sunny Beach (Bulgaria)||Roller Coaster||2015|
|The Big Wheel||Technical Park refurbished by Amusement Technical, relocated from Sofia Land, Bulgaria||Ferris Wheel||2015|
|Born Slippy||Harry Steer Engineering (1989), refurbished by Amusement Technical. Relocated from Paulton's Park.||Astroglide (slide)||2015|
|Chair-O-Plane||Fritz Bothmann. Refurbished by Littleboy's Vintage Restorations||Chair Swing||2016|
|Cyclone Twist||Edwin Hall||Twist (ride)||2017|
|Dodgems||Phillip Tew (Structure) - 1946. S.D.C (Cars). Refurbished by Littleboy's Vintage Restorations||Dodgems||2015|
|The Double Decker||Orton & Spooner. Refurbished by Littleboy's Vintage Restorations||Carousel||2015|
|Dreamcatcher||Soriani||Zamperla Endeavour (Trailer model)||2018|
|Dreamland Drop||Zamperla||Drop tower (43m)||2018|
|The Gallopers||Savage. Refurbished by Littleboy's Vintage Restorations||Carousel||2015|
|Helter Skelter||Gravitron||Helter Skelter||2015 (SBNO)|
|Hurricane Jets||Lang Wheels – 1958. Refurbished by Littleboy's Vintage Restorations||Zodiac Jets||2015|
|Jumpin' Star||Zamperla||Jumpin' Star||2015|
|Mary Rose||Children's Play Area||2015|
|Mirror Maze||Dreamland||Mirror Maze||2015|
|Motorcycle Speedway||Orton & Spooner Ark (Number 55) – 1937. Refurbished by Littleboy's Vintage Restorations||Speedway Ark||2015|
|Pendulum||Soriani||Zamperla Midi-Discovery Revolution 16||2018|
|Pinball X||Zamperla||Spinning Wild Mouse (Twister Coaster 420STD)||2018|
|Rock The Boat||Zamperla||Rockin' Tug||2018|
|Soaring Seagulls||Zamperla||Magic Bikes||2018|
|Swing Boats||Swing Boats||2015|
|Up, Up and Away!||Zamperla||Samba Balloons||2018|
|Waltzer||R.J. Lakin (1947), relocated from Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach||Waltzer||2016|
|Wedgewood Teacups||Amusement Technical||Midi-Teacups||2017|
|Ali Baba||A.R.M.||Ali Baba||1998-2000 (Relocated to Funland Park, Folkestone)|
|Astroglide||Bennett||Astroglide (slide)||1973-1995 (Scrapped)|
|Astroliner||Robin G. Mitchell||Simulator||1978-1981|
|Barrel of Laughs||Charlie Smith (1988)||Rotor||2015-2016 (On Loan from David Wallis Jr.)|
|Ben Hur||Huss||Swirl/Skid/Ben Hur||1984-1990s (Scrapped)|
|Big Apple||Pinfari||Big Apple Roller Coaster MB28||≤1986-1994|
|Big Wheel||Metrim Precision, under license from Vekoma||Ferris Wheel||1980 - 1997 (Relocated to Salitre Mágico, Colombia)|
|Blue Coaster||L&T Systems||Mini Roller Coaster||2001-2003 (Relocated to Digital Land, Saudi Arabia)|
|Bounty||Huss||Pirate Ship||1996-2002 (Relocated to Loudoun Castle, Scotland)|
|Brooklands Speedway||Lang Wheels (1938). Refurbished by Littleboy's Vintage Restorations||Monte Carlo Rally||2017-2017. On site, removed due to technical issues. In storage.|
|Calypso Twist||Emmo Kreekel||Twist||1983-1983 (Relocated to Rotunda Amusement Park, Folkestone)|
|Caterpillar||Spillman Engineering||Caterpillar||1922-1980 (Scrapped)|
|Crazy Caterpillar||Unknown||Big Apple Roller Coaster||During 2005|
|Crazy Mouse||Reverchon||Spinning Roller Coaster||During 2015 (Owned by UK Showman, Darren Matthews)|
|Cyclone||Pinfari||Zyklon Z40 Roller Coaster||1970s|
|Dragon||Unknown||Powered Roller Coaster||2004|
|Crazy Horse||Zierer/Huss||Carousel||1990s-1995 (Relocated to OK Corral, France)|
|Enterprise||Huss||Enterprise||2016-2017 (Owned by UK showman Paul Hart. Relocated to Southport Pleasureland)|
|Flying Coaster||Pollard Engineering||Flying Coaster||1976-1977|
|Flying Fantasy Animals||I.E. Park||Jets||2001-2005 (Relocated to Harbour Park)|
|Frisbee||Fabbri||Frisbee||2001-2002 (Relocated to Pleasurewood Hills)|
|Gallopers||Howcroft Carriage Works||Carousel||c.1951-1981 (Relocated to Rotunda Amusement Park)|
|Gallopers||Savage||Carousel||1997-2002 (Sold to John H. Rundle)|
|Gallopers||Savage||Carousel||1999-1999 (Relocated to Wheelgate Adventure Park)|
|Gallopers||John Allen||Carousel||1999-1999 (Relocated to Symonds Yat Leisure Park)|
|Gallopers||John H. Rundle||Carousel||1999-1999 (Relocated to Billing Aquadrome)|
|Ghost Train||Supercar||Tracked Dark Ride||1975-1985 (Relocated to Rotunda Amusement Park)|
|Happy Caterpiller||Unknown||Big Apple Roller Coaster||2016 (Owned by UK Showman, Paul Hart)|
|Hanseatic||Huss||Pirate Ship||1982-1985 (Relocated to Southport Pleasureland)|
|Heatwave||Schwarzkopf||Apollo 14||1985-1995 (Relocated to Lightwater Valley and then to Loudon Castle)|
|Helter Skelter||Supercar||Helter Skelter||1999-2004 (Travelling, UK)|
|Hurricane Jets||Lang Wheels (1956)||Jets||1956-1981|
|Jumping Ships||Preston & Barbieri||Jump & Smile||2015-2016 (Purchased from Sofia Land, Bulgaria. Relocated to M&D's Scotland's Theme Park)|
|King Kong Horror Haus||Mack Rides||Tracked Dark Ride||1999-2004|
|Kiss Me Quick||Bertazzon||Musik Express||2015-2016 (Purchased from Sofia Land, Bulgaria. Relocated to M&D's Scotland's Theme Park)|
|Ladybird||Zierer||Tivoli (Large) Roller Coaster||≤1986-1998|
|Lightning Swirl||R.J. Lakin (1938)||Swirl/Skid/Ben Hur||1971-1981|
|Log Drop||Reverchon||Log Flume||1996-2003 (Travelling, Ireland)|
|Looping Star||Schwarzkopf||"Looping Star" Roller Coaster||1981-1994 (Relocated to Loudoun Castle (Scotland), Holnemvolt Park (Hungary), and now Lion Park Resort (Botswana) as "Gwazi")|
|Looping Star||Schwarzkopf||"Silver Arrow" Roller Coaster||2001-2002 (Relocated to Loudoun Castle (Scotland), and now Fun Park Biograd (Croatia) as "Big Blue")|
|Looping Star||Pinfari||ZL-42 Roller Coaster||1999-2001 (Relocated to Camelot Theme Park, Playground Varna (Bulgaria), and then Luna Park Sunny Beach, (Bulgaria))|
|Magic Mouse||Reverchon||Spinning Roller Coaster||2017-2018 (Owned by UK showman, James Mellors. Relocated to Fantasy Island as "Ice Mountain")|
|Mary Rose||Weber||Ranger||1983-1995 (Operating at Lightwater Valley as "The Black Pearl")|
|Meteor||Bennett||Round-Up||1978-1988 (Travelling, UK)|
|Melodie Swing||Schwarzkopf||Lifting Paratrooper||1983-2000 (Exported to Russia)|
|Monotopia||Cycle Monorail Ride||2015-2016 (Purchased from Sofia Land, Bulgaria)|
|Orbiter||Tivoli||Orbiter||1976-1979 (First Orbiter made by UK manufacturer Tivoli. Currently travelling in Malaysia)|
|Orbiter||Tivoli||Orbiter||1980-1981 (Relocated to Tramore Amusement Park)|
|Phantom Express||Hayes Fabrication (c.1961)||Tracked Dark Ride||2015-2016 (Stored)|
|Racing Coaster||Unknown||Wooden side friction roller coaster||1922-1975|
|River Caves||Unknown||Scenic Boat Ride||1924-1983 (Scrapped)|
|Rotor||Orton & Spooner||Rotor||1975-1981 (Relocated to Kursaal Amusement Park)|
|Satellite||Bennett||Trabant/Satellite||1965-1977 (Relocated to Spanish City Amusement Park)|
|Skull Rock||Zamperla||Sea Storm||2001-2004 (Relocated to Loudoun Castle, now operating at Lightwater Valley)|
|Sky Wheels||Jack Ratcliffe||Sky Wheels||1953-1976 (Exported to Netherlands)|
|Sombrero||Soriani & Moser||Polyp||2001-2004|
|Space Walk||Modern Products||Jolly Tubes||1980-1981 (Travelling, UK)|
|Stowaway||W.G.H. Transportation||Scenic Boat Ride||1996-2004 (Relocated to Loudoun Castle)|
|Super Twist||Walldren Engineering||Twist||1972-1981 (Relocated to Rotunda Amusement Park)|
|Tip Top||Tivoli||Tip Top/Force 10||1980-1981 (Relocated to Peter Pan's Playground)|
|Top Spin||Huss||Top Spin||2015-2016 (Previously owned by UK showman Paul Hart. Now owned by the Picci family, travelling in Italy)|
|Tri-Star||Huss||Tri-Star||1982-1995 (Relocated to Funland Park, Folkestone)|
|Troika||Huss||Troika||1983-1997 (Relocated to Selva Magica, Mexico)|
|Vintage Caterpillar||Refurbished by Littleboy's Vintage Restorations||Caterpillar||Previously owned by Percy Cole. Delivered 2018, operated very briefly at the end of August 2018. Standing but not operating until removal due to technical issues in July 2019. On site, in storage.|
|Waltzer||Maxwell||Waltzer||1996-2000 (Burnt out - Scrapped for parts)|
|Waltzer||Maxwell (1977)||Waltzer||2001-2003 (Relocated to Blackpool South Pier)|
|Water Chute||Samuel Butler||Water Chute||1977-1995|
|Waveswinger||Zierer||Waveswinger||1984-1984 (Relocated to OK Corral, France)|
|Waveswinger||Zierer||Waveswinger||2015 (Relocated from Flamingo Land. Partially constructed, stored, then scrapped)|
|Whirlwind Racer||Unknown||Twin tracked powered roller coaster||~1958|
|Wild Mouse||Maurer Rides GmbH||Wild Mouse roller coaster||≤1998-2004 (Relocated to Loudoun Castle, Holiday Park (Germany), and now Eifel Park (Germany) as Käpt'n Jack's Wilde Maus)|
|Zeppelin||Schwarzkopf||Observation Tower||1987-1991 (Relocated to Pleasurewood Hills)|
On 14 September 2018 the National Citizen Service hosted their graduation ceremony at Dreamland, at which 700 Kent and Sussex teens graduated from the employability programme. Each received a signed certificate from the Prime Minister.
On 31 August 2019, We R FSTVL & CODA partnered with Dreamland to bring some of Drum & Bass’s biggest artists to Kent, with RAM Records head honcho Andy C & Tonn Piper headlining the Scenic Stage alongside Wilkinson (musician) & MC AD-PT, The Prototypes & 2Shy MC, DJ Hazard & IC3 and Harriet Jaxxon.
On 28th September 2019, Dreamland partnered with Boiler Room (music project) to bring Drum & Bass heavyweights across 2 rooms, including Goldie, DJ Storm, Blocks & Escher, Pessimist and Vega, Overlook b2b Karim Maas, gremlinz b2b Holsten and Clarity b2b Outer Heaven. The event was live streamed by Boiler Room to a global audience.
The main park adopted a family festival format in 2019, adding the Ships and Giggles (May half-term) and Roller Coast Festival (summer holidays) to its programmes. The festivals were focused on free family entertainment.
Performed in 2017: Jess Glynne, Faithless (DJ Set ft. Sister Bliss), Danny Howard (from Radio 1), Kideko, Dave Rowntree vs Tim Burgess, Dub Pistols, Trojan Sound System, TCTS, Sam and the Womp, The Cuban Brothers, Kioko, The Correspondents, Slaves (UK band).
Performed in 2018: Orbital (Live), Hawkwind, Pete Tong, Groove Armada (DJ Set), Fleetmac Wood, Gaz Coombes (Solo), Lee "Scratch" Perry, Levellers, Ray Keith, Shogun Audio, LSB, DJ Oblivion, The Rifles, Pendulum (drum and bass band) (DJ Set), Dimension, Friction, Hannah Wants, Turno, Chase and Status (DJ Set), Sigma (DJ Set), Basement Jaxx (DJ Set), Hedkandi, Shapes, Roul3tte, Big Narstie.
Performing in 2019: Craig Charles, Annie Mac, Rudimental (DJ Set), Andy C & Tonn Piper, Wilkinson (musician), Pete Tong, Happy Mondays, 808 State, Mac DeMarco, A Guy Called Gerald, SASASAS (Macky Gee, DJ Phantasy, Harry Shotta, Skibadee, Shabba D), Turno, K Motionz, Mel C, Jo Whiley.
In popular culture
Dreamland was the subject of a 1953 documentary film, O Dreamland. It was also visited by characters in the 1989 Christmas special of the BBC Television sitcom Only Fools and Horses titled "The Jolly Boys' Outing". Some of the rides seen in the sitcom were renamed and repainted at Loudoun Castle Theme Park in Scotland (now closed). The Mary Rose was renamed the Black Pearl and is now at Lightwater Valley in North Yorkshire. In an episode of British sitcom One Foot in the Grave titled "Dreamland", during a conversation with Victor, Margaret recalls the couple visiting Margate and Dreamland on their third anniversary.
The Romford-based band Five Star shot the majority of the video for their 1984 single "Crazy" at Dreamland.
On 26 September 2017, the Sky Mobile iPhone 8 commercial was shot at Dreamland.
- "Keys to Margate's Dreamland handed to council". BBC News. 3 September 2013.
- "Dreamland boss Eddie Kemsley leaves chief executive job at Margate theme park". Retrieved 16 August 2016.
- Railway Times, Vol. 28 1865 p. 351
- The Art Journal London, Vol. 5 1866
- Mills, Magnus (18 June 1994). "The Things I've Seen: Margate Scenic Railway". The Independent. London. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
- Assael, Brenda (September 2004), "Sanger, George (1825?–1911)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 1, doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/35940, retrieved 22 June 2010
- The Prince's Regeneration Trust: Dreamland, Margate Conservation Statement
- Paul Angel photograph, Margate Dreamland Amusement Park, 1980
- Paul Angel photograph, Margate Dreamland Amusement Park, 1980
- Dick Price photograph, Margate Amusement Park, 1978
- Dick Price photograph, Nottingham Goose Fair, 1980
- "www.nfa.dept.shef.ac.uk/history/rides/orbiter.html". Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
- 1989 Bembom Brothers White Knuckle Theme Park Flyer. Archived Copy Archived 28 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
- 1990 Dreamland White Knuckle Theme Park Flyer. Archived Copy Archived 28 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
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