The number of people visiting Dreamland this year was doubled compared to last year and the park’s busiest year since reopening.
There have been more than 650,000 visitors in 2019 with the Margate amusement park and events space surpassing half a million visitors mid-August.
Just over 310,000 people visited the park across the summer, bringing the total number of visitors since the park opened for the 2019 season to 650,000 by September 2.
The park announced that it would be free to enter in April this year -waiving its £5 entry fee- with visitors now paying per ride, buying discounted wristbands online in advance or joining as members.
The opening Easter season broke all previous visitor number records with just over 15,000 people flocking to the park on Easter Sunday for the Camp Bestival takeover, and a 97% increase in visitor numbers overall during the Easter break – just under 50,000 in total – compared to 2018.
The park opened every weekend in May and June, and then daily during the school holidays, providing a programme of free festival-style entertainment for families. Highlights included live screenings of Glastonbury and the Love Island final, a new outdoor cinema club, the launch of the summer Roller Coast Festival, and the unveiling of the 7m ‘Tiina Turner’ head inflatable sculpture and karaoke booth.
Eddie Kemsley returned to the business as CEO in January 2019 to oversee the new direction of the park. She said: “Dreamland is having its busiest year since it reopened four years ago, it’s a staggering achievement by the whole team. The results surpassed even our own high expectations. We’re particularly pleased that numbers are spread across the year, with healthy numbers visiting in the quieter ‘off peak’ months too – which is great news for Margate tourism!
“We’ve absorbed to a lot of customer feedback from years gone by, and took a new direction with our entertainment and visitor offer this year. With the Camp Bestival Easter park takeover leading the way, we chose to build on our ‘all the fun of the festival’ moniker and create more regular, varied content that would give families a full programme of Dreamland branded events to enjoy. We also increased our food offer on the park, with great new street food stalls, vegan options, and a new restaurant on site in Café Barletta.
“The entire Dreamland team has put a lot of time and effort into getting our 2019 offer right for visitors. Operations have gone very smoothly, and our fantastic entertainments team keep the party going everyday on park.
“We have some big plans ahead for autumn, Christmas and – of course – our centenary year in 2020, but we’re certainly in high spirits down by the sea this summer.”
Dreamland Margate is free to enter, and is open on weekends only in September. It will then become scarefest Screamland on selected dates in October.
Negotiations are currently taking place for operator Sands heritage Ltd to buy the freehold for the entire Dreamland estate from Thanet council.
For more information and daily opening times, visit www.dreamland.co.uk.