Eight rides will open at Dreamland this weekend

Dreamland Summer Social

Dreamland will open eight rides from Saturday (July 10) but others, including the Scenic Railway, will not return until next year.

A collection of eight specially selected amusement park rides have been commissioned for visitors to the Dreamland Summer Social programme to enjoy throughout the summer holidays.

Joining established classics such as the Waltzer, Scrambler Twist and Gallopers will be a  new attraction — The Ghost Train. Originally built in the 1960s the ride has been lovingly restored.

The Toytown Carousel and Austin Cars will be ready for younger riders while all the family can enjoy The Rocking Tug and a new Giant Dodgem Track with 20 superfast cars.

A previous statement from Dreamland said: ““We treasure our vintage rides but maintaining and operating the larger ones is an expensive labour of love. The cost of certifying the rides to adhere to modern health and safety regulations as well as rehiring and training hundreds of ride operators, is one that requires significant financial commitment long, long before reopening.

“Making such an outlay at a time of such uncertainty and accepting this level of loss would be a poor business decision for any organisation, but especially so for an independent business that has largely been without revenue since the start of the pandemic, and one not in receipt of any COVID-19 Government grants.”

Bosses at the amusement park say hosting events, rather than reopening all rides, is the right decision for 2021.

A statement previously issued said: “Unlike other large scale theme parks, the Dreamland estate has a very limited acreage, and does not allow guests to spread out adequately. Hosting events is the right decision for Dreamland in 2021 because capacity is easier to manage, and we can know who’s on site when.”

Rides for this summer will be available on a pay-per-ride basis with prices starting from £2.

Dreamland to open eight rides for visitors this Summer

Sale of Dreamland owning company means entire assets – park estate, hotel plot, car park, land – and option on Arlington on market


  1. Not much good anymore. Don’t know where they get that figure of training hundreds of ride operators from when only a few rides are working. Dreamland is not what it was or meant to be. It’s now just a venue for sporting and music events. Totally changed but the punters have no idea until they arrive that few rides exist, even with the free 4 million pounds given by the Town Deal team.

    With it being for sale on the market before the hotel is even built I can only imagine a developer will take control and sit on it for the 9 years left before building homes on the land.

    Thank you TDC for another great boo boo. Somebody is making a mint out of all these bad deals for the area.

    • If you’d ever attended any of the various meetings regarding the plans for dreamland, you’d realise that hosting music events was a massive part of the regeneration project.

      • Then why were these events then curtailed so soon after opening by the changes to the conditions placed on them .Capacity and performance times being the main changes (that i know of)
        The venues proposed uses , design and permissions were surely thoroughly assessed before it opened. The changes did nothing to improve the parks viability as a music venue , merely made it more difficult to make an event worthwhile.

      • You’re probably too young to remember, Jack, but the enthusiastically-received plans of 10 years ago were to create a heritage amusement park, celebrating and reviving many of Dreamland’s fabulous rides and attractions. That was crucial in attracting millions of pounds in grants. The company failed – and the park’s reinvention as a music venue bears little resemblance to what had been hoped for.

        • Mike, I’m 46.
          I was involved in the public and local business consultations.
          One of the proposals was to be able to use the site for “urban festivals”. The heritage theme park was just part of the larger plan.

  2. kent resident – very interesting article , and i dont doubt all very true , and as you say a prime example of land banking ! time will tell.

  3. Utter nonsense.

    In one sentence Dreamland says the park is not big enough for visitors to spread out and socially distance – and yet in the next sentence they say it is ok to host events . . . which involves corralling 800 people into a fenced area in front of the stage to watch football.

    With the scenic railway and the big wheel abandoned for this year – what is the betting that they will then become even more too expensive to maintain or repair next year ? ? ?

    Can anybody yet see where all this is leading ? ? ?

    • Probably exactly where intended the moment the original lease was extended at the last minute from 25 to 100 years, with little real thought as to the consequences. Effectively devaluing the freehold and strengtheing the lease. The park always looked incerdibly temporary with a really obvious boundary , that defines a much smaller Dreamland and a large development site.
      Licence changes meant that the council effectively made many events uneconomic, “By The Sea” being the obvious previously successful event that pulled out. Quite why thos ecapacity changes were needed so soon after the opening seems odd and almost as if failure was being baked in.
      When (iirc) the Gorriilaz played despite being incredibly busy the use of out of town coach parks meant that things went better than many expected , not been repeated since.
      Just remains to be seen what the owners master plan is and how its affected by what does or doesn’t sell. If the sale is genuine and not a ploy to try and demonstrate the portfolios lack of real value in order to try and finnagle decisions in the owners favour out of tdc.

  4. We were at Adventure island in Southend yesterday , it was very busy with all rides open , people enjoying them selves and seemingly social distancing too.

  5. Tdc have sold out not just Dreamland but Thanet as a whole.
    All these grants for arty farty,pc groups and improvements all for nothing. Thanet will never be anything more than a giant estate full of London’s unwanted, no jobs, no future , airport and Ramsgate docks lost because of narrow minded people. Nothing left for Thanet people, locals are ignored, bad decisions are rife and now I think it’s time to watch Thanet slowly sink into the sea.

  6. Jack is the only one talking any sense.

    The irony of the airport supporters claiming music events are too loud and not what local people want is truly ironic.

    Stop clinging on to the fact the port and airport are not best for Thanet. Margate and the “arty farty” types have proved we can be a great seaside area…. Plenty of big seaside towns don’t have a freight airport or port and thrive…. Even the ones that have an airport it isn’t the main source of jobs or the reason the town is a success. Stop blaming the fact some don’t want a freight airport.

    Travel around the country and see some towns can be a success without clinging to past failures.

  7. Gammon????? The racist buzzword towards Caucasians by arrogant, middle class prejudice judgemental types who get a kick out of throwing these insults when their questionable mental faculties can no longer cope with debate. Vile.

    • I’m incredibly sorry if my referring to slack jawed, inbred, nimby, red faced, xenophobes as gammons has offended your race of poorly educated, sausage fingered, shouty twats.
      Now get back in the fucking sea.

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