Kent On Line Comments

The Save Dreamland Campaign was launched by Joyland Books in January 2003 and is now supported by several thousand people. This is the place to discuss all aspects of saving Margate's famous amusement park and its iconic , Grade II listed Scenic Railway, Britain's oldest roller coaster.

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Kent On Line Comments

Postby Cheryl » 24 Jun 2015, 19:26

Looking at Kent On Line a little earlier, I picked up the thread about the opening of Dreamland and went on to read the comments. Some were off topic but most were actually of support, there was one particular bashing by someone saying it was a wasted day, a let down and (in block capitals) urging people not to go and save their money. If only people could realise this is only phase one and be a little more patient. Still I suspect we all realised this sort of thing would happen.

Keep on dreaming!
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Re: Kent On Line Comments

Postby aweber1us » 24 Jun 2015, 21:30

In my eyes it was not about the rides.Dreamland has got its heart beat back, the people that worked there and the ones that visited had a great day. One of many for us
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Re: Kent On Line Comments

Postby Phillerz » 25 Jun 2015, 11:57

Firstly i want to say i fully support all that is happening.

However on speaking to my friends i know alot of them share the... not so optimistic view. Many will not even go as thorpe park is close and the park does not compete, my family wont as most wont want to ride on the rides but would like to wonder around and the remaining have said that what dreamland needs is one more big ride to justify the cost. I think 90% of negative comments come down to either too higher expectation or/and the fact the scenic was not running on opening.

The overall verdict online (even when ignoring these forums) comes out as a positive for the park. And with that im sure it will be a success :D
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Re: Kent On Line Comments

Postby AJ » 25 Jun 2015, 21:15

What we have to remember is we have been members of the campaign, some of us for many years so our expectations are different from your average member of the public. What the public is expecting is something more along the lines of the 80'/90's Dreamland. I've lost count of how many times I read people asking is the Mary Rose or Looping Star back.

I've read some pretty fierce blogs regarding the opening but I think the one linked below is the worst. They are just a normal member of the public who hasn't followed the campaign and attended on a whim.

http://onegoatshort.blogspot.co.uk/2015 ... -were.html

I hope Sands are trawling the net and reading these comments & blogs and come back fighting. I also hope they contact some of the authors of the blogs and invite them back when Dreamland is in full motion.

The blog below does concern me as I've heard and read some of what's mentioned myself and I must say Sands & the fact that there is possibly a fall back plan with regards to developing the site is worrying.

http://greentargett.com/2015/06/13/drea ... nabulance/
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/ ... ing-663016
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Re: Kent On Line Comments

Postby vann98 » 26 Jun 2015, 09:17

But the local plan T8 isn't anything new. It's been around for years and I would seriously doubt it is a cause for concern. I would assume it is standard procedure to have a back up plan. I would be more surprised if they didn't have one. That is just how I see it anyway.
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Re: Kent On Line Comments

Postby EAS » 26 Jun 2015, 10:00

I've got more to say on this, later, but as the cinema, the Scenic and the lion cages / wall are all listed, cinema & Scenic at II* cages at II, and together they also form an important group showing the development of what Nick's research shows IS the oldest amusement park in UK, any development on site would have to have the listing, conservation and their setting taken into consideration.

Stuffing houses on site around them isn't likely to enhance the setting or help conserve seriously important heritage buildings and structures, so let's not get too concerned.

Let's also remember this was opening weekend. It was made very clear on Dreamland website and on displays that this is phased re-opening. When it was clear some rides weren't going to be ready, more were brought in. Anyone claiming the opening should have been postponed hasn't thought this through. I'd booked a pet hotel, and would have been hard to cancel, a Premier Inn at non refundable rate, and all the rest...I would have been pretty p**d off it suddenly told it was a no go... cancellation fees of entertainers and re-booking, if possible, paying wages to those not working, so much people haven't thought through.

There's more to Dreamland than the amusement park and there's a programme of other entertainment planned throughout the summer too.

http://www.dreamland.co.uk/events

I paid £14.95 each for tickets, paid in advance via the website, and had a great day. Split that up among the rides and Wall of Death the Punch & Judy (free) and it was pretty remarkable value IMO. Last Punch & Judy show I saw recently (I'm a great puppet fan) cost a fiver each. How much is the Wall of Death as a stand alone attraction normally?

Hullabaloo was a sellout. There were local Margate people trying to get tickets on the day who couldn't. Given the quality of entertainment on offer AND the fact the rides were open for much of the evening, I recall saying goodbye to Dave Collard as he was still checking seat belts on the Jets, for those with stamina and the desire to have fun it was FANTASTIC value.

And I had no problems finding a lav, there were four in the building, a block of portables just outside it, and a bank of site Portlaoos.

I also went to the Grayson Perry exhibition at the Turner. The regeneration that's going on around the Turner, radiating out along the harbour arm, seafront, and the old town is remarkable. I'm sure it will be the same with Dreamland. Who knows, maybe the Arlington arcade will re-open with bijou shops and offerings. Better than the planned & thankfully binned Tesco!
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Re: Kent On Line Comments

Postby SuburbanHomeboy » 26 Jun 2015, 18:09

AJ wrote:I've read some pretty fierce blogs regarding the opening but I think the one linked below is the worst. They are just a normal member of the public who hasn't followed the campaign and attended on a whim.

http://onegoatshort.blogspot.co.uk/2015 ... -were.html


So annoyed by this blog - not least because it went purely for the negatives, but also because they haven't published any of my comments. The comments section speaks for itself. One commenter says "I am local too and lots of us would have liked an ice rink there as this could have been a real 'all round year' attraction for families." to which the blogger basically responds "I agree". No mention of the fantastic roller-skating facility - or did it HAVE to be ice? I tried to point this out, but my response wasn't published.

The snotty comment about the short queue for tickets needed taking to task as well - the reason was down to the vast majority of visitors booking in advance online. I'm pretty sure there weren't many in the park who hadn't planned the day out in advance, especially with it being a Friday.

I do have to agree with the pole dancing, however. Yes, that photo they used of the pole dancer wasn't particularly becoming, but they shouldn't have been able to take such a photograph so darned easily in the first place. I understand that it was some kind of fitness club, rather than a "gentleman's entertainment club", but in that case, they should have worn more appropriate fitness-style clothing and it would have been far more, erm, palatable!
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Re: Kent On Line Comments

Postby EAS » 26 Jun 2015, 19:11

Roller skating was part of Dreamland in the late 19th century I recall, so very much part of its heritage, and the floor us beautiful and can be used for other things, the booths with 'vintage' Formica sourced from old stock in Blackpool look great, and it can be hired too for parties. In fact party planners can be hired from Dreamland.

I don't think to skate a full Dreamland ticket has to be bought?? Anyone know? And yes there was once an ice rink there, but these people live in some alternative reality if they think a permanent rink on site would have been feasible just like that.

It IS worth Sands Heritage thinking of one of those portables which other places hire in at Christmas, but the cost may outweigh the attraction.
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Re: Kent On Line Comments

Postby EAS » 26 Jun 2015, 19:11

Roller skating was part of Dreamland in the late 19th century I recall, so very much part of its heritage, and the floor us beautiful and can be used for other things, the booths with 'vintage' Formica sourced from old stock in Blackpool look great, and it can be hired too for parties. In fact party planners can be hired from Dreamland.

I don't think to skate a full Dreamland ticket has to be bought?? Anyone know? And yes there was once an ice rink there, but these people live in some alternative reality if they think a permanent rink on site would have been feasible just like that.

It IS worth Sands Heritage thinking of one of those portables which other places hire in at Christmas, but the cost may outweigh the attraction.
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Re: Kent On Line Comments

Postby Vince, Charlie and Sam » 26 Jun 2015, 20:04

I am going to add my two pennorth, I think it was an enormous mistake to open Dreamland when so many of the rides were not running, and especially when the Scenic Railway was not running. Dreamland could have come in with a bang, instead it came in with a whimper.

What is done is done, you can't un-ring a bell etc, but it would at least be helpful if the Dreamland management could give some idea about the projected opening date for the Scenic Railway instead of being vague, evasive and slightly insulting whenever anybody asks on their Facebook page.
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Re: Kent On Line Comments

Postby Cheryl » 26 Jun 2015, 20:08

i agree with EAS with regard to value, I too think it is great for the money. The maths is easy..... Dreamland £14.95, Alton Towers £38 in advance £50 on the day. So with such a price difference, you ain't gonna get an Alton Towers! But IMO you still get a great day.

There seems to be a faction who want everything in Margate to fail. I remember The Turner Contempory bashers forever writing, it's a waste of money, a white elephant. You don't hear from them now due to its success, they have been shut up! I hope the same goes for Dreamland.

Incidentally, for the ice rink fans, there is talk of one being built nearby with a water park!
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Re: Kent On Line Comments

Postby AJ » 26 Jun 2015, 22:12

I'm not so sure on the value for money. I've said to my kids about coming down to Dreamland which will cost the 5 of us £68.50. At the minute I'm not so sure what there is that they will be able to ride as I cannot find the height restrictions as I have mentioned elsewhere so not sure whether it's a day out, afternoons adventure or just a couple of hours fun. I tweeted asking about height restrictions and as Vince has already pointed Sands are not very good at replying to questions on social media. As for the design & atmosphere of the place I'm sure me & my wife will thoroughly enjoy it but not so sure the kids will get into as much, they are all under 10.

On the other hand we have already booked tickets for Drayton Manor which is roughly the same distance from our home as Margate. The ticket for the 5 of is only £1.50 more. Now with DM I know they have Thomasland, Ben 10 plus the 'big kids' rides and it is a full day out.

I don't want to be knocking Dreamland but as a parent of a young family if I'm planning a day trip for us and I'm looking at the information on what's available and the price I really think Dreamland will loose out. I think it would be helpful if the added the height restrictions to the info on each ride on their site as well as listing what attractions are pay to play.
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Re: Kent On Line Comments

Postby Cheryl » 27 Jun 2015, 06:11

Hi AJ, it does seem unfortunate that Sands aren't replying to you, I' hope these type of issues will be sorted very soon. If some of our SDC members are dubious of going, then, for me, that is very worrying indeed.

Once everything is open fully including the Scenic Railway, I still think £14.95 for unlimited riding is good. If you consider how much 'pay per ride' costs, you would be lucky to get about 6 rides.

From our experience, everything in the park was free, except for side stalls, hook a duck etc, which you would expect to pay for. The only additional payment is for the roller disco, which is outside of the turnstiles.
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Re: Kent On Line Comments

Postby SuburbanHomeboy » 27 Jun 2015, 06:42

Some very interesting posts!

As this is a thread about online comments, I thought I'd let you have the link to my blog posts about Dreamland:

First part - the Save Dreamland Campaign

Second part - the Grand Reopening
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Re: Kent On Line Comments

Postby SuburbanHomeboy » 27 Jun 2015, 07:22

...and in response:

Vince - I spent some time in the park last Friday pondering the wisdom of opening with rides still not open. You do, after all, only get one grand opening. Interesting that you should mention the lack of response from Sands, as I would have expected far more emphasis on the "look what's coming" aspect, rather than just "hiding" the closed rides behind fake hedges. Everyone involved was probably too busy getting the park to the state it was in as it was, with little time left over to explain the lack of completion, but it was the very-poorly-hidden elephant in the park. As a campaigner, I was just happy to get into the park, but those who just turned up for a bit of fun would rightfully get a poor first impression. The one thing that cheered me up, as I mentioned in my blog, was that rather than just being unfinished and untidy, it was clear that the finished product is going to be something special. Had the closed rides just been rusty relics or poorly presented, then it would have been a different story.

As for the various posts on value for money, well - I hope Sands have a rethink! I'm still annoyed about the whole "priority for Margate residents" aspect of the opening day ticket sales, and I thought "Grrrrr" when I saw the "Local Resident On-The-Day Discount" up there on the information desk alongside the considerably higher "rest of you plebs" on-the-day price. The priority should be to get people in the park and spending their money! For a day-tripper, I think the admission is value for money as long as you book in advance, which is easy to do if you are planning a day out, and when all the rides are open there will be plenty to do. Rather than publicise the "we prefer locals" pricing scheme, there should be some kind of season ticket available that would be uneconomical for single-visit people, but would benefit those who live nearby AND those who make the trip down to Margate on a regular basis. An annual fee followed by reduced-price admission? If I had the opportunity to get one of those cards, I know that I'd visit the park far more often. The people that definitely need more consideration are, for a seaside resort, the holiday-makers who spend a week or so in Margate. They need something that will encourage them to pop into the park every day. A week-long ticket? If not, Dreamland will be a single-visit attraction for holiday-makers, rather than a part of the daily fun.
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