Mission Accomplished?

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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Mission Accomplished?

Postby SuburbanHomeboy » 17 Oct 2015, 19:33

Well - this is the Save Dreamland campaign's forum. Have we saved Dreamland? I reckon it's a resounding "Yes".

After enjoying (rather too much) the Scenic on Friday, the quiet daytime session allowing (rather too) many rides in the blustery, damp conditions, followed by the delights of the Screamland event in the evening, all I can say is - if it does fail in the future, it certainly won't be for lack of trying!

The attention to detail is something else - the rather brilliant Hemingway design that cleverly infiltrates every aspect of the park, the layout of the rides that leaves plenty of room to wander between them yet gives loads of flexibility for rides that come and go (keeping the line-up nice and fresh), the consistency of presentation, the use of characters wandering the park (which is a daily thing - not just for the Scare fest), the happy faces on all the workers (even the guy cleaning the loos greeted me with a cheery "Good Afternoon")...

ANd now we can see just how much care is put into a major event - the Screamland mazes are getting great reviews on the usual Haunted Attraction fan forum sites, and the park looked fantastic - even in the evening rain on Friday. A good reputation is building regarding these events - people have heard about "Dead and Breakfast" and "Final Cut" and are now planning long journeys to attend. This is the kind of thing that will get the visitors from greater distances.

And the Scenic - WELCOME BACK! Given the fact that the train has only recently arrived, that the magnetic braking technology has not (to my knowledge) been used with a ride that also has an on-board brake operator, and that the ride only started rolling with unpredictably variable loads of paying passengers, rather than water dummies - or crew, just the day before, I was hugely impressed with the ride it gave on Friday. After the Screamland festival, I'm sure there will be tweaks to be made to avoid things like the stalling on the final set of magnetic brakes before the station. There is a great team working on the ride - so many new brake operators - and, as in the rest of the park, they all appear to be having a good time. As the day rolled on into the evening, I could feel the train speeding up on its journey, with a hint (better than nothing) of airtime on the two main double dips and some lateral forces on the entry into the turns.

The train still looks ungainly, but the important things (for me, anyhow) are that the cage still allows two adult pairs of shoulders to fit in the same seat, that the seat belt is unnoticeable during the ride, that the lap bar stays in the position you pull it down to throughout the ride and - best of all - I can sit with my knees together, facing forward, in any seat (couldn't do that in the original trains). The front seat is now even better than before as there is no bar between the dragon heads - you have an unobstructed view of the track racing towards you. And the track/lights/structure look just fan-tastic!

I enjoyed listening to the other riders - many of them were newbies and underestimated just how "peppy" a ride first built in 1921 could be. Everyone got off the train smiling - even in the rain - and that is pretty much the key.

So - with the new developments in progress, more vintage rides to join the line-up next year, the Ballroom, the Hall-by-the-Sea after that, a nightclub and well-staged events like Screamland - if it ISN'T a successful venture, then there is no justice in the world.
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Joined: 28 Mar 2012, 20:07

Re: Mission Accomplished?

Postby stuart » 19 Oct 2015, 09:33

SuburbanHomeboy wrote:Well - this is the Save Dreamland campaign's forum. Have we saved Dreamland? I reckon it's a resounding "Yes".

I also think the answer is yes! The first summer season back open has reinforced my long held view that the only reason it closed was because of poor management and the potential value of the land as a development site.

It is clear that there is demand for the amusement park in the summer months but the new Dreamland is becoming much more than that. I think that the key to its long term success will be the pretty impressive events calendar that will make the site a 12 months a year operation for the first time in its history.

I’m not going to Screamland until 31st but it’s clear from the feedback on fb and twitter this weekend that it’s been a massive success and surpassed expectations. Once that’s done, they will be getting ready for the Christmas event. A couple of weeks after Screamland I’ll be there for Hot Chip, a band I’ve only ever seen at events like Glastonbury and Bestival. Foals are headline contenders for major UK festivals in 2016 and they are playing at Dreamland that weekend too. Mike Skinner’s night the other month was awesome and I’ve heard good things about the Big Fish and Sink the Pink events too.

Their approach is clever – Dreamland is becoming many things to many people. The local community is engaged and the different things on offer appeal to the different demographics. And the gigs and events pull in people from that bit further, widening the target market.

Even with the late opening of the scenic and other teething issues it’s fair to say that Dreamland’s reopening has surpassed all expectations and if it carries on this way, there isn’t any reason for it not to be a success.
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Joined: 02 May 2006, 21:12
Location: Ramsgate

Re: Mission Accomplished?

Postby Peet » 21 Oct 2015, 08:08

Yes 100% mission accomplished, Nick and the team have done it against all the odds! I visited on Sunday and unfortunately the Scenic stopped operating shortly after I arrived (around 2pm), so I'll have to wait a little longer for that first ride! It was still a lovely day out though, we can all help by writing reviews on Google (just google search Dreamland and click "write a review") and on Trip Advisor etc and helping to spread the word.

I would actually have liked to see some more information, maybe in the queue line for the Scenic, on the story of the ride and how it was saved by a small group of people.

Anyway, let's all write reviews!
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Location: London

Re: Mission Accomplished?

Postby Jim Douglas Jr. » 29 Oct 2015, 19:48

Park open.
Scenic railway running.
Bob's stupid mouth finally shut.
Kyle & Herbie the Love Bug lll53
User avatar
Jim Douglas Jr.
Posts: 1179
Joined: 15 Mar 2006, 19:49
Location: San Francisco, California, USA

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