Robert, who’s 10, writes about our trip to Dreamland, a vintage theme park in Margate, Kent. We went in December 2015 (you can watch our video below) and we all really enjoyed it.
“Dreamland was fantastic, I loved going through this 1950 retro theme park with fake snow drifting over my head and I had a great time on all the superb rides in the Frosted Fairground. There were amusements, things to eat, an arcade and even a roller-skate rink making it a unique, fun experience with so much to do.
The park was split into two sections, all the arcade games and pinball machines were inside, while all the rides were outside.
We started off in the frosted fairground and the first thing we went on was a proper carousel called The Gallopers. This was great fun as it went quite fast although I thought it got a bit boring at the end.
We also tried out Montopia where you were seated in a spaceship high above the ground and had to pedal your way through the course. I loved this although it might be a bit tiring for smaller kids.
Then we went on a big colourful slide named Born Slippy, but unfortunately when Jess and I tried it we kept stopping during our trip down as we were so big. Anyway, it was still fun.
The attraction Mum and Dad really liked was the Dodgems, they were easy to control, went really fast and it was such fun to bump into other people. Mum and Dad said they were the best dodgems they’d ever been on.
One of our favourite rides was the wooden rollercoaster called Scenic Railway which is actually the oldest rollercoaster in the UK. This was great as it had some large drops and was very exciting but there was a long queue for it, so be warned.
There were plenty of quick classics like the Helter Skelter, Mirror Maze and Ghost Train plus some small calm rides for the youngsters for example The Teacups or the two floor merry go round Double Decker. I especially loved all the quick rides where you spin around and go backwards like The Kiss Me Quick ride (a “ride of love”) and the fast paced Cyclone Twist.
On the Hurricane Jets you were in charge of your rocket and could move it up and down, this was so cool as you could go so high then drop down to the bottom. I had never been on something like this before.
You could also go on the Big Wheel, a relaxing ride that gives you a great view of the whole park, or the smaller rollercoaster that we didn’t go on called the Counter Culture Caterpillar Coaster.
Finally I must let you know about the Jumping Tower which I went on five times! At this attraction you go up then drop down a number of times which I have always loved the feeling of.
There are a few that I haven’t mentioned which we didn’t have time for but I’m sure they’re amazing just like all the ones we did go on.
Inside was just as good as it had loads of cheap arcade games to play (mostly using 2p or 10p pieces), more places to eat, the roller rink and other extras as well. There’s not much to say about the arcade apart from there are lots of games and they’re really good. My personal favourite was one where you had to hit monsters with balls and win tickets. On many games you collect tickets at the end depending on how well you’ve done then swap them for a prize. I came away with a Minion Pencil case for 300 tickets. Yay.
Overall it was fantastic; I went on brilliant rides, played fantastic games and stuffed my face with delicious blue candyfloss! We also had pancakes and toasties for lunch.”
Dreamland is considered to be the oldest-surviving amusement park in Great Britain, dating back to the 1860s. It closed in 2003, but opened again after a full refurbishment last June. The whole family thought it was great for a trip, although it is now closed for the winter. However, it’s open for various events (including a Valentine’s Disco) and on 19th-20th March and 25th March to 11th April. From then onwards, it’s open weekends and bank holidays until the end of May. After that it’s open every day for the summer.
Find out about the upcoming events here.
It costs: £14.95 for adults and £12.95 for children (this includes the rides), although it was slightly different when we went at Christmas, when it was free entry, but you paid per ride (between £1 and £5 depending what it was).
Read about what else we got up to in Margate here, and also read about our trip to beautiful Broadstairs in Kent too.
Disclosure: We were given free entry and free rides in order to write about our experience for this blog. However, all our thoughts are our own.