Margate, England, United KingdomDreamland sits on the shores of the North Sea, just slightly north of the famous white cliffs of Dover. Its storied history began in 1863 when a dance hall was built in an unused railway station. The park was known as Hall by the Sea, and rides were first added in the 1880s. John Henry Iles, who started a handful of other theme parks throughout the world, acquired the park in 1919, changed its name to Dreamland, added more rides, and installed the Scenic Railway coaster. The Iles family operated Dreamland until it was sold to Associated Leisure in 1968. The Bembom Brothers from the Netherlands bought the park in 1981 and changed the park's name to Bembom Brothers White Knuckle Theme Park, but the name reverted back to Dreamland in 1990. The park continued to add many new rides in the 1980s and 1990s, but many of the rides were removed when the Bembom family sold the park to Jimmy Godden in 1996. From then, the park entered a state of decline, and a plan was made to close the park and redevelop the land. Public support was against that plan, so the Margate Town Center Regeneration Company purchased the park in 2005. Several buildings, as well as the Scenic Railway, were placed on the Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest which ensured they would not be demolished or altered without permission from the local planning authority. The park closed to the public in 2005, and every ride was removed except the listed Scenic Railway. Tragically, the coaster was burned in an arson attack in 2008.
Nearly £18m in public funding and £10m in private funding was used to restore Dreamland including money from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport. After sitting dormant, a nearly completely new Dreamland amusement park opened on June 19, 2015. The Scenic Railway is being rebuilt and is expected to open very soon.
Nearly one dozen coasters have left Dreamland. Here are some of the most notable:
Counter Culture Caterpillar
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