Published: 15:00, 23 April 2019
| Updated: 15:49, 23 April 2019
Free entry at Dreamland in Margate will continue for the rest of the summer after a record-breaking opening weekend.
The park revealed earlier this year it would be scrapping the £5 admission in favour of no entry fee for the opening six weeks of the 2019 season.
But after seeing more than 100,000 people flock to the seafront amusement in the opening weeks since opening on April 6 and record numbers for an Easter weekend, bosses say it will carry on throughout 2019.
It represents an increase 380% increase compared to the Easter holidays last year.
The theme park welcomed 11,000 people on Good Friday, almost double the number of people visiting the park on the same day in 2018.
Visitor numbers hit almost 47,000 for the whole long Easter weekend with attendances hitting the highest level on Easter Sunday at 15,228.
Managers have praised the glorious weather for the bank holiday weekend for the boost and the Camp Bestival takeover currently running at the park.
The free entry offer was set to end on May 24 and bosses hope the change - along with a host of other differences made for 2019 - will attract more people throughout the summer months.
Chief executive Eddie Kemsley said: "We’ve had a phenomenal opening season, with nearly five times the number of visitors we had last Easter.
"We expected an uplift in visitors when we changed to a free entry offer, but the boom in visitors in the past few days has been staggering.
"We are so grateful to all the local families, the holidaymakers and the day trippers who spent their Easter break with us and left such positive reviews.
"What better way to say thank you than by keeping the park free to enter for 2019, so they can all visit again and again?"
Instead of paying an entry fee, guests will now be able to pay per ride or purchase a wristband offering unlimited rides all day.
Ms Kemlsey added: "The atmosphere in the park has been fantastic.
"Thousands of people from London and further afield have been enjoying the sun-soaked park alongside our Kent customers, and our team managed this surge in numbers smoothly and with a big smile on their faces.
"While our free to enter offer is certainly compelling, I think we’re seeing more and more people choosing to take a ‘staycation’ in the UK than travel abroad for the holidays.
"With the beautiful beach and the town’s galleries and quirky-cool shops on our doorstep, Margate is a magnet for people wanting a slice of seaside and culture without breaking the bank."
The park has 26 thrill and chill rides, as well as new food and drink stalls, Instagram trails and a programme of music and events throughout the spring and summer.
The park will open for weekends, bank holidays and daily during school holidays.
For more information about entry, rides and events visit Dreamland's website.
More by this authorMatt Leclere
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