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New rides open at Dreamland Margate

More new rides have been added to Dreamland's growing list of attractions as the pleasure park continues its phased opening.

The new rides include Speedway, Austin Car Ride, Starflyer Tower and Barrel of Laughs Rotor, all classics from different eras in Dreamland's long history.

As well as the rides, the park's programme of events will include Chaplin’s Circus and a high diving show this summer.

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Dreamland theme park reopened in June
Dreamland theme park reopened in June

The park would not release visitor figures when asked by KentOnline, but Eddie Kemsley, CEO of Dreamland said visitors had been "in the tens of thousands."

"We've been pleased with the numbers, and the summer holidays are coming so we are braced for the crowds coming through the doors over the next few weeks," she said.

"People have been so supportive. We've had teething problems that we've fixed, but I think people are just so pleased it's open again, people just come with a really positive attitude"

"People have been so supportive. We've had teething problems that we've fixed, but I think people are just so pleased it's open again, people just come with a really positive attitude."

With many of the major attractions still to open, there is still a lot of look forward to at Dreamland.

The Scenic Railway has seen the first trucks barreling along its iconic track, but the rollercoaster is not expected to take visitors until after the summer.

Ms Kemsley said: "We've been watching the bogeys run around the track, which is really exciting, but there's a bit more work to do as we need to make sure the ride is absolutely 100% before we open it."

September is expected to see the opening of the 1950s ballroom, a large capacity hall designed for weddings, conferences and other large events.

This will be followed by an even larger performance space - the Hall by the Sea - a 1,600 capacity venue capable of hosting gigs, comedy and panto, according to Ms Kemsley.

The park is also looking to stage themed events with an October scare fest organisers are promising will "knock the socks off the European scare industry."

The High Diving show
The High Diving show

A Christmas festival is also on the cards.

But today, it's all about the rides, favourites from decades past that have undergone extensive restoration to bring them up to speed.

Visitors looking for arial thrills may enjoy the Starflyer Tower.

Video: New rides have opened at Dreamland - Jem Collins reports

The ride lifts visitors 30 metres in the air where it swings them round and round, offering a panoramic view of the entire park.

Fans of being spun very fast in a circle may also one 1950s classic making a comeback - the Barrel of Laughs Rotor.

As the ride spins faster, the centrifugal force pins passengers to the walls before the bottom falls away.


Dreamland: Everything you need to know


Other 50s favourites are the The Austin pedal cars, built by disabled ex-servicemen after the second world war.

The original chassis have been refurbished by Littleboy’s Vintage Restorations in Wakefield, strengthening the axles to withstand the summer crowds.

The cars will be available to younger visitors until September.

The Austin Pedal cars
The Austin Pedal cars

An even earlier ride is also making a comeback.

Speedway was built in 1934 by Orton & Spooner, and has been completely restored, including remaking the large scenic front section of the machine, which had been sold off many years earlier.

The new rides are not the only attractions hoping to woo visitors this summer.

Dreamland's Speedway ride
Dreamland's Speedway ride
The Barrel of Laughs
The Barrel of Laughs

The 1920s-themed Chaplin’s Circus features David Konyot, whose parents first performed at Dreamland in 1939.

Dreamland describes it as an "interactive entertainment experience" designed for the whole family.

Joining the circus are the High Divers who will be leaping from the 25 metre board for the crowds until September.

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