Another of Coney Island's famous amusement parks. Dreamland opened in 1904 and cost 2.5 million dollars to build. A 375-foot Beacon Tower was the centerpiece of the park, acting as a de facto lighthouse. In 1911 the "Hell Gate" attraction caught fire and the entire park burned to the ground in a fiery orgy. Sad, really.

Many authors create their own fictional universes. There's the Star Trek universe. There's the Ringworld universe, created by Larry Niven. And then there's H. P. Lovecraft's Dreamland.

The difference between this place and a normal dream is that it is an actual place, in that it can be entered, left, and then re-entered again, and it will remain relatively unchanged, just as any city or state or continent in the real world will remain relatively unchanged even if you leave it and come back. Also, journeys to this place are lucid and fully remembered, as opposed to the regular disjointed nonsense which most people's dreams consist of.

Dreamland can be entered by passing the Gate of Deeper Slumber, and entering the Cavern of Flame. Nasht and Kaman-Thah, the two ancient priests who reside here, can sometimes be asked for advice by the entering dreamer.

Below the Cavern of Flame, there is a long staircase which leads out into the Enchanted Wood. This forest is populated by Zoogs, who rather dislike Humans, so it is best to enter armed, move stealthily, and leave quickly.

It is not unwhispered that there are places on Dreamland that coincide with places on Earth. The Enchanted Wood is said to have such a place, and it may be inferred that Leng also has such a place, since H. P. Lovecraft gave that name to a place in Antarctica on Earth, as well as to a certain cold plateau in Dreamland.

1844
DREAMLAND
by Edgar Allan Poe
DREAMLAND

By a route obscure and lonely,
Haunted by ill angels only,
Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT,
On a black throne reigns upright,
I have reached these lands but newly
From an ultimate dim Thule-
From a wild clime that lieth, sublime, Out of SPACE- out of TIME.

Bottomless vales and boundless floods,
And chasms, and caves, and Titan woods,
With forms that no man can discover
For the tears that drip all over;
Mountains toppling evermore
Into seas without a shore;
Seas that restlessly aspire,
Surging, unto skies of fire;
Lakes that endlessly outspread
Their lone waters- lone and dead,-
Their still waters- still and chilly
With the snows of the lolling lily.

By the lakes that thus outspread
Their lone waters, lone and dead,-
Their sad waters, sad and chilly
With the snows of the lolling lily,-
By the mountains- near the river
Murmuring lowly, murmuring ever,-
By the grey woods,- by the swamp
Where the toad and the newt encamp-
By the dismal tarns and pools
Where dwell the Ghouls,-
By each spot the most unholy-
In each nook most melancholy-
There the traveller meets aghast
Sheeted Memories of the Past-
Shrouded forms that start and sigh
As they pass the wanderer by-
White-robed forms of friends long given,
In agony, to the Earth- and Heaven.

For the heart whose woes are legion
'Tis a peaceful, soothing region-
For the spirit that walks in shadow
'Tis- oh, 'tis an Eldorado!
But the traveller, travelling through it,
May not- dare not openly view it!
Never its mysteries are exposed
To the weak human eye unclosed;
So wills its King, who hath forbid
The uplifting of the fringed lid;
And thus the sad Soul that here passes
Beholds it but through darkened glasses.

By a route obscure and lonely,
Haunted by ill angels only,
Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT,
On a black throne reigns upright,
I have wandered home but newly
From this ultimate dim Thule.


-THE END-
1. Another name for Area 51

2. A radio program by Whitley Streiber, broadcasting Sundays, 1 am-6 am, Eastern Time, same time and station as Art Bell's weekday show. Of course, focuses on aliens (gee, what a surprise), and gets its name from #1.

The largest theme park on England's South Coast, and also one of Britain's oldest, Margate's Dreamland offers an interesting - if not wholly thrilling - day out for all the family.

Premises

Entrance to the theme park is via a ramp off Margate's 'golden mile' of arcades lining the seafront. The ramp lies between Dreamland cinema (once a part of the theme park's premises, now sharing only a name) and Escape nightclub. Going through the doors leads you into a covered amusement and shopping arcade, with emporia offering food and tourist delicacies such as rock. Also in this area is the Stowaway! indoor water ride.

Leaving the arcade leads you out into the theme park 'proper', with a paved area rising slightly away to the south, ample car-parking space on the left, and the 80-year-old Scenic Railway rollercoaster as the centrepiece.

Rides, sideshows and attractions

Rides currently available for your amusement at Dreamland include:

  • The Scenic Railway - the park's oldest and most famous ride, and one of only two wooden rollercoasters of its kind operational in Britain. (The other is at Great Yarmouth). A thrilling and fascinating ride which attracts rollercoaster lovers from around the world. Expect queues.
  • The Ladybird - deceptively friendly-looking with its rolling stock decorated in the form of the familiar insect, this is a modern metal rollercoaster with plenty of sharp turns but little movement up or down. This is recommended practice material for the weak-stomached before facing the challenge of the Railway.
  • The Looping Star - back by popular demand, this is the park's second most famous ride. Its main attraction, as the name suggests, is a loop-the-loop. Despite this, it is not quite as stomach-wrenching as the Railway. A good thrill, nonetheless.
  • The Wild Mouse - a fairly recent addition to the park, this is a tall metal rollercoaster with seperate 2-person carriages. Be prepared to be bumped around - the carriages stop abruptly at fairly random points.
  • The Octopus - a veritable steel monstrosity, this is a ride with a large arm protruding from the middle, from which suspend 8 groups of 4 cabins. As the arm spins the groups, they in turn independently spin. A real candidate for the 'ride most likely to drum up extra business for the restaurant' award.
  • Log Drop - ah, the Log Drop. What self-respecting theme park skimps on this? Certainly not Dreamland. Sit back and prepare to get wet. If you are really lucky, waterproof ponchos will be provided.
  • Waltzer - a traditional waltzer designed to hurt people and turn them green as much as possible. Great fun.

Other attractions include the Dodgems, a reverse bungee-jump machine costing £10 a ride, or £20 if you buy the video, an 'adventure golf' course and a variety of children's rides.

Well-loved rides now sadly retired:

  • The Big Wheel - for a long time, the most recognisable landmark in Margate, and offering superb views of the entire Isle of Thanet, this was sold in the mid-1990's to a Mexican theme park.
  • Skymaster - a ride consisting solely of two compartments which spun around in a vertical circle, was retired in the late 1990's, having, no doubt, paid for itself many times over with change falling out of unsuspecting riders' pockets.

The theme park boasts a large number of traditional sideshows and boutiques, where one may receive fake tattoos or have t-shirts printed. Not to be missed also is the thrill of eating in the restaurant directly below the Scenic Railway. All the fun of eating on a train without the view.

General Information

Both Dreamland and Rotunda, its sister park are owned by the same company, which is evident in their very similar logos - both 'thought bubbles' with the name of the park in the middle.

Admission to the park is free, although it costs to go on the rides. Most of these are paid for with tokens, costing varying amounts throughout the year, although more reasonable is an all-day wristband, costing £10 in the high season, and £5 after 6pm and during the low season.

"Dreamland" is an animated story of the television show Doctor Who, featuring the voice acting of David Tennant as The Tenth Doctor, and Georgia Moffat and Tim Howar as one-time companions Cassie Rice and Jimmy Stalkingwolf. Georgia Moffat had previously starred as eponymous character Jenny in The Doctor's Daughter, but the characters are not related.

The story begins with the Doctor stopping by a diner in the American Southwest, and meeting waitress Cassie and Native American Jimmy. He also finds some alien tech as part of the decor of the diner. Some Men in Black show up to recover the equipment, and soon the Doctor and his newfound companions are running as several different alien races, and the United States Military, all want things they have, or at least want them out of the way. As is his wont, the Doctor must solve the mystery, stop an alien invasion, and teach everyone a lesson about the folly of violence.

As the title suggests, the story takes place in Dreamland, Area 51, and several parts of its mythology are present: gigantic warehouses, the Men in Black, the Greys, and flying saucers. In Doctor Who terms, it is an alien invasion story, and a political intrigue story. This is very similar to many Doctor Who stories we have seen before, with the major point of difference being that it is animated.

Unlike the earlier Infinite Quest, the animation on this was done in a CGI style. Whether this works or not is a matter of taste. While it wasn't extremely distracting, I found many of the characters occasionally crossing over into the uncanny valley.

I am a Doctor Who fan, so there are few Doctor Who things that I don't like. And I thought this was an interesting experiment, and that future CGI stories might be very good. However, its story is somewhat predictable, and the medium of CGI still has some problems with it.

Dream"land` (?), n.

An unreal, delightful country such as in sometimes pictured in dreams; region of fancies; fairyland.

[He] builds a bridge from dreamland for his lay. Lowell.

 

© Webster 1913.

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