Newest Review: ... animals such as lion, polar bears and elephants performed right up until 1990! The Blackpool Tower Ballroom: After our visit to Jungle ... more
A must see destination!
Member Name: carlz2001uk
Advantages: Lots to do, friendly helpful staff, excellent prices for seeing more than one attraction
Disadvantages: We couldn't stay longer!
The Blackpool Tower Circus (contains a big spoiler!!):
This was absolutely amazing! Arriving an hour before the show started we expected to be first in line for the doors opening at 12.15 for the 1pm show, however there was around 100 people waiting in line before us! Tickets are for seats on a first come basis and are not allocated. If you want to go to the Circus I have to recommend that you get there an hour before it starts otherwise you may be up in the gods which wouldn't give the best views. Seating is in the usual tiered arena style as you would expect from a circus so 90% of people will have brilliant views, but avoid having to sit in the gods. There is allocated seating for wheelchair users, but apart from these the seats are compacted closely together so expect very little leg room. Face painting is available for only £2 per child and this made it for me seeing my two little girls watching the circus with clown faces and red noses! Plate spinning and various light up swords / tiaras etc are all available for purchase at reasonable prices, as is a small selection of juices, ice creams and popcorn. Now on to the circus! I really cannot describe it any other way than absolutely fantastic. It features Mooky the Clown and Mr Booo who are full of the usual slap stick gags ready to entertain the audience. The real show comes in the form of a group of Cuban acrobats who did some show stopping routines, which were literally phenomenal. After an hour long first half and a short interval, the second half features some amazing routines but for me the best part of the show came when the circus floor dropped and 42,000 gallons of water filled the circus ring with a mini Bellagio style fountain in the centre! Amazing! How they turn it round for the 4pm show I have no idea! Dating back to 1894 it's the oldest permanent circus arena in the world. Amazingly, the circus has never missed a season, not even during World War 1 & 2! My girls were disappointed when they realised there wouldn't be any animals in the circus, but I was surprised to learn that animals such as lion, polar bears and elephants performed right up until 1990!
The Blackpool Tower Ballroom:
After our visit to Jungle Jims play centre we had a little time to kill before we made our way to the circus so when we stumbled across the Ballroom we couldn't believe our luck that it was full of ballroom dancing! For a mum with two very girly girls this was very cheap and fun entertainment! In the beautiful setting of the ballroom, you can watch the ballroom dancers dance the day away or you can even join in. Afternoon tea may be an option for those with more time than we had. Dating back to 1894 the Ballroom is world famous for its spectacular architecture and is so magical. Listening to the Wurlitzer and watching the ballroom dancers was a fantastic (and free) experience, and one that I shall never forget.
The Blackpool Tower Eye with 4D Cinema Experience:
Amazingly, your ticket up the tower includes so much more than just that and is an experience. We knew little about it before we went up and were surprised when we were told to pick up some 3D glasses along the way. A 4D cinema experience sees you fly around the Tower through a unique perspective and experience some truly unique sensory special effects! While showing the history of the Tower in a short video clip, it also puts into perspective the sheer scale of this amazing attraction. A small queue awaited us after the cinema, but the Tower was so well managed that it seemed to fly passed. We were kept constantly moving and along the way there were lots of facts about the Tower to keep you occupied. A photo opportunity along the way saw your family group sitting on one of the steel girders of the Tower or flying a plane passed the Tower: all ways to keep the family entertained. After this were the two lifts which split the queues and ride you to the top of the Tower. Taking 68 seconds the ride up is smooth but extremely high (it seems much much higher once you are up there!). At the top you are enclosed in a glass observation deck which gives visitors the opportunity to stand on a glass walkway called the SkyWalk. I expected my young children to go nowhere near this but they instantly ran over to it and were looking right through their feet and the ground below them (all be it a long way down!). 380 feet up, the views are phenomenal and if you are lucky to visit on a clear day as we were, this makes the experience all the better as you are able to walk all the way around the Tower to see the stunning views. There is also the option to go higher, but be warned that this does take you outside (all be it protected by lots and lots of metal meshing), so it is exceptionally windy up there! Surprisingly it was my four year that was adamant she wanted to venture higher!
Jungle Jims Children's Indoor Play:
Set within the 'Lost City', the giant Inca Gods that guard the entrance set the scene for an amazing hour of fun for children. With lots of swinging, climbing and sliding to be done, it's a good way to burn some of that hyper 'Blackpoolness' out of them (I blame the candy floss, ice cream, rock etc!)! There is a small selection of drinks on offer, and they are pricey. We had two slush puppies, a diet coke and a coffee and it came to £12 which was pretty steep. There is also a small area selling Jungle Jims merchandise but luckily we were able to make the children completely avoid this area, so we probably saved a fortune there! There are timed sessions during weekends and school holidays, and luckily we were aware of this before we visited so were able to head there when the Tower opened at 10am and were the first ones in. For ease, I will list the time sessions (you will notice that you get to play for 15 minutes longer in the two morning sessions, so you will gain more 'value' by opting for one of these two sessions):
10 - 11.15 am
11.30 - 12.30pm
12.45 - 1.45pm
2 - 3pm
3.10 - 4.10pm
The Blackpool Tower Dungeon:
Unfortunately we didn't visit this attraction. With a four and six year old in tow, I didn't think it would be wise! Bringing 1000 years of Blackpool's history to life, there are 10 actor led shows which interact with the audience.... (you can only imagine!). The visit culminates with being sentenced to death on the Extremis drop ride - prepare to scream from the rafters!
We didn't eat here, and instead opted for a mini picnic from Marks and Spencers (literally just around the corner), but it resembled a posh McDonalds. With the promise of locally sourced beef and fresh ingredients, it didn't look a bad option, and with ample seating, it would be a good option for a lunchtime burger.
The Ballroom, small games area with penny slots and a few other games and terrace views overlooking the promenade are all completely free to enter. The whole place is fantastically clean and well managed, with plenty of staff on hand to help should you require any assistance.
I haven't listed individual prices for each attraction as although they are available to visit as individual attractions, I really wouldn't recommend doing it this way. To put it into perspective, the circus prices for an adult to visit are £12.60, while a child is £9.60 and the Tower and eye experience is £9 per person. Individually this would have cost us £80, however the option to purchase tickets together reduces the cost and so for a family of four to visit the Circus, the Tower and the play centre cost us just £63 which provided a full day out and which I think was exceptional value. There is also the option to spend £25 per person which gives you what we got plus entrance to the Dungeons.
The Tower opens at 10am and doesn't open its doors until this time. If you are in Blackpool for a few days I would recommend buying your tickets the day before you plan to visit, which will mean you can skip the queues when it opens and head straight to your first attraction. This is what we did and meant that we were able to head straight to Jungle Jims and be the first through the door. The last admission of the day is at 5.30 but unless you only plan to go up the Tower, in my opinion this would be a complete waste of money visiting at this time.
Blackpool Tower is a must see destination with so much to do, and with something for all ages! Packed full of history.... and fun!
Summary: 5 stars without a shadow of a doubt!
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