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Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Member Name: Cutecandy
Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Advantages: Thrilling rides; Not too pricey; Clean and friendly;
Disadvantages: Too many pier type stalls wanting extra money from you .
**An Unexpected Pleasure**
*Say "Blackpool" to someone and you're likely to end up swapping stories of hen parties, stag nights and boozy days among the slots and tat. Certainly this has been my main experience to date ..... until last month.
*Blackpool Pleasure Beach - where?
The pleasure beach is situated at the south end of Blackpool sea front, close to several large parking areas which are well signed from the motorway. Trams stop right outside and if you're really in the holiday mood there's even a horse and cart which runs from the promenade nearer the town centre! Train station central and south are both within walking distance or a taxi ride if you want to conserve you energy!
To get into the park you need to pay £5 for a ticket which you an pre-purchase online or buy on the day in the new posh ticket reception. Although to begin with I was disappointed by this since you used to be able to walk around for nothing, on reflection this is a good thing. Every other theme park we have visited requires everyone o pay full price and if you are not of a mind to try all the rides you can feel cheated. This way even Grandma could come along and enjoy the day (and guard the bags - thanks!) without breaking the bank. Also, because the park then takes on a more closed off from the world feeling, it is easier to leave your cares behind and enjoy the escapism!
The ticket area is well staffed and organised to minimise queues. Your entry ticket allows access to the park as well as rides on the train, the maze and the show. If there are only a couple of rides you're interested in you can then purchase tickets for individual rides.
If you are after some serious theme park action, however, the best way is to purchase a wristband which allow you unlimited riding throughout the day. There are good deals through the park website and especially through the tesco clubcard scheme and lastminute sites if you book in advance but on the day you will pay around £16 for a child and £25 for an adult depending on the time of year.
Well, Blackpool Pleasure beach is, of course, a theme park. Whether you are a thrill seeker in search of the Pepsi Max or a young child wanting a go on the merry-go-round, you'll find fun here. It would be easily possible to write a review on each of the rides but for the purpose of this one I'm talking about the park in general.
Blackpool Wilkipedia offers this impressive list of thrills:
Avalanche - A bobsled roller coaster
Big Dipper - A traditional wooden roller coaster
Grand National - A wooden racing roller coaster
Infusion - A Vekoma Suspended Looping Coaster and the first ride of its kind in the world to be completely over water.
Irn Bru Revolution - An Arrow Dynamics shuttle roller coaster
Morgan's Circus Clown Coaster
Pepsi Max Big One - An Arrow Dynamics hyper-coaster with a highest point 235 feet above sea level.
Rollercoaster - A traditional wooden roller coaster, notable for operating with minimal restraints
Space Invader 2 - An indoor roller coaster
Steeplechase - A three-tracked racing steel roller coaster.
Wild Mouse - A wooden Wild Mouse roller coaster
Zipper Dipper - A small wooden roller coas minecar themed indoor coaster.
Ice Blast - A S&S Power Space Shot, originally known as PlayStation: The Ride.
Impossible (Previously 1001 Troubles and The Haunted Swing)
Trauma Towers' Baronial Dining Hall (after the Trauma Towers walk through attraction) ] Water Rides
Beaver Creek - (log flume)
River Caves - Dark ride
Alice's Wonderland - Dark ride
Derby Racer - One of three in the world, the ride is similar to a carousel
Dodgems - Bumper cars
Ghost Train - The original Ghost Train was opened in 1930, before being replaced by the ride currently in use today.
Griffin's Magic Dragons
Magic Mountain - Dark ride
Motor Boat Ride
Noah's Ark - A walk through funhouse attraction, one of only 2 left in the world.
Pleasure Beach Express - A miniature railroad
Tetley Teacup Ride
Trauma Towers - A walk through haunted funhouse attaction, hotel themed.
I'm not going to describe all the rides here - the official website does that well enough and most rides are better experienced for yourself anyway. My main reason for writing this review is:
An attraction to be proud of
It's been a few years since I have visited the pleasure beach and the first time taking children of my own. We have been lucky enough to visit Florida Disney and spent our entire last Blackpool visit bemoaning how bad we are in this country at customer service and litter patrol.
However, this visit we were very pleasantly surprised. The park was welcoming and friendly. Plenty of staff were around to answer questions and direct you. Music played in all the open cafe areas - yet not too obtrusively and above all the park was clean! Litter patrols were efficient; loos checked often and most of the rides well painted and cared for. (Can you tell I've worked as a mystery shopper!!)
One negative was the number of fairground stalls around the park wanting extra money from you. I can't imagine anyone wanting to play these as you've spent a load of money getting in - you may as well use the rides. But all theme parks seem to do this nowadays so perhaps some people would count this as a plus?
I would recommend a trip to the Pleasure Beach. It is small enough to find your way around quickly but large enough to absorb the number of people there in mid August. Many of the postcards in the town picture the park lit up at night - I imagine it would be great in the dark evenings of the illuminations too.
Plenty to do for all ages and a pleasing enough environment to let you leave your cares at the gate and concentrate on enjoying yourself ...... don't forget to take spare clothes if you fancy a dance in the musical fountains!
Summary: A great day out for all ages - especially in good weather!
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