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Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Member Name: jstinger100
Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Date: 02/07/10, updated on 07/07/10 (272 review reads)
Disadvantages: Location.... Blackpool.
Every theme park i have been to has always been the same; a collection of rides, various levels of themeing, maybe some animals, a selection of food courts, a choice of theatrical shows and not to mention a whole lot of people. But Blackpool Pleasure Beach is the only major attraction i have ever visited that really has its own unique setup.
Located amidst the hustle and bustle of the Blackpool promenade, surrounded by various arcades and crummy wax works museums, is an entire theme park, crammed into a space no bigger than a few football pitches. For anyone that has ever visited Alton Towers or experienced the expansive plots of land that Walt Disney World is located on, this will immediately come as a shock. Space is at an absolute premium along the promenade and the Pleasure Beach is no exception. But before you start to think that the park has been designed with this lack of space in mind, with rides consequently also being at a premium, then you simply couldn't be more wrong. For there are more rides jigsawed into this pokey plot of land than any of the other theme parks i have been to in the UK.
The reason for this is pretty obvious though, not only is the Pleasure Beach one of the smallest parks in the UK but it is also one of the oldest. Many of the rides still in operation, such as a number of their wooden coasters and child orientated rides date back to the early 1900's, and despite their age have never lost their appeal. Being an active theme park for so long, the Pleasure Beach was constructed during a much different period in time, one where special affects, intricate themeing and scenery and spectacular space were not particularly high on anyones priority list. Rides, such as Roller Coasters, were fairly new creations, so when they did start building them, the rides themselves had more than enough pulling power to rake in the masses. People came in droves and whether the rides themselves were surrounded by acres of lush greenery or a shady Blackpool backdrop, it really didn't matter.
As the parks popularity grew, more and more rides were added, but before long space clearly became an issue. However without the compromise of having to incroporate expansive theming into the attractions, the parks designers were free to weave the rides inbetween one another, and this is what truly sets Blackpool Pleasure Beach apart from any other park i have visited. Go for a ride on any of the park's wonderful selection of Roller Coasters and your taken for a ride almost across the entire park, diving and ducking over just about every other ride on the way. The added thrill of whizzing beneath the supports of a taller coaster or coming perilously coast to colliding with a log flume really is so exhilirating, and something i simply have not experienced anywhere else.
The collection of rides there is also just staggering. Of course they have the much older rides such as the wooden coasters and carrousels, but they also have far more modern rides complementing them.
Look high above and you will be overshadowed by the ominous presence of the Pepse Max Big One, the tallest roller coaster in the UK, rising approximately 213ft above the promenade. And this isn't some lame excuse for a tall ride like Thorpe Park's Stealth, where u barely have time to appreciate the height at which the ride takes you, this is a don't look down for fear of your life sort of ride. After departing from the station, which is conveniantly shaped like a giant Pepsi Max can, u embark on the long and slow lift hill all the way to the 213ft summit. The climb takes for what seems like an eternity, with the people far below you gradually being reduced to nothing more than specs, it really is that high. Reach the top and you are treated to a view as far as the eye can see, apparently you can even see Ireland on a clear day, all though this could be complete nonsense. Then suddenly you are thrusted down a 75 degree decline at speeds of up to 60mph and hurtled along a 2 minute ride all around the park, before you finally return to the station, thankfully. What really makes the Pepsi Max Big One so special though is the fact that the only thing keeping you in your seat is a seatbelt and a lap bar. No complex restraint that comes over your head, and clings to you so tightly that you cannot breathe. But instead a flimsy lap belt, similar to the middle back seat of any conventional car, and a rusty bar that sits no where near close enough to you for comfort. It all adds up to one hell of an exhilirating experience and one i would recommend to anybody who loves a good thrill.
Of course The Pepsi Max Big One is just one of the many many rides on offer. Another favourite of mine is the Grand National. This is one of the parks more older attractions, but is still one of their most popular. The premise is pretty simple; two wooden roller coasters positioned side by side one another, both leave their stations at the same time and travel along two almost identical tracks. Big deal you say?. Well the fantastic thing about it is that whichever one of the two you decide to ride on, then you will be in direct competition with the other, it is a race from start to finish. The tracks are designed in such away as to cancel out any advantages one might gain from having an inside lane at any point, and the fantastic thing is that every time you go on the Grand National the outcome of the race will always be different. You never know who is going to win. Don't ask me how they achieve this, but you will honestly not know the outcome until you reach the finish. Sometimes there is a clear cut winner, other times it is a photo finish. It really is such a giggle and something i defy anyone not to enjoy.
There really isn't enough time to write about every single ride the park has, there are just too many fantastic rides to consider and all of which i could write a lengthy paragraph on. So instead of me gassing on you really should just pack up your stuff right now and get your backside up to Blackpool, you really won't be dissapointed.
In terms of eating, there are ample food outlets located around the park, all at relatively good prices. You have your usual Burger King branch and other offerings, and there really is a healthy selection of places to grab a snack or a hefty lunch.
The park can get very busy during the Summer months, particularly during the holiday and at Easter, but no busier that what you have come to expect from other theme parks around the country. Be cunning about when you go, don't choose a bank holiday or the hottest day of the year and it is more than likely that que times will be significantly reduced. If you can even sacrifice good weather and go on a overcast day then there is a good chance that you will be able to get on everything in one day, which would be very impressive.
With regards to pricing, the whole admission system has recently been updated and renovated. You used to have to purchase tickets and then each ride would cost you a certain amount of tickets in order to gain admission. So you had to be careful about what you went on and how many times, as doing one thing too much would result in you not having enough tickets left for anything else. I have to say this system was pretty awful and very overpriced.
Now however it is far more modern. They have developed a brand new entrance, with a modern layout and admission system. You now simply purchase a wristband as you would any other park and with it gain admission to everything in the park, bar a few rides, such as the Go Karts or some of the shows. Tickets are well priced at around £20-30 for an adult wristband, and £20 or less for a junior or OAP pass. Of course there are allways deals to be had, so keep an eye out in newspapers or on their website for any special promotions.
Summary: See you there.
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