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Kids enjoyed it....I didn't
Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Member Name: Firelady
Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Advantages: The rides are ok although not many exciting ones for my thrill seeking teenagers
Disadvantages: Overpriced, dirty, badly maintained. Terrible food and customer service
I agreed to take my daughters to Blackpool Pleasure Beach as a treat a couple of weeks ago. It is not my favourite place on earth but they like theme parks so we went.
It was a reasonably nice day... not too hot and we had bought wristbands online for £22 each. I wasn't bothered about going on any of the rides so I was pleased to find I could buy an entry only wristband for £5 which is a refreshing change after Alton Towers which charges the full price entry even if you have no interest in or intention of going on any of the rides.
I went with memories of my previous visit which was 24 years ago when I was scared half to death by the Wild Mouse Ride. Encouraging to see that that is still there and still looks as rickety as it was all those years ago. The girls were keen to go on as many rides as possible. I imagine other reviewers will talk about the rides but I thought I would look at the other aspects of the park as I am sure I'm not the only person who can't go on the rides. Many parents with very young children would be in the same situation so I thought I would write about the general condition of the place and refreshments available.
The park generally looks very tired. There are a few areas which look newer...an area where fountains spring out of the pavement and an area next to a coffee type place come to mind but as we were walking over to the Avalanche ride I was struck by the general lack of care and attention. There were lots of areas which just seemed in desperate need of a lick of paint and we walked over one bridge which was extremely worn and in need of resurfacing. I was interested to notice while we were there that there were some apparent management staff showing some visitors around and I wondered what they thought of the general uncared for appearance of most of the park. I wouldn't normally be bothered by these things but we had been to Alton Towers a few weeks' previously and paid a similar price for entry and everything there is extremely well maintained and the whole park is a pleasure to walk around.
I decided to get a coffee. At first glance this seemed promising as I found a coffee bar which advertised that it sold Starbucks coffee. So far so good. I ordered a cappuccino to take away. It seems the guy who served me was being trained. Unfortunately for me the manager training him had not appeared to have shown him how to work the machine before they had a real paying customer. It took about 7 minutes to get my cappuccino. Not good. I walked back over to the Pepsi Max where I was meeting my daughters and realised that the coffee was almost stone cold...not even tepid and totally disgusting. I couldn't face walking all the way back to the coffee place to complain so just threw it in a bin. Having been charged Starbucks prices I wonder if Starbucks know the quality of the service that is being provided on their behalf by Blackpool Pleasure Beach?
We decided to have some lunch a bit later. I attempted to queue to get some noodles but as the queue had about 7 people in it and there was one guy serving who seemed to be making every single dish from scratch one at a time I gave up and went to the hot dogs counter. Next to this was a place where you could buy hot pies and pasties but there was no one serving there and the surly teenager who was serving the hot dogs didn't know where the person was who should have been there and couldn't possibly get a pastie for me from there despite the fact it was right next to her. Having then paid nearly £3 for a portion of curly fries for my daughter and £4 for a hot dog and they didn't even have any onions I decided to give up on the hospitality side of the Pleasure Beach.
There also seemed to be only one toilet place as far as I could see which meant you had to walk back from the other side of the park to nearly the entrance to go to the loo. Again I couldn't help comparing it to Alton Towers which has numerous toilets all over the park.
All in all it is a pretty unpleasant place to spend the day. The children enjoyed the rides but I think the whole enterprise is grubby, shabby, the customer service is quite frankly dreadful and it is vastly overpriced compared to what is offered by the other big theme parks in the UK. I won't be rushing back.
Summary: A nasty place to spend a day. I don't want to give it even 1 star but I'm not allowed to
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