“ Pleasure Beach, Blackpool „
My friend and I took our kids aged 9 and 12 to Nickelodeon Land and the Pleasure Beach and we had a fantastic day....it kept us busy all day and we were thoroughly exhausted when we came out!!
Our favourite rides were the Nickelodeon Streak which is the old Roller Coaster for those who remember the original!! It was great..both kids loved it and it was not too scary for the 9 year old and suitably hedonistic for the 12 year old!! We also loved Avatar which is a ride that spins round and then runs up and down a track whilst spinning...you sit on the outside so it is not for the faint hearted!! Our kids loved it but I would not recommend that particular ride for under 9s
We paid with clubcard vouchers and it cost us about £8 of those each....it would have been nearly £100 for the 4 of us if we had paid cash which we felt was really expensive....if you don't have clubcard vouchers you can get a Blackpool pass which lets you in to about 10 attractions including this one for about £70 which I would strongly recommend.
The downside was that there were not enough grown up rides for our 2 in Nickelodeon Land so we were glad that our passes covered us for the Pleasure Beach too...between the two parks there was more than enough for all of us to do. The inevitable queues are always a nuisance and you can buy fast passes but I wouldn't bother...we only queued between 5 and 25 minutes for any ride. The food is quite overpriced too so if you can take your own then I would advise it or get a stamp and pop out for food along the Golden Mile
For the last few years I had been thinking about having a day out to Blackpool Pleasure Beach but due to the cost I never got round to it. As soon as I heard about the renovation and introduction of Nickelodeon Land I knew I just had to take my daughter so we planned a day with my brother and his girlfriend so we could really make the most of it.
Blackpool Pleasure Beach is situated at the very south of Blackpool, just a little further down than the Sandcastle Water Park. You can even see the Big One (the large rollercoaster) from the motorway on the way into Blackpool at the opposite end to Blackpool Tower!
As we were planning the trip in advance I decided to use some of my Tesco Clubcard vouchers in exchange for a wristband is this worked out at £9.50 in vouchers for a £35 wristband. My brother purchased his wristbands online as this meant they were at a discounted price of ten pounds off and an offer that was on at the time meant they could buy two bands and get one free which meant my daughters wristband was free! As we had done the bookings online it meant we had to go into reception to collect the bands and this meant queuing for around ten minutes. When you enter the Pleasure Beach you now have to walk through quite a secure area and hand over your keys, phone and bags so they can be checked as you walk through a security gate which detects metal. This is just like airport security! Parking at the pleasure beach is extremely expensive so I parked on the Travelodge car park which is literally two minutes away and this cost £7.50 for the full days parking. There are other places you can park, there is parking all down the sea front but again this is more expensive than the Travelodge option but this does get full quite quickly due to the slightly cheaper price.
When we entered the Pleasure Beach we were a little confused as to where to go as it was many many years since we had been. Just inside the entrance there was a large area with water fountains in which the children (and adults if they so wish) can play. As it was such a hot day my brother decided he wanted a play in there so he and my daughter went in for a minute or so and ended up very wet! We had a walk around and then soon came across Nickelodeon Land and I was just amazed at the transformation from the old Beaver Creek area. You are just hit with bursts of colour and you immediately notice the large bright orange roller coaster standing out from the other rides. I have to say that I am not really a fan of Spongebob Squarepants but even I was surprised at how much I was drawn into it! We stood at the top of the slope for a few minutes just taking in all the rides and in the distance we could see Dora meeting and greeting the children.
There are twelve rides in Nickelodeon Land, and my daughter was just dying to get on each and every one of them. Even though the weather was very hot the Pleasure Beach was quiet due to the fact we had gone during term time and as my daughter was still in nursery at the time it didn't matter if she missed one session.
Diego's Rainforest Rescue was the first ride we went on as there was no queue at all. The ride is a ring of hot air balloons and you sit in the basket - there are four seats to each balloon. In the centre of the balloon you will see a rubber ring which you can turn to make the balloon spin around, much like the teacup rides at fairgrounds. This ride is great fun but I have to admit I came off it feeling quite sick from all the spinning my daughter did!
Next we went on to Fairy World Taxi Spin which my daughter decided she wanted to go on with my brother as she thought it was funny being called fairy and making my brother who is a 6ft 4" man (and really felt quite embarrassed going on that ride!) go on! Each carriage is a taxi cab and on the dashboard there is a button which controls the cab going up and down. From the top when you release the button you come down with a bit of a bump and a huge tummy tickle!!
The next ride we went on looked amazing and we all four went on - Spongebobs Splash Bash! This ride has jellyfish for carriages and as the ride begins you sink into water and are floating around in circles. Attached to the carriages are water guns which you have to manually turn a lever to make the gun spray. It is basically a huge water fight and everyone just sprays eachother and even at the sides of the ride there are water guns so people watching can spray also. It is safe to say we were absolutely drenched when we came off this ride but it was the most fun I think I have ever had at a theme park! We all came off in fits of laughter and couldn't wait to get on it again!
The Backyardigans Pirate Treasure is a pirate ship with a difference, the boat goes round like a roundabout but goes very very fast and there is no way my stomach could handle that but my daughter went on it alone and absolutely adored every second of it, even when it went backwards!
The Blue Flyer is a small roller coaster which is fab for younger children and there is a larger one called the Nickelodeon Streak but unfortunately my daughter was just a little too short to go on that one even though she was begging to.
Other rides include Avatar Airbender which is aimed at older children and adults, Rugrats Lost River which is basically a log flume, The Krusty Krab which is a smaller version of the Ice Blast ride (previously known as Playstation), Dora's World Voyage which is a very slow ride through different lands in a hot air balloon, Bikini Bus Tour which is a bus that goes round in circles and quite high so they can see the whole area and finally Wonder Pets Big Circus Bounce which is similar to the Fairy Cabs but unfortunately was closed when we were there.
Along with the rides there is a large hook a duck style game in the centre of the area where the prizes are all Spongebobs of different sizes. It is priced at £4 which does seem a little excessive but there is a prize every time and the children get two picks to add up the points to win a prize. There is a snack shack just next to the Splash Bash ride which sells snacks such as popcorn, candyfloss, hot dogs and such like. The gift shop is large and just packed with Spongebob and Dora The Explorer souvenirs.
If you wish to have a sit down meal there is a restaurant onsite called the Big Pizza Kitchen in which you have an all you can eat buffet. This is a really nice place to eat and the standard of pizza and salad is quite good, I would definitely eat there again. Next to the Big Pizza Kitchen there is a meet and greet area where the characters all come out one by one and there is the option for the children to have their photographs taken by the official photographer but also they allow you to take your own so you don't have to fork out extra money for their official pictures. Along with the meet and greet there is a show the characters put on which is great fun to watch and it was brilliant seeing my daughter dancing along to the music.
My overall opinion of Nickelodeon Land is an extremely positive one. I think it is a fantastic place for both children and adults alike and visually it is very pleasing with the bright colours. I have been twice during the summer holidays this year and on both occasions the queue time was very limited which is surprising as it is still relatively new and people were eager to make the most of the area. The longest queue we encountered was for the log flume but that is my daughters favourite ride so we had to queue up but even then it was for ten minutes at the most.
I loved seeing my daughter meeting the characters, when she met Diego he loved her bunches and held each one up for the photograph which was fab and now my daughter always says they are her Diego bunches when she has her hair up. I also like how at the end of the day the characters are stood at the exit so again there are photo opportunities. I was concerned about how my daughter would react with the characters initially as she was very scared last time we went to a theme park but as we are going to Disneyland next year I want her to feel comfortable meeting the large characters.
With the wristbands we had the option of using all of the rides which was great so we did go around the rest of the park and went on some of the other rides but we made sure we went back to Nickelodeon Land and had another go on the Splash Bash! By far the best ride in the Pleasure Beach in our opinion!
The one downside I have to Nickelodeon land (which does extend to the whole Pleasure Beach) is the system they have for going on the rides. At each gate when entering a ride there is a scanning system in which you have to flash the barcode on your wristband (by the end of the day we ended up feeling like we were on sale at Asda!!!) This was quite hard for my daughter to do by herself as the scanners are quite high and it was hard to twist her arm round correctly to scan the barcode. On some of the rides the staff were helpful but on others the staff were quite rude and impatient when she struggled and that was very unfair of them in my opinion!
All in all I think Nickelodeon Land is a fantastic day out and although the prices are quite expensive I do think it was worth it as we had a really good day.
Thank you for reading my review.
In the summer holidays my friend and I had decided to take our children to Blackpool Pleasure Beach but more specifically to Nickelodeon Land inside the Pleasure Beach which is aimed at children in particular.
The Pleasure Beach really is quite hard to miss if you are in Blackpool as it is situated on the main street of Blackpool and the large Big One ride is very prominent in the sky! The address though, for the purpose of this review is as follows:
525 Ocean Boulevard,
==Booking and Prices==
Given that it is quite expensive to go to the theme park my friend and I decided to use some tesco clubcard vouchers to purchase an adult wrist band each which cost £9.50 in vouchers but if you were to purchase them using cash they would have cost us £35.00 at the time that we went which is obviously peak time. We both purchased a child's wristband online which cost £20.00 each but this did allow us to go on other rides around the park as well as Nickelodeon Land.
What it is important to note is that prices are significantly reduced should you visit during term time so I would advise adults wishing to go along with children who aren't yet in school do this. You can also get a slightly cheaper price should you book online in advance which is what we did for our day out.
We arrived around 10.30am and the park opened at 10am. Times change obviously depending on the season and so it is worth checking out the website before you go. We parked on the car park next to the theme park and near to the Travelodge hotel and this cost us £7.50 for the day which isn't too bad really.
Despite arriving not long after the park opened there were quite long queues to get the wrist bands and even if you have booked online you do need to queue up to go and get your band put on. They do have plenty of staff working in the ticket office though and so we only waited for around five minutes. Staff put the wrist band on your arm for you and then you need to go through another gate and through some security measures which I can only liken to those in an airport as I had to hand my phone in and such like but I suppose in this day and age the checks really are necessary.
There is a short walk past some of the larger rides before you get to Nickelodeon Land. As I mentioned we did purchase wristbands which ensured we would be able to go on all of the rides in the park should we wish to but we couldn't really make the most of them because our children are seven and four respectively and weren't up for riding roller coasters for the most part! We did get to go on a few rides around the park but for the purpose of this review I intend to focus on Nickelodeon Land as this was where we spent the bulk of our time.
Nickelodeon Land isn't that old really. It was built in 2011 and replaced Beaver Creek which was the area I remember from visits to Blackpool Pleasure Beach as a child. As expected from such a new build the six acre area is brightly coloured and features rides which look modern and colourful. Even as an adult I appreciated the coolness of this area and my son in particular was really excited to see areas such as "The Krusty Krab" as he is a real spongebob squarepants fan. There are actually only twelve rides within Nickelodeon Land and I was surprised by this as it is a large area but there was actually plenty to keep us going despite the fact that a couple of rides seemed to be out of action due to high winds on the day we visited.
What I found really frustrating was the fact that to enter a ride you needed to scan the bar code on your wrist band and much like on the tesco self service check outs there always seemed to be issues! There were members of staff there to help out when required but given that the children were wanting to go on some rides on their own I did feel like the system was a little bit silly especially as there were staff there to man the rides and we had already gone through security measures as well.
Fairy world taxi spin was the first ride that we went on and despite the name it isn't really a girly ride and so my son was happy enough to get on it! You are sat in a taxi but there are buttons in each cab and so you are able to control if you go up in the air and when with that. My son thought it was hilarious as we bumped as he brought us back down from the sky and so this ride was a huge hit for him!
Diego's rainforest rescue was the next ride we went on and this was a hot air balloon style ride but each balloon had a handle in the middle much like on the tea cups ride which you could turn to make your balloon spin whilst in the air! My son thought this was great again but it made me feel quite sick and so I did have to limit the spinning on this one! The kids enjoyed being lifted in the bikini Bottom bus tour and as it was one they could go on on their own they felt quite grown up I think.
The blue flyer is a mini rollercoaster for the kids and I have to say I loved this one as much as my son and would have happily gone on it again! There isn't many big drops but it does tickle your tummy some what as it whizzes around and so it was a fun ride to go on. The larger Nickelodeon streak roller coaster was running but we didn't go on this one as my friend doesn't love roller coasters and I didn't want to take my son on it and leave her daughter sitting alone or vice versa.
The backyardigans pirate treasure was a little boat ride that my son and his friend went on alone but I have to say it whizzed round quite quickly! The kids loved it and felt grown up going on it on their own too. They also went on the Krusty Krab order up ride which is basically a ride which lifts them in the air then drops them quite suddenly. My friend and I were laughing so much watching them and wondering if they were terrified or that they loved it but they both came off and were asking to go on it again!
The ride which needs the most special mention is spongebob's splash bash. I have to say I was terrified about going on this ride because the concept is simply that your boat is lowered in to the water and you spin a handle which in turns works a water gun which you spray at the others boats and people watching from the side lines! My friend told me the last time she went on this she was soaked and given that I am a girly girl with my hair and make up nice I was worried I would look a drowned rat or be a target for people! Still I got on with it and got on the ride and can honestly say it was one of the funniest things I have ever been on! You literally do get very wet, even with your hood up but squirting unsuspecting people who on concentrating on getting other people wet is hilarious and we all thought this was the best ride of the day! There are drying booths for you to go in when you come out but we didn't bother and we did dry off naturally relatively quickly.
Rugrats lost river is the mini log flume for Nickelodeon land but we didn't end up going on this one as the last time I went to a theme park I got soaked on the log flume and the weather wasn't wonderful initially when we visited Blackpool so I decided to avoid this one especially as I was only just drying from the splash bash ride! Another ride we didn't go on was Dora's world voyage which my friend thought my son would be really bored by and the avatar airbender ride which was out of action on the day we visited.
The rides are obviously the main focus in Nickelodeon land and they are colourful, modern looking and seem well made. At no point did I feel unsafe and to be honest there are some rides in the main area of the pleasure beach that I wonder why they haven't fallen to pieces yet (Grand National I am looking at you!) Obviously around the area they do want to make extra money off us parents and so the children did have a go on a hook a duck game which cost four pounds for two go's and in the end my son ended up with a rubbish little cushion being thrown at him by the attendant which he could attach to his window and he was quite upset by this. In retrospect I do wish that I had just called in the Nickelodeon shop and given him a fiver to spend because at least then he would have had some choice over what he got.
There is a designated area where characters come out to meet and greet the children and you can have your photo taken with them. There is an official photographer taking photo's but we were allowed to take our own pictures too at this point. My friend was told not to take pictures later on in the main park with the beaver character as he was a "licensed product" which we thought was ridiculous given we had paid entry prices and all they wanted was for us to purchase their official photograph! My son had his picture taken with SpongeBob and Patrick from SpongeBob Squarepants and my friends daughter also had a picture with Diego. We didn't spot any other characters but they did seem to be coming out quite regularly and there wasn't a massive wait to have a picture with them when they did come out.
There is a place called Big Pizza Kitchen in Nickelodeon land where we decided to have our lunch and it was a buffet style pizza place and cost £7.95 for adults and £4.95 for children and then you had to purchase drinks on top. The food was okay but in retrospect we probably should have headed out of the park for some food and returned and it really did add to the cost of the day out and it wasn't wonderful. I don't want to talk too much about the food though as I plan to review the food place separately. The toilets are up by the Big Pizza Kitchen though as opposed to in there and we did find that there were plenty of toilets and that they were stocked with toilet roll, hand wash and dryers as well so we had no complaints with those.
I would certainly recommend a trip to Nickelodeon land with your children. I think the area is bright, modern and fun for all of the family and it is a great day out. I would recommend looking to tesco clubcard vouchers or visiting during term time or out of season if you can simply because it can prove to be expensive for all of the family to go but I do still very much recommend it as a day out. I would also say purchase the wristband which allows you to use the other rides in the park as it is only around an extra fiver and we were able to go on a good few rides in the main park too which the children enjoyed.
If you go to the pleasure beach with the knowledge that yes it is going to be expensive but it will also be a good day out then you won't be disappointed. It does frustrate me that bags are checked for food and drink and you are not allowed to take your own in because I feel the costs are already expensive enough to go in to the attraction but you can leave the park and get your hand stamped for a later return and just head to a chip shop or café nearby.
Thank you for reading my review!
We live in Blackpool and therefore have a vast array of activities (or temptations!) available on our doorstep.
The latest addition to these being Nickelodeon Land as Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
My 7 year old son had been nagging me to take him as soon as he heard that it had opened. Passing it on the way to school on a daily basis also didn't help!
Part way through the Summer Holidays I decided to give in - well partly.....I used my Tesco Club Card vouchers!
£11 of club card vouchers can be exchanged for 1 adult/child wrist band, valid for one day. The wrist band provides entry to all the rides at The Pleasure Beach as well as Nickelodeon Land.
For those actually paying for wrist bands, they cost £22 when bought online, it is one price for all regardless of age.
The price increases when bought at the gate on the day:
Wrist bands for Nickelodeon ONLY cost £18, online or at the gate.
For those not wishing to use the rides eg accompanying children, Pleasure Beach passes are available for £5 per person, allowing entry into the park and also the maze, Pleasure Beach Express (train ride) and a couple of children's shows.
If a pass is purchased and you decide that you then want to buy a wristband the £5 is deducted from the cost.
Children under the age of 2 years are provided with a free pass but once they can walk unaided and wish to use the rides they must have a wrist band or ride tickets - come on Pleasure Beach, have a heart!!! £18/£22 to go on a few baby rides when the rest of the family have purchased wrist bands at great cost, it's a bit mean!!
Likewise, if an adult wishes to accompany a child on the Nickelodeon rides they must also pay £18, the Pleasure Beach pass does not permit this. This can result in a very costly outing.
The Pleasure Beach opens it's doors at 10.00am, although the rides are not in operation until 10.30am, times are also staggered, so some open later. It closes at 8pm but check the website for confirmation prior to visiting.
I used to work at the Pleasure Beach and had not been back since it had changed to wrist bands and the fee entry system.
I assumed entry would be a speedy process as previously but unfortunately it wasn't!
We arrived at 10.45am. There were two large queues adjacent to the rear car park - there was no distinction in the queues. Those who had purchased online, buying on the day or exchanging vouchers - all queue together. A very poor system.
If you happen to go - use the left hand queue heading through the Globe Theatre, it looks much longer from the outside but it is far quicker.
It took us around half an hour to queue to get in. Compared to other theme parks their entry system is a bit of a joke.
Nickelodeon Land is situated at the far side of the park up the ramp next to the ice drome and down the other side.
Those who have visited the Pleasure Beach previously will recognise the new attraction as the old Beaver Creek - what was the children's park, housing rides such as The Magic Mountain, Lilttle Dipper etc.
This area has not increased in size and it must be noted that it forms only a small part of The Pleasure Beach.
If you have not visited before do not have any grand ideas on the scale of Alton Towers or even Gullivers World. There are probably only a few more rides for children in this area than there are on South or Central Pier.
Nickelodeon Land is made up of 12 rides, the odd gift shop and a couple of eateries.
There are at least three rides that remain from the old beaver creek - the log flume - now named The Rug Rats Lost River, the little dipper now known as The Blue Flyer and the roller coaster - re-named The Nickelodeon Streak (the old wooden frame has now been painted bright orange, whilst the carriages have had an orange make over!).
One of the better rides for young children - The Magic Mountain has gone and has been replaced by Dora's World Voyage. A very tame water ride. Floating along in a would be balloon sailing past various forms of plastic wildlife!
The problem with Nick Land is that it is not aimed at any one age range - if anything it is too broad. Height restrictions apply on the rides meaning that many children cannot ride without an adult.
Rides such as The Nick Streak are far too scary for younger children - even if they did break the height barrier. Many of the children on this ride had come over from The Pleasure Beach side and were I would say a minimum of 8/9 years old, quite a few were teenagers, not to mention lots of adults without children.
Like wise for the new Avatar Airbender. Similar in thrills I would say to a Pirate Ship but a bit sleeker and faster and also on rails (how simlilar?!). Too old for most children visiting.
There is of course the obligatory basic up and down ride, similar to the old style helicopters and planes but a more modern, bright pink and named The Fairy Taxi Spin - there was no way I was getting my son on that! I assume it would be the same for other boys.
By far the best ride in this area is Spongebob's Splash Bash. Children and adults alike were clamouring to get back on it after their first ride. It is a ride you walk on to. Once in the multi capacity boat, the floor drops and water rises outside.
The boats then spin quite slowly passing other boats (I think there are about three, each holding 6+ people).
It doesn't sound all that great until you take into account the guns!
Each person has a water gun which they operate by spinning a lever, pumping water out of the gun. The idea is to drench as many people as possible be they in other boats or innocent bystanders. The innocent bystanders do get a chance to wreak revenge as there are guns situated just outside the ride aimed at the boats.
Both my son and I thought this ride to be hilarious. We were completely wet through after the first time so went on twice more!
Because Nick Land is quite small it becomes extremely congested, particularly as many of the guests have a pram or two! We didn't queue that long for any ride - we averaged around 15 minutes per ride although The Nick Streak was by far the longest at around 35 minutes.
Each time you enter a ride you need to scan your wrist band at a turnstile. I think this slows down the process somewhat.
There certainly was not enough in Nick Land to keep my 7 year old amused. Had we purchased only the Nick Land wrist bands I would have felt cheated.
I recommend that if buying a wrist band for whatever age to spend the extra £4 per person (online price) and go for the full pleasure Beach/Nick Land combined wrist band.
There are still plenty of rides on the Pleasure Beach itself that younger children will enjoy such as Alice In Wonderland, The Flying Machines, The River Caves and The Gold Mine - this list is not comprehensive, I'm sure that I forgotten quite a few!
Food isn't cheap on The Pleasure Beach so I would advise taking drinks and snacks. If you plan to go on the water rides and not get wet some kind of waterproof wear is a must!
A handy tip - Nick Land does quieten down considerably after 5pm. We returned after going on the bigger rides on The Pleasure Beach and found we could walk on to any ride without queuing, it was then that we took advantage of the Spongebob wet rides.
Get there early, if you plan to go on all rides in both parks, you will not have time to do them all.
Pleasure Beach would be better to offer a discounted second day ticket so that full advantage of all rides can be taken. It would also ease the pressure when rushing from one ride to the next!
They do however offer cheaper early evening tickets. although it remains to be seen how much a person could do in such a short time.
In my day, the park would remain open until midnight - the wrist band system has removed any need for late night opening, unfortunately at the expense of the consumer - pay the same price for a limited service. It's always the way!
A fun but costly day out.
In the May half term holidays earlier this year I'd made a promise to my six-year-old daughter we would visit a theme park. Originally I had Alton Towers in mind, but living way up North it's a bit of a journey and a little much for just one day, as well as being put off by the idea of 5 hours coach time each way. Light Water Valley and Flamingoland were also options, but unfortunately coach trips didn't coincide with the rest of our plans that week and getting there by train would be difficult to say the least. Having visited Blackpool's Pleasure Beach a couple of years ago and finding it surprisingly good this seemed like the best option. It was only when I went to book online I discovered that there'd been a bit of a revamp and Nickelodeon Land had just opened to the public.
Anyone who's visited the Pleasure Beach will know the specific kids area towards the back of the park called Beaver Creek. On our previous visit my daughter had really enjoyed this area, despite the fact it looked quite tired and outdated. It's this area that has been cleared out to make way for the all-new, bright and colourful Nickelodeon Land, which opened its doors in April this year.
Buying tickets was a simple case of booking online and collecting wristbands at the collection point on the day. There is no extra charge for Nickelodeon Land if you buy a park pass, which gives you access to the entire Pleasure Beach and all it's rides. With a £5 discount if bought online as opposed to the gate, I paid £27 for my adult wristband and £22 for a child's, which is on the pricey side but comparable to other theme parks. However you can also buy wristbands for Nickelodeon land only for little people at £18 as long as they are with a full paying adult. To be honest this seems false economy, as there are other rides suitable for children in the rest of the park and it limits you to one area only. Non-riders can also buy a park pass for £5, which allows them entry to the park, the South Beach show and the Pleasure Beach Express. Packages are available for groups and families of four or more. Nickelodeon Land observes the same opening hours as the rest of the park, which on our visit was 11am until 6pm, although this varies during the season.
Arriving at the park on the first warm sunny day we'd seen in a while I was surprised at how quiet it was. I was expecting it to be packed being the summer holidays but while busy, it wasn't over crowded and queues where no less than 10 minutes all day. As my daughter was excited about Nickelodeon Land, this is where we immediately headed and my first impressions were wow! The transformation here is amazing. Everything is so bright, clean and fresh looking. We got straight to work on the twelve rides, which include some brand new and some old favourites with a makeover.
First up we headed for the Blue Flyer. Once the zipper dipper, this old wooden roller coaster for little thrill seekers has been revamped with snazzy new carriages and striking blue track. This was one of my daughters most anticipated rides as she loved it previously and she wasn't disappointed. Next we headed to the all-new Diego's Rain Forest Adventure, a ride with hot air balloon carriages that go surprisingly high and riders can spin crazily or lazily view the whole park. Onto Fairly Odd Parent's Taxi Spin, a fun ride similar to helicopters that bounce up and down as they go around and one very small children will enjoy getting behind the wheel of. Other great rides for the very small include The Backyardigans Pirate Treasure, Wonder Pets Big Circus Bounce (both roundabout style rides with twists) and The Bikini Bottom Bus Tour ride.
Feeling a little brave my daughter decided to have a go at Krusty Crabs Order Up even though I decided on sitting this one out due to the small looking seats (and possible embarrassment at not fitting) This is a mini 'drop' ride formally The Fruit Shoot and was very popular with kids aged around my daughters age. Despite this the waiting time was minimal, 5 minutes each time and she ran on and off this several times while I rested my feet. Then it was off again to The Rugrats Lost River Ride, the rethemed water chute. Word of warning here- you will get soaked! This is a pretty tame ride, though will seem huge to young kids and lots of fun, however if it's not the warmest of days you may want to skip it. Luckily we dried quickly in the sun, but my daughter decided she didn't want to get wet again and passed up on one of the most popular rides in the park, Sponge Bob's Splash Back, a roundabout that allows you to squirt other riders with a water gun. I can't say I was disappointed.
The 'Show piece' ride of the park is Dora's World Voyage, a river track ride similar to Disney's Small World, with an equally catchy and annoying song. This ride is a slow voyage around different countries and scenes featuring favourite characters from Dora The Explorer. I'm a bit sad to say however this was the only real disappointment of the day, possibly down to my six-year olds disgust at being forced to go on such a childish ride. And in a way she's right, it lacked the ageless charm of Small World, however I can see pre schoolers finding it magical.
Nickelodeon Land doesn't just cater for the young though, with two white-knuckle rides for older children. The Avatar Airbender was an interesting disc spinning ride, and wholly unsuitable for someone my daughter's height and so was avoided. However one ride had my daughter fascinated all day. The Nickelodeon Streak, once known as Pleasure Beaches Roller Coaster. Compared to the mammoth modern coasters this wooden big dipper looks pretty tame, but for small children it's a big deal! She wanted to go on, and measuring her against the height chart she was just at the minimum height to ride, but kept deciding against it. That is right until the very last minute when we were just about to leave. This was the longest queue we stood in, around 15 minutes and the staff were very vigilant in checking heights of smaller children. I was secretly hoping she'd be turned away like others in the queue, as I was convinced she would hate it (and OK I was a little nervous too) but soon enough we found ourselves sat in the new, sleek carriages facing the first dip. And we both loved it! The Streak is an old favourite with a bright modern look and a fabulous first coaster for adventurous young ones.
Other Stuff and Facilities
Nickelodeon is fantastically themed throughout with all the favourite TV characters featuring on rides and attraction. As well, there's meet the character opportunities, where they come out to greet the children, dance a little and pose for photographs. This was very popular as you can imagine, and small children will be thrilled to meet Dora, Diego, Sponge Bob et al, although my daughter was less than impressed again * sigh *
As you may expect there's a Nickelodeon shop selling character merchandise, and yes...it's very expensive. I allowed my daughter to buy a small Sponge Bob soft toy at £7 and felt a little cheated. It's difficult to find any souvenir under £5. If you're hoping to avoid this it will be difficult as it's situated right in the middle of the park.
Toilets were plentiful, extremely clean and easily found. There are two places to eat in Nickelodeon Land, Big Pizza Kitchen (an all you can eat buffet restaurant) situated in the newly painted and themed Space Mountain, and a fast food stall selling hot dogs and chips. While we ate elsewhere in the park, I'm guessing our Hot Dog and chips were the same as on offer here. As far as fast food goes they're pretty good and the chips come in a little bucket with mini spade that can be used on the beach later. I paid £8 for two hotdogs, a bucket of chips and a large Pepsi, probably about what you can expect in these places. Unfortunately you're not able to bring food into the park, which seems a little mean, so you will need to factor in the cost of eating into your trip.
Both my daughter and I were very impressed with Nickelodeon Land! The extent of the refurbishment is huge; everything is bright, clean, modern and clean looking. There are plenty of rides for children of all ages and the theming is fabulous. The facilities are exceptional and the staff friendly and helpful, apart from one lady operating the Fairly Odd Parents ride who could have done with some customer service training. I was a little annoyed by her attitude as she tried to double up carriages and put us in the back of another families, which of course wasn't going to work as every child wants to drive their own carriage! Other than that, the service and attention to health and safety was impeccable.
While I can't imagine spending the whole day in Nickelodeon Land, combined with the rest of the park there is more than enough to allow you to spend the whole day here. I was surprised by the lack of crowds, but I expect that Blackpool Pleasure Beach is yet to disassociate itself with it's tackier past. Personally I think it's comparable now with the other big theme parks in the country. The introduction of the £5 park pass has completely eradicated drunken undesirables hanging around, the fortune tellers and kiss me quick hat stalls have been cleared away and it's now exceptionally clean and well maintained.
I really do recommend checking out Nickelodeon Land, especially for those with younger children and I think you'll find there's far more to entertain them than at other theme parks, who seem to go for big thrill rides and children are almost an after thought. Nickelodeon Land makes Pleasure Beach a great place for all the family, there really is something for everyone and I promise you will come away impressed and looking forward to returning.
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