Having visited Blackpool on several occasions since I was a child, I am very familiar with Blackpool Pleasure Beach. We visited here with our five year old son on Saturday the 11th of May and this review discusses our experience as a young family. As you would expect, this will be a long review but I would like to get my opinion across on the different facilities.
~Blackpool Pleasure Beach - Essential Information~
525 Ocean Boulevard
Blackpool Pleasure Beach (BPB for short) is around 1.5miles from the shopping centre of Blackpool and a few minutes walk from the Sandcastle and South Pier. BPB is promoted as being 'Britain's favourite amusement park' and is set across 42 acres of land. It is home to 10 thrill rides and 17 noted family rides though the website does state over 125 rides in total. BPB is also home to Nickelodeon Land which offers a further 12 rides.
BPB is open from March to November but you should check the times as they change depending on when you plan on visit. We visited on a Saturday and the park was open from 10.00-18.00 but if we had visited the previous day, it was only open from 11.00-17.00. Tickets can be booked online or purchased at the entrance on your arrival. We chose to book online and received a confirmation letter to print out. This was a simple process and we were given our wristbands at the ticket office.
BPB has five car parks and room to accommodate over 1000 cars. They are pre-pay car parks. Alternatively, you can arrive on foot or by tram. BPB offer tickets for rides but it is best to purchase a wristband. They also charge for entry to the park if you aren't using the rides - £6.00 to be exact which I don't consider fare but I suppose it stops people from going in to loiter or cause trouble like they do at my local theme park. Prices vary and it is worth looking out for a special deal especially if you book online.
The gate price is around £35.00 per adult and £30.00 per children but this is due to be reduced next month I believe. The current online prices are as follows :
*Adult full park wristband - £25.50
*Nickelodeon Land wristband - £18.70
*Childrens full park wristband - £22.94
*Family wristband - £86.00
*Big Value Pass - £50.00
Speedy passes are available at an additional cost.
Once booked, tickets cannot be refunded if the weather is bad. BPB recently introduced a rainy day offer which means that if it rains for three 'consecutive' hours during your visit, you get a voucher to come back the next day. There are various shows than can be booked in the park including Hot Ice. Full details can be found on the website.
~Arriving At The Park~
As we were staying just outside the park, we got there as it opened and it was already very busy despite the weather being pretty awful. I had booked online and paid just under £75.00 for our tickets and an additional cost for food which I will discuss later on. The security and reception staff are quite abrupt and not particularly friendly but efficient. The lady who put our wristbands on is in my sons bad books for putting his on too tight. Let's just say we had tears at trying to remove it! We had to go through security at the park and they search your bags to ensure you aren't taking and food or weapons in to the park. Security is very tight and we noticed police in the park during our visit. We were given a range of discount vouchers and a map after receiving our wrist bands.
The park hasn't ever really changed in layout - only the rides. It is quite a big amusement park and they have made great use of the space that they have. BPB is fairly well maintained and appeared to be clean and tidy. The flat and spacious pavements make it suitable for wheelchairs and those with pushchairs. Disability information is available from the website should you need assistance. We found the park easy to walk around and the map was very useful in helping us locate the entrance to the various rides. There are the typical teddy win stalls dotted around the park at £2.00 a pop. There is a few amusement arcades within the park too if you want a break from the rides. We bought ponchos (around £7.50 for three) as it was very wet when we arrived.
There is a really good selection of rides at BPB and whilst there are a few bigger rides for thrill seekers, there is plenty for families to experience. Some rides have height restrictions so our son wasn't able to ride them all but he was far from being bored. We took it in turns to take him on the more suitable rides whilst the other parent went on the bigger rides. A few of the rides have been painted and they have been maintained well but I was disappointed to see that Space Invader 2 and a few others are no longer in the park. Safety on the rides is paramount and they are quite strict.
The Big One (formally the Pepsi Max and opened in 1994) is the main attraction within the park. This 213ft high (above ground level) rollercoaster dominates the Blackpool sky line is absolutely massive! I've been on it at a few times over the years but can't face it now as I'm terrified of the high drop. It really is an epic ride and not one for those who get scared easily. During our visit, it didn't open until 2pm due to high winds. The queue once opened was quite long but not like it was when it first opened. I remember my Dad and sister waiting 3hours to get on it!
Ice Blast is located at the entrance of the park and is one of my favourite rides. At 180feet in height, it isn't for the faint hearted. You are shot up into the air at some speed and it is really thrilling. Avalanche is another good ride which is like a bobsled within a Swiss cabin. If you are a fan of under track rollercoasters, you will love Infusion which is built over water. The two oldest rides in the park are showing age but are worth going on. Grand National is a dual-track rollercoaster with many dips and fun to ride. I highly recommend a ride on the Big Dipper which was opened in 1923 and is an old fashioned, wooden rollercoaster.
Opened in 1958. the Wild Mouse is another wooden ride but the last time I went on this, I didn't feel right at all as it is very rough and bumpy. Revolution (formally Irn Bru Revolution) is a fab ride and one which I always go on when I visit. It is classed as being a 'steel shuttle' rollercoaster which sends you forward through a loop and then back again. Our favourite thrill ride in the park is by far Valhalla! This opened in 2000 and is an indoor water ride in the dark. It is amazing and it is hard to believe that there is so much to it by looking at the outside of the ride. Be prepared to get very wet but well worth it!
Our son wasn't disappointed by the rides on offer. The family friendly rides are dotted around the park and there is plenty to try out. Most involved him having to ride with an adult so we took it in turns to avoid either parent being left out. Our first family ride was Alice in Wonderland which is just lovely. Opened in 1961, this partial indoor ride shows the story of Alice and the other characters. It is lovely but could be doing with being maintained a bit better and it does go a little fast to be able to enjoy it properly.
I was a bit wary of going on the Derby Racer with our son. This carousel features 56 horses and is super fast compared to a regular carousel. He loved it though and I settled knowing Daddy was hanging on to him tightly! We went on the Flying Machines at just the wrong time as it started to hailstone. The Flying Machines is the oldest ride in the park - 109 years old to be exact. We enjoyed the other family rides including the Eddie Stobart trucks, the Tetley Teacups, the Grand Prix, River Caves and Vintage Carousel. The rides were fun and the operators were friendly enough. We didn't really need to wait to go on any of these rides.
We went on the new ride - Wallace and Gromit Thrill-O-Matic which only opened in April. I would say that the ride was okay but nothing particularly special given how much it was promoted. It wasn't exactly thrilling and was a little too dark for my son who had no idea who Wallace or Gromit was. I feel they could have done a little more to make it more worthwhile to go on as there was a lot of spaces in the ride which could have been filled better. I would recommend a quick walk through of Impossible as you learn some interesting facts but don't be fooled by the swing ride at the back!
We were disappointed that the Monorail was no longer in operation as I always enjoyed going around the park on it. We did go on the Pleasure Beach Express train which departs every 20minutes from the centre of the park. This train used to stop at the opposite end of the park but this station is no longer open which is a shame. The Chinese Puzzle maze is free to enter if you have a pass or wristband and is a fun way to spend 10 minutes or an hour like myself and fiance a few years ago!
Our wristband included access to Nickelodeon Land which was opened in 2011. Despite our last visit being as a couple with no children, we previously enjoyed going on some of the childrens rides. This area of the park used to be called Beaver Creek and it has been completely taken over by Nickelodeon Land. BPB aren't daft - they have converted the two rollercoasters here to Nickelodeon rollercoasters as opposed to building anything new.
To be fair, we are more keen on Disney than Nickelodeon but we really enjoyed this area of the park and found it to be very family friendly. My son was too small to ride the Nickelodeon Streaker so we made do with the Blue Flyer. The Blue Flyer was originally known as the Zipper Dipper and has been renovated. It is a small, wooden rollercoaster which my five year old loved going on. We also enjoyed Dora's World Voyage which is a small water ride with fun things to observe. The best ride in this area was SpongeBob's Splash Bash which involved us soaking other people with water guns!
During our time in Nickelodeon Land, we also went on various other rides including the Bikini Bottom Bus Tour, Taxi Spin, Rugrats Lost River and Krusty Krab order up. My son thoroughly enjoyed all the rides and so much so that we returned later in the day to try them all out again! Both myself and my fiance took it in turns to go on the Avatar Airbender which was simply amazing but I had to close my eyes on it! This ride involved sitting on a disk with a back support holding you in. It spins half circle up a track and is soooo cool!
We were pleased to meet some characters during our time here and we could have our pictures taken with them or take our own which is what I chose to do. My fiance was delighted to learn that the Turtles would be there and insisted on both him and our son getting their picture taken with his hereos! As my son isn't a huge fan of SpongeBob and Dora, he didn't wish to buy anything from the merchandise shop - it looked expensive as you would expect.
~Food on Offer and Shops~
As you aren't allowed to bring a picnic, you may need to purchase food within the park. There is a lot of food on offer. If you are just after a snack, the shacks near Infusion offer donuts, crepes, fish and chips, ice cream and drinks. You can also relax with a proper meal in Coasters, Big Pizza Kitchen etc. We opted to take advantage of the 'all you can eat' deal which is discounted if booked online. I figured this would stop us from having to take much cash into the park. I paid £17.50 per adult and £12.50 for our son and we received an additional wristband which needed scanned at each outlet.
The all you can eat allows you to make return visits to six different outlets and order meals, cakes and drinks. Ice cream, sweets and alcohol aren't provided. As we spent 8 hours in the park, we did make use of the dining facilities and had a bit of everything really. Our first stop was to Emberton's which is a little cafe. We ordered a cupcake each and a draught drink and found it to be really nice. They also offer baguettes and hot food which is included. I returned later in the day for a slice of cheesecake as it looked delicious!
We got peckish a little while later so visited Beach Burger across from Alice in Wonderland and ordered a hot dog and drink which we found to be really nice. My son asked for another hot dog at dinner time! Later in the day, we made a visit to Coasters. My fiance had a burger, I had fajitas and our son had chicken and chips. Including drinks, this would have came to over £25.00 but we got it included which saved us quite a bit.The food was nice enough but not amazing. We also visited Big Pizza Kitchen for a pit stop. Our son doesn't like pizza or pasta so had some garlic bread and a drink whilst we helped ourselves to a slice of pizza and some tomato based pasta. It was lovely and I would recommend here as it is a buffet service (around £8.00 at full price).
As we were due to leave the park at 6pm, we decided to have dinner in here and opted for The Plaice. We were told we could only have fish and chips or just chips rather than anything else. We ordered fish and sat outside. The fish and chips was nice but not as good as the chip shops on the promenade. It was a bit too crispy but we ate it as we were leaving the park. I do think that if you are going to be in the park all day, the all you can eat does offer good value for money. We hardly spent any additional money on food except for an ice cream cone (which was a ridiculous £1.95). There are other food outlets if you want something more fancy including seafood and champagne.
There are a few shops within the park which offer BPB merchandise. We had planned on buying a few bits but lost track of time and aside from the ponchos, we didn't get to purchase anything. I did notice shops selling teddies, jumpers, sweets etc but they are likely to be less expensive outside of the park.
~Outside The Park~
There is a lot to do in the vicinity of the park. I recommend a visit to Ripley's Believe It Or Not. Pasaje del Terror is said to be really scary. It is an interactive walk through experience with live actors but as we had a little one with us, we couldn't go in! I recommend The Grill which is attatched to the Pleasure Beach. The food is a little expensive but absolutely delicious. There is a Pizza Hut and various shops along Ocean Boulevard too.
We enjoyed our trip to Blackpool Pleasure Beach. We thought we would get around it all very quickly but it does take a while to experience everything that it has to offer. Once you are in, all the rides except for one or two, non manned rides are including in your wristband. During our visit, the Steeplechase ride was out of service but this was already noted on the BPB website. Some rides could do with a revamp but nothing major. We visited a few toilets during our visit and had mixed experiences. The toilets at Alice in Wonderland were immaculate as were the toilets at the exit of the maze but the downstairs toilet underneath Coasters was horrible and didn't work properly.
Thankfully the weather perked up and we were able to experience the park without being soaked. I find it to be a family friendly park with a wide selection of rides to suit everyone. It doesn't have the same impact or thrill as Alton Towers or other big parks but it is worth a visit. It is expensive but you get a lot for your money if you are there the full day. I do feel they could extend their opening hours though as I remember the park used to be open until 10pm at night when I was younger!
We will return - thanks for reading :)
The last time I went to Blackpool was before we had kids, over 12 years ago. I must admit that I am not really a fan of the town itself, but I have always liked the Pleasure Beach, as I am a big fan of theme parks and thrill rides.
The kids had heard a lot about Blackpool, as well as seeing adverts for the Pleasure Beach on TV, so I saved up my Clubcard Points to get us all wristbands. Clubcard points are, in my view, the best way for a family to afford a day out at a theme park. For those not using Clubcard Points, the current 2012 entry costs are as follows:
Unlimited Ride Wristband: £20
Nickelodeon Land: £15
Entry Only: £5
There is no discount for children or O.A.P's.
The prices are slightly higher in the summer.
When I last visited, 12 years ago, the entrance was in a different place and as far as I remember, you didn't have to queue long to get in the park itself.
The entrance is now through a rather large and impressive Casino, which looks like an Art Deco styled hotel, complete with lavish foyer and reception.
As we visited during the school holidays, the park was VERY busy. We had found it difficult to locate a parking space, but finally found one on the sea front, about 5 minutes walk away. Don't expect parking to come cheap though. It cost us £7 to park our car until 6:00 in the evening.
As we stood in the queue, I noticed, to my dismay, that it looped out of the casino building, up and down several metal barriers, before looping back inside the building and between several more barriers before reaching the payment desks. There did not seem to be enough desks to meet demand. In all, I think we must have been queueing for 30 minutes, just to get INTO the park! I almost felt like giving up, but I had the tickets and didn't want them to go to waste. There were a few people pushing in and jumping the queue, much to the irritation of the other people who had been waiting patiently. One lady complained to a security guard, but he did nothing and seemed to ignore the problem.
When we finally got to the payment desk, I handed in my Clubcard tickets and we were all given wristbands. My son has autism, so by providing a doctor's letter with proof of his condition, we were issued with an "E" wristband, which enabled him to queue at the ride exits and get on the rides straight away.
She gave us a map, but quite frankly, it was awful and looked like a child had drawn it!
In the Park:
I was expecting the park to be busy after standing in the long queue, but the people seemed to disperse quickly and the rides did not have long queues. Many of the rides have been there a long time and initially it did not appear that much had changed since my last visit, but soon I could see that major changes were taking place to bring this traditional fairground more into line with today's modern theme parks, such as Alton Towers and Thorpe Park.
I liked the fact that there was a good variety of rides for all ages, which made the park an ideal place to take a family. A little caution is needed though, as there are also a lot of teenagers and young adults in the park and they can get a bit rowdy. I did remember getting my bum pinched last time I went, so I was on my guard this time! Unlike some theme parks, this is not really a place where I would let my kids go off and walk by themselves, as I didn't feel it was completely safe.
The park was clean and tidy and many improvements had been made to the appearance of the surroundings, touches like adding planters and trees, as well as the odd water feature. Although many of the rides are old, the park didn't look dated and has aged well, keeping up with the times. The old wooden coasters still have the power to thrill and delight, despite being decades old.
Unlike modern theme parks, which have distinct themed areas, Blackpool Pleasure Beach still remains a traditional fairground, apart from the new Nickelodeon Land area, which I will cover later. The rides are dotted around randomly and not grouped together in any particular theme.
I am not going to list every single ride in the park, as there are too many, but I will run through a few of the more notable ones:
The Big One
How can I not mention this? This towering coaster dominates the Blackpool Skyline and has become as synonymous with Blackpool as the tower itself. The coaster climbs before lurching into a gut-wrenching drop (with a lovely view of the sea!) and then dipping and climbing the metal track before descending into a final tunnel. No coaster fan should miss this one. It is definitely one for the bucket list!
The Big Dipper
We were a bit cruel and dragged our 7 year old onto this one, telling him it wasn't so bad. His screams could be heard for miles! The big dipper is a traditional wooden coaster and has a huge drop before continuing with several smaller drops. The ride is surprisingly fast. My older kids loved it. I don't think you can beat a wooden coaster.
Last time we visited Blackpool, they were just building this ride and I was really curious about it. Visitors ride longboats which twist and turn through the "underworld" in a cross between a log flume and a ghost train. The ride has impressive fire and ice effects and visitors get very wet. My 9 year old daughter was absolutely terrified, but my older son went back on with his dad. Unfortunately, the ride broke down and they had to get off and walk around the back of the ride halfway through!
Alice in Wonderland
I remember riding this one as a kid. Visitors ride on cheshire cats along a track and down the rabbit hole. This was actually one of the most popular rides in the park and had a massive queue, even though the effects are nothing special and pretty basic. I still can't work out why the background music is "I've got a golden ticket" from Willy Wonkas Chocolate Factory. Weird but nostalgic!
This was one of my favourites and we went on a couple of times. A twist on the traditional carousel, the Derby Racer is a high speed ride on racehorces instead of carousel ponies. This ride is really fast and I was holding on to my son very tightly on this one. I'm sure there was some kind of urban legend about someone falling off and dying, but I think it was just something my parents used to tell me to stop me going on it as a kid!
This is another horsey-themed ride and another real thril ride, although it looks pretty tame at first. it is a type of coaster, where riders sit on horses, which travel along a single track. The track dips, twist and bumps to simulate the jumps in a real horse race. The ride pits two horses against each other each time, so you can race your friends or family. My horse was trailing behind all the way through, but won it at the end!
This is another old ride, but I had never been on it before. The worst part of the ride was the inane voicever on a loop during the 30 minute queue, telling you all about dinosaurs and ancient Egypt. The ride itself was pretty good and quite long, with basic effects like statures of cavemen and plastic dinosaurs, but it was all good fun and not scary for the kiddies.
This was another ride with a massive queue. riders sit in cars that travel along a track. The driver can "steer" left and right and speed up the car with the pedal but the car never leaves the track. Very similar to Autopia at Disney World.
The queue for avalanche was ridiculously long and I gave it a miss this time, although I did ride it on my last visit. The ride simulates a bobsled and travels very fast along a white half-pipe. I do love this ride but didn't want to stand around all day in the queue.
For me, the Grand National is the best ride in the park. It pits two coasters against each other on a wooden track. I challenge anyone to puzzle out how the coasters start on one side of the track and end up on the other (the answer is that it is a single track in a mobius strip). My 9 year old daughter absolutely loved this as she is a big wooden coaster fan. The drops are thrilling and I have the bruises on my thighs to prove it!
Other rides include the dogems, Chinese maze (we cheated!), flying machines, drop tower, pleasure beach express, teacup ride and revolution. The is also a traditional carousel and some Go-Karts.
Notably, one of our family favourites, the old Gold Mine has gone (boo)! The dismantled it to make way for a new Wallage and Gromit ride, which should be great. They had also removed the bumper boats, which I was quite sad about because they used to be a lot of fun.
I'm giving this area its own section as it is a "park within a park". Nickelodeon Land is where the park resembles a more contemporary theme park and has mostly shiny new rides, or has given the older rides a radical makeover.
This section of the park is full of kids' rides, but most of them allow adults to ride too. I must admit that a lot of the theming was lost on me, as I don't have the TV channel Nickelodeon at home, though I did recognise Dora the explorer and Spongebob.
Nickelodeon land was really busy and noisy with long queues, so it was here that we made best use of our "E" wristband, which allowed us to cut the queues. My kids loved the big blue coaster and they also loved the (very wet) spongebob ride, which allowed riders to shoot water at each other. Another highlight was the log flume, although the queue was awful for such a short ride.
This area also had some small roundabout-style rides like the fairy ride and the baloon ride, which are great for smaller kids.
Shows and Skating:
The pleasure beach has its own ice arena which hosts the famous "Hot Ice" show. The show is great and done to a highly professional standard. it is also a nice place to have a rest from the rides. Between shows, the ice is open to the public. We did think about having a skate, but they were charging £6 for skate hire, which would have been a lot for us to pay on top of everything else.
There are also entertainers dotted around the park. Near the Big One, they host a high-diving show which is free to watch and very impressive. The park also hosts traditional magic shows and variety shows, but these usually incur and extra charge.
For me, a trip to Blackpool is all about greasy backstreet chippies and mugs of hot tea, but if greasy chips aren't your thing, there are plenty of eating places at the pleasure beach. We enjoyed the hotdogs and burgers from the kiosk in nickelodeon land, which were filling and not too pricey.
The park has bars, pizza restaurants, American and Oriental food as well as kiosks selling a variety of items from donuts to oysters. There is something to please everyone, though the donut shop seemed to run out of stock faster than it could replenish.
There are plenty of toilets dotted around the park, which are generally clean and tidy. The toilets have disabled access and baby change facilities.
The park also has cach machines, a first aid centre and a lost child collection point.
Blackpool Pleasure Beach now also has its own hotel, called the Big Blue, for those looking for something a little more contemporary than your traditional guesthouse.
We loved our day at Blackpool. Unfortunately for us, we picked the wrong day to come, as Sky had organised a cycle ride event along the promenade which meant our car was trapped and we needed an escort off the promenade (grrrr cyclists.....)!
The Pleasure Beach has a good variety of rides and is just as good as any theme park, with the added advantage of the lovely sea views and sea air.
The staff were generally friendly and helpful, although a few of them were a bit clueless, especially about the "E" wristband, which some of the ride operators had never heard of! Most though, went out of their way to help and make us smile.
The only downside for me was having to queue to get in and the large queues for some of the bigger rides, but I suppose that is what you have to expect during the August school holidays. I imagine that it is a lot quiter during term time.
All in all, a great day out, and something a little different from the norm, though to get the most from our day, we would have ideally stopped an extra night.
I have lost count of the amount of times I have been on holiday to Blackpool, as a child me my Mum and Dad and my Nana would always go for a weeks holiday around October time when then illuminations were on, this got to be a bit of a yearly tradition, we would always stay in the same self catering flat just outside of the main town for a week and spend the holiday going to various places in and around Blackpool, even as an adult I have been on holiday to Blackpool once staying in the same flat as when I was a child and the second time a flat just around the corner (but owned by the same people) One trip we would often take, again both as a child and an adult was to the Blackpool Pleasure Beach, the towns amusement park, as a child we would just go for a few hours and I would go on a few of the smaller rides, but since going as an adult we have visited for most of the day with the aim of going on all of the rides (or the ones I was brave enough to) This is definitely a good day out if you are holidaying in or near to Blackpool.
Over the years that I have visited Blackpool the Pleasure Beach has changed a massive amount and has grown in size, there are a lot of the traditional rides still there some of which my parents said where there when they went when they were younger, as well as some newer more modern rides, personally I think some of the older rides are the best ones as they are a bit different to the ones you get now. Over the years I have seen the prices gradually go up, when I was a child and we use to go I can remember that my parents use to buy me tokens for the rides and you could buy as many tokens as you wanted depending on how long you planned on being there, however now it is all done through wristbands, this was the case the last time I visited. The price of the wristband has definitely gone up, when I last purchased some we used our Tesco Clubcard vouchers, I cannot remember exactly what I paid, however I have had a look online to see what the current prices are and I was quite surprised at how expensive they now are.
*Adults (Over 12's)- £32.00
This gives you unlimited rides all day and also Nickelodeon Land
*Juniors and Senior (over 65) - £27.00
This gives you unlimited rides all day including Nickelodeon Land, however there may be height restrictions on some rides.
It is advised that for children who may struggle to get on a lot of the rides due to height restrictions the coin operated rides may be a better option rather than buying a wristband, this is similar to the tokens I mentioned earlier. I do think that you get a lot for your money with buying the wristbands especially if you are prepared to go on all the rides as it does give you unlimited access to all of the rides all day, the same with the children's wristbands if you child will go on all of the rides that they are able to then you do save a lot of money compared to buying tokens for the individual rides, however if you or your child are nervous of a lot of rides and there is a lot you will not go on the wristbands do not work out the cheapest method.
After my last visit to Blackpool Pleasure Beach I was impressed with the variety of rides there now is, there really is something for everyone whether you are going as a group of adults or with children.
These include all of the big, fast and scary rides within the park, I have been on most of these now, although there are a couple that I have not tried out.
*Avalanche - This is one of the parks older rides, it is basically a bobsleigh roller coater, you ride in pairs with the smallest person at the front much to my displeasure Id much rather be at the back, you have your own bob sleigh car which are all joined together to form a train, the cars are then pulled up he bobsleigh run where the ride begins, it reaches speeds of up to 50mph and once the momentum gets going it is gravity which holds you in the slightly curved run, knowing you are not actually being held onto a track by anything is quite scary but I did particularly like this ride, at the end is a camera so you even get a chance to buy your picture of yourself on the ride, I went on this with my parents, my Mum who hates anything like this even went on, they wanted a picture of themselves on the ride so we ended up going on it several times in a row so that my Mum actually had her eyes open when the camera went off. Personally I would highly recommend this ride, it is the only Bobsleigh ride in Britain and it really is something a bit different to the regular roller coasters you get now.
*The Big Dipper - this is basically what the name suggests a roller coaster, however again this is ones of the parks older more traditional rides, it is an older wooden roller coaster, again totally different to what is built now. Whilst the ride doesn't look the most exciting it is definitely worth a ride as the sensation you get when riding this old style roller coaster is nothing like you get with the more modern ones. again I really enjoyed this ride and went on it several times, you are put in twos in little box shaped wooden carts with a metal bar to hold you in, this is certainly needed as you do actually come out of your seat as you go up and down the dips within the ride, this is a must should you be visiting the park.
*The Big One - This is the parks main attraction, it is sponsored by Pepsi Max and is the Uk's tallest fastest roller coaster measuring 235ft, from the top you can see all over Blackpool. This is basically a roller coaster, it doesn't go upside down or anything like that its attraction its the sheer height of it. Now I always said I would never go on this ride, however I have since been on it twice and do have a picture to prove it. I have to say this is not one of my favourite rides, I only really went on it because I was persuaded to and to say that I had done it, however I had my eyes shut the whole way up the highest part and only opened them briefly once I reached the top. Going up I did very quickly glance down but shut my eyes again as I saw the people and the rest of the park getting smaller, I felt very unsafe although I was well strapped in, the drop the other side feels like a vertical drop, although it isn't quite, again the camera is at the end of the ride so you can buy a picture of yourself looking stunned and terrified as I did in mine. I think if I visit Blackpool Pleasure Beach again I would not go on this any more, I have done it twice so can say that I have been on it but in my opinion it is not my favourite ride and I much prefer others, however this is purely because I am too scared to go on it again, nothing to do with the excitement of the ride
*The Grand National - This is another of the parks traditional wood roller coasters, however wit this one there are two separate tracks and two separate trains which run parallel to each other, The tracks cross over and pass each other and meet up again at the end to see which train wins. There is no rule as to which train will come first it is all luck as to which one you pick but it is god fun especially if there is a group of you where you can split up and half go in one train and the other in the second train. The track is similar to that of the Big Dipper, it is rattley and bounces you around out of your seat but that's half the fun. This is actually Europe first twin track racing roller coaster, I would definitely recommend this ride and would much prefer this to The Big One.
*Ice Blast - Again this is another ride I have tried out, you each sit in a seat which are positioned around a large steel tower, you are the catapulted up the tower at 80mph where you get a view over the whole of the Pleasure Beach, the seats then drop very quickly back down the tower. This ride was no where near as bad as I thought it would be, however I wasn't overly impressed as there wasn't a lot to it, and I'm not that keen on this sort of rise.
*Steeplechase - I always thought this ride was a bit of a kids ride, that was until I had a go on it. Basically you each get your own horse and ride along a twisting and turning track, there are three tracks that run alongside each other and there is only one winner at the end of it. When I tried this ride I was quite surprised at how fast it went and the way it swings you around, I really didn't feel overly stable sat on my horse, however did enjoy the ride and it was a good laugh, again this is a good ride if there is a group of you where you can race against each other.
*Wild Mouse - I really enjoyed this ride when I went on it, I actually tried it out with my Mum, you each have your own mouse to sit in, each mouse holds two people with the smallest at the front. It is basically a roller coaster type ride but it is very fast and as the mouse speeds along the track up and down steep hills as it reaches a corner it throws you round it at the last minute, sometimes your not sure you will make it round. The only down side with this was that you have no control over your body it gets thrown around all over the place and the person sitting at the back does tend to get their legs crushed by the person in the front but there is nothing you can do about it. apart from that the ride is a good laugh and I did really enjoy it.
I have not been on all of the main rides at Blackpool Pleasure Beach which include Infusion, Revolution and Valhalla, although we had all day at the park unfortunately we didn't get to try everything out as when we found a ride we really liked we tended to go on it more than once meaning some rides got missed, however full descriptions of the rides can be found online should you wish to look them up before attending.
The rides I have described so far are more suitable for adults and those who like thrill rides, however the Pleasure Beach does cater for everyone and there are more gentle rides which I ideal for the whole family including children and those who prefer something a bit less scary, these are the sorts of rides you can go on with your children and these include
There are many more rides included in this section however I would be here all night listing and describing them all. Again I have been on some of these rides including the ghost train, teacups and dodgems, these are all traditional type rides which can be found at many amusement parks. With most of these rides there are not height restrictions on them, although for some there is a restriction that if you are below a certain height you need to be accompanied by an adult, the measuring boards are found right at the entrance of the ride so if you have children with you and are not sure the ride will be suitable for them to go on or ride alone you can easily check. If you are the sort of person who only likes thrill rides then a lot of these are probably a bit too sedate, however we found a lot of these rides very enjoyable as it was something we could all go on together even those of us who were not keen on the larger scary rides.
Both the family rides and the thrill rides are included in the wristband offer of unlimited rides on everything for the entire day so you really can get your moneys worth. When we went the queues for these rides (Thrill and Family Rides) were not too bad, obviously the most popular rides such as the Pepsi Max and some of the other roller coasters did have quite long queues, however I did find that they went quite quickly and we did not seem to be waiting too long. Personally I hate queuing up for ages for some rides as by the time I get there I wish I wasn't going on the ride, however the queue times here really were not too bad and it was their peak time of when the illuminations were on.
Now this is quite a new section to the park, in Nickelodeon Land all of the rides are themed from Nickelodeon Programmes, for example
*Bikini Bottom Bus Tour (Sponge bob Square Pants)
*Dora World Voyage
*Rugrats Lost River
*The Krusty Crab Order Up
There are several other rides and unfortunately I cannot comment on these as I have never tried any of the rides myself, however details of these are on The Pleasure Beach website. The rides in Nickelodeon Land are all able to be ridden using the wristbands or tickets, which
ever you choose to use, however as these are aimed at children there are some height restrictions on the rides which need to be taken into account, these rides can also be ridden by adults so you can accompany your children.
As well as the rides within the Pleasure Beach there are also other attractions on offer including several amusement arcades, these include the usual slot machines, computer games and various other games where you can win prizes such as soft toys and so on, there is also ice skating available, a bowling alley and a clairvoyant. When we went to the Pleasure Beach we wandered around a couple of the arcades which seemed pretty standard and similar to that found along the sea front, however we were mainly interested in the main rides and did not really spend much time looking at the other attractions available. Most of the alternative activities are priced separately and are not included in the wristbands, it just depends on what you do, from what I could see the prices are pretty standard and cost just a few pounds per person. Although we didn't use any of these attractions they are ideal should you get fed up with the amusement part rides and want to do something a bit different
Food and Drink
The Pleasure Beach has plenty of places you can buy food and drink whether you want to sit down for some lunch or just to grab a snack on the way around. There is a variety of restaurants including Coopers kitchen, Ice Lounge, Pizza Hut, The Big Pizza Kitchen, The Grill, Magnolia and White Tower Restaurant, they really do cater for everyone, whatever you fancy there is somewhere where you can buy it. The restaurants as you would expect do get rather busy around lunch and diner time so it is worth sometimes having a bit of an early lunch or if you are staying for dinner having an early dinner, that way you do miss the crowds. The prices in these are average for this type of place, I do think they are a bit more expensive compared to if you went to a restaurant not within the Pleasure Beach, however they are not ridiculously over priced and we were more than happy to pay for our food whilst here. You will also find various stalls around the park which sell fast food and drinks whilst on the move, again the prices are pretty average for an amusement park.
Every time I have visited the Pleasure Beach it has always been extremely well kept, the whole park looks clean and tidy, there are plenty of bins located around the site as well as seating areas and I can honestly say I do not remember seeing any litter around the park at all. There are also several toilet blocks around the park so it doesn't matter what area of the park you are in a loo is never far away, again these were kept well stocked as well as clean and tidy. The whole park really did look well looked after including all of the rides, everything was well maintained even the really old wooden rides, I could not fault the cleanliness of the Pleasure Beach at all.
The opening times really do vary throughout the year, obviously throughout the winter the park is shut a lot of the time and only open during weekends, however during the peak times such as school holidays, the summer months and also the weeks when the illuminations are on the park is open most days of the week. In the summer months the opening times are between 10:330am and 8:00pm. During October the park is open every day of the week he opening time is 10:30am with the closing times Monday to Thursday being 5:00pm, Friday 6:00pm, Saturday 8:00pm and Sunday 6:00pm. This is just a rough guide of the general opening times, however it is worth checking what the exact times are for the weeks when you are planning on visiting just in case these change.
I would definitely recommend the Pleasure Beach if you are on holiday or visiting the Blackpool area, it is an excellent day out, there is a large variety of rides available including both new modern rides as well as the older wooden roller coasters. There really is something for everyone whether you like big thrill rides or the smaller sedate ones. The park is aimed at both adults and children and offer various discounts for parties and groups including schools, details of all of these combinations can be found on the Pleasure Beach website.
I was extremely impressed with how well maintained the park and rides were, everything was kept clean and tidy and I do no think any of the rides were out of order when I was there, there may have been the odd breakdown but the rides were quickly got going again and nothing had to be shut early. There is plenty to do if you get fed up with the rides and there are also plenty of places to buy food and drink throughout the day, again they cater for most people with the variety of foods available. If I had any criticism it would be the wristband prices, however with the wristbands you do get unlimited goes on the rides throughout the day and should you require to use the rides on a ticket basis this is still an option as well, I would say that providing you do go on a lot of the rides and spend most of the day there you really do get your moneys worth, but if you are only going to be visiting for a couple of hours or not go on many rides then the ticket option is best. I would certainly visit the Pleasure Beach again if I was to go to Blackpool and would recommend it to anyone else visiting the town, it is a very good day out for the whole family.
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.
Well, I've never been to any other theme parks so can't really compare Blackpool to them at the moment but the Pleasure Beach is a great day out. I'm from Liverpool so it was only about an hour and a half's train ride to get there when I lived back home.
I have been a few times when I was younger and always enjoyed myself but was too scared to go on any of the more scary rides! I got a few of my friends together for my birthday last year though and headed for Blackpool. The day we went there it was really sunny so it was lovely to be near the beach and at the fair.
I summoned up some courage this time as well and went on some quite scary rides (felt all proud of myself afterwards as well!). I costs approximately £30.00 for an adult wristband which means you can go on whatever rides you want as many times as you want so if you get there early and stay for the whole day it's really good value. You go to the ticket desks and buy your tickets or wristband and then go through to the pleasure beach where it has all the rides, souvenir shops and restaurants. A few rides worth mentioning that I went on when I was feeling brave are Valhalla, The Big One and The Irn Bru ride.
On Valhalla, it is set in water, kind of like an extreme log flume ride! You go up past a giant rat above you and then round all different kinds of viking scenes where there is dry ice, fire and wind. Some of it is pitch black and quite scary and at the end you go down over a cliff edge into water so I recommend you buy one of the plastic jackets for £1.00 as you will get very wet!!
The Big One is a massive rollercoaster, nothing out of the ordinary to mention as far as rollercoasters go but very big!
The Irn Bru ride is very short but was the scariest one in my opinion! It's another rollercoaster type ride but very,very fast. It takes off suddenly, loops around and all sorts really fast and then does the same thing again but backwards - I think I screamed for the whole ride but it was great.
If you want a fun day out for a relatively cheap price, I recommend that you go here if you're up north!
Blackpool Pleasure Beach is an amazing attraction, and in my honest opinion, probably my favourite theme park in England. Alton Towers and Thorpe Park seem to always steal the hype of a 'great theme park' but the problem I have experienced with Alton Towers and Thorpe Park is that they are hugely spaced with fewer rides, and just fit into the cliche of a few thrillers, some food outlets, and good scenery. Blackpool Pleasure Beach however has a lot more to offer - not only do you get the views of the beach and promenade, but you get a wider range of attractions for all ages, cheaper prices and good shows, such as the popular hot ice show, magician acts, and fun shows for the younger ones.
In my opinion, a visit to Blackpool just is not complete without going into the many arcades, and entering the theme park which still has rides which have survived through the whole of the 20th century. There is thrillers, such as the Pepsi Max 'Big One', and the Grand National, Big Dipper and Infusion. There is wet ones - such as the 'Valhalla', the log flume and the River caves (a slow boat ride that takes you though different ages of time). Family rides, such as the 'Alice' ride (based on Alice in Wonderland), the Monorail, Grand Prix, and the 'Gold mine', and other fun rides such as the Pleasure Beach Express (train ride through the park), Ghost train, Passage of Terror, Beaver Creek ride, as well as many others. There's something guaranteed for everybody.
I could elaborate on certain rides, but to be frank - that would take forever - you just have to experience them for yourself, but take my word for it that they are definitely worth the thrills and getting wet for.
My favourite thing about the rides is that they don't end in a minute or shorter like a lot of rides in theme parks, but do consume more time and thus make the well earned money that you have spent more valuable.
Speaking of money - the park used to operate solely on a 'ticket per ride' basis, which was expensive and inefficient. Now the beach operates mainly by wristbands that are fairly cheap, but if you just want to pop in the park and have a quick browse, rides do operate on tickets too. A good idea is to book online as this is where you will find most discounts, and also skip queues.
Queuing for rides is always a nuisance and whilst the park does get busy, the queueing times are not as bad in comparison to other theme parks. For the most popular rides, you could be waiting for an hour but generally when I have been I get on rides within 10-15minutes.
There is plenty of places to eat and drink with chain resteraunts such as KFC, Burger King, Pizza hut, but there is also a resteraunt and grill and bar so there is food for all tastes and all budgets.
During winter months the park tends to only be open and running on weekends, but during the summer and busier times, the park is open everyday from 10:30am until 20:00PM. There is disability access, plenty of toilets and baby changing facilities, so facilities are generally very good, and also clean and not too busy.
I would definitely recommend going to this park. It's fun, a great day out and a thrilling experience that doesn't hurt your pockets too much with cost.
I love Blackpool pleasure beach!!
A big group of us all in our twenties went there recently for a friends birthday and had brilliant time. I would recommend it for a great day out!
I hadn't been to Blackpool since I was a child so wasn't sure what to expect from Pleasure Beach. I thought it would be a decent seaside funfair but I wasn't expecting the choice of rides that were available. The excitement of newer rides the big one, playstation ride, revolutionist comfortably alongside old classics like the grand national and the big dipper. Plenty of choice for lovers of the white knuckle experience. There also seems to be plenty of choice for families and smaller children (not that we really went for this).
Ok so it may not be to the standard of Alton Towers but it is easy to get to by public transport (an hour train from Manchester to Blackpool North) and it was a lot quieter. We went on a July Saturday with dodgy weather and we didn't have to wait longer than 15 minutes for any ride. It may not be the same on a sunny day. You could also brave a few drinks in the numerous bars and clubs before making your way home!
One definite tip is look for offers online before you go. We managed to get £20 wristbands a discount on the £30 entrance price. This gives you unlimited access to all rides.
I would also recommend leaving the pleasure beach for lunch. The food inside the park is predictably over prices. However a short walk down the prom will get you great fish and chips!
Anyone who read my review of RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 might just suspect that i love a good theme park and that is no different in the real world. I've visited a lot of attractions in my life, from Alton Towers, Thorpe Park, Chessington World Of Adventures and Drayton Manor, all the way across the pond to places like Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and Busch Gardens. But of all the theme parks i have ever visited, Blackpool Pleasure Beach has always stood out for me, not just because i've been there more times than any of the others combined, but because it has a chalm and feel about it that none of the others do.
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.
I have been visiting the Pleasure Beach regularly since for most of my life as my great grandad used to live nearby and as I got older I started to take my son. I have been most years and some years I have been more than once. After my most recent visit, in April, I noticed there had been a few changes so I thought I would write a review.
Firstly, I have always found the Pleasure Beach quite an expensive day out, once upon a time you could pay per ride and by tickets to use on various rides but then they brought in the wristband system a few years ago which I guess made more sense but did seem to bump the price up slightly. Prices vary in accordance with when you go, at peak season you can be paying £35 per wristband - which can obviously only be used for one person - so if you are going as a family with a couple of children this can be very costly indeed. However, look out for speacial deals and check their website as often there are times when you can get the wristbands for as little as £15 each. There are also cheaper wristbands available for younger children who can only go on the very small rides, I don't remember the exact price for these but thin it's around £10. Horrifyingly, in recent months they have decided that you have to buy a wristband if you want to even walk through the place - even if you don't want to go on a ride! - meaning that if you are an older person just accompanying your family on a day out of if you are there with small children and are not going on the little rides yourself then you'll still have to pay £5 for a wristband. I guess it is only like at Alton Towers etc where everyone has top pay just to enter but still, I think it is a little bit mean! One tip for you - if you are staying overnight in Blackpool and you stay at the Big Blue Hotel (which belongs to the PB and is absolutely lovely) you can book your wristbands through them as part of your room booking and they tend to work out a bit cheaper this way.
Prices of drinks and food inside the PB are also inflated - as you would probably expect - but you can take your own food in so you can always make up some sandwiches beforehand if you wish.
There are also a few souvenir shops and some arcades which means your little ones will have more opportunities to try to get you to part with your money!!
On a more positive note, the PB is packed with rides and some of these are really very good. The Big One is absolutely fantastic, that drop is just so exhilarating! The Ice Blast shoots you up high at a ridiculously high speed and really takes your breath away. Inferno is very much like nemesis at AT (for those who don't know, this is a roller coaster where you hang down from the track rather than being above the track). Bling looks like a pretty boring fairground type ride but is surprisingly good. Valhalla is, in my opinion, the best water ride in this country, I love it and I don't normally like water rides - you sail around on a 'viking ship', go through fire and ice, go forwards and backwards and drop down in the dark, expect to get very very wet (if you are soft like me then definitely buy a poncho!).
There are too many rides to really mention here but I'll just mention a couple more as they have recently been improved. The ghost train is a very old rickety looking thing that quite honestly could do with a bit of a facelift on the outside (though the old battered look does add to the spooky effect I suppose). They have added some extra bits inside however which make it scarier than it used to be, I won't spoil it for you by telling you what they are but suffice to say the little girl is very creepy! It won't absolutely terrify you, it's just a bit of fun and quite young children can go on it. The Big Dipper has also been done up a bit, the entrance and the actual carriages have had a lick of paint and the inside of the carriages has new seat covering which thankfully make the bumpy ride not as uncomfortable! Also, speaking of bumpy rides, the Wild Mouse has had a new load of padding added to the seats and the inside of the carts making it much more comfy, though still expect to get bashed around and feel like you are going to come off the rails, it's a bit of a white knuckle ride!
Other new-ish additions are dotted around the PB such as sculptures and a fountain / water show and I think they are just trying to improve the look of the place overall. It is still very Blackpool-ish though in that you shouldn't expect it to be spotlessly clean or anywhere near as scenic as Alton Towers or Lightwater Valley. You should expect that Blackpool element of tat and tacky things!
There are a few rides that are suitable for those family members who are neither little children nor thrill seekers, who just want to go on a couple of gentle rides. The River Caves is suitable for most and I have to say that although Alice In Wonderland is designed for children I still enjoy it!
Blackpool Pleasure Beach
I cannot express just how much Ilove Blackpool Pleasure Beach. A 140 mile round trip from my home I do not get to there much and having young children does nothing to help eiher!
But, happily, 3 days ago myself and my partner had planned to have some 'us' time for the day as he works 7 nghts a week we never see eachother. Night off work booked, children at babysitters, petrol tank full....we were ready to go and I had never been so excited!
Entrance to the Park set us back 30.00 each and that was for adult wristbands. The ticket area is well organised and has plenty of room for queuing which are minimised by the amount of people operating the tills. I had heard that you have to pay 5.00 to enter the park and then buy wristbands but I phoned up in advance and found that that was not the case IF you are buying wristbandsand if not then you do in fact have to pay 5.00.
Parking in a secure car park at the entrance cost 6.00 but that was for the full day and closed the same time as the Pleasure Beach, which on that day was 5.00pm.
Photographs taken on the rides are 7.00 each or two for 10.00 as are keyrings and fridge magnets. Or a pass can be bought which entitles the buyer to 4 photographs for 20.00 a saving of 8.00 when bought individually. The photographs do not have to all be of the same ride, there are 4 tokens and can be used whenever ready.
First stop for us was the Valhalla, my partner had never been on or heard of this but I had and as it was near the entrance it was easy to get him on it.
The Valhalla is a Major Ride which is a mainly indoor dark water journey/log flume. Travelling through icy blasts and red hot air the main aim of the ride is to get you as wet as is possible.....and the Valhalla succeeds!!!
Next was the Big One (The Pepsi Max). Now I had never been on this ride even though every year for 10 years when I was younger me and my family spent a weekend in September in Pontins and a day of this at the Pleasure Beach.
Every Year I would say the same thing "I will go on it next year" and now I no why!!!!
An absolutely terrifying White Knuckle Ride - not for the faint hearted (like myself!), it stands at 235 ft high and is absolutely terrifying! In the three minutes that it runs for you are taken upto the highest hight and then brought back down at the speed of light. One of the tallest and fastest rollercoasters in Europe!
As payback for my partner making me go on the Big One i took him on the Wild Mouse.
A ride which you have an individual cart and one person is seated in front of the other you are taken on an exhillerating trip of high speeds, steep drops and sharp turns! This has got to be one of my favourite rides in the park! (TIP. do not be the one sitting at the back as the pressure of the person in front leaning on you makes you feel every twist and turn more - I was sitting at the front, my partner was the one screaming in pain behind me!!)
The Avalanche starts on a track and then when at the top of the first hill you are taken up it torns into a bobsled twisting and turning upto 50mph around the 1160ft course. At first I was a bit wary of it because if it leaving the track but I have got to admit it was brilliant and had me screaming with delight all of the way!
The Grand National is full of steep hills and drops one after the other but is so much fun. A classic racing rollercoaster, this ride consists of two different trains competing against eachother side by side for the coveted title of Grand National winner! Good if you are in a group and there are some in each cart, it may get very competitive!!
The Ice Blast, (which I knew as the Playstation - apparantly it has had a few name changes!) is a ride which you sit upright and then wait.....to be catapulted up the steel tower at an amazing speed of upto 80mph!!! At the top it feels like you are going to carry on going up and leave the ride where it is!! Then withought warning you are brought crashing back down again!! Brilliant and unexpecting!! (TIP - make sure your shoes are well fastened on and are not wearing flipflops, theres nothing worse than watching your favourite shoe travelling back down without you!)
The Steeplechase is a three lane rollercoaster in which you sit on your own horse (can seat 1 or 2 to a horse) and again compete around a track over 'jumps' and around bends, to see who will be crowned the winner. Good again if there is a group and have one or two on each horse, competition here we come!! The only problem that I found with this ride is that because you are exposed you crash around on the horse and up banging yourself (especially knees and ankles) against the horse - OUCH!!
There are 4 more Major rides at Blackpool Pleasure Beach that I didn't venture on because to be honest I was too scared -
The Big Dipper - Classic wooden rollercoaster full of twists, turns and drops!
Infusion - A suspended, looping rollercoaster consisting of 5 loops and a double line twist!!!
Bling - Lifted 100ft above ground and upto 60mph you are spun in three different directions.
Irn Bru Revolution - A train which is launched out of the station and into a major loop-the-loop........and then reverses and relive it again - backwards!!
That seems to sum up the major rides but no review could ever give them the recognician they deserve......try them for yourself!
As this is a family Theme Parke there are of course family rides, personally I only went on a few of them but they are brilliant and look fabulous!!!
Adventure Golf -
12 Holes of Crazy Golf with water hazards, lumps and bumps and underground tunnels! (3.75 for Adults, 2.50 Cildren and 10.00 Family of 4)
Alice Ride -
A fantasy ride based on Alice in Wonderland. No height restriction.
Beaver Creek The Ride -
Log Flume starts off relaxing but a big splash at the end! No height restriction.
Chinese Puzzle Maze -
Take a walk through the large maze and encounter picturesque water features and surroundings.
Convoy Ride -
Children, drive your own HGV around 200 mtrs of course. No height restriction
Derby Racer -
Large Carousel made up of 56 horses (does make you feel sick after a while - believe me!) 132cm Height restriction.
State of the Art, Italian Desighn, because what fair would be complete without dodgems? 48"/122cm Height Restriction.
Flying Machines -
Ride in rockets as they gather speed and push outwards, it will feel like you are really flying. No Height Restriction
Traditional Merry Go Round. No Height Restriction.
Ghost Train -
Two floors of "terror" (TIP - don't be surprised when things brush against your head - if you can help it!) No Height Restriction
Ride around the track on petrol go-karts 59"/150cm Height resrtiction.
Grand Prix -
Multi-Level Racetrack. In control of the speed and steering wheel (on a track) 48"/122cm Height Restriction.
Contol the vertical movement of your 'copter as you take to the skies (on an axis). No Height Restriction
Seeing is believing when the whole world is turned upside down! No Height Restriction
Lunar Carousel -
Travel in your vehicle around a carousel. No Height Restriction.
Magic Mountain -
Travel around, inside and out, Magic Mountain, gaze in awe at its wonders. No height restriction.
Mini Dodgems -
Scaled down Beaver shaped cars. No Height Restriction.
Mini Scooters -
Coin - Operated scaled down go-carts. 40"127cm Height Restriction
UKs firstcommercial moonorail built in 1966 takes you on a fantastic sightseeing tour of the Pleasure Beach. No Height Restriction.
Pirate Ride -
Pirate Ships circling the Beaver Creek mast. 40"/102 cm Height Restriction
Pleasure Beach Express -
Three Locomotives travel around Blackpool Pleasure Beach stopping at the two available stations. No Height Restriction.
River Caves (Tunnel of Love?!)-
Water ride through the Jurassic period and the wonders of Egypt
Swamp Buggies -
Self Driving, two seater motor boats. (Cash Only) 48"/122 cm Height Restriction
Tetley Tea Cup Ride -
Traditional Tea-Cups but spinning in a figure of eight. No Height Restriction.
Thors Turnpike -
Travel through Beaver Creek gardens with the top down in a sports car. No Height Restriction
Veteran Carousel -
Childrens horse merry-go-round. No Height Restriction.
Zipper Dipper -
Childrens wooden twisting and turning roller coaster. No Height Restriction.
Well this seems to sum up the rides. In addition to this there are many indoor attractions which, I have heard are well worth visiting, but I did not personally go to them.
My whole opinion of Blackpool Pleasure Beach is a majorly positive one and I thoroughly enjoyed my day there and am planning to go again next month (under the pretence that it it for my partners birthday) and am already getting excited!!
Blackpool Pleasure Beach is located near the South Pier end of Blackpool's seafront. Taxi, Tram, Train and horse and cart are all within accessable distance to the Pleasure Beach.
The park is well maintained and had staff going around constantly litter collecting. We had our lunch from Burger King and ate it outside, when we had finished we were ready to clear up but before we could do that a member of staff came and removed all of our rubbish from the table which was very nice.
Toilets are well maintained, smell fresh and are spotless which makes a refreshing change given the fact that they are so busy!
The atmosphere in the park was nice and there was music playing everywhere and in the centre a dancing water fountain for everyone to watch which was spectacular, it sprayed in time with the music. Plays once every 30 mins.
There arev plenty of places to eat in the park but the majority of them are expensive so I would suggest taking your own or visit Burger King if you like the food because the prices are virtually the same as to what you would pay in any other Burger King.
Overall a brilliant day and can't wait to go again. I would highly reccommend Blackpool Pleasure Beach to all.
If you like white knuckle rides then Blackpool Pleasure beach is a great day out, it is located near the South Pier and is easiy accessible through the trams and buses that run along the seafront. There are also a number of car parks near by. When we visited we were staying in a B&B earer the north shore pier so used the trams.
There is a £5 entry fee to pay to enter the park, then you can then either purchase individual ride tickets or get a wristband, if you are going to spend the daythere and go on lots of rides then the wristband is by far the best way to go and it will set you back £25 however we used Tesco clubcard vouchers which cuts 75% off the cost.
The rides in the park are excellent, for me the Pepsi Big One is still the top roller coaster to go on, you get the most awesome view as you slowly climb to the summit in your open top car and then you get that first death defying plunge the adrenalin rush is the best.
Infusion is another great ride that will have you screaming out loud and I also love some of the old wooden structured roller coasters like the Big Dipper and the Grand National where you race off against another rollercoaster car on an adjacent track.
There are plenty of rides for younger children as well so the par caters for all ages and there are also shows and prize stalls as well.
If I have one criticism of the park it is the fact that it does get a bit messy, partly due to the larg number of guests but also because some of the prize stalls generate a lot of litter and then you have the usual seaside sub standard catering to contend with and the mess that creates.
On the plus side there is plenty to do and the park is pretty compact so it is easy to walk around. It des get very crowded but it is open until late so you can spend the whole day there if you want so the long queues do not necessarily stop you going on all the rides.
**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!
This review is focused on the Wild Mouse roller coaster at Blackpool Pleasure beach. The Wild Mouse is a bit of an unusual roller coaster.
It's more of a genre than a specific coaster. The Wild Mouse (or Crazy Mouse, depending on the translation - there are many of them all over the world) is a tightly confined coaster, taking up a small physical space, and typically taking the form of a cuboid.
This review is specifically about the Wild Mouse at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. It's the kind of thing legend, or at least folklore is made of. It's been there since 1958, albeit with some modifications since then. But that makes it over 50 years old! And still running.
The picture really doesn't do it justice. It doesn't look like all the fancy new-world coasters. It looks a bit drab. But looks can be very deceiving...
It's probably the ride that made me a coaster-fanatic many, many years ago. I remember, as a boy, going on this particular ride again, and again and again. I've been back to Blackpool at various points in my life, and always make a point of having another go.
Wild Mouse (Blackpool) Coaster Vital Statistics
* Type of ride: Steel coaster
* Top speed: 35 mph
* Track length: 1266 feet
* Riders: 2 in-line
* Ride time: 1:30 minutes
* Inversions: 0
* Height requirement: 52 inches
* Opened: 1958
* Manufacturer: Frank Wright
For the Blackpool version of the Wild mouse, you sit in a two-seater in-line car. Apparently this is unusual for the genre, but I think it really makes the ride. The car is very narrow ad your knees are against the side of the car, especially if you are the rear-rider.
The continuing attraction of this is the sheer violence of the ride. This one is really not for either the faint-hearted or the infirm of joint.
Just about every coaster in the world sells itself in an almost paranoid fashion; "Do not ride if you have... like anything, split ends or a cold." There are so many rides I've been on where I've thought, "Huh? They wasted money on that warning." Not so with the 'Mouse.
DO NOT go on this if you have back/neck problems or probably any of the other things they talk about in the warnings. In fact, don't go on it. You almost certainly won't be able to handle it and come out walking straight, if at all.
OK, with the warning over, what actually happens? Let me tell you.
The compactness of the track is the key to this ride. The drops are not huge, but the majority of the turns are solid, right angle corners which throw the rider into the sides of the car = pain. The closeness to other rides and the compactness of the track vives the impression of speed, even though
We start with a couple of right angles into the chain lift, to get some height for what is to come. A quick 90o brings us close to the neighbouring ride, followed by a drop, and a quick zig-zag, building up the impression of speed. Then a couple sharp turns and drops, followed by a quick jaunt over the queuing future-riders.
As if your bones and joints were not already sufficiently pummeled, your masochistic trip still has a tad to go. Another mini chain-lift leads you into a couple of violent twists and a final semi-hidden dip, where you leave your seat momentarily, before 'almost crashing' into the structure again and a last right angle, neck-snapping turn brings us back to base.
Old skool coaster - rockin'!
Review also appears on my blog.
Blackpool Pleasure Beach was founded in 1896 with the aim of building an American style theme park which made adults feel like children again and has grown until over 100 years later it is now Britain's top theme park and rates as the 14th most popular amusement park in the world. I have now joined the ranks of 5.5 million people flocking there annually and have visited twice, the first time in 2008 and we had such a good time there that we were inspired to book a short break in Blackpool in 2009 to visit the theme park again.
The Pleasure Beach is situated on Blackpool's promenade just opposite the seafront. There is some limited parking in the areas around the Pleasure Beach, the last time we found a small private car park charging £5 for a days parking but there is also metered parking on the street. The park is also readily accessible by public transport with a tram stop right outside. Most people will choose to buy a wristband which costs £20 for an adult for the day and allows you unlimited access to all of the rides. A Pleasure Beach pass is also available for £5 which allows you access to the park and limited access to a couple of rides with the option to buy tickets for individual rides.
The real attraction for us with the Pleasure Beach is that there really is something to keep everyone amused from the serious thrill seekers with huge rides such as The Pepsi Max, more traditional rides like an old fashioned carousel and a huge area dedicated to keeping the younger members of the family amused. When you first enter the park and look at the map it can be fairly daunting as the park is so huge that you don't know where to head first, a good ride to visit first is the Pleasure Beach Express, a train which snakes around the park allowing you to see all of the areas and rides and then simply head for whatever takes your fancy.
There are a total of 125 rides at the Pleasure Beach, it would be impossible to experience them all in a two visits so I will concentrate on describing a few of my favourites.
The Pepsi Max is perhaps the best known of all of the Pleasure Beach rides. Built in 1994, it was the biggest rollercoaster in the world and is still the tallest ride in the UK. The ride is over a mile long and takes around 3 minutes to hurl you around the metal track at speeds of up to 77mph with the numerous turns and drops meaning it is not for the faint hearted and you will certainly come off the ride with a huge smile on your face. Other thrill rides are The Irn-Bru Revolution, a looping rollercoaster and Avalanche where you get to experience the thrill of a bobsleigh track.
From the family rides my favourite has got to be the Grand National where you jump on a horse and race another rider who rides on a track alongside you to the finish line. The Ghost Train is the oldest in the world dating from 1930 and still makes you jump as you ride along in the dark and come face to face with skeletons and ghosts. Sir Hiram Maxim's flying machines are simple aeroplanes which fly round in circles high off the ground, they must have been cutting edge in 1904 when they opened but are still a good family ride today. The Wild Mouse rollercoaster is one of the oldest in the world and these days is tame in comparison to the major thrill rides and great for families.
When we visited in 2008 with two young boys we spent a significant amount of time in Beavers Creek, a section of the park devoted to the younger visitors. A particular favourite of the whole family is the Log Chute, a simple water ride where you are hurtled down a slope into a creek soaking the occupants of the log car. The boys adored their ride on the Eddie Stobart lorries, I have yet to work out the attraction of Steady Eddie but I have yet to meet a boy under the age of 10 who does not love the trucks. Some of the thrill rides are replicated in miniature form, a small Ice Blast gently shoots children up into the air and the little ones also have their own rollercoasters. The very young will enjoy a gentle spin in the teacups or a ride on the worlds biggest rocking horse while junior petrol heads will enjoy a trip on the dodgems. The Chinese Maze is a beautifully constructed maze with dinosaurs roaming around the foliage. It is beautiful for adults to walk around and it gives the kids a chance to run around and burn off some steam as they try and work out how to reach the exit.
As well as the rides there are many other attractions in the park. Some are free like the spectacular dancing water show, a display of light and sound which erupts every 20 minutes. Others have extra charges of up to £15 like a trip to see The Grumbleweeds or a visit to the Circus Of Horrors. There are many amusement arcades scattered around the park keen to gobble up any pennies you have in your pocket and there are also traditional funfair side stalls where you can win prizes.
There are scores of places to eat and drink during your day out ranging from an overpriced bucket of chips and bottle of Irn-Bru, fast food stalls, upmarket coffee shops, fishmongers selling cockles and seafood salad and an all you can eat Italian buffet. Like all places with a captive market the prices are slightly inflated but not ridiculously so and you will find something to suit all budgets and palettes, I can particularly recommend the freshly fried doughnuts with their crumbly sugar coating, a dieters worst nightmare but extremely tasty nonetheless. The numerous toilets dotted around the park are all spotlessly clean and I was surprised at never having to queue for the ladies.
Although you will escape queues at the toilets I would say that the crowds and queues are the biggest downside of the Pleasure Beach. I have visited both in the peak season of September when the illuminations are lit and the beginning of the season in April. The queues were massive during September with waits of up to an hour for some rides and although it was quieter in the spring the park was still very busy. The park is very popular so I don't think you would be able to pick a particularly quiet time of year for your visit.
I have now spent two full days at Blackpool's Pleasure Beach, on both visits we arrived soon after opening time in the morning and stayed until the park closed at 10pm and I still don't feel that I have experienced everything the park has to offer. It has become a favourite destination for all members of my family ranging from the under 10's to the over 40's and is a place I would recommend that you try and visit if you are in Blackpool.
I visited the Blackpool Pleasure beach a month ago and was impressed overall. Since my visit there has been some bad press as there was an incident involving the Big Dipper in which two cars crashed together. I would advise against this putting anyone off visiting the park as it is one of Britain's oldest and most entertaining attractions. In 2007, Pleasure Beach was ranked as the 14th most popular theme park in the world with 5.5 million visitors and has over 125 rides and attractions. Some of these include:
Grand National - one of the oldest attractions that was first built in 1935 and is one of the world's few wooden roller coasters. It is 3300 feet long and there are two cars side by side that 'race' each other over the various fences until one car emerges as the winner at the finishing line.
Pepsi Max Big One - When it was built in 1994, this was the world's tallest roller coaster. This record has since been relinquished to a coaster in Japan buit nonetheless at 213 feet high, it's pretty daunting! It cost £12m to build and is a traditional kind of steel track coaster
Valhalla - One of the scariest rides at the park, this is a kind of 'log flume in the dark'. Inside the arena in which the ride is housed, it is pitch black and you have no idea of when the drops are going to occur. It is classed as the largest indoor water ride in the world - not that there can be much competition for this crown!
Big Dipper - Built in 1823 and I think this is the first roller coaster to ever be built in the park and is similar to the Grand National with dips and turns.
As well as these white knuckle rides there are some smaller and family rides such as the tunnel of love, beaver log flume and the ghost train.
As well, as rides, there are traditional stalls such as basketball shooting, coconut shys etc. I would stay away from these however as they are a bit of a con and the chances of winning are very small. There are also arcades and many food stalls. My criticism of this is that all the outlets seem to sell the same kind of food - fast greasy food. It's very difficult to eat healthy in the park.
There has been a bit of controversy over the admission prices arisen over the last few years. You used to be able to walk on to the park without paying anything but this has now been scrapped and the admission just to get into the park is £5. The best way to get value for money is to get the wristbands which entitle you to stay all day in the park and go on as many rides as you wish with the exception of the go-karts which you have to pay for. These cost £25 for adults which is not too bad but I think the prices for children are way over the top. At peak times this is £20. Children have to pay from 2 years old and I thinbk this is scandalous.
A few years ago the park had a bit of a reputation for being dirty and full of litter. I'm happy to say that on my most recent visit, this seems to have been sorted out as there are now more bins and more visible staff cleaning up.
If you want to stay within spitting distance of the park, it has its own hote called the Big Blue Hotel. When you book with them they give you the option of getting park tickets at discounted rates. If you are staying elsewhere in Blackpool it is easily accessible on the tram system as it has its own stop.
In summary I would definitely recommend visiting the park as it is one of the best on the country for rides and tradition. Try and go at off peak times though to save yourself some money!