Blackpool Pleasure Beach is big northern England amusement park with plenty to do for all ages. Most of its charm thrives from century old nostalgic rides (like Big Dipper that was constructed in 1923 and Grand National in 1935) and an almost American funfair atmosphere combined with modern days themed areas like Nickelodeon Land or charming dark rides like the new Wallace and Gromit Thrill-O-Matic.
In fact, Blackpool Pleasure Beach is one of the oldest amusement parks in the world, having first opened in 1896, but in recent times some of the old rides were removed and it was introduced a £6 just to walk round ticket that caused some resentment among Pleasure Beach’s old-timers and Lancashire fans. On the other hand, there are those who claim that this entry fee stopped any trouble makers entering the park making it cleaner, safer and more family friendly than ever. The debate it still undergoing on Uk blogs, but from a theme park traveler perspective £35/person wristband entry scheme is almost a rip off.
Having cleared that out of my mind (and off my wallet, by the way!!!) I can only say positive things about the park, where me Gui and 8 other of our friends had a very good time.
The park is currently home to nearly 125 rides and attractions, including ten roller coasters, of which five are wooden – the Grand National, Big Dipper, Nickelodeon Streak, Wild Mouse and Blue Flyer. The most thrilling roller coasters are the inverted ‘Infusion’ opened in 2007 and Pepsi Max Big One opened 1994. Big one is still one the tallest, fastest and steepest roller coasters of any park in the world, measuring 5,497 feet (1,675 m) long and 213 ft (65 m) tall. In 2015 the park opened a nw attraction called “Red Arrows Sky Force”. This 72ft high, 12-seat white-knuckle ride takes you on a 360-degree tour of the skies and sits in the shadow of the world-famous Big One rollercoaster. For the future the park has plans for a new multi-million pound rollercoaster set to open in 2018.
Also the park has almost no restrictions for young kids and my 8 year old son Gui could ride with me almost everywhere (including Big One which proved not to be a very good idea…). But for young kids the park has one of the best themed areas I visited so far: Nickelodeon Land. This children’s playground opened in 2012 and is operated separately (you can get a wristband only for this section) and includes numerous small attractions suitably aimed at younger children and tweens, including a Log Flume-type attraction, two 1,099 feet (335 m) long junior wooden coasters and various small carousel-type attractions. Dora boat gentler ride made my friend Roberto sick, again, which is a big mystery for all of us since this guy is the first to jump to the fastest and scariest rides. The park also has its own costumed mascots which follows on from Disney’s theory of character costuming regarding entertainment for younger guests.
Queue times in the park were almost inexistent and the park has lots of branded places to eat such as Burger King, Yoomoo and Slush puppy. Also when it is raining, there are loads of arcades and indoor attractions to go in and when it’s sunny the coastal atmosphere in the park is amazing!.
In our visit in April 2013 weather was mixed with a sunny morning and a cloudy afternoon, so we didn’t ride Valhalla that all decent bloggers review as to be one of the best water dark rides in the planet. Getting wet at 2º C is not my piece of pie!
In 2017 Blackpool Pleasure Beach announced its new £16.25 million rollercoaster – Icon, UK’s first ever double launch rollercoaster.
Apart from the ticket prices and the scary Hotel Carlos booked us, Blackpool Pleasure Beach was everything we hoped to be and I recommend it to every theme park fan.
Opens from February to December.
By Sandra Dias, Rosa Ferreira, Ana Rita Merndes, Paula Martins, Roberto Franklin, Sandra Nunes and Carlos Canaes. Updated: 23/09/2018
Location:525 Ocean Blvd, Blackpool, Lancashire FY4 1EZ, United Kingdom
Tickets: Wristband Gate price £39 adults (from 25£ online off season early booking);
£29.50 children. From £22.00 adult online 10 days in advance
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