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Blackpool Pleasure Beach - Pre COVID-19 visit


New Member
I'm a bit late in posting this :confused:

This report is from someone who has only visited a handful of Amusement / Theme Parks in the last 40 years. We went to Blackpool Pleasure Beach last year on a deal which included a room at the Big Blue Hotel with a balcony view of the rides, dinner & breakfast, park tickets with early access to the park by a separate entrance. Got on the 2nd train of the day and I was hooked.

As a 'warm up' to already booked trips (during current Lockdown) to Alton Towers, Legendia and Energylandia in Poland, the wife and myself took advantage of a WOW Weekend (Sunday) at Blackpool Pleasure Beach which offered half price tickets at £19.50:

The Pleasure Beach is only an hour drive from our house but we decided to make a full day of it and booked the Travelodge next to the park at a very reasonable £25.00 including parking. Britain had been battered by storms in recent weeks so we were pleased to see that the weather forecast was not too bad for the day we travelled.

Arriving early, we decided to get some breakfast at the nearby Wetherspoons pub named the Velvet Coaster after a former Rollercoaster at BPB which opened in 1909 and closed in 1932 (the lift hill is used for the current 'Nickelodeon Streak' coaster). Inside this huge, 3 level pub which opened in 2015 there are a large number of historical photos of BPB. Despite being busy our food and drinks arrived quickly. A couple of pints of 'Old Rosie' cider made for an interesting start.

Once we obtained our wristbands and entered the park we anticipated that virtually everyone there was heading for the Big One and Icon so we did a few of the less popular rides.

First up was the gentle introduction in the form of the
Flying Machines which is the oldest ride in the park. However, it only served as a reminder that I am scared of heights. Not the best start. I pretended that I had not seen the shot / drop tower nearby and quickly moved on.

Next up was Derby Racer, one of only three in the world. The ride is essentially a large carousel of 56 horses in four rows with 2 seats per horse and accompanied by music from a stunning Belgian Organ. This is a family ride, however, dismounting from the horses can prove a bit tricky for all ages.

Icon is the park's biggest attraction, a Mack Rides dual launch coaster. What looked like a big queue was constantly moving and we only waited about 15 minutes. Despite looking rather slow from off ride it is a fairly intense but smooth coaster. The Lap bars instead of the usual over the shoulder restraints add to the experience. The dip and then second launch into the Immelmann being the highlight.

Big One. Once the world's tallest rollercoaster has been partially retracked but is still rough in places. Apart from the initial view and drop there is little in terms of interest.

Steeplechase. Absolutely terrifying. A single track ride x3 racing 20 feet up on a horse that takes corners at 90 degrees with only a loose seatbelt in place. I hung on for dear life and was hugely relieved when I got back to the station without being dismounted. How on earth do people not be regularly thrown off to a sad demise ?

Red Arrows Skyforce. Despite my best efforts I couldn't achieve a full spin. Felt a bit sick.

Avalanche. Another that looks pretty tame from off ride so beware as this bobsled coaster packs a punch. It did feel like the train was about to leave the track.

Avatar Airbender. A spinning disc type family ride.

Impossible. A walk through 'attraction' containing some wonky mirrors, optical illusions and a crap 'Haunted Swing'.

Ghost Train. An absolute classic from my childhood. You have to love skeletons riding bicycles.

Alice in Wonderland. A dark ride with bizarre scenes. Much scarier than the Ghost Train.

Grand National. A dual racing wooden coaster. Is a Grade 2 listed building. Rough as hell. Not one to be the first coaster you should consider in the morning. Avoid if possible.

Big Dipper. Slightly less rough than the Grand National.

Infusion. A Suspended Looping Coaster. Crikey. You won't really remember the inversions as you will be more concerned about when your neck will break and how many teeth you have smashed. I sat on the front row so I'm assuming that it could be even worse on the back.

Yes, I appreciate that many of these rides are of historical value and have to be retained. However, the huge highlight for us was the overall experience. This was made by the ride operators, staff and also the visitors on the park. Hats off to the fellow from Bolton on the train and many others.