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Nitefly is a sucker for an unexpected dino at Blackpool Pleasure Beach (and more!)

Nitefly

Hyper Poster
As a polite warning, this blog contains shocking levels of self-indulgence and crude language. For those that nevertheless dare to ride, hang on to your bums… because it’s about to get spicy.

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We were somewhere around West Bromwich on the edge of the Birmingham when the best hook in the whole musical began to take hold. “Oh well! I never was there ever! A cat so clever as magical Mr. Mistoffelees!", we sang chaotically (though without much care to that). Spirits were high, and rightly so. This trip to Blackpool (our very first) was first arranged to celebrate Mrs. Nitefly’s birthday…. ~18 months ago. Amazingly, BPB had honoured our park tickets for a new date of our choice - now a night of ‘late riding’ - and our hotel had likewise agreed to shuffle along our room booking too. We would be staying for two nights and having two days at the park (one evening and one full day). Oh, boy!

We had opted to stay at the Boulevard Hotel, which is the newest of the two ‘on-site’ offerings. “Take that, Cedar Point”, Mrs. Nitefly quipped as the Big One rolled into view against the sombre grey skyline and the seemingly abandoned promenade. The car park for the hotel sits right next to The Big One’s lift hill. Driving in, we was a little taken aback at how much was going on across the skyline. Being BPB virgins, it all looked truly amazing.

Our room at the hotel was excellent, with a superb view of BPB:

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Look at that lift hill, woweeee!!!

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Wait, hold the ****ing phone; is that a Snorlax?! My eyes narrowed:

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".... mother ****er!!!", I thought (in my very best 'Marcellus Wallace' voice). Could this trip be the one where I finally win this coveted prize...?

Strong accents were a theme of our trip to BPB. “Aye, yoo oot to av aye goot eve, eye ron brew?”, said the Scottish security guard on the turnstiles, with a smile. “….. yes”, I guessed. He then said something completely undecipherable, evidently expecting a reply. We smiled awkwardly in silence until he sensed that he was no fun to be had and waved us through, but nevertheless in a genuinely warm and kind manner (which was echoed by all BPB staff throughout the trip).

Our first stop was the Pasaje del Terror scare maze attraction, as that was due to close imminently. We queued quietly amongst the large and very loud group of neighbouring guests, some of them in matching tracksuits but all of them conversing between each other without hesitation or fear. 'Speaking to people that you don't know?! What is this sorcery?!', I thought, wondering whether I had become truly socially inept as a result of a pandemic. Eventually, one group took it upon themselves to strike up a conversation with me. I bantered as best as I could, but once again the clash of accents thwarted communications; I could not fully understand what they were saying. It didn’t matter though. My perception from that point (unchallenged for the whole trip) was that all at BPB were there to have a great time.

Pasaje del Terror was really rather fun and I would recommend it, if you like goofy horror. The actor interactions included some dialogue and many 'set pieces' from famous (albeit presumably unlicensed) horror franchises, including the Exorcist, Halloween and the Nun. The scares were typically far more aggressive than the halloween scare mazes at, say, Alton Towers. With the scares came big laughs and our group left the attraction giggling at the silliness.

I’m absolutely delighted to report that we then had possibly the most enjoyable suite of back-to-back rides in memory. Our first stop was the Flying Machines. Nowhere was the ‘salt-of-the-earth’ nature of the BPB staff more apparent than here. “I’m afraid you’ll have to drink your beer before you get on - I mean, I would let you, but, there’s cameras watching, ya know?”, said one member of staff to a guest. Meanwhile, I observed the ageing wooden platform and how the rockets rested against it - how charming! The cycle was long and pleasant. We laughed and people-watched in our own private rocket, debating how far we would go if the rocket became detached from the wires. We spiralled round and took great enjoyment at nothing in particular.

From Flying Machines, we spotted Derby Racer which looked adorable in the now-dusk lighting. We took our horses and started spiralling once more, with a practically full carousel. Everywhere I looked, people were having fun. It was almost as if the unadulterated, childish joy of the few was causing a wider joy that grew and grew amongst the many - a feedback loop, of sorts. It was all very contagious and there was no doubt any more. We all pulled on our reigns, cheered and flew! Round and round, we went, to the organ. Mrs. Nitefly cheekily claimed she was in the lead. Not a chance! I pulled on the reigns, more and more until I was certain I was in the lead, punching the air with a fist of victory! "Yeeee harrrr!". I turned to Mrs. Nitefly, who was laughing and cheering on her horse. I was laughing too. We all left Derby Racer with big grins and looked for our next ride. There was something quite… special, about that ride. I now can’t help but feel rather sentimental about it.

We meandered along and by chance encountered Alice in Wonderland (or whatever it is formally called). From the outside, this looked wonky… a little bit crispy! But again, charming. Like old children’s books in your nan’s loft, you know?

We boarded our Cheshire Cat, which happened to be one that had the Mad Hatter sat in the back-seat. Now, I factually know this ride is rather dank (my nose immediately informed me of this) but for whatever reason, I ****ing loved it. Oh god, I loved it. There was just so much **** everywhere. Weird, old, neon ****, all over the place. The Cheshire Cat paraded us around unusually fast for a dark ride, or if not actually fast, really darn close to what we were supposed to be looking at (quite unlike other rides that give you opportunity to take things in). Would you like some time to look at this neon ****? No Sir, not for you!!! Perhaps that was for the best. I was particularly delighted to hear that the soundtrack for the inside section was “I have a golden ticket” from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, which incidentally is the tune for the mindless song we sing at our cat, Togepi, when he comes home (which is always an event, because he is never home). “They call him Togepi!”, we sang at the ominous neon nightmare. “They-call-him-****-ing-To-Ge-Piiiiiiiiii”. Maybe one day I'll figure out why Togepi stays out of the house so much.

We left the ride in a happy daze; numerous animated Disney-birds tweeted alongside as we laughed heartily and skipped along without care nor worry. Sure, our joyous mannerisms were bound to annoy the absolute **** out of everyone who saw us (or anyone reading this blog, for that matter). But you know what, **** it, I’m banking it. It’s not every day you have such a nice time, right?

Next up was the ‘River Caves’ - oooooo a mysterious wild card. We’d never ever heard of this one. Like Alice, this looked shonka-donka. To great amusement, the operator vacuumed water out of our ‘log’ before we got in it. We then saw the corny “tunnel of love” sign and smirked at the goofiness. I would smirk further every time I saw that sign for the rest of the trip, as the phrase "tunnel of love" has absolutely nothing to do with the ride experience, which was a surprisingly long slow boat journey against various 'worldly' scenes. Again, I loved River Caves, perhaps because I had absolutely no idea what I was in for. But I'm always a sucker for an unexpected dino. How nice to have some actual dark rides in your park. The boats were nicely spread out so we really did feel quite alone on our journey. We entered the ice cave section at an ambient break in the looping music and, you know what, it was perfect. It just was.

But we didn't travel all this way just for the whimsical. We’re here for some coasters. Bring it on. We therefore headed onto our first coaster of the trip, the Big Dipper. Neither of us knew the layout of this one, nor really anything about it, apart from the fact it was really old. We ended up on the penultimate row. “We need to keep off the wheel seats”, I instructed Mrs. Nitefly, who nodded. “It’s what my friends on the Internet forum said.”

The seats were so funny. Fabric?! Fabric seats! Must be a nightmare to clear vom off of these. The train lurched and crunched its way out of the station, in an 'aged' manner that felt very unique. This was by far the oldest coaster I have ever been on and, as we chugged around towards the lift hill, I was feeling a little apprehensive about how brutal it was going to be. But oh, what a sight. Here we were, smack bang in the middle of several other coasters. Joyful shrieks from the surrounding rides. Smiles everywhere. Yes.

Down the first hill we went. Wow, super duper airtime - surprising! Bums completely in the air and both holding onto the extremely loose bar to stay in the car. Then, bang, massive airtime again on the second hill. Oh, my! We rattled our way around the track uncomfortably, but laughing at the absurdity of it. What an absolute crisper! The train applauded as it pulled into the station, as did the people sitting on it (all amazed that the train itself could applaud).

What I learned from the Big Dipper is more about my airtime preferences. I like it comfy. If the airtime/restraint combo makes it somewhat painful, it’s just not ideal. Sure, the Big Dipper is a rough ride, but in isolation the airtime was great.

We wondered around some more, not really knowing where to go, nor caring. We found ourselves in Nickelodeon Land and had a merry ride on the Krusty Krab drop tower. “I’m not sure you’re tall enough?” joked the 'salt-of-the-earth' operator, before he carefully loaded the ride up with children, wishing them well. Everyone here really seems to love their job, I thought, at least the more senior folk.

Time for another coaster, Blue Flyer. This was a station wait, so we both enthusiastically ran onto a seat together, before realising it was impossible for us to sit down. “You'll have to sit in separate seats", laughed the operator. Even with Mrs. Nitefly in her own seat, I still couldn’t fit in. Two ride ops came over to assist and recommended a way to sit down. Never had that problem before! Still, my knees were rammed on metal parts of the train and I quickly realised that I was potentially going to get broken knee caps if the train jerked around. I spent the ride in a terrified embrace, simply to avoid injury, so unfortunately can’t say I enjoyed this at all - but Mrs. Nitefly liked it. If you’re above 6’, you may well struggle with Blue Flyer.

The biggest surprise of the night was our next ride: Nickelodeon Streak. The sun had gone and we were truly on the night rides now. It was also drizzling quite a bit at the time and we were on the back row, which was perhaps the explanation... but this ride absolute monstered around the track. We were being buckaroo’ed all over the place. I was shocked. The true stamp of a wild ride was given: Mrs. Nitefly screamed (this is rare). Genuinely, some of the most aggressive and surprising airtime we’ve ever had. I mean, I couldn't believe it. Nickelodeon Steak…. really?! The ride was certainly a rough one and after all of those woodies we were definitely craving something a little… smoother.

Into the final hour, we managed to get onto Avalanche. Perhaps the drizzle affected matters but this was a really wild ride and I was actually concerned that the car might fly off the track… not a possibility in reality, but that was the ferocity of it in its final moments. This was one of our favourites.

Then… one of the most anticipated rides of the trip… the Big One. Now we're talking!!! I have wanted to go on this since '94. We queued up for the front row, for this was a special event. It was such a wonderful joy, climbing that lift hill and seeing the park lit up. I was quite emotional at the sight. Of course, with a big climb like that comes a big fall… although unfortunately for us in more ways than one. By the time we had reached the turnaround near the park entrance, I was really quite desperate for the Big One to end. What a rattler. “R-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r”, said the young woman behind me, mocking the roughness. We hit the break run with long faces and immediately expressed our mutual disappointment. What a let down… terrible, really. We decided we would give it another chance the following day.

With less than half an hour before park closing, we jumped on Steeple Chase, which had a very short queue. We have both wanted to get on this for years. It’s just looks so cute! Unfortunately, it was really quite jolty. “Ooof”, said Mrs. Nitefly, disapprovingly, many times. It was OK but, again, quite a disappointment, certainly so in the sense that we didn't feel compelled to ride it again. After this, we were well and truly rattled/jolted-out.

There was then just enough time to march over for a ride on the 'main event'…. Icon. At this point, I must say that the park was looking rather glorious:

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We had a back row ride on one of the final trains of the evening. I’ve read a lot of middling reviews on Icon so I had quite low expectations, which were easily exceeded. It was smooth, forceful and really just a whole heap of fun. When the ride ended, I could barely believe that others had said it was sluggish. Sure, it wasn’t the most intense ride…. But sluggish? No way, not even at the end (although I had previously thought it looked quite slow from some POVs). In respect of airtime, I found there to be quite a bit throughout the layout. But the restraints did jank into my thighs a little bit (particularly off the top-hat, as you would expect). If airtime is going to throw you up like that, I definitely prefer to have restraints like Lech Coaster. Lech is super aggressive with the airtime, far more so than Icon, but it's soooo comfortable by comparison, as the pressure is taken off your legs by the body restraint. Nitpicking aside though, I was very impressed. Mrs. Nitefly and I exchanged our glowing thoughts and we looked forward to getting a second ride on Icon the following day, to then properly judge whether this was a Nemesis-beater or not.

We meandered out of the park slowly, taking in the sights. What a truly excellent evening. Well played BPB, well played *claps*

To find out where Icon sits in the rankings (and whether I finally won that Snorlax), you’ll have to stay tuned for part 2 of this blog, where Mrs. Nitefly and I have a full day at BPB, complete the coaster collection and experience many of the other offerings.

Thanks for reading.
 
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Matt N

Strata Poster
Great report as usual @Nitefly; glad to see you seemingly enjoyed BPB! I’m also gratified to hear that you liked Icon so much; I loved it since I first rode it back in its first year, and I agree with you in saying that it doesn’t feel sluggish when you’re on it! I’ve always felt like Icon has great pacing, but I’ve always felt like I must be mad, as everyone else slates it for being so sluggish!

If you thought Big Dipper & Nickelodeon Streak were rough, I’ll be interested to hear your thoughts on Grand National & Infusion…
 

Nitefly

Hyper Poster
Part 2

For our second day, we were able to enter BPB via the 'hotel guests only' entrance, which FYI is of limited use as it's only accessible for the first 90 minutes of park opening. Not that it really saved us any time, because we were heading back to guest services (the other side of the park) to find out if we could claim our games tokens and drinks flasks that were booked for (and should have been claimed on) the previous day. I only mention this tedium for the sake of highlighting some awesome 'customer service'.

In the queue to enter the pagoda, we were 'queue jumped' by a family, I think quite intentionally as only the most dimwitted of individuals could fail to notice that we were queuing in what was clearly 'the queue' that had been arranged outside. It's the sort of thing that causes deep annoyance, but the injury suffered is so minor, you would rarely opt to do anything about it. We would be seen in a couple of minutes anyway. At this point, a younger member of staff clocked what had happened and went into full hero mode: "OI! Excuse me!! Yes, you!! Outside please!! There is a queue of people waiting!" - even though it was just me and Mrs. Nitefly stood there. He didn't have to do or say anything (and no significant time was saved as they were seen less than a minute later), but I really valued that he put his neck out there to protect the principal of "don't be a ****". What a king!! I gave the man a sincere nod of approval and respect, which he mirrored as if to say "Not on my watch!". The desk was then very helpful and sorted us with our items, despite not being obliged to to so. With the pleasant banter and good nature of the BPB staff, I would say they are collectively my favourite staff from any UK theme park that I have encountered, by far.

With there being no rush, our first ride of the day was the Pleasure Beach Express, being a ~10 minute circular around the southernmost end of the park. I would recommend this. You get some excellent up close views of all of the rides and how they impressively intertwine and exist in such close proximity. Later, the journey throws you all sorts of strange things to look at, which are mostly in a state of decorative disrepair but are nevertheless enjoyable, in part by their surprising addition and abundance. We enjoyed Pleasure Beach Express so much we finished off our day with a second ride.

Two things stood out. First, an elaborate skull waterfall, spewing out red water in a very familiar manner. I love things like this because they didn't have to add it, but they did.

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Secondly, amongst a bunch of dinos, a cheerfully dressed axe-man making further handiwork of an already skinless skull.

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Haunting.

Departing Pleasure Beach Express, we found ourselves near the Wallace and Gromit ride. Walking over, we had one of those awful moments where a man dressed up as Gromit was trying to lure us in for a photo. He was waving at us for some time, us being the only two guests in view, to the point where it was awkward not to wave back. He beckoned over for further interaction, at which point I cheerfully said "nah, we're going in here" causing Gromit to pretty much collapse in despair, head in his hands at the brutal rejection. I felt bad for both of us, as nobody ever wins in a war of unwanted interaction. The ride itself was on the better side of OK, quite a bit longer than expected and with scenes from all of the main entries to the series. I thought the twee 'slipper' cars were a bit forced but, again, it's nice to have some ridable dark rides in a park that aren't exclusively aimed at very young children.

Meandering along further, we stumbled upon the Chinese Puzzle Maze. This was a great discovery and exactly the sort of 'footnote attraction' that the Merlin Parks are sorely missing. We enjoyed bumbling through this and it gave good views of the other attractions:

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It was then time for our first new cred of the day, Revolution. This is actually quite a fear inducing, but only once you have boarded and are waiting to be launched backward on the second half of the ride, causing much nervous laughter beforehand and afterwards amongst the guests. Again, a visually intriguing ride. We enjoyed it.

After Revolution, we headed into another 'footnote attraction', the Learning Garden. This was very hidden away and we were the only two in it. There was nothing of particularly note, other than to say, again, this is exactly the sort of pleasant thing that other Merlin Parks are really lacking. Being big fans of the Tomorrowland Speedway, we were excited to then get onto Grand Pix, which was great. We once again enjoyed the sights of the park and passing along other rides. These experiences really made BPB for me, as I will go on to conclude.

Upping the pace (to a degree...) we then had our second (and final) ride on Icon. This was another back row ride. I was left with the exact same impression from a purist 'coaster judgement' perspective; Icon was very good and more impressive than I had been led to believe. This time, I really 'star-fished' out my limbs on the Immelmann and had an excellent moment of hang before being dragged out of the inversion with force. And yes, it surely is an inversion. More to the point, how the **** is it not an inversion? It's certainly a more 'upside down' than the incline loops I have seen, which as far as I'm aware are uncontested as being inversions.

Icon is not a Nemesis beater for me, though. It lacks two things, comparatively: (a) a true 'world class element' or series of elements (i.e. like Nemesis from the first drop to the heartline roll), and (b) character. Not all coasters need to be themed and I can often do without a tedious backstory, but Icon just doesn't have much of an impressionable 'pop' (which I concede is a preference thing, as I have a strong appreciation for the horror theme of Nemesis). The gold trains are fun but the dull grey track blends in with the surroundings, or at least doesn't grab your attention. I also agree that the launches on Icon are needlessly mild and they really dropped the ball on not giving the launches more oomph (particularly that first launch). I anticipate most people give Icon grief because it's disappointing for reasons like this. I think it also doesn't help that Icon doesn't really have any immediate competition at the park. If it was at Alton or Thorpe, I think it would compare very favourably to the other Merlin offerings. I think it's probably my second favourite UK coaster.

All aboard the Ghost Train. The outside of this was akin to the inside of the Alice ride: an orgy of **** everywhere. The spiders on the right of the facade reminded me of Skulltulas from Ocarina of Time. I instructed Mrs. Nitefly (with a smirk) that if they dropped down, we'd have to stay still until they revealed their weak-spot. Mrs. Nitefly immediately understood the reference and pulled a grumpy face: the first Skulltula she encountered made her scream and throw her 3DS to the sofa.

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Meanwhile, the aesthetic defects to the spiders on the left of the facade made them look like they were wearing victorian flat-caps.

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"Mornin' guvna, shine your shoes for an arf-penny?"

Alas, the spiders were my favourite part of the experience unfortunately as the ghost train didn't charm me as I had hoped, with some less than impressive sections dragging the ride down. I was also not a fan of the 'clearly not moving as it should' slimer-model at the top of the queue area near the spiders. I like old things, but I don't like neglected things. On that theme, lunch was then procured from the 'fried chicken' offering near the fountains. The chicken had clearly been neglected in the cooking process as it was absolutely ****ing dreadful. Do avoid.

We headed over to Ice Blast. This looked rather intimidating and I was nervous to go on but it was surprisingly tame, far tamer than even Dr. Doom at Islands of Adventure. I think the windmill drop tower at Paultons is still my favourite UK tower ride. I was very sad that Valhalla was closed as I've always been curious to ride it. We'll have to save that for the next trip.

We put on our American football helmets and headed over to Infusion. It's certainly one of the prettiest rides in the park over the water...

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...but all that glitters is not gold (especially if it's an SLC). Infusion is a thoroughly unpleasant ride. Throughout, all sorts of noises were being made by Mrs. Nitefly, presumably to the effect of "DO NOT WANT". Meanwhile, I was pulling my best war face, hoping that the ride (or my life) would just end. Miserable, never again.

Now thoroughly beaten up by Infusion, it seemed a perfect moment to re-ride the Big One. We sat in the penultimate car and it was again absurdly rattly. Being in the back, it was almost comical seeing the cars in front jolt around all over the place. I'm not sure which was more rattly out of this and Infusion, but the Big One was probably only noticeably comfier due to the absence of over the shoulder restraints. In truth, I'm really gutted about the Big One. I really wanted to like it because I'm really excited to ride Magnum XL-200, as and when I get the chance, so now I'm doubting whether I'll enjoy that. I find my disappointment atypical as wanting to enjoy a ride and general attitude goes a long way, but it couldn't help me here. It is a little sad that the enormous giant whopping thing you can see from everywhere is actually one of the very worst rides in the park.

Snorlax, that big fat soul-destroying ****. The attendant on the stand was being super relaxed at the rules and not enforcing throwing distances, evidently so as many guests were walking around with their pikachus. Knowing that something special was about to go down, a crowd gathered. The theme from Rocky started playing (in my mind). Mrs. Nitefly bounced around excitedly. My game face was deployed. No ****ing around! This would be the ****ing day!!!!! Except, it wouldn't. I had 20 'games' at winning a Snorlax on "you can blatantly cheat"-mode, yet, I still failed. Mrs. Nitefly's poor sad face. I turned to leave BPB and expressed my intention of walking out into the sea in shame, but Mrs. Nitefly reminded me that we still had one coaster to go: the Grand National. "You can walk out into the sea after that", she added.

The Grand National is a difficult ride to judge. It is certainly one of the rougher rides at the park and further to our run of rough rides, that was all we could take for the day (save for the aforementioned second trip on Pleasure Beach Express). Yet, for all of the easy criticisms, the duelling aspect was sensational. All riders were willing on their 'horse', in a manner not too dissimilar to Derby Racer the previous day. There was a lot of laughing. "**** you!!" giggled a guest on the other train, flipping me the bird. "Noooo **** youuuuuu!!!!" I retorted on the next corner as I overtook him. It is simple genius how the side by side nature of the duelling over a series of corners constantly puts one train in front of the other in the race. I far prefer this simple 'close race' duelling to any of the 'near miss' variants where you don't race quite so side-by-side, nor so neck-and-neck. Far better than I expected, but we were far too beaten up for any re-rides now.

We ended our day with a stroll along the promenade, with a fish and chip supper to accompany the gorgeous oranges and purples in the sky.

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In summary, we had a truly excellent time at BPB, particularly that first evening with our magical run of charming rides. Ultimately, it's a park of great strengths and great weaknesses, which means I find it a little less balanced than some other offerings. Icon is one of the UK's best coasters and beyond that there is certainly a lot of other coasters to entertain, but as a whole the collection is a bit too rough with the clear let downs being the steel collection and notably the Big One and Infusion. If those two rides weren't so aggressively rough, then guests would be spared that cumulative coaster rattling that can lead to a person having had enough. I do also wish that Steeple Chase was smoother. As for the woodies, these were on the rougher end of the spectrum, but that wonkiness is part of their charm and we enjoyed them more than we expected. If BPB could do a proper re-tracking of the Big One to make it a smooth ride and also replace Infusion with, say, a RMC raptor, I think BPB could be a strong contender for being the best coaster park in the UK.

As it stands, the real stars of BPB are the old dark/track rides and flats: Flying Machines, Derby Racer, River Caves, Grand Prix, Pleasure Beach Express etc. It all has a very unique, special charm, unmatched by the Merlin parks and quite unlike any of the Disney/Universal offerings too. It is absolutely astonishing how much better River Caves is compared to something modern and expensive like, for example, Na'vi River Journey. The big players could learn a thing or two from BPB to see how you don't always need expense and bombast to deliver a fun, memorable experience.

I look forward to our next 'first time visiting a park'-experience, wherever that may be.

Thanks for reading.
 
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Hixee

Flojector
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Social Media Team
I really wanted to like it because I'm really excited to ride Magnum XL-200, as and when I get the chance, so now I'm doubting whether I'll enjoy that.
Oh don't worry about that. Magnum does everything right that PMBO does wrong. :D

Awesome report - good experience summarised, entertainingly written, and it sounds like a great day(s) out. Amazing! :)
 

Serena

Miss CoasterForce 2016
Staff member
Social Media Team
Thanks @Nitefly for writing this utterly joyful trip report, thoroughly enjoyed reading this! I could really feel the sense of fun you guys had through your fab writing. That first evening sounds magical!

And to echo what @Hixee said, don't you worry about Magnum XL-200! It's nothing like The Big One thankfully.

Hope you get that Snorlax one day!
 

Nitefly

Hyper Poster
I mean, based on all the Magnum talk... Cedar Point? :D

Ha, yes. That is the dream. Unfortunately it’s just so difficult to get to at the moment. I have actually planned a ridiculous super-long-weekend trip there in September/October, restrictions permitting…. so fingers crossed.
 
As always, what a fantastic TR! Pokemon references are always going to be a winner with me as well and the fact your cat is not only called Togepi, but also has their own theme song is amazing haha!

Nothing makes me feel more self-conscious of my own writing than reading one of your reports Mr. Nitefly, but that's only a good thing! Hopefully I can learn and aspire to better emulate the same humor and sense of adventure you put in your own TR's!

*Nervously starts editing my Oakwood TR* 😅
 

Robbie

Hyper Poster
Great review. As someone who knows Blackpool very well it's always interesting to see a newbie's perspective.

Next up was the ‘River Caves’ - oooooo a mysterious wild card. We’d never ever heard of this one. Like Alice, this looked shonka-donka. To great amusement, the operator vacuumed water out of our ‘log’ before we got in it. We then saw the corny “tunnel of love” sign and smirked at the goofiness. I would smirk further every time I saw that sign for the rest of the trip, as the phrase "tunnel of love" has absolutely nothing to do with the ride experience
I love River Caves and have grown to appreciate it more as I've got older. The "Tunnel Of Love" sign has nothing to do with the rest of ride because it was added for an episode of Coronation Street (in the 1990s, I think) and never taken down again.
 
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