What's new



Mega Poster
I am borrowing an idea we had from a topic a few pages back entitled WTF Merlin here, but after a recent visit to BPB I feel forced to do this.

BPB is a park I care about a lot, far more than any other in the world for my own personal reasons. It genuinely pains me to say this, but after my latest visit I cant help feeling they have serious issues, something that others may have seen for years but recently I have had my eyes opened to.

So on the back of the longest closed season I have ever known, ride downtime seems to be at an all time high. Infact during the 7 hour day, we were either booted out of the queue due to breakdowns, or arrived to find the ride closed on the following rides: Ghost Train, Revolution, Grand National (twice) Iceblast and Avalanche. Now sure, these things happen but thats almost once an hour, unheard of though for BPB.

Ontop of that, there is this bizarre staggering of ride opening/closing times, which sees some rides not open until as late as 12noon and others close from 4pm, which is understandable, if somewhat infuriating, on days the park has 300 people there during a Tuesday in term time. We however are talking about a Tuesday here during the school holidays in the hottest week of the year.

So you arrive, walk past the Grand National because it doesn't open for another hour, go to the Ghost Train, which just opens as you join the queue. 3 cars later it breaks down and you are sent on your way. You head for the Streak, which has a queue already back to the Bus Tour, so you try your look elsewhere. The Big One is yet to open and has a line heading towards the south gate so you have a successful ride in Steeplechase, only to follow that with the the Revolution, where you ordered to leave after waiting some 15-20 minutes by a man leaning over the railing barking at the people 3 flights down.

It went on as such during the day. I just can't for the life of me understand why it can be so bad after such an extended closed season.

I also don't understand why its accepted that Nickelodeon Land closes at 4pm, including the Streak which is hard enough to get on as it is.

Does anyone in management actually monitor ride throughput anymore? We all have to faff about scanning our phones at every ride, which is a pain in the backside, but still nothing is being done about the long, slow moving lines. I think its fair to say that only Infusion achieves anywhere near what is its intended throughout these days.

And closing, at 5pm in 20+ degree heat while the queues are pushing an hour for your major rides? Come on!

I am not going to start on Valhalla, that is another topic altogether but all I will say is it would have been better for all concerned to pull it down 3 years ago.

Surely I cant be the only one who feels that something is very wrong with BPB at the moment?

I mean how much longer is the Streak going to be grounded on 1 train, how much longer is the National going to be allowed to breakdown multiple times a day and the addition of a second set of trains is irrelevant. The Avalanche, which should be on 3 at times like this stuck on 2, same with Icon and the Big One....
Last edited:


Roller Poster
My local park and live about 5 minutes away.

Have a pass and only bothered to show up twice this season.

My main concern is the age and reliability of the steal coasters.

I’m looking at Avalanche, Steeplechase, Revolution and Infusion and asking myself how much longer can these rides go on operating for without major investment?

Steeplechase is already the most uncomfortable ride in the U.K. and isn’t improving. I’m suprised it’s and shocked it’s still allowed to operate in its current form without any proper restraints especially when your almost 50 feet above ground.

Avalanche is on one train as far as I’m aware still meaning it’s a minimum on an hour wait mostly. It’s been re painted almost fully but last time I rode feels as if it’s getting rougher.

Infusion is over 20 years old and I’m not sure why it’s even at the park.

The problem to me is, I don’t see any of these coasters removing and being replaced with more modern exciting attractions to pull the crowds in. This means there only going to get worse in the coming years and I think crowd levels will get lower as the years go by.

Does anyone see any of the 4 steal coasters (not including big one) being either removed and replaced or being drastically modified and improved within the next 10-15 years?


Mega Poster
I personally haven't got an issue with the Steeplechase, but I accept im in the minority on that, my only gripe with it is that until around 2009 is ran 4 horses per lane rather efficiently now it runs 3 and waits till the second lift is cleared before sending the next set.

I also have a soft spot for the Rev, infact its my favourite steele coaster on park, but I do worry for its future.

Avalanche I enjoy, but I'd not loose massive amounts of sleep if it were to be replaced, but I'd rather see Mack brought in to upgrade it and get it back on 3 trains.

Infusions I couldn't care less about, it was a quick fix for a problem in 2006, it needs to go


Hyper Poster
I grew up going to Blackpool for 2 weeks every year, and getting a season pass and going to BPB almost every day (except when mum wanted to go to hounds hill for the day!) of those two weeks.
But after our visit at the end of April, I just don't want to go back. I don't see the need. Nothing has changed, nothing is improved, and what's there is being help together with wishes and dreams it seems.

Food was a disgrace. I was served some brown compressed mush with a slice of cheese in a dry bun, and told it was a cheeseburger. The person serving wasn't having their best day, taking nearly 5 minutes to serve the family before me their 3 fountain drinks. It looked like they had pre-cooked the burgers in a central kitchen and then each outlet just kept them warm in a water bath. Disgusting.

River caves looks utterly dire now. Inside and out, it's just ****. Nothing inside was working, and it's obvious where they've removed troublesome animatronics. With all the outside theming gone, it almost looks as boring as the bowladrome cuboid.
The bowladrome cuboid is just sad at this point. There's almost nothing inside, and what is in there doesn't seem to work at peak efficiency. And why did they go for plain white plastic? Why didn't they get a canvas banner made up to cover the huge blank wall/advertising space you almost have to walk past at some point during your day?

Grand National was the worst it's ever been. I managed to get so stapled by the lapbar that my other half had to stand on it to get it to pop! It was pretty much the only coaster with no queue, which is pretty telling.

Icon is fun, but how is the roof of the station such a mess already? And why on earth did they opt for that exit corridor?

Even the pleasure beach express isn't immune :( The models in the safari section have just been abandoned. The pond/water feature wasn't full, so you could see that the hippo models were only half a head. Plus just plain broken models in spots

To this untrained goon, it looks like a park that's run out of money and inspiration.

Why do they insist on staggered openings if they're going to open random rides at random times? If you must do staggered openings (because you don't have much money for mechanics), it makes more sense to open the rides furthest away from the gates and work back. Instead, Avalanche opened first? Do they do it alphabetically?

The final nail in the coffin was the new gift shop. They wouldn't honour the website price in the shop, and they said click & collect would take a couple days to come through before we could collect.
I wanted a Valhalla plushie I'd seen on the website for £5, reduced from £14.95. It was on sale in the shop for £14.95, I went to ask at the counter and it scanned through at £5.95. How can one product have 3 separate prices?

I do wonder how much of BPB has been actually modernised, and how much has just had modernity tacked on? Obviously the turnstiles have a connection to the database of valid tickets, but what else have they done? The shops still seem to use carbon copy paper transfer notes between departments/shops, rather than a central management system to track stock and sales.

Sorry for the wall of text, but this hit a nerve lol I used to adore Pleasure Beach so it's been sad watching it fade away little by little each year.


Hyper Poster
I have been a Beach visitor for over fifty years, season pass holder since they started.
The Beach has always been a hole.
It has always had substandard operations, dodgy opening times and poor management, at least since the seventies.
Corners and areas of the park have always been neglected
The steel coasters have always been rough, but Steeplechase isn't even the roughest coaster in the park!
I love the place, and go for the company, beer and coasters.
In that order.
Rarely disappointed, but my expectations are always low, and I'm not daft enough to go on a busy sunny school holiday and expect the place to cope.
It simply can't.
Blame the actual owner, she plays with the place like it is her own little sandbox, because that is exactly what it is.


Mega Poster
See i don't think the operations were bad at all until some years after wristbands took hold. Up until then and certainly during pay per ride days if you did queue, you could pretty much guarantee the ride would be running at capacity and the line would be moving.

Due to the nature of my other halfs job we can't go at any quite time we want to, but we certainly didn't expect to walk on everything but we didn't really bank on having such a day either. Got to agree though, beer did help.

As Dar has brought up, catering leaves a lot to be desired too. The jacket potatoes from opposite the Big Dipper are a sound choice, the speed of service however leaves a bit to be desired.


Mega Poster
I've been to BPB a few times in the past couple of years and I'd definitely agree that this place is going down hill, pretty fast. Firstly, as mentioned above, operations have been the worst I've seen them this year. Considering they had that later opening this season, it's confusing to know what benefit this has actually had on the park as the downtime has been pretty shocking and the amount of one train operations I saw on opening day was appalling.

My second growing concern is that Icon is the only coaster there that feels smooth and enjoyable to ride. Every other coaster is either jolty, bumpy or just plain uncomfortable and that's even after they've had a re-track! I've seen people saying how it's a big improvement with the Big One's retracking but from personal experience, every transition into the newer track has a big jolt to it...can't see how that's an improvement to be honest.

As other's have also mentioned, the general upkeep of Pleasure Beach seems to be falling behind. Back in 2019, Pleasure Beach and the area surrounding it seemed to stand out from the rest of Blackpool as it was more modern and clean. Nowadays, it's falling behind and starting to blend in with the rest of the promenade, looking run down and poor.

I get that they've been trying to maintain a lot of the classics there as that's what was special about Pleasure Beach in the first place, but maintaining and improving are totally different matters and they are definitely failing on the latter (I.e. Valhalla).
Last edited:


Mega Poster
Its my favourite UK park but I do feel like management is severely lacking. Year after year there's glaring issues and lack of attention to detail with things. Like do none of the management actually walk around the park and see how its run? Do they never do experiments to see what a guests experience is like?

I get a feeling that the decision makers are extremely disconnected from the people working day to day.


Hyper Poster
See i don't think the operations were bad at all until some years after wristbands took hold. Up until then and certainly during pay per ride days if you did queue, you could pretty much guarantee the ride would be running at capacity and the line would be moving.

Due to the nature of my other halfs job we can't go at any quite time we want to, but we certainly didn't expect to walk on everything but we didn't really bank on having such a day either. Got to agree though, beer did help.

As Dar has brought up, catering leaves a lot to be desired too. The jacket potatoes from opposite the Big Dipper are a sound choice, the speed of service however leaves a bit to be desired.
Yes, correction, operations wise things went downhill fast after the loss of pay per ride and ticket books.
But parts of the place have always been a dump.
Management has always been parochial right wing weird, the food has always been poor (use the concessions), and the offering has always been expensive and of dubious quality.
I started to grumble about wristbands in their first year, caused massive queues that never used to exist, and operations slowed overnight..."We have your money, put up with it."
The place cannot cope with crowds, and too much money goes into Hot Ice, that should be spent on the park instead.


Hyper Poster
It's been downhill since they dropped the free entry/pay-per-ride. In theory the current system should be better, but if people are paying for a full day of rides in the park they really should be opening all the rides for a full day. They could maybe get away with it in the old days as tourists passed through and added to the atmosphere but now everyone in there is there to ride something so there's really no excuse.

But that said, "it's a good idea, but done a bit ****" is pretty much the motto of the town.


Roller Poster
I visited a few weeks ago. We must have been very lucky as we rode most of the rides in the park and never really queued any huge amounts of time. However, we did have a few gripes…

I agree that the staggered opening times can be frustrating but we had the same at plopsaland and it didn’t hugely effect us - maybe luck more than anything as we got on a lot.

I may be the minority but steeplechase I give a bit of a free pass to as it’s so old and it’s probably viewed as a classic and I felt I had to ride it once on the visit.

However, Infusion… there’s a ride that needs tearing down and replacing. For a steel coaster that, at this park, is considered fairly modern it really hurts. Also this is a park where space is at a premium. And something much, much better could be there that would be new and a marketing win.

I loved icon and we paid for enso (which after ride to happiness felt ok…) but the price was high. £10 would pull in so many more. I think enso was empty most of the day and we only paid as we were there as a one off.

Anyway, that’s my points.


Hyper Poster
Interesting points, I agree on Steeplechase, it's a must-ride for me for the pure novelty of it. Its days are probably numbered though on account of the space it takes, being realistic about it.

Infusion is an interesting one, as it's genuinely one of the worst SLCs I've ridden, something I think comes down to the fact it has lived in salty sea air for its entire existence (even when it was TraumaTizer). It sucks, and before I rode Condor at Walibi Holland which has had more work done to it than Kim Kardashian I would have agreed it needs tearing down, however SLCs can indeed be saved. We... enjoyed Condor...

I will absolutely not pay £10 for ENSO, I honestly think it's a ridiculous upcharge that should never have left the drawing board.


Mega Poster
I visited this place over the weekend and can honestly see BPB getting rid of the upcharge for Enso all together.

Not a single person was seen in the queue for it all day from what I saw, which surely must be a sign for them that the upcharge (especially at that stupid price) isn't working.

Chris Brown

Mr CoasterForce 2016
I've got limited experience to comment as I've only visited 3 times, with the fist visit being around 2016. I've never seen the park in its 'heyday' with the pay per ride system. My first two visits where on busy weekends as part of CF events, the weather was great both times and the atmosphere in the park was buzzing all day. If I'd have seen this thread before my third visit I'd have probably laughed it off as overly negative but my third visit was more to the tune of the opinions above.

It was a damp cold friday after the journey to hell press night. The park was deadly quiet, the operations were poor and slow, the place just felt tired, like it had limped through the season. Most of this can be put down to the lack of atmosphere and weather but sometimes outside of the hustle and bustle you really start to see imperfections and flaws for all they're worth. The main entrance looked desolate, reminiscent of a seaside town 'modernised' in the 60's which would have been better served embracing its victorian heritage. Without queues and crowds me and @Ian scratched our heads for things to, we'd done everything, including the train, within a couple of hours. Was there anything to really keep us in the park? Ok, we're somewhat fussy when it comes to coasters, but other than a few goes on Icon there isn't really anything worth marathoning.

Ok, maybe the 3rd visit was a one off but perhaps it does help to give a bit more balance. My opinion of Thorpe is probably more akin to someone local to the Pleasure Beach. Frequency of visiting means that shiny 'new to you' park will often be seen as better. I love the pleasure beach, even after my third visit its probably the park I'd return to first out of all the UK parks I've visited, especially now Valhalla is back on the cards.

Its struggles now are what made it such a success in its heyday. The beach is bound to eternity with the popularity of Blackpool as a whole. Blackpool does well, the beach does well, albeit more so when it was pay per ride system. I can see what the powers are trying to do, they're trying, i think, to minimise the reliance on the popularity of the town as a holiday / tourist destination. Like it or not, Blackpool as a whole, has a pretty terrible reputation. Living on the South Coast, that reputation is all us southerners have to go on, regardless of whether its accurate or not. The success of Blackpool, and the pleasure beach, is closely linked to the removal of that stigma. Something Margate is really driving at the moment, a similar once popular beachside town that's going through a bit of a revival.

PS Steeplechase should be going nowhere!


Roller Poster
I agree Steeplechase shouldn't go anywhere. And BPB should be commended for their commitment to what I'd call heritage coasters (the work being done on Big Dipper and the Big One to keep them going). I agree that the park is kind of linked to the popularity of Blackpool. However, Blackpool probably does pull in a fair amount of tourists every year, especially from the Strictly crowd etc (I couldn't comment on crossover). The day I visited the park was averagely busy. it felt like a lot of people were in the park but queues never really got too long (30-40 min max).

However, the phone scan tactic definitely slows down throughput, it took me a few rides to work out what was expected. I think coming in line with the more modern park entrance schemes should be a long term goal. And I'd love to see something new go in soon, although I can imagine there's a space vs what to remove argument (just get rid of Infusion!). And I do get the ENSO idea. The queue is a bit hidden away and lowering the price would work, if you can work out the price point. I'd rather have 50 people pay £5 than 10 pay £15. There's not a huge financial gain but having guests in those seats will generate more interest in them. I did the seats at the high price as Blackpool is such a distance from me and it was very much a one off visit (I was in town with work). I probably wouldn't pay that price again. If it was a fiver, id probably be like- same price as a beer why not.


Mega Poster
Completely agree on Steeplechase, I'd hate to see it go. I would however spend whatever needs to be spent tonget it back on 4 horses per lane and allow the system to be upgraded to increase the dispatch rate to what it used to be.

I'd love to see the National taken out of service for 12-18 months for a complete re-track, structural overhaul, new control system put in and finally a set of 4 new trains with lap bars that don't cause such discomfort. Look at the bars on Phoenix, imagine how the National would ride with those. Smarten the ride up, paint it and make the station glow at night like it used to, its the jewel in the parks coaster line up, but those trains are killing it.

Avalanche and the Streak also urgently need the capacity brining back to 3 and 2 trains respectively, all of which I'd like to see done over any new coaster along with an improved catering offering.


Hyper Poster
Steeplechase footprint...
When you knock off the shared space with the Dipper, Streak, Icon, Maze and Big One, it hardly has a footprint at all.
Unique and popular family ride, going nowhere.
Last edited:


Strata Poster
Not quite WTF but still BPB related.

They've just released their radio ad for this years Hot Ice show. Nothing wrong with the ad, except it uses the Icon soundtrack without mentioning any of the park itself, or anything about Valhalla. Just seems a bit odd. Doesn't appear to be a separate park based ad running alongside it, just the Hot Ice one...


Roller Poster
Not quite WTF but still BPB related.

They've just released their radio ad for this years Hot Ice show. Nothing wrong with the ad, except it uses the Icon soundtrack without mentioning any of the park itself, or anything about Valhalla. Just seems a bit odd. Doesn't appear to be a separate park based ad running alongside it, just the Hot Ice one...
On the advertising front, my Facebook keeps getting infusion pushed. The comments are not great. Why would you pick your worst coaster as your marketing campaign?