Advantages Soething for everyone
Disadvantages Quite expensive
|Is it worth visiting?|
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.
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