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Blackpool Pleasure Beach 26th / 27th May 2021 Quick report


Mega Poster
Here's a quick one to provide some updates and personal thoughts about BPB.
I first visited 15 months back, so this is a bit of a revisit report with @Climb - two full days on park and new creds ridden.


New tickets

The ticketing system now relies on your mobile phone rather than old-school wristbands.
It requires every visitor to have a QR code ticket on their phone ready to enter the park and every single ride.
While it wasn't overly fiddly, it does mean each rider will have to have a mobile phone with them on their ride (or trust the ride storage areas).
I think they need to provide more secure station facilities (or more consistent on-ride storage) for this system to be a success.

This year there wasn't anything new to ride (that I'm aware of at least...) but virtually all the rides were open both days except for Infusion, Dora's water ride thing, Impossible and Valhalla.
Amusingly I'd been spited by Valhalla last February and got spited a second time as it's still undergoing whatever upgrades Amanda Thompson has deemed fit.
The park hours were pretty weak - opening from 11 to 5 on weekdays, although I suppose it's still fairly early in the year.

Wood aging badly
I usually prefer wood over steel and like a bit of a rougher ride, but Blackpool's selection is getting really *really* rough. Like to the point they can't really pass it off as the 'nostalgic charm of history'. Strangely I raved about the Grand National last time I visited, but this time it was almost as unpleasant as a Volare for me (I rode very front and very back rows). The Big Dipper was nearly as bad, with some horrible jolts towards the mid-section especially. Blue Flyer by virtue of its size is fine, and Orange Streak wasn't too bad either. I think that the two big ones need retracking at this point sooner rather than later. I understand that The Big Dipper and Grand National are grade II listed, but hoping they can work a restoration in somehow. Not sure I'd reride the Grand National until something is done.

New Cred
I finally got on The Big One (it was closed last year) and managed a front row and back row ride. I loved the way the lift hill built suspense with height markers, and the drop towards the sea before turning was amazing. Sadly the back row ride was awful, with the first drop giving two distinctly uncomfortable jolts and the layout offering many more. It ended with me saying how horrible the experience was. Rode front seat later and came off grinning. Loved the experience at the front - seemingly much smoother, even providing a few little bits of airtime. It's a fast and intense ride and I was really surprised how different the experience was to me front vs back.


I got to ride Wallace and Grommet Thrillomatic as well as the Ghost Train this time round. One is a charming and quite fun experience with bursts of speed, surprisingly dark sections and a jumpscare ending. The other is the Ghost Train. Yeah personally, although I value the historical charm of the Ghost Train here, I think the one at Coral Island - a literal arcade- was much better in terms of suspense and providing chills. The Thrillomatic ride was a great little addition. Lacking a coherent story but good fun. Also standard shoutout to River Caves - genuinely one of my favourite rides at BPB (although as a coaster enthusiast I can't help but look at the impressive spaces inside and wonder what could fit in there if the ride somehow were ripped out).

Favourite rides
Icon was meh for me last time. I remember it finishing and me saying to my brother 'that was okay'.
This time, I found the back row ride really excellent, especially over the first hill.
For me, the ride needed a punchier more dramatic ending instead of finishing with slalom-y overbanks and corners. The first half is actually my favourite half tbh. Also mid-train seats are much weaker.
Avalanche proved a hit for me last time and it retains its spot as a personal favourite. The way it builds up relentlessly, with every element being downwards creates quite a unique toboggan experience versus say Trace Du Hourra at Parc Asterix which builds up briefly before hitting the MCBRs multiple times. Great fun.


Really love this park. It has a feel of Tivoli Gardens or Grona Lund to me, the way everything is crammed in and somewhat mashed together. I won't be heading back now until they add something substantial, but it's still a great place.
I just hope Valhalla's reopening is worth the wait, and they manage to restore the woodies to enjoyable experiences.



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Sounds like a pretty good summary of BPB, to be honest. And that's based on my 2018 visit! Definitely could have some great old woodies if they could retrack them too, couldn't agree more there.

A phone based 'wristband' system is interesting. I can see the logic, but as you point out not ideal if your storage options are sub-par. Would it work on a smart watch? I don't have one, but that would be an pretty neat solution.

I like that shot of Big One's turnaround - will note to get my own version of that shot next time I go!


Mega Poster
Still can't believe that Avalanche is now up there with my fave ride at BPB (along with Icon).