Blackpool Pleasure Beach have become notorious for their early-season opening, allowing thrill seekers to enjoy the whole park over a month before the Theme Park season kicks off for the rest of the UK. From the 7th February to 20th March 2016 the park will be open at weekends, offering half price (£15) tickets when booked online in advance. We made a trip to Blackpool for the opening day, Sunday 7th March 2016.
Arriving at the park it quickly dawned on us that it was very windy and that this would surely affect ride availability (particularly the Big One) throughout the day. Not deterred by this we put our coats on and joined the disgustingly long queue to pick up the tickets that we’d already bought and paid for. If there’s one thing that we wish Pleasure Beach would improve upon it would be their ticketing system – it’s 2016 – why can’t we just print off our tickets at home and walk straight through the turnstiles? Flaming-o-land manages it very well!
Anyway. It’s always nice visiting a park on opening day as all the staff are still really enthusiastic and haven’t yet recieved their first pay cheque and realised how much of a struggle their year is going to be. The park is open from 11am – 5pm however the rides seem to open on a staggered basis based upon whenever the hell they can be arsed to get them going. – Yes this sounds sarcastic but it seems to work and helps get guests flowing around the park, and we love the whitty banterful charm of the way the park is run.
So the bit you all want to see – the missing bridge:
The Tom Sawyer Bridge has been a part of the park for as long as we can remember, and it’s demolition has sparked great speculation over whether or not a new coaster could be coming to the park in the near future. If rumours are to be believed we could be in for Mack Multi-Launch coaster similar to that of Blue Fire at Europa Park and Helix at Liseberg. If the park was to also remove the Grand Prix ride we’d have a massive space on our hands ready for something huge. Of course, there’s always the possibility that the bridge was just totally shagged after all these years and the only option was to remove it, but we’ll remain optimistic!
Time for some rides
Infusion. Love it or hate it, it’s the newest coaster at the park and it does offer something none of their other rides do, and is a fantastic place to eat a cheese sandwhich before going to Specsavers. We were pleased to see it running on two trains and with a really good dispatch rate.
Fast forward a bit, we managed to get on everything that was open and were having a great day. Even the Zipper Dipper Blue Flyer was riding well.
Now we should probably touch on a few of the rides that were not open. When we picked up our tickets we were told that Avatar Airbender, Spongbob’s Splash Battle and the Gallopers would not be operating. Unfortunately there were a few more to add to that list, including; The Big One, Steeplechase, Wild Mouse, Valhalla which were closed and Alice, Avalanche, Grand National, Big Dipper which all either broke down or opened late.
Yes, this is disappointing, but we must bare in mind that the park has a very short closed season to get the rides stripped and re-built, and a large factor was the high wind speeds, not to mention we only paid £15 to get in. On the off chance, we left a comment at Guest Services at the end of the day and ended up having our wristbands re-validated for a free return trip before 20th March. Fair play to PB, their customer service on the day was excellent.
A few more photos
All in all we had a fantastic day out. We love the traditional “what you see is what you get” feel of the park and that genuine sense of fun that the park conveys. The staff were certainly doing a great job and we left with free tickets for another day. Well done Blackpool!
Check out our video of the day and if you enjoy it, please share this post with your friends!