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Blackpool Pleasure Beach: April 2015 PTR

Coaster

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Yet another brilliant week was spent in Blackpool, and as we have BPB season passes we spent most days in the park, which was great fun despite a few negatives which I will get to later in the trip report.

BPB is still my favourite park, purely because it has my favourite rides, and the history and charm adds to it - my top three coasters are The Big One, Wild Mouse and Grand National as well as my overall favourite ride being Valhalla, so to have these and a fantastic collection of wooden coasters, steel coasters and dark rides is just amazing! There isn't one ride I get bored of (I don't go on Grand Prix, Dora or Impossible much :lol:), they are all brilliant and in my opinion it still definitely has the best ride lineup in the UK.

Big Dipper deserves it's own mention in my opinion. I have always enjoyed it, but this week it was running the best I've ever known it to! Never before have I actually been nearly standing up due to the fantastic airtime on the first two drops, add to that the battering the back row was getting on the turnaround and it was absolutely brilliant! :D

Grand National and Wild Mouse are still superior to it however IMO, both were running well most of the time, and the airtime on the final drop on Mouse is probably my favourite of any ride!

The Big One, nothing much to say that I haven't said in previous trip reports, still our favourite coaster and it was much enjoyed as usual. The first drop in the back is the highlight IMO.

Valhalla was a mixed bag this time, but good overall. One day there was no fire whatsoever, and for the last three days the final explosion was off, as well as no projected face on the first few days, but we still really enjoyed it. Wish they'd turn the audio up in some places though!

Once again we did the "no poncho challenge" on one of the days, which was just as hilarious as usual! :lol:

I always say that you haven't had a good day out at BPB unless you have bruises to show for it, and after a week of riding the coasters we definitely do, I'd be disappointed if I didn't to be honest! :D

The negative bit:

There were however negatives to the trip this time. I'm not going to hold back, so if you don't want to read the negative comments then skip this section.

Park operations were absolutely dire most days. On the Sunday, it closed at 5pm despite being advertised as a 6pm close on the website, this was still the case after it had closed. This is not acceptable, if people have paid for a 6pm close then it is wrong to change that. Further to this, on the following Sunday (19th) the park gates didn't open until 10:45am, with nothing open until 11am. Even then, both Wild Mouse and Grand National opened late. Add to this a 5pm close, I would not have been impressed if I had paid to get in or driven there for that specific day!

On the first Saturday of our trip, we weren't allowed on Infusion or Nickelodeon Streak until 11am because the RCCGB were on them. This is not on, ERT events should take place outside of park opening hours. Guests who have paid for tickets (or season passes) and made the effort to visit should not be told they can't ride, yet the coasters are clearly going round in front of their eyes. Unacceptable.

On some days this week they really let us down in terms of their attitude to ride capacity. A few examples are:

- Avalanche running one train with a full queue round the extensions on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

- The Big One running one train with a full station (apart from in the mornings and just before it closed), and often all the way down the ramp as well. To add to this, dispatch times were two and a half minutes (between the train stopping and dispatching again), which meant that even on one train it could have shifted the queue more than it was if the staff could be bothered.

- Big Dipper on one. This wouldn't have been a problem, but when added to all the other coasters not being on capacity it was yet another slow moving queue.

- Steeplechase only on two lanes unless the queue got down to the bottom of the stairs, at which point they would put three lanes on for a short amount of time and then go back down to two.

- Incredibly slow dispatch times on Grand National, even when running four trains, there was a good five minutes sometimes between the trains arriving and the next ones being dispatched, even though they had been checked and were ready to go.

- Only six boats on Valhalla until the final hour most days, leading to queues building up much earlier in the day. :(

The only day ride capacity was what it should be was on Saturday 18th. The park was busy, and the atmosphere was fantastic with a great selection of songs from Holiday Rock FM, people just sitting enjoying the sun and most rides operating as they should be, aside from The Big One which was stacking on two trains far more often than it should have been. Furthermore, Grand National and Valhalla both opened at 11am, half an hour earlier than usual which was great! However Infusion opened half an hour late so not all good.

The first Saturday was also quite good for capacity, but PMBO was on one due to wind (which was not the case the rest of the week, the wind didn't get above 11mph on some of the days it was running one).

Whilst I have had much worse days at other UK parks, this is not the standard I expect from BPB, they have been much better in the past few years so I was quite disappointed by this.

RIDECOUNTS!

Saturday 11th April 2015:

Valhalla x5

Grand National x4

Big Dipper x3

Wild Mouse x2

Avalanche x2

The Big One x1

Revolution x1

Nickelodeon Streak x1

Steeplechase x1

Infusion x1

Wallace and Gromit's Thrill O' Matic x1

Ghost Train x1

River Caves x1

Alice in Wonderland x1

Blue Flyer x1

TOTAL: 26

Sunday 12th April 2015:

We only spent the last hour and a half in the park today, as we had done the Tower Dungeons and Circus as well. We would have had two and a half hours as planned if they hadn't closed an hour early! :angry:

The Big One x2

Wild Mouse x2

Big Dipper x2

Infusion x2

Grand National x1

Valhalla x1

Ghost Train x1

TOTAL: 11

Monday 13th April 2015:

Valhalla x7 :D

The Big One x6

Wild Mouse x2

Revolution x2

Nickelodeon Streak x2

Wallace and Gromit's Thrill O' Matic x2

Ghost Train x2

Ice Blast x2 (This was about the only "thrill" ride I could cope with at the end of the day).

Grand National x1

Big Dipper x1

Avalanche x1

Steeplechase x1

Infusion x1

Avatar Airbender x1

River Caves x1

Alice x1

Pleasure Beach Express x1

TOTAL: 34

Tuesday was spent in the Yorkshire dales which was really enjoyable once again.

Wednesday 15th April 2015:

The Big One x4

Valhalla x3

Wild Mouse x3

Grand National x2

Big Dipper x2

Nickelodeon Streak x2

Revolution x2

Wallace and Gromit x2

Avalanche x1

Steeplechase x1

Infusion x1

Ghost Train x1

Lost River x1

Alice x1 :lol:

Dora x1 :lol: :lol:

TOTAL: 26

Thursday 16th April 2015:

We went in from 1pm onwards after spending the morning in Sandcastle Waterpark.

Wild Mouse x2

Big Dipper x2

Valhalla x1

The Big one x1

Grand National x1

Revolution x1

Wallace and Gromit x1

Ghost Train x1

River Caves x1

TOTAL: 11

Friday 17th April 2015:

Valhalla x7

The Big One x4

Grand National x2

Big Dipper x2

Steeplechase x2

Infusion x2

Wild Mouse x1

Nickelodeon Streak x1

Revolution x1

Avalanche x1

Wallace and Gromit x1

Ghost Train x1

Avatar Airbender x1

TOTAL: 25

Saturday 18th April:

Grand National x6 (The park was packed but for some reason this had quite a short queue at times, and it was running well!)

The Big One x5 (Today was a case of OMG it's on two trains!! :o)

Wild Mouse x4

Big Dipper x4

Valhalla x1

Nickelodeon Streak x1

Revolution x1

Avalanche x1

Infusion x1

Steeplechase x1

Wallace and Gromit x1

River Caves x1

Flying Machines x1

Ice Blast x1

TOTAL: 28

Sunday 19th April 2015:

We just had a few rides and a Gourmet Burger before a long drive home. We wanted one last go on National but it hadn't opened by the time we left sadly.

Big One x2

Wild Mouse x1

Big Dipper x1

TOTAL: 4

OVERALL RIDECOUNT:

Valhalla x25

The Big One x25

Grand National x17

Big Dipper x17

Wild Mouse x16

Revolution x8

Infusion x8

Wallace and Gromit x8

Nickelodeon Streak x7

Ghost Train x7

Avalanche x6

Steeplechase x6

River Caves x4

Ice Blast x3

Alice Ride x3

Avatar Airbender x2

Flying Machines x1

Blue Flyer x1

Pleasure Beach Express x1

Lost River x1

Dora x1

OVERALL TOTAL: 167

PHOTOS!

All photos taken by me.

Valhalla;

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Tom Sawyer Bridge shots;

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The old and new(ish);

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It looks so simple, but packs a huge punch;

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Cheese Gromit!

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Would you like to see this receive a facelift, or does the ageing look add to the charm?

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Time for vertical reality!

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The tunnel does look very narrow when you see it from the PBE!

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Ice Blast does seem a bit more forceful in the launch this season, but sadly it still lacks airtime at the top most of the time;

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Infusion, I do enjoy this coaster despite most people hating it;

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The life and soul of the Pleasure Beach, the wooden coasters!

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This drop had much more airtime then I've ever had on it in the past!

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Wild Mouse, in my opinion the best wooden coaster in the UK when it's on form;

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Grand National, another amazing coaster and my second favourite woodie;

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Streak is good although I did prefer it as Roller;

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Finally, some random park shots;

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Skyforce;

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Still my fave;

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Steeplechase, a unique ride to BPB and lots of fun!

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Two photos overlooking the Big One/Skyforce area;

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This was taken on Saturday 18th, it felt like summer and the atmosphere was fantastic!

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Thanks for reading/looking, comments welcome. :)



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