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Sunday 4th September - Sunshine, Spinning & Midway Madness The sun was out today, no rain at all! In the morning, those of us who weren't doing Sandcastle waterpark returned to the Pleasure Beach with our rainy day tickets. George was living up to his forum name of SmilerGeorge First we did Avalanche (which we didn't have time for on the Saturday as it had a long queue all day), which was faster and more forceful than I remember! Then we re-rode Grand National, Big One and Skyforce - and this time, I managed to nail it! Tips for those who've yet to ride: you have to make sure you're rocking side to side fast enough (faster than in the queueline demonstration video), the first time you go upside down will probably be too slow to start the spinning momentum, so keep rocking until you do a full flip...then hold the wings in place and prepare for insanity! I couldn't believe how fast I was spinning, and I think the wind must have caught me a few times as I suddenly picked up speed at points! I felt a bit out of control at one point and a tiny bit scared (which rarely happens to me on rides!), even though I WAS in control I managed 71 spins on it, coming first place out of our ride Not surprised that I felt a bit odd/tingly for a good 10 minutes afterwards! And it was sunshine and blue skies, I got some good off-ride footage of it Look out for Marc, Alex and Liam on this one! Had a cheeky browse in the gift shop before catching the tram up to the Tower At the 2014 meet, it still had some scaffolding around it, so this was the first time I'd seen it looking nice and restored to its fully glory! Whilst some visited The Dungeons, the rest of us did the Tower Eye. This was more enjoyable than the previous meet, as the glass floor seemed clearer and less scratched It's a shame the stairs to the very top are closed off, and we also saw the new Bar 380 which looked rather small (but I guess they've only got so much room up there). The 4D experience was, of course, great entertainment Much better than the London Eye one! Bar 380: Just chillin' on the glass floor: Had lots of fun sitting on the floor! Great views... After some lunch, it was time for the magnificent Tower Ballroom! It is truly stunning to be in, and breathtaking when you walk in. Even if you're not into dancing or that sort of thing, you can't deny its beauty. It was good to also see the Wurlitzer come up from under the floor too (unfortunately I'd just stopped filming)! I was rather busy filming and eating lunch to dance this time, but Paige had a go and did well at learning to waltz with Peaj He returned to the floor later on (with a younger woman than last year, no old ladies this time!) to cha cha and then do the quickstep - one of my favourite dances to watch on Strictly Our final attraction of the day was the Circus. I really enjoyed this last time and found the audience involvement hilarious, so was looking forward to it. Sadly I felt underwhelmed this time, in terms of comedy anyway - the stunts/tricks were awesome. Although it was funny when Alex was one of the people chosen to participate at one point - I was hoping someone from our group would get picked! We did get a sense that some performers were new and/or that there was a lot of nervousness, as there were a few mistakes. The fire alarm was going off in the background at one point too, which I don't think helped! The fountains at the end were pretty though Before heading back down to the distant land of the south, we went to Coral Island for a bit (for those unaware, it's essentially a large arcade place with some little dark rides and theming). Did the ghost train thingy which wasn't bad! I think the staff member was a tad unimpressed by the swarm of adults coming on Some of the theming: So there you have it! Thanks y'all for reading, hopefully it's been entertaining! For all the photos from the meet: Blackpool Weekend 2016 And finally... My compilation video from the meet
Hi and welcome to Part 4, the final instalment of Creaky Northern Adventure. After a pleasurable day at the pleasure beach, a night of exploring two of Blackpool's [best] piers and a not so bright Coral Island, the trip was set to continue on the 2nd day which would conclude the trip. The big question, where would be heading to next? With so much to do at Blackpool, you'd struggle so much to find any exciting attractions and ones that stand out from the others, after all it's not there's any other tall landmarks on the seafront. Of course, there's one thing there we should visit. The Blackpool Tower AKA Merpool Tower, because of the fact it's located in Blackpool and owned by Merlin, it even holds two typical traits two by having not the longest of opening hours and includes it's own bed of scaffolding. However before we go up to the eye of the tower, I think it's time to go and explore a pretty common Merlin chain attraction that seems to be getting around a lot of places these days. This place is, The Burger Kitchen Of course it wasn't [although FYI there actually is a Burger Kitchen on the 2nd floor of the tower] as we explored Blackpool's take on the Dungeons. So, What did I think? I thought they were actually very good actually, a lot of the scenes have the same high quality, gross, immersive experience the ones in London have [and in some ways a little better too]. The drop tower was certainly better at this one and despite getting more of a ride at the London one, it certainly feels a lot more coherent here as it feels like you're actually going up to be executed and then dropped when you're sentenced. A very decent attraction, not to be helped by the wonderful Natalie on tickets . The only flaws in the whole attraction for me was the bit with the Saxons/Vikings felt a bit meh due to it mostly being a cinema screen with things going and bits moving [though it's good they added that bit of history though], the stairs going down in the forest which detracted things a little, I'm sure not much could've been done in the building, but still not forest in the world has stairs [a slope would be a better option IMO] and the arcade at the entrance which just detracts a little [there's video arcades everywhere]. A tasty Fish & Chips for lunch and admiring of the sea front and it was time to experience the Blackpool Circus. Unfortunately cameras/photos were not allowed [another typical Merlin trait] and anyone was caught with one, they would stop the show and get a staff member to take it off you and give it back at the end . The circus was great fun, filled with humour, excitement and amusement throughout. I did particularly enjoy Mooky the clown with his funny jokes and interactions, especially at the end when they got members of the audience involved to act out a simple silent movie/play which was such fun to watch [WHY WHY WHYYYYY Delilah]. The rest was good too. With BMX cyclists, strong man, motorbike ball racers, synchronised swimmers/acrobats, beautiful gorgeous showgirls and even a working fountain [Merlin aren't good with working fountains], it made an amazing show to experience that definitely reflected and summed up the life, soul and atmosphere that Blackpool provides. I can definitely see why they call it Vegas of the north now. Once we fountained out of the fairly big top [but it's actually on the lowest level of the tower], it was time to have a look at the Blackpool Ballroom, which despite not being the cup of tea for most of group was certainly a grand gem located there, with it's grand old fashioned decor, sea side/old time atmosphere and the grand Wurlitzer with it's distinctive rich tone playing out throughout the dance floor. Tpm's Mer and Peaj even took a dance on the floor of this famous ballroom. Waltzing away from the ballroom now and it was time to complete the tower's attractions with a flight to the top of the tower itself. Built in 1894 [100 years before Nemesis was awakened back down at Towers], the tower was born. Standing at a staggering 518ft [480 accessible to the public], the tower can be seen for miles. It's design was also inspired from the Eiffel tower in Paris too [near Euro Disney]. The tower offers some simply breathtaking views from above giving sights for many miles of the surrounding area which is so beautiful to see. I'll let you see for yourself rather than bore you with more talking. You can even see the big One. You get some beautiful views, until the [Merlin] safety net obstructs [for safety of course] and getting good pics is then a lot harder to achieve. The viewing platform It's a bit like a prison. A pretty prison in the sky. And that was it! Blackpool tower offers some truly remarkable views of the whole surrounding area. I may have wandered back to the Merlin circle, but it was well worth it for this jewel and new credit, not to mention I've now got myself another new resin and souvenir from my fantastic trip here. Legoland Discovery Centre & Warick Castle are now the only unique Merlin attractions I'm yet to do in UK aside from the countless Dungeons and Sealifes [JoshC]. Blackpool also has a sea life and Madame Tussauds I hear you say? Unfortunately we didn't manage to try these attractions as not everyone in our party had a MAP at the time and also it was time call Blackpool time as it was getting late and as most had school, uni or work the next day none of us wanted to be too late! These weren't the big losses at the end of the day as the Sealife is probably similar to the one in London and much of the Madame Tussaud's material are items no longer needed from the London attraction. Once walking back to our cars, we said our farewells and it was time to say goodbye to Blackpool and hello to the long journey home with hours of motorway, traffic, seating with only company, ride themes and a cheeky mcdonlads on the way to keep me going. I had a fantastic trip in Blackpool and thoroughly enjoyed it. The Pleasure Beach was brilliant, The tower was Brilliant, The Cirucs was brilliant and the Dungeons, Ballroom, Piers and the rest were also very good, not to mention the great company I had up here that weekend too, with some great laughs, TPM Twister, Late Dominoes pizza etc. If amusement parks, Video arcades, sea sides, exciting nightlife and impressive shows,illuminations and random midway attractions are your thing, Blackpool is the place for you! It would be very easy to spend a week or even a fortnight out here as there's so much to do. Two days at the Pleasure Beach, One day at the waterpark and Piers, two at the Tower and surrounding midways along with another two chilling, visiting the arcades and more of the night life and culture and you're easily already got plenty to do with a week's visit here, plus there's plenty of hotels and BNB's near or along the seafront. One day I hope to return here again for another visit and re-experience the great things I did on the last trip and some ones I didn't do last time, including the missed out ride creeds at the Pleasure Beach [River Caves, Flying Machines, Nickland etc.] among others. The only problem with Blackpool is it's such a b**** to get to as it takes 4-5 hours each way to get as it's so far away, not to mention the horrendous traffic on the road and you need to really stop a couple of times on the way to get food rest your legs and use the facilities once in a while, but apart from that, it's good. Big Thanks goes to Peaj, Scary Coasterboy, Mr Fish and many others for making this trip possible and helping arrangements towards the fantastic weekend it became. Hopefully I'll be reporting on another major park someday outside the Uk Merlin circle again, although if it's a while then it could well take the Mickey .