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Found 16 results

  1. My first experience of Blackpool started off before I had even arrived. Driving into the seaside town, the first thing you're greeted by are miles of banners for Icon. Blackpool is first and foremost a tourism hotspot and the Pleasure Beach is very much at the centre of this town. My first impressions of the promenade are not entirely positive. The street is quite tacky; donut stalls, arcades, casinos and pink horse rides are found along length of the street. The amazing views out to sea and sandy beaches redeem it somewhat. On my first day at the Pleasure Beach, I was pleasently surprised. There was no lengthy wait to get in yet the park was thriving with guests on Saturday. This continued with relatively short queues compared to rival UK parks. What I love most about BPB and what has driven me to visit are the unique rides and layout the park has. All of the coasters are intertwined within one another in a way like no other park I've visited before. The park maintains a diverse range of attractions with something for everyone to enjoy. Paired with very strong transport links, this makes BPB a great place to visit for anyone. Presentation & Service The park has a uniquely historical charm. I will say the main ticket office is quite grand inside, the staff here are well presented in classic suits. The office and the entrance were well staffed with more than enough people to handle larger crowds. Most of the staff in the park were cheerful apart from a few which can really make or break good a day out for guests. Fountains, fountains and more fountains were everywhere in this park. in the floor, on the coasters, ride areas, paths and are an attraction within their own right with a nice little show every 30 mins. Food & Drink Many of the Bars and the new Coasters restaurant have a modern, tasteful and clean look to them which I really liked. Most of them even served champagne. There were of course the standard fast food outlets too found at any park. We ate at the Coasters restaurant on the first day and I was very pleased with the quality and the price of the menu. I thought it was excellent value and I really hope to see more of this standard of food with similar affordable pricing at the park in the future. The Rides The Pleasure Beach has a number of historical rides with by far the best one for me being River Caves. This indoor boat ride feels untouched, all the effects and scenery still look to be in working order. There are no gimmicks, just gentle background music, some narration and great atmospheric sets that the boats sail through. It's just a really nice boat ride. Grand National is by far the worst historical ride at the park. This is a duelling wooden coaster that bounces and partially derails around the corners. It's set through a beautiful workshop behind Valhalla with tufts of grass growing through the tracks. The Big Dipper and the Velvet Streak are much better wooden coasters for their age. Steeplechase is the most unique and rare coaster at BPB being the only ride of it's kind still operating in the world. It consists of three horse shaped vehicles running on vertical track rails. The track moves freely over the terrain with minimal support structures and has the ability to tilt the horse vehicles around the bends by offsetting the lower rail. Forming part of the Blackpool skyline, The Big One is the second Hypercoaster I've ever been on and the tallest in the UK at just over 200ft high. The Hill and first half of the ride are the real highlights, you can see all of Blackpool at the top! The first airtime hills as of any hypercoaster are breathtaking and unlike any other coaster experience. The lower half of the ride feels more like a shopping trolley in a carpark however with a very jerky ride. A real shame that the station is literally a warehouse. No attempt at theming was made at all and frankly I've seen better industrial units. It's still worth riding for the experience. Infusion is highly regarded amongst many as a terrible ride. The theme of the ride is simple yet so dynamic with water jets crossing streams between the twisted steel, it almost looks like an engineering water sculpture. I want to end the negative hype and say that the ride is not as rough as people say it is. It's not smooth either but I've been on worse. I would ride it again if I returned. Revolution was a strange coaster for me. The station is at the top of the ride. As there are no airgates, there's a constant safety announcement on loop along with the original yet dated claim that it will be "the most thrilling ride of your life". It's a shuttle that sends you round a loop forwards and backwards, the backwards part being more nauseous than thrilling. The best thing about Revolution is the classic Arrow loop support structure. Notably the best dark ride at BPB is Wallace & Gromit's Thrill-o-matic. Each scene is beautifully crafted to look just like the films. The voice overs, audio, lighting, everything is spot on and the ride has a decent length. It's charming, funny, northern and colourful. "I've got patent pending on that", "You'll be hearing from my solicitor about this!", "Cheeese" ?The ride cars are like giant slippers which is just fantastic. It brings back childhood memories for me too, For me it's easily the best dark ride in the UK. My gosh where do I start with Valhalla? It is an epic boat ride experience. The sets are impressive and the drops are brutally soaking wet. I started by submerging my shoes in a half filled boat. The flames were impressive, the steam was intense, the ice scene was frosty. It's really a one of a kind boat ride. A must do at BPB. The first Mack coaster at BPB; a bobsled called Avalanche twists and turns between Revolution and Icon. The station and surrounding area feel as close to Euopa Park at Blackpool as you can get. The Swiss music and chalet really have a similar atmosphere. Avalanche itself however is much better than it's Europa Park cousin. It has fast, snaking turns that pick up speed ending in two intense helix turns towards the bottom. Finally the newest Mack coaster, Icon is by far the best ride at the park. I'm still in a dilemma about where it ranks in my all time favourites as it is that good. Frankly I was overjoyed when I found out Pleasure Beach were building a Mack megacoaster in the UK. I loved Blue Fire at Europa Park and this is no exception. Mack launches are not entirely linear. The best way to describe it is like being pushed on a swing, it starts rolling and then builds up the momentum. If you expect an Intamin style launch, you will be disappointed. The airtime hills, swaying turns and punchy acceleration made it such a smooth and enjoyable ride. Riding on the front row, you get a very floaty and fun ride. On the back row, the ride is the most intense with forceful positive G's and sharp, quick pops of airtime. The momentum of the ride doesn't end until the last turn as the second launch takes you up and over probably the best designed immelman I've ever seen. The theme is minimal yet exremely well presented. The music is dramatic and catchy. The seats are open yet comfy, the OH restraints feel like lap bars and they swing down and spring up making dispatch lightning fast. The Mack bag flaps are convenient yet secure. It eats through the queue line so even waiting for the brand new ride is quick. All I can say is BPB have got something really special here. Overall, Icon is just a fantastic attraction. I think it's the best new coaster we have had in the UK this year and the one I've most been looking forward to. Conclusion Blackpool Pleasure Beach is a very well rounded, affordable park which is easy to get to with plenty of staff on hand and is home to several unique experiences in the UK. The very reasonable entry price along with the new ride Icon really gives main rival Merlin parks a run for their money this year. It also helps BPB that their operations are much better than Merlin's have been this year in general. I'd definately return just to ride Icon again but I'd stay for the charm of the undeniably british family run park.
  2. Hello Members of Thorpe Park Mania, I know this isn't really Thorpe park related but it is theme park related. I consider myself to be probably the worlds biggest fan of Trauma Towers, however there is a significant lack of information and photos (particularly of the inside the attraction) online. This is pretty disappointing for me as you might imagine so I decided to create this forum because I would like to see the photos you guys have got of the attraction along with any information you may have of it. I am also particularly interested in the attraction previously located in it's spot 'The Haunted Hotel', there's basically no information about it online aside from one or two photos. If you do have anything please do share it because I would much appreciate that. I have attached some photos that I took when I went in October 2017. I am particularly looking for photos of the red eyed Gargoyle, the building at night and the werewolf head that was mounted above the stairway. Thanks guys - Thade.
  3. 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
  4. Hello all! I've been meaning to get round to various trip reports and things for a looooong time - I still have a ton of videos from 2015 that need uploading! I just haven't found the time or been able to focus on it due to other things going on/various health issues over the past year. However, as I type this, my videos from the Europa meet last May are uploading to YouTube, so I'm getting there I'm not doing reports for every meet/visit last year, just ones that I've not done them for at all yet. And they will be more condensed than my old ones So...Blackpool 2016! Aah, Blackpool. Such a wonderfully tacky, northern place! I'm not gonna lie, I do love it for many reasons, one of which being the unique things the Pleasure Beach has to offer! Let's start with our first day of the meet: Saturday 3rd September - An Extremely Soggy Day At The Pleasure Beach People joke about the weather up north, but this was easily the worst weather I've ever experienced at a meet (and I think others could say the same too)! That 2013 Swarm photoshoot was pretty testing, but that was only a few hours...this was the whole day! Thankfully, Paige had her potentially-dangerous-hairdryer with her, so we used that in the evening to attempt to dry our selves and our clothes off! And no Great Fire of Blackpool happened (although we did have an electricity socket hanging out the wall in our room...but the hotel issues are a whole other story ) Brace yourselves for some TPM poncho sexiness... The good thing was, they gave everyone tickets to return the next day due to the rain! The bad news was, Valhalla was advertised as being closed all day...for now! So, what was our first ride of the day? Alice In Wonderland (Liam's first - and last - time riding a pussy)! A ride which I'd not been that fussed by before (probably because the first time I rode it was later on in the day after more exciting stuff, and just before Valhalla), and I enjoyed more this time. Gotta love that queueline music Wild Mouse: If you've ever wanted to experience possible near-death on a coaster, this is probably the nearest you'll get to it in the UK. I mean that in a highly positive way though - it is insanity! You really do have to hold on for dear life I could've happily gone on again at some point! Sadly no one else agreed (well except Peaj, I imagine )! In a stark contrast to Wild Mouse, our next ride was the River Caves! The last and only time I rode this was in 2008, so it was great to go on it again I couldn't remember much about the theming etc at all, and knew that it's one of the oldest rides there, so I was taken aback by how nice it looked! It is stunning Some people are reluctant to call the Pleasure Beach a theme park when comparing it to others in the UK, but their dark ride theming is bloody good! Then you look at the state Bubbleworks ended up in, and how Tomb Blaster has been ruined... Oh, and seeing a group of people actually get out the boat at the top of the small drop, where the sign clearly tells them NOT to was rather amusing! Uh oh...time for Infusion! "What sort of cheese was that?!" Cheese from hell, that's what. My poor little ears! I swear there is no escaping the ear-bashing on this thing, whether you put your head forwards or keep it back! More cheesy action now - Wallce and Gromit's Thrill-O-Matic! I do love this ride, it really feels like you're part of the scenes, and the comfy slipper cars were a nice change from Infusion and the wooden benches of the River Caves. Paige enjoyed herself too, especially during the part with the terrifying, giant were-rabbit Big One - managed to get the second row on this with Liam, so it was quite fun! His reactions summed up the ride perfectly: main drop, "Woooah!", followed by the failed airtime hill, "Oh..." Skyforce now, and for many of us, our first time on it. I didn't manage to spin, although I did get stuck upside down a few times! But as it was pretty certain that some of us would be returning the next day, I still had hope... Steeplechase and Revolution were next, and both good fun as usual. Steeplechase is still one of my favourite rides there Soggy Steeplechase selfie! Or as Liam called it, Staplecheese After some lunch and some time in the arcade, we decided there was no better time to ride the woodies, starting with Grand National! Whilst we were queueing for this, we saw Valhalla open, hurrah! I had the best ride ever on this - back row in the rain. It was absolutely brutal but SO GOOD! I was out of my seat on every drop and airtime hill! Love this sign too... Big Dipper front row with Mr Fish was fun, not as much as back row was at the last meet though - so little airtime! Blue Flyer - erm, meh. Nickelodeon Streak - again, felt a bit meh compared to last time as I wasn't at the back. Starting to think I'm addicted to airtime... Now, time for a proper Ghost Train This was awesome as always and far better than any other... Ice Blast was great fun as per, then we dashed over to Derby Racers and squeezed a ride in before the Valhalla queue shut. Aww, such a charming and grand ride! Aside from the uniqueness of this ride compared to a standard carousel, and the fast speed, I love the atmosphere it has, with the cheeriness of the organ music etc Me and Liam rode many horses that day! Our final ride of the day was of course Valhalla Wow! At the last meet (2014), we unfortunately experienced a breakdown which completely ruined the flow of it all, and the lights were left on during the second drop...but this time was perfect! After much initial faffing and flapping with our spare "leg poncho" that is Peaj had the right idea making a skirt out of his Dean was rather excited too...! There isn't much I can say about this ride, as it taps into so many senses and a written description could barely do it justice. But that second drop is ridiculous (the good kind!) - it looks short but you somehow keep going! How is that even possible?! Clever lighting I'm guessing! It's a shame that you get so drenched as it makes it less re-rideable for some people. Here we are emerging from the ride, probably not much wetter than we already were from the day's rain! (Credit to Dean for this photo) Later that evening, after we'd dried off and eaten at Wetherspoons, we did our usual walk along the promenade, going on the piers and seeing the Illuminations, which had been switched on on the Friday that we drove up Dodgems fun! The waltzers on the south pier are aptly-named Hell-Raiser! They spin you so fast! The only reason they stopped our ride was because the op thought Dean was ill/not OK as he'd ended up laying across the others (Although I think he did say afterwards he was glad it stopped when it did, and it was a bloody long ride anyway!) So that's all for now, but part 2 will be coming later. Will I manage to spin on Skyforce? Will Peaj pull any more old ladies in the ballroom? Will it finally stop raining?! Find out soon...
  5. Good Afternoon all of you wonderful people! I'm very excited to officially announce plans for our next Blackpool TPM Trip . The last one was extremely popular so even more excited! The date of the event is the extended weekend of Friday 2nd - Sunday 4th September 2016. As you can see it's an extended whole weekend! Which gives you a choice - come on the Friday, or the Saturday, or on the Sunday or a couple of the days or stay the whole weekend! I would imagine though the bulk of us will do Sat/Sun. Please take note if you plan to stay with us overnight, it will be your responsibility to book your own rooms and unfortunately if your under 18 we cannot help you with this! If you were to stay the night - under no circumstances will TPM get involved and take responsibility with how you stay overnight, as for the overnight section of the trip will be an over 18's event. Plus this event will rely on you wonderful kind drivers or which your help will be much appreciated. But based on past success's I'm sure this will be no problem. The Outline of the day/s will be as follows: On Saturday, Meet outside the entrance by Pasaje Del Terror at 08:30 am opposite the ticket gates to have a small social before the park opens, and then we will enter the park. Please bear in mind we will leave without you if you are late as it’s not fair on time keepers! As members have found out! If by any chance you happen to miss this meet point due to travel arrangements or just plain lateness you can either phone or text so we can arrange to meet . This first part of the morning we will make the most of the quiet park and churn out those rides. We will try our best to get on all the attractions. I know not everyone will want to do some of the rides at Blackpool Pleasure. If you decide to not come on please be polite and wait for everyone to come off and chat to other members whilst you are waiting. Or go off and do another attraction as long as you’ll be back after the group has finished riding the attraction. Please respect other people’s wishes who wish to ride certain things that you yourself may not be too keen with. During the day, around half 1, we will stop for a bite to eat where you can go and eat where you like and we will arrange where to meet after everyone has finished eating. (Who knows we might all want to eat the same thing anyway ) After lunch we will group together for the Official Group Photo for the meet and continue going round the park and riding the attractions people want to do until the park closes at 8. During the Evening we will relax and watch the Blackpool Illuminations. On the Sunday we will start on the Merlin Attractions meeting outside the Blackpool Tower at 09:45am. We will explore the Tower and during the day go to the Blackpool Madame Tussauds/ Sea Life & Dungeons just like our London Meets. During the afternoon we will have a little breather in the Blackpool Ballroom for a couple of drinks and if you are lucky me and my dance partner might go off and do some ballroom and latin on that famous floor whilst you socialise over drinks. For those who do go up on the Friday we will most likely go along the piers and arcades and see the nightlife. We will also try out the Waterpark either the Friday or the Sunday. As it's quite a big event the way the weekend is run is subject to change but due to the distance I know you and I will be in regular correspondence so everyone knows what is happening. I will be handing out my phone number for everyone who is attending the meet that day, should there be any problems. We aim to stay together as a group for the day, going from one activity to the next, enjoying getting to know people you share very similar interests with, the idea is to just go with the flow and enjoy the day with some awesome people. There will be many photo’s in the day being taken and the possibility of a few video clips. Whilst we cannot force you to stay with the group, it is the general purpose of these meets! You will have my number (and some of the senior teams) if you become split so by all means use it. The meets are a fantastic laugh and everyone is invited, even if you have never posted before or been to any kind of meet at all. If it's your first meet, I understand it can be nerve breaking - but we were all there at one point so know how it feels, please don't let this stop you from attending - Once there you'll be part of the group in no time! Just look at the past trips this year! I will soon be posting up a separate post on possible accommodation locations which you can use to help you decide where to sleep (If your staying for the night.) If however you know where your going already by all means book it up when we confirm the dates this time next week. I know for example I will be staying at a nice B&B near the Tower, right in the centre of it all to enjoy the nightlife. Plus some really good deals on Laterooms.com Once again, everyone will have my phone number so please use it on the day If anyone has any issues or concerns or even nervous about coming, feel free to post here, or PM myself and I will get back to you as soon as possible. If you feel like my response is taking too long another member of the team will be more than happy to help. We will all try and help you out as much as we can. Please PM me or post here to say if you’re attending. If you are bringing a mate along with you, please also include who they are so they are not known as ‘Plus 1.’ The events with TPM have been fantastic this year and this one will be no different! Attending (0)
  6. Pasaje Del Terror is a Horror maze franchise which started back in 1988. there are many in Europe and South America. there is one in the UK at Blackpool Pleasure Beach and there used to be one in London at Piccadilly. There used to be one in the USA called Terror on Church Street. the original creator of Pasaje was a man named Fernando Quenard and the very first Pasaje was located in Mar del Plata, Argentina. The Thompsons bought the Pasaje franchise in around 1993-1998 and has been running for about 20 years now(the Blackpool attraction). the Pasaje usually lasts about 10-15 minutes and has many famous horror movie characters which try to scare you during the journey. it is most famous for the Blackpool one where people come running out into a bar.
  7. until
    Good Afternoon all of you wonderful people! I'm very excited to officially announce plans for our next Blackpool TPM Trip . The last one was extremely popular so even more excited! The date of the event is the extended weekend of Friday 2nd - Sunday 4th September 2016. As you can see it's an extended whole weekend! Which gives you a choice - come on the Friday, or the Saturday, or on the Sunday or a couple of the days or stay the whole weekend! I would imagine though the bulk of us will do Sat/Sun. Please take note if you plan to stay with us overnight, it will be your responsibility to book your own rooms and unfortunately if your under 18 we cannot help you with this! If you were to stay the night - under no circumstances will TPM get involved and take responsibility with how you stay overnight, as for the overnight section of the trip will be an over 18's event. Plus this event will rely on you wonderful kind drivers or which your help will be much appreciated. But based on past success's I'm sure this will be no problem. The Outline of the days will be as follows: On Saturday, Meet outside the entrance by Pasaje Del Terror at 08:30 am opposite the ticket gates to have a small social before the park opens, and then we will enter the park. Please bear in mind we will leave without you if you are late as it’s not fair on time keepers! As members have found out! If by any chance you happen to miss this meet point due to travel arrangements or just plain lateness you can either phone or text so we can arrange to meet . This first part of the morning we will make the most of the quiet park and churn out those rides. We will try our best to get on all the attractions. I know not everyone will want to do some of the rides at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. If you decide to not come on please be polite and wait for everyone to come off and chat to other members whilst you are waiting. Or go off and do another attraction as long as you’ll be back before the group has finished riding the attraction. Please respect other people’s wishes who wish to ride certain things that you yourself may not be too keen with. During the day, around half 1, we will stop for a bite to eat where you can go and eat where you like and we will arrange where to meet after everyone has finished eating. (Who knows we might all want to eat the same thing anyway ) After lunch we will group together for the Official Group Photo for the meet and continue going round the park and riding the attractions people want to do until the park closes at 8. During the Evening we will relax and watch the Blackpool Illuminations. On the Sunday we will start on the Merlin Attractions meeting outside the Blackpool Tower at 09:45am. We will explore the Tower and during the day go to the Blackpool Madame Tussauds/Sea Life & Dungeons just like our London Meets. During the afternoon we will have a little breather in the Blackpool Ballroom for a couple of drinks and if you are lucky me and my dance partner might go off and do some ballroom and latin on that famous floor whilst you socialise over drinks. For those who do go up on the Friday evening we will most likely go along the piers and arcades and see the nightlife. We will also possibly try out the Waterpark either the Friday or the Sunday. As it's quite a big event the way the weekend is run is subject to change but due to the distance I know you and I will be in regular correspondence so everyone knows what is happening. I will be handing out my phone number for everyone who is attending the meet that day, should there be any problems. We aim to stay together as a group for the day, going from one activity to the next, enjoying getting to know people you share very similar interests with, the idea is to just go with the flow and enjoy the day with some awesome people. There will be many photos in the day being taken and the possibility of a few video clips. Whilst we cannot force you to stay with the group, it is the general purpose of these meets! You will have my number (and some of the senior teams) if you become split so by all means use it. The meets are a fantastic laugh and everyone is invited, even if you have never posted before or been to any kind of meet at all. If it's your first meet, I understand it can be nerve breaking - but we were all there at one point so know how it feels, please don't let this stop you from attending - once there you'll be part of the group in no time! Just look at the past trips this year! I will soon be putting up a separate post in the meet thread on possible accommodation locations which you can use to help you decide where to sleep (If you're staying for the night). If however you know where your going already by all means book it up! I know for example I will be staying at a nice B&B near the Tower, right in the centre of it all to enjoy the nightlife. Plus there are some really good deals on Laterooms.com Once again, everyone will have my phone number so please use it on the day If anyone has any issues or concerns or even nervous about coming, feel free to post in the meet topic, or PM myself and I will get back to you as soon as possible. If you feel like my response is taking too long another member of the team will be more than happy to help. We will all try and help you out as much as we can. Hope to see you there! Peaj
  8. Many Weeks ago I had planned and booked a weekend away at Alton Towers, to check out the new attractions, re ride the existing favourites and a behind the scenes lift hill walk on the Smiler . However unfortunately, 5 days prior to our trip, a terrible accident on the Smiler occurred, resulting in the park being closed for days and the park's worst ride accident in it's history. With our plans changing constantly on the few days before including a proposed changed walk to Nemesis instead, by the friday afternoon we learn't that our park trip and lift walk just like an old bottle milk, were off. Fortunately whilst our plans were rather badly bloodened, they certainly were not beaten, thanks to pre-trip plans, clever reorganising and great help from some wonderful friends who were able to not just help make the best of a bad situation but deliver a weekend trip that was just as good from the original plans. The first stop was to Madame Tussauds to check out the brand new Star Wars section which opened recently, the rest of the attraction was very much as usual although Spirit Of London was stopping and starting a bit. You have done well Madame Tussaud's. I really liked the Star Wars area, which takes place after the Marvels show which is transitioned quite well (no idea what used to be in this area). The section included characters from all the films on top of main scenes. We also visited the Dungeons and eye in County Hall which were the same as always. We also got to see how the construction of the new Shrek adventure was progressing, there's scaffolding all over County Hall at the moment and the former London Aquarium sign has now been replaced with a Shrek Adventure one in the same style. After training it from Euston to stoke direct by Virgin trains which took only 85 minutes with no stops either before reaching our crash pad, Newcastle Travelodge. Unfortunately, Alton Towers was still closed on Saturday which meant we couldn't go, however we were fortunate to be able to visit somewhere just as good. That place was Blackpool Pleasure Beach, and this also meant I was able to try out the new Sky Force ride, which to an extent is the biggest new ride in the UK this year. For an addition this size, the ride and surrounding area have all been very well themed as it certainly looks very well themed (better themed than any of Thorpe's Flats). The ride itself was quite fun and enjoyable getting some interesting views of the area too, although I wasnt able to get much spinning done due to the strong wing and not mastering the technique all too well. I think it's a good addition to the park as it offers the park a much needed flat ride to the line up and is so far a unique ride to the UK. My only concern (something that has been mentioned here a lot) is the ride's throughput of 12 riders per cycle, as for a ride (let alone a new one) is very low on capacity and is unlikely to achieve anything over 300 PPH. It would've been nice if the park could've opted for a larger model like a 15 or 18 seater version or even install two of them, but it's still a good ride, 7/10. When it came to lunch, we all headed to the nearby (appropriately named) Velvet Coaster Weatherspoons, where I had to Hog Burger which was ok as Weatherspoons food goes. It's definitely my favourite Weatherspoons I've visited so far and is also on three floors of greatness. One of the great things at being back in Blackpool is not just getting to experience the brand new ride, but experiencing some of the ones I missed from last time; one of those was River Caves. River Caves is a classic dark ride at the park which I think is around 100 years old now and comprises several small'ish boats travelling around a series of scenes of pharaohs, dinosaurs amongst other things. There also used to be a brief interaction with the now defunct gold mine (which closed in 2012) and has been replaced by glowing lights and an eiry soundtrack. This is a loverly historic ride. If you look at River Caves from the perspective of comparing it to something like Pirates Of The Caribbean or something, you'll probably come off quite disappointed, however if you look at it from the historical point of view, it's a deeply interesting and iconic attraction that will hopefully live on for the forseable future and after all, it is the forefather of pirates to an extent. Other new Fred's on this trip included the Avatar air bender which is the most intense Disko I've done and beats Mia and Ramba Zamba with Kobra only beating it on the theming side. Dora's World Voyage was a happy little tide, basically a Dora version of its a small world but outside, I liked this ride more than I was expecting to, but could've been better and the Chinese puzzle maze which felt like a more crammed but not so good Loki's Labarynth. I also experienced the flying machines which is a wonderful piece of machinery and offers some good views in the park. We also got to re-experience most of the wonders from last trip including Valhalla which was as fantastic as ever except for the slight lack of ice this time. This is a ride that wouldn't look out of place in Efteling or Phantasialand. Big Dipper was as great as ever and ironically the smoothest woodie there despite being the oldest, Infusion was still ok first half rough second half and the grand national was as great as always although the second ride in the day was a bit on the rough side. The rest of the rides were about the same as the last time I went (though I missed ghost train, ice blast & Grand Prix this time). Wild Maus seemed incredibly rough today (even for my standards), but I still like it as this is such a unique ride whilst the Big One was shut all day due to wind, which is another of the ride's many flaws. After the park closed, we all had a walk down the promenade whilst eating chips,cheese and gravy (because why the heck not!). First stop was Coral Island and despite hating this place last time, I tried out their ghost train which for £1.50 isn't bad (based on 2 sharing). The ride's very mediocre, but is still better than most travelling fair ghost trains (along with Tivoli World's) however to an extent it makes even Blackpool's look like the haunted mansion. We also checked out the North and Central piers too (because we can) and had a drink on the latter. The piers were definitely a lot quieter than they were when I last went there in September, although that was probably because that was during the illuminations. We also visited Pleasurewood Hills briefly to try out their new dodgems set (or maybe not) And even a quick trip to Disneyland (stretchy does not approve) On our way back to the car, Stretchy gave me a very brief crash course in to getting some decent sunset ride photographs. I will leave it up to you to decide whether I passed or failed this! And then it was on the journey back to Stoke, I couldn't believe how quickly the car journey was especially to the five hour journey I had experienced last time I came, it was almost a bit overwhelming (although we were crashing in the Midlands). Knightmare by the way has been taken down, hopefully a sign the ride is getting a new home. Blackpool is still a park I very much love and whilst some of the wow factor had naturally dryed since my first trip, it was good to be back and I really enjoyed it. The park is on top form and definitely on the way up, although I would like to see better merchandise as bar Wallace & Gromit and Skyforce, there is generally not a lot to see really and like invisible ink, there was nothing to write about. Apart from getting no Big One, the only major disappointing thing in my day was not being able to buy a coaster wheel from the old parts shop as I had been particularly interested in getting an old wheel for my collection from something like the Wild Mouse. A small part of me died when I found the shop closed after planning to buy something, but oh well. Day 2 Unsurprisingly, towers was closed again on the Sunday, but that didn't stop us from going, because the secondary hotel attractions were still open when we went. However first, a very Midlands style breakfast. Oatcakes!!! Oatcakes are a novelty food I'm in the Midlands and for anyone who does not know what they are, they're essentially like Oaty pancakes and are absolutely delicious. I naturally opted for two double bacon oatcakes (because I couldn't get enough) on top of taking a pack of a dozen back home which I had for Monday's tea, I certainly didn't regret anything I did that morning! If you haven't had an oatcakes before, get yourself down to the Midlands for the weekend and try one, they're absolutely amazing and you won't regret it. The picture you see here definitely does not justify this culinary delight's greatness and outside of Staffordshire is very hard to find. From one kind of Oak, to another Oak, as we explored the nearby woodlands around Alton Towers, to find the legendary chained Oak. The Old Oak is an amazing sight to behold, and whilst the tree is now very old with some branches having now fallen off whilst some chains have loosened or dug in to the tree itself, it's still an interesting sight to behold and to think nearly 200 years ago the legendary tale of the earl took place here, The place where very same tree was cursed, resulting in the mysterious death of one of the Earl's family and then completely chained up. On top of this, having also inspired the creation of one the best dark rides in the uk. Once leaving the ancient woodland [thankfully not meeting any old women who appeared to be cursing along the way], we eventually headed off to Alton Towers [or at least what was still open to see there]. The main entrance to the park was actually closed up when we went, which meant using the staff/deliveries entrance when we arrived, which was an interesting way to the park [although noticeably longer] seeing old park signs and the like and areas of the [closed] park such as Cbeebies land and X Sector [ironic in a way really]. Once parked in the Hotel parking lot, we first headed off to Treetop quest to book a time for the high ropes course, the earliest option they had was 2:40pm, which whilst cutting things a bit fine for our train back we decided to go for and then did more exploring in the resort. Having quite alot of time to kill, we decided to play a 18 hole Extraordinary Golf which was great fun and many of the holes are cleverly designed and well themed towards rides in the park [even if around half of them no longer exist]. I drew with Daniel whilst Stretchy stood out on the game. During our time, we could see Air testing from all the way over the car park, which was a sight that definitely gave me quite a blow to the stomach. The Hex,Duel and Nemesis sound effects in the golf only added insult to injury. After completing the course, we checked out the resort's hotels starting with the Splash Landings before moving on to the Alton Towers hotels, both places I haven't visited properly before. Both hotels here are very nice and different too. Splash Landings obtains a tropical style theme which reminds me of Hotel Gold River at Port Aventura whilst the Towers Hotel seems to have a more stately traditional theme, which feels like an english version of DLP's Newport Bay. Despite the park being closed, all the hotels were buzzing with life featuring lots of entertainment characters throughout to keep hotel guests happy and still obtaining much atmosphere. I think all the staff at the resort have dealt with the current situations at the resort following last weeks tragic events very well. We also went in to one of the hotel shops where all Smiler merch [as expected] had disapeared, although they still had smiler monopoly and giant resins featuring the Smiler on, which I naturally had to buy [plus it would help waiting for my next towers visit slightly too]. Afterwards, we had a look around the park's latest accomodation offering, the Enchanted Village. I wasn't too sure about these at first, but having seen them in person, they definitely look rather rather and the area as a whole feels very much like a middle earthesque area. After an enchanted walk, it was off for some lunch at the new Crooked Spoon Restaurant which was naturally very quiet when we went, although featured another amazing soundtrack in the background created by the fantastic IMA score which very much had a LOTR and irish style feel to it. In the end, I went for a tuna and cheddar pannini with chips and salad, which wasn't bad for the price and definitely unique when it comes to appearance and style. After the fairly tasty lunch, it was time to do our Treetops Quest, however unfortunately they were running very behind there with almost an hour behind schedule, which meant in the end having to cancel out our time here [lucilly we got a full refund]. This might be the reason why we didn't get chance to do the ropes ;] After this, we left Alton Towers and found some other way to pass the time before we got our train back to Euston shortly followed by home. And this shall hopefully keep me going until next time [which might not be until 2016 now]. Despite turning in to a weekend much different from the original plans, it was still a great time away. A massive thanks goes to Stretchy whom without the trip wouldn't have been a patch on the overall outcome of the trip. Getting back to Blackpool was a bonus considering I was not expecting a return visit until at least 2016 and the towers staff have handled everything well. Whilst it's still not near enough to warrant me coming during the non themepark time, it's great to see Towers have so many additions to the resort now aside from the themepark, the hotels, the golf, the waterpark and the treetop quest which help things even more so in this difficult time. It's just ironic that the park only reopened the day after my trip away
  9. Good evening all of you wonderful people! I'm very excited to officially announce plans for our Blackpool TPM Trip With an Exclusive behind the Scenes with Scare Kingdoms Manormortis! The date of the event is the extended weekend of Friday 12th - Sunday 14th September 2014. As you can see it's an extended whole weekend! Which gives you a choice - come on the Friday, or the Saturday, or on the Sunday or a couple of the days or stay the whole weekend! I would imagine though the bulk of us will do Sat/Sun. Please take note if you plan to stay with us overnight, it will be your responsibility to book your own rooms and unfortunately if your under 18 we cannot help you with this! If you were to stay the night - under no circumstances will TPM get involved and take responsibility with how you stay overnight, as for the overnight section of the trip will be an over 18's event. We also owe a big thanks to Myk for getting this behind the scenes but we will also need to know if you are interested in attending for us to be able to take up on this offer as we will need 20 people! Plus this event will rely on you wonderful kind drivers or which your help will be much appreciated. But based on past success's I'm sure this will be no problem. A breakdown of what to expect of behind the scenes is shown below The Outline of the day/s will be as follows: On Saturday, Meet outside the entrance by Pasaje Del Terror at 08:30 am opposite the ticket gates to have a small social before the park opens, and then we will enter the park. Please bear in mind we will leave without you if you are late as it’s not fair on time keepers! As members have found out! If by any chance you happen to miss this meet point due to travel arrangements or just plain lateness you can either phone or text so we can arrange to meet . This first part of the morning we will make the most of the quiet park and churn out those rides. We will try our best to get on all the attractions. I know not everyone will want to do some of the rides at Blackpool Pleasure. If you decide to not come on please be polite and wait for everyone to come off and chat to other members whilst you are waiting. Or go off and do another attraction as long as you’ll be back after the group has finished riding the attraction. Please respect other people’s wishes who wish to ride certain things that you yourself may not be too keen with. During the day, around half 1, we will stop for a bite to eat where you can go and eat where you like and we will arrange where to meet after everyone has finished eating. (Who knows we might all want to eat the same thing anyway ) After lunch we will group together for the Official Group Photo for the meet and continue going round the park and riding the attractions people want to do until the park closes at 8. During the Evening we will relax and watch the Blackpool Illuminations. On the Sunday we will start on the Merlin Attractions meeting outside the Blackpool Tower at 09:45am. We will explore the Tower and during the day go to the Blackpool Madame Tussauds/ Sea Life & Dungeons just like our London Meets. During the afternoon we will have a little breather in the Blackpool Ballroom for a couple of drinks and if you are lucky me and my dance partner might go off and do some ballroom and latin on that famous floor whilst you socialise over drinks. For those who do go up on the Friday we will most likely go along the piers and arcades and try out the Waterpark and plus we will have our Tour of Manormortis at some point in the weekend. As it's quite a big event the way the weekend is run is subject to change but due to the distance I know you and I will be in regular correspondence so everyone knows what is happening. I will be handing out my phone number for everyone who is attending the meet that day, should there be any problems. We aim to stay together as a group for the day, going from one activity to the next, enjoying getting to know people you share very similar interests with, the idea is to just go with the flow and enjoy the day with some awesome people. There will be many photo’s in the day being taken and the possibility of a few video clips. Whilst we cannot force you to stay with the group, it is the general purpose of these meets! You will have my number (and some of the senior teams) if you become split so by all means use it. The meets are a fantastic laugh and everyone is invited, even if you have never posted before or been to any kind of meet at all. If it's your first meet, I understand it can be nerve breaking - but we were all there at one point so know how it feels, please don't let this stop you from attending - Once there you'll be part of the group in no time! Just look at the past trips this year! I will soon be posting up a separate post on possible accommodation locations which you can use to help you decide where to sleep (If your staying for the night.) If however you know where your going already by all means book it up when we confirm the dates this time next week. I know for example I will be staying at a nice B&B near the Tower, right in the centre of it all to enjoy the nightlife. Plus some really good deals on Laterooms.com Once again, everyone will have my phone number so please use it on the day If anyone has any issues or concerns or even nervous about coming, feel free to post here, or PM myself and I will get back to you as soon as possible. If you feel like my response is taking too long another member of the team will be more than happy to help. We will all try and help you out as much as we can. Please PM me or post here to say if you’re attending. If you are bringing a mate along with you, please also include who they are so they are not known as ‘Plus 1.’ The events with TPM have been fantastic this year and this one will be no different! Attending (16) Alpengeist J.S217 Luke_A Luke Houldsworth LG95 Matt Creek Mer Mr.Fish Myk MysteryPackage Peaj ScaryCoasterBoy Stretchy Styles TN Jonny Toofpikk Attendees
  10. Welcome back to part 2 of my exciting trip report at Blackpool. Lego Spongebob welcomes you to this next big instalment of the blog [Wow! are we at Legoland now?] Speaking on Big, I think it's finally time I give this giant a ride then! It's a massive beast that dominates the whole park, so it should an amazing ride then ;]? And it's time to review, Vertical Reality! In 1994, the big one was a massive tall beast that was major large scale ride and investment along with being the tallest coaster in the world and being only second to Nemesis in greatness. 20 years later though and much of the greatness has dried up. Whilst the big one is far from being an absolute awful ride, it's also a long way from being an amazing one too. The ride starts rather well, with a brief pre-lift section and then the long lift which offers some great views of the pleasure beach and surrounding area as the world beneath gradually disappears. Once reaching the top, the ride goes down the drop suddenly swerving right and the ride speeding up as it's drops to the bottom, which is a thrilling and intimidating experience with the gust of speed, smallish restraints and massive drop. Since the ride has started so well it will continue with this greatness during the remainder of the experience. The answer to that unfortunately is no! After the first drop, the ride loses much excitement and force as the ride climbs it's first hill, which unlike most hyper rides it doesn't fly over it but instead gradually reaches it whilst losing speed along the way until it's almost crawling when it reaches the top. The rest of the ride doesn't really fulfil much either as there isn't much force or too much thrill for the rest of the ride which is quite disappointing, also there isn't a great deal of airtime on this ride which considering I was sitting towards the back and these types of rides should feed upon it was also disappointing too. It does well in taking you up a great height with an intense first drop along with giving good sights of the park and area, but apart from that it doesn't quite fulfil the greatness in the giant dinosaur it first appears. That being said I shouldn't really complain too much as it is the uk's tallest and perhaps largest roller coaster [ultimate is of course the longest] and that we've actually got a large ride on this scale on our island, considering how little space we have and so many of our parks are heavily restricted on what they can actually build [especially Legoland, Chessington & pretty much almost every park]. I think it will be a long time before we see another massive ride on this scale [if ever]. From one Arrow to another Arrow, it's time to ride the one and only Steeplechase, because no other rides of this type no longer exist in the world apparently, So what are my thoughts on this ride rarity? whilst it looks rather average and generic off ride, it's actually a great roller coaster ride, it doesn't have any gimmick, it doesn't have any unique elements, nor does it need any of these as it's such a great all round ride, with it's fun racing element, scenic views and interaction with other surrounding rides and it's loose and open restraints as only a seat belt holds you in, a fun and slightly scary experience. From one horse race to another, it was time to experience the Grand National, our fifth and final wooden roller coaster on the trip, one that was highly appraised by many park and coaster fans alike. But would this be the ride to top my coaster list at Blackpool or even take the crown away from Megafobia as best woodie? Can't believe I didn't take more pictures of the ride, I guess the rush around riding at the park and the fact most of the ride can only be seen outside the park are the main reasons I didn't. Anyway, what did I think of the ride? Grand National was amazing, it was such a fantastic great fun ride with it's racing coaster element, multiple drops and hills which give quite a lot of airtime [ more than Big One ever will] along with a great paced layout makes this a great fun thrilling ride. But the big question, has it become my favourite my favourite all top time woodie? The answer to that is yes, however only to the ones in the park. It's such an incredible ride and there's not really a bad thing I can say about this ride [apart from the loud station brakes maybe] as it doesn't fail to deliver greatness during it's ride experience. Megafobia still holds on to no.1 woodie [for now] as that ride is just so intense. We need more woodies here in the uk [Merlin take note]. Before we move to our next ride, I KNOW A GUY THAT WILL GET ON YOUR NERVES! GET ON YOUR NERVES! GET ON YOUR NERVES! Time for another ride which will also be another first for me, my first bobsled coaster and NO! We are not at Europa before you ask! So, what did I think of Avalanche then? I thought it was a really good ride actually, gains a lot of speed in it's circuit and flies through those helixes which is just an incredible experience with the train coasting down the tube rather than the usual track setting on many other coasters. Just wish the ride was longer really as it ended just as I was really getting in to it [love Mack rides]. Hope to try the other few mack bobsleds one day! I had really been through quite a roller coaster revolution on my trip to Blackpool and the final new coaster had to be the appropriately named, Revolution. And that was all the Blackpool coasters completed. Despite looking like a mediocre one trick pony, this ride is actually pretty good. You're thrusted forwards first of all in to the loop the first time which is quite good, but then the backwards launch is a feeling like nothing else, the feeling of being pushed in to your restraint during the loop is such a strange and slightly scary experience as you feel like you're going to fall out! Moving on from the coasters now and it's time to take a trip in to wonderland, I've a golden ticket And what a wondrous ride this turned out to be. Whilst in no way is this a ground breaking or top notch, it's fun little dark ride, full of charm, humour along with being a generally pleasant attraction to experience. Incidently, this ride is a sort of knock off from the original Alice In Wonderland ride at the California Disneyland with it's cheshire cats style vehicles,indoor-out door dark ride sections and storyline which opened seven years before this one [why am I referencing so many other parks on this TR, especially Disney]? From one extreme to another and now it's time to enter Valhalla. Wait a moment, the waterfall isn't running, I hope it isn't closed. That Looks more like it! The ride was closed during most of the day and didn't actually open until quite late in the afternoon, we must've meant it had quite a few problems as it broke down several times after that as well. We decided to join the extremely long queue for the ride which cost us around 90 minutes of time [we could've used for other rides]. But was it worth the extra long wait? The answer here actually is Yes, but just about. Valhalla is a very long and very wet water/dark attraction which features an array of drops, effects and a drenching. Some of the thing included on this ride are just incredible! going in to a long hot room with heat and fire one minute, then entering a freezing cold one with ice,misters and the like the next is absolutely incredible, is this is before I get on to the backwards drop, immense sound track and other elements too. Valhalla is an absolutely amazing ride and experience, it's so breath taking when you see it all and everything inside unfolds and well worth the time. The ride makes almost every other water ride in the country look like a travelling Zamperla log ride [even Loggers] and is something that wouldn't really look out of place at a park like Efteling, Phantasialand or even Europa. Absolute masterpiece. Hex however is still my number one dark ride for the story and towers alone, but Valhalla comes in at a very close second. Moving from a breath taking experience which despite being ringing wet, I still couldn't get over, we headed off to get some final rides at the park whilst it was gradually getting dark before closing. But the question is, which rides did we finally ride, or even re-ride during the twilight hours and which Big addition would be chosen as the finale and first proper night ride of the trip? Only time will tell, but you'll just have to wait until Part 3 submerges.
  11. It's been my intentions over the last few years to try and visit to try and visit a new theme park or attraction each year, which started with Alton Towers in 2012 and Harry Potter Studio Tour, Madame Tussauds, The Dungeons along with a return to Oakwood [after 15 years] in 2013. At first I wasn't expecting to receive any new park credits for 2014 with Paultons Park called off and Euro disney put on hold. This year it was my intentions to visit a park that was of the following, 1/ was a major place with top class rides, 2/ was outside the Merlin circle 3/ a place outside of the uk. On this trip, I was able to achieve two of these, by finally visiting Blackpool Pleasure Beach, a park I have been wanting to visit for some time and home to a large collection of prominent rides to the uk/world theme park industry [though some are hit and miss in places] where I would gain a whole new list of ride credits [and first]. Upon entering the park, you are greeted by a number of different things, one is the sheer prominence of rides that appear in front of you towering in the back ground, particularly the Big One which pretty much dominates the whole park, the second is the amount of former rides laying dormant at the park. The monorail and ark are two of these, both of which I saw before even getting properly through the gates which isn't the greatest thing to see. The first ride/new cred of the day was the infamous Wild Mouse. First opinions of the ride describe it as a small compact and doesn't look too exciting, however this ride has some tricks up it's sleeves! Despite first appearances, the ride is surprisingly good, very fun and quite scary at a few occasions too, with its sharp tight turns, bumpy rattle through the track and it's sharp and sudden drops, an experience with just seat belts and no restraints is quite intense. A great classic that shouldn't be overlooked despite first appearances, plus my second ever woodie! From one classic to another [most of Blackpool's rides are classics], it was time for the one and only Ghost Train. A few minutes later and my spooky distraction was over. I quite enjoyed this ride and it's got got quite a few interesting elements to the ride including the roller coaster like drops, moments of the ride going outside and the spinning tunnel with train lights [which seem common to some ghost trains]. Whilst it's not on the leagues for rides such as Hex & Duel, which may be a bit of an unfair comparison to begin with, this ride wins it over for novelty and ride length and is an example of what a traditional Ghost Train ride should incorporate. It's certainly better than Castille Del Terror at Tivoli and Spooky 4D, both of which probably aren't as old as this which already states it's point. From one dark ride to another, our next attraction was Impossible, which comprised a set of indoor attractions all joined up together, starting with a mirror maze, a series of strange objects and illusions and a small haunted swing style ride where the room spins around. This wasn't the best of attractions as it mostly felt like a cluster of attractions just stuck together to make one big ride. The Mirror maze was alright, but the swing ride was so dull it was laughable. I'm sure 30 years ago [long before Hex] the swing element would've actually looked pretty but now, it's so bad it's good! After a random mediocre experience, it was time for some white knuckle fuel on Ice Blast, which is now the only non coaster thrill ride in the park with Bling gone. The ride starts with the seats raising up slightly and then lowering gradually where riders are instructed to secure all loose valuables [like there's chance now], before the capsule is thrusted upwards, then downwards and then up again, until height is lost and the pod gradually lowers back to the ground. The ride is ok, the launch is pretty fun and thrilling as you are pushed in to your restraint flying up followed by some small hits of air time and the then the end. Not a bad drop tower, however it certainly doesn't beat Detty but is much better than Bounce! After launching back to earth, it was time to take on another woodie who is the grand daddy of them all at 91, it's time to take on the Big Dipper. The Big Dipper is such a fun coaster to ride, as it leaps from hill after hill during it's circuit, offering a reasonable supply of air time, whilst it's not as good as Megafobia back in Oakwood, one must remember for a ride of this age it still provides an excellent experience which is great fun with lots of thrills along the way. Another great woodie. By now on the trip it was time to take on a ride that I and many had been strongly anticipating during our trip, one that would offer an immense ride experience and tick quite a few boxes for firsts. This ride was known as [drum roll]. Infusion Well first things first, it sure looks rather pretty for an SLC. This is the first one I've actually ridden. Having heard of many of these ride's being rather rough and uncomfortable [including this one], I set my expectations for this ride rather low. But would my opinions be just as rough once I had finally ridden it? The answer to this in most ways is NO! Whilst the ride was in no way perfect or in anyway a patch to a B&M invert, this ride was surprisingly good and did beat my expectations. The first half for me was quite fun actually, it rolled through twist, turns and inversions whilst over a large lake of water and fountains. It wasn't really rough at all infact I could almost call it smooth. The second unfortunately wasn't as the ride did seem to get noticeably rougher, as I bashed my head in to the restraint outside of choice several times, making the ride a little painful towards the end. Not a bad ride really and I enjoyed most it. The end is certainly rougher than Colossus but maybe not as much as Saw. Following on from my hit and miss SLC, it was time for ride on the Grand Prix, which is sort of Blackpool's equivalent of Autopia, although this ride existed before any of them were built as I'm aware! Not a bad little ride, but not remarkable either. The ride pretty much takes a journey down a spiralling descent passing nearby rides such as Avalanche & Revolution among others, gradually turning around ascending back up the spiral to the station where the ride finally finishes. Time for another cracking ride, me thinks! Technically Blackpool's newest contraption, unless you count it as a retheme from when it was the Gold Mine [something I never got to try unfortunately]. Despite getting very mixed reviews [some loving it and others hating it], I'm going to definitely say I love this ride. I've always been quite a fan of Wallace & Gromit [especially growing] and used to watch the movies on VHS on a fairly regular basis [wow do I sound old] and would enjoy seeing all the action whether it be the penguin train chase or Gromit flying in the red plane. For me, the ride has captured the world of Wallace & Gromit very well, which is full of funny gags, rich detail in theming and settings along with high quality scenes and animation throughout the whole ride, also including plenty of audio dialogue and of course the catchy theme tune as well. In terms of overall quality, this ride does kick all of Merlins other existing uk dark rides to the curb [at least in their current forms], with Hex being the only exception. It may lack the originality of many other rides out there, but it's a great fun family attraction and whilst the ride mostly consists of prominent scenes from the four shorts and film, I think it's paced very well and fits together perfectly. The ride is such high quality that I would say it's almost at the league of some of disney's dark rides [something I cannot properly clarify currently] and the only slip up on the whole dark ride is the scene where the penguin is falling in which the movement mechanism came be seen! Currently my 3rd favourite dark ride at the moment of writing. You'll find out what my top 2 favourite are shortly. Leaving Wensleydale behind us, we set off to Nick Land and decided to take a ride on the big orange track thing in the distance known as Nicklodeon Streak [formerly Roller Coaster]. It was quite a fun and enjoyable ride with quite a few bits of airtime and force. I wouldn't say it was as good as Dipper and Mouse but it still a great ride, I'd put it on top of Infusion anyway. Also this ride running just one train [with the state of the 2nd not looking ready for adding]. Apparently this ride is almost always on just one train [unlike the others], at least the queue wasn't too long and it was more pleasant than waiting for one train Colossus. I think it's time to jump on another coaster now. I'll say Blue Fire! oops, I meant Blue Flyer, just remembered I'm in Blackpool not Europa [one can dream]. This is not a bad little, quite a fun little woodie for kids to do, certainly not my favourite by far and perhaps my least favourite coaster, but then it's aimed more for kids and young families. Still it's another credit and woodie to add to the collection. By now, all these woodies and other rides made us a bit hungry so we decided to grab some lunch at the park, where we decided to head over to the conveniently named Coaster bar, positioned on one of the pathways between Dipper and Avalanche. I went in for the Chicken Fajita in the end which was ok [sadly the picture didn't turn out as well as hoped] , not the most amazing thing but it edible, good enough and not bad value for money, plus the wedges were pretty decent [beats Oakwood's offering by a country mile though]. Whilst eating, we were all amused by a selection of songs playing from a slightly quiet and muffled speaker here. But these weren't ordinary songs though as these were intact all songs from Disney movies [snow white, Pochahontis, Enchanted etc.] which was certainly something I didn't expect especially in Blackpool. This made me rather happy whilst eating my food, having always a rather big fan of Disney [one day Disney]. And that concludes part 1 of my exciting trip and weekend away in Blackpool, but Which big ride had a very big queue which became a big surprise? Which ride had a big trick and which big disney character sort of has their own big take at Blackpool? Stay tuned for some big updates in part 2!
  12. Hi and welcome to this third part of my exciting weekend in Blackpool. Here's how the story continues after our wet immersive ride on Valhalla. It's heading towards the end of the day and twilight has arrived [no the ride sadly]. The park looks really beautiful at sunset, and despite being the tail end of the day it just makes the park come to life, it looks just as beautiful as Thorpe does at this time of day. By now it was time for some final evening/ twilight rides. Another round on the Grand National was first which provided an even more amazing experience this time, as our train was literally flying through the circuit giving lots of airtime and excitement, helped by the fact we won the race too. We had another go on Big Dipper was very good again, but not quite on Grand National's reign. Another go on Wallace and Gromit was taken, I'm just a very big fan before our final final ride during our trip. But which Big attraction did this turn out to be? For a brief moment, I would just like to mention just how beautiful the park looks at night, it's amazing and quite possibly the best park I've seen at night. Anyway back on topic, I'm sure you've guessed the final ride of the day [or should that now be night?] and that's The Big One. The ride at night was both very good and very bad this time. Very good in the remarkable night time views you see below, the racing around the track at night and the first drop being even more intimidating at night. The drawbacks of course were the ride still lacks force in most parts and the ride was also surprisingly rough too as it was rather violent and jerky TBH [who said you need shoulder restraints for a rough ride?]. And the day was over. Blackpool is a really good park despite the place getting a lot of slack as they seem to try and put a lot of effort in to the place despite the amount of empty and SBNO ride spots. Apart from the slightly grumpy cleaner lady at the end, It was an absolutely fantastic day and I get to return here again one day. For the 4-5 hour drive up here, the journey was just about worth it. Another thing here is just how many firsts and records I have achieved during this trip including my first wild mouse, first racing Steel & Woodie, Tallest coaster in the uk [and tallest one I've done yet] plus doing my first SLC. Moving on, our trip at the Pleasure Beach may be finished but our trip and time away certainly isn't. Whilst having some chips, cheese & Gravy up the promenade whilst looking at the beautiful illuminations which just look amazing along with the occasional dressed up and lit tram which was a magical experience, we headed to the South Pier. While most headed for the Waltzer, I headed for the Log Flume with Toofpik which cost a fairly reasonable £3. The ride was alright, just a standard general compact two drop log flume you see at many fairs and small parks. Good for another ride credit, although it does make The Flume look like Chipas. We then headed to Central Pier where there were more fairground rides around, but none of us could be bothered to do any more and just had a cheeky drink at the bar at the back of the pier. When finished, we set off back down the pier to head to one of the best themed and looking amusement arcades on the whole promenade, Coral Island. Full of many amusements and video game machines, I was quite excited of visiting this place at first, plus not to mention what makes this place look better than most other arcades is it includes a couple of rides including a Pirate monorail and ghost train ride. Walking you do feel quite excited and with rides and arcades over here it's almost like going in the indoor bit of Fantasy Island or the Trocadera [in it's hey day when it was open]. Sadly the Ghost Train was closed when we arrived meaning we first headed for the Pirate Monorail which for £1 was quite a bargain. And so began the ride. It's not a bad little attraction, which goes around most of the floor space of the building giving some ok views of the surrounding area, plus there's also a brief random inside section which is separated from the rest of the arcade which includes some pirate theming elements and random audio music too. There's also guns to shoot random targets along the ceiling too although sadly the scores were turned off at the time we were riding. It's a very lucky we were actually able to ride this in the end as the lady operating this was a bit funny as she said this was a kids ride and weren't able to go on it without children. Luckilly Peaj managed to talk with the op and we were all finally to get on the ride. The events with staff didn't get much better as the time progressed as security guards pushed us on from a couple of video machines for no reason which gave me quite a bitter taste in my mouth. They're supposed to be bringing in customers, not scaring them away! decent arcade, unpleasant staff. After walking back to our hotel where dominoes pizza, TPM twister and general meet chat and banter occurred it was time for bed as we headed off in preparation for the second and final day that awaited us in the morning. But what towering events await us? When will the trip excitement unravel like a circus and who's waltzing off in a magical world only Merlin could control? Wait and see in Part 4.
  13. 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 .
  14. Hi guys I was wondering will there be a trip to Blackpool Pleasure Beach for Walk The Big One as I am sure many of you would like to do this its £35 per person? Reply if you think this would be a great thing to do. PS : If in wrong section can an admin move it to the correct section.
  15. so If you are reading this then you most probably read part 1. Well now for part 2. I hope you enjoy it. So after All the Shenanigans mentioned in part 1 it was now time for some Proper rides, as well as some other stuff. We went to Pleasure beach with our wristbands and on one of the best sunny and very busy days of the year. We went straight to Big one, and my is that a ride. It was the longest hill I've gone up, and I could feel my heart beating and looked to my friends, one was definitely about to either vomit or s**t himself. The time had come for us to take it. The first drop of the ride. I nearly screamed that I lost my voice. all you could hear was me swearing basically. the rest of the ride was so intense as well. From here onwards I can't remember where we went but I do remember the rides themselves so here goes. Avalanche was next. I actually quite love this ride and the whole concept, and it is great fun. The queue was very short on that day, and we went on twice. After it was Revolution. One of my friends had looked forward to this, so I was very interested to why he was so excited about it. It is actually an alright ride and I particularly enjoy it going backwards. (I love backward rides e.g like X no way out(the old one) When going backwards everything feels so different and more scary and I definitely felt it in this ride. Grand National: At last, a wooden coaster. One I've been waiting to go on for a while. (europa park hadn't opened Wodan at the time I went). I love the concept and its quite fun. Wild mouse: Really intense for its type, not going to lie, and a great ride. One of the best rides there- not too intense, not too weak. Ice Blast: Good ride, and one which was walk on for us. I enjoyed it though Detonator is more scary for me. It is a faster ride for me and has more to offer, with the "blast" up being my most enjoyable part of the ride. Infusion: looks good though most the queues were here and we wanted to avoid the queues where possible. Hope to go on next time though! Big Dipper: I found it too repetitive and boring, only after a while. at first it was good, don't get me wrong, but yeah... I know my friends enjoy it though, but it's not my cup of tea. Teacups: self explanatory. Thrill o Matic: was quite boring, although if you were a fan of the Wallace and Gromit Series I could definitely see you enjoying this ride. Vahalla: The last ride we went on, and WOW. what could I say?? Great theming, amazing effects, and the backwards drop. OMG!!!! I couldn't believe it. I felt like I was going to fall out on that one, and I knew about it and freaked. I tricked my friends to sit nearer the back if they didn't want to get wet, and Lol. I knew it before hand (Thanks to Coaster Jamie). so in the end heres the ride count: Big one x1 Avalanche x2 revolution x2 Grand National x1 Wild Mouse x1 Ice Blast x2 Big dipper x1 Teacups x 1 Dodgems x1 Vahalla x1 Thrill o'matic(took most the time with queuing, and not worth it unless massive fan of W&G series) To eat: We all decided to have A simple Burger king. Chicken Royale for me and big whoopers for my friends. (I'm not a massive fan of burger king's beef Horse burgers) Dinner: we just got some fish and chips near in Blackpool (Harry Ramsden) Back to hotel: Hilton (to the gym and swimming pool and sauna/steam room) The day after Pleasure beach we decided to hit the normal beach. Central Beach ,wasn't really for our liking, so we decided to go a few miles to Lytham St Annes. They have the best ice cream I have tasted. Its a calm beach with massive sand dunes. Only problem is the sea is a F****ing mile away from the main beach, otherwise its a great place and I highly recommend it. That day we returned to Blackpool for dinner and we had it near Central pier. Really nice place, can't remember what its called but its by the Blackpool information office(tourist). They have different stuff but I recommend any type of bread by them or dough like a pizza, although if you aren't a fan there is lots to offer. You can sit inside or outside and again I would recommend highly. Overall this was one of my best trips and those who are reading this, it is the end of the journey. Thanks!
  16. So, I decided to go to blackpool, for some fun. First day I decided to hit the arcades. I went to the North pier as well as the local arcades. For the first time I was winning, and I made a profit of £5 on those 10p machines. I also had a shot and fun with my friends with the shooting games, and basketball and the racing game(like the one at Thorpe). IN the end I WON ALL OF THEM. This was a first. I never really won at arcades. The next day I hit the rides at the piers as well as well as visiting some of the shops nearby. Central pier: Crazy frogs-A fun ride, although it wasn't really the ride for me. Dodgems- Explains itself Extreme- A similar ride to quantum except with shoulder restraints. Great ride. picture: Waltzers- A great ride, which really was funny seeing my friends S**t themselves as they underestimated it. After we headed to south pier Log flume- Quite amazing to have a log flume on a pier, and at points there is great views. Breakdance- a fun ride similar to waltzer, great to see some of my friends s**t themselves. Picture: Ghost train: a great ride to calm down and actually some fun with parts where you can laugh at your friends for being scared. Skycoaster: Such a great ride, just a tad expensive. The build up as you are going up is quite tense. Skyscreamer: Just as we were launched I was swearing an shouting. as we were going down, I was loving it. Pictures: what you sit in In midair More to come...
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