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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...