Everything you need to know about Blackpool Pleasure Beach's start to their 125th Anniversary Season!
This year Blackpool Pleasure Beach officially celebrate their 125th anniversary season, therefore on April 12th we just had to leap out of lock down and check out the park for their opening day!
The iconic Flyde coast based amusement park first opened to the public back in 1896, and over the years has transformed into one of the UK’s most well loved tourist attractions.
Blackpool Pleasure Beach is home to many stand out rides and attractions featuring such classics as The Big One (formerly known as the Pepsi Max Big One), Icon and The Big Dipper, however there is so much more to see than just the rides.
As the enthusiast community well knows however, there really is only one way to kick off the UK theme park season, and that’s by making the annual pilgrimage to Blackpool.
First Impressions Count
This year Blackpool Pleasure Beach really had gone all out when it comes to preparing for their big reopening and this was evident straight away from the moment we arrived.
Not only has an iconic childhood favourite returned on the entrance arches (Mr Funshine), however customer service was on point too and has improved vastly from previous years.
We immediately found ourselves made to feel welcome and were regularly greeted by staff members with a smile and a very welcoming approach.
We also found ambassadors readily available to answer any queries you may have and in our opinion this is key to a great guest experience.
Guest service wasn’t the only major improvement for this season either.
As we entered the park it was immediately apparent that Blackpool Pleasure Beach have been hard at work throughout their long closed season to make the park look fresh and clean for their big anniversary.
From high attention to detail to a fresh, clean appearance you can really tell that Pleasure Beach have thought of everything this season whilst getting ready to reopen on April 12th.
The Writings on the Wall.
This year guests have being given the chance to leave their mark on the park (no copyright infringement intended haha) by purchasing a brick on Pleasure Beach’s 125th anniversary celebration wall.
The wall (located on the right at the top of the ramp leading up past the arena) features personalised bricks featuring messages from fans of the park.
Guests can choose to have a personalised message engraved through the park’s online store and the brick itself is displayed as part of the wall.
Prices start at £45.00 and range all the way up to £70.00 per brick depending on your preference.
Retracking a Big One!
As we all know Blackpool Pleasure Beach have spent the last two closed seasons retracking one of their most iconic rides – the Big One.
The park have been working closely with Chorley based civil engineering firm Taziker to help refresh the ride and secure it’s future with the park by retracking key sections throughout it’s lengthy layout.
This closed season the main focus was refreshing the final dive through the tunnel and both sides of it prior to the final brake run.
Where as this section has proved rather harsh in previous years, you now find yourself gliding through the transition smoothly and with great ease.
It’s clear the retrack really is making all the difference and we hope to see more of the ride rejuvenated in the years ahead.
Scanning your E-Ticket on Every Ride!
As much as the park have made many fantastic changes for this season, this is definitely one change we can all do without!
Blackpool Pleasure Beach first introduced the E-Ticket back in 2020 as a brand new method of entry moving them forward with the times and creating a far more convenient and efficient method of entry.
This season however the park announced that all guests must scan their E-tickets prior to riding too, and after the other day it’s clear that this is one change that needs to be dropped.
The reason we say this is that we found queues much slower and wait times increased as a direct result of peoples QR codes either not scanning or hold ups being caused due to the ‘E-Ticket Group’ not really proving compatible with the turn styles.
Last season required only one scan on entry and this seemed to work, therefore we’re unsure as to why Pleasure Beach have chosen to take what seems to be a backwards step on this policy.
We therefore definitely feel that guest experience would improve vastly should this requirement be dropped, especially when the park reaches the peak of it’s season.
Dark Rides are open!
The one thing we were most pleased to see was the opening of dark rides across the park on Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s opening day.
Ghost Train, Wallace and Gromit, Alice in Wonderland and River Caves were all open to the public and were opened safely in a covid secure manner.
We believe the reason they have been allowed to open is that all rides stated above load and off load riders outdoors and this therefore means guests are still in the open air when they climb onboard.
The only two rides not to open were Impossible (an indoor walk through experience) and Valhalla (due to it’s ongoing renovation).
As we all know by now the much anticipated ‘re-imagining’ of Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s world famous water based dark ride Valhalla has sadly been pushed back until 2022.
This has been put down to financial reasons, however we completely understand the park’s decision to delay the attractions reopening and can’t wait to see what the newly imagined ride holds when it finally reopens next year,
Externally not much change appears to have taken place (or at least from what we can see over the hoardings), however we believe works have been steadily progressing both internally and externally throughout 2020 and into 2021.
Coaster Dynamix and merch!
Each and every year Blackpool Pleasure Beach introduce stunning new lines of official merchandise to both their online store and the shops at the park too, and this year is no exception.
For the first time ever Collectors are now able to purchase Coaster Dynamix Nano Coasters here in the UK and this is down to the introduction of Icon and Big One nano coasters at the park.
These fantastic items are priced at £29.99 each and only appear to be available on park at present, however we’re sure they will introduce them to their online store real soon.
Final Thoughts & the Year Ahead.
Overall, we were thoroughly impressed with Blackpool Pleasure Beach on Monday and would like to give a huge shout out to each and every single member of staff present on the day.
From phenomenal ride operations (no downtime) to incredible customer service the park really have kicked off their 125th anniversary season perfectly.
We can’t wait to check out the park throughout this year using our brand new season pass and we look forward to bringing you even more great content from there in the months ahead.
Well done Pleasure Beach, you nailed it!