One day in vertical reality

Pleasure Beach Blackpool

The Pleasure Beach Blackpool amusement park, founded in 1896, is undoubtedly considered the roller coaster mecca in Europe. After all, there are ten different roller coasters here, whereby one ride is more special than the other. But also other, mostly very rare, rides can be found and so Pleasure Beach Blackpool has a very special atmosphere, something the rest of the area around does not have.

After having picked up one’s ticket in the ticket centre of the casino building beside the actual park, there is a short bag control before entering the park. If you have a bag with you, you can get a locker for a day’s rent, which is relatively low.

Flying Machines

The first impression of the park looks promising due to the imposing supporting structure of the Big One. The very spacious forecourt is dominated by one of the park’s most famous attractions, the Flying Machines. Built in 1904, it is the park’s oldest attraction and offers a fast-paced feeling of flying, once the machine has reached its full potential. A modern copy of the ride can also be found in Disney’s California Adventure.


As most of the attractions did not open until later in the day we went to the newest roller coaster of the park, the Vekoma Suspended Looping Coaster Infusion. The ride, previously known as Traumatizer at New Pleasureland Southport, was placed on the area of the park’s former log flume, where it now stands out between the roller coasters Big Dipper and Big One. The way to the roller coaster turns out to be quite long, but gives you a wonderful insight into the action.

The ride itself is of the usual quality for this type of roller coaster, but no major strokes during the ride are to be expected. The water effects you are exposed to during the ride are nice and appear especially nice in the front row of the ride.

Big Dipper

One ride that looks a lot bigger in pictures than in reality is the Big Dipper, a wooden roller coaster from 1923, a special feature of this coaster is, besides its age, the tower on which the turnaround takes place before the first big drop. The ride on the well-padded, even if a little bit tighter, trains is amusing, even if it bounces strangely around especially in the rather flat part of the track. Fortunately, the ride with the Big Dipper is equipped with rather pronounced forces and thus you can enjoy a lot of airtime moments.

Big One

The roller coaster that brought the Pleasure Beach Blackpool to everyone’s attention in 1994, and one of the most accurate name is the Big One. At the time of its opening, it was the highest, steepest and fastest roller coaster in Europe and has only been beaten twice so far. Nowadays, however, it is still the highest, steepest and fastest roller coaster, at least in the vertical reality that only this roller coaster offers.

The Big One is an underestimated roller coaster, which is often criticized by all kinds of amusement park fans, mostly in connection with its manufacturer Arrow Dynamics. However, the fact that the roller coaster rides much better than some of the European versions of the luxury roller coaster manufacturer Bollinger & Mabillard is usually ignored or simply not noticed due to fanaticism. The almost 1700m long ride itself is first class and very impressive. The first drop is simply ingenious and the following hills offer a distinct feeling of speed, which is rounded off with very strange airtime in front of the block brakes.

If you look at the Big One with respect to the vertical reality that this roller coaster undeniably embodies, you will find one of the best roller coasters in Europe – a bit more neutrally, it is at least the best roller coaster of the park with an unmistakable view of the Irish Sea.


Opposite this ride you can discover another roller coaster made by Arrow Dynamics, which is dedicated to the horse racing culture of the English. Steeplechase is one of the most special roller coasters in the world and the only roller coaster in the world that still runs with three tracks. As special as this is, the riding position is the real reason why the ride is so remarkable. Similar to a bigger horse carousel you sit relatively free on the horse-like wagon, which is quite adventurous because of the strangely shaped curves. Unfortunately, on the day of the visit only the red lane was running.

Blue Flyer

A little less adventurous is the children’s wooden coaster of the park Blue Flyer. Like Tomahawk from Port Aventura, this roller coaster uses the small PTC trains, but there is at least some space left. The ride itself starts quite nicely with some hills, until the curve through the building of the former indoor coaster Space Invader 2 slowly ends the ride.

Nickelodeon Streak

Right next to the blue painted roller coaster is the orange Nickelodeon Streak roller coaster. The medium-sized Out & Back roller coaster offers a wonderful ride in five-row cars, where you can get a little scared during the turns, because the cars are noticeably drifting apart.

Dora’s World Voyage

Furthermore, Nickelodeon Land offers one of the most kitschy and best dark rides in Europe. In several areas in Dora’s World Voyage you will be taught the welcoming phrase of the corresponding countries by the adventurer Dora, whereby the choice of Tanzania is rather questionable. Nevertheless, We did it! and an imitation is highly recommended.

Avatar Airbender

Besides other children’s rides and a log flume, you can discover a Mack Rides Twist & Splash with Spongebob Splash Bash, which probably still likes to suffer from children’s illnesses, which is why a ride was unfortunately not possible. At least the Zamperla Disk’o Avatar Airbender was running, which showed a surprisingly intense ride.


Similarly intensive, at least according to the general tenor, is the roller coaster Avalanche. The ride itself can indeed be described as quite exciting, as it is rapidly gaining speed. Remarkable is the well maintained canal, which the trains run down. However, the ride does not come close to the Schweizer Bobbahn roller coaster at Heide-Park. Also, the laughing man in the immediate proximity creates an atmosphere that one does not like to be exposed to.

Grand Prix

Below the bobsleigh track you will find the Grand Prix ride, which has a very interesting layout. Especially the beginning and the end in form of a parking helix are remarkable.

River Caves

Equally remarkable is the theme trip River Caves. The ride through the caves is so well designed in places that the course can easily keep up with the larger boat dark rides such as Fata Morgana from the Dutch Efteling theme park.

Wild Mouse

Right next door you can find the best wooden roller coaster of the park, the Wild Mouse. It is better not to ride this roller coaster in pairs, as this can be slightly painful. The ride itself is the epitome of the word wild and knows how to convince with its intense ride. The airtime that is generated during the descents is pronounced, which is even increased by the safety belt. Very remarkable is the brake system of the layout, which is rather modern.

Grand National

Between the supports of Big One is the entrance to one of the last Möbius roller coasters in the world. Here, the left lane ends on the right side and of course vice versa, so both lanes are always running and allow racing operation even on empty days. The Grand National roller coaster itself promises so much, but unfortunately it can’t keep it. An airtime orgy, as some videos suggest, is not to be found here, only the racing feeling is guaranteed.


In a hall with a rather ugly facade and a comparatively puny station in front of it, one can visit the Asen in Valhalla. But as the Nordic gods are rather choosy, one has to face three challenges. After passing the first lift one is confronted with enormous heat until after some time there is the first drop that takes place backwards. Because heat is not fun when slightly moistened, one is sent to a cold room, where many a viking has found their bitter end. The next drop already manages to make you a little bit wetter, the following water effect makes you soaking wet. Again you climb a lift and the effect of a swinging axe will drench you from the side. The final shot shows a double drop, which is much wetter than the other slopes and starts the second downhill run unexpectedly late. In the following room you get a little warmed up, however, this passage could be a little longer to actually have the chance to dry again.

Valhalla is good, but not outstanding. The mixture of water ride and dark ride is a mixture that you should see more often. The design unfortunately seems a bit sparse and less original in some places, which even the whole water effects cannot compensate. The wetness level of the ride is extremely wet, but it can’t compete with O.D. Hopkins Tidal Wave from Thorpe Park in England, which outshines any Intamin water ride just because of the wave it creates.

Ice Blast and Derby Racer

On the place in front of Valhalla is the S&S Power Space Shot Ice Blast, which unfortunately doesn’t do anything special. In this respect, even the 90m high scenic ride of the same model from Parque Warner in San Martin de la Vega, Spain, is much more fun. Luckily, the Derby Racer next door is a rare and fast-paced attraction, which basically resembles a somewhat oversized horse carousel and shows a remarkable speed.

Alice Ride

Visibly close to the Derby Racers is the Alice Ride theme ride, where a journey to Wonderland is on the agenda. The black light effects make the ride look slightly spooky, just like the Snow White theme ride at Disneyland Park in Paris. The ride itself is great, especially since you ride on concrete slabs which is kind of unusual.

Ghost Train

Directly opposite is the Ghost Train, the world’s first ghost train, which has been in operation in Pleasure Beach Blackpool since 1930. The ride itself is beautifully designed and can show some effects that you rarely see in ghost trains, but the ride is not really spooky. Those who like great dark rides will get out of the car with a happy grin on his face.


The last roller coaster of the park is currently being renovated, which is a pity on the one hand, but if it will make the Revolution even more revolutionary it is a welcomed project, after all there have been many rumours about the demolition of this roller coaster. So one of the last three Arrow Dynamics Launched Loop layouts will remain and the English can continue to enjoy their first looping roller coaster. Due to the continuous work that has been done during the visit, the ride is likely to open towards the end of the month.

Pictures Pleasure Beach Blackpool

Conclusion Pleasure Beach Blackpool

Pleasure Beach Blackpool is a nice amusement park with good roller coasters and good theme rides where you can spend a few hours. The park itself is a ray of hope for the city that surrounds it, but the park has some gaps or simply closed attractions, which spoils the atmosphere and the portfolio at the same time. In this respect, it would have been nice to ride with Bling, the Spin Doctors, the Trauma Towers, the Bumper Boats, etc. At least the first visit was worth it, but for the time being I won’t have to return to Pleasure Beach Blackpool.


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