Blackpool Pleasure Beach

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Seaside amusement parks… there’s hardly anything nicer. Riding rollercoaster while seeing the shoreline, it sure adds to the overall experience. One of the most recognizable seaside amusement parks has to be Pleasure Beach in the city of Blackpool. You really don’t need to go there for a romantic city trip (Blackpool is an outdated vacation destination that attracts a rather bizarre audience) but Pleasure Beach is worth a visit if you like rollercoasters. The park offers 12 credits for your coaster counter and some of them are quite special. Steeplechase, for example, is a coaster type that I only knew from Rollercoaster Tycoon. Also, the park used to have a wooden wild mouse, but unfortunately it was demolished last year.

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If you love wooden coasters, you will love Blackpool Pleasure Beach: the park offers no less than 4 classic woodies. The oldest one is Big Dipper, which was opened in 1923! I probably shouldn’t tell you that these antique wooden coasters aren’t the smoothest, but as a coaster enthusiast that doesn’t bother me. Especially the duelling coaster Grand National is worth a visit, since it delivers some of the craziest airtime I’ve ever experienced.

Just one week before our visit in June 2018, Blackpool opened their newest rollercoaster: Icon. This Mack launched coaster was built between the tracks of Big One, Avalanche and Big Dipper, which only adds to the excitement. The ride features two launches, an inversion and lots of tight curves. Icon is an incredibly smooth ride and although it isn’t as good as Taron or Helix, it definitely is the best coaster at Pleasure Beach. Thanks to Icon’s high capacity, queues shouldn’t be too bad.

Blackpool Pleasure Beach is more than just a bunch of coasters. They also offer a good amount of flatrides, a nice children’s area and some (quite outdated) dark rides. In fact, the park’s most impressive attraction isn’t a rollercoaster, but a water ride. I’m talking about Valhalla, a huge indoor flume ride. The ride features two big drops, lots of special effects (including ice and fire) and a fascinating soundtrack. One warning: if you ride Valhalla, you will certainly get soaked. This is one of the wettest water rides I’ve ever done and since Blackpool’s climate isn’t exactly tropical, it might be a good idea to purchase a rain cape before riding.

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