Set in a 42-acre site on Blackpool Seafront, Blackpool Pleasure Beach is Britain’s most ride-intensive amusement park. Offering over 35 rides and attractions including the UK’s only Nickelodeon Land, it really is a fantastic day out for all the family.
Over 125 Years of Fun
The Lancashire Theme Park started out with just one ride in 1896 (over 125 years ago). Amanda Thompson, the current Managing Director is the great-granddaughter of its founder, W.G Bean. In addition to the many rides and attractions, there are plenty of places to grab a bite to eat plus a number of spectacular award-winning shows. Blackpool Pleasure Beach really does offer something for all the family.
Amazing Roller Coasters
The park offers an amazing lineup of roller coasters including the world-famous Big One. One of the latest additions to the Theme Park is ICON, the UK’s first double-launch rollercoaster and undoubtedly one of the best roller coaster rides here in the UK.
The Lancashire Theme Park also offers a number of classic wooden coasters including the Big Dipper and the Grand National. Infusion is the world’s only suspended looping coaster completely over water. If you love thrilling white-knuckle rides then Blackpool Pleasure Beach is the place for you.
This large steel roller coaster once held the record for being the tallest roller coaster in the world. The Big One remains the tallest roller coaster in the UK.
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The £16m Thrill Ride is the first multi-launch roller coaster in the United Kingdom. Manufactured by Mack Rides of Germany, the UK’s first double-launch roller coaster uses Linear Synchronous Motors (LSM) to propel the train along the track, accelerating from 0-80kph in 2.25 seconds before reaching heights of 88ft at speeds of up to 85kph. The £16m ICON roller coaster interacts closely with other rides and attractions 15 times during its high-speed journey, giving it the title of the world’s most interactive ride. In our opinion ICON is one of the best roller coasters in the UK.
Big Dipper is a classic high-speed, turbulent wooden rollercoaster suitable for all thrill-seekers. Featuring five awesome drops and a host of twisting and banked turns this Blackpool Pleasure Beach icon is a world-famous classic wooden rollercoaster.
Opened in 1935, The Grand National was Europe’s first twin-track racing coaster, a true classic high-speed, racing wooden roller coaster suitable for all thrill-seekers.
Infusion is a Suspended Looping Coaster built entirely over water, decorated with water jets and fountains and at night is illuminated by floodlights.
Avalanche features a unique steel bobsled design where the roller coaster does not sit on a track. Built by Mack of Germany it is the only roller coaster of this type in the UK.
Revolution was Europe’s first fully looping roller coaster, the ride consists of two raised sections of track with a vertical loop in the centre. The roller coaster train is launched off the first raised platform, into the loop, and up onto the second platform, where it repeats the process in reverse.
Designed and constructed in 1933 by Charles Paige, Nickelodeon Streak utilises the lift hill and various other parts of the former Velvet Coaster, which was removed in 1932. Formerly named Roller Coaster, in 2010 the ride was modernised and re-themed as Nickelodeon Streak to tie in with the Nickelodeon Land section of the theme park where the ride is located. Nickelodeon Streak was one of my favourite rides when I was a child. The classic wooden rollercoaster offers a lovely smooth ride and some good airtime.
For those who prefer things at a more leisurely pace, you can take a cruise around the world on the River Caves or ride a Cheshire cat through Alice’s Wonderland. Relax as you take a trip on the park’s steam train, the Pleasure Beach Express.
Wallace and Gromit
The world’s first Wallace & Gromit ride opened at Blackpool Pleasure Beach in 2013. The Thrill-O-Matic opened at Blackpool Pleasure Beach along with an exclusive Wallace and Gromit shop. Guests at the amusement park can ride this unique and amazing attraction, meet & greet the characters in person and purchase exclusive souvenirs to make their visit unforgettable.
The UK’s only Nickelodeon Land takes over 6 acres of Blackpool Pleasure Beach. This collaboration with Nickelodeon, the number-one entertainment brand for kids features 12 rides, a Nickelodeon shop, exciting games and a family restaurant. The rides on offer in this section of the park include 2 roller fantastic classic wooden coasters that are ideal for children, Blue Flyer and The Nickelodeon Streak. Children will love the opportunity to meet with famous Nickelodeon characters such as Spongebob Squarepants, Dora & Diego and The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Food and Drink
Whatever your tastes, there is something to suit every palette at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. One of the latest additions the Big Pizza Kitchen serves mouthwatering pizza, delicious pasta and fresh, crispy salad. Coasters is ideal for anyone wanting to grab something on the go. There are a large selection of places to eat including Burger King and Fish and Chip stalls. For anyone wanting something a little bit special then The Grill is ideal. The award-winning chef at The Grill serves classic favourites in stylish surroundings with views of the world-famous Blackpool promenade.
The Big Blue Hotel
The Big Blue Hotel stands prominently at the South end of the 42-acre amusement park. With so much to see and do, there is no need to try and cram everything into just one day. Positioned alongside the thrills of Britain’s top tourist attraction The Big Blue Hotel is cool, chic and a haven of calm and style. The hotel is setting a new standard for holiday and business accommodation. The unique hotel consists of 157 beautifully designed bedrooms sized to American-style specifications and sporting a totally contemporary feel. The rooms feature sumptuous fabrics and state-of-the-art lighting. The funky family rooms feature DVD players for the kids and big beds.
Located on Ocean Boulevard, Boulevard Hotel is the newest seafront property at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. Boasting 120 stylish rooms, with a mixture of suites and family rooms offering views of either the theme park or the Blackpool coastline.
Hot Ice show
The spectacular Hot Ice show is based at the Pleasure Beach Arena. Bringing together skaters from around the globe to create a stunning award-winning show. Hot Ice follows in the long-running tradition of spectacular shows in Blackpool. The Pleasure Beach Arena has been home to regular ice shows since 1937, making it home to the longest-running ice shows in the world! Hot Ice runs at The Arena every July through to September. The show is suitable for all members of the family, with elements that appeal to everyone!
Travelling to Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Blackpool Pleasure Beach is located on Blackpool’s historic seafront. There are a number of ways you can get to the attraction and there is also lots of accommodation available in Blackpool.
Travelling by Car
There are a number of carparks surrounding the Theme Park but these can prove to be expensive, as an alternative we recommend YourParkingSpace who offer very reasonably priced 24-hour secure parking at a Premier Inn only a short walk from Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
Travelling by Train
There are two railway stations in Blackpool. Blackpool Pleasure Beach own mainline station is closest, just a short walk from the attraction. See the Raileasy website for details.
Travelling by Coach
If you would like to travel by coach we recommend that you try National Express.
Staying in Blackpool
If you want an alternative to the Pleasure Beach’s own hotels then there are loads of places to stay in Blackpool, we recommend that you try Hotels.com or Travelodge which has a hotel right outside the entrance to the Theme Park. Blackpool’s Village Hotel is located in Stanley Park alongside Blackpool Zoo. The hotel offers a gym, Italian restaurant, pub, and spa on-site, as well as ample free parking. The hotel even features an 18-hole golf course, with a driving range and golf academy.
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History of Blackpool Pleasure Beach
When Alderman William George Bean (or W.G. for short) founded Pleasure Beach Blackpool in 1896, his goal with the amusement park was “to make adults feel like children again and to inspire gaiety of a primarily innocent character.” Over one hundred years later, Blackpool Pleasure Beach is the most visited amusement park in the UK. Bean’s commitment to quality entertainment has been sustained throughout the years by a succession of family members. Today, Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s managing director is W.G. Bean’s great-granddaughter, Amanda Thompson.
The Beginning of Blackpool Pleasure Beach
W.G. Bean opened two small amusement parks in 1896, one in Blackpool and another in Great Yarmouth. By the end of the century, Bean decided to focus full-time on the Blackpool park and teamed up with John Outhwaite to transform it into a Coney Island-style amusement park. Their first major attraction was a ride called Sir Hiram Maxim Flying Machines (1904), which remains popular to this day. It wasn’t until the following year, 1905, that the park was officially christened Blackpool Pleasure Beach. Following the death of Outhwaite in 1911, Bean continued to add new rides and attractions until the outbreak of WWI. These rides included a Water Chute ride, Scenic Railway, The Whip, Hall of Mirrors and The Joy Wheel. The development of the park was placed on hold during the war. The park's development resumed in 1921 when new rides could be imported from the USA.
The World’s first Ghost Train
Between WWI and WWII, Blackpool Pleasure Beach was taken over by Bean’s son-in-law, Leonard Thompson. With assistance from architect Joseph Emberton, Thompson redesigned many of the park’s older rides. New rides were also introduced including new ones such as The Rollercoaster, The Grand National and The Pleasure Beach Express. Built in 1935, The Grand National was Europe’s first twin-track racing coaster, and has been voted “one of the best wooden roller coasters in the world.” The Grand National features two trains racing along parallel tracks towards a finish line. The amusement park’s development was again brought to a halt during WWII. During this bleak time, the park remained open and served as an escape from the wartime atmosphere for evacuees and servicemen. Towards the end of the war, Blackpool Pleasure Beach added of the world’s first ghost train, a horror story-themed dark ride, designed by Emberton in 1930.
The UK’s most visited Amusement Park
By the 1960s, Blackpool Pleasure Beach was on track to becoming the UK’s most visited amusement park. This decade saw the addition of an Alice in Wonderland-themed dark ride with Cheshire Cat cars that wind through scenes from both Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. This ride like many others is still in operation today. In the 1960's the amusement park also added Britain’s first commercial monorail and many more new rides, including The Log Flume, The Monster and The Astro Swirl.
The World’s largest indoor dark ride
Leonard Thompson passed away in 1976 and his son Geoffrey took over the park. Geoffrey added some of the park’s most exciting rides to date. Highlights include 'The Steeplechase', a custom-built ride by Arrow Dynamics. Steeplechase is a three-track racing coaster with horse-shaped vehicles mounted by the riders. It is the only coaster of its type in the world today. In the year 2000, Blackpool Pleasure Beach opened 'Valhalla', the world’s largest indoor dark ride. Valhalla is a combination dark ride and water ride, it incorporates a wide range of special effects such as fire, water, thunder, and lightening. This ride is notorious for soaking guests, but this can be avoided somewhat by purchasing a poncho at the ride’s entrance.
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Geoffrey Thompsons daughter, Amanda, took over the park in 2004 when her father and Pleasure Beach Chairman, Mrs L.D. Thompson, both died within nine days of each other. Amanda has been responsible for updating the look of the park, while maintaining many of its historic elements. New sections have been added to the park, such as the food and entertainment district, Bean Streat FY4, in 2009. In recent times she closed the Beaver Creek area of the park and reopened it as Nickelodeon Land, a dedicated children’s section. Nickelodeon Land features new rides and attractions based on Nickelodeon characters, such as SpongeBob Squarepants, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Chase & Marshall from PAW Patrol. Nickelodeon Land also includes older rides like the Nickelodeon Streak and Blue Flyer, which first opened in 1934.
Today, Blackpool Pleasure Beach welcomes 6.2 million visitors a year, earning it the title of “Entertainment Adventure Capital of the World.”
Top 10 Rides at Blackpool Pleasure Beach
ICON is one of Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s newest rides and the UK’s first double-launch rollercoaster. The rollercoaster accelerates from 0-80km/h in 2.25 seconds. It reaches a height of 88ft at speeds of up to 85km/h. The ride closely interacts with the parks other rides and attractions 15 times during its high-speed journey. The double launch means that not only does the ride launch at high speed but midway through the ride experience a second boost of acceleration launches passengers into the highest point of the ride. Riders experience the same levels of G-Force as felt by the driver of a Formula 1 car. The launch of the ride features acceleration which is 4 times that experienced in a Lamborghini Gallardo.
When the Big One opened on 28th May 1994 it was both the tallest and steepest roller coaster in the world. Although it no longer holds these world records, the Big One still remains the tallest roller coaster in the United Kingdom. Stealth at Thorpe Park now holds the record for the fastest roller coaster in the United Kingdon. At the time of writing, The Big One is the second longest roller coaster in the United Kingdom, losing only to Lightwater Valley's Ultimate. The Big One's first drop has an incline angle of 65 degrees and the maximum speed for the ride is 74 miles per hour.
On selected dates park guests can 'Walk the Big One' climbing to the top of the 235-foot lift hill.
3 - Valhalla
Opened in 2000 Valhalla is a large indoor water ride at Pleasure Beach Blackpool in Lancashire, England. Valhalla cost £15 million and is one of the most expensive water rides ever built. Both a dark ride and a water ride, Valhalla uses special effects which incorporate fire, water, snow, thunder and lightning. Honoured at the Golden Ticket Awards in America where it was named the world’s best water ride. Valhalla held the record for being the longest indoor dark ride in the world. Beware you will get soaked on this ride..!!
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Designed and constructed by Charles Paige in 1935 The Grand National is a wooden racing roller coaster. It is themed and named after the famous Grand National horse race. As the trains climb the lift hill they pass under the 'They're Off' sign and race through 'Becher's Brook', 'Valentine's' and 'Canal Turn' before returning to the 'Winning Post'. The two tracks run in parallel with the roller coaster trains running alongside each other. It is a rickety ride, but also great fun.
Suitable for all thrill seekers, The Big Dipper is a world famous classic wooden rollercoaster and Blackpool Pleasure Beach icon. The ride has five awesome drops and a host of twisting and banked turns. The ride was first built in 1923 and was extended in 1936 adding arches over the south entrance of the park and additional drops. If you enjoy the classic rollercoaster experience the Big Dipper has it all.
6 - Red Arrows Skyforce
One of the latest additions at Blackpool Pleasure Beach is Red Arrows Skyforce. The 72 foot high, 12-seat white-knuckle ride takes you on a 360-degree tour of the skies. Step into your very own Red Arrows cockpit as you control the and plane, determining whether you want to spin, glide or take formation in your very own display.
Infusion is the world's first looping coaster suspended over water. Infusion was relocated from Pleasureland Southport when the park closed in 2005. The ride has featured in a number of television shows and advertisements, including the Specsavers advertisement when two elderly people rode the ride after mistaking the train for a park bench.
Built in 1933, Nickelodeon Streak is a wooden out-and-back roller coaster. Previously known as the Roller Coaster it was renamed to Nickelodeon Streak in 2010 after Nickelodeon Land was announced. It is currently the second tallest wooden coaster out of the five wooden coasters at Pleasure Beach Blackpool. Prior to 2006, the trains had no restraints, however, the newer trains currently used on the ride, taken from the Big Dipper have lap-bars. Nickelodeon Streak has been my personal favourite wooden roller coaster since a young age, giving a lovely smooth ride along with great air time over the hills.
Opened in 1988, Avalanche was the first ever Bobsled type roller coaster to be constructed in the UK. The ride is themed around an Alpine bobsled course, and the station was built to reflect this. The ride was officially opened by Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards and the British Bobsleigh Team. It is a unique ride as the roller coaster train uses supermarket trolley style wheels and does not run on a track.
10 - Ice Blast
Ice Blast is an S&S Worldwide drop tower ride. The ride reaches speeds of 80mph with riders experiencing G-Forces of +4.5G and -1G. Feel the ultimate rush on the ice cool Ice Blast. Let the suspense build as you sit waiting for the ride to catapult you up its steel tower with an almighty blast of air. Whilst catching your breath at the top take in the stunning views of Blackpool Pleasure Beach. During the descent, you may experience weightlessness for a brief second.