I wanted to go to Blackpool.
I have vowed to be more interesting and do more things. I’ve become stuck in an incredibly lazy rut of never doing anything on weekends. This is fine every so often but not every single weekend going. First on my list of The Girl Does Interesting Things was Blackpool.
Or more specifically, a certain place within Blackpool.
I love a bit of theme park/funfair action. I think it comes from growing up in Hull and the appearance of Hull Fair every year. I love the rides baby. I will jump on any chance to go to Alton Towers (still haven’t been since the new ride 13 opened, I want to go right now please) and I seriously just cannot get enough of the thrills. And we all know what Blackpool Pleasure Beach has?
The ultimate, the mack-daddy of rollercoasters, The Big One. (Or to give it it’s corporate title The Pepsi Max Big One).
However. I am well-versed in the ways of theme parks and the thing to do is not to go on the biggest and bestest straight away. What would be the point? Everything would be dull in comparison. You must warm up. You must go on a mini rollercoaster first.
Luckily the Pleasure Beach has everything you could want in the way of rollercoasters and more. It has ridiculously old wooden ones, it has ones that don’t have tracks, it has ones that spin you round a loop, it has ones that I still do not understand how they got past health and safety. There is so much there. And more.
And here is where it smacks Alton Towers into oblivion (YES. I totally did a theme park based pun there.) To get your chance to go on one of these rides involves a wait time of at most about half an hour. Yes I’m serious. Hardly. Any. Queues. Maybe we went on a ridiculously slow Saturday in the middle of July, maybe it gets worse, but I still don’t think it would compare to the hell on earth that is Alton Towers every day of the week. I have never been to Alton Towers during the school holidays. I’ve never even been on a Saturday. And yet still I have become used to upwards of an hour queuing time for rides that last less than a minute. NO MORE! I have seen the light. The Pleasure Beach is the way forward.
Ok. It’s not quite as slick as your bigger theme park. And when I say “not quite as slick” I mean really not quite as slick. It’s all a little faded and a little outdated and in some parts, just plain random. I’m sure it all made sense when it first opened. Even the Pepsi Max Big One is looking a little grubby – although this could be because it’s 16 years old. How has it taken me this long to go on it?! – although in comparison to the Wild Mouse ride that was built in 1958 it’s somewhat gleaming.
The thing is if you took away the tatty bits or even spruced them up then it would lose all of its charm, the slightly tattiness of it is what makes it so brilliant. I genuinely don’t mean that as a criticism, I genuinely love this place, I just cannot get over how great it is (and don’t get me started on the fact that it costs a fraction of the price to get in to Alton Towers) and cannot believe I haven’t been before. I need to go back there. Really soon. There were so many of the rollercoasters we didn’t go on (mainly because we were supposed to be there early doors and didn’t get there until lunchtime while people dithered about whether or not it was going to rain.)
(on a front that must have been very recently renovated, it’s marvellous, well down Blackpool City Council or whoever it was that paid for it) and I admired the sparkliness of the sea.
I wanted to go to the Tower but it was really far away and rollercoastering takes it out of you. Next time though...
In short. Blackpool’s brilliant. Yes, fine, it’s not the most upmarket of places and yes, fine maybe it’s a bit of a hellhole on a night out (I counted approximately 12 billion stag and hen parties) but the Pleasure Beach? You have to go. You just have to. No excuses.
I think it’s clear that...
PPS And the Big One. Oh. My. God. Go on it. Now. Get your shoes on and just go.