There are dozens of attractions at Blackpool Pleasure Beach - more than can be experienced in a typical peak-season day. Knowing where to start can be difficult for a first-time visitor.
The seaside park is home to a diverse array of rides aimed at just about every age group. Our reviews are designed to help you decide which ones to prioritise, but if you only have a limited period to explore the park then make sure to experience the attractions below.
Adults, teenagers and older kids:
Older guests look for adrenaline-pumping thrills are well-served by Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s line-up of major roller coasters and several other thrill rides:
- The Big One – bigger isn’t always better, but in the case of the UK’s tallest roller coaster, it most definitely is. The extreme height of The Big One is more than just a gimmick – the ride uses the speed created by the lengthy first drop to keep the thrills coming as its traverses its lengthy course, which races around much of the park.
- Valhalla – hands-down the best-themed water ride in the UK, Valhalla is probably the country’s best dark ride as well. You’ll get absolutely soaked from head-to-toe, but it’s worth to experience a stunning range of special effects, two impressive drops and even a backwards section.
- Grand National – the best of Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s classic wooden roller coasters, the Grand National offers riders the chance to race each other around two interlinked circuits. It’s a bumpy ride, but that’s just part of the experience.
- Avalanche – a unique bobsled-style roller coaster, Avalanche features some nice Alpine theming and the chance to race down a course that features no track. The closest many will come to being part of a real bobsled team.
- Infusion – it’s not quite up there with Nemesis, Kumali and Vampire among the UK’s best inverted coasters, but Infusion’s water-based theming and multi-inversion circuit still make an essential part of a Blackpool Pleasure Beach visit.
- Big Dipper – don’t be put off by the age of the Big Dipper, which still offers a thrilling ride. Some complain that the wooden coaster is too rough to enjoy, but we find that the padding seating keeps things enjoyable.
- Wild Mouse – you’ll have to decide for yourself whether you’re physically up to riding the Wild Mouse, a pioneering coaster that is among the most intense rides at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. If you do opt to brave it, it’ll be an unforgettable and terrifying experience that you probably won’t want to repeat…but it’s worth it.
Young children (aged 8 and under):
While Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s children’s rides are mainly clustered around Nickelodeon Land, there are a number of great junior attractions located elsewhere in the park, too:
- Alice Ride – with Walt Disney said to have been inspired by the River Caves attraction at Blackpool Pleasure Beach when creating Pirates of the Caribbean, it’s only fitting that the park should lift some of Walt’s own ideas for its best children’s dark ride. Bright colours and well-designed animatronics are the order of the day, with a side of old-fashioned cheese.
- Pleasure Beach Express – the park’s miniature train provides a pleasant journey around Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
- Blue Flyer – the decades-old junior wooden roller coaster (formerly known as Zipper Dipper) is still going strong in Nickelodeon Land, and will elicit screams of joy from younger riders.
- Dora’s World Voyage – the Disney-inspired boat ride installed in Nickelodeon Land isn’t quite on a par with It’s a Small World, but it’s still an enjoyable trip “around the world”. You’ll struggle to get the awful music out of your head, though.
- Grand Prix – budding drivers will enjoy getting behind the wheel of their own “car” on this attraction, which enables them to steer and control the vehicle’s speed as they traverse a multi-level course.
- Diego’s Rainforest Rescue – the balloon ride at the heart of Nickelodeon Land offers great views over the area, with the added excitement of being able to spin the balloons as fast as you can.
Families and groups:
Some of Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s rides offer a great shared experience for families and groups, although they are unsuitable for very young children:
- Steeplechase – it may be a little painful for male riders, but straddling a horse and racing each other around Steeplechase’s three parallel circuits is a shared experience that rivals the UK’s best family attractions. The re-ride value is sky-high, with “one more race” always on the cards.
- Flying Machines – from the ground, Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s oldest ride doesn’t look particularly thrilling. Swinging around its central tower in a rocket-themed gondola, though, is surprisingly exciting, without being scary enough to put off younger riders.
- Wallace & Gromit's Thrill-O-Matic - the park's new ride for 2013 replaced the former Gold Mine dark ride, and takes guests on a tour of scenes from classic animations including A Grand Day Out, The Wrong Trousers and A Close Shave.
- River Caves – the attraction that is said to have inspired Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean is still an excellent dark ride, more than a century after its opening day. The colonial-style depictions of far-flung lands will amuse parents, and there’s plenty of visual appeal for kids.
- Derby Racer – some kids may dismiss Derby Racer as “for babies”, given its merry-go-round-style appearance. Once they experience in action, though, they’ll change their minds. The sheer pace with which it revolves elevates this into the family thrill ride category, and it’s not-to-be-missed.
- SpongeBob’s Splash Bash – the first Mack Twist ‘n’ Splash ride to open in theUK doesn’t quite match circuit-based Splash Battle rides such as Alton Towers’ Battle Galleons. Still, if you want to get soaked, this is one of the most enjoyable ways to do so.
What are your favourites?
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