Well, what a day! We’d set today aside as being our day for getting thrown round curves, spun through loops and generally rushed from start to finish on the rides at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, and we certainly got our money’s worth. The weather felt a little uncertain at first, but by the time we’d walked down from where we’d parked, behind the Sea Life Centre, the sun was making a valiant effort to break through. The queue to get in to the Park just had to be seen to be believed though. I tweeted while I was there that I had never had to stand before in a queue that entered a building, wound through it, back outside again before looping back into another entrance.
To be fair, it moved quickly, and the customer service all the way through was faultless, especially given how we’d arranged the wrong date on our pre-booked tickets. A supervisor was quickly and discretely grabbed and the correct date amended so we could get in without any fuss. This attention to customer service, mixed with bizarre planning and layout decisions really became something of a hallmark of the day.
Rides and rollercoasters are tightly packed in a limited space, running round through or over each other – it can be a bit of a sensory overload – but what the Pleasure Beach seems to manage to do is keep alive the brassy spirit of the traditional British funfair rather than attempting to become a Theme Park. The minute you bear that in mind, the whole site seems to click into focus and make glorious sense.
Of course there’s chaos, of course there’s noise – it’s being honest about wanting your impulse purchases and rapid transit through the rides – and that is part of the stripped down fun of the fair. You are expected to be capable of looking after yourself rather than needing to be spoon-fed the whole time. There are some who can’t stand Blackpool, but I have to admit I love the whole tarty, brassy, bold mess. And the rides are fantastic. After the Big Dipper, our favourite was Infusion:
Oh – and my daughter is feeling a lot better too. Which is the real icing on the cake.