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blackpool pleasure beach


History of Blackpool Pleasure Beach

BlackPool Pleasure Beach was founded by William George Bean in 1896, whenhe bought forty-two acres of land to develop what he described as being an 'American style amusement park' the fundamental principal of which will be to make adults feel like they as children again and to inspire giety of a primarily innocent character'. There was initially such attractions as the Sir Hiram Maxim Flying Machine, which is still popular in the 21st century. With the outbreak of WW1 development of the pleasure Beach was postponed until 1921 when it was possible for Bean to import new attrations from the United States of America.

During the 1930s Leonard Thompson succeeded his father-in-law William Bean as Managing Director of the company. During the 1930s and they early part of the 1940s, Blackpool Pleasure Beach seen the introduction of such rides as the Rollercoaster; The Please Beach Express and the World-famous twin track rollercoaster - The Grand National.

With the outbreak of WW2 development on the Pleasure Beach was again postponed; however Managing Director of the era Mr Leonard Thompson has been recorded as saying 'Enterainment is not only about commodity that isn't rationed'. During WW2 Blackpools pleasure Beach was open all year round, which allowed evacuees and service peronnal to escape the reailty of war.

Once WW2 ended Blackpool's Pleasure Beach continued to flourish, during the 1960s the Pleasure Beach saw a resyrgence of development projects and it was during this era that Britian had its firect ever commercial Monorail built at the Pleasure Beach, along with other new attractions such as The Astro Swirl, The Monster and the Log Flume.

Following the death of Mr Leonard Thompson in 1976 his son Mr Geoffrey Thompson became Managing Director of the company, whilst Mrs L D Thompson MBE JP, became the chairman of the company. Mrs Thompson was the daughter of William Bean. Under their leadership Blackpool Pleasure Beach continued to flourish and exciting new rides were added, which included the spectular 360 rollercoaster 'The Revoltuion' and 'The Avalanche', which is Britain's only bobsleigh ride.

During the 1990s Blackpool Pleasure Beach was consistently profitable and all the profits that were made were reinvested into obtaining new attractions and rides for the Pleasure Beach. During 1990 the exterior grounds of the Pleasure Beach were redesigned and the Ocean Boulevard - an Ewardian Style cosmopolitan shopping complex was created alongside the Promenade.

In 1994, there was an investment of £12 million to purchase the Pepsi Max Big One measuring 5497 foot long, and currently holds the record for being Europe's tallest rollercoaster, as it measures 235 foot above sea level.

In 1997 the Pleasure Beach allowed the BBC to do a 6-part documentary, which followed the day to day running of the park. However, it also focused on the ParkManagers, Jim Rowland and Keith Allen and the the rides. Not only were Rowland and Allen featured in the documentary but they also followed and spoke to the late Mr Geoffrey Thompson and his daughter Amanda Thompson (whom at the time was director and producer of the Ice Show).  Whilst the BBC were filming Park managers Allen  and Rowland encountered numerous problems that they had to face such as rides breaking down (the most famous being an accident involving the Avalanche; where a young boy sustained minor injuries after the ride malfunctioned in the breaks causing the young boy to have bruising to his ribs); a bomb scare on the busiest day of the year; the opening of the playstation ride - now known as the ice Blast; a couple geeting married on the Pepsi Max Big One and celebrations for the busiest day in the companies history, where it was estimated they made over £500,000 in one day.

In 2000 the park got it bigeest investment to date £15 miliion, when they opened the VALHALLA, the world's biggest dark rde. Two years later in 2002 they park got another £1 million white knuckle rife 'Spin Doctor' with riders that spin 360 degrees through the air to heights of 120 feet and at speeds that top over 60mphs.  The ride shut four years later to make way for the INFUSION. In addition to receiving their biggest investment to date, the company also announced in 2002 that they were investing in a super-luxurious 'boutique' hotel for the 2003 season.  The hotel, was twweaked and makred for huge investment, which was designed to give the park a more 'modernized' feel, 'The Big Blue Hotel'.  Today the hotel is currently one of the highest ranking hotels in the north West, the hotel is situated diagonally to the Pepsi Max Big One towrads the rear of the park.

In 2007 the park seen the arrival of the £2 million - white knuckle ride - BLING -that lifts riders 100 feet off the ground, then spind then through the air on a giant glittering gondolas in three different directions at speeds over 60mphs whilst the ride pulls 2.5gs.

INFUSION is the worlds first rollercoaster that is suspended over water and was opened in 2007, when the company invested £8million.  The Infusion attraction is described as being as 'exhilarating infusion of the elemnets to amaze and asotound the senses'.

In 2008 the company invested £1.5million into a 12-hole adventure golf course. 




All wristbands have a special printed barcod. The barcode is scanned by a computer that will then unlock the turnstiles to each of the rides platforms.  the design technique means that riders can not get access to rides unless having these barcodes scanned for that specific day, these are called 'Day Codes'.  Everyday new barcodes are printed on wristbands, which means that the previous days wristbands will now be invalid. A warning sticker is now printed on the wristbands, that informs guests that if they remove or peel the barcoded wristband it will then be invalid.  Umlimited wristbands allows access to the interior park and the children's themed aea of Beaver Creek.

From 2009 Blackpool Pleasure Beach will not longer be accessible to the public without them holiding a ticket first. Every vistor will be required to pay £5 at any entrance gate unless they have purchased an unlimited wristband.   This is being done so that they can meet finanical charges and their plans for the park.


Major Rides

Infusion - Be prepared for an exhilarating infusion of the elements whilst soaring the amazing heights and being taken through a whirlwind water experience that will amaze and astound your senses. This ride has fice incredible loops, a double line twist.

The is a height restriction in place for this ride ~ 52"/132cms.

If your have purchased an Inlimited and/or Junior wristband they will need to be scanned at this ride..


the Avalanche Ride

 Avalanche - Climb into your very oen bodsled car and hold on tight for all the twinsting tracks of this ride.  The train reachs a top speed of 50mph as it races down and around a 1160foot course.  As this is Britain's only bobsled rolleroaster it is a must ride for any adrenadline seeker who is visiting the pleasure beach

 Big Dipper - Life is full of ups and downs, well so is this ride. It consists of five large drops and dips, never before has a rollercoaster been more appropriately named.  This classic rollercoaster is sure to delight riders as it has with generations before.

There is height restrictions in place for this ride ~ 46"/117cms.

If youhave purchased an Unlimited and/or Junior wristband they will be scanned for this ride.

Bling - This is a really diamond! This towering ride overs you a whirling sensation as its victims are lifted 100 feet from the ground and then spunthrough the air on a giant glittering gondaloas in 3 different directions at speeds of 60 mph. Whilest thw ride constants of spins and flips you are guaranteed a 'white knuckle thrill'.

There is height restrictions in place for this ride; the minimum height is 77"/195cms; and the maximum height is 77"/195cms.

If you have purchased an unlimited and/or junior wristband they will be scanned for this ride.

Grand National - This classic ride has been thrilling visitors to the pleasure beach since 1935. Once your train leaves the art décor station, the battle is then on to compete with the contending coaster train on the parallel tracks. Whilst they can not guarantee what side will win, they can guarantee an ultimate thrill ride onboard europe's first ever twin track racing rollercoaster.

There is a height restriction in place for this ride - 46"/117cms.

If you have purchased an Unlmimited and or junior wristband they will be scanned at this ride.

Ice Blast - Why not feel the ultimate rush on this ride, whilst the suspense builds as you sit waiting fo the ide to catapult you up its steel tower at a top speed of 80mphs. When you reach the top, and try to catch your breath and take in the stunning view of the pleasure beach; however, a note be very quick as what goes up must always come down!!!!!!

There is a height restriction in place for this ride ~ 52"/132cms.

If you have purchased an unlimited and/or junior wristband they will be scanned at this ride.

Irn Bru Revolution - This ride has wicked acceleration, the train will launch from the station and you will speed straight up to a loop. When you think that it is all over you will be launched backwards to do the ride all over again.

There is height restrictions in placefor this ride ~ 50"/127cms.

If you have purchased an Unlimited and/or junior wristband they will be scanned at this ride

 Pepsi Max Big One - Is Europe's tallest rollercoaster, at its tallest point you will be 325 FEET above ground level.

There is a height restriction in place for this ride - 52"/132cms.

If you have purchased an unlimited and/or junior wristband they wil be scanned for this ride.

Steeplechase - On this ride you can swing your legs over onto your very own horse, whilst you get ready for your very own race, which does include jumps, twists and turns. This ride has 3 lanes but unfortunately there can be only one winner!!!!

There is a height restriction in place for this ride ~ 50"/127cms

If you have purchased an unlimited and/or junior wristband they will be accepted at this ride

Valhalla - This ride wil take you on a watery journey through FIRE, ICE, SNOW and WIND. The effects on this ride are breattaking, whilst the drops you encounter are thrilling. This is a MUST RIDE when you visit the Please beach. This ride is the World's biggest dark indoor ride.

There are height restrictions in place for this ride ~ 46"/117cms.

If you have purchased an unlimited and/or junior wristband they will be accepted here.

 Wild Mouse - this ride is not for the faint-hearted.  This hair-raising rolercoaster will take you on a wild trip down and up steeps before you are whizzed around what will seem like an endlessarray of bends.

There are height restrictions in place on this ride - 52"/132cms.

If you have purchased and unlimited and/or junior wristband they will be accepted at this ride.


Fun For All The Family Regardless of Age

 Although this hub has highlighted the major attractions, Blackpool Please Beach offers fun for all ages; such as an Adventure Golf Course; The Alice Ride; Beaver Creek; Convoy Ride; Chinese Puzzle Maze; Derby Racer Helicopters; Gallopers; Go Karts; Mini Scooters; Carousels and even a Ghost Train according to some that have rode this attraction there is a real life ghost called Cloggy so watch out for him tooo!!!!

There is numerous places for you and a family to eat here such as Pizza Hut; Italian; fish and even a restaurant.

The Pleasure Beach also offers you the chance to see shows too.

There is so much to do at the Pleasure Beach that one day does not allow you to do all the rides,


Alexandr on April 28, 2013:

BekaS1974 on April 17, 2013:

BB Blackpool on October 12, 2009:

Great Article and plenty of video's.

Impressive research there is not that much history of the PB avail;able on the web.

pleasure beach fan on June 16, 2009:

loved the pleasure beach will be going back this year in the summer

keisha on May 23, 2009:

i like going to blackpool pleasure beach

pjdscott from Durham, UK on February 06, 2009:

It's a good while since we visited Blackpool, but had a great time! Your highly informative and descriptive hub relives the memories...

Some day we'll return for old time's sake..

William F Torpey from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on February 04, 2009:

I loved the amusement parks when I was a kid, and the videos are almost as good as the actual ride. Most often I enjoyed the rides -- and, especially, the Fun House -- at "Playland" in Rye, New York (We had an exciting bus ride from Yonkers to get there...singing all the way out and back.) There were lots of amusement parks around, including Pleasure Beach Amusement Park in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Nice hub, scotslass.