Blackpool is a town of entertainment and comfort. It's known to be full of firsts: taller, faster roller-coasters, biggest clubs, even the biggest mirror ball in the world plus world-class shows, cosmopolitan restaurants, vibrant nightlife, an active sports scene and breathtakingly beautiful scenery on Blackpool's landscapes.
Blackpool is easily accessible from all parts of Great Britain. The town is also served by its own international airport and has a regular train service. So it's not a big deal to get to the place of incredible energy and vibrant life.
Among great number of sights the most popular one is world-wide known recreation centre "Blackpool Pleasure Beach".
Blackpool Pleasure Beach is Britain's top, free tourist amusement park that occupies nearly 42 acres and welcomes great number of visitors. It was founded in 1896 by Alderman William George Bean and celebrated its Centenary in 1996. Its founder had an intention to create "...an American Style Amusement Park, the fundamental principle of which is to make adults feel like children again and to inspire gaiety of a primarily innocent character." Friendly speaking, he managed to make a reality of his dream. Now this recreation park is visited nearly by 6 million visitors every year.
Entrance to the park is free and rides may be paid for in tokens bought throughout the park, or wristbands may be purchased. Wristbands cost ?29 per person at peak times, or up to ?15 on Super Saver Weekends.
There's something for everyone at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. There are over 145 rides and attractions, plus spectacular shows, including the world-renowned Hot Ice at the Arena (where you can get some ice skating lessons), the famous Mystique cabaret of magic and illusion at the Horseshoe, and the internationally acclaimed Eclipse at The Globe Theatre.
There's everything from thrilling white-knuckle rides - the Big Dipper, Grand National and the Avalanche - to more leisurely cruises around the RiverCaves and Alice's Wonderland.
Each autumn, Blackpool presents the Illuminations, an electric light show along the seaside. The displays vary from simple patterns to representations of fairy tales and illuminated models.
It is the home of the 12 million dollar Pepsi Max Big One. Being built in 1994 by Arrow Dynamics, a 235 feet high steel roller coaster with speeds reaching 85mph, the Big One is certainly head and shoulders above the rest. Until 2002, this was the tallest roller coaster in Europe.
Britain's biggest privately funded millennium investment, Valhalla at Pleasure Beach, Blackpool officially opened in June 2000. Costing 15 million dollars to build, Valhalla is the biggest most spectacular dark ride ever to be constructed by mankind.
1997 saw the opening of yet another UK first, Ice Blast. The 2 million dollar Ice Blast-The Ride, opened in June of that year by the then 94 year old Chairman of Pleasure Beach, Blackpool, Mrs L D Thompson MBE, and pop supergroup Boyzone. Riders are catapulted up a 210 foot tower at 80mph, and thrust back down again for an incredible free-fall descent.
The history of Ice Blast building is rather long and interesting. Since the mid-1990s, attitudes to tower rides have changed. It was Intamin who brought the idea of horrifying ride, the simple premise being to take riders to the top of the tower and let them free-fall back to the ground. The first proposed name was the "Giant Drop". By providing a thrilling and spectacular attraction which required very little ground space, Intamin had a real winner on its hands, and began selling models to parks all over the world.
With the great success Giant Drop had obtained, other ride manufacturers started work on their own versions of the ride. Among the first was S&S Sports of Utah. Giant Drop was modified a little. Instead of rather slow winching riders up, it was proposed to blast them up the tower. The firm called the ride the "Space Shot" and placed the first model in Las Vegas. Later, Huss, Zamperla and S&S themselves would design towers intended to deliver both the blast-off and free-fall sensations in the same ride to varying degrees of success.
Due to the strict British laws building of such rides was abolished. So at that time it was something like an unrealizable dream. Anyway some of the British recreation parks have found the way out, while Blackpool Pleasure Beach had the opposite problem. They could build rides as tall as they liked, but had virtually no ground space to play with.
Passing through all the difficulties with permissions from the Civil Aviation Authority and finding an appropriate place, the park announced that 1997 would see the opening of the UK's first Space Shot, and now claimed the ride to stand at 210ft, continuing the park's curious habit of measuring rides from sea level. Today's Ice Blast is situated at the territory previously occupied by the Monster, an aging Octopus style ride.
The "Ice Blast" name, which seems to fit the Viking idea, in fact is merely the name of a drink which is now advertised on the ride and sold around the park. The ride looks reasonably impressive, a grey-white lattice structure with a large red column inside housing the air cylinders used to blast the car upwards. The seats are comfortable enough, as are the overhead restraints, secured by a B&M style seat belt.
The staff usually clamps the restraints down, killing the prospects of airtime. While these preparations are made, riders will often hear a load blast of discharged air coming from the tower, which many will mistake for a special effect. Ice Blast continues the history of Blackpool's Towers, providing parks with their own landmarks.
This park is worth of visiting. It will leave you feeling refreshed, relaxed and recharged - even if you're on the go 25 hours a day!