Friday, 7 October 2016

An autumn break in Blackpool // Day two - Blackpool Pleasure Beach and the Illuminations

On day two of our trip we were up bright and early and so after a long and lazy breakfast at our hotel, we were ready for another day of fun! 

As we all had a Blackpool resort pass each, we decided that we'd use them to spend the day in the Pleasure Beach. Guests at the Big Blue Hotel get lots of little extras that are really ace but my favourite (as well as those delicious Funshine biscuits!) is the VIP entrance to the Pleasure Beach. No faffing with car parking or queuing, you're pretty much straight out of the hotel and onto the rides. Perfect!

Now, the Pleasure Beach is well known for their huge variety of thrilling and classic rides but it's actually a super day out for a toddler too. The addition of Nickelodeon land ensures that all children irrespective of their height can ride at least a whopping 19 rides. Not forgetting interactive experiences around the park including character meets, photo opportunities and other entertainment too! 

The park was super quiet when we visited so we were able to get on every ride without queuing whatsoever. Kiddo loved Nickelodeon land and took both of us on all of the rides over and over again.Fairy World Taxi Spin is far more brutal than it's name suggests, especially when you let your child loose on that magic button! And Dora's World Voyage? I think my girl would happily ride that all day if we let her. The tune they play on there though is guaranteed to get stuck in your head for days

Kiddo even braved her very first rollercoaster, the Blue Flyer. I remember riding this frequently as a child and i'm glad to see it is just as good now! As with all of the classic rides, this coaster is impeccably well maintained. It's amazing to see such a mix of classic rides alongside their sleek and modern counterparts. 

Kiddo has never seen TMNT before but couldn't resist giving this dude a cuddle....

... And when we were all feeling a little bit green from her apparent new love for rides that go round and round, we headed over to the Nickelodeon shop for a spot of retail therapy. I love the targeted theming of all of the shops in the Pleasure Beach, it's not just the same items in each shop as you can so often find in other theme parks!  

Before lunch, we couldn't resist a trip on the Pleasure Beach express. Kiddo has a real love for trains and it's such a good way of getting a bit of down time whilst seeing the sights of the Pleasure Beach.... especially if you have a small child who needs a rest! 

After that it was time to take a ride on the Wallace & Gromit Thrill O Matic. Because who doesn't want a ride in an oversized slipper?! This is a proper family ride and we really love it. A perfect mix of special effects, well known characters and wonderful scenery make this ride a complete hit with us. Also, once you're done you exit into a Wallace & Gromit gift shop which is crammed full of amazing (& slightly weird) stuff including cheese flavoured rock. Yep, you read that right! 

After lunch, we headed over to the Alice ride which is probably one of my all time favourite rides. Again, it has changed very little over the years and it's still just as magical. That fluorescent decor, the sickly sweet floral scent that fills the ride (the scent remains unchanged, it's wonderful!) and that ultra violet lighting.... it's all a bit bonkers and perfectly fitting with the theme of the ride.

As kiddo wanted to ride it over and over, husband and I took it in turns to go off and ride the big rides. The Grand National is far more merciless than I remember but my goodness, it's blummin' amazing! 

Once the evening came, we headed out to find something to eat before joining the queue for an illuminated tram tour of the Blackpool illuminations which we had very kindly been given tickets for. These tours depart nightly throughout the illuminations period and run at regular intervals between stich on/off times. 

These historic trams are an completely wonderful sight to see, I am sure anyone would agree! There was a choice of the train or the boat and so obviously we chose the train. just look how cute it is.... 

These tours are an bargain at £6 per person and £3 per child (under 5's go free) and we soon found out that this is the absolute best way to see the lights. No getting stuck in traffic, no distractions and it's just such a gorgeous way to see the illuminations. 
We managed to bag the seats right at the back which was out in the open air, kiddo loved waving to everyone down the promenade and seeing the tableaux at the end of the illuminations in all their glory. 

The tour boards at the Pleasure Beach heritage tram stop only and is a limited stop tour so you won't be faffing about stopping all the way down the promenade. If I remember rightly, the whole thing lasted about an hour and once it's over, you are dropped off at the same place you boarded. Perfect!

Kiddo spotted two of her favourite characters along the way, Sooty and Sweep! As a side note, did you know that Sooty was 'discovered' in Blackpool way back in 1948 when Harry Corbett stumbled upon him in a joke shop on the North Pier? There's a sweet little exhibit with the oldest surviving Sooty on the North Pier today if you're ever around there! 

Booking for the illuminated tram tours is not required, you just turn up and board the tram when it arrives. It might be worth me mentioning though to arrive early though to avoid disappointment. When we left our tram tour, there was such a huge queue waiting to board the next one. I can see why these tours are popular though, it was definitely one of the highlights of our trip!

We were all feeling pretty tired after a busy day so following our tram tour, we decided to call it a night and so we headed back to the hotel to get cosy ready for another fun filled day! 

If you'd like to find out more about the many things to see and do in Blackpool then pop over to the Visit Blackpool website where you'll find everything from details about the illuminations to dining ideas and much, much more! 

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