Alton Towers vs Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Discussion in 'European Parks and Attractions' started by Matt N, 14th Apr 2021.

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Alton Towers or Blackpool Pleasure Beach?

  1. Alton Towers

    64.7%
  2. Blackpool Pleasure Beach

    23.5%
  3. Undecided

    11.8%
  1. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Hi guys. When asking enthusiasts which theme park in the UK is their favourite, I’ve noticed that in the vast majority of cases, their answer is usually one of two parks; Alton Towers or Blackpool Pleasure Beach. I’d say that the enthusiast community here in the UK is actually quite evenly split in terms of people whose favourite UK park is Alton and people whose favourite UK park is Blackpool, so I’d be intrigued to know; which camp do you fall into? Are you Team Alton Towers or Team Blackpool Pleasure Beach? Or can you not pick between them? Or have you got a different park entirely as your favourite in the UK?


    Personally, I’m voting for Alton Towers. As much as I’ve loved my visits to Blackpool Pleasure Beach, I think the more “themed” experience that Alton Towers provides, as well as the more modern ride selection, personally appeals to me more than the product that’s on offer at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. It might help that I’ve also visited Alton Towers far more (I’ve been visiting Towers for years, whereas I’ve only done Pleasure Beach twice, with my first visit being in 2018), but I think the type of theme park that Alton Towers is personally appeals to me more than Blackpool Pleasure Beach.


    That’s not to say I don’t love Blackpool Pleasure Beach, because I do; I love how the place is an absolute amusement park museum, with rides ranging from practically brand new to over 100 years old! It has a wonderfully vintage charm to it, and has an absolutely fantastic atmosphere! And the pure quantity and density of rides is unrivalled within the UK, and makes the place absolutely astounding to stand in and look around! However, I ultimately think I prefer the more modern experience on offer at Alton Towers in terms of a more themed park, and while there are a number of rides at Alton Towers that I rate pretty highly, I wouldn’t say that any of Blackpool’s rides rank really highly for me besides Icon, personally; even though I can think of a fair few rides at Blackpool that I like, Icon is the only one that I really love. I’m afraid that does inhibit how highly I can rate it to a degree; on the whole, I’d probably say that Blackpool is a park I love in spite of how much I enjoy its ride selection as opposed to because of how much I enjoy its ride selection.


    But do you agree with me in ranking Alton Towers more highly? Or are you more of a Pleasure Beach fan?
     
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    Posted 14th Apr 2021
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  2. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    both, for entirely different reasons.

    Blackpool has a good selection of wooden coasters (although less so now the mouse has gone), its bigger/better than most seaside parks, but a bit lacking in some areas. Alton Towers has a good selection of other coasters and is probably the UKs best theme park (just ahead of Paulton).
    No need to choose between as they both offer something different.
     
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    Posted 14th Apr 2021
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  3. MaxPower

    MaxPower TowersStreet Member

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    The gardens and landscaping alone make Alton Towers more appealing IMO.

    I know Blackpool has a large collection of coasters but most are either dull or rubbish especially now they've done away with the mouse.

    It's great for the nostalgia factor though.
     
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    Posted 14th Apr 2021
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  4. D4n

    D4n TowersStreet Member

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    Alton Towers by some distance.

    Ride quality, operations, food options have always tended to be better.

    Opening hours and events now also appear to give a further advantage to Alton.

    In the past Blackpool at least had two stand out attractions - Wild Mouse and Valhalla - which evened it out a little. But they are both no more.
     
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    Posted 14th Apr 2021
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  5. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Valhalla is coming back in 2022; would that reopening tip the balance more in Blackpool’s favour for you?
     
    Posted 14th Apr 2021
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  6. D4n

    D4n TowersStreet Member

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    I think it will be a lot less good when it reopens, frankly.

    But, no, the gap between the parks is massive now (unlike a few years ago) so it won't do much to change my mind.

    I actually prefer Thorpe and Chessington to Pleasure Beach with the 2021 ride line-up.
     
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    Posted 14th Apr 2021
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  7. MaxPower

    MaxPower TowersStreet Member

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    [​IMG]
     
    Posted 14th Apr 2021
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  8. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

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    Now then young Matt, could I point out this is an Alton Towers fan site.
    Go to the forum index, try to quickly find the BPB topic, BPB is simply another European park.
    Your survey results may be just a little bit biased to one particular park.
    Me, I'm glad I do favourites about as often as I do rankings.
    I love them both, for different reasons.
    It is difficult to compare chalk and cheese.
     
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    Posted 14th Apr 2021
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  9. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    I know this site is an Alton Towers fan site, but there seem to be a fair few Pleasure Beach fans on here, so I wondered whether any of them favoured Pleasure Beach over Towers.

    Given that there isn’t currently an active Pleasure Beach fan forum on the internet at the moment, as far as I’m aware, I’d actually say that TowersStreet is probably one of the forums most abundant with Blackpool Pleasure Beach fans and Blackpool Pleasure Beach discussion at the moment!
     
    Posted 14th Apr 2021
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  10. Mr Pearse

    Mr Pearse TowersStreet Member

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    I’d always pick BPB over Alton Towers, for me it’s easier to get to and has a decent variation of rides to help fill the day out. I will admit towers has much nicer surroundings compared to Blackpool but apart from that Blackpool will always be my go to park. Cheaper to stay locally and quicker to get to via public transport etc.
     
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  11. Danscott22

    Danscott22 TowersStreet Member

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    I personally would go for Alton Towers - I don't get the excitement at BPB that I do at AT. My favourite ride at BPB also falls some way behind many of the rides at Alton in my personal ranking, so I have to judge it on that.
    EDIT - BPB is my second favourite though, I've only really been to 2 others aside from that in this country and that's Fantasy Island and Thorpe - I don't rate Thorpe at all so that's dead last.
     
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  12. shakey

    shakey TowersStreet Member

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    Oh @Matt N what a can of worms you have just opened. :)

    Well the answer is obvious isn't it.....

    Blackpool Pleasure Beach !!!!

    Although since you have asked this question on an Alton Towers forum then I suspect the majority will hold misguided opinions ;)

    I would agree that the removal of the Wild Mouse is a big loss to the pleasure beach and Icon hasn't quite made up for that in my opinion, but the overall variety of rides at PB is greater than that of Towers.

    Coaster wise I don't think there is much between the parks, some will prefer towers offering and some will prefer the better coasters at Blackpool ;)

    But I think the real difference is the non coaster offerings, which is where towers lags behind in my opinion. The fairground rides are a great idea and I hope they keep them but there is a lack of proper family attractions compared to what the pleasure beach have on offer.

    So for me Blackpool is still the best park in the UK, despite its short comings and the loss of the best coaster ever built :(
     
    Last edited: 14th Apr 2021
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  13. Plastic Person

    Plastic Person TowersStreet Member

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    I think they are both iconic parks with distinct elements of heritage that make them stand out internationally. They're also so wildly different - very urban/very country, family owned/corporate chain, large/small - that it's still as much of an apples and oranges situation as it was in the nineties.

    As a long time visitor and occasionally frustrated fan of both, I would say that Alton Towers is currently the best product. I wouldn't have said this a decade ago, but I feel like BPB, while admittedly faced with market forces beyond their control, have taken their autonomy and made some decisions that have not paid off or have at least altered the park into something far removed from what it was.

    Both could have a renaissance in the current climate, if they play their cards right. Nonetheless, BPB need to deal more wisely than Alton.

    Neither are as good as Europa Park, Phantasialand or Liseberg (the latter of which BPB would be wise to emulate... although Icon is no Helix)
     
    Last edited: 14th Apr 2021
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  14. venny

    venny TowersStreet Member

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    I think Towers had gotten so bad with their cuts and upkeep over the last few years that it has highlighted Blackpool’s relative upsides. That tide may now be turning slightly, although let’s see how this season goes.

    From a personal perspective, I always preferred Towers from early 2000s through to 2012-ish. As Towers continued to cut, my affections swung to Blackpool and remain there. The likes of ride selection (especially dark rides and supporting attractions), distance between rides, ride history, cleanliness, ease of accommodation, surrounding complimentary attractions and atmosphere all play into that preference.
     
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  15. Heidi

    Heidi TowersStreet Member

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    I agree with a vast majority of the thread- they're difficult to compare since they're so different. The pros of BPB to me always seemed to be the closeness of the rides to one another, the history and longevity of the rides (Ghost train being the first in the world), and the wristbands meaning you could leave and return to the park. I think it also has a broader range of rides than towers and a wider appeal. This might be controversial as well but I do feel like BPB is more genuine as a park- it's not trying to be something it's not. AT still tries to keep its magical, whimsical sort of marketing about it, but these days it's not quite hitting the mark. However, AT does deliver moreso on themeing and quality, and although the history of the rides doesn't stretch back as far as BPB for obvious reasons, the history of the land itself is of course much more expansive.

    They're great in their own ways, and I have a love for them almost equally, but since it's my home park I think AT will always win for me.
     
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  16. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

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    Just been reading some of the early posts in the original BPB topic.
    Around midsummer 2012...so rude, so amusing!
     
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  17. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Are those posts about Alton vs BPB, or are they more generally rude?
     
  18. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

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    Argumentative...yes it is, you are talking cobblers, no it isn't, you are the one talking cobblers, style of negative argument.
    No wonder some ended up anonymising their accounts!
    All there in the topics listing.
     
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  19. RoyJess

    RoyJess TowersStreet Member

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    Shouldn't the title of this thread read

    "Theme Park vrs Pleasure Beach" o_O
     
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  20. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    What do you mean, out of interest?
     

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