Discussion in 'European Parks and Attractions' started by John, 13th Jun 2012.
Yes, was that the first year or the second? Second being the one it rained all day/night?
Now you are testing the memory. We went on several years but got the same impression. Don’t get me wrong, I would love love love late openings.
Our impression every time they’ve tried it has been of low demand. Again, I emphasise there are clearly crowds that flow through different areas of the park, but every time we visited during these ‘experiments’ our impression had been of disappointingly low crowds.
I don’t know what the actual numbers were, but they reverted to shorter opening times after this.
Every trip I've had to the pleasure beach in recent years when the park has been open to 7 or 8 it has been busy. When I say this it's been busy from 12-5. After 5 people are filtering out, and by 6 (two hours before closing) queues have gone from 45 minutes to 10 minutes. By 7, essentially everything was walk on.
In my opinion pleasure beach is better and the atmosphere feels nicer/safer by a mile now on busy days. This is because the fact you have to pay to get in. Troublemakers can't just walk in and cause trouble due to this.
I'd love for pay per ride if it was beneficial but there's no viable way for it to be as popular as it was. Everyone I know (general public) tends to be going to Blackpool for pleasure beach. They book online. They won't consider going to places like Southport or Winter Wonderland because the prices quickly add up, and value for money isn't too good. By tokens one ride on the big one is £10(?)even if it's halved that's £5 5 rides on any rides over £4 and the value for money has gone. The minimum rides I've done at Pleasure beach in one day over 8 visits in the last two years is 13. You can pick up wristbands for around £18-24. Pleasure Beach pass for entry is £6.
To buy a pleasure beach pass and one ride on the big one or Vallhalla is £16. To buy a Pleasure Beach Pass and a ride on Icon is £21. Any ride that is worth doing (not a kids ride such as alpine rallye or Dora's etc.) is worth £4. This is rides such as Derby racer Ghost Train, and River Caves. £18 for a ride on Ghost Train, River Caves and Derby racer is stupid when you can get a wristband for that price. Even if ride tickets were cut down by half on every ride it'd still be pointless.
Pleasure Beach is a standalone tourist destination rather than a tourist attraction in a tourist destination made up of multiple attractions. People go to pleasure beach and might go to Blackpool for food/drinks after, not the opposite way round. That's the general perception I get.
The town itself isn't as popular as it used to be, and the only way late night riding would happen is if it was pay per ride for decent value. That won't happen because of the entry charge. People coming to Pleasure beach after a few pints at 9 or 10 doesn't fit in with the parks image and in my opinion the park is heading in the right direction to be enjoyable.
The one thing I would say could possibly work in terms of PPR is to make the pleasure beach pass into a deposit, so on the way out you can return the pass to get your money back. They would have to keep the design of the pleasure beach pass different to the one with the wristband (saying orange for just pleasure beach pass, and blue for wristband holders) to stop people with wristbands getting a free £6 off their trip.
Next time I visit my parents (which will be a few weeks away) I will attempt to get my old laptop going and repost some of the pictures from the day/night. Like I said they only actually did these midnight closes twice, ando the second time was a complete wash out due to the weather.
But that is the problem, the people who have done the daytime and had enough aren't being replaced by fresh custom, why?
Because no one is going to arrive at 6pm and see a 8pm close and consider it value for money. The final few hours are always going to see admission's decline, it doesn't matter what time you close. What should happen though is traffic on the sea front should be noted. If it's dead in Blackpool fine, close. But during the summer/illumination's weekends if it's busier then a later closing time would be more appealing to those arriving at 6pm (and people do arrive at that time)
Thorpe Park is evidence that entry fees don't stop trouble.
You are way of the mark their. Sure some people visit Blackpool for BPB, but the vast majority visit don't.
As I said elsewhere, we werecollecting out wristband's last week while a woman was enquiring about rides for her lad. All he wanted to do was one go on the Big One, and they were happy to pay the (extortionate) tenner to get him in, and ride it. They weren't however going to pay a further £18 to get both parents and what I assume was a grandparent in as well. Consequently BPB lost out on that business.
The point I am making is that as enthusiasts we love wristbands, unlimited rides and the thought of never having to leave the park. The GP is made up of a much wider spectrum, some want all day rides, others want one go on the Big One, some want to relive the Dipper, other's just want a family day out that includes an hour on the park.
BPB do a great Jon of looking after one such category but completely cut almost everyone else out. Now inland parks don't get that, no one turns up at Alton wanting to do Nemesis and leave, so it's never going to be a problem for them. BPB are loosing customers over this though.
I agree with to an extent, but the only way that it'd work is to suit the best of both worlds. The majority of people I speak to are GP that go to Blackpool for the weekend, mainly for the pleasure beach, or to go for a night out. If they're going for a night out they either stay in a hotel and spend the whole of the next day at pleasure beach, or the day before the night out at pleasure beach. As I say though, as a town blackpool isn't as busy as it used to be so this is also important to consider. There's not many permanent parks that operate on purely tokens doing too good. If they want to put tokens back in they need to do it so people can also still pay through wristbands somehow. I can't remember if Fantasy Island offered a PPR system but that has only just recovered since Mellors have come around.
It could pay off for them, but it isn't the direction the park want to go in, and they may not see it being worth the risk. If they lowered prices of ride tickets/tokens it might work but personally I don't go to pay per ride parks anymore as the value for money isn't there, and excluding winter wonderland a lot of the General public seem to have a similar mindset.
PS: all my GP friends that have ridden Icon think it's the best ride ever. "it's long and it goes fast twice and it goes upside down its worth queuing but that doesn't even matter cos there's no queue".
I can bring myself to agree with the fact that early closing may be putting off some customers, but I think it is unreasonable to argue that the £6 entrance fee has not reduced trouble in the park. It absolutely has reduced trouble, park atmosphere is so much less intimidating and more family friendly now than it was beforehand. Blackpool is not a nice place, especially at night, and if they were to reintroduce free entry I am sure we would see a spike in incidents.
I will say that I nearly visited Blackpool on 1 occasion (in the area). My dad only wanted to ride big one, which would have costed £32 to ride for both of us. We decided not to enter as £16 each for 1 ride was a rip off. (I have just looked on the website and just going to visit icon would cost £21 for just 1 ride).The question is whether or not we are the only people to think that. If so, Blackpool needs to reduce prices for doing 1 ride.
I just had an idea; do you guys reckon that Blackpool would get less custom if they reverted to a full on pay-one-price model, more like what the Merlin parks have in place? I was only thinking that Blackpool could be more successful if they marketed themselves more as a stand-alone theme park than as a small part of something bigger (Blackpool). Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Liseberg, Gröna Lund and Tivoli Gardens are examples of city centre theme parks that operate successfully with a pay-one-price model as opposed to pay per ride, so I don't see why Blackpool couldn't be successful if they did something similar. Amanda definitely looks as though she is taking some inspiration from these types of parks and applying it to Blackpool; certain elements of Blackpool Pleasure Beach, such as Icon, the fountains, the ice shows and the general classy vibe definitely remind me a lot of those parks, even though I've never visited any of them!
Also, I agree with @MakoMania that the entry fee has probably made park atmosphere better; I never went until 2018, but my mum went in the late 1990s when it was still free entry/pay per ride and hated it, so much so that she was dreading going back and was actually very pleasantly surprised by Blackpool Pleasure Beach this past summer! My whole family really enjoyed BPB in August, with everyone saying that the park was much better than they were expecting!
Liseberg and Tivoli have both, same as Blackpool. Can't speak for Grona Lund but I'd assume likewise.
Sure you’re talking about Blackpool Pleasure Beach?
Ah right, never knew that. Thanks for the clarification @D4n; so Blackpool's current model could still be successful for them! For reference, Liseberg and Tivoli Gardens both got some of Europe's highest visitor figures in 2017 with a ride count similar to (or possibly even lower than) Blackpool Pleasure Beach! So how come BPB does not get these sorts of figures with the same model?
Liseberg charge the equivalent of around £4 for a go on Helix.
Icon is £15.
BPB are simply too greedy when it comes to ride tickets.
Liseberg opens until 11pm most Fridays and Saturdays, and was absolutely heaving on our visit this year with crowds flooding in until well past 10pm. Their business model is basically a refined version of PB's, which works so well whilst Pleasure Beach's continues to fail.
Helix is 4 ride tickets, which cost 22SEK (approx £2) each. I did see a few people paying with tickets, but not many.
Fifteen pound? Nobody is going to pop in and try Icon at £15! I didn't realise it was that expensive, that's a complete non starter.
And yes, Icon is probably three times better than Turbo at Brighton Pier (£5), or better than all the coasters at Botton's put together (£12) but still. I just can't see a member of the public paying double digits for a roller coaster, unless it's a standalone attraction.
Remember £15 for icon doesn't include the £6 to enter the park, so for 1 ride on icon, it is actually £21
My wristband (albeit with student discount) this year was £21
Wristbands are always the better value option, especially if you book in advance.
If you just want tot ride Icon it's still £15 as they have the "big 1" ticket at that price
Like I said before, I literally had 30 minutes to go into the park so a wristband would be useless. Blackpool lost 2 customers for charging £16 for just 1 ride on the big one. If it was £6 each, I would have paid.
Open at lunch into early evening.
Close on really quiet days, like they used to.
Give six ride tickets with every entry pass, or a voucher for a drink and cake.
Reduce ride ticket prices by half.
Make Ash north park manager on late shift.
Jamie south park on earlies.
Half price beer for the over fifties.
Sorted for 2019 then.
Separate names with a comma.