Blackpool Pleasure Beach: General Discussion

Discussion in 'European Parks and Attractions' started by John, 13th Jun 2012.

  1. DiogoJ42

    DiogoJ42 TowersStreet Member

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    The first time I went to BPB, we flew there and back (it was the cheapest way to get from London to Blackpool). This was just after they started insisting on X-raying everyone's shoes before you even got to the main security check. A very hastily added extra that caused no end of tailbacks even in a tiny airport like Blackpool.
    Returning home that evening, I slapped a sodden, ruined pair of trainers down on the tray for the scanner with a "SPLOT", sending water splashing everywhere. The Stazi agent looked at me, and asked in a matter-of-fact voice,
    "... Valhalla?"
     
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  2. Mikw

    Mikw TowersStreet Member

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    Re Valhalla, the two times i've done it i got totally soaked through, but a few rides on Icon dried me out within 30 minutes.
     
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  3. DiogoJ42

    DiogoJ42 TowersStreet Member

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    Just don't think you'll dry off on Flying Machines. You on make that mistake once. ;)
     
  4. shakey

    shakey TowersStreet Member

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    Visit on Saturday 15th of June - My thoughts.

    WARNING - this is yet another doom and gloom post so look away now if you would rather not see it !!

    Weather was good, no wind, no rain and the sun came out in the afternoon making it a fairly pleasant day.

    So where was everybody !!!

    I can honestly say that it was the quietest I have ever seen the park on a dry Saturday and to give you an idea of just how quiet it was here are some examples.....

    11:30am -- Queue for big one was inside the station (on 2 trains) - and I didn't see it come out of the station at any time during the day.
    12:00pm -- Queue for Icon was inside the station (on 2 trains) - It reached about a 10 minute queue in the afternoon.
    1pm -- Queue only just passed the scanner on Nash (and only one set of trains)
    2:30pm -- Not a single person waiting to go on Wallace and Gromit
    3:45pm - Less than a 10 minute wait for steeplechase (on 2 lanes)
    4pm - Sky force - Walk on
    5pm -- Nobody waiting for Alice ride, just a line of cars ready to be boarded.
    5pm -- Ghost train almost walk on
    5pm -- 6 people going round on the flying machines

    Valhalla - Never saw any queue at any time.
    Avalanche - Didn't see the queue come out of the station (2 trains)
    River Caves - didn't see any queue whenever I walked passed.

    The only 2 rides with any reasonable queue were Infusion and Big Dipper - and that was because they were both being run on one train - which was poor in itself. If they had been on 2 then I suspect that neither would have had more than a 10 minute wait.

    You could possibly point to bad weather for several days previously and the fact that pleasure beach were offering discounts for Fathers day on the Sunday, but even taking that into account it was a really poor day for the pleasure beach, especially as the forecast for the Saturday wasn't a bad one.

    I got talking to a member of staff who in is own words said "This place is on it's arse and if things don't pick up I don't know what will happen"

    On the plus side we had a great day and I lost count of how many rides I went on !!
     
    Last edited: 16th Jun 2019
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  5. Dipper_Dave

    Dipper_Dave TowersStreet Member

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    @shakey don’t complain, just be happy that you got to do loads of rides and enjoy a quiet day on the park. The weather had been atrocious all week so I bet people were expecting the same on Sat and didn’t even bother trying
     
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  6. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

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    Funny, been chatting with Bernard on the FY4 bar by the fountains last week about the current low number of visitors.
    Newer members of staff have been panicking about such low numbers...
    It is the same every year at this time, they always used to do June Savers offers, because it is always low attendance, but now they just ride out a quiet month.
    Exams finish today for many... (Good luck Matt!), students finish over the next week or so, school trips start soon.

    Looks like you timed your works outing spot on shakey.
     
  7. PeteA

    PeteA TowersStreet Member

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    I was at the park yesterday (Sunday) and again in all my years of visiting I have never seen it so empty on a weekend. Yes, during the pay per ride days during the week, there were times when you had to wait for enough people to send the coasters, but never on a weekend

    Yesterday was summed up for me when at 3pm (ish), I went to go on the Ghost Train and there was no one in the queue.

    Big One was on 1 train with a 1 train wait, Rev walk on all day, even Nick Streak was walk on in the afternoon.

    The park had numerous offers for Fathers Day, ie free entry and dads eat free, the weather was lovely and the forecast was accurate. There was only a 15minute heavy shower.

    I have seen low numbers in the park before, but never like this.
     
  8. Coaster

    Coaster TowersStreet Member

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    Pleasure Beach don't look after their guests, that's the problem. Did they really think their way of operating (hefty price rises, closing early, annoying 99% of guests with poorly operated SP etc) was going to work long term?

    There's only so long you can keep blaming external factors for lack of visitors, things need to change at PB and fast IMO.

    It may be quieter historically at this time of year (as has been said above) but they've just opened a 16 million pound roller coaster. The park should not be this quiet!

    Visiting Kennywood recently really highlighted how tragic what has happened to BPB in the last 10 years is, I'll do a writeup when I have the time but not in here.
     
    Last edited: 17th Jun 2019
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  9. Poopoohead

    Poopoohead TowersStreet Member

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    I was just wondering what you have said above, I wonder if the poor customer service, closing early, Mis-information etc is finally coming back to haunt them
     
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  10. Plastic Person

    Plastic Person TowersStreet Member

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    I think the poor marketing and seemingly lukewarm public response to Icon are probably more at fault. I feel like the coaster is a quality product, and I can understand why they settled on it, but it's just failed to capture anybody's imagination in the same way that PMBO, Valhalla or even Ice Blast did upon opening.
     
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  11. PeteA

    PeteA TowersStreet Member

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    You have raised a couple of interesting points here. Have they annoyed people too much? I arrived at the Pleasure Beach on Sunday at 9:30ish and after getting my wristband, went and sat near the Crazy Golf next to their car park. The majority of people who drove up to the gates didnt go in. £18 is way too much and this first experience of the park can be off putting.

    Secondly, lets face it, the park was dead on Sunday, but they were still selling Speedy Pass. People had bought it and were still using it even though rides were walk on. Why were Pleasure Beach selling it all as those customers which had purchased it will have negative thoughts about the ethics of the park. I remember visiting Islands of Adventure and tried to buy their fast pass package only to be told by this helpful lady that she wouldn't sell it me as I wouldn't need it.

    With regards to opening times, when I got my wristband, I was advised the park was closing at 6pm. The entrance to the park said 6 as well first thing. Park close was 5pm. Was that miscommunication or did they close earlier because the park was quiet? Either way as a customer, I was advised one time, it closed another.

    I also overheard a few people talking about their stay at the Big Blue and were saying that they thought the parking charge was ridiculous and felt like a kick in the teeth after paying a premium to stay there.

    With regards to Icon, its a great family coaster and by far was the busiest ride all day with people running round an re-riding. However, I live in the Midlands and have not seen a single advert for the park. So do people know about it?

    To cut a long post short, its interesting times at the park and maybe not for the most positive reasons.
     
  12. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

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    The Beach has always been quiet in June.
    It slowly picks up as the students finish over the month.
    Blackpool historically has always been packed with elderly groups and care home residents, together with social and charity groups for those with learning disabilities, through the month of June up to the main school holidays.
    Has done since the end of the last war.
    I know because I have arranged some of the holidays.
    Many of the B&B's and small hotels give big discounts to the same groups year after year...up to 50% off their peak prices.
    The old biddies (apart from me) don't do the beach any more, not since they started to charge entry, so the park is now even more dead in June.
    Best month to visit.
    Followed by September.
     
  13. Alastair

    Alastair TS Forum Team Team Member

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    Genuinely think it would have been better received if only it hadn't been painted in that bland grey. People remember vivid colours are more clearly - look how well Infusion did despite being a horrible second-hand SLC.
     
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  14. PeteA

    PeteA TowersStreet Member

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    Well according to my Geekabase I have visited the Pleasure Beach in June every year apart from last year. On that geekabase I record times I waited (on average) for the rides and how busy the park was. Every trip apart from this year had a busy indicator of Average to Busy for weekends for my trip visits in June. Big One for example, was an average 15-60mins in previous years. Yesterday and with Shakeys report, Saturday, they were both dead.

    So with my limited experience June has always been busier than what I experienced yesterday.
     
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  15. Dipper_Dave

    Dipper_Dave TowersStreet Member

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    I vouch for what Pete has witnessed about people driving up to the main North car park, seeing the price and turning around to park elsewhere.

    Surely they would rather have a lot of cars in there that have paid around £10, than a small number who have paid £18 and many turning away in disgust?

    June is generally a bit busier than this going by my last 3 seasons. I do seem to recall more students, school trips, etc generally in June. Just enjoy it whilst you can folks
     
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  16. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

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    I stand corrected by your superior geekabase PeteA.
    Mine can only be accessed by an old gits memory.
    Maybe the place is going down the pan financially.
    Been a long time coming, the resort as a whole is meant to be getting more popular.
     
  17. venny

    venny TowersStreet Member

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    Earlier in in the year felt busier than 2018, however it’s really quietened as we’ve got further into the season. I think the last few week’s poor attendance could be explained by the dire weather in the North West. I’m not convinced that is the only reason, however the other explanations like poor service generally don’t really bare out when you compare to say AT, who I would argue on balance offer no better experience.

    I do hope things pick up, as I suspect if they did, the stupid things like earlier closing times would be curtailed. Maybe it is as simple as lowering on the day prices, but I’m dubious.
     
  18. Mikw

    Mikw TowersStreet Member

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    It might even be deeper than the park itself. Austerity has been with us for a decade now, then coupled with Brexit anxiety, petrol prices going up. e.t.c

    To go away for a weekend just to ride rollercoasters is not something many people want to do when they're watching their pennies.

    I guess Alton Towers is shielded a bit from that with the Season pass being so cheap.
     
  19. MiserableMonkey

    MiserableMonkey TowersStreet Member

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    The UK industry as a whole isn’t booming, but the Pleasure Beach should still be riding off the back of Icon and they simply aren’t. Something has gone quite wrong.
     
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  20. shakey

    shakey TowersStreet Member

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    Would the increase to a £10 walk round charge have had an effect perhaps ? It could well put off non riders that would have taken children into the park. On a side note, I think the new £10 charge is the last nail in the coffin for the ride ticket system.

    You also have the problem that if the weather turns out to be better than forecast then nobody is just going to just turn up and pay the gate price.

    Or maybe the parks problems are just down to the curse of the wild mouse !!
     
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