Riding high for 120 years at resort’s big attraction

Streets within streets :- Blackpool Pleasure Beach in 1935 was as popular as it is today, some of the rides in this photograph remain today, but the view has altered considerably with the introduction of many modern rides including the magnificent Big One. Blackpool historical
Streets within streets :- Blackpool Pleasure Beach in 1935 was as popular as it is today, some of the rides in this photograph remain today, but the view has altered considerably with the introduction of many modern rides including the magnificent Big One. Blackpool historical

In the second part of our look at Pleasure Beach history, we focus on more recent times at the attraction.

It was all-change in 1990, when the exterior of the park’s grounds were re-designed and a brand new Edwardian-style shopping complex created along the Promenade – Ocean Boulevard.

The Pleasure Beach by air, pictured in 2010

The Pleasure Beach by air, pictured in 2010

One of the most famous of all Pleasure Beach rides, the Pepsi Max Big One, was built in 1994, at a cost of £12m. At the time it was constructed, it was the world’s tallest, fastest rollercoaster.

This was followed in 1995 by a £2m investment in a new cabaret and hospitality venue, The Paradise Room.

Ice Blast – The Ride – with its impressive 210ft size – opened in June 1997.

One of the biggest ever investments, the £15m Valhalla ride, was created in 2000. This six-minute high speed multi-sensory ride recreates the journey to the immortal resting place of a Viking warrior. The park was re-themed and refurbished in 2004, at a cost of £5m.

The giant slide or Jack and Jill Slide, at the Pleasure Beach, in 1955

The giant slide or Jack and Jill Slide, at the Pleasure Beach, in 1955

In 2004, Amanda Thompson became managing director following the death of her father Geoffrey, while her brother Nicholas became deputy managing director.

In 2007, the Pleasure Beach invested £8m in the world’s first rollercoaster suspended entirely over water, Infusion.

The following year saw the addition of an attractive new £500,000 12-hole adventure golf course – featuring a figure eight spectacular on hole number nine.

Nickelodeon arrived in 2011. The collaboration between Blackpool Pleasure Beach and TV entertainment brand Nickelodeon saw a six-acre area transformed into 12 rides, a shop, games, a new family restaurant and chances to meet famous Nickelodeon characters.

The Pleasure Beach Casino, taken in 1954

The Pleasure Beach Casino, taken in 1954

And in 2013, the park opened a brand new Wallace and Gromit themed ride, Thrill-O-Matic. Pleasure Beach worked with their creators, Aardman, on the four-minute, £5.25m ride which takes thrill-seekers on a tour of the dynamic duos adventures through some of their famous films.

Lost Archives - glass plate negative The giant Slide / Jack and Jill Slide at the Pleasure Beach, Blackpool in 1955

Lost Archives - glass plate negative The giant Slide / Jack and Jill Slide at the Pleasure Beach, Blackpool in 1955

The Pleasure Beach Casino, taken in 1954

The Pleasure Beach Casino, taken in 1954

The foundations for the Steeple Chase, at the Pleasure Beach

The foundations for the Steeple Chase, at the Pleasure Beach

Spongebob Squarepants rides the Big One, in 2010. Pic: David Levene

Spongebob Squarepants rides the Big One, in 2010. Pic: David Levene