Amusement parks, theme parks, ride photography

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Behind the scenes – Air at Alton Towers

Thanks to Club Pleasure beach I had the opportunity to spend the day doing a behind the scenes tour of Alton Towers back in July. The tour consisted of trips around workshops/rides and out of bounds areas and was a real an eye opener. In our group of 16-17 enthusiasts I dont think anyone was disappointed.

Air was built for the 2002 season at a cost of 12 million pounds and was opened on 16th March. Air is a coaster designed by John Wardley and constructed by Bollinger and Mabillard (B&M)

End of an era for Rhyl’s Ocean Beach Fun Fair

Well after been threatened with closure for a number years its finally happened Ocean Beach fun fair closed it gates for the last time yesterday (Sunday 2nd September 2007).

I wasnt suprised to see the park busy for its final day as press the mayor and a lot of local residents came to give the park a good send of.

Ive visited Rhyl since I was a little child perhaps 30 years or more and have fond memories of visiting the park with my family over the summer holidays.

Knightmare media day, June 27

Knightmare, one of the most anticipated coasters between enthusiasts finally opened this month with an offical media day launch on Friday 27th July. One of my Club pleasure beach friends Chris Hughes took the day off work and spent a few hours taking photographs at Camelot.

Thanks for Chris for the use of his photographs in this article.

New Pleasureland opens in Southport.

Well its finally reopended. New Pleasureland a venture led by Norman Wallis from Dreamstorm opened last weekend. The 25 acre site was given back to the council in the last couple of months and Dreamstorm have managed to get a lease on this for 18months until the end of the 2008 season.

Here’s a look at whats on offer, thanks to Dave (wigandave) from the Blackpool Pleasure Beach Guide forum for the use of his photographs. Id like to add these photographs were taken when the park was closed and with permission from the park management.

St Helens Festival 2007

I spent a few hours at Sherdley Park today for the 2007 St Helens festival. The fair was a similar size to usual and was represented by some fairly decent rides. The weather has been awful this week and getting around the showground was a bit heavy under foot. The area around the fairground full of puddles and deep trenches where the trucks have been. The festival is open the rest of today and tomorrow Sunday 8th July 2007. Here’s a handful of pictures I took.

Blackpools Noahs Ark in 2007

For the past few years all we have been hearing is bad news about Noahs Ark, will it get pulled down to create way for the parks new entrance or not ??. Will it be moved, well you only have to ask the Kennywood management what happens when you try to lift an ark, the result left them having to rebuild most of theirs.

It seems the question is still on the board room table as for the past couple of years the management at the park have invested some time and money on the ark, if only cosmetically. The result is a clean, attractive and very enjoyable attraction, Im sure you will agree for 85yrs old its not looking to bad.

Alton’s Haunted Hollow – Full walk through

One of Alton Towers latest attractions as well as the Dung Heap kids area is Haunted Hollow, an in house project costing the park 250k. The Interactive walk through is using an existing short cut from Gloomy wood (opposite Duel) to Merrie England (near the boats). When I last visited the park during adrenalin week the attraction wasnt completed. During normal park operations this attraction isnt scary and even my youngest 5yr old found it quite fun. It should be fantastic if they use this area for the parks Halloween event later in the year from October 13th – November 4th. When the attraction first opened some of the gravestones were attacked by mindless vandels, Its nice to see Alton Towers has fixed these up again.

A Closer Look at Infusion

During a recent Club Pleasure Beach event on Monday 14th May we were given the oppurtunity to take a look around Blackpools latest attraction the Vekoma SLC coaster called Infusion.

Infusion opened to the public on the 2nd May 2007 and every visit ive had to the park since has certainly brought the visitors in.

We got the chance to look at pretty much every detail of the ride from the 2nd train and underneath the platform its housed in too the loading bay and ride control panel, here are just a few of the pictures taken during this visit.

Southport Pleasureland. The Fun house – Its final laughs.

Ever since Southport Pleasureland closed back on Septmber 5th 2006 the fun house has stayed open honouring parties and bookings that were made when the park was in operation.

Unfortunately this all came to an end on the 31st March 2007 when the fun house held its final party.

As a member of Club Pleasure Beach I was invited to the final ever party in the fun house, it was an invite I couldnt afford to turn down having visited the park and fun house for as long as I can remember.

Camelots knightmare coaster construction photos

I decided to take the family up to Camelot today, the forecast was good and the latest coaster knightmare is on target to open in late spring. Knightmare formerly known as BRMX was relocated from Kobe Portopialand and will shortly be open at the far side of Camelot next to excalibur 2 and the rack. Heres some stats courtesy of http://www.rcdb.com

Length 2601′ 8″, Height 86′ 11″, speed 43.5mph, Duration 1:56, G force 5.

Southport Pleasureland – The final year

The offical news came through yesterday that the land which was the former Pleasureland site has been handed over to Sefton council for redevelopment. As it was my closest park and probably one I visited most as a child ive decided to dig out some pictures from the last season so anyone that hadnt visited for some time can see the park in full swing.

Before we get to the pictures, lets just have a quick look back at the events since closure.

Alton Towers in 1992

Remember a time when it was cool to have straight hair, stonewashed denim, t-shirts that changed colour when you got hot and spandex shorts. It was a time before B&M coasters graced alton towers and we had rides that were very tame in comparsion to todays launched and suspended coasters.

In 1992 a day at Alton involved long queues for rides like “The Thunder Looper” and “Corkscrew” the towers were open and you could walk around the whole towers getting lost. Here im going to take a trip back to 1992, I dont remember the date but it was sometime in the summer and id just bought my first SLR camera a Canon EOS 1000FN and didnt have a clue how to work it. For the trip id hired a brand new “Ford escort” which cost about £15.

Rhyl Ocean Beach, The last Picture show

I recently got toegther with Gary Radice of the Magic Eye to look back at my final visit to Rhyl Ocean beach in 2006. It was a very sad visit becuase I had so many happy memories of the park when I was growing up. To read the rest of the article and learn about whats happening with the park, take a look at The Last Picture Show

Thanks for Reading.

Rhyl’s Waterchute – A Final Look ?

After years of speculation it looks like the fun fair at Rhyl known as Ocean beach has closed its gates for the final time. I visited Rhyl twice in 2006 once at the start of the season and then towards the end of September when most rides had packed up, apart from the obivous 2 steel coasters the water chute was also standing.

A lapse in security allowed me to take a look around the Water chute for what may be the final time.

The water chute was originally brought to Rhyl from Kursaal Amusment park in southend in 1972.

The American Adventure Theme Park – Its final year.

Well I suppose we all knew it was coming, yep another theme park in the UK has closed down. I was going to make this a trip report but considering whats happened recently its more a fond look back at the park in its final year of operation in 2006.

We visited the park in the height of summer last year and it was very quiet considering the time of the year. One of the ride ops mentioned they normally get about 600 people through the gates during the summer raising to 2000 on a very busy day. It was dead when we visited and you can see by the photographs it was a glorious day.

The park first opened in 1985 and was owned by a few companies the final one been Venture World Ltd.

Southport Pleasureland, January 2007

On 5th September 2006 Pleasureland in Southport closed its gates for the final time after 93 years of trading. The park opened in March 1913 and was originally located on the Kings garden site before moving to its current location. The park was named pleasureland during the 1930s when a Ghost Train and the cyclone wooden roller coaster were added.

The final days of the Cyclone, Southport pleasureland

Cyclone, buit in 1937 by the legendary coaster builder Charles Paige was demolished in November 2006, heres a quick look at some of the demolition scenes courtesy of photographer Alan Robson.

Traumatizer’s final year, Pleasureland 2006

Traumatizer a Vekoma suspended looping coaster was introduced to Southport Pleasureland for the summer of 1999 at a cost of £5 million pounds. The track measures 2,200ft and has a height of 109ft with a total of 5 inversions.
Sadly on the 5th September 2006 the park closed it gates for the last time and the ride has since been dismantled and moved to Blackpool pleasure beach ready for the 2007 season. The ride will be completely re-themed and renamed to Infusion.

Here I take a look back at the rides final year and the subsequent dismantling and transportation to Blackpool.

Blackpools Noahs Ark

Ive been working for some time with www.laffinthedark.com on an article about the Noahs Ark attraction at Blackpool pleasure beach. Its involved lots of visits to the park, including a behind the scenes tour with park operations and a day spent in the archives collecting historical information.

To view the full article

http://www.laffinthedark.com/articles/bpn/bpn1.htm

Cheers

Blackpool’s log Flume the final days

After 40 years of operation it was announced the Blackpool Pleasure Beach Log Flume would be taking its final passengers on the 3rd September 2006. The Flume built by Arrow dynamics was the first of its kind in the UK. Here I take a look at its final day of operation and the demolition that followed.

Final Day of operation.

As a member of Club Pleasure beach, it was arranged that we would have the log flume for exclusive ride time from 4pm-4:30 on its final day of operation.

Queue Line