Ridemad.com Theme parks, rides and tourist attractions. Sun, 23 Jun 2013 19:10:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.2 Butlins Pwllheli – Starcoast World /butlins-pwllheli-starcoast-world /butlins-pwllheli-starcoast-world#respond Sun, 23 Jun 2013 19:10:22 +0000 /?p=644 A great video showing Butlins Pwllheli, Starcoast world over the years.

Click here to view the embedded video.

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Formula Rossa – Ferrari World POV /formula-rossa-ferrari-world-pov /formula-rossa-ferrari-world-pov#respond Fri, 21 Jun 2013 07:08:35 +0000 /?p=641 Video hosted on youtube from Theme Park Review of Formula Rossa @ Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi, I get chance to finally ride this next March.

Click here to view the embedded video.


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Visiting Legoland with kids is worth it. /visiting-legoland-with-kids-is-worth-it /visiting-legoland-with-kids-is-worth-it#respond Fri, 19 Oct 2012 17:23:57 +0000 /?p=572

When visiting the UK, a lot of visitors stick to London – but there is so much more for you to see and all within easy access from London.

A recent survey of visitors arriving into London taken by Sightseeingtourslondon.co.uk showed that more than 30% of visitors to London from overseas, staying for longer than 3 nights do not go outside of London when they could easily.


So, if you if you are in London with kids you really will want to consider getting out and visiting Windsor. Why? Well simply because LEGOLAND is located there.

In fact, a day really is not enough but it is better than no time. You will be able to take yourself back to your former childhood memories and fins yourself riding on theme park rides that will make you feel like you are running away from the dragons. Or, you can take a ride on the water rapids and feel like you are a Viking.

There is a lovely little driving course that is set up for kids to feel like they are taking their driving test. They will be issued with a mock driving licence should they pass the course!

There are laser guns set up in an old-style ancient tomb and there is a lovely little pirate themed stunt show set up by acrobats. Your kids will feel in their element when visit LEGOLAND Windsor. You really cannot deprive them of the chance to go and see the wonderful world of LEGOLAND.

Perhaps one thing that is more fascinating to those that take a trip there is the fact that everything you see is made of Lego! The park is jam packed full of models, there are landmarks and famous buildings replicated out of Lego.

You will bump into animals, people, cars; you name it, and they are all hand crafted out of the lovely Lego bricks. It’s a child’s dream world brought to life.

There is a mini land that is dedicated to the world of star wars, and it has six magnificent scenes from the star war’s films. It really makes you feel like you are in space.

You must make sure to take your camera along to snap up the action and get pictures of the park. Your kids will love to be pictured alongside the many Lego models.


In total the theme park had fifty five rides and attractions, and it is always growing. You will have so much to see and do that you could do with a week to spend in the park. One great thing is that all of the park is accessible to the disabled.


It must be noted though that the tickets are very pricey, so if you are not into Lego it is not worth spending your cash to visit the park!

It really is a great place to visit if you are already on a day trip to Windsor. One great tip is to pack a lunch to take into the park with you as it is very expensive to eat out there.

Thanks for reading.

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Ghost Hunting at Alton Towers /ghost-hunting-at-alton-towers /ghost-hunting-at-alton-towers#comments Sat, 28 Jul 2012 12:02:55 +0000 /?p=522 I recently had the chance to go ghost hunting at Alton Towers. It was an event I originally booked back in 2010 but for health reasons I was unable to attend. I have loved Alton Towers from the first time I went as a child many, many years ago and when I realised they did out of hours ghost hunting events it was something I had to do.

The event was booked through Haunted Happenings who are one of the UK’s premier ghost hunting companies. We arrived at Alton towers for 9pm and were advised by security to drive through the park and park the car next to the towers near the lake (this is eery in itself).

After stocking up on coffee for the long night ahead we sat through the safety breifing with the staff and went through the timetable of events for the evening.

Split into groups we were dispersed to various parts of the towers so at all times each group leader knew where the other groups are (no point in hearing footprints from another room when 20 people are walking about).


Once in our groups and settled in our locations for the next hour or so various experiments are carried out to communicate with the dead. After the allocated time the groups swap about and various breaks are made for coffee, tea and biscuits during the evening/morning.

The group activities are mixed and they have a number of gadgets for people to use from dowsing rods, voice recorders, k2 meters and temperature guages. All the items and their uses are explained to guests and you have the option of picking one to try out for yourself.

During the group activites you quickly realise this isnt a staged event, nothing is rigged up, theres no electronic motors or opening doors, no stones getting thrown around, no mediums suddenly geeting posessed and passing out, 100% real. As guests its down to you to make of the evening what you want. If you want to get involved in experiments you are free to do so, on the other hand if you are happy to let others theres no pressure from any of the staff.

You are encouraged throughout the evening to shout out about anything you feel, hear or experience. Other people may feel the same so its good to share these experiences however small you may think they are. Ive done a number of these events and you would be surprised at the things people talk about.

I wont discuss anything that happened during the night, but we did experience various things as a group. Its sometime difficult to work out where and why things are happening, put any group of people into a dark building at 1am in the morning and with wind noise and nature around you, not to mention the lack of glazing in most parts of the towers then everyone can experience something.

Heres a selection of photographs I took during the evening.

Our base for the evening. Superb restoration work to the ceilings.





This is the same room but the view from below the far wall above.



Going through to the main staircase up to another level.



Staircase on the right hand side with a view through the towers.




For anyone thats visited during the day its bad enough to find your way around.


Im sure they have used this corridor for scarefest “tower of the terrors” before now.


I think this is one of the kitchens.


Overall we had a great evening of events, some scares, some frights and loads of laughs. The event finished at around 4am and it was organised by Haunted Happenings Thanks Guys 😉

Thanks for reading.










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New Water ride announced for Center Parcs /new-water-ride-announced-for-center-parcs /new-water-ride-announced-for-center-parcs#respond Wed, 30 May 2012 10:16:29 +0000 /?p=504 Center Parcs is set to make even bigger waves this year as a new, unique family water ride takes shape at Elveden Forest.

This will be the first of its kind to be created anywhere in the world, costing approximately £4m to build.

A sneak preview of this exciting ride will be revealed at http://www.centerparcs.co.uk/newsplash on Wednesday 30th May.


Further  details, visuals and tasters will be announced on Tuesday 3rd July to mark  Center Parcs’ official 25th birthday. Watch this space…

The water ride, which is due to open in late November 2012 is part of a  longer term investment programme in the swimming pools across all four Center Parcs UK villages.

For more information visit


www.facebook.com/CenterparcsUK or #newsplash

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Blackpools Gold Mine, Lights on video /blackpools-gold-mine-lights-on-video /blackpools-gold-mine-lights-on-video#respond Tue, 31 Jan 2012 16:56:09 +0000 /?p=476 I was fortunate enough to be allowed to ride through the Gold Mine at Blackpool with the lights on a few years ago and I have only just gotten around to working with the video from this day.

Hope you enjoy it.

Click here to view the embedded video.

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Worlds top 5 Thrilling Rides /worlds-top-5-thrilling-rides /worlds-top-5-thrilling-rides#respond Tue, 16 Aug 2011 07:32:51 +0000 http://ridemad.com/?p=445 The world’s top 5 thrilling theme park rides

Theme park fans who enjoy getting wet n’ wild are celebrating this week as Holiday World in Indiana unveiled plans to open the world’s longest water slide.

The £6m ‘Mammoth’ is due to open in May 2012 and will be 1,700 feet long, 69 feet tall and will cover an area of over three acres.

In the meantime, thrill-seekers have plenty of other options before tackling Mammoth next year, as international travel search site Skyscanner discovered on an adrenalin-fuelled trip round the world’s best theme park rides.




Kingda Ka, New Jersey
The undisputed tallest roller coaster in the world, 456-foot high monster Kingda Ka in Jackson, New Jersey goes from 0 to 128mph in 3.5 seconds, also making it the world’s second fastest roller coaster. Hold on to your hats.







Formula Rossa, Abu Dhabi
Stealing Kingda Ka’s crown as the world’s fastest roller coaster is the 150-mph Formula Rossa at Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi. The red-hot ride is the centrepiece of the new Ferrari theme park and goes so fast that participants sitting at the front of the ride are made to wear special protective glasses normally used for skydiving.




Collusus, Surrey
For something a little different, why not try the world’s first 10 looping roller coaster at Thorpe Park. The ride spins passengers through the inversions at incredible speeds, before thrusting through a quadruple corkscrew to finish. This one is not recommended after a big meal.







Space Mountain, Orlando
In many ways the classic white-knuckle theme park ride, Space Mountain at Walt Disney resort in Orlando has been thrilling people of all ages for over 30 years. A refurbished version of the ride opened in 2009, and boasts incredible space-themed visuals alongside terrifying drops into pitch black zones.




X2, California
The world’s first 4-D roller coaster ride, the X2 at Six Flags Magic Mountain features 360-degree rotating seats and jaw-dropping face first drops. Riders can enjoy an unexpected series of twists and turns along the 3,600 foot steel structure.

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Legoland Discovery Centre Manchester /legoland-discovery-centre-manchester /legoland-discovery-centre-manchester#comments Mon, 05 Apr 2010 09:46:55 +0000 http://ridemad.com/?p=428 This is how they make legoHaving opened at the end of March 2010 we decided to visit the Legoland Discovery Center in Manchester with friends a week after opening. Legoland discovery center is located in the Barton Square quarter of the Trafford center and has ample parking space at Barton square. If you park at the Trafford center its a 5-10 minute walk through to Barton Square.

As you would expect from Legoland the attraction boasts a huge amount of things to do for kids of all ages and adults with a 4d cinema showing a couple of films (I personally recommend Bob the Builder) an interactive dark ride, factory tour showing the lego making process which the kids help along with and numerous models on display and areas to build and test your own creations. The attraction also has cafe serving hot and cold drinks and snacks and for the little ones a soft play area. Model making classes/tutorials are held during the day with kids been taught by the professionals how to build a variety of models.


The exterior of Legoland discovery Centre.


The lego Factory Tour.



The host professor brick also gets the kids to help out with the lego making process.


At the end of the process lego blocks are produced and everyone given one to take home.

Legoland discovery Centre is full of models of which some of them took months to build.

Blackpool Tower, Winter Gardens and pleasure beach.






London attractions.


Oblivion at Alton Towers.


And the towers themselves.


They are quite dark but the scenes go from day to night every few minutes.


Various other models.











Coronation Street.



There’s allot more models at Legoland Discovery Centre than I haven’t shown here as well as the build areas and testing areas for kids. I would advice booking in advance unless you have an annual pass as the centre does get very busy.

Legoland Discovery Centre also has an on site lego shop selling the full range of models from duplo to technix.

If you would like to use any pictures from this post please get in touch paul@ridemad.com. Please don’t just steal them.

Thanks for reading.

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Ruthin Gaol /ruthin-gaol /ruthin-gaol#comments Mon, 05 Apr 2010 08:15:04 +0000 http://ridemad.com/?p=397 IMG_3007
Ruthin Gaol is a old prison based in North Wales which was built in the seventeenth century and designed by architect Joseph Turner. The Gaol at Ruthin served as a Jail until 1866. The jail was extended after the prison act of 1865 to accommodate 100 prisoners then in 1877 the Gaol’s day to day running was handed over to the home office when it became H.M Prison Ruthin until its closure in 1916.

In 1926 the Gaol was sold to the local council for office and library use until in 2002 it undertook extensive restoration works in at a cost of two million pounds, after this work the Gaol opened to the public.

It may not sound like an interesting attraction to visit and its hardly advertised anywhere (hardly anyone I spoke to had heard of it).  I was fortunate to be told about the prison by someone who lives locally.

It does provide a fascinating insight into prison life. Been able to see the way prisoners lived, took a bath, what food they ate really does make you grateful you weren’t a criminal back in the day of Ruthin Gaol.

A visit to Ruthin Gaol isnt going to take a full day but its an ideal place to spend a couple of hours, the staff are all very friendly and will go out of there way to help you understand items and they also have some art supplies to give the kids something to do.

Audio commentary is provided in a number of languages but n an attraction of this scale its not really required as most rooms have sufficient information in them and those that don’t are self explanatory.

Lets have a look at something close to my heart food.

Ruthin Gaol used a classification rule for prisoners to decide on what they got to eat. Meals were divided up into Breakfast, dinner and supper and mainly consisted of porridge as shown on the menu below.

IMG_2951Class 1 prisoners or those detained for less than a week got 1 pint of oats for breakfast, bread for dinner and another pint of oats for supper. Females also got the same amounts.

Class 2 prisoners – any detained for over a week and less than a month got 1 pint of oats for breakfast, 1lb bread for dinner and some potatoes and more oats for supper.

And so on as the menu describes. Must have been an easy job for the chef.


In front of the chef on the left is a rolling pin full of wheels to roll out the oats, together with a mixing bowl and the jug of water for the oats.

The Oven, Not much going on considering they are only cooking oats and bread.


Food Stores.


Sparse but after looking at the menu you can see why. There was no mention of what the prison guards ate.

Before going into the main holding areas there’s a number of period posters.


Main work rooms/bathrooms.


Walking in to work room area above, and below on the right hand side a coffin reproduced by a local funeral director with the name John Jones. More about John later.


The Bath House.

One of two shared baths, the text in the room mentions 40 people will share one of these baths and by the 15th person the water had become cold and mucky, by the sounds of it the Victorians were caring about global warming long before we thought about it.

What looks like a towel on the back wall is a sack cloth, this was used to dry yourself.


The staff inserted this into one of the tubs.


Standard cell.

Each cell could house up to 3 people, but only enough bedding for two.


And the same shot from a wider angle showing the width of the cell.


Not much room is there.

Laundry room.


At the back in the steel bowl is some lifebouy soap, anyone remember this as a kid.


You can smell it as soon as you enter the room.


Wardens office.


Scattered around in various display cabinets are some restraints and handcuffs/whips from the period.






Unfortunately non of the above are for sale in the gift shop.

Condemned Cell.


A prisoner having his last rights.


during the war the prison was used to create ammunition for the troops.


The Photo room and seat.

The seat below was used to take photographs of the prisoners, you can notice a ridge in the bottom of the seat and the seat also leans forward slightly, this was to ensure the prisoner was seated in the correct position for the photograph. Yep you guessed that’s what the ridge is for 😉


Weaving/Sowing room.

I’m not sure if they made uniforms in this room or not.


The Dark Cell.

The dark cell was used like a modern day solitary confinement cell. Its obvious from the description but you go into the room and there’s literally no light available as all the windows and painted black. As a visitor you can experience this by the use of a dimmer switch just on the inside of the cell. It really is dark especially when you close the door. It was said people can often go mad in cells like this and I am not surprised having experienced it for only 30 seconds.



Punishment Cell.


Doesn’t look very punishing but the box in the center of the room has a handle on it that the prisoners had to turn for hours at a time, the guards could monitor the number of turns and increase the strength needed to turn to make it worse for the prisoners.


Main prison wing.

Most of this area is now used as record storage,



A model showing how the prison looked.


Famous residents.

John Jones, Loch Bach y Bala. Was a bit of a celebrity in prison terms around the time, a reproduction of his coffin is at the Gaol.


Here some text to back up John’s title as the Welsh Houdini.

“IF ANYONE deserves the title of “the Welsh Houdini,” it’s North Wales’s most notorious jail-breaker and petty criminal, John Jones.

Jones, born near Bala around 1853, spent more of his life in prison than out, yet managed to escape from behind bars on at least five occasions, and tried the feat many more times.

He spent much of his life in Ruthin jail, and by the time of his death had become a local celebrity.

His police file describes him as a kleptomaniac, who was – unsurprisingly perhaps – “extremely anti-police” and who “loved publicity.”

Jones, known locally as Coch Bach y Bala (the little redhead from Bala), came unstuck in 1913, when his latest jailbreak sparked a police hunt which ended with him being shot in the leg.”

Text courtesy of http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-87436512.html

Here’s a photo showing John’s funeral.


William Hughes.

Reported to be the only prisoner ever hanged at Ruthin Gaol, William was charged for murdering his wife.

Various other photographs.

Beautiful clock with the stamp H.M. Prison Ruthin on the face.






I would strongly recommend anyone in the area to visit Ruthin Gaol its a fascinating place to see that also has something for the children, Prices are cheap compared to other attractions with a family ticket (2+2) for only £10.

If you would like to use any photographs in this post then please get in touch paul@ridemad.com where I will be only to happy to share. Please don’t just steal them and use them elsewhere.

References used.



Thanks for reading.

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Pleasure Beach Blackpool, Sculpture Garden /pleasure-beach-blackpool-sculpture-garden /pleasure-beach-blackpool-sculpture-garden#comments Sun, 14 Feb 2010 18:59:29 +0000 http://ridemad.com/?p=389 New this season at Pleasure beach Blackpool is a sculpture garden installed on the location of the old dodgem ride, the dodgems have relocated to another area of the park and the building demolished to make way for the sculptures and water features. All comments as usual are welcome.






Clinic R






Replaced the waterfall on the external facia of the ark.






Heres some more information about the Sculptures from the artist who created them.

The idea behind the sculpture garden was to open up the view of the rides from the entrance which used to be obstructed by the dodgems, and to increase the flow into the Pleasure Beach. The sculpture garden is also designed to create a peaceful spot for people to meet, sit and even escape from the excitement a bit. Several of the water features and sculptures by David Harber, are surrounded by brick retaining walls at just the right height for sitting.

Thanks for looking.

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Drayton Manor Christmas 2009 /drayton-manor-christmas-2009 /drayton-manor-christmas-2009#respond Sun, 20 Dec 2009 09:21:35 +0000 http://ridemad.com/?p=379 IMG_2183

After enjoying a great day at Drayton Manor last Christmas we repeated the experience again this year, the kids will shortly be coming to the age when Drayton Manor and Thomas land will no longer be cool so I intend to visit these Christmas events as much as possible.

The event changed slightly this year with the big top christmas pantomine show getting replaced by a show in Thomas land with singing and festive activities taking the center of this.

As with last year they had more snow and the children and adults in the audience really enjoyed this, the snow although synthetic made a great day even better and really gives you that festive wake up call that’s been missing the previous 11 months of the year.

The zoo, 4d cinema and Thomasland were open and unlike last year the amount of food available on site was varied and most tastes catered for.

As with last year the focus of the event was Thomas land.






This is home to a great model railway and although it wasnt running on the day it looked superb.









Thomas Land station.





Ive purposely not included a load of Thomas Land photographs as any regular visitors will already know what it looks like, but if you want to see what this event was like last year (2008) then take a look at my post from the time. Thomasland Christmas 2008

here’s a video to accompany this years trip.

Click here to view the embedded video.

If you want to use any photographs then please dont steal them get in touch as im more than to share, I can be contacted paul@ridemad.com or via the contact form or comments box with each post.

Thanks for reading.

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Gullivers World Christmas 2009 /gullivers-world-christmas-2009 /gullivers-world-christmas-2009#respond Fri, 18 Dec 2009 13:02:28 +0000 http://ridemad.com/?p=377 Heres a short video I shot at Gullivers world in December 2009. Photographs will be posted to the blog but can be seen prior to that on my flick page.

Click here to view the embedded video.

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Mumbo Jumbo, Flamingoland, Behind the scenes /mumbo-jumbo-behind-the-scenes /mumbo-jumbo-behind-the-scenes#comments Fri, 11 Dec 2009 11:49:18 +0000 http://ridemad.com/?p=346 IMG_2039Mumbo Jumbo the UK’s newest record breaking roller coaster opened in Flamingo Land for the 2009 season.

The ride manufactured by S&S boasts the world steepest first drop at a angle of 112 degrees. The ride cost varies depending on who you speak to but the average price tag seems to be around 4 million pounds.

When the questioned about the strange name of the ride its a reference to other parks falsely boasting about their latest attractions been the worlds first etc… hmm wonder who they mean :).

The photographs were taken at various times of the day as you may notice from the dull skies.

We visited Flamingo Land as part of an organised tour with Club Pleasure Beach and had an exclusive ride session as well as a look behind the scenes and a chat with the staff and ride operators.

Here’s the pictures from that tour.

Ride Signage.



A view from the side showing the rides record breaking 112 degree angle first drop.


Another couple of ride shots.



4 Seat trains are used on Mumbo Jumbo.


Another train shot showing the water dummies parked on the transfer track.




A closer look at the trains.



A look underneath.


In the center the braking components and either side the chain dog (grabs the chain on the lift) and anti rollback (this causes the click, click sound when going up a lift hill)


The lift hill.









On ride photographs.



Mumbo Jumbo structure showing evacuation platform.


General Track photographs.












If you would like to use any photographs from this set please get in touch via the contact form or paul@ridemad.com, im quite happy to share and have high resolution copies of all the photographs used. Please don’t just use them without asking.

Thanks to Club Pleasure Beach and the operations staff at Flamingoland for making this trip possible.

Thanks for reading.

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Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Superbowl dodgems building demolished. /blackpool-pleasure-beach-superbowl-dodgems-building-demolished /blackpool-pleasure-beach-superbowl-dodgems-building-demolished#respond Sun, 29 Nov 2009 12:16:47 +0000 http://ridemad.com/?p=342 As part of the plans to relocate the superbowl dodgem cars at Blackpool Pleasure Beach the existing building has been demolished this week.


To see the rest of the photos continue reading.

The ride is relocating to the old Whip building that has been lying SBNO for a number of years. The whip was relocated earlier this year for the new dreamland project in Margate.

A few of the superbowl cars were recently sold on ebay, one of which sold for £114.






Thanks for reading.

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Big Wheel at Liverpool One, Liverpool /big-wheel-at-liverpool-one-liverpool /big-wheel-at-liverpool-one-liverpool#respond Mon, 23 Nov 2009 18:04:01 +0000 http://ridemad.com/?p=339 IMG_2141I was fortunate enough to get to ride the Big Wheel that has been installed in Liverpool one at the weekend. The wheel sited on Chavasse Park and clearly visible from the Liverpool waterfront will stay at this site until the end of January.

Ride tickets are £6 for adults and kids over 1.4m in height. £5 for concessions and £36 for a private gondola and for the really extravagant £40 for the private VIP gondola. Each gondola seats 6 people apart from the VIP one which only seats 4.

The wheel is 60 metres high but because of its elevated position it stands 80 metres about ground level.

The Wheel takes 10 riggers a week to build and is transported from site to site on 11 trucks.

On the day we rode it the wind was very strong and the gondolas do rock about a fair bit especially a height. but saying that we really enjoyed it and the great views of the city and would definitely ride again on my next visit to Liverpool.

Follow the post below and take a look at the rest of the photographs and video to accompany this.


















Geek Shot.





Here’s a video to accompany the photographs.

Click here to view the embedded video.

If you have any comment please use the comments below alternatively drop me an email using the contact form.

Thanks for reading

]]> /big-wheel-at-liverpool-one-liverpool/feed 0 Rhyl Water Chute Video. /rhyl-water-chute-video /rhyl-water-chute-video#respond Fri, 20 Nov 2009 17:44:31 +0000 http://ridemad.com/?p=330 Ive been browsing through my images today and come across a load of the water chute at Rhyl Ocean beach amusement park which is now sadly closed. I decided to get a few of the water chute together and create a video/slideshow out of them.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Related Articles.



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Blackpool Pleasure Beach 2009 – Last day of the main Season /blackpool-pleasure-beach-2009-last-day-of-the-main-season /blackpool-pleasure-beach-2009-last-day-of-the-main-season#comments Tue, 10 Nov 2009 13:30:42 +0000 http://ridemad.com/?p=328 November 8th 2009 the final day of the main season for Blackpool Pleasure beach. A season thats seen many up and downs with closed rides and rumours of a Beaver Creek takeover by Nickelodeon just for starters. This short video was put together on the final day at a trip I attended with Club Pleasure Beach.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Thanks for reading.

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Manta at Seaworld Orlando. /manta-at-seaworld-orlando /manta-at-seaworld-orlando#respond Fri, 16 Oct 2009 13:05:51 +0000 http://ridemad.com/?p=316 IMG_1825

Opened in 2009 Manta is the third B&M coaster at Seaworld in Orlando. Manta is the second flying coaster I have ridden after Air at Alton Towers in the UK. I really enjoyed Manta and at the time of year we visited in September the ride had hardly any queues.

For anyone who hasn’t rode I would recommend the back seat, its very intense and enjoyable.

I don’t really have that much more to say about Manta other than if your in Florida and you get the change to ride it, enjoy it 😉



Manta at Sea world Lift Hill.













Manta’s stats, courtesy of http://www.rcdb.com

Length : 3359ft

Height : 140ft

Drop : 113ft

Max speed : 56mph

Duration : 2:35

Thanks for reading

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Lightwater Valley Rapids for 2009 /lightwater-valley-rapids-for-2009 /lightwater-valley-rapids-for-2009#comments Thu, 04 Jun 2009 08:17:12 +0000 http://ridemad.com/?p=302 IMG_0825

New for the 2009 season at Lightwater Valley is a rapid ride rented from Showman James Mellor. The ride will be at the park for the 2009 season after which point both parties will review it’s suitability for the park.

I visited the park in April on a warmish day and the ride has a constant queue with at least 15/20 minute wait times, I can imagine this will get alot bigger over the coming summer months when the temperatures rise in the UK.

The ride has took the place of the Pinfari Grizzly Bear coaster which stood at the park from 2004, this ride has since been sold. I certainly wont miss it.

This update contains approximately 25 photographs taking during April at the park.
















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Southport Lakeside Miniature Railway /southport-lakeside-miniature-railway /southport-lakeside-miniature-railway#comments Thu, 28 May 2009 10:17:06 +0000 http://ridemad.com/?p=295 Picture 082

Originally built by G.V. Llewellyn in 1911 the Southport lakeside miniature railway has been operating for nearly 100 years on the site alongside the marine lake in Southport. The first train ran on the 25th may 1911 when the railway was called Llewellyn’s miniature railway after the builder and creator, this was later renamed to the Southport lakeside miniature railway as it’s known today.

The original route was a straight line which was extended in 1938 to add a sharp turn under the pier into the second station on the line the Marine Parade Station. The original station at this end of the line was called Princess Park which was closed when the extension and Marine Parade stations were built.

The materials for the line were supplied by Bassett-lowke a toy company based in Northampton who was established in 1899, the bassett-lowke brand name was bought by the famous model company Corgi in 1996 and railway locomotive products were relaunched by Corgi in 1999 at which point Bassett-lowke would have been 100 years old.

I have lots of memories of this railway as a family we would visit Southport every summer and spend a few hours on Pleasureland and take a trip on the miniature railway.


Lets take a look at how the railway is looking today




The main station as viewed from Pleasureland. I can remember back to when you bought tickets for the railway from the turnstile on the right hand side, this has been closed for a number of years now and these days tickets for the railway are purchased on the train. The fare for 2009 is £1.50 one way and £2 return.

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On the platform looking back at the entrance way above.

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Today the signage around the area is looking a bit washed out.

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The main platform. I haven’t seen the line on the left operate for some time, can anyone confirm if this is still used, it certainly doesn’t look overgrown.

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Looking back to the entrance from the top of the platform.

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One of the storage sheds on the left hand side.

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The Southport Miniature railway also operate a second engine, which I can only assume runs when the Miniature railway is busy. The shots below were taken on a busy day for the railway the passenger carriages were extended to almost double the previous size.






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Train in the second station

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The Marine Parade Station.

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A view from the roadside looking at the station.

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Again another shot from the second station

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A look down at the second station

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This shot is taken from a footbridge over the track.

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A shot taken from above showing the track going of toward the main station.

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Bridge just before pulling into the Marine Parade station – which can be seen in the distance.

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A longer range shot of the bridge above adorned with graffiti

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A view from the train this time, going under the bridge shown in the above photographs.

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I seem to have an obsession with this bridge.

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At this point the train has cleared the bridge above and its in the distance of the shot below just around the corner.

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Moving quickly toward the main station, this is a shot from the rear of the train.

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Southport Marine left is on the right hand side of the shot below.

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Coming into the main Pleasureland station.

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A view from the Pleasureland station showing the trains maintenance areas on the left hand side.

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One of the maintenance areas.

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And the second.

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I would recomend this railway to anyone who has some spare time while visting Southport as it really is a gem. If you would like to contribute to this article or have any amendments you feel are factually correct then please get in touch via the contact form I would love to hear from you. Im not a railway enthusiast so any additional information is more than welcome.

Thanks for reading

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