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Photo TR: The Dark Rides of Blackpool Pleasure Beach

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^Well, we ain't done yet, varmint. Yessir, Bill, ya called it. Keep yer grubstake inside the mine car at all times, cuz we're a' gonna take a gander at some weird scenes inside the . . .


Gold Mine

Here's Blackpool's version of the Calico Mine Ride at Knott's, with animatronics that are every bit as moth-eaten--and then some. Although not as "epic" as its California counterpart, Blackpool's Gold Mine is a kick, with its various levels and rather speedy little mine cars (they act almost like powered coaster cars when they fall down drops). It even interacts with the same restaurant as the River Caves.


Hey! You mean that gal's been sittin' there nigh on to 30 years and I ain't never noticed her? Consarn your hide, ya durn dude!


When a miner feels powerful lonesome, that can lead to some mighty strange hankerins and goings on. Save a dance fer me boys! Yee haw!


Leastways when a miner gets kinda lonely, he can pass the time by playin' with his drill. Findin' gold ain't the only thing that makes a miner shout "eureka!"


Like I said, it's powerful hard, lonely work in this here mine. At least we got this nice rest-y-rant. Closed today, dadburn it! No food or wimmens here!


Shore was nice o' them TPR folks to lend us this here donkey to tote the load fer a spell. He was mighty good eatin' after he keeled over, too. Save the rump fer me, boys! Yee haw!


Yessir, it's a tough, lonely life a' prospectin', what with shoveling dirt and bustin' rocks and blowin' stuff up and hammerin' all the live-long day.


Howdy, folks! Y'all can call me Ol' Incontinent Ike, and it'll tickle me jest to death to show you around Blackpool's Gold Mine. Best stay upwind, thougb. Yee haw!

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And now (cue Bach's "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor") we enter the realm of random, exquisite horror! Yes, if you do doubt your courage, read no further! You have only yourself to blame if you go mad! You have been warned!


Be sure to cringe and whimper within the confines of the ride vehicle as it bursts through the first bang door of Blackpool's classic . . .


Ghost Train!

Yes, this is the magilla of Blackpool's old-school dark rides--the very first "ghost train," they claim. Bang doors! Eyeballs on springs! Bike-riding skeletons! A coasterish drop mid-ride! Car horns blasting in your ear! This old sucker's got it all, baby! Here's just a sample of what's in store if you dare to queue up for this bad boy.


Ok, you big, fat buffet boys! Come to papa!


No dessert for me--I'm watching my girlish figure.


Wow! Get a load of those huge, succulent, quivering lily-white mounds of blancmange!


This way to the dessert table!


If you're not careful, you'll become part of my personal buffet!


My torso looked so good, I ate it myself! In hindsight, not such a great idea.


Help me! The ACE guys thought I was part of the buffet!


This way to the buffet, gents!


Me, too, want buffet--with extra waffles and bacon!


Me big ACE mucky-muck! Me want buffet!


Peter is relieved to have survived the terrifying ordeal of the Ghost Train.


And it's historically significant to boot.


I was looking forward to this sucker almost as much as Steeplechase!

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Hmm--I don't recall seeing Mr. Cloggs; of course, that doesn't mean that he wasn't there.

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It would be remiss of me not to mention what, I think, is Blackpool's best ride period . . .



To call this a "dark ride" or a "flume ride" is to invite the wrath of Thor and Odin! This is an adventure where you Norse Gods have their sport by drenching you, freezing you, then flame broiling you! Yes, even when some of the effects aren't working, Vahalla is awesome. No pictures of the inside (cameras not allowed--besides, mine probably wouldn't have survived the trip). Epcot's Maelstrom is It's a Small World next to Valhalla.


Oh Mighty Odin! Grant this unworthy one the blessing of beer!


So, you think you are worthy to ride Valhalla? We shall see . . .

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I miss Blackpool.


It's definately one of the best parks in the country. Valhalla is simply a fantastic ride as are all the strange rides they have there.


I really miss Blackpool!

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