Monday, 13 August 2012

The Big Ticket (Blackpool, July 2012)...

When me and Si went to Blackpool in July, we were lucky enough to be given a complimentary 'Big Ticket' each, in return for me reviewing the ticket and the attractions it allows you to go to, on my blog.

The 'Big Ticket' allows you to experience 7 attractions within Blackpool for just one price. The attractions it allows you to visit (just once each) are: The Blackpool Tower Eye, The Blackpool Tower Dungeon, The Blackpool Tower Circus, The Blackpool Tower Ballroom, Jungle Jim, Madame Tussauds in Blackpool and Sea Life Blackpool. The ticket is valid for 90 days from purchase. If you were to buy the ticket from one of the attractions whilst you were in Blackpool, it would cost £49 including VAT per individual (one price for all). However, if you were to buy the ticket online before you went to the attractions, then it would cost £44 per individual, saving you £5. They also have other offers and explanations of savings on The Blackpool Tower website, where it explains all about the 'Big Ticket'. Here are some more details about each of the attractions that the ticket allows you to go to, along with some pictures:

The Blackpool Tower Eye: This attraction allows you to encounter the new 4D Blackpool before you go to the top of the tower. 4D Blackpool was interesting and definitely new within the past few years as it wasn't there when I went to Blackpool a few years back. When you are told to enter the room that the show is within, there are about 4 rows, all with silver bars on. You are instructed to stand where-ever you like amongst the rows, but to just lean back on the silver bars, rather than sit on them. Before you enter this room, you have to pick up some special glasses (included, you don't have to pay extra). You then wear these whilst watching the show. You are also asked if you would like a picture before you collect the glasses, where you sit on a block kind of thing and are asked to put your arms and legs out as if you are falling lol, you are given a card and can view and buy the picture at the end in the gift shop if you wish. The majority of it is on a large screen, kind of like a cinema screen. The show follows a little boy's adventure at the sea-side. Along the way you will experience amazing sights, smells and special effects. Me and Si thought this experience was ok, I would say more aimed at the younger generation and we did say that it wouldn't be something we would pay extra for. It lasts about 5 minutes.

Picture courtesy of Kay Elliott.

After that you are led along a path, directly to the lifts to take you to the top of the tower. The lifts can fit a lot of people in and you all kind of squish in together. It takes just over a minute to get to the top and the windows within the lift allow you to see the view outside as you go higher and higher. There were a few people a little scared of heights within the lift, so it was quite an atmosphere, but there are no stairs or any other way of getting up, so the lift was the only option. On the way up, the lift operator within the lift, tells you a few facts about the tower and when you get to the top, the doors open and right in front of you is the SkyWalk. Now I went to Blackpool about 4/5 years ago and I remember there being a singular square of see-through glass that you could step on and that was bad enough. This time there is a long area of square see-through panels. There are two areas of SkyWalk, so if one area is busy/full, if you follow the path round, you should find another one :-). It took me a while to get on there, it's a funny feeling because you know it's safe but it still doesn't feel right. I had a weird feeling in my tummy, but I made it on there in the end and got Si to take quick pictures ha ha. I wasn't a fan of looking down though.

The views are amazing and there are further staircases to go higher if you wish, it was chilly at the top though! It's a great place to go overall and I would definitely recommend it if you haven't been. It's fab seeing the views, experiencing the SkyWalk and as a bonus you get a 4D show. There is also a gift shop at the end so you can buy memoirs to remember your time there. You can also view any pictures you had taken at the attraction and buy those if you wish. Our picture (described above), was funny, but Si blinked whilst it was being taken, so we decided not to get it.

The Blackpool Tower Ballroom: You can view the ballroom for free from the balconies above, but with the 'Big Ticket', it allows you to actually go within the ballroom area (at ground level), have a dance if you want to (there is a live organist) and enjoy tea, cakes, sandwiches etc (for a charge of course). I had a pot of tea, which was enough for about 2 cups and that was about £1.90. It was quite relaxing watching the ballroom dancing. Some people were there having a laugh and just having a little dance, but you could tell there were some people there who were professionals and they took it quite seriously, so it was quite amusing seeing the contrast in that. The decor in there is gorgeous, so it was lovely just to have a look around.

The Blackpool Tower Jungle Jim's: This is an indoor children's play area, so as there was only me and Si in Blackpool, we didn't go within this area. However, the playground is set within a themed 'Lost City'. It is full of swinging, sliding and climbing contraptions to keep all little ones entertained. There is also an interactive quest to find hidden treasure. If anyone has taken their children in here, feel free to comment about their experience below :-).

Picture courtesy of Merlin Attractions.

The Blackpool Tower Dungeon: We didn't make it into this attraction, for the pure reason that we were too scared ha ha. My nervous system isn't built for stuff like this and as much as I love watching horror films, I didn't particularly fancy being chased by someone acting like a crazed maniac lol. There were often people outside this attraction trying to convince you to come in. They were all dressed up with crazy make-up on, but I'm not sure how many people they were convincing to come in as from what I saw, everyone was just giving them a wide berth and walking past lol. This attraction is meant to be about 70 minutes long, where you can experience a scary ride called Extremis: Drop Ride to Doom, 10 different shows, live actors and special effects. There is even a courtroom, where guests are tried for their crimes and a torture chamber where you might be selected as the torturers victim. If anyone has been here, feel free to comment below about your experience :-).

The Blackpool Tower Circus: We didn't get the chance to go here, mainly because when we collected our 'Big Ticket' (Monday), we had three days left of our trip in which to visit the circus because although we were there till Friday, the circus wasn't performing on this particular Friday. There was also only one time within these three days, which was 2:30pm. We already had a lot of plans and things to fit in, so we kind of just didn't get round to going there to be honest. You also had to have the circus part of the 'Big Ticket' signed and book your attendance in advance. So it wasn't as easy as just going to the attraction whenever you wanted, like it was for the other attractions. The show has a Wild West theme and the main characters are Mooky the clown and Boooffalo Bill who is the baddy. You will also see a high wire act, acrobats and the famous water finale. I think if there were more show times whilst we were there, we would have liked to have seen it as it sounds like a fun show to watch. You can find out how to get to the above Blackpool Tower attractions here. If any of you have experienced the circus at Blackpool, feel free to comment below about what it was like.

Madame Tussauds Blackpool: This was one of the attractions that I was looking forward to the most. I have been to the one in London and loved it, so I was excited to see which different waxwork models there were in this one. There are lots of different areas, including: TV Studio, Best of British, Lifestyle TV, Docu Drama, Football Locker Room and many more! The waxwork models are amazing, they are so life-like and you can take so many great pictures next to each of them. There are also fun photo opportunities around the attraction where people that work there take pictures of you with specific things, give you a card and then in the gift shop at the end you can view such pictures and buy them if you wish. We had viewed all of the waxwork models and taken pictures where we wanted to within about an hour and a half, so it does entertain you for a few hours and to be honest we were quite gutted when it ended, cause we were really enjoying it. There is such a lovely atmosphere in there aswell, as everyone is fascinated by the waxwork models and how real they look. Find out how to get to Madame Tussauds Blackpool here. Here are some of my favourites that I had pictures with:

Sea Life Blackpool: I have been to a fair few Sea Life's in the past and have always enjoyed what was there, so I was looking forward to visiting the one in Blackpool. When we first entered the actual attraction (after showing our tickets and going up some stairs), a young lady approached us and asked if we had ever been there before. We said we have been to other Sea Life's, but not this one and she asked if we would like to touch or feel any of the animals in that area (the first area you enter). She showed us some cleaner shrimp and told us that in the sea/ocean these would gather together in groups and other animals would come to them (and know to come to them) to be cleaned of any parasites. She said if you put your hand in slowly, that the cleaner shrimp would come over and clean under your nails for you. I watched her do it first, as they were no little things, they were quite massive! I then had a go and to be honest you don't really feel anything. They kind of come over and just put their antennule under your nails and move them around a bit. It tickled slightly, but not too much. Me and Si were just fascinated by them and the fact that they form groups to clean other animals...amazing! We also touched a star-fish in this area, which felt like sand paper. They have washing facilities in this area, as they obviously advise you to wash your hands after touching any of the animals.

Cleaner Shrimp. Picture courtesy of Reef Hotspot.

There are so many sea/water animals to take in and info provided beside all of them, so you really feel like you have had a little bit of education whilst in there. There are feeds going on throughout the day that you can watch, but we didn't see any whilst we were there, so we probably missed them. I enjoyed the overhead tunnel though, where you could see all sorts of animals swimming over your head. I'd say we were in there for a good hour and a half and it felt longer. Find out how to get to Sea Life Blackpool here.

You will be able to find out more info and individual prices for each of the above attractions if you click on the title's of each attraction above. I have linked back to each individual web page for you :-).

If you have any questions about the 'Big Ticket' or any of the above attractions then feel free to ask me :-). Also like I have said above, if any of you have been to any of the above attractions that I said me and Si didn't go to, feel free to comment below.

Gem XxOo

Disclaimer: * Complimentary ticket. See my disclaimer tab for more details.
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