Delight as new rides take shape

Hoteliers are shown around Nickolodeon Land at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.

Hoteliers are shown around Nickolodeon Land at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.

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FROM SpongeBob’s Splash Bash to Diego’s Rainforest Rescue – Blackpool’s newest family attraction is rapidly taking shape.

Hundreds of hoteliers were given a sneak preview of the £10.3m Nickelodeon Land set to officially open on May 4 at the Pleasure Beach.

All 12 new rides are now in place on the six-acre site within the park with work continuing to put in the finishing touches over the next few weeks.

Costume characters from the children’s TV channel are already at the attraction.

Pleasure Beach managing director Amanda Thompson heralded the development as “mindblowingly brilliant” and urged accommodation owners to be ambassadors for the investment being made at the park and in Blackpool in general.

She said: “This is a wonderful year for Blackpool and I hope you appreciate everything the whole town is doing for us all.

“Here at the Pleasure Beach we have so many wonderful, exciting things happening.

“Nickelodeon Land is a million times better than we ever expected. It’s something we haven’t experienced here in Blackpool before and it will make everyone thrilled to be part of Blackpool and part of the Pleasure Beach.

“I promise, it is going to be mindblowingly brilliant.”

Hoteliers were optimistic the new rides would help boost trade.

Michael Lord, of Branston Lodge on Withnell Road, South Shore, said; “I think it’s very exciting for the town and we are optimistic about the season ahead.

“We have been here four years and part of the reason we came to Blackpool was all the regeneration.

“Ever since Nickelodeon Land was announced we have promoted it. It’s a major factor for us because we have a lot of families who stay with us.”

Sylvia Graham, who has run The Wilford Hotel on Station Road, also South Shore, for 19 years, added: “Blackpool is currently going through the biggest changes in all the years I’ve been here.

“I think Nickelodeon Land will bring in more families and this end of town is the family end, with the Sandcastle and Pleasure Beach here.”

Paula Hodgson of The Alwoodly, and Janice Hall, of The Concorde Hotel, both Hornby Road, welcomed the changes but called for the Pleasure Beach’s £5 admission charge, introduced in 2009, to be dropped.

Janice said: “The children love Nickelodeon and I think it will help Blackpool and the Pleasure Beach.

“The only thing I would like to see is the £5 charge being dropped because for grandparents, for example, who aren’t going on any rides, it is a lot to pay.”

Work started on Nickelodeon Land last October and Pleasure Beach bosses are predicting a 20 per cent surge in visitor numbers as a result of the investment backed by a £5m loan from Blackpool Council.

Rides from the former Beaver Creek are being relocated to an area near the Avalanche.