Blackpool Pleasure Beach Valhalla: 14 brilliant retro pictures from when the Viking ride was first opened by Jonathan Ross in 2000

Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s hotly-anticipated, revamped Viking ride is set re-open this season so we’ve dug through the archives back to 2000 when it opened first time round.

Jonathan Ross was in town to perform the official opening and bravely accepted the challenge, with his wife Jane Goldman, to journey to Valhalla alongside Pleasure Beach boss Geoffrey Thompson and Barbara Thompson.

It had cost £15m to build and was the country’s biggest, privately-funded Millennium project. It was built on the site of the Fun House, which was destroyed by fire in 1991 and ironically featured an inferno of its own, with a wall of flames confronting brace Viking warriors. Rock FM was there to broadcast live from the park and there was a steady queue of eager thrill-seekers who wanted to be among the first to try it. Were you one of them? The day’s finale was a huge firework display, set to music, which lit up the sky in spectacular style. The photos are mainly from the opening but include pictures of the ride’s naming day and construction phases

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