My walk around an empty theme park as workers prepare for Blackpool Pleasure Beach to open for 2024 season

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I had a day out at Blackpool Pleasure Beach while it was closed to the public - and it was full of surprises!

Being at the Pleasure Beach off-season was an experience completely unlike visiting in summer.

I have many happy memories of day-trips to the park as a teenager - riding Revolution and being launched into the air on the Ice Blast (or the Playstation as it used to be known).

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What's missing today is the screams and shrieks of excitement and fear, the sound of laughter and clinking and whirring sounds from the arcades.

It feels eerie walking past the Ghost Train - although the creepy characters have been stripped down to be repainted and revived so they can keep terrifying riders throughout the summer.

Pavements are lined with Alice In Wonderland tableauxs, in their half-painted forms. Meanwhile, artists and paint-sprayers are grafting away in the workshop etching out the fine details of every character.

I remember the entrance to Avalanche being packed with people, eagerly and nervously anticipating the experience. Today, it's derelict - it's a sight I would have once dreamed of whilst impatiently queuing to ride!

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It feels surreal walking past the giant drinks can that instantly takes me back to days of repeatedly passing through to ascend the track up to the precipice - a feeling and sound I'll never forget!

This year, The Big One turns 30 and she's being re-tracked so that thrill-seekers can have a 'smoother and more enjoyable' ride.

The Revolution was supported by scaffolding boards, and in the distance I could see parts of the Big One track were missing. That's because it is being 're-tracked' for a smoother riding experience, as the famous Big One ride turns 30.

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Water-rides on the park were all missing one key ingredient that riders are used to - Valhalla and the Rugrats Lost River log flume in Nickolodeon Land were all dried out!

Engineers were busy ensuring every nut, bolt and screw is in place to make rollercoasters run smoothly.

The park may look empty, but the workshops were a hub of activity as artists and rollercoaster experts repair and restore any ride parts that need a bit of TLC.

Today I got a fascinating glimpse behind the scenes of one of the UK's favourite amusement parks - and I can't wait to see it back to it's shining glory when it re-opens in spring 2024.

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