Sunday, 21 August 2011

Nemesis Nick at Sandcastle Water Park Blackpool

Date: Friday 15 April 2011
Venue: Sandcastle Water Park (Blackpool)
Who Went: Just me

Rationale For Trip
As some of you may have gathered, I enjoy water parks, including Splashdown at Tower Park, Poole.  Having travelled to Blackpool the evening of Thursday 14 April for the 2011 RCCGB Blackpool Bash, Friday daytime was the ideal opportunity for me to visit Blackpool's Sandcastle Water Park.

Welcome To Sandcastle Water Park
Just like Pleasure Beach Resort the rest of the weekend, it was only a short walk from the hotel where I stayed to Sandcastle Water Park.  When I reached the reception I paid the extra for a Hyperzone wristband, which covers the Master Blaster and Sidewinder.  Thanks to a coupon in the leaflet, I saved 10% of the admission fee.

In The Pool Area
Once past the foyer/bar and changing rooms, the water park itself is vast.  Being as I'd been there in April 2010, I remembered the layout quite well.  I began with the Master Blaster.

Master Blaster
One of the two Hyperzone slides, requiring use of a tyre.  There was a queue for tyres and another queue at the launch point, but it was worth the wait.  Master Blaster seems to go on for ever, there are several uphill sections.  Part way along you go along a tube slide, which exits the building, spirals around and re-enters the building.  That's the blue spiral tube you can see sticking out of the left front corner of the building.  Towards the end there's a final climb and a very steep final drop into the landing tray.  Altogether a thrilling ride.  For now I enjoyed four goes.

One important question: the Master Blaster is described as a rollercoaster water slide, but does that mean it's a rollercoaster or not?    In fact it claims to be the world's longest indoor rollercoaster water slide.  I asked the lifeguard if that really is true; I was told there are longer outdoor ones elsewhere in the world, but this is the world's longest indoor one.

The other Hyperzone slide, also requiring use of a tyre.  I faced a queue for the tyre, and another queue for the launch point at the top.  When it was my turn I sat in my tyre on the launch platform, waiting to be pushed over the edge.  There's a very steep drop (long way down) into a ravine.  Following the first drop, you go quite a long way up the other side, then down and back up the side you first came down, and so forth until you run out of momentum and grind to a halt at the bottom of the ravine, before exiting.  Wow!  Going back and forth made for a thrilling ride.  For now I had three goes.

Ushi-Gushi River Creek
A flowing river, running anticlockwise.  Some used floats, but I couldn't find one.  I enjoyed four laps of this river run.

Thunderfalls Waterslides
Two water slides, one is blue and one is yellow.  These are mostly open top, however there's a short covered bit on the yellow slide midway.  The queue up the spiral stairs was quite lengthy, so for now I enjoyed the blue and yellow slides in sequence twice over.

Treetops Water Chutes
A set of three wavy slides side by side, thus three sliders can race each other.  Looking from the top, the left hand slide is blue, the centre one is yellow and the right hand one is red.  These were made by Aqua Leisure International, commissioned 2004.  I enjoyed these three wavy slides twice each in the following order: red, yellow, blue, red, yellow, blue.

Duelling Dragons
Two fast closed tubes; one called Barracuda and the other called Serpent.  The leaflet classes these as White Knuckle Slides, but they're not part of Hyperzone.  The queue for these slides was longer than I'd have liked, so for now I enjoyed Barracuda and Serpent twice each.

Caribbean Storm Treehouse
A play area with a number of features, including a giant coconut which gradually fills and tips to spill its contents over you.  I stood under the coconut for a few minutes waiting for it to tip water over me.  There are also water jets you can aim at other bathers.

Master Blaster
Back to the Master Blaster.  This time I only had one go.

The wave machine was now on in the wave pool, so I went in the wave pool for a few minutes to enjoy the waves.  When the waves subsided I left the pool.

Now for a few more goes on the Sidewinder.  The wait for tyres varied between goes.  Anyway this time I enjoyed four thrilling goes on Sidewinder.

Duelling Dragons
Back to the Duelling Dragons.  These were generally quiet now, sometimes there was no-one in front of me.  I enjoyed Barracuda and Serpent in sequence eight times over.

Thunderfalls Waterslides
Now for some more goes on the Thunderfalls Waterslides.  The queues for these slides was generally shorter than earlier, so I enjoyed the blue and yellow slides in sequence four times over.

To finish off my day at Sandcastle Water Park, more goes in the Hyperzone.

My final four goes of the day on this.  I met Adam Bysouth from the RCCGB whilst waiting for one of these goes.  He asked me if I was here for the Blackpool Bash and recognised me as Nemesis Nick.

Master Blaster
The Master Blaster was now really quiet, with no wait for tyres and very short wait (if at all) at the launch point.  Due to it being so quiet, I was able to enjoy twelve goes before closing time of 5:30pm.  Definitely my grand finale to my day at Blackpool Water Park.  I saw Adam Bysouth again on one of these goes.  In addition, between goes I noticed the following label at the side of the Master Blaster launch point:

Aqua Leisure International
Master Blaster Ride
Commissioned April 2006

After that it was closing time of 5:30pm, so I left the pool area and returned to the changing room.  I saw Adam Bysouth again in the changing room, he was surprised at my 12 goes on Master Blaster at the end, he said he had 6 goes on Master Blaster altogether.  We spoke about various parks.

Cumulative summary of my session

Duelling Dragons: Barracuda
Duelling Dragons: Serpent
Master Blaster
Thunderfalls Waterslides (blue)
Thunderfalls Waterslides (yellow)
Treetops Water Chutes (blue)
Treetops Water Chutes (red)
Treetops Water Chutes (yellow)

Total 66 slides, plus 4 laps of Ushi-Gushi River Creek.


High slide count.
Going on the thrilling Hyperzone slides Sidewinder and Master Blaster.
Meeting Adam Bysouth towards the end of my visit.
12 goes on Master Blaster at the end of the day.

None really, all went so well.

Summing Up
Wow, a mega fun visit to the UK's largest indoor water park. By staying in all day, I certainly got my money's worth. Amazingly I managed to stay in until 5:30pm without eating or drinking anything. Evidently my big breakfast around 9am kept me going all day. If you've not yet been there, and you enjoy water parks, I strongly suggest you pay it a visit. In order to get your money's worth, I recommend staying in all day. Going in after the ERS on Sunday of the Blackpool Bash (i.e. around midday) may not give you sufficient time to do Sandcastle Water Park justice.

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