Revamped Blackpool Tower reopens
Blackpool Tower has been reopened to the public following a 10-month multimillion-pound refurbishment.
The grandeur and heritage of the 118-year-old building has been retained, including the Tower Ballroom and Tower Circus, but it now boasts two new attractions - the Blackpool Tower Dungeon, a fun walk through some of the North West's most horrible history, and the Blackpool Tower Eye with 4D cinema experience.
A specially commissioned film takes guests on a trip down memory lane to see history in the making, including Mayor John Bickerstaffe's construction of the tower, watched through the amazed eyes of a young boy.
The film is brought to life with sensory effects, dubbed the fourth dimension, from sea spray to the unmistakable aroma of the beach donkeys.
The cinema is located under the tower's steel arches, which have been exposed for the first time. The film is the pre-show before guests take their flight to the Blackpool Tower Eye. From the 'flight deck' guests will be guided into the lifts by flight attendants and ascend to the Tower Eye.
Exiting the lifts, visitors are immediately confronted by the Skywalk, a 4.15-tonne glass floor and floor-to-ceiling glass observation platform, which now runs along an entire side of the Blackpool Tower Eye. Visitors can walk the famous Blackpool promenade hundreds of feet in the air and marvel at the uninterrupted views of the North West coastline.
Blackpool Council, which bought the tower, has been working with attractions operator Merlin Entertainments to return it to its glory days as part of the council's £250 million regeneration plans for the resort.
Nick Varney, Merlin Entertainments CEO, said: "This is a landmark day for Blackpool and the Blackpool Tower. While there is still more work to be done, the tower itself looks fantastic - and has been restored with a great deal of skill and care.
"It also now offers five great attractions - with something to appeal to everyone in the family. Merlin now operates eight attractions in the town - the highest concentration of attractions we have in any one location around the world - a real show of Merlin's commitment and belief in the new Blackpool, and the vision of the council here.
"This, together with all the other investment going on in the town, means this much loved seaside town has the potential, and the vision, to once again become one of Europe's leading family holiday destinations."