Reviewed by Lucy Gwilliam
Yesterday evening we were very lucky to be invited to the opening night of Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s adaptation of Aladdin the Panto. With over 50 performances planned in between now and 24th December, we were delighted to be one of the first people to see the show. I visited with my husband and 2 children, aged 8 and 11.
We are huge panto fans in our house and we try to see as many different performances as we can throughout the festive season. Both of my children have autism and panto and theatre shows are something that really makes them happy, especially my youngest, who becomes completely mesmerised by the theatrics.
With the last 2 years being in a pandemic, we’ve not been to any shows in all of this time and we have truly missed and pined for a live performance. My children were both so excited to visit the pleasure beach yesterday to watch Aladdin at The Globe, which was followed by an experience at Blackpool’s Winter Wonderland and a visit to Santa.
We arrived at The Globe with time to spare before the show started. In this time we were fortunate to be able to take pictures with the cast who were mingling with the guests for this press event. My son was straight up to the front for a picture with the evil Abanazar (Jafar).
Unfortunately, Kevin Simm, who plays Aladdin, had taken ill that morning and was unable to perform in the opening show due to abdominal pains. This did not stop the show from going on and they quickly drafted in Reece Oliver to take his place with only 5 hours notice. Reece put on a great performance and was an absolute natural as Aladdin.
The show was very well scripted and very funny throughout, with lots of one liners that only the adults would appreciate. The dancing was spectacular, with beautiful and talented dancers setting each scene exquisitely. The show was brilliant and both of my children were completely enthralled throughout. It was a really well planned adaptation of Aladdin and a brilliant first live experience for us after a very long break.
I really liked the 4d experience with bubbles being blown through the audience and the curtain of rain in the final scene. All of the children in the audience seemed to love this.
Once the curtain was drawn after the final scene, we made our way into the park for our Winter Wonderland experience. This enchanting experience is available from 20th November until 24th December.
We began our experience with a ride on Alice in Wonderland. We went on a trip through the looking glass on this magical ride in one of the Cheshire Cat Carriages. It was a lovely way to start and we all enjoyed this. It’s been a while since any of us have been on theme park rides so we all enjoyed this.
We then made our way to Santa’s Grotto, which was just a minutes walk from the Alice ride. On the way there are Christmas themed games to play and cafes open where you can purchase hot drinks and snacks.
Upon entering the Grotto, we were quickly led to a booth where Santa was sat waiting for us. He did the usual in asking if the children had been good and what they would like. We then posed for a photo, which you can purchase upon exiting- there are different options of how to present the photo including a snow globe.
The children were given their gift from Santa and we were guided around the wonderland. As we walked around, we were greeted by many of Santa’s friends and family, each giving us a little gift or token to help us with Christmas. We first met Miss Christmas Eve, Santa’s granddaughter, who gave us some bauble decorating kits to prepare for our tree. We then met a couple of elves who gave us a Santa key and some reindeer food. The children really engaged with this and it made the experience extra magical.
As we were leaving the grotto, my 8 year old son said to me “mummy, I’m really happy we came here tonight”. That just summed up the experience for me totally. I’ve not seen them both look that happy in such a long time.
Rating: Overall, we had an amazing experience and would rate both experiences 5/5.
Tickets from Aladdin start from £12.00 per person.
Tickets for Winter Wonderland start from £15.99 per child.
Both experiences can be booked separately on https://www.blackpoolpleasurebeach.com