Earlier this month, Southport Pleasureland hosted a fantastic evening of entertainment and fireworks for their Day of the Dead Festival, which was attended by a huge crowd of visitors and brought an end to the 2019 season. My family and I were invited along to enjoy the celebrations and find out more about what was on offer for guests to experience at the event.
We arrived just before 5pm and made our way into the attraction. This was our first time at Southport Pleasureland, so my children were very excited to be attending and couldn't wait to see what rides and acts were available. As we entered, we were greeted by two stilt walkers in Day of the Dead themed costumes and face paints, as they spun circles of fire in front of the arriving visitors. Riley was mesmerised watching them and was looking forward to seeing the rest of the entertainment.
I had saved the list of timings on my phone, but realised once we were there, that we didn't know the locations of each act. Fortunately we seemed to be in the right place at the right time when it came to viewing the action and my children loved watching the performances. The Bring the Fire Project Skeletons got the evening off to a great start with their movements and flames, whilst the Creo Dance Company offered some creative dance displays.
We particularly enjoyed the LED jugglers and spinners who wowed the audience with their wonderful light displays. Our favourite however, was the Katumba Drummers which really helped to create a carnival style atmosphere. My eldest son is currently learning to play the drums in school, so he absolutely loved this part of the evening.
In between the acts we enjoyed ourselves on all of the rides. Each of them were being offered at a discounted price of £1.50 per ride which seemed very reasonable. To go on the rides you needed to purchase a Fun Card, which could then be pre-loaded with credit using one of the machines around the park. We had been provided with £10 credit on each on ours and this lasted us the whole night. I felt that the reduced ride prices offered families great value for money and that the Fun Card system would also allow families to budget accordingly.
There was a great choice of rides to choose from and we found that the queue times for each of them were reasonable and not too long. The Dodgems were very popular, but my eldest son managed to get a couple of goes and he had great fun driving the vehicle around and trying to avoid others. Riley loved the Balloon Ride, the Dumbo's and the Convoy and used the majority of his £10 on these rides. A particular mention must go to the member of staff running the Convoy ride, who was fantastic with the children and made it a great experience for them all.
All three of my children loved the Dock Funhouse which is one of the largest I have ever seen. They all said it was fantastic and lots of fun, with plenty to see and do inside. They all went on this at the start of the evening and then each chose to visit it again at the end of the night too.
For an additional charge, guests could also participate in one of the many fairground games to win prizes, which were located at various points around the attraction. I thought that the one indoors looked great and the prizes seemed to be of a good quality too.
There were plenty of food options available from various vendors and there was an ample selection of choices on offer. Items ranged from sweet treats such as waffles and pancakes to the more traditional favourites of fish and chips. A vintage bus which doubled up as a bar was also in attendance, so adults could enjoy their favourite tipple, whilst taking in the entertainment. Both hot and cold drinks were also available throughout the park at varying prices.
The evening ended with a fabulous fireworks finale which lit up the night sky beautifully. It was a wonderful display which was the perfect way to end the event.
Overall we had a wonderful night at Southport Pleasureland and it will definitely be on our list of places to return to next year. We felt that the Day of the Dead Festival offered something different to the usual Halloween and Bonfire Night events that were being held during the same weekend and it is great that there is an attraction offering some variety.
We loved the family friendly atmosphere and found all the staff we came across to be extremely welcoming. The rides were all enjoyable and there was a great selection that were suitable for various ages from toddlers to adults, so there was no worry about anyone missing out on all the fun. Ultimately we had a great evening and we look forward to visiting again in the future.
Southport Pleasureland has now closed for the 2019 season, however they are due to reopen in March 2020 and you can find out more information on the attraction here:
Address - Southport Pleasureland, Marine Drive, Southport, PR8 1RX
Parking - There are 3 car parks located on the Esplanade and on Marine Drive
Public Transport - Southport Pleasureland is easily accesible by public transport and is a short walk from the park and ride station, the town centre and Southport Railway station.
*Disclaimer - We were invited to this event as guests of Southport Pleasureland, for the purpose of writing an honest review of our experience. All opinions and photographs are my own.