Tim Burton made a surprise return to his favourite amusement park, Blackpool Pleasure Beach. yesterday (Thursday 5th October) and was given a sneak preview of its awesome up-coming Hallowe’en themed ‘Journey to Hell’ event.
Known for his unconventional film-making style often incorporating the creepy and macabre, Tim was thrilled to explore the park’s Twisted Tunnels, which are eerily dressed for the Journey to Hell Freak Nights, opening Friday 13th October.
During his visit Tim, who directed the 2010 film version of Alice in Wonderland, also couldn’t resist a journey on the ride of the same name. He also enjoyed the UK’s tallest rollercoaster the Big One, the Steeplechase ride, and was spotted eating lunch at the park’s Big Pizza Kitchen.
It’s no secret that the Hollywood director is a huge fan of Blackpool, having gone so far as to feature both the town and Blackpool Pleasure Beach in a number of creative projects.
So fans couldn’t help but wonder if he was using this unexpected visit for inspiration for his next film, Beetlejuice 2 (see below) due for release September 2024.
It’s certainly possible – the Hollywood royalty was treated to the opportunity to walk through the infamous Ghost Train, the first ghost train in the world, and spent time taking pictures and videos.
However, it was the River Caves, a dark ride that first opened in 1905, which captured his attention on this latest visit.
The director said the ride was his favourite part of the day – and compared it to seeing “that one piece of art that just captivates you” in Fondazione Prada, a gallery in Milan.
Tim, who most recently directed Netflix hit Wednesday starring Jenna Ortega, was visiting nearby Manchester on business but specifically made the trip to Blackpool to visit Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
CEO of Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Amanda Thompson OBE, said: ‘We know Tim is a huge fan of Blackpool Pleasure Beach having visited us quite a few times already, and it’s always so wonderful to welcome him back.
Tim is known for drawing on gothic and horror influences so we couldn’t resist the opportunity to invite him for a behind-the-scenes tour of Journey To Hell, and get the seal of approval from the master of macabre himself.
He actually suggested that we use the River Caves as part of Journey to Hell – and that’s exactly what we’ve done.’
Andy Hygate, Director of Operations, added: ‘Tim was fascinated by Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s rich history, from being home to the first Ghost Train in the world to the Big Dipper recently celebrating its 100th birthday – and learning that his favourite ride, The River Caves, is more than 110 years old.
Our park has lots of traits that are synonymous with Tim’s unique aesthetic and he spent a lot of time taking photographs and videos of our attractions and around the park. It wouldn’t be surprising if he were to use them for inspiration in some way – watch this space!’
Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s Journey to Hell event – now with the Tim Burton seal of approval – is taking place on selected dates between 13th and 31st of October 2023. The terrifying, experience led event will feature live actors through eight themed areas of the amusement park.
The event will also give guests the opportunity to experience their favourite rides with a difference, including Dark ICON and CaroLoco Dodgems, as well as the option to add Pasaje Del Terror to their Journey to Hell Experience.