Illuminasia is an indoor attraction in the Winter Gardens a short distance behind Blackpool Tower. It is an Asian-themed light exhibition which is suitable for all ages. It combines traditional Chinese paper lantern crafts with modern technology.
There are six zones, each with a different theme, and a laser show at the end. Everyone is given a quiz card at the beginning, where you answer questions in each zone and get a complimentary certificate at the end from the gift shop.
The first zone is The Mysteries of China, where we admired the Chinese soldiers, and found our zodiac signs on the wall. We had two monkeys, two rabbits, and a pig!
Next came The Blackpool Experience which was an exhibition of the history of Blackpool’s relationship with all things lighting.
Zone three is The Planetarium, which is quite small. There are planets and stars to look at, with a video talking about them. Listen carefully and you’ll find the answer to the next question on your card.
Then you shrink down in size (not really) and enter (down a big flight of stairs) The Land of the Giants. This was my three-year-olds’ favourite bit. They loved pretending they were their favourite elf and fairy characters, talking to giant ladybirds and hiding from giant dogs. Look up high in the sky and you’ll see butterflies.
Next is The Deep which is good but disappointingly small. After this is the last zone, The Wonders of the World, which is pretty good. There is a viewing gallery up high where you can look over this zone.
In this zone there is the gift shop – don’t forget to collect your certificate for your completed question card – and the cafe. The toilets are just through the doors.
The laser show runs every twenty minutes or so in this zone, so grab yourself a seat and wait. The laser show is a bit cheesy but the children love it. The host gets a child up on the stage – one of mine was chosen – to help turn the ‘broken’ lights back on. they get some little gifts for taking part. Then you can have your photo taken with Globot.
And that’s it! One hour at the most, unless you want to go round again, which you can. Certainly, no-one was stopping anyone from doing so on the day of our visit, though this might be different in very busy periods.
It’s not overly suitable for prams as there are a lot of steps to negotiate, and while there was access for prams and wheelchairs, it made it a bit higgledy-piggledy for them. Illuminasia is more suited to toddlers and older children, and is also great for unaccompanied adults.
Queues were short, and Illuminasia is a good option for a rainy Blackpool afternoon. Illuminasia is a unique attraction, and you certainly won’t see anything like this elsewhere in the area. If you’re a fan of Blackpool’s illuminations, then you’ll love Illuminasia.
The only problem for us was that the visit was so short. We would have liked to have spent more time here, but the children talked about it for the rest of the day, and it certainly left an impression on them.
For more information, please see http://www.illuminasia.co.uk/
Disclosure – we received free entry to do this review