Lights, for when it rains

Kate McMullin looks forward to Blackpool’s newest attraction – indoor illuminations

Sunday, 23rd March 2014, 6:00 am
Illuminasia preview at The Olympia in the Winter Gardens, Blackpool. Artistic Director Max Painter

Noses pressed against car windows as rain dribbles on the glass panes, beady eyes squinting to make out the shapes of the bright lights outside through the refractions ...and hands clutching a tray of chips in a car that creeps along the Promenade.

It’s a memorable scene of a night at Blackpool Illuminations...but not for much longer.

From next month,, visitors will be able to enjoy the attraction Blackpool is most famous for, not only up close and personal but indoors in weather-proof comfort.

The £3m, indoor attraction will feature 450 lighting structures over five levels, covering 45,000 square meters, giving visitors the opportunity to walk through the attraction, including five interactive ‘worlds’ which have never been seen anywhere in Europe.

Illuminasia will open on Good Friday, April 18, and will be housed in the huge Olympia Arena at the Winter Gardens.

Described as “a railway station with no trains” the vast Olympia Arena, on the back corner of the Winter Gardens, will include Ancient Wonders of China, the Land of the Giants, an Undersea World, and a Planetarium with a huge illuminated Blackpool Tower in the centre paying homage to the town’s landmark.

Brought to Blackpool by the world-renowned ISA – International Special Attractions’ Group based in Shanghai and Los Angeles and UK co-producer Jon Conway, the attraction adapts Chinese lantern crafts with the newest in lighting technology.

Jon Conway said: “Having produced summer shows in the town for 20 years I am delighted to bring this fantastic new, year-round attraction to my favourite place.

“Blackpool is set for a regeneration and I want to be part of it.”

The exhibition will also feature a number of bespoke pieces for the resort and will light up the space with main feature ‘Wonders of the World Square’ where a second tower, along with Tower Bridge, the Statue of Liberty and other world landmarks will stand.

Tickets are £12.95 for adults and £9.95 for children (three-14). Children aged two and under go free.

Both can be booked in person via the Winter Gardens’ box office or online at