As a young Little Alan, I recall visiting Sunderland Illuminations on the way home from visiting my Auntie in Seaham. My dad would drive along the sea front and we’d gaze out at the strings of bulbs hanging across the roads. Something similar to Blackpool’s Illuminations but in a smaller scale. Turns out that Sunderland Illuminations is more that the road of lights, it expands in to the park nearby. It’s a good job Catherine knew this from her youth as I’d have driven by.
Sunderland Illuminations on Roker Beach
We started our lighting tour on the beach road. Just as you would expect lighting displays hanging from lampposts.
Shooting stars and colour changing LED bulbs. All the usual stuff that you would expect to see.
This years Sunderland Illuminations had a Disney theme. So far we’d not spotted anything Disney based, but apparently it would all pull together in Roker Park. Entry to the park was controlled by a ticket entry system. Tickets could be bought from kiosks at £2 per person or online at £1 per person. We pre booked and simple had to show an email to gain entry.
Mickey and The Gang
The full Disney line up were present. Photographing these items was incredibly hard and hopefully you can make out who these figures are.
Donald was setup standing with hid back to the rest of the gang. Whether this was on purpose or not.
There was also a 3D Mickey sculpture, but it didn’t;t photograph well. So here is a silhouette from the back wall.
Frozen had it’s own installation area. With sparkling snow storms, as shooting icy blasts. Olaf was up front in 3D form, while Elsa and Anna, were in flat form.
Olaf was also the welcoming character at the gates.
Peter Pan and Captain Hook
Although not standing next to each other, Captain Hook and Peter Pan got in on the action. Captain Hook was located in a Pirates cave, which was tucked away near the lower beach entry. The animatronic character was brandishing a sword, while yelling Pirate
Peter Pan was quite a distance away from Hook, means he was in Pirate Jail. Peter was overlooking the Peter Pan Shanty Town Food Court. Which seem like a Bavarian dinner experience, with several fast food outlets.
Ariel, The Little Mermaid had a large 2D display that had jumping Dolphins.
Alice in Wonderland had a few installation this year. Although the cartoon / film is my least favourite Disney offering. The light displays were my favourite. The Tea cups had a great colour combo, while the Cards had a clear presence, and much clearer than some of the other installations.
My highlight of the event was technically not brilliant to look at.
Just out side the beach entrance to Roker Park is an open shelter / unit. As part of the illuminations it is lit with with UV lighting, which is shining at some UV painted graffiti. In person the paintings looked OK, but when I photographed them, they really came alive. The colours were so vibrant, but it took a photo to make them pop!
Sunderland Illuminations filled in a couple of hours as we walked around Roker Park. For the bargain price of £1 per person, it certainly was value for money. Additionally to the Disney lights, there were a few other enchanted projections, including a fairy dell, beating heart interactive display and various other models that were previously on show in Blackpool.
Tickets can be bought on the See It Do It Sunderland Website