Blackpool Pleasure Beach (Icon) - June 2018
From June 23th to June 26th 2018, I went for my first ever time to the United Kingdom to visit the major theme parks the country has to offer. I spent my first day at Thorpe Park, my second day at Blackpool Pleasure Beach and South Pier, and my third and fourth day at Alton Towers.
On June 24th, I visited Blackpool Pleasure Beach. This was a park I wanted to visit for a very long time, mainly because I have always had a soft spot for classic parks. And the fact that it is located right next to the seaside, put it even higher on my bucket list. And guess what, I absolutely loved this place! It probably is my favorite classis amusement park. Most of the rides have barely any theming, although there are a few exceptions like Nickelodeon Land and - of course - Valhalla. But the atmosphere in the park more than makes up for that. Of course, the main reason that made me visit this park this year was Icon - their brand new Mack Double Launch Coaster. But Blackpool Pleasure Beach has much more to offer: they are home to an awesome collection of classic wooden coasters, some classic and unique dark rides and one of the best and wettest water rides I have ever done.
Much like the day before, the weather was absolutely gorgeous. Despite it being a Sunday in June combined with the beautiful sunshine, the park was fairly quiet. Normally, whenever I am going on a foreign trip, I always buy the skip-the-line passes the park has to offer. But I didn't need it at Blackpool, because the longest I have waited was about 20 minutes for Avalanche. Yes, you read that right! The longest line was not for their brand new coaster. Icon never had a queue of more than 15 minutes. Seriously, it is a capacity monster. Most of the other rides were a 5-10 minute wait.Grand National (6/10)
Grand National is probably the most iconic wooden coaster at the Pleasure Beach. It is actually one big Möbius loop, so you start for example in the left station, then make your way around the track duelling with the other train before ending your ride in the other station. To be honest, I wasn't a massive fan of Grand National, mainly because it has some very rough spots and it is very, very shaky. And that is a real shame, because the airtime is phenomenal. On almost every hill you get some serious ejector airtime, which I was not expecting at all. The ride has no theming, but the trains were very comfy. I would have rated this coaster a lot higher if it just was a more enjoyable experience.Revolution (5/10)
This coaster was better than I expected it to be. The loop had some pretty good G's to it going forwards. Going backwards, it was even better. Revolution also provided some unexpected airtime after the launches
, and who doesn't like that?! The ride was also very smooth. Like almost every coaster at the park, there wasn't any theming. But the views from the station at the top more than made up for that.Blue Flyer (4.5/10)
Blue Flyer was probably my least favorite wooden coaster at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. It is still a very fun ride, but it is more a kiddie coaster. It did have a few pops of floater airtime, though. There was also a tunnel, which was probably the highlight of the ride. Blue Flyer didn't have any theming, but it was a surprisingly smooth ride.Nickelodeon Streak (6.5/10)
Nickelodeon Streak is the park's big orange coaster. I wasn't expecting much from this ride, just a normal classic wooden coaster. But this was the biggest surprise of the day. It is full of awesome floater airtime and it is very smooth, considering its age. The ride also had some good forces at the bottom of the drops. The trains were again very comfy. Nickelodeon Streak ended up being my second favorite wooden coaster at the park.Steeplechase (5.5/10)
I was very excited to finally ride Steeplechase, because it is a very unique coaster. The seating position was surprisingly comfortable. The ride itself was very fun. It doesn't have massive drops or airtime, but it doesn't need that. The main aspect is the fact that you are racing. It is likely my favorite racing coaster I have done. Steeplechase is also very smooth and it even has a bit of theming around the track. I heard that most of the time the park only runs two of the three sides, and that was exactly the case the day I visited - only the green and the yellow side were open.Big One (7/10)
It was finally time to ride the coaster that Blackpool is famous for - Big One. It certainly is big, very big. It really dominates the skyline of the park. The climb on the lift hill provides some amazing views of the Pleasure Beach and the sea - it was stunning! Before you know, you are whipped out of your seat while you are going down the epic first drop - awesome. But sadly, the views and the first drop were the best part of the coaster. The ride does pull some very good G's at the bottom of the hills. But let's be honest, for a coaster that big with such massive hills, you'd expect it to have at least some airtime. At most, there were two or three minor pops of airtime. On the plus side, the ride is very fun and fairly smooth. Also, the back seat is definitely the place to be. The drop gets even crazier. If have to rank Big One in terms of other Hypers I have done, it would probably be at the bottom of that list. But like I said earlier, it is a very fun ride. The main reason to ride Big One is probably for the views.Avalanche (5/10)
Avalanche is the best themed coaster at the park, although only the station is themed. I have ridden a lot of bobsled coasters and Blackpool's version is clearly the wildest and best one. There is even a little pop of airtime halfway through the ride! Avalanche just keeps going faster and faster and it swings more and more in the turns. It has some very good focres near the end of the ride. While bobsled coasters are very fun, they are not really my type of ride, though.Big Dipper (7/10)
I wasn't expecting much from this classic wooden coaster, just a nice and relaxing ride. The pre-lift section was a bit funky. After the climb on the lift hill, you make a very tight turn that almost seems impossible to do. Next, you drop down and you get some crazy ejector airtime. This was something I was not expecting at all. The next hill also provided some crazy ejector airtime. Wow! Then you hit the turnaround and the ride suddenly became a whole lot tamer. The airtime is still good, but not as crazy as the first two moments. The ride was also a bit shaky, but not as bad as Grand National. Big Dipper was much better than expected. So much so that it is my favorite wooden coaster at Blackpool.Infusion (4.5/10)
Infusion is quite possibly the best looking SLC out there, with its placement over the water and all the fountains underneath the ride. But that is all the love this ride gets from me. It is not the smoothest SLC I have done, but also not the roughest one out there. I always thought that the layout of these SLC's are pretty good, but it is the head banging that makes this ride so horrible. Icon (9/10)
I absolutely love Blue Fire, Alpina Blitz, Star Trek: OE and Helix, so my expactations for this ride were pretty high. And guess what, it exceeded all of them! This coaster is awesome from start to finish! Granted, it is not the most intense coaster in the world, nor are the launches the most powerful out there. But this coaster doesn't need that. Icon is a very enjoyable coaster experience. Would it have been better if it was more intense? Probably. But I don't mind. This ride is just pure fun, and that is what it is all about. The hangtime in the first inversion is just phenomenal, just like the hangtime in the Immelmann after the second launch. The airtime is also outstanding. Probably just a bit better than the airtime you get on Helix. Also, I really love the interaction with the other rides on Icon. It really adds to the overall ride experience. The second part is definitely my favorite part of the ride, mainly because of all the twisty sections and crazy airtime. Of course, the ride is butter smooth and the trains are as comfy as they can get. The ride has a very modern Japanese look to it, which I really liked. I also loved the soundtrack of Icon. The back seat was definitely my favorite. The airtime on the first hill is better in the front, but the rest of the ride is better in the back.
I really, really enjoyed Icon. I loved it so much that I would rank it inside of my top 10. I still prefer Helix, but I'll take Icon over Alpina Blitz, Blue Fire and Star Trek: OE. Overall, it's a stunning ride and the reason to visit Blackpool Pleasure Beach. Icon is the new icon for this park!
So overall, I had an excellent time at this park. The highlight of the day was clearly Icon, closely followed by Valhalla. There are a lot of other solid rides, but Icon really is the modern coaster this park needed. It fits in really well between all the classic rides the park has to offer. Blackpool Pleasure Beach really is a park to keep your eyes on in the near future.
Thanks for reading!
Last edited by JordyC
on Fri Jul 06, 2018 1:01 am.