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PhNx Survivor
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Re: Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Fri May 25, 2018 11:53 am

As long as they give the wild mouse a fitting successor, I don’t have a problem with them adding 3 new rides potentially.. would be nice to see something happen to Trauma Towers!
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Re: Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Sat May 26, 2018 6:45 am

MakoMania wrote:
Also, Nick Thompson said at the press event today that the park will be adding "about" 3 significant new rides in the next 7 years.

I'm sure it was mentioned somewhere that the plan was for Mack to deliver at least 2 more rides for Pleasure Beach (so 3 rides in total including ICON). I guess this adds some truth to that rumour. I'm intrigued to see what they add next, I doubt all 4 rides are going to be rollercoasters!
 
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Re: Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Sun May 27, 2018 10:54 pm

 
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Re: Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Tue May 29, 2018 12:37 am

I disagree almost entirely with that review, as would almost everyone that I talked to on the opening day :P

I know everyone has different coaster tastes, but that review is extremely sour (pun intended) compared to anything else I have read. A few online reviews have been more negative than any reactions I heard in person, I'm not sure why.

I personally think that the ride is world class and most of us on opening day agreed that it is easily the best coaster in the UK when it warms up, warming up seems to be crucial with these Mack launch coasters :)
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Robert.W
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Re: Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Tue May 29, 2018 1:31 am

I've read three proper reviews of Icon now, and heard many people's thoughts on various forums...

Icon sounds a bit marmite if I'm being honest. Some people sound like they absolutely loved it, while some sound as if they can't get over how seriously underwhelming they found it. Some seem to think it's the ultimate thrill ride, the best in the UK even, whilst others don't even think it's the best at the Pleasure Beach...

I think the fact that everyone seemed to write it off as the better coaster of 2018 (compared to Wicker Man), maybe put expectations way to high. And the ride itself really had to be amazing, because there was nothing to back it up (i.e. theming, special effects, etc.). Wicker Man is an average family wooden coaster and it's special effects and theming are what brings the whole experience together. Icon seems above average, although some people seem to think that it shouldn't even be classified as a thrill ride, but more of a family ride! Obviously I wouldn't know exactly why people think that (I've not even ridden it!), but if I'm hazarding a guess, then I'd say many people have built it up in their minds that it's going to be an amazing coaster, specifically more amazing than Wicker Man, but in actual truth, while the coaster itself is likely better than Wicker Man (not including any of the effects and theming), the full experience perhaps just doesn't deliver to those unrealistically high expectations... just me guessing though, maybe Icon really is just that bad!! :P

Also, if you're like me, and you really value themed experiences – that is something that Icon lacks – not because of any fault of the ride, but because it just isn't meant to be that kind of experience. But it obviously still does impact some people's enjoyment of the coaster.

I should really reserve my judgement until I actually ride though! 
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Re: Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Tue May 29, 2018 2:58 pm

After some more rides today, it is soooo close to knocking Mako from my number one spot, soooo close! I'll decide after riding Mako again in July.
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Re: Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Tue May 29, 2018 4:56 pm

So I had 12 rides in total on Icon on Friday, and here's my review... I think we were all hoping this would be the coaster that would blow everything else in the UK out of the water. Finally a new world-class coaster in this country after so many years of mediocrity. We had Wicker Man, which we were all hoping would be our new world class themed experience coaster, and it absolutely delivered. We were then holding out hope that Icon would deliver the promise of being our new world class thrill coaster. And I think many of us, myself included, were somewhat disappointed after seeing off and on ride footage. The first launch has no kick to it at all, just a slow gradual acceleration, and generally the whole thing looks slow and boring. From reviews it seemed that they'd succeeded in creating a decent coaster that was up there with the best in the country, but not the world-class experience we were hoping for. And yes, after my first ride I was a little underwhelmed, thought it was good, up there among the best in the country but didn't really think it blew away the competition like we were hoping it would. An enjoyable smooth ride with a few nice pops of airtime, but a lot of dead space where it's just meandering about doing nothing with no real force or thrills to it. After my first ride I think I would've still rated Nemesis or Stealth higher in terms of the UK. However it turned out to be a coaster that really warms up throughout the day, that little extra speed it gains works wonders, and with each subsequent ride those dead spots got smaller and smaller until it was pretty much a solid coaster from start to finish. The only section that remained weak was just the last couple of bends before the brakes which still pretty much do nothing, but I'll let them off as the rest is fantastic. By the end of the day it had gone from being among the best coasters in the country, to being by far and away the best coaster in the country. And not only that but my personal new number one coaster overall! Addictively re-rideable too. Some coasters, Nemesis for example, even though they're really good, you still don't feel like doing more than a couple of times in a row. Icon on the other hand, I just wanted to keep going round and round. Even when it was raining and riding was becoming a bit painful with raindrops hitting you in the eyes, I still didn't want to stop. I remember I did one rainy ride on Blue Fire and didn't want to do it again until the rain stopped, for that reason. But with Icon I just didn't care, it was just too good!

So, onto the specifics. The first launch is, as we could all see from videos, very weak. No kick to it at all. I know it's an LSM and not a hydraulic cable launch so wasn't expecting it to be anything crazy, but even Blue Fire's launch has a bit of a kick to it (that being the only other one of these coasters I've done so I'll be referencing it a few times). I had low expectations for the launch but was at least expecting it to be comparable to Blue Fire, and it's not even as good as that. But you've just got to think of the launch as a means to an end - the way the coaster gets up to speed, an alternative to a lift hill. These Mack coasters aren't about the launch in the way an Intamin like Stealth is, they're more about the rest of the layout. And while I always wished they could've turned up those LSMs a notch to give the launch a bit more of a kick, after riding it I can now understand why they didn't. The airtime on this thing is absolutely mental in places, especially on the back row later in the day. If they sped it up any further, I reckon it would reach uncomfortable or even dangerous levels. So as much as I like a launch with a kick to it, it really wouldn't be necessary here.

Onto the rest of the layout - the first big airtime hill looks so slow off ride, it seems to be crawling over and you'd be forgiven for not expecting much airtime at all. But don't let that fool you. I was not prepared for the ridiculous airtime this thing delivers. On the front row you get a crazy burst of it as you're coming up into the hill, then it subsides as you go over the top, before getting another nice little burst coming down the other side. On the back it's the other way round, a little bit of floater coming into the hill and then a huge burst of ejector on the way down. The so-called "inclined loop" (but let's not kid ourselves, it's a slightly tilted helix) has a little bit of positive Gs but nothing special, it really just serves to give a nice flyover of the plaza below. After this, the meandering turns under Steeplechase is the second weakest portion of the ride (after the very end), but with a bit more speed towards the end of the day it becomes quite enjoyable. Then into the heartline roll - you don't get whipped around it quite like you do on Blue Fire's similar inversion as it goes round a bit slower, but that does mean you get more hangtime. Then you get this cracking little double-down into the second launch - the second of the two little hills is another great airtime moment, especially as you then dive straight into the mist tunnel. 

The second launch again doesn't have a huge kick to it, again it's just about getting it back up to speed, but it's enhanced so much by the mist which really disorientates you, you don't really know where you are again until you're already halfway along the launch. Then we have the twisted immelman which is possibly my favourite single element of the coaster. It's genius how it's structured. They could've just made it a normal immelman but I can see why they didn't, this variant works so much better here. You essentially get the full spectrum of G-forces from one element. Nice positive Gs coming up into it, then a bit of floaty hangtime at the top, and then (especially at the back) actual airtime coming down out of it! And it's generally just a really great and satisfying post-launch element from a visual point of view, both on and off ride, the way it rises up into it, twisting to the highest point. This is followed by my favourite section, or run of elements, on the ride - after the immelmann there's this funky overbank - not really an overbanked turn as it's pretty much a straight bit of track but banked so that it throws you over to the right before flipping back over to the left before the absolutely fantastic little airtime hill. Doesn't look much off ride as its so small, but gives a crazy pop of ejector, especially at the back. The helix that immediately follows this is surprisingly intense, I was not expecting it to be as intense as it is. Later on in the day I'd even say it's up there with Nemesis's helix. By far the moment of the ride with the most positive Gs, must be at least 4. This left-hand helix is immediately followed by a right-hand turnaround, and there's a fantastically snappy transition between these, must be the snappiest transition of the ride. I haven't done Taron but I imagine it's basically that, but for the whole ride. The coaster starts losing its speed now but tries to make the most of what's left, as this turnaround is followed by another of my favourite elements which I never really noticed before actually riding because it seems so small and insignificant, but it's this great little outward-banked airtime hill, almost the sort of thing RMC like to do. The left seats get the best out of this element as they're on the outer/upper side of it, which is why back-left is my favourite seat on the coaster. After the final turnaround there's one last little snappy transition which gives a surprising little pop of airtime (for something that doesn't look like it should give any), but that's the last little trick the ride has up its sleeve, as I've said, the last couple of bends including the one over the Big Dipper (despite how cool it looks off ride) don't really do anything because it's lost all its speed at this point. However it doesn't detract from the otherwise fantastic ride. 

Also got to hand it to the operations - it was running two trains and mostly getting them out with great efficiency. Earlier in the day there was a bit of faffing about with swapping seats, moving people to the back if they couldn't fit elsewhere, but they seemed to get the hang of smoothing out the process throughout the day. Never queued much longer than 10 minutes. Though the park was pretty much dead anyway which helped! The ride did go down once for a short period but it was back up and running in no time. Really put Wicker Man to shame there! Also the audio around the area, different variations in different places, and the classy styling of the ride really add to the experience. The entrance arch is beautiful, I love the big wooden doors (which also feature on the station and shop). Really gives the ride an extra bit of grandeur and gravitas. Less keen on the exit though, having to climb all those stairs every time! Got to give a special mention to The Notable Stranger for that soundtrack, and thanks to him for his praise and promotion of the piano cover I did of the score!

So yes, best in the UK by far, and a new number one for me, though I've never done any of the coasters people usually rave about like Shambhala, Helix, Taron etc. so I'd love to one day do Helix or Taron since they seem to be like this but even better. Out of the two coasters of its type I've done, this is far better than Blue Fire, though that does have nicer theming. But the coaster itself, especially the amazing airtime, puts Icon far above Blue Fire which is actually quite a weak coaster, though it is smooth and enjoyable. But Icon is something else. As I say I wasn't sure at first, but it's a real grower and it seriously warms up throughout the day so if you try it early in the day and don't think much of it, try it again later in the day and then see what you think. Back row is the best place to sit but the very front is close second. Itching to get back on it again soon!
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Re: Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Sat Jun 09, 2018 2:04 pm

So it's been a while since I last posted but I've just visited Blackpool and thought I'd say a little about it (and Icon more so) so here's my review.

I love Pleasurebeach, but haven't been in about 10 years. I have visited Blackpool regularly though, and since the town seems to be going downhill in most places I expected the park to be the same, but it's really not. The general upkeep of the park is much better than I expected, and I was really pleasantly surprised at the effort which has gone in to keep the whole place looking fresh. I haven't even been since Nickelodeon land was created and its a fantastic little place still looking new. In contrast to the park looking and feeling new, some of the rides really show their age. The Big One and Grand National were as good (bad) as ever but still classic rides, but the Big Dipper was much rougher than I remember and it was difficult to enjoy. Infusion... Honestly, as a roller-coaster enthusiast it takes a lot to put me off a ride but this thing has to go. My brain still hurts. There's head banging, then there's this method of torture they call Infusion. I'd love to see them replace it with a new invert of similar form. I also went on Valhalla for the first time and I just have to say how INCREDIBLE this is! It's by far my favourite dark ride / water ride I've ever been on! I got soaked through but it was totally worth it. Seriously impressed. Ice Blast is still very enjoyable, but I'm not sure if I just feel it less than I did when I was a child or if it has lost a bit of punch. I really enjoyed the Wallace and Grommit ride too which must be great for younger children, and thankfully I was really lucky with the weather so enjoyed chilling around the park all day, and there's a really nice area just outside Thrill O Matic to do so.

Then there's ICON. This ride is above and beyond anything I EVER expected to see at Blackpool, but it's exactly what the place needed! The theming and location is perfect, and the attention to detail around the station etc really has an impact. Although it wasn't too busy when I visited this week (I didn't wait in a single queue all day) Icon still lgot quite busy. However, the running of this ride is absolutely top par. I can't even remember if they had 2 or 3 trains on but that boarding was so speedy that even when the queue did stretch out the station, I walked down and didn't stop walking until I got straight in and sat on the ride. It's super quick! I went on it 3 times throughout the day and it's one of my new favourites in the UK, if not my ultimate favourite. All the reviews say pretty much the same so I won't go into too much detail. I love that the launch isn't too powerful to start, but still gives good airtime over the top (especially to the back seat). The mist features are really fantastically placed, coming out the first tunnel straight up the top hat adds a punch and then going through the second tunnel straight into the launch is perfect timing too. The second launch and incline is my favourite part, and the ride as a whole is definitely more re-rideable than the likes of Nemesis and Stealth. This was my first Mack coaster and everything was just brilliant, I love the seating and harnesses etc, super comfortable. As a bonus the merch and branding as a whole is probably my favourite of any coaster. I'm not one to buy much merch because the branding is never nice enough but Icon's is really good.

As a whole, Icon is perfect for BPPB and as it's unexpectedly above par compared to the rest of the park, it really helps throw the place up to decent theme park standards. I am really excited to see where the park goes from here.
 
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Re: Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Sun Jun 10, 2018 4:58 pm

I just got back from Blackpool, and rode Icon for the first time today. The ride is fun and exciting, and easily the best at Blackpool. It is good in the front and the back. Overall, it is about as good as Wicker Man, but not best in the country
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Re: Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Mon Jun 11, 2018 7:37 pm

To add to the praise - Icon is simply fantastic and one of the top, if not the best, roller coasters in the UK! Immensely fun layout, great laterals, lots of air time, spot of hang time here and there, a couple of intense turns, and very re-rideable. My only gripe was the big boy seats on the back row being quite uncomfortable on the thighs for the less large among us, but that's easily avoided by sitting in any of the other rows.

Really exciting addition to Blackpool Pleasure Beach, and Icon alone makes it a must visit!
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Re: Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:50 am

Finally got my chance of riding Icon a few times on the weekend, and I can safely say that is isn’t the best coaster in the UK.. but my god does it pack a punch.

As The Smiler is my favourite, I have a hard time currently trying to figure out what I like better.. Icon is simply fantastic and a well worthy addition to the park, it is unbelievably smooth, full of air time, and exciting twists and turns! And the station is incredibly gorgeous looking on the inside. I love how the baggage changes over.

I am confident in saying that the overall experience of Icon is much better than Wicker Man.. however, Wicker Man is far more superior in terms of story and themeing, as Icon has no such story as I could tell but is decently themed to look pretty.

I even got to ride Skyforce for the first time, in which I can also safely say is one of my favourite flat rides in the UK.. if not my favourite.

And Valhalla is as good as ever, but the water effects seem a bit broken.. but it doesn’t matter because they still get you wet when before they only sprayed.

Overall, great day out, and can not wait to get back on Icon in July/August!
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Re: Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:24 pm

I think that overall, if you like airtime and a smooth ride ICON is by far the best coaster in the UK for you, I fall into this category, nothing else in the country comes close to it for me.

However, if you prefer your positive Gs, something like Nemesis may top it.
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Re: Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Sat Aug 11, 2018 7:04 pm

Going to Blackpool in a couple of days and I was wondering if they have a photopass/digipass or something like the 3 for £20 deal. Anybody know if they do?
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Re: Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Sat Aug 11, 2018 7:57 pm

jackf1tz wrote:
Going to Blackpool in a couple of days and I was wondering if they have a photopass/digipass or something like the 3 for £20 deal. Anybody know if they do?

I believe they do do a Digipass and multi buy details on photos. I'm afraid I can't remember exactly what though as I didn't click on the option to add them onto my booking when I bought my wristbands for my upcoming trip.
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Re: Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Sun Aug 12, 2018 9:28 am

Went to BPB a few weeks ago and the park definitely exceed expectations (unlike a lot of people's reviews of ICON). I'm not brave enough to do anything big at Pleasure Beach, but the park is just brilliant. Parts of the park like Avalanche’s station and Dora's World Voyage don't feel like an amusement park. Favourite rides are Avalanche and Grand National. Joint favourite park with Alton Towers.
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Re: Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Sun Aug 12, 2018 2:08 pm

I'm certainly looking forward to visiting Blackpool for the first time in a couple of days.
It will be really interesting to see what it has to offer, as I have heard mixed reviews about the seaside town from a few people I know.

I'm hoping Blackpool Pleasure Beach is going to be good. I'm not sure what to expect, but I'm sure once the day's out then I'll want to return. On top of this, I am looking forward to visiting the Merlin attractions the following day. I especially want to visit The Dungeons and Madame Tussauds. Hopefully, we'll get time to go up the tower and see more!
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Re: Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Sun Aug 12, 2018 4:01 pm

Had a fab day yesterday, just posted a trip report.

I have to say, the new additional lighting around Icon looks amazing at night and it rides so well at the end of the day in the dark.
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Re: Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:35 am

The park, is great, the promenade is decent enough but the town as a whole is a bit run down in my opinion. don't park in the Pleasure Beach car parks, they're anywhere between 12 and 18 pounds I believe!
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Re: Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:14 pm

Now Icons built and with £16.25 million out of pocket this would be my 5 yr plan ...

2019- 25 anniversary of PMBO, lick of paint, advertise it. Make it feel big.

2020 - Nice little thrill ride for Nickelodeon Land, something like a Midi Discovery from Zamperla. Start work around where Trauma Towers is and opposite where that arcade. Start flattening it. Build a permanent stage around there and have some outdoor shows.

2021- Family rollercoaster, like a junior boomerang, something small, repaint the Grand National and give it some TLC. Work on improvements with certain rides.

2022- Start the new big project, do some promoting and hinting.

2023- 100 years of the Dipper, TLC, make a big deal out of it. Maybe have a 1920's theme for the season. Have some 1920s music playing in the station, make it feel Really Nostalgic. Brand New Rollercoaster, Vekoma Bermuda Blitz similar to Lech Coaster in Poland. They are cheap, look fantastic, 140ft 60mph, 3 inversions, decent capacity. Would look like a beast with some decent theming and they'ed have a great coaster for a fraction of the money ICON cost. Think it only cost around 5million euros and looks fantastic in the videos.

2024- New I.P for Wallace And Gromit. Possibly remove it all together.

I'd also like Pleasure Beach to install one of those Vekoma Bermuda Blitz similar to Lech Coaster in Poland for their next big investment... 140 ft tall , 60 mph , 3 inversions.Have some decent theming.
Lech Coaster cost around 5 million euros and looks absolutely fantastic Its like a mega light on roids.
It's being really well received and would cost just a fraction of the amount ICON cost and would have a really good coaster with the line up.

It be there 2nd tallest and fastest ride on park and would look a beast from the north end of the park. Probably be a first of its kind in the UK as well even if it is just a mega light/ looping coaster hybrid thing.
 
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Re: Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:09 pm

I made my first ever to Blackpool Pleasure Beach this weekend, which means I finally got to experience Icon.

I tried to go in with a clean slate to try and ensure I didn't judge the ride before I'd experienced it - especially given the mixed reviews the ride has had. Overall, I managed 4 rides over the weekend. Ride 1 was incredibly underwhelming. It lacked any kind of force, and it just seemed to meander from element to element giving me an 'is that it?' kind of feeling. Ride 2 was later on in the day and although better, still left me feeling like it was lacking something. Ride 3 was towards the end of the night, shortly before the ride closed at 9pm - this ride was much better, had a bit more force, and was an overall better experience. My final ride was yesterday, in the rain, on the front row. For me this was the better ride of my 4 (despite the rain stinging my face, and the ride breaking down when we got to the final brake run - but the park did at least give us free ponchos to help keep us dry whilst we waited for the ride to be sorted). I'm not sure if it's a case of the ride needs to warm up to give a better experience, but my advice to anyone riding would be to try and do it later in the day.

Is it the best coaster in the UK? For me, no, not by a long way.

Is it better than Wicker Man? I'm currently undecided. Whilst Wicker Man doesn't have the high thrill factor, I love it as an overall package with the story and theming. Icon is arguably the more aimed towards the thrill seekers, but for me there is just something missing. It feels like it could have been so much more.
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