A thrilling new rollercoaster at Blackpool Pleasure Beach looks set to knock the Big One from its lofty heights of terror.
Formidable new ride on the block ICON soars up to 88.5ft with tummy-tumbling drops plummeting to 82ft. Perhaps eschew the hotdog stand until after you’ve ridden this…
Stunning behind-the-scene photos – snapped during the park’s winter closure – have given us the first tantalising glimpses of the ‘world’s most interactive’ ride, complete with a record smashing 15 interactions.
This rollercoaster will quite literally run rings around all the rest, entwining itself through, around and over five other iconic rides – including Steeplechase, Big Dipper and Pleasure Beach Express.
There will also be two tunnels…
As the UK’s very first double launch rollercoaster, daredevils will experience not just one but two almighty thrusts throughout the two and a half minute duration of the ride.
One thrust will of course come at the beginning of the ride, with the second one coming to jolt courageous visitors at the half-way point. Lets face it, this is more or less the polar opposite of a gentle ride in the country…
At one point, riders will zap through the hill lift structure of the notorious Big One at speeds ascending to 50 miles an hour.
And the sensation will be intense. Coaster heads will feel the same levels of G force as a Formula 1 driver would. The acceleration is promised to be four times greater than you would feel driving your Lamborghini Gallardo (as we all definitely do, every day).
Costing a dizzying £16.25 million, this ambitious project has been in the works since 2016, in a process involving a hefty 5,000 tonnes of soil being excavated.
The 1.14 kilometres of steely grey track was put together by an onsite team of 50 workers, who have committed more than 100,000 hours to constructing this ‘coaster.
More than 8,000 metres of pre-cast concrete piles and steel tubes have, in some places, been driven up to 12 metres in the earth.
ICON was manufactured at the Mack Rides factory in Waldkirch, Germany, using cutting edge engineering processes, such as keenly accurate laser beam technology.
— Mark Forrest (@MarkLForrest) January 26, 2018
Managing Director at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Amanda Thompson OBE said in a press release:
This is a key milestone in the build which marks the first in a series of thrilling interactions to guarantee riders a truly exhilarating experience.
What we’ve achieved so far is impressive to see and a credit to all involved. We’re looking forward to visitors getting their very first glimpse of ICON when our doors open on 10 February.
Thrill seekers can get a peek at what they can expect from this new attraction below:
When the ride was originally announced, it was known only as Construction 2018, with Deputy Managing Director of Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Nick Thompson stating:
We have been working on this concept for five years now and are delighted to be able share news of our plans.
Construction 2018 (ICON) will be fast, adrenalin fueled and exhilarating but also smooth and comfortable – an entirely new ride experience.
It sees a significant investment in Blackpool Pleasure Beach. We expect to see thrill seekers flock to the park to experience this UK ride first.
Not long now boys & girls until we get to ride the rides at @Pleasure_Beach and see #Icon #rollercoaster in-the-flesh. I’m too excited to wait for opening day so I’m going on 2 secret visits before the park opens. #EXCITED @visitBlackpool pic.twitter.com/LIF1RYgJwy
— Mark Forrest (@MarkLForrest) February 1, 2018
ICON is due to launch February 10, 2018. Probably best to take the Lambo out in preparation…
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.