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Creaking North Part 2 Big Things Require Big Expectations

Matt 236


Welcome back to part 2 of my exciting trip report at Blackpool.


Lego Spongebob welcomes you to this next big instalment of the blog [Wow! are we at Legoland now?]


Speaking on Big, I think it's finally time I give this giant a ride then! It's a massive beast that dominates the whole park, so it should an amazing ride then ;]?



And it's time to review, Vertical Reality!

In 1994, the big one was a massive tall beast that was major large scale ride and investment along with being the tallest coaster in the world and being only second to Nemesis in greatness. 20 years later though and much of the greatness has dried up. Whilst the big one is far from being an absolute awful ride, it's also a long way from being an amazing one too.

The ride starts rather well, with a brief pre-lift section and then the long lift which offers some great views of the pleasure beach and surrounding area as the world beneath gradually disappears. Once reaching the top, the ride goes down the drop suddenly swerving right and the ride speeding up as it's drops to the bottom, which is a thrilling and intimidating experience with the gust of speed, smallish restraints and massive drop. Since the ride has started so well it will continue with this greatness during the remainder of the experience.

The answer to that unfortunately is no! After the first drop, the ride loses much excitement and force as the ride climbs it's first hill, which unlike most hyper rides it doesn't fly over it but instead gradually reaches it whilst losing speed along the way until it's almost crawling when it reaches the top. The rest of the ride doesn't really fulfil much either as there isn't much force or too much thrill for the rest of the ride which is quite disappointing, also there isn't a great deal of airtime on this ride which considering I was sitting towards the back and these types of rides should feed upon it was also disappointing too.

It does well in taking you up a great height with an intense first drop along with giving good sights of the park and area, but apart from that it doesn't quite fulfil the greatness in the giant dinosaur it first appears. That being said I shouldn't really complain too much as it is the uk's tallest and perhaps largest roller coaster [ultimate is of course the longest] and that we've actually got a large ride on this scale on our island, considering how little space we have and so many of our parks are heavily restricted on what they can actually build [especially Legoland, Chessington & pretty much almost every park]. I think it will be a long time before we see another massive ride on this scale [if ever].


From one Arrow to another Arrow, it's time to ride the one and only Steeplechase, because no other rides of this type no longer exist in the world apparently,








So what are my thoughts on this ride rarity? whilst it looks rather average and generic off ride, it's actually a great roller coaster ride, it doesn't have any gimmick, it doesn't have any unique elements, nor does it need any of these as it's such a great all round ride, with it's fun racing element, scenic views and interaction with other surrounding rides and it's loose and open restraints as only a seat belt holds you in, a fun and slightly scary experience.

From one horse race to another, it was time to experience the Grand National, our fifth and final wooden roller coaster on the trip, one that was highly appraised by many park and coaster fans alike. But would this be the ride to top my coaster list at Blackpool or even take the crown away from Megafobia as best woodie?



Can't believe I didn't take more pictures of the ride, I guess the rush around riding at the park and the fact most of the ride can only be seen outside the park are the main reasons I didn't. Anyway, what did I think of the ride?

Grand National was amazing, it was such a fantastic great fun ride with it's racing coaster element, multiple drops and hills which give quite a lot of airtime [ more than Big One ever will] along with a great paced layout makes this a great fun thrilling ride. But the big question, has it become my favourite my favourite all top time woodie? The answer to that is yes, however only to the ones in the park. It's such an incredible ride and there's not really a bad thing I can say about this ride [apart from the loud station brakes maybe] as it doesn't fail to deliver greatness during it's ride experience. Megafobia still holds on to no.1 woodie [for now] as that ride is just so intense. We need more woodies here in the uk [Merlin take note].




Time for another ride which will also be another first for me, my first bobsled coaster and NO! We are not at Europa before you ask!




So, what did I think of Avalanche then? I thought it was a really good ride actually, gains a lot of speed in it's circuit and flies through those helixes which is just an incredible experience with the train coasting down the tube rather than the usual track setting on many other coasters. Just wish the ride was longer really as it ended just as I was really getting in to it [love Mack rides]. Hope to try the other few mack bobsleds one day!


I had really been through quite a roller coaster revolution on my trip to Blackpool and the final new coaster had to be the appropriately named, Revolution.



And that was all the Blackpool coasters completed. Despite looking like a mediocre one trick pony, this ride is actually pretty good. You're thrusted forwards first of all in to the loop the first time which is quite good, but then the backwards launch is a feeling like nothing else, the feeling of being pushed in to your restraint during the loop is such a strange and slightly scary experience as you feel like you're going to fall out!


Moving on from the coasters now and it's time to take a trip in to wonderland, I've a golden ticket



And what a wondrous ride this turned out to be. Whilst in no way is this a ground breaking or top notch, it's fun little dark ride, full of charm, humour along with being a generally pleasant attraction to experience. Incidently, this ride is a sort of knock off from the original Alice In Wonderland ride at the California Disneyland with it's cheshire cats style vehicles,indoor-out door dark ride sections and storyline which opened seven years before this one [why am I referencing so many other parks on this TR, especially Disney]?


From one extreme to another and now it's time to enter Valhalla. Wait a moment, the waterfall isn't running, I hope it isn't closed.




That Looks more like it! The ride was closed during most of the day and didn't actually open until quite late in the afternoon, we must've meant it had quite a few problems as it broke down several times after that as well. We decided to join the extremely long queue for the ride which cost us around 90 minutes of time [we could've used for other rides]. But was it worth the extra long wait?

The answer here actually is Yes, but just about. Valhalla is a very long and very wet water/dark attraction which features an array of drops, effects and a drenching. Some of the thing included on this ride are just incredible! going in to a long hot room with heat and fire one minute, then entering a freezing cold one with ice,misters and the like the next is absolutely incredible, is this is before I get on to the backwards drop, immense sound track and other elements too.

Valhalla is an absolutely amazing ride and experience, it's so breath taking when you see it all and everything inside unfolds and well worth the time. The ride makes almost every other water ride in the country look like a travelling Zamperla log ride [even Loggers] and is something that wouldn't really look out of place at a park like Efteling, Phantasialand or even Europa. Absolute masterpiece. Hex however is still my number one dark ride for the story and towers alone, but Valhalla comes in at a very close second.

Moving from a breath taking experience which despite being ringing wet, I still couldn't get over, we headed off to get some final rides at the park whilst it was gradually getting dark before closing. But the question is, which rides did we finally ride, or even re-ride during the twilight hours and which Big addition would be chosen as the finale and first proper night ride of the trip? Only time will tell, but you'll just have to wait until Part 3 submerges.


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Great report, Matt! BTW you didn't finish the song! ;)


I know a guy that will get on your nerves! Get on your nerves! Get on your nerves! I know a guy that will get on your nerves and this is what he said...(pause)...I know a guy that will get on your nerves...(and so on until he's slammed against the glass case) :P

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Great TR, I have a question though.  You mentioned that Valhalla had misters in the Ice Room - were these on the ceiling?  As if so they haven't been working for years so it's great that they are working again!

There were misters behind the statues of the vikings at least, I believe. I was told by Stretch though that some of the fire effects weren't working, however all the major ones (firey door way and splash zone, log collisions, geysirs, ice room) all worked so I was phenomenally impressed with the ride!

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It is a masterpiece - my overall favourite ride ever!


It is actually very rare to have a go with every single fire effect on, as there are so many!  There are usually two fireballs in the first splashdown room, one fireball in the final room and then the big explosion in the final room (but they sometimes have the quiet fireball off in the final room which I actually think works better).  Then you have the ring of fire, fire on the track and lots of static fire in both fire scenes on the wooden slats which are a bit hit and miss.  There is also fire on the arrows in the upstairs section and on the two plinths before the first lifthill.


The misters on the ceiling in the ice room used to spray cold dry ice at the riders but hadn't been working since the refurb due to high costs, so I'm very impressed if they have brought those back.

Ah okay. Lots of effects then! I believe we didn't get the fire on the arrows, the wooden slats or the small fireball, but we got the huge one in the cauldron. 

Like I said, still very impressed with the ride and would go back again just for it!

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Yep, the only attractions at BPB I class as meh are Impossible and Dora.

Yeah Impossible isn't the best attraction (possibly my least favourite on park) it's almost so bad it's actually good.

Haven't done Dora yet but expect a pleasure beach equivalent of Charlie. I'll have to add to the list of rides to do next time including River Caves, Derby Racers, Nick land remainder & Flying Machines (which were closed when we went).

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