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About Coaster

  • Birthday February 17

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  • Favourite ride
    Magnum XL 200
  • Favourite Theme Park
    Cedar Point

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    Music, playing the trombone, computers, golf, theme parks.

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  1. There is a new promo image for Valhalla in the Visit Blackpool 2023 guide. In the politest way possible, I don't know what to make of this. 😂 Guide: https://www.visitblackpool.com/latest-news/destination-guide-2023-is-here/
  2. Opening weekend at PB has varied over the years, on a good year you're looking at decent ride availability but probably a lot of one train ops. It's worth keeping an eye on their planned maintenance page in the weeks soon before opening to get an idea of ride availability: https://www.blackpoolpleasurebeach.com/planned-maintenance/
  3. Big One stalled today with guests on, due to high winds. Curiously, this happened on the new section of track.
  4. Coaster

    Wicker Man

    That is incredibly poor. Wicker Man opened in 2018, if it still doesn't have permanent lighting then that is an absolute joke frankly. Why should guests miss out because Alton can't sort out very basic things? It's just not good enough, especially for a park of their scale.
  5. Coaster

    Wicker Man

    Wicker Man was reportedly on one train this weekend with the queue peaking at 150 minutes. Ouch.
  6. In my eyes, Enso is an indicator that gives more believability to the consensus that Icon was not the roaring success that an investment of over £16 million should have been. It feels like a quick short-term way of re-marketing the ride, which is an idea that I already don’t like, but the real problems with this come from the logistics and upcharge. I just don’t think it’s reasonable to expect guests to pay an additional £15 for this. A peak day ticket for PB costs £44 online, £46 at the gate, adding another £15 on equates to around £60 for a day at Pleasure Beach. That’s before you even look at the £25 option! Logistically I feel like it’ll be a complete nightmare. Icon’s operations were unbearably slow in 2021, and that was just with the addition of seatbelts. The station isn’t built well for Speedy Pass, let alone having a mix of Enso and Speedy Pass riders going in (presumably) the same way, waving their phones at staff who are trying to run the ride safely and efficiently. I just can’t envisage a way in which this won’t impact on operations of the ride – and that’s terrible. An upcharge experience should not wreck the customer service for everyone else, nor should it provide a bad experience for those paying for it, but unless BPB have something up their sleeve, I cannot see any other way than Icon having its operations well and truly wrecked. I am not onboard with the feeling that it was “inevitable” that it was going to be a high upcharge because of the logistics. To me, the logistics of only having 2 seats, a very low throughput, are all ‘Pleasure Beach’ issues. Why should guests pay more because the park has essentially implemented something really badly? There is also the factor of the larger seats in the back row – how will Enso affect this? It’ll be hard for the staff to communicate with so many people, “sorry you have to wait, this is an Enso train, sorry you can’t go on yet, this is a standard train, etc. etc.” What if the Enso train needs taking out of service for any reason, but there are guests who have paid turning up at their slot to ride it? It just brings so many potential problems with it and in a year where the focus should be on Valhalla, it feels like a last-ditch attempt. It doesn’t give me faith in other things to be honest, if they’re having to fall back on this.
  7. I've spotted that BPB have updated their booking site to list that The Big One will still be unavailable on the following dates; Sat 12th - Sun 13th March Sat 19th - Sun 20th March Probably linked to this.. ahem... issue. It was only Grand National showing for these dates up until yesterday, so looks like (another) delay. On the plus side, I'm saving a lot of petrol so far this season!
  8. Latest on Valhalla Promo video; New theming items/plans from https://www.facebook.com/blackpoolpleasurebeach I'm intrigued as to what the plan in that last picture is for!
  9. Yuck! Why do they throw money away on that thing when they barely have enough to open their own rides? 🤨
  10. New promotional picture. Still no re-opening date, "summer 2022" is the official line at the moment.
  11. I did some research into Aramark; https://medium.com/hope-in-the-dark/aramark-the-not-so-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly-9a603b9a05a4 https://mcquad.org/2020/09/01/the-contract-and-the-controversy-aramark-comes-to-campus-community-reacts/ They don't sound like a good company.
  12. In my opinion, if you enjoy classic wooden coasters it's worth visiting for Cyclone alone.
  13. Yeah I can definitely see the need to increase, and I also think it needs to happen if we want to keep seeing improvements. I just think the value of the change for the February weekends is too much; February 2020 - £19.50 for a full ride-lineup apart from Valhalla February 2022 - £39.00 for a line-up minus two headline coasters, and no Valhalla Somewhere around the £25 mark would be fair for these weekends in my view.
  14. Pleasure Beach are doing a lot of good at the moment. There is a lot to look forward to this year; Valhalla 2.0. Yes, it's taking ages, but it needed doing - back in 2019 it was so poor, I commented at the time that it would be better off closed than open in that state. So, the fact they are finally doing something with it is very exciting. Grand National - I have seen photos over the last few days, and it seems to be getting the Big Dipper treatment (a complete re-track in places) which is excellent. Station is also getting work as we saw at the end of last year. Big One - every year for the last 3 years they have re-tracked significant amounts of it with brand new specially manufactured track, this can't be cheap to do and it's great to see it being looked after so well. Going back to last year, they did; Big Dipper - first drop re-track and work on the turnaround by Big Blue made a huge difference. River Caves & Alice – significant lighting and scenic presentation improvements. Steeplechase – brand new sign in the original style. Avalanche bears completely refurbished and full soundtrack restored. Mr Funshine back on the arches, a more vibrant brand image, 125 anniversary effort made across the park. The year before we had an upgrade to some Ghost Train scenes, etc. They are investing a lot into improving/sustaining what they have, much better than they were 4 years ago in my view. It's just unfortunate that the benefits of this year's investment & changes won't be felt by those paying £39 in February. As season pass-holders we can be patient, but it's a different outlook for 'once a year' guests. I think the biggest annoyance for me (as a season pass holder) this year is potentially having to wait until summer for Valhalla. It's adding another half a year on top of the two we have already waited - but if it's worth the wait in the end, then fair enough. To conclude though, I do feel that PB are making much better long-term decisions for their existing rides now than they were in 2018/19. And that's great.
  15. I think mine are quite similar to @Martin Doyle Roller coasters I like more than most The Big One - Obvious first choice is obvious. It has mixed opinions across enthusiasts, I've been told so many times that I "shouldn't" like it, but after hundreds of rides on it I'm still buzzing and grinning from ear to ear when it hits the brake run. I adore this coaster because it has so much character. Everything about it from the sound of the lift hill, the raucous nature of it, the 'unconventional' transitions, the way it slams you about, it's just incredible. The first drop is still the best first drop I have ever ridden and I love the rest of the layout because it whizzes along at height and slams you into the turns, dips, banked hill crests, and I love the dives under its own and other ride's structures. Going over the hill behind Skyforce then diving under Big Dipper and being slammed out of your seat into the MCBR is one of my favourite compilation of elements of any coaster. Also - for better or for worse, the experience changes so much depending on the weather. In 2021 it seemed to run better than ever, to the point where on a late night riding it was running so fast and wild, that it was the best ride I've ever had on it and one of the best I've had on any coaster. It genuinely felt like they'd put an engine in the back of the train or something, it was absolutely wild. So with all of that in mind. I appreciate why it's not for everyone - to some people it's an archaic coaster with old tech - and that's fine! But to me, it's an incredible feat of engineering, represents Geoffrey Thompson's amazing ambition and is a staple of the roller coaster industry. Most importantly though, to me, it's still a phenomenal ride when pitched against modern coasters. I'd describe it as 'timeless.' Grand National - Again, predictable one from me. Grand National is one of my favourite roller coasters of all time and like The Big One, still firmly sits in my top 10 despite me having been to various parks worldwide. It's an absolutely wild coaster, packed full of insane amounts of airtime, laterals, unpredictability and really has that wild out-of-control feeling. I love the layout of this ride, the way it gets more and more intense as it goes - the first big turnaround is quite calm, but by the last few you get these insane forces that really throw you across from one side of the seat to the other. I have never, ever found this ride rough, it's absolutely mental but in the best way possible. On top of that, factoring in its age and incredible history, it's a ride I have such a massive appreciation for and again - still stands up as one of the most intense, extreme rides out there. Steeplechase - A ride that I feel doesn't get the credit it deserves. It's not the most thrilling or big ride out there but it's so unique and different. Being able to race two other lanes, sat on a horse on roller coaster track is just brilliant fun, and I also like how well the first half is landscaped and integrated with its surroundings. Then the second half is fun with the interactions with Big Dipper, The Big One and Icon, and again it's just a ride that's so different and fun. Nemesis Inferno - I joke that it's the only coaster at Thorpe I enjoy but I do enjoy it a lot. It doesn't have to be "as good as Nemesis" to be good! Inferno is decent in the morning but by the evening it's a wild, raucous blitz through inversions, forceful dives and turnarounds, and I just hit the brake run absolutely buzzing every time. An extremely underrated ride in my opinion. Roller coasters I like less than most Icon - again, similar to above. Icon is a ride I tried so hard to appreciate when it first opened at BPB, it had so much promise and the layout is very cleverly integrated with the park's other rides. Also being a PB fan it was something I wanted to support. Having ridden it enough times for the "new factor" to have worn off, I just really don't like it. I don't think it's a terrible coaster so to speak, but it just doesn't do anything for me. I find the pacing of it to be terrible, and a couple of decent elements don't save that. Perhaps if the layout was taken faster it would be much more effective, but as it is, it just seems to meander round and also has the worst "finale" of any modern coaster. It's also a huge shame that the elements that elevate it - mist, soundtrack, lighting - don't always work. Almost every other major coaster at BPB slams into the brakes and leaves me grinning, Icon crawls into the brakes with a couple of boring s-turns, a dodgy airtime hill and the least effective near miss of the ride. It's not even in my top 5 rides at Pleasure Beach, let alone the UK. Such a bitter disappointment, but I'm glad that others seem to enjoy it more than me. Oblivion - It's a masterclass in how to build up suspense through its theming - oh wait, no it's not, because the theming is broken and tampered with beyond repair. It has a great first drop, but they forgot to build the rest of the layout. It's like if Big One had its first drop and then went into the brake run, and it was built after?! No, I appreciate elements of it were good, but those elements are knackered and the ride just doesn't hold up for me. As much as the drop is good, a drop and a turn into the brakes do not make a good coaster. Stealth - Similar issue to above, it's half the height of rides that existed before it and doesn't do anything ambitious or new. It's like a diet Top Thrill Dragster and didn't even beat UK height records when it was built.
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