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Blackpool Pleasure Beach


Dan_Rush
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13 minutes ago, JoshC. said:

 

Whilst I think £39 is very expensive for the February event, I doubt that many visiting Pleasure Beach then are 'once a year' guests tbf. They're obviously capitalising on the big enthusiast following that are visiting then, and just in general being the first park to have big thrill rides open in the county. 

 

As I say, the price is very steep all things considered. And there will no doubt be people who do visit then only going once a year. But the amount of people who do visit for a yearly trip at that time of year and are going for Pleasure Beach solely for a theme park trip are probably minimal. Was only a matter of time before the park started squeezing more money out of guests.

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.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

So last weekend, crazy me decided to venture to park opening inspite of no Big One, Nash or Valhalla (still). 
 

Inspite of these closures, park offering/reliability was reasonably good. Don’t get me wrong, those (advertised) closures were highly disappointing, but given some of the horror stories I’ve heard before this could’ve been worse.

 

Operations were alright, one train on all bar Avalanche, Icon & Steeplechase (can you imagine) wasn’t great, although queues weren’t particularly long during most of the trip. 
 

The park has been a hive of activity, with PMBO’s re-tracking underway, Valhalla awaiting reopening and some other updates around rides such as Avalanche and Alice. I object Enzo’s existence. 
 

Upkeep was a mixed bag, with some areas looking relatively fresh and others leaving room for improvement. Some areas/attractions could do with some TLC, but given the season turnover and budgeting we probably can’t have it all. 
 

All in all, better opening than expected, given how disasterous it could’ve been.

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  • 3 weeks later...

So I made it to BPB yesterday (despite functioning on 4 hours sleep nursing a bit of a hangover). We were certainly lucky with the weather given the time of year which always helps.

 

This was my first time to BPB so I'm not sure what I expected but one thing I did notice is the theming is, in many parts, pretty pants. My friend noted that a Germanic theme seemed to crop up in various places but other bits of theming we were a tad confused by (e.g. giant silver turtles, a blue horse..) but I guess that makes for a certain charm in a way. Some parts could probably have done with a fresh coat of paint.

 

I do think the ticket price is a bit steep given the big one, grand national and valhalla are closed.! I overheard someone at the entrance was trying to persuade someone to pay the on the day price of £48 by saying they had 30 'rollercoasters' open (perhaps they are confused what that word means(!))

 

We went on icon, infusion, big dipper, avalanche, revolution, steeplechase, river caves, the ghost train and a few smaller rides here and there e.g. flying machines, derby racer. I can't say I was completely blown away by any of the rides, I did very much enjoy icon, great fun and good airtime but it is extremely smooth and its missing that adrenaline rush you get from other launch coasters, perhaps it was because I was on the back row. My friend's favourite was steeplechase, due to how unusual it is I think. Avalanche surprised me on speed but unfortunately quite short! Infusion is a bit like a weak and uncomfortable version of nemesis inferno, although with some fun parts.

 

On operations, other than steeplechase all the coasters were on one train (icon, infusion, big dipper, avalanche etc.) so although queues were very short you still waited 20+ minutes in some cases.

 

For those interested, one of the gift shops sold a range of parts from valhalla, from wheels and seatbelts to what appeared to be long bits of metal, if that's your thing.

 

Slightly off topic but if you're in the area, the water park is worth a visit, I enjoyed aztec falls, sidewinder and master blaster.

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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!

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It has been confirmed that Enso (spinning Icon) will only be on one of Icon's three trains. Due to the limited capacity, it is - unsurprisingly - an upcharge.

£15 - standard ticket. You virtually wait the length of the queue of Icon
£25 - VIP ticket. You only wait 10% of the queue time for Icon

I guess £15 is comparable to Steel Taipan's spinning seat (Steel Taipan being the near Blue Fire clone at Dreamworld in Australia, which also has a spinning row on one of its trains), although that doesn't have much of a wait to get on I believe?

I get the reason for the upcharge. But even though it's a pretty unique experience, it's just so expensive considering you can literally experience spinning launched coasters at other parks included in the park ticket.

Saucey: https://www.blackpoolpleasurebeach.com/icon/

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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.

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To be honest it’s one of those gimmicks that will last two or three years and then be removed. I really don’t see the point in it at all. I can’t imagine that doing Icon with spinning rows is going to be that great or better then the normal experience.

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Hmm.. £15 for spinny Icon?

 

I wonder how well organised it will be?  I just remember Backwards Swarm was a shambles especially on busy days, but Icon's station is much smaller, and it's only on the 3rd train..

Maybe it being an upcharge will help with that.

 

Backwards Swarm was free, and even that was a flash in the pan that only lasted 2 seasons..

I wonder how this will go down?

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  • 4 weeks later...

Having seen a few POVs of Enso, I have to say it looks overwhelmingly underwhelming...

 

£15 to rock slowly about 20° to the left or right a couple of times, if you're lucky?  Naa I'll pass.

 

I wonder if there's anything they can do to 'loosen it up' a bit so it spins more? 😐

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The thing with Enso compared to Mack Xtreme Spinners (like Ride to Happiness at Plopsa) is that there is no induced spin on the launch. This means that the spinning is entirely dependent on the weight of the car and how the layout spins the car.

 

As Icon was not designed as a spinner, and the cars are just a row of two, rather than a 2x2 like most spinners, the opportunity for spinning is limited. And with no starting induced spin, it's a struggle for it to even get going.

 

It seems the best way to ride is as a solo rider, as that gives a significant uneven weight distribution. That in turn is giving a good chance for spinning which even a 20kg difference between two riders doesn't seem to give.

 

It's a shame, as there is potential really. But I'm just not convinced that adding on a 1 row car that spins will be anything more than an industry fad that will peter away after a few years. True Xtreme Spinners ars the way forward. 

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