For many people, Blackpool is symbolised by donkey rides and ‘kiss me quick’ hats. However, thrill-seekers association the town with the best and biggest rollercoasters in the country.
Blackpool’s famous Pleasure Beach Park (it’s not a real beach) is the home to many of England’s craziest rollercoasters and rides. Every year over 5 million people head to Pleasure Beach seeking thrills and spills.
The first ride to open at the Pleasure Beach was Sir Hiram Maxim’s Captive Flying Machine in 1904, a rotary swing ride designed by the British inventor. Since then, the Pleasure Beach has grown and grown. It now boasts several world record-breaking rides and numerous kids attractions like Wallace & Gromit’s Thrill-O-Matic.
Have you ever wondered which rides at the Pleasure Beach offer the best thrills? Well, I’ve put together this handy list to the top 7 rides.
The Big One
The giant rollercoaster which dominates the skyline over the Pleasure Beach is known as ‘The Big One’. At 235ft this rollercoaster is the largest in the UK. The first drop has an incline angle of 65 degrees and reaches speeds of up to 85mph!
When you first ride ‘The Big One’ the overall experience is terrifying. The anticipation while climbing to the first drop seems to last forever, Followed by a stomach-churning descent to the bottom.
The roller coaster first opened as the Pepsi Max Big One on 28 May 1994. The ride lasts approximately three minutes and during this time riders commonly experience positive g-forces of up to 3.5g and negative g-forces of up to 0.5g.
Red Arrows SkyForce
Have you ever dreamt of soaring through the sky like the world-famous Red Arrows? Well, now you can! The new Red Arrows SkyForce experience takes you on a white knuckle ride 72ft in the air.
SkyForce is a high speed, spinning ride where riders pilot their own aircraft, rotate your plane around a centre axis creating your personal ride experience – and yes, complete rolls are possible!
Feel the Rhythm! Feel the Rhyme! Get on up; it’s bobsled time! Avalanche is the ride that simulates a real bobsleigh run. You’ll be flying down the track just like the Jamaican Olympic Bobsleigh team in the hit film ‘Cool Runnings’.
The Avalanche is the UK’s only bobsled coaster and is a must ride for any adrenaline seeker visiting Pleasure Beach. Visitors to the park often overlook this ride. So if you experience long queue times at other attractions, head over to Avalanche, and you’ll be rewarded with a gloriously fun ride with short wait times.
The Grand National is Europe’s first twin-track racing coaster; the ride is named after the world-famous horse race held at Aintree Racecourse in nearby Liverpool. The ‘Grand National’ is one of only five Möbius loop roller coasters still in existence.
This wooden coaster has been in operation since 1935, and the ride even has its own original art deco station where riders embark to race on this awesome parallel track coaster. This ride also benefits from relatively shorter waiting times than many of the newer rides at the Pleasure Beach.
The Big Dipper
The Big Dipper, not to be confused with ‘The Big One is a classic wooden rollercoaster built-in 1923. The ride has iconic status at the Pleasure Beach, in 2017 the ride was designated as a Grade II listed building. Meaning it is considered a Nationally significant and warranting every effort to preserve it for future generations.
In 1998, Richard Rodriguez set a world record by continuously riding the Big Dipper for over 1000 hours! Typical rides only last a few minutes.
The icon is ‘launched roller coaster’ which opened in 2018 at a total cost of £16 million. The ride starts by leisurely moving out of the station to the launch area before hurtling the riders at 50 miles per hour along 3,750 feet of steel track that features a barrel roll.
Riders experience the same G force as felt by the drivers of a Formula 1 car and launch acceleration which is four times higher than in a Lamborghini Gallardo.