On Wednesday 23rd May Blackpool Pleasure Beach invited media and press to come to the park and experience their newest ride Icon, a Mack Double Launch rollercoaster costing £16.25m.
The event started in the Globe Theatre where the Thompson Family and members of the Mack family and the chairman of the Roller-coaster Club of Great Briton gave a Q&A and brief introduction stating that this ride had been in planning for around 6 years. Various manufacturers were consulted during the process and in the end, the decision came down to the strong relationship between Amanda and the Mack family and engineers and it was decided that the Mack family was the perfect match for the requirements of the park. Amanda Thompson OBE managing director of Blackpool Pleasure Beach said during the Q&A that she hadn’t ridden Icon before the press day and just like everyone else it would be her first ride on Icon.
After an hour of talks by Amanda Thompson OBE and everyone on stage, it was time for the press and media to experience Icon and see the ride in action for the first time. Icon is very different from anything the park has, the ride isn’t heavy in theming like The Wicker Man at Alton Towers as Blackpool is an amusement park, not a theme park. However, the ride has some nice bits around the ride that celebrate the people involved in the project. For example, after the first launch section, there are some posts driven into the ground with people’s names on it. Alongside some nice artwork painted on the electrics building for the ride and a very swish entrance sign for the ride.
With sparks and cherry blossom petals, the ribbon was cut by Michael Mack and Amanda Thompson OBE and family to officially open the ride. Icon is going to attract visitors from all over the UK and the theme park community across the world!
The high level of theming doesn’t stop at the entrance for the ride and shrouding area, the station for the ride is rich in detail with the mirrors on the walls, lighting effects, and loud music to set the mood, the station is truly stunning! For a park that doesn’t do theming we were thoroughly impressed by theming in the station. Alongside the theming in the station bag storage utilizes the amazing system built by Mack. Anyone who’s been to Europa Park or been on a Mack ride before will understand how amazing the Mack Baggage system is.
Unlike other roller coasters we’ve ridden before the best row to ride Icon is the front row for the airtime and the back row for the most forceful. Icon is a really good ride for Blackpool’s target audience, the elements the ride has flow really nice however the only thing that lets it down is the acceleration time on the first launch. By the time you get to the second launch you’ve already got some speed to less work is needed however we love how you crawl of the element after the second launch. After speaking to the project manager about the crawling over and how it works he said the second launch measures the weight and calculates how much force is needed for the car to just make it over.
Overall, we really like Icon, it’s going to be interesting to see how the public reacts when the ride is open. Blackpool has definitely got a great new ride! We’d like to thank Blackpool Pleasure beach for the invite to the event and the lunch buffet.