Icon at Blackpool Pleasure Beach is a launched roller coaster manufactured by Mack Rides, Germany.
As the first multi launch roller coaster in the country, and the first brand new roller coaster at Blackpool Pleasure Beach since 1994 Icon certainly features a lot of hype around it, but does it live up to it?
I was fortunate enough to be invited to the press launch for this Icon-ic new coaster, and after a very interesting and well presented presentation we headed down to the ride. The first thing that becomes noticeable is the dramatic, loud soundtrack for the ride which echo’s throughout the area. The modern, sleek look taken from the nearby FY4 area has been translated very well into it’s own area for Icon, and provides a stunning contrast against the classic appearance of the park behind it.
Once entering the queue line the first thing that was very noticeable was just how short of a queue line there is for the main queue. Going directly from the gate to the station with all except a short curve downward. Once again the station music booming across the speakers certainly sets the hype and suspense for the ride inside, with a variation of the area soundtrack playing. With the fast dispatch times however you are left with very little time before you are boarding, using the brand new baggage system seen on other Mack rides such as Blue Fire and Helix.
Icon features a wide variety of elements and while the first launch isn’t very powerful, it does set the excitement for the mammoth airtime hill ahead of it, providing some superb air time as you dive under the structure of The Big One. Twisting in and out around, and over Big Dipper and Steeplechase the interactions with the rides can provide some incredible moments as they all pass over each other before a zero g hangtime roll. The exit of this element is one of the key moments of the ride, diving into 2 airtime moments before hitting the 2nd launch behind a wall of mist, and hitting the hang time on the ride’s 2nd inversion, a huge immelmann loop.
The 2nd half of the ride is just as jam packed as the first, featuring countless air time moments, swooping over the near by path ways and a reverse banked airtime hill, before wrapping up on a high-5 element with the Big Dipper once again.
Throughout all of this, while Icon is intense, and very enjoyable – is not too intense for families to be able to enjoy together too, meaning Pleasure Beach have hit the market perfectly for all audiences.
Overall I’d highly recommend Icon and as it stands is currently one of my favourite UK roller coasters.