Blackpool Pleasure Beach: General Discussion

Discussion in 'European Parks and Attractions' started by John, 13th Jun 2012.

  1. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

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    I won't wait if the queue is out of the station on a single train.
    Only known about five days this year when it has run a single train, out of about forty visits.
    The biggest slowdown has been seat swapping to accommodate the larger guest.
    Hell that was polite for me.
    Lost my back seat on at least twenty rides.
    Don't think this year's visitor numbers are much different to last year's.
    Not a lot of sun when the kids were off generally, and lots of rain through the holiday season as well...very wet loomination season.
    And Mikw...I was told by the ride supervisor, before first opening, that the ride would never run on one train...one in the station, one running, all the time.
    That didn't even last one season.
    If there is less than a couple of thousand punters on the park...it is one train, and that means your unacceptable twenty minute wait.
     
    Last edited: 4th Nov 2019
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  2. John

    John TowersStreet Member

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    I find it surprising the Icon staff don't look out for people who need the back seat, there's always someone at the scanner who could be on the lookout. On Blue Fire they'll actively direct anyone approaching the maximum size limit to row 10, and will accommodate any requests for back row where necessary.

    From what I saw yesterday they didn't seem to be getting much benefit from the 3rd train being in use - most of the time it was back in the brakes before they'd dispatched the next one. Partially that's due to people needing to swap seats but generally they just didn't seem to be in a rush to get people onto the trains.
     
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  3. Dipper_Dave

    Dipper_Dave TowersStreet Member

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    Most likely so they don’t offend anyone. Having to do a ‘lard swap’ after trying to get a restraint down is one thing, saying “Excuse me madam, you appear to be rather rotund, thus will have to sit on a larger clearance back row seat” wouldn’t go down well I imagine
     
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  4. Dar

    Dar TowersStreet Member

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    I'd rather that than get to the ride and have to be moved! It's not even a comment on weight, just the physical size of your body and how you can best enjoy the ride
     
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  5. Benjsh

    Benjsh TowersStreet Member

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    Be great if they sold the park to some wealthy corporation (except Merlin).

    I love Blackpool PB to bits. It's my local park so I visit it often. However it deserves to get major new rides a lot more frequent than it currently does. The family simply don't have the money to invest what is required.

    Blackpool is a tourist hotspot so there's not really an excuse for poor visitor numbers other than bad park management and lack of investment.
     
    Last edited: 4th Nov 2019
  6. TakeYourMedicine

    TakeYourMedicine TowersStreet Member

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    That’s not really how business works though, if they made enough money they would have the cash or could justify spending to backers. An already-wealthy corporation wouldnt just dump money into something repeatedly if it didnt make the money back either. The only benefit that change of ownership would make is a different management style. Europa Park and Phantasialand are both family owned bear in mind

    Blackpool is nothing like a tourist hotspot that it used to be, it’s hugely decline so Id say that’s a pretty big excuse!
     
  7. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

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    Blackpool is a tourist hotspot...when it is hot.
    It is very dependant on the weather, and people do not visit for as long, or as frequently, as they used to.
    It is surrounded by dereliction and poverty, homeless people and drug abuse.
    Does your local spoons have a constant, persistant beggar posted outside the door?
    The two on Blackpool seafront do.
    It used to be a family resort for a week's stay, most now go for the day, large numbers go, proud of the fact they don't spend a single penny in the town.
    Most of my customers and family would not go near the place anymore.
    The hundred yards directly around the Tower is one of the most dangerous areas in the nation for crimes of theft and assault..
    It showed up in the local print media in the summer.
     
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  8. shakey

    shakey TowersStreet Member

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    Blackpool is still extremely popular and it has a huge catchment area. If it didn't have a theme/amusement park and you were looking to build a new park somewhere then Blackpool sea front would seem like a great opportunity.

    People may not visit for as long these days, but that's all the more reason to have a good pay per ride option running alongside wristbands.

    Got to agree with my Lancastrian friend on Icon. It has been a massive flop for the park.

    We had a good summer in 2018 when Icon opened, but the crowds didn't arrive. And this year has seemed very quiet to me from my own experiences and from other reports.

    I don't think the new £10 walk round charge has done them any favours at all and as Rob said, the cut price towers annual pass may well have had an effect.

    Perhaps a lack of advertising, poor weather this summer and (arguably ;)) a shocking business model for a seaside park have all contributed, but there maybe one other reason that Icon hasn't delivered, and that is... it simply doesn't blow you away.

    It's a good solid family coaster but it has no massive selling point. Discussed this with Rob last week and they should have gone for a much higher top hat, which I am sure they could have achieved. It lacks a proper big loop and the 2nd half after the immelman just doesn't really do much other than go round and round.

    You only have to look at the queues for it to see that it hasn't delivered for the park. The Big One is still the ride that everyone wants to go on, because it is big - simple as that.

    Icon is a very good coaster but if you are spending £16m then you need something to capture the public's imagination, and it appears to have failed in that regard unfortunately.

    ( I still think it's the curse of the Wild Mouse !! )
     
    Last edited: 4th Nov 2019
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  9. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

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    Thought you weren't going to get a dead rodent mention in there for a moment shakey...
     
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  10. Lurker

    Lurker TowersStreet Member

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    Seems a shame to mention the lack of a gimmick as the reason it's failed to increase attendance.

    Most often said about towers is "forget the gimmick, build a solid, quality ride", which is what I think BPB did. Not an outrageous worlds first, just a decent fun, smooth ride to add a missing component to their line up.
     
  11. ringo

    ringo TowersStreet Member

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    Wasn’t the gimmick (official or not) 15 interactions with other rides.

    Icon or as well call it Con is underwhelming. It promised so much but didn’t deliver and people were stating as fact Icon was better than Wicker Man (pre opening)

    In fact it’s the total opposite, Wicker Man was understated and downplayed by enthusiasts because it wasn’t the big super cross valley they wanted and that’s all played to Wicker Mans success, people didn’t have the high expectations.
     
    Last edited: 4th Nov 2019
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  12. Benjsh

    Benjsh TowersStreet Member

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    I definitely think they should have gone much taller on at least 1 or 2 of the elements with ICON. You can barely see the ride from outside the park and you can't see it at all from the entrance. Doesn't really drag people in the park who might not be up to date with the ride offering like we all are.
     
  13. Plastic Person

    Plastic Person TowersStreet Member

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    I think Icon is just fine, but they invested poorly and above their means, wanting to honour their relationship with the Mack family. They could have had two coasters and a dark ride for that supposed investment cost. A Tigris/Superman clone, a new-gen Vekoma multi-looper, something inside Space Invader... Imagine!
     
  14. Martin

    Martin TowersStreet Member

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    Icon is fine but they didn't market it almost at all, and when they did they did it badly. Genuinely seems like more people are aware Wild Mouse closed than Icon opened, which is embarrassing for all concerned.

    Word of mouth will help it a bit but it's not good enough really to be a sleeper hit, it's Swarm mk 2. Hopefully though the investment starting to come in to Blackpool (the redevelopment of the Central Station site, the rebuilt North station with direct trains from London etc) will make the town more popular again and we won't have to wait another 20odd years for the next one.
     
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  15. Coaster

    Coaster TowersStreet Member

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    I think it's clear that The Big One is still the most popular ride at the park and rightly so in my opinion.

    Icon isn't a bad ride but it feels like it's missing something, it doesn't carry enough speed around the layout and the visual impact isn't good enough to capture people's interest.

    Grand National and The Big One were running incredibly this weekend, both were flying round with no roughness at all. The best I've seen National run all year.

    We were lucky with the weather but overall, Pleasure Beach was poor this weekend. Speedy Pass causing the usual issues on The Big One, Valhalla missing half its lighting on Saturday and rides opening over an hour and a half late on Sunday.

    How the park can expect to increase attendance when the level of guest experience is so low, I don't know.
     
    Last edited: 4th Nov 2019
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  16. venny

    venny TowersStreet Member

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    I’m not sure I agree that Icon was a disappointment from a ride experience perspective. I don’t think anyone expected the world’s best coaster based on the POV. I’d say its ride experience was about on par with what you’d expect from watching the POV.

    That’s slightly different from the question over whether it could be better. It could have been better, but what coaster couldn’t.
     
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  17. Benjsh

    Benjsh TowersStreet Member

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    Definitely doesn't feel like it's been a huge hit for the GP. Enthusiasts and the GP often do tend to differ on these things though.

    I think it was needed though. The coaster lineup needed something modern and smooth.
     
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  18. ScottishChris

    ScottishChris TowersStreet Member

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    I was chatting to one of the ladies on the ticket desk on Sunday. She said that if a ride goes down the generally don't get complaints - unless it's the Big One. The public like the novelty - and this is what a park like BPB need to get people through the gates. Arguably, an Intamin Gyro Drop would have been a better short-term investment for the park (market it as 'Britain's Tallest Ride). What Icon has done is modernise the park's coaster line-up.... and this is what it needed. So if it has been a 'flop' as some state - it is a long-term investment and it is a good coaster (although an extra couple of inversions would have helped massively)!

    The future for BPB needs to be something big - a Hyper, a massive Accelerator coaster, a messed-up Inverting coaster (worlds first 16 looper?!?!). It needs a gimick - that is what GP want.
     
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  19. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    @ScottishChris Arguably you could have modernised the coaster line up with something like a Sky Rocket 2 and done something else in quick succession to capitalise on the initial investment.

    Icon is a good ride and I am sure will serve them well over time. I know the Merlin approach to new coasters is much maligned but you do have to wonder if there's something in it - with Icon you have a good coaster without a defining feature that singles it out and without a 'killer image' as the marketing kids say.

    We have an office 3 miles from the Pleasure Beach (you can see The Big One from the car park) and it transpired this summer that a bunch of people in my team didn't even know they had built anything, let alone £16m worth of new ride.
     
  20. Lneeno

    Lneeno TowersStreet Member

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