I will put my hands up now and say that I didn’t intend to leave riding Icon at Blackpool Pleasure Beach till October 2019 but ya know, life happens etc. In my defence, as a lowly Southerner near the South Coast, travelling to Blackpool is quite the trek – 5 hours of driving to be exact so having to plan this in to my weekend plans can be tricky. However, knowing that I wanted to make my way up to Alton Towers for their Scarefest event made it the ideal opportunity to tag on a visit to Blackpool.
After a long trek up to the hotel in Derby on a Friday night in October, it meant that there was only a 2 hour drive up to Blackpool from the hotel. Makes it so much better than that arduous 5 hour drive direct from down south, right? I knew that I was only really here for one thing: ICON! After reading so many reviews from other enthusiasts and bloggers, I knew I needed to get a ride on it and form my opinion of it.
After taking my seat on the back left seat (which I was told was the best seat), I waited in anticipation until the first launch began. I’ve seen POVs and it is easy to say that a ride looks slow or the launch doesn’t look powerful, but you can never really judge a ride from a POV until you’ve ridden it, in my opinion. Icon had a lot of potential and I came off my first ride thinking, ‘That was fun’.
A positive review right? Well, yes it is a positive review and I did like Icon but when you’ve seen a lot of people saying how amazing it is and it’s their number one UK coaster, I genuinely did not get that vibe at all. I am impressed with some of the elements that it packs into such a tiny space but I felt like more could have happened. Especially when you’re waiting for airtime and you don’t get it until the last moment. Of course, I had to give the ride a chance to warm up as I know most people say that in the afternoon, the ride packs a punch and gives a better ride experience.
Yes, after 2 more rides on Icon in the afternoon, it definitely warmed up and provided a good coaster experience as a whole. My bugbear is that a coaster shouldn’t need to rely heavily on warming up to be a great coaster. That and after the second launch, the ride loses it’s momentum pretty quickly so it’s like you’re gliding through the final section before the brake-run. I wasn’t expecting it to be a thrill machine by any means but this is not the best coaster in the UK – there I said it.
Basing this on other coasters I have ridden, both in the UK and abroad, Icon could have been so much more. It’s fun and hands down the best ride at the Pleasure Beach but I’d take Nemesis and Wicker Man over Icon. If you are like me and haven’t had the chance to ride Icon at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, definitely give it a go as it’s great to have a Mack Megacoaster here in the UK, and depending on where you live, doesn’t require too much travel time!
Overall a good day was had at Blackpool on Saturday and I even did Valhalla in October – INSTANT REGRET might I add – plus a few of the other coasters including Nash, Big Dipper and The Big One. There isn’t much for me at Blackpool if I’m honest and I don’t see myself returning any time soon now that I have finally had the chance to experience Icon. No doubt I will be waiting for their next big investment before I plan a return trip, so for now, thanks for a fun time Blackpool.
PASAJE DEL TERROR
As it is spooky season, it seemed fitting to add Pasaje del Terror on to the weekend trip. Especially with it being right outside the Blackpool Pleasure Beach entrance. I didn’t really know what to expect of this attraction, other than it’s a scare maze lasting for approximately 10 minutes. Not much is really given away on the outside and even with the video promoting the attraction at the entrance, you don’t really know what creatures you will encounter inside.
I don’t know whether I had high expectations about this being a good scare attraction but I was left feeling particularly disappointed. You’ve got your usual horror film characters that you will come across including Chuckie doll, Billy from SAW, Michael Myers from Halloween etc. The theming within here was incredible and that was particularly great to see however it was lacking in scares.
I may not scare easily within scare mazes as I have done my fair share of them, both in the UK and abroad, but I didn’t get any jump scares or feeling like an actor was going pop out around the corner. Whether the actors were focusing more on the group behind me who were more like scaredy-cats than me is anyone’s guess. It’s a shame as I really wanted to like Pasaje del Terror but it didn’t tick any of the boxes for me. Was it worth the £8.50? In my experience, no but I’d suggest giving it a go if you haven’t already.
Don’t forget Blackpool Pleasure Beach are getting into the Halloween spirit with Vampire Pleasure Beach and will also be increasing the scares with their new event, Journey to Hell Freak Nights, from 27th October to 31st October. For more details, check out their website here.
That’s all for now!