Icon: The Ride - 2018 Mack Rides Multi Launch Mega Coaster located at Blackpool Pleasure Beach in Blackpool, Lancashire, UK!
It was on the 28th of September 2016 that Blackpool Pleasure Beach would make an announcement that would change the course of the park forever and would help to put the Lancashire coastal resort back on the map as one of Blackpool’s must do tourist attractions! It wasn’t until the 1st of December 2016 however that the anticipation surrounding ‘Project XXVIII’ would hit fever pitch as the park released a simulated pov of their brand new ride not only confirming the manufacturer of the ride as being German power houses MACK Rides (famously known for Helix at Liseberg in Sweden and Blue Fire at Europa Park in Germany) but also giving enthusiasts their first official taste of what they could expect in the years to come!
In early 2017 construction on the brand new ride officially began, and by the 30th of March 2017 foundations and footers for the ride were almost 80% complete! On the 10th of April 2017 however the park finally officially confirmed the name of their brand new ride as being ‘Icon: The Ride’ and gave the general public a first glimpse into what they could expect from the theme of the ride (using that term loosely of course) once it reached completion in 2018! On the 19th of October 2017 excitement surrounding the ride’s construction hit an even higher gear as things really started to ramp up with the arrival of the first official pieces of the track at the park confirming that installation of the ride was literally only a stones throw away! The park then proceeded to work steadily alongside famed German based Coaster Installers RCS to bring their brand new ride to fruition and despite the challenges they faced and the harsh weather inflicted on them by the Irish sea it was on the 14th of February 2018 that installation of the ride would finally conclude and an ‘Icon’ would be born!
An Icon is Born!
It’s therefore fair to say that since the ride officially opened to the public on the 25th of May 2018 Icon: The Ride has fast become ‘THE’ go to ride in the park for all those entering first thing and as such you can always guarantee that as soon as the gates to the park open there will be a mad rush as the rest of the enthusiasts around you attempt to be the ones to say they were on the first train of the day! But in reality the main question that remains is this, is the ride really worth all of the hype? Well, after being among the first to ride this fantastic coaster again on the park’s 2020 opening day we can say without any shadow of uncertainty that the answer to that question remains unequivocally yes!! Icon is without doubt a breath of fresh air when it comes to some of the more recent investments this park has made and as such stands tall as a monument to both Amanda Thompson OBE (the park’s current CEO and newest board member of IAAPA) and the park in the same way The Big One still does for Geoffrey Thompson to this day!
It’s no secret that this fantastic coaster was also the brain child of the park’s CEO and it has since been clarified that her inspiration for this brand new addition was born out a dream surrounding cherry blossom trees and steel track erupting from the ground beneath her and winding across the floor in a snake like fashion! This can quite clearly be seen by the ride’s design and is well reflected in how the layout ‘snakes’ throughout the Pleasure Beach boasting a total of 15 interactions with other rides throughout the park! Icon is slick, stylish and something completely unique for the park overall!
Now, what can you expect to experience should you “Dare to Ride”? Well, one thing is for certain, the airtime over the ride’s first Top Hat element is exquisite and is worth boarding the ride for alone, however the hangtime you will experience throughout the ride’s Zero G-Roll and Junior Immelmann is something else completely and when you add the sheer G-Force inflicted on an upward banked turn on the second section of the ride and the pop of airtime over a concealed airtime hill as well? Well then you have yourself a winner!!
Icon really will deliver an experience unlike anything else on any other UK coaster you are likely to find to this day and for that reason alone it is well worth making the trip to Blackpool to experience this thrilling addition for yourself, however what still gets us to this day is how well this ride has really aged so far! Even though the ride is now nearly 2 years old you wouldn’t know any different and could quite easily lead you to believe that the ride actually only opened yesterday! This is due to how much care and attention is being paid by the park in taking care of their investment and after spending £16,250,000.00 on a new coaster of this calibre you’d have to be stupid not to! It is also fair to say however that there are also some other attractions within the park which are in desperate need of the same level of care and attention as that received by Icon! This does however seem to have now been addressed as it’s clear Pleasure Beach now recognise just how quickly the industry is developing and changing in current times! This is shown by the other changes made within the park to date as well as an ongoing refurbishment project which is currently slated to reach completion in time for their 125th anniversary in 2021!
It’s also pretty fair to say that Icon probably boasts one of the best and most memorable scores in the park! The ride’s soundtrack, which was composed by The Notable Stranger features an epic mixture of epic orchestral music and moments of modern vibes which in our opinion fits the ride perfectly! It really helps to give Icon an epic feel and creates a gravitas that remains unique to the ride to date! More recently The Notable Stranger has also been known to create scores for other rides within the park such as The Big One and we therefore wonder if this new direction is one which will be a common feature amongst future investments in the years to come?!
Now, let’s have a look at some ride facts!!;
Icon Features 2 LSM Launches and propels riders at their fastest up to 53 mph!
The Total length of Icon is 3,750 ft and therefore gives for a total ride duration of 2 minutes and 41 seconds overall making it the longest coaster in the park to this day!
At it’s strongest Icon inflicts a total of 4.3 Gs giving for a very forceful and entertaining experience overall!
Even though the ride appears as though it offers 2 inversions it does infact only offer one as the Junior Immelmann just after the second launch isn’t actually considered as a full inversion making the Zero-G Roll the only full inversion throughout the full course of the ride!
Finally, The total height of Icon at it’s highest point is 88 ft, however the total drop height is only 82 ft overall!
Icon may not be the most thrilling ride experience you are likely to have here in the UK, however it is by far one of the most unique! This is due to the overall experience this amazing investment offers, and with the addition of a superb through put achieved by a great team of staff it’s very fair to say that we have never actually waited any longer than around 40 minutes for a ride on any one visit making Icon an absolute must do when visiting the park! With the perfect mix of a modern sleek and very stylish appearance and the added bonus of hidden moments of airtime Icon remains to this day our Number two coaster here in the UK, beaten only by Nemesis at Alton Towers for it’s intensity!!
We would therefore highly recommend this to anyone who’s either new to the park or is looking for the perfect first coaster to give themselves a taste of what the thrill market offers those who are brave enough to submit and let the good times roll!