What do we see the re-imagining of the Pleasure Beach's most iconic water ride offering once complete?!
It is fair to say that whenever you ask someone which rides you can expect to find located at Blackpool Pleasure Beach it is almost guaranteed that 9 times out of 10 they will definitely mention Valhalla, however what does this ride really offer those who choose to brave the absolutely soaking this ride offers?!
Well, what is certain is that you will never find anything like Valhalla at any other theme park located in the UK!
The reason for this is just the sheer scale this ride has been built on! Located on the former fun house site this Goliath of a water based dark ride offers an experience unlike any other fully immersing you into Norse mythology like never before!
The ride delivers an experience you will not soon forget utilising the perfect mixture of state of the art special effects, animatronics and a boat ride conceived by world renown ride manufacturer Intamin to take you on a journey to the gates of the Viking afterlife itself and deliver you into the kingdom of Valhalla (a warriors paradise)!
Just as the ride was readying itself to enter it’s 20th anniversary year however, the park announced they had taken the very difficult (but in our opinion extremely necessary) decision to close the ride in favour of a “re-imagining”.
This would give Blackpool Pleasure Beach the chance to completely overhaul the ride and restore it back to it’s former glory of the early 2000’s!
Now, just like every other enthusiast who has chosen to ride this ride during the past couple of seasons we have found Valhalla to be fastly falling into rather a sorry state!
This could be seen by everything from effects malfunctions to boat leakages and it was becoming increasingly clearer that something had to be done in order to save the ride for the future.
On December 20th of 2019 the park therefore officially announced via all of their social media outlets that Valhalla was set to remain closed for the full duration of 2020 with a view of reopening again in 2021.
We have of course since found out that this is also no longer the case due to the current pandemic waylaying the rides reopening until 2022.
So the main question at this point is what do we see the ‘re-imaging’ offering when the ride does finally re-open in 2022?
Well it’s definitely safe to say that special effects and how animatronics function have come a considerably long way since the late 90’s.
This gives for the perfect opportunity to really do something truly special when it comes to the ride experience.
The same can also be said however for the practical effects side too.
The other main issue to consider here is the extremely high running costs.
This will have very likely affected the day to day running of the ride and it’s affects on quieter days!
It is probably fair to consider that we could well see removal of quite a lot of the fire effects within the ride in favour of replacement by the likes of projection mapping etc.
We would much rather see the fire effects updated as opposed to being removed!
The other main thing to consider is that there is heavy use of the colour blue within the press release and this leads us to wonder if the main focus of the ride will likely be water and ice moving forward?
It would be a feasible argument given the climate in which the ride is set.
Couple that with the fact we recently heard that the park had expressed the ‘freezer room’ would be considerably colder upon reopening, then this leads us to wonder if this could well be the case!
We also wonder (given the Notable Stranger’s recent input with regards to ride scores at the park) whether we may also well see a brand new ‘revised’ Valhalla soundtrack added to the line up?
With The Big One finally being given it’s own score recently it’s becoming ever clearer that the park are now focusing on the overall experience as opposed to just the ride experience.
All this aside however there is so much the park could do with regards to effects and theme, however the main thing we would like to see is a complete replacement of all boats including brand new safety features and some form of restraints.
It’s a well known fact that the ride includes some considerably steep drops and this is particularly evident when you are commanded to ‘not to lean forward on the final double down’!
We therefore feel that the introduction of modern safety systems would very much benefit the ride as well as far better drainage of the boats overall (I mean, who really loves stepping into Valhalla soup to start your experience)?
In recent years you have already got in water up past your ankles before even riding the ride!
As you traverse deeper into the Norse water soaked world you gradually get wetter, and wetter, and wetter until by the end of riding you may as well have gone to the end of North Pier and just jumped off it instead as you’d probably get less wet doing so!
Taking all of this into account (including the fact that the park have made it clear they’re fully aware of guests views on this ride) it’s very likely that the changes made to this ride will be highly significant.
With this in mind we really feel that this move will give Valhalla a brand new lease of life and will help safely secure the park’s investment for years to come.
This will ensure a brand new generation of thrill seekers have the chance to pit their wits against the viking gods and enter the Norse afterlife.
As die hard fans of the original ride we feel this is brilliant!
We really feel that given the fact Valhalla was Geoffrey Thompson’s last input into the park the park’s current CEO Amanda Thompson OBE will want to secure her father’s legacy and keep this Viking themed masterpiece an integral centerpiece of the entrance plaza to the park.
We therefore see Valhalla having a very bright and very fruitful future with the park in the years to come!
We also feel that this ‘re-imaging’ will offer both generations of enthusiasts the chance to get back on a ride which has become a staple part of a visit to the Pleasure Beach without the worry of getting absolutely soaked or missing out on any of the effects and centerpieces within the ride.
With that in mind we simply can’t wait to see what this refurb will offer when the ride reopens to the general public in 2022.