Pleasure Beach bosses have promised thrills to match the Big One and more as work began on a revolutionary new rollercoaster.
‘Construction 2018’ – as it is currently known – is due to open in just over a year’s time and is the biggest single project at the park since the iconic Big One opened in 1994.
We want to make sure we keep Blackpool the best tourist attraction in the UK
The £16.25m double-launch ride will weave it’s way around the Pleasure Beach, shooting riders from 0-60mph in seconds.
Deputy managing director Nick Thompson has led the design process and has high hopes for the attraction, which has been several years in the making.
“I know it’s going to be amazing,” he said. “This is going to be the best ride in the world.”
“In recent years we’ve done Nickelodeonland which has been enormously successful for the business, we’ve done Wallace and Gromit.
“But now we’re back to our core market of thrill seekers again. We started with SkyForce, the Red Arrows ride, a couple of years ago. And now here we are.”
The new rollercoaster, which is being built under the title Construction 2018, will dive under the Big One lift hill and loop around several other rides, offering what bosses believe will be a unique tour of the park.
Nick said: “When I saw the plans, the first draft, I was blown away.
“We’ve got a gap in the Big One and it will run through there.
“Everything is going to be tight to the ride, the tunnels, all the interactions, when it goes into the ground it will feel close, the speeds are going to feel enormous.”
And Pleasure Beach bosses are pinning their hopes on giving riders more bang for their buck to bring the crowds flooding in.
Nick said: “A lot of coasters built around the world are a decent size and impressive but are very short.
“This will keep the adrenaline running for well over three minutes, like the Big One. When you get up to adrenaline rides that long it gives you a real, real buzz.
“Anyone who remembers first going on the Big One, how exciting that was – this will far exceed that.”
Nick is predicting visitors from around the globe will be heading to Blackpool when the ride opens in 2018.
He said: “It’s not just people coming to the Pleasure Beach, it’s people coming to the town, the area. It’s massive – it’s a huge investment for us and we have to get it right.”
Pleasure Beach managing director Amanda Thompson paid a visit to see construction get underway, with massive piling machines being driven onto the former site of the Tom Sawyer lake.
She said: “This is going to be totally unique because of the setting and the way it is designed around the rest of the park.
“We are on such a small site here and we have to make best use of what we have.
“The great thing is that people who visit the park will be able to see this taking shape.
“Then hopefully we’ll have a huge number of people wanting to come and ride.
“That’s great for us and great for the town. We want to make sure we keep Blackpool the best tourist attraction in the UK.”
And she believes the £16.25m investment won’t be the last on the Pleasure Beach.
“If we want to, we will find space,” she added.
Work this winter will focus on installing the piling and foundations for the ride. The steel structure will be erected next winter.