What's new

Valhalla at Blackpool Pleasure Beach to be closed in 2020?

Matt N

Well-Known Member
Hi guys. I was just scrolling through TowersStreet Talk when I saw this video from Attraction Images, which suggests a rather interesting rumour regarding Valhalla at Blackpool Pleasure Beach potentially being SBNO next year:
The man in the video says that his source is reliable and has gotten numerous things right in the past with regards to BPB. Anyway, if you don't want to watch the video, some of the reasons identified from a conversation with the source included:
  • The ride reportedly costs £1m per year to run and needs £900,000 worth of renovations doing.
  • The ride has apparently been very unreliable and problematic for Blackpool this year, including having sunk a full boat of riders to such an extent that they had to evacuate themselves mid-ride. The park also apparently doesn't want the ride to have a similar incident to the one on Splash Canyon at Drayton Manor.
  • The ride is apparently not being reviewed very positively by guests; there are even TripAdvisor reviews advising people to stay away from the ride due to its wetness.
  • I must admit that I'm not too sure on this one, but the ride apparently wasn't intended to last for as long as it has when Geoffrey Thompson and Intamin originally designed it.

    We'll have to see how this one develops; it might turn out to be untrue, and even if it is true, the park might just be closing it to refurbish it for 2021; time will tell...
 

Ian

From CoasterForce
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Social Media Team
Wouldn't surprise me. Must cost them a fortune and there has been an increase in evac reports.

Are people on Trip Advisor really advising people to stay off a water ride because it’s too wet? That has to be the most snowflakey thing I’ve ever read.
 

Peet

Member
the ride apparently wasn't intended to last for as long as it has when Geoffrey Thompson and Intamin originally designed it
20 years!? Not many rides have a design life that short, I doubt this one is true.

The park also apparently doesn't want the ride to have a similar incident to the one on Splash Canyon at Drayton Manor.
Hmm I'd be surprised if there is any deep water on Valhalla at all so I can't really see how this would happen.

Given that it's no longer a headline attraction I wouldn't be surprised if the main aim of the refurbishment is to reduce running costs, for example replacing the fire effects with something else (maybe Wickerman-style LCD screen fire), and changing the theme of the ice room so that they don't have to keep it so cold etc.

The whole facade got replaced at the end of 2011 so it shouldn't need doing again so soon but who knows.

*If* the rumour is true, that is!

Ps. Thanks for summarising the video @Matt N , there was no way I was going to bother watching it!
 

Matt N

Well-Known Member
Ps. Thanks for summarising the video @Matt N , there was no way I was going to bother watching it!
You're very welcome; I know that some people's attitude on this site towards video updates is far from positive, so I thought it was the least I could do!

I just had another thought; maybe the park might attempt to reduce the ride's wetness, as a number of people don't ride it for this reason and I can't imagine the ride's soak factor is really that appetising in the colder months in Blackpool!
 
Long term it makes more sense to go for something else in its place I think. Valhalla is just too costly to maintain and as rightfully is pointed out in the video the last thing BPB needs is some type of major water ride incident. The park might not be in a position to invest millions in a ride but I'd like to see a small GCI like Heidi the ride / White Lightnin' or a Gravity Kraft coaster in its place (along with Ice Blast) there should be enough space. Maybe Viking themed. In the long run it would be cheaper to run something like that considering the knowledge of wooden coasters and workshops there anyway.

Only ridden Valhalla once due to its insane wetness but I highly doubt it was designed for just a 20 year lifespan. The Pirates of the Caribbean rides around the world will all still be around in another 20 years I'm sure. Was Valhalla built in a more optimistic time without much thought about maintenance / operating cost? Yes, I think so.
 
Just whack the building down and remove the boats and you've got one big giant fountain ready for next year.
The big policed fountain is utterly stupid. When I entered Phantasialand I couldn't keep my eyes off the Wellenflug ride with the reactive fountain around it. Something like that makes much more sense for Blackpool Pleasure Beach as it suits the seaside fair theme so well and is low cost to operate.
 

Niles

Member
I got to ride it this year for the first time and while it’s good, it did not take my breath away. A lot of the effects I’ve seen in povs were not working when I was on and you get soaked 😅

I was there in early October and it was walk on for the whole day with a lot of empty boats coming into the station. It must be packed in the summer but it was dead that day.

Shame to loose such a unique ride so I hope the theme is keeped and a reverb takes place reducing running costs, making the ride less wet and focus on the story over the water ride.
 

rob666

Member
Because of the wetness it doesn't get much of a queue, even in the summer.
It used to get massive queues, and was fantastic when all the effects worked...anyone else seen the fake laser floor on the first drop???
Don't know why they don't just open it for the last two hours of each day, last hour only if it is wet and cold.
That is the time when 90% of punters go on it anyway.
 

Matt N

Well-Known Member
Because of the wetness it doesn't get much of a queue, even in the summer.
It used to get massive queues, and was fantastic when all the effects worked...anyone else seen the fake laser floor on the first drop???
Don't know why they don't just open it for the last two hours of each day, last hour only if it is wet and cold.
That is the time when 90% of punters go on it anyway.
We queued nearly 2 hours for it in August, but I can't imagine it's too popular on any day other than when it's really hot!
 

SilverArrow

Active Member
Someone asked Amanda directly on Twitter and she said the following:

"Really .... certainly nothing has been decided yet. We are looking at ways to #reimagine the ride yes..... but more importantly we are looking at trying to make it more sustainable. Sustainability is essential for the future of this ride. I can assure you Valhalla is here to stay"

(@MandsThompson)
 
Someone asked Amanda directly on Twitter and she said the following:

"Really .... certainly nothing has been decided yet. We are looking at ways to #reimagine the ride yes..... but more importantly we are looking at trying to make it more sustainable. Sustainability is essential for the future of this ride. I can assure you Valhalla is here to stay"

(@MandsThompson)
That is glad to hear and I'm excited to see what will be enhanced to allow future generations to "Ride the Adventure"!
 
Someone asked Amanda directly on Twitter and she said the following:

"Really .... certainly nothing has been decided yet. We are looking at ways to #reimagine the ride yes..... but more importantly we are looking at trying to make it more sustainable. Sustainability is essential for the future of this ride. I can assure you Valhalla is here to stay"

(@MandsThompson)
I'm slightly concerned with Amanda's response. With Pleasure Beach having such a short closed season it is imperative that work is carried out quickly. The fact she says they haven't decided what is happening to Valhalla yet implies there is no major work being carried out on it over the off season. If they had started planning the refurbishment earlier this year they could have easily got a good chunk of work on Valhalla done in the closed season. But alas it appears that is not the case and Valhalla will either reopen in February with little to no improvement over this year or be shut for most of the season whilst they carry out the refurb.
 

Smithy

Well-Known Member
If you read between the lines of her tweet though, they won't be adding anything or making sure everything works. Sustainability is another word for removing things that are costing them money to run/repair.

Expect it to run as a shell of the former ride for a few seasons before they then use falling user satisfaction scores as justification for removal.
 

Lofty

Social Media Team
Staff member
Social Media Team
Not necessarily - sustainability also means they could be changing pumps to more efficient ones, sealing any cracks in the trough that lead to water displacement (which is a problem for the ride) as well as updating ride technology that means downtime and engineering costs drop. It's not always a doom and gloom term.
 
Top