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Big One Re-Tracking @Pleasure Beach

Benenen

Member
Loving the honesty Matt, I think most of us would have quietly taken the credit for such praise As for the coat hanger thing, where did you hear that? My hunch is it may be misunderstood sarcasm or a joke.
 

Matt N

Well-Known Member
Loving the honesty Matt, I think most of us would have quietly taken the credit for such praise As for the coat hanger thing, where did you hear that? My hunch is it may be misunderstood sarcasm or a joke.
I think it was in some old Arrow documentary I once watched; it showed how Ron Toomer would bend a piece of wire to design his elements, and it showed him actually getting out a hanger and bending his wire around it to get the shape of the Big One’s hills right.

I could be misunderstanding that, however...
 

CrashCoaster

Well-Known Member
Another fun, on-topic fact for you all, if you’re in the mood; did you know that Ron Toomer actually used a coat hanger to design the Big One’s hills?
Yes. Can't remember if I heard it from the Arrow documentary or not. I've also probably heard Scott from PBE mention it before, more than likely.
 

cookie

Member
I think the coat hanger story is a bit of a misinterpretation of what Toomer says he does when he tries to visualize a coaster element in three dimensions since getting the message across on paper was too difficult. He's not using coat hangers to actually design the ride, but mainly to provide a visual reference for his team of engineers to continue developing from.


You can see from 0:30 in this video that he bends a metal wire in the shape of a loop and other elements, and then the actual design is calculated and visualized on computer afterwards.
 
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emoo

Member
Most people see the Morgan Hypers as an upscaled mine train as they ride very similar. Its bizarre the same conclusion is just falling into place for Arrow. Likely down to the iconic or infamous sections that came at the same time as increased height. See this thread, the third row hill yadda on Magnum and the hilarious crap shoot that was Titan Max.
 

Steely Dan

New Member
Especially since Magnum opened with upstop pads instead of wheels, like most of the Mine Trains built at the time, on top of the fact the restraints, chassis and cars in general are virtually identical.
Yeah, I remember the noises those pads would sometimes make slamming up against the rails going over the return run hills back in the early years of Magnum.

Does anyone know if Big One and Desperado also originally had trains that lacked up stop wheels? Or did they have them from the start.

And because Phantom's Revenge originally began life as a custom looper (with a giant plunge down a steep ravine in the middle), it doesn't really fit the arrow mine-train -> hypercoaster evolutionary timeline because its trains are just regular old arrow looper trains (since modified when morgan removed the inversions and vastly improved the ride).
 

CrashCoaster

Well-Known Member
Yeah, I remember the noises those pads would sometimes make slamming up against the rails going over the return run hills back in the early years of Magnum.

Does anyone know if Big One and Desperado also originally had trains that lacked up stop wheels? Or did they have them from the start.

And because Phantom's Revenge originally began life as a custom looper (with a giant plunge down a steep ravine in the middle), it doesn't really fit the arrow mine-train -> hypercoaster evolutionary timeline because its trains are just regular old arrow looper trains (since modified when morgan removed the inversions and vastly improved the ride).
Magnum was the only hyper that opened with the pads, all the others opened with upstop wheels initially (since they all opened after Magnum was retrofitted with them).

Steel Phantom ran with custom-looper trains, for the simple fact that's what it was. It just happened to have a drop over 200ft but had inversions so they couldn't have used the mine train-style trains.
 

Matt N

Well-Known Member
To be honest, I’d argue that Steel Phantom was more of a Custom Looping Coaster that just so happened to surpass 200ft in height as opposed to being an actual Hyper Coaster, in technical terms. The ride only really became hyper-style once it became Phantom’s Revenge, and most of what made Phantom’s Revenge into the ride it is was done by Morgan. So that one is arguably more of a Morgan hyper these days.
 

oriolat2

Active Member
Magnum was the only hyper that opened with the pads, all the others opened with upstop wheels initially (since they all opened after Magnum was retrofitted with them).

Steel Phantom ran with custom-looper trains, for the simple fact that's what it was. It just happened to have a drop over 200ft but had inversions so they couldn't have used the mine train-style trains.
Magnum's pads lasted just one season.
 

CrashCoaster

Well-Known Member
I’m pleased to report that according to Scott from Pleasure Beach Experience, the Big One’s retracked section is apparently “glass smooth”:
Excellent to hear; the ending was quite possibly Big One’s roughest section before, so I’m very glad to hear that it’s now smooth!
Well of course he'll say it's smooth, his favourite coasters are mostly by Arrow, with Magnum being his No. 1. I want to hear the opinion of someone with less bias (I should be riding it myself on Saturday).
 

Matt N

Well-Known Member
Well of course he'll say it's smooth, his favourite coasters are mostly by Arrow, with Magnum being his No. 1. I want to hear the opinion of someone with less bias (I should be riding it myself on Saturday).
Be sure to report back, if you wouldn’t mind!

With regard to Scott, he’s never said that the Arrow coasters are smooth per se; I don’t think Scott minds a rougher ride, so it’s promising to hear him comment on its smoothness!
 

Matt N

Well-Known Member
Sorry for double posting, but the PBE crew have got a great video showing off some of the changes for the 2021 season at Blackpool Pleasure Beach:
As well as the Big One, it would appear that Big Dipper has received quite a bit of trackwork this off-season, and according to Scott and the rest of the PBE crew, both rides are riding noticeably better, which is great to hear!
 

Will

Well-Known Member
I'm with Crash on this one.

No disrespect at all to PBE, but they were never going to say anything else and I often feel more like they're advertising rather than reviewing (which I gather is how the park likes it)

It's another that maybe I'll check out and maybe I won't - what I will say is that it rode like a sack of spanners last Summer. Not just rough, genuinely hurt my spine.
 
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Matt N

Well-Known Member
I'm with Crash on this one.

No disrespect at all to PBE, but they were never going to say anything else and often feel more like they're advertising than reviewing (which I gather is how the park likes it)

It's another that maybe I'll check out and maybe I won't - what I will say is that it rode like a sack of spanners last Summer. Not just rough, genuinely hurt my spine.
Apparently a lot of other people on park were saying that Big One was noticeably smoother through that section, so it’s not just PBE. And to be fair, Dipper looked noticeably smoother in the camera footage they put up!

I guess these things are pretty subjective, however, so I’ll be intrigued to see some different opinions roll in!
 

Peet

Active Member
Apparently a lot of other people on park were saying that Big One was noticeably smoother through that section, so it’s not just PBE.
Where did you hear that, the PBE video!?

Also, am I the only one who doesn't recall that final tunnel being much/any rougher than the rest of the ride?
 

rob666

Member
Didn't ride the Big One, but the Dipper ran no different...other than a bit "first day slow".
No difference at all for me, other than a clever new little shift of the queue to avoid close contact.
 

CrashCoaster

Well-Known Member
Ok, so I managed to take a visit to PB today and got a ride on Big One. I can't be arsed to write an entire lengthy trip report, so I will just write down the key points of my visit.

- The place was pretty busy - Unsurprising whatsoever given that it is the first Saturday of UK lockdown and the weather was forecasted to be great. Luckily though, all coasters were running with the max number of trains the park operate with.
- We managed 10 rides in total with no time left for any re-rides (we were there from park opening). We rode Ice Blast, Revolution, Steeplechase (I rode yellow), Icon, Big One, Infusion, Big Dipper, Nash, Derby Racer and Flying Machines, in that order. Bit of a weird order but I'll get into it.
- Avalanche was closed and testing all morning until it finally opened at about 13:30 to a chocker queue. Nick Streak was also closed when I walked past it, although I heard it wasn't actually down all day by other enthusiasts who were at the park today. Revolution had just opened so managed to ride it before it got a huge queue also (it was queued beyond the bottom of the stairs most of the day after I rode it). Originally we bailed Big One because of the size of the queue and went to Steeplechase.
- We then went to Icon, as it began testing for the day (it also had issues in the morning but opened by about 11:30). And jeez, was that a bad experience. A combination of the seatbelts, speedypass and the new phone scanning system definitely screwed up the ops. There were that many speedyp(ass holes), they were alternating one train speedypass, one train main queue, which was infuriating. At least it was on 3 trains, even though it stacked every time and the dispatches were like 2 minutes apart.
- Big One - Probably the reason most of you are reading this. I have to say, when I heard some of the reviews of the new track initially, I was quite sceptical. But let me just put any doubts to rest; Taziker and Pleasure Beach have absolutely outdone themselves, SO much better than last year's re-track, mainly because of the re-profiling. The once existing jolt in the tunnel is now completely gone, and the transition out of it feels very natural compared to the janky Arrow transition that was there before. There was a very slight rattle in that section, but I think that's more down to the train design than the track. It proves that the track is almost solely the reason for Big One's roughness, not the trains. I guess that's the same reason why Millennium at Fantasy Island is notorious for being smooth. Also, the coaster was flying - I don't think I've ever ridden the coaster while it's gone so fast, and it has been flying since the ride was testing before April 12th. Perhaps they are only running it with the fast wheel compounds now? I really wish the line wasn't so long and I could've re-ridden it, not to mention I rode in the middle of the second car so I wasn't in a great spot to get much force. Had I been right at the front or back, I think it would've been my favourite ever ride on the coaster. Now they just need to sort out the drop, turnaround and jolt on the third hill and then we're golden. Overall very impressed!
- Infusion was even more ass than usual. Big Dipper's drop is smoother. Derby Racer had a very strong and weird jolt halfway through the ride that I've never experienced before, and hope I never experience again. It was genuinely concerning. The rest of the rides ran as expected.
- The "one-minute silence" at 15:00 for the DofE was laughable, it was literally about 50/50 for who did it and who didn't.
- Covid obviously doesn't exist in Blackpool. Absolutely no social distancing whatsoever, several times did we have to tell the people behind us in queue lines to keep their distance. No mask enforcement, many people weren't wearing masks and the capacity of the park did not feel limited. Also, can someone explain to me why Big One was having every row filled, but the woodies weren't? That baffles me. Overall, very unimpressed in that regard, mainly because the park was not enforcing the rules enough. Also, surprisingly Ghost Train and W&G TOM were open, which I don't fully understand how that complies with the regulations.

To conclude, I'm very happy to have got back to PB, after not riding a single ride in over 5 months. Was it my best visit? No. Was it my worst visit? No. But, there was some nice changes and surprises here and there, I managed to get on all the rides I wanted and most importantly, had fun! Would have been nice to see slightly longer opening hours (perhaps until 7 or 8 pm), but it's not the end of the world. I hope to get back again very soon, once the place quietens down a bit and I can ERT Icon and Big One!

EDIT:- I wrote an entire lengthy trip report.
 
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rob666

Member
Nice report...I don't do busy days anymore, my old man's knees can't cope.
The only other report I have yet seen was negative in the extreme...no fun, no distancing and struggles with F&B.
The indoor rides can open because there is no mixing of groups once you are in the ride...the ride cars keep you socially distant, within your "bubble". The queues are either outdoor or well ventilated.
Why no gaps between seats on the Big One, but restrictions on the woodies...because Blackpool...they make their own rules up according to the size of the moon and the high tide times.
Loved the speedyp(assholes)...another reason I don't do peak days.
Don't expect any dead days this year...even off off peak...unless it starts raining for a week, even the off season weekdays are filling up in all the cheap B&B's, people desperate for a holiday anywhere now all the nice places are booked up!
If you do get there on a quiet weekday, look out for the old gits group in Crevettes, buy you a beer now you are old enough!
 
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