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Blackpool Pleasure Beach: Future Predictions

Will

Strata Poster
They can't afford a third hand wacky worm at the moment.
After the flop that was Icon, no new coasters for a decade.
Quite. It was a 24 year wait for Icon (which it arguably wasn't worth!) - the next coaster isn't coming anytime soon. I'm just hoping they don't butcher Valhalla TOO viciously!
 

JoshC.

Giga Poster
But maintaining attendance is equally as important as trying to get more people through the gates?

I really don’t think you can class it as a flop just because there wasn’t a sharp rise in attendance figures - there is far too many other factors involved.

A flop in my eyes would be when the GP has no interest in actually riding it.

I would agree. However, hypothetically speaking, if the point of investing in Icon was to increase attendance, and it hasn't, it would be fair to call it a flop. If it was to increase spend per person, then obviously looking at attendance numbers is not much use. The question would then be, has Icon generated enough interest with visitors that it encourages them to buy more merch, spend longer on park (and so spend more money on food/drink), etc. - something we as enthusiasts will likely never know.

If it is the latter though, I'd argue that Icon perhaps didn't have the strongest marketing campaign (I don't recall seeing adverts for it down south!), doesn't have the strongest brand and isn't the most intriguing thing to encourage people to spend their money.
 

Matt N

Strata Poster
I only saw one Blackpool Pleasure Beach advert down here in the South West in 2018, and it didn’t mention Icon once!

Is the park aiming their marketing towards a more local crowd or something?
 

nadroJ

CF Legend
I think I'd heard somewhere internally that the park did not consider Icon to be a success - based on what I'm not sure.

It'll be interesting to see what the next year brings. With the fairly new BLVD hotel and the Big Blue, plus a huge increase in UK 'staycations' expected for 2021 I'd say this could very much be the year for the Pleasure Beach in terms of nailing those attendance figures. They're not going to be smashing any records given the hesitance that remains around the virus, however there is certainly a huge increase in holidaying at home, especially amongst an audience who would usually be going abroad. If they get their marketing right this year could really be something special for them.
 

Matt N

Strata Poster
Apparently Icon was considered to not be a success because to be viable, it was supposed to bring 100,000 new guests to Blackpool Pleasure Beach in 2018. In the end, the number of guests visiting in 2018 actually fell by 200,000 on the previous year.
 

Smithy

Strata Poster
I mean it didn't take a genius to predict that Icon wasn't going to bring the punters flying through the gates - I've lost count of the amount of times we've had to discuss how the UK market relies heavily on USP's, branding or 'world firsts'. It's a really good ride, it looks beautiful, it compliments the park amazingly and massively improves their line-up.

But why would anyone travel to Blackpool to ride it when they can go to Alton Towers and ride "that one that goes upside down loads" or to Thorpe Park and ride "that one that goes really fast".

There's also a wider discussion to be had around the general image of BPB being of a park with older, wooden and rougher style rides and who was Icon really appealing to?
 

Rupert

Mega Poster
Thinking about it, it’s a bit of a shame that when BPB commissioned Icon, Time Traveler hadn’t been built and may not even have been known about to Blackpool management. Icon’s layout would probably work really well with the spinning cars, which would add the excitement said to be lacking from the lower speed (disclaimer that I haven’t ridden it). It would also have been quite a bit more marketable, for what that’s worth.
 

CrashCoaster

Strata Poster
I think Icon would actually be world-class if it were spinning, however retrofitting it would be impossible as the clearances would be different. Although they could do something similar to what is being done on Steel Taipan but I highly, highly doubt they will.
 

Robbie

Hyper Poster
Apparently Icon was considered to not be a success because to be viable, it was supposed to bring 100,000 new guests to Blackpool Pleasure Beach in 2018. In the end, the number of guests visiting in 2018 actually fell by 200,000 on the previous year.
As I said in another thread, you can't directly blame Icon for this. Attendance at the Pleasure Beach fell by the same percentage as the whole of Blackpool thanks to all the transport problems and other issues such as poor weather. However, their profits actually went up so they must have done something right.

It's just unfortunate timing, with all the roadworks, trains not running and then Covid not really giving Icon a chance to make a mark (although it was poorly marketed too). They could do with another big thing to get everyone's attention back, although I suspect they're going to do well this Summer anyway.
 

MemeWorldOfficials

Roller Poster
Here is my future predictions for the Blackpool Pleasure Beach from 2022-2032:

2022 - Zamperla Air Race and S&S Spin Shot
2023 - RMC Conversion of Grand National
2024 - Sold to Meme World Parks & Resorts
2025 - B&M Giga cloned to Orion and Zamperla Giant Discovery
2026 - Funtime Starflyer
2027 - Four new family rides
2028 - RMC T-Rex
2029 - Mack Xtreme Spinning Conversion on Icon
2030 - Gerstlauer Flying Circus
2031 - Two new family rides
2032 - B&M Wooden Strata
 

EmmaUK

Roller Poster
Here is my future predictions for the Blackpool Pleasure Beach from 2022-2032:

2022 - Zamperla Air Race and S&S Spin Shot
2023 - RMC Conversion of Grand National
2024 - Sold to Meme World Parks & Resorts
2025 - B&M Giga cloned to Orion and Zamperla Giant Discovery
2026 - Funtime Starflyer
2027 - Four new family rides
2028 - RMC T-Rex
2029 - Mack Xtreme Spinning Conversion on Icon
2030 - Gerstlauer Flying Circus
2031 - Two new family rides
2032 - B&M Wooden Strata
 

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Ethan

Strata Poster
Here is my future predictions for the Blackpool Pleasure Beach from 2022-2032:

2022 - Zamperla Air Race and S&S Spin Shot
2023 - RMC Conversion of Grand National
2024 - Sold to Meme World Parks & Resorts
2025 - B&M Giga cloned to Orion and Zamperla Giant Discovery
2026 - Funtime Starflyer
2027 - Four new family rides
2028 - RMC T-Rex
2029 - Mack Xtreme Spinning Conversion on Icon
2030 - Gerstlauer Flying Circus
2031 - Two new family rides
2032 - B&M Wooden Strata
Pro tip: I know you're just "memeing' but the meme has to be funny for it to amuse others but yourself. Maybe workshop this?
 

Matt N

Strata Poster
I don’t know whether any of you would agree with me, but I have a somewhat controversial take as to the approach I’d like to see Pleasure Beach take in the medium to long term coasters-wise.

Controversially, instead of building some form of new Mack roller coaster like many are suggesting, I actually think it would be really good if Blackpool focused on doing refurbishments of some of the rides they have. I think there are some rides within Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s existing roller coaster selection that I think would really shine if given some TLC to make them a bit smoother and more enjoyable.

Off the top of my head, I can think of at least 3, possibly 4, Blackpool Pleasure Beach roller coasters that could be majorly improved with a bit of simple, reasonably low-cost work. They are:
  • Big One: I think the ride would majorly improve comfort-wise if the park just continued the Taziker retrack to gradually replace the whole ride, although I would reprofile the ride as well as replacing track because some of the ride’s roughness is caused by the profiling as opposed to the condition of the track. Maybe some new trains would help too.
  • Big Dipper: I think a nice GCI (or similar) retrack would really help Dipper. If some of the elements were smoothed out slightly and the wood was replaced, but the basic essence of the ride was kept the same, then I think it would become far more enjoyable, personally.
  • Grand National: Again, I think that a GCI retrack would work wonders on Grand National, with some of the elements being smoothed out and the wood being replaced. However, I also think Grand National could do with new trains, as the current ones are not the most comfortable, in my opinion, and are apparently a large part of why the ride is so rough. I reckon some custom GCI trains, similar to the ones fitted on Roller Coaster at Lagoon, would work a treat, personally.
  • Infusion: Now this one is slightly more of a stretch, but I think Infusion would improve a lot if the park were to invest in the new Vekoma inverted trains with vest restraints. If the money was available, I also think it would benefit from a like-for-like reprofiling and retrack similar to what the SLC at Morey’s Piers underwent a few years ago; that ride apparently improved drastically when it was retracked!
I know it seems controversial, but I genuinely think it would be really good for Blackpool to focus on refurbishing some of their existing rides as opposed to building flashy new things. I say this because I think that this kind of refurbishment would make the roller coaster selection at Blackpool Pleasure Beach significantly more appealing without breaking the bank; all of these things put together would probably end up costing significantly less than Icon did (£16m), and would be spread out across a considerably longer time period. This is important for a park like Blackpool, where the financial situation is apparently not the strongest.

Also, I think that all 4 of these rides have many great qualities, and would be able to shine a lot more if they weren’t so rough and uncomfortable. I think Grand National in particular would improve drastically with a bit of refurbishment; in all honesty, I think it has a phenomenal layout, packed with airtime and some great moments of speed, and would probably be right up there as one of Britain’s most revered coasters if it were smoother!
 

Tonkso

Mega Poster
I agree on the reprofiling of PMBO, yesterday's shower daydream was around the second hill being reprofiled to have a sharper crest to provide some solid airtime with the excess space after used for a double down for a nice pop of ejector.
 

Matt N

Strata Poster
I agree on the reprofiling of PMBO, yesterday's shower daydream was around the second hill being reprofiled to have a sharper crest to provide some solid airtime with the excess space after used for a double down for a nice pop of ejector.
That sounds amazing, I’ll admit, but I wasn’t even on about giving the ride airtime; even though I would certainly like the ride more if it had airtime, I don’t necessarily think it needs it for the type of ride it is. Big One focuses more on speed than airtime, I think.

The main object of reprofiling the ride should probably be making it smoother, in my opinion. There are bits of the ride that it currently jolts around quite a bit, such as the first drop and the turnaround (and the ending, prior to its recent reprofile). If it wasn’t quite so rough, I think I’d rate the Big One a lot more highly, personally, as there’s elements of it that I absolutely love; for example, that first drop over the sea towards the front of the train is just excellent, in my opinion!

In fairness, though, it would appear that the park is focusing somewhat on ride refurbishments at the moment, with Big One starting to have a Taziker retrack and reprofile in places, Big Dipper having some of its wood replaced and Valhalla currently under refurbishment and due to reopen in 2022.
 

Matt N

Strata Poster
I know this seems a bit random, but; whenever the time eventually comes for Blackpool to build their next new roller coaster, how would you guys feel about the park going for a modern wooden roller coaster, from a manufacturer like GCI or the Gravity Group? I know it might seem a bit redundant, seeing as the park has 4 vintage wooden roller coasters already, but think of it another way; Blackpool could use this to their advantage, and market themselves as “the only park in the world with over 100 years of wooden roller coaster history in one place” (presuming this hypothetical ride is built after 2023, of course). My idea for this ride, and the associated marketing campaign, would be:
  • Get a GCI wooden roller coaster that breaks the records for tallest, fastest and longest wooden roller coaster in the UK. As much as this seems like it would be an expensive record to break, the bar is currently surprisingly low; they’d only have to build a ride that was taller than 85ft, faster than 48mph and longer than 3,300ft. This way, the park has a very easy, marketable record to flaunt, while not necessarily breaking the bank like they did buying Icon. They’d have the wooden equivalent of the Big One for what could be a pretty low price tag! Even the wooden coaster aspect of it shouldn’t be too hard to sell; Wicker Man arguably proved that woodies can be successful, popular investments within the UK market.
  • As for how this would impact the park’s marketing more widely; I would have Blackpool take on the slogan of “the wooden coaster capital of the world” and really flaunt the park’s expansive wooden coaster selection, with this hypothetical new record-breaking GCI being the crown jewel of the marketing campaign. As for why they would be able to make this claim; I have two simple answers.
  • Firstly, this hypothetical ride would reclaim the park’s recently lost record for the most wooden roller coasters of any theme park in the world; it would give them 5 wooden roller coasters, which is more than any other park in the world. They could then put into their marketing campaign “more wooden coasters than any other park in the world”!
  • Secondly, this would also (I think?) give them the widest age range within their wooden coaster selection in the world, ranging from 1923’s Big Dipper to the modern-day GCI. The park could then say something along the lines of “the only park in the world with more than 100 years of wooden coaster history in one place” and/or “experience the evolution of the wooden roller coaster first-hand, right through from pre-war to the modern day”.
I know most of you probably think I’m bonkers for suggesting this, but I just wondered; what are your thoughts on my proposal? Do you think something like this could work, or am I barking up the wrong tree? As random and redundant as it probably sounds, I’ll admit that I’ve always quite liked the idea of a nice, modern GCI coexisting at Pleasure Beach alongside their vintage woodies, and I thought that as a really hi-tech, expensive coaster in Icon didn’t work as hoped for them, why not go back to the park’s roots, and do a modern take on the rides that always used to pull in the punters? Why not focus on the park’s history as well as bringing in a new ride, and be the only park in the world that can well and truly show off the evolution of the wooden coaster to such an extent?
EDIT: Sorry for double posting!
 

CrashCoaster

Strata Poster
I know this seems a bit random, but; whenever the time eventually comes for Blackpool to build their next new roller coaster, how would you guys feel about the park going for a modern wooden roller coaster, from a manufacturer like GCI or the Gravity Group? I know it might seem a bit redundant, seeing as the park has 4 vintage wooden roller coasters already, but think of it another way; Blackpool could use this to their advantage, and market themselves as “the only park in the world with over 100 years of wooden roller coaster history in one place” (presuming this hypothetical ride is built after 2023, of course). My idea for this ride, and the associated marketing campaign, would be:
  • Get a GCI wooden roller coaster that breaks the records for tallest, fastest and longest wooden roller coaster in the UK. As much as this seems like it would be an expensive record to break, the bar is currently surprisingly low; they’d only have to build a ride that was taller than 85ft, faster than 48mph and longer than 3,300ft. This way, the park has a very easy, marketable record to flaunt, while not necessarily breaking the bank like they did buying Icon. They’d have the wooden equivalent of the Big One for what could be a pretty low price tag! Even the wooden coaster aspect of it shouldn’t be too hard to sell; Wicker Man arguably proved that woodies can be successful, popular investments within the UK market.
  • As for how this would impact the park’s marketing more widely; I would have Blackpool take on the slogan of “the wooden coaster capital of the world” and really flaunt the park’s expansive wooden coaster selection, with this hypothetical new record-breaking GCI being the crown jewel of the marketing campaign. As for why they would be able to make this claim; I have two simple answers.
  • Firstly, this hypothetical ride would reclaim the park’s recently lost record for the most wooden roller coasters of any theme park in the world; it would give them 5 wooden roller coasters, which is more than any other park in the world. They could then put into their marketing campaign “more wooden coasters than any other park in the world”!
  • Secondly, this would also (I think?) give them the widest age range within their wooden coaster selection in the world, ranging from 1923’s Big Dipper to the modern-day GCI. The park could then say something along the lines of “the only park in the world with more than 100 years of wooden coaster history in one place” and/or “experience the evolution of the wooden roller coaster first-hand, right through from pre-war to the modern day”.
I know most of you probably think I’m bonkers for suggesting this, but I just wondered; what are your thoughts on my proposal? Do you think something like this could work, or am I barking up the wrong tree? As random and redundant as it probably sounds, I’ll admit that I’ve always quite liked the idea of a nice, modern GCI coexisting at Pleasure Beach alongside their vintage woodies, and I thought that as a really hi-tech, expensive coaster in Icon didn’t work as hoped for them, why not go back to the park’s roots, and do a modern take on the rides that always used to pull in the punters? Why not focus on the park’s history as well as bringing in a new ride, and be the only park in the world that can well and truly show off the evolution of the wooden coaster to such an extent?
EDIT: Sorry for double posting!
Nah, they're obviously gonna RMC Big Dipper first don't be silly.
 
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