Big Dipper (Pleasure Beach Blackpool)

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Big Dipper
Big Dipper (Pleasure Beach, Blackpool) 02.jpg
The Big Dipper
Pleasure Beach Blackpool
Park section Star Beach Adventures
Coordinates 53°47′21″N 3°03′25″W / 53.78917°N 3.05694°W / 53.78917; -3.05694Coordinates: 53°47′21″N 3°03′25″W / 53.78917°N 3.05694°W / 53.78917; -3.05694
Status Operating
Opening date 23 August 1923
Cost £25,000 (1922)
General statistics
Type Wood – Out and back
Manufacturer William Strickler
Designer John A. Miller
Model Wooden Out and back coaster
Track layout Out and back
Lift/launch system Chain
Height 65 ft (20 m)
Drop 50 ft (15 m)
Length 3,300 ft (1,000 m)
Speed 40 mph (64 km/h)
Inversions 0
Duration 2:28
Max vertical angle 46°
G-force 3.7
Height restriction 46 in (117 cm)
Big Dipper at RCDB
Pictures of Big Dipper at RCDB

Big Dipper is a wooden out and back roller coaster at Pleasure Beach Blackpool, Blackpool, England. The ride was first built in 1923 by John Miller but was extended in 1936 by Charlie Paige and Joe Emberton; adding arches over the south entrance of the park and additional drops.[1] The ride operates with two trains, each containing three four-bench cars, seating two people per bench.[1] The roller coaster is also referenced in the Jethro Tull song Big Dipper, from their 1976 album Too Old to Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young to Die!

In August 1998, Richard Rodriguez set a world record by riding the Big Dipper for over 1000 hours. There is a plaque commemorating this event in the ride's station. Although he doubled this mark two years later to 2000 hours,[2] Guinness World Records nullified the achievements by altering the rules in 2007 and Rodriguez's new record was set on the Pepsi Max Big One and Big Dipper and stands at 405 hours 40 minutes.[3]

Accidents (DLAN)[edit]

On 11 August 2009 - two trains, carrying a total of 32 guests, collided. This resulted in 21 guests requiring treatment at a nearby hospital for injuries ranging from whiplash and broken noses, to cuts and bruises.[4]

On 5 June 2010 - there was another incident with part of a train derailing. This occurred at the same point as the 2009 crash, however there were no injuries and the ride began operating again shortly afterwards.[5][6]

Refurbishment and Return[edit]

On 13 February 2010 - The Big Dipper returned after months of refurbishment resulting from the accident sustained in August 2009.[7] The iconic Big Dipper station received a £500,000 upgrade in time for the 2010 season. The refurbishment has been sympathetic to the original design of the ride station, which dates back to the 1930s. A new fountain has been added, the track was refurbished and the cars have been repainted dark blue with new panels fitted on the exterior using an arrow design.



  1. ^ a b "Big Dipper (RCDB)". RCDB. Archived from the original on 27 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-15. 
  2. ^ "Record breaking teacher on a roll". BBC News. 2000-09-07. Retrieved 2008-04-10. 
  3. ^ "Longest marathon on a roller coaster". Guinness World Records. 2011-08-01. Retrieved 2011-08-01. 
  4. ^ Malvern, Jack (2009-08-11). "Big Dipper accident leaves thrill-seekers injured". London: Times Online. Retrieved 2009-08-11. 
  5. ^ "Reported incident on Big Dipper rollercoaster". Blackpool Aloud. 2010-06-05. Archived from the original on 20 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-21. 
  6. ^ "CoasterForce :: View topic - Big Dipper derailed". CoasterForce. 2010-06-05. Retrieved 2010-07-21. 
  7. ^ "The Big Dipper". Blackpool: Pleasure Beach 2010-03-06. Retrieved 2010-03-06.