Avalanche (Pleasure Beach Blackpool)

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Avalanche
Avalanche Track (blackpool.jpg
Avalanche, Pleasure Beach Blackpool
Pleasure Beach Blackpool
Coordinates 53°47′24″N 3°03′21″W / 53.79008°N 3.0559°W / 53.79008; -3.0559Coordinates: 53°47′24″N 3°03′21″W / 53.79008°N 3.0559°W / 53.79008; -3.0559
Status Operating
Opening date 1988
General statistics
Type Steel – Bobsled
Manufacturer Mack Rides
Length 1,490 ft (450 m)
Speed 50 mph (80 km/h)
Inversions 0
Duration 1:22
Height restriction 44 in (112 cm)
Trains 3 trains with 7 cars. Riders are arranged 1 across in 2 rows for a total of 14 riders per train.
Avalanche at RCDB
Pictures of Avalanche at RCDB

Avalanche is the first ever steel bobsled roller coaster constructed in the UK. It was built by Mack of Germany in 1988 at Pleasure Beach Blackpool, an amusement park in Blackpool, England.

The ride uses three trains, each consisting of 7 cars. Each car can hold two riders, one behind the other.

History[edit]

Avalanche opened in 1988 and was the first ever Bobsled type roller coaster to be constructed in the UK, it was also the third Bobsled coaster built by Mack Rides, who were in competition with Intamin, the only other company who designed Steel Bobsled Coasters. The ride was to be themed around an Alpine bobsled course, and the station was built to reflect this. The ride was officially opened by Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards[1], a famous British ski-jumper, and the British Bobsleigh Team.

The ride[edit]

Avalanche starts by passing through the storage room of the trains, then out of the building and onto the lift hill, so far the ride follows a normal ride track, at the top of the lift hill, the ride is released onto the main downhill track, which the ride is not physically held onto, it travels through various bobsled track style curves, picking up speed, before reaching the lowest curve and curving back up again, it then flattens out and travels into the first brake run, it then releases and the train travels around a bend and onto the second brake run, before being released again to travel into the station. The two brake runs are designed for when the roller coaster operates in full capacity, with all three trains running, so that the two trains returning to the station can wait on the brakes while the train in the station loads and unloads.

Theming[edit]

Avalanche is themed around an Alpine bobsled track, the station building was built to look like an Alpine village lodge. The loading platform room is decorated with emblems of different Swiss regions and various pictures of famous Bobsled teams, there is predominant picture of the British Bobsleigh team of the Calgary Winter Olympics, 1988 which sits alongside a plaque commemorating the ride's opening by Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards. Traditional Swiss music plays in the station and outside the station building. The trains themselves are painted in the same colours as the 1988 British Bobsled team, and a real bobsleigh car of their team. The various curves of the track are given names of real turns on professional Bobsleigh tracks, such as "The Wall" and "The Snake", although the turns on the ride itself are not actually based on real bobsled turns.

[edit]

Avalanche is one of the few attractions in Blackpool Pleasure Beach where the old "Mr. Funshine" logo of the park can be seen. This was phased out of most parts of the park in favour of the current logo. While the main parts of the ride, such as signage outside and the park logo on the front of the ride, were changed to the new logo, "Mr. Funshine" can still be seen on the bins in the ride station, and on several maintenance signs in the ride train storage room, which the rollercoaster passes through.

Media[edit]

Avalanche appears in the video game RollerCoaster Tycoon Deluxe in the Blackpool Pleasure Beach scenario.

References[edit]