25.04.2013 - 25.04.2013 7 °C
Blackpool is most famous for the Pleasure Beach amusement park. It was our plan to spend our second day in town here, taking in as many rides as we could. When we arrived, we found it would be a little while before most of the rides opened up. However, we spotted a roller coaster that was running earlier than the others. We decided to try it out, and found that we had begun with the most intense of all the rides in the park. It wasn't particularly high or spread out, but instead had been twisted and knotted into a small space and suspended over water. Rather than cars, riders sat in padded chairs hanging from the rails with their feet dangling. There were a total of five revolutions, which Abby and Mom counted in order to know how long it would be before they could breath easily again. In retrospect, it probably wasn't the best ride to start out with. Some of the coasters we took on afterwards just weren't exciting enough in comparison.
My personal favourite was the roller coaster dubbed "The Big One". It's over a mile long and is currently the UK's tallest and fastest roller coaster. We rode this monster a total of four times. This was the only ride we ever had to wait in line for, though we never had to wait for more than five minutes. To me, it was an example of the quintessential roller coaster. The initial 65° drop from 70 metres in the air was the best part.
The Big Dipper roller coaster has an ever-growing world record attached to it. American Richard Rodriguez rode the coaster continuously for 549 hours in 1994, 1013 hours in 1998, and then 2000 hours two years later. We've no idea how he did this, especially after finding that the roller coasters here are decidedly more jerky and violent than those of more polished amusement parks.
The oldest ride in the park, Flying Machines, is over a hundred years old. It was built in 1904, and is an original "flying experience" attraction. Although less exciting than the surrounding roller coasters and thrill rides, the fact that you have no idea when the mechanisms and cables holding the ride together were last replaced can boost your adrenaline nearly as effectively.
At the end of the day, we had ridden fifteen separate rides a total of 28 times. We gladly accepted the grey, drizzly weather that the off season brings in exchange for the lack of visitors and lines at the park. Also, Abby and Mom can now say that they are no longer fearful of roller coasters. In fact, Abby is absolutely giddy for them now.