Blackpool Pleasure Beach puts a new twist on Icon double launch coaster

by Susan and Simon Veness

Blackpool Pleasure Beach amusement park in Lancashire, England will soon be home to the U.K.’s first double-launch roller coaster with a hair-raising twist when Ensō takes over the existing Icon coaster in 2022.

Blackpool Pleasure Beach Icon roller coaster
Photos courtesy of Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Since its 2018 debut, the Icon steel coaster has earned its place as one of Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s major scream machines, and in spring of 2022, thrill seekers will have even more reason to ride as Ensō technology takes over Icon’s last two seats.

Named for the Zen Buddhism sacred symbol for the “circle of enlightenment,” Ensō will be the symbol’s literal embodiment as Icon’s seats spin and twist for the duration of the ride.

This technology is a first for Europe, and adds to the exhilaration of the coaster’s already impressive twists, turns, rises, swoops, and the two launch sequences that made the ride famous.

Icon starts with a launch acceleration equal to a Formula One racing car before ramping up the adrenaline with a massive top-hat, banked turns, barrel rolls, and non-inverting inclined loop. A second launch rockets riders up an 88.5-foot-tall Junior Immelmann loop with loads of air time, followed by helix spirals and breathtaking S-curves.

Riders in the last two seats will experience each element in an entirely new — and highly magnified — way, thanks to Enso.

Amanda Thompson OBE, managing director at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, met with Christian von Elverfeldt, chief executive officer at Mack Rides, and Thorsten Koebele, chief officer sales and marketing, at this year’s International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) Expo in Orlando, to sign the deal with Mack Rides.

Thorsten Koebele, Amanda Thompson OBE, Christian von Elverfeldt
Left to Right: Thorsten Koebele, Amanda Thompson OBE, Christian von Elverfeldt

“We are delighted to once again be working with Mack Rides,” Amanda said. “We have a longstanding relationship with the Mack family, and this continues the strong links between our two families. Ensō promises to be a thrilling addition to ICON, and I can’t wait to see everyone get twisted next year.”

Ensō’s Buddhist meaning may refer to serenity, but Icon’s riders will feel anything but serene as they launch into this brand-new mega-thrill experience.

For more information, visit BlackpoolPleasureBeach.com/Icon.

First test runs for ICON roller coaster at Blackpool Pleasure Beach

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