Can you handle the Ice Blast? With riders experiencing forces of up to 4.5G, this certainly isn’t an experience for the faint-hearted. This ride is 210 feet tall and passengers are catapulted vertically to the top at 80mph and then thrust all the way back down in free-fall.
Blackpool Pleasure Beach decided to construct a launched free-fall ride before 1997 and Sony made an approach to the park in order to secure a sponsorship deal, therefore it was decided that the new ride would be linked with the ongoing success of Sony’s PlayStation range. The ride was painted in the colours of PlayStation – amber, black and grey – and PlayStation banners were on display from the outset.
The ride opened in 1997 as the first tower ride in the country and it was renamed Ice Blast in 2002. Since opening 25 years ago, the ride has received many makeovers and improvements, the most obvious being a new seating arrangement. After The Volcano at Fantasy Island, this is the second tallest drop tower ride in the UK but it is the fastest.
The ride involves an initial speedy ascent all the way up the tower and this is followed by a second ascent which goes 2/3 of the way up. A third ascent takes the passengers around 1/3 of the way up and during the initial descent, riders can experience weightlessness.
Our Thrill Verdict
This is a very thrilling ride, the ascents up the tower being incredibly fast and the descents making passengers feel brief moments of weightlessness on the way down.
This certainly isn’t a lengthy thrill experience, the ride itself coming to an end after around 1 min 30 seconds, however there’s nothing to stop you going on again and again, queues generally being shorter than for many other rides. The distinct lack of queues is no reflection on the quality of the ride, it is more a reflection of the fact that the idea of going on it scares the pants off many people.
This isn’t a ride for the timid. It isn’t a ride for kids. This is a ride for the ultimate thrill-seeker and it is a refreshing and much-needed addition to the ever-increasing number of rollercoasters.
On this basis, we have absolutely no hesitation in giving Ice Blast our maximum Thrill Rating of 5.