Before I start this review, I want to ask a question. Is this ride actually intended to be as hilarious as I find it? All the dramatic build-up, the Flight of the Valkyries station music, the climb up the stairs, the stupidly overexaggerated station announcements, and all for what is quite possibly one of the most simple roller coasters ever designed. It never fails to bring a smile to my face and make me chuckle; I’m just not convinced that was the designers’ original intention.
Anyway, let’s get down to some facty bits. The Revolution opened in 1979 as the UK’s first modern fully inverting roller coaster. It was manufactured by Arrow Dynamics, and an interesting fact is that of the eight of these types of roller coasters that were ever constructed, this is the only one that has never changed its park or location since it originally opened. There are two other examples still operating: one at Frontier City in Oklahoma and one at Elitch Gardens in Colorado. At some point during the 90s it was sponsored by Irn-Bru and renamed the Irn-Bru Revolution, with the track and supports repainted blue and orange to signify this. This branding was removed in 2011 and the whole thing was repainted grey, which is how it remains today.
The way this coaster works is simple. You board the train in one platform and get shoved off it and through a loop before climbing onto a second platform. You then get shoved backwards off this one and go back through the loop and back into the station. What makes this coaster so enjoyable in my opinion is the sensation of travelling backwards through the loop, something which is difficult to find in a roller coaster nowadays. I always think that going backwards really adds something to a coaster due to the disorientation and different kinds of experiences it provides, and throw a full 360-degree inversion in there as well and it literally messes with your entire head. In a good way, of course.
I can see, however, why this would make some people dislike the Revolution, as I would imagine not everyone enjoys the sensation. There are a couple of other things you need to ride the Revolution too, including a fair bit of stamina to get up all those stairs, and most importantly, a head for heights. This is especially true if you have to wait a while, as the station platform does sway a little on every launch due to the force required and the impact of the launch car coming to a sudden stop at the end of the launch track. It can also get fairly windy up there, so if you’re not good with heights, then this is one to avoid unless there is literally no queue.
It’s quite amazing how a roller coaster can be so simple and yet so different and enjoyable. The Revolution is still a one-of-a-kind ride today, although not in the same way as it was 40 years ago, and still deserves its popularity and the press it continues to get. It’s another ride at Blackpool that is an iconic piece of UK theme park history, but it’s also a thrilling and fun ride that any serious coaster fan should love. And while it may not be, quote, “the most exciting and thrilling ride of your life“, it’s still worth a go.
Thanks for reading, and enjoy the rest of your stay here at Along for the Ride.