Review: Avalanche

It’s quite interesting the partnerships that Blackpool Pleasure Beach has entered into in the past in order to keep itself relevant and attract new visitors. From things like drinks sponsorships to hooved celebrities opening attractions, to their recent partnership with the RAF for Red Arrows Skyforce, they want the public to know that in spite of their age they can still be relevant in today’s society. I imagine this was the aim when the Avalanche was opened in 1988 with a Winter Olympics theme.

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Avalanche is another bobsled roller coaster – the second I have had the chance to ride and review this year, which is unusual in itself. This one puts riders in a train of carriages rather than a single car, and personally I think this makes the ride feel a little more out of control and dangerous. I can’t imagine Efteling’s Bob working with a train like this, but then Bob has steeper drops that a longer train just wouldn’t be able to handle without crashing. There’s nothing holding these cars on that track other than its curvature, after all.

In essence this is where I think Avalanche suffers a bit. Not only does it need to be fairly twisty and shallow in order for the cars to actually stay on the track while still providing a relatively exciting track layout, but the ride itself is also pretty short due to the space they had to work with. I think there are about three curves, an upward helix and a downward helix, and that’s about it. It’s not uninteresting, and it does ride a lot more smoothly than Bob due to not constantly going down and then having to be guide railed back up, I just don’t think it lasts as long as it should do.

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Nonetheless, Avalanche is a good fun coaster that’s fit for both the family and thrillseeker market. It’s quite interesting really how it manages to feel both snug and safe due to the inline seating and yet also out of control and dangerous due to its design and the fact that there’d be nothing to stop it crashing off the tracks if anything went wrong. Which isn’t really a thought anyone wants to have – but it has lasted nearly 30 years without any major incidents thus far. That’s a good sign, right?

Avalanche is a fun roller coaster full of twists, turns and excitement. Queues can get a little longer than you’d like for this one due to the relatively low train capacity, but by and large it’s definitely worth a go if you have the opportunity.

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Thanks for reading, and enjoy the rest of your stay here at Along for the Ride.

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