Blackpool Pleasure Beach have today put an end to the speculation, with the announcement that Valhalla is set to reopen for technical rehearsals after Friday 7th April, following a £4m overhaul.

Whilst still featuring many of the elements that made the ride popular when it first opened, Blackpool Pleasure Beach have hinted that there are also some surprises in store. Riders can expect to be taken on a fantastical journey to Valhalla, boarding a longboat and journeying into a parallel world guided by a brave Viking named Ivàr. There, they will encounter the spirit of Odin and pass into the afterlife to try to make it to Valhalla. While on their journey, riders will get to experience the elements of fire, ice and (lots of) water.

Amanda Thompson OBE, CEO of Blackpool Pleasure Beach, commented:

“We know how long fans have been waiting for us to announce the reopening of Valhalla, and we’re confident they won’t be disappointed with our reimagining of one of the country’s best-loved rides.

“The team has been hard at work behind the scenes, and we can’t wait to have the famous Valhalla waterfall back on in the park once more. Guests will be able to experience the ride through technical rehearsals this April.

“Valhalla has well and truly been given the reimagining it deserves, now boasting some exciting new features and impressive sustainability credentials to help ensure the ride is more environmentally friendly – without compromising on the sense of adventure for which it’s been known for many years.”

Adam Slevin, Director of Creative, Design & Experience at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, who has headed up the Valhalla project, said:

“The reopening of the UK’s most beloved water ride has been a tricky secret to keep, so it’s fantastic to be able to confirm we will be bringing back Valhalla for the 2023 season.

“We are initially opening Valhalla for technical rehearsals which means that the ride may operate intermittently throughout the day and some elements of the attraction may not be functioning.”

“We appreciate our guest’s patience as we’ve carried out this huge project, working alongside countless industry experts to enhance ride experience and give guests a well-deserved surprise. The legend has returned to Blackpool Pleasure Beach and we couldn’t be more excited.”

Opening in June 2000, Valhalla is a large enclosed water ride built by Intamin, which sees riders navigate a 6 minute long journey of almost half a mile in length on board a boat. It has long been viewed as one of the best water rides in the world, featuring fire, snow, water and temperature effects to immerse the riders in the world of Norse mythology. Indeed, it has been named the world’s ‘best water ride’ on numerous occasions in Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket Awards! The original version of Valhalla included two lift hills, a turntable, two forward facing drops, a backwards facing drop, and sixteen difference Norse scenes, making Valhalla a truly one of a kind spectacle of a ride experience. With its three drops, Valhalla established a reputation for being an extremely wet ride, where you are guaranteed to come off soaked!

Valhalla closed at the end of 2019, with it announced that it would be reimagined and reopen in 2021. However, various factors, including the COVID-19 pandemic, saw the opening of the ride delayed initially until 2022, and then further still to 2023. Whilst closed, the ride has left a huge hole in the ride offering at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. Since Pleasure Beach removed its large log flume in 2006 to replace it with Infusion, a Vekoma Suspended Looping Coaster, Valhalla was the park’s only adult water ride, and so its closure has truly been felt by fans of the park. Furthermore, not only did Valhalla provide Pleasure Beach with an amazing quality themed attraction, it was also a capacity beast, able to churn through up to 2000 guests per hour when operating at full potential. Nonetheless, it would still often attract long queues at the end of the day!

Many will be excited that Valhalla is finally due to reopen, and keen to discover what has been changed and updated about the ride! For those who plan to visit, Blackpool Pleasure Beach have highlighted that whilst in technical rehearsals the ride may operate intermittently and some elements of the attraction may not be functioning.

Will you be heading to Pleasure Beach in 2023 to check out the reimagined Valhalla? Let us know on our social media channels.
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