Valhalla Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Fans of the legendary Valhalla attraction at Blackpool Pleasure Beach will be extremely excited to hear the news that Valhalla has now officially reopened having been closed since 2019.

The attraction has undergone a £4 million refurbishment so we are certainly excited to see what has been updated and changed. We already knew that the traditional Viking-style longboats would remain and we were promised a new sound track. We expected many of the existing scenes to continue to be used with some new scenes added. The promotional video can be seen below.

Technical rehearsals began on April 7 and on May 10, Valhalla officially reopened. Theme Park Worldwide were at the Media day and have posted a review on YouTube which is embedded below. Warning: SPOILER ALERT

As you can see from the video you get to see the updated exterior with the impressive water fall, mist and landscaping. You also get to see a full reverse POV of Valhalla which shows each part of the ride including the faux fire which has been completely redone and real fire at the end.

As you leave the station in your Viking longboat you are greeted by a water fall that does go off as you enter the building. You first get the back story of the ride as you head up the lift hill which now has a big V which lights up. The new lighting makes it very atmospheric. The ride system has been developed including the anti-roll back but it has made the lift hill very loud. Audio probably needs to be tweaked or the speaker placement changed in places as balance is not quite right.

There is no backwards drop now and the turntable section is now enclosed so you can no longer see the outside world, you then head down the small drop. There is a new big splash effect at the bottom that squirts you in the face but doesn't happen on every ride. In the original ice room you would be hit with the cold temperature as you entered it as it included ice and snow effects but now it just includes a snow machine but does include statues which light up. The sound track has been improved in this area.

Valhalla, Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Image: Blackpool Pleasure Beach

The water vortex now comes as a surprise and is lit up, the nozzles have been carefully cleaned so you currently don't get as wet as you used to get.

The top section of Valhalla appears to be very similar to the original including bow and arrows shooting across, hammer effects and the rolling barrel. There is new scene which features bells and a crow with updated lighting and new ghost Viking effects.

Final drop has real fire trough at the bottom (square of fire) in front of you which shuts off just before you get to it. Then there is further real fire effects until the end.

So, initial reviews of Valhalla seem very positive and it appears that the very long wait has been worth it to restore this legendary attraction to its former glory.

In summary, a lot of the original story and features remain while the ride system, audio and soundtrack has been developed and updated with the addition of a new scene and improved effects and lighting. Sadly, the original soundtrack has been lost which may come as a disappointment to many but what is absolutely certain is that you can still count on getting wet, very wet!  

Valhalla, Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Image: Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Housed inside a building fronted by an enormous waterfall, Valhalla is the major water ride at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. It was the most expensive ride ever built by the park, at a total cost of £15 million, and has drawn large crowds since its opening in 2000.

Valhalla is the most heavily-themed ride at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, and is based around the mythology surrounding the Viking afterlife. Its log flume-style ride system was built by Intamin, while the theming and special effects were put together by Sarner (which had previously designed the similar Viking Toket at Tusenfryd in Norway).

Riders were loaded into Viking-style longboats, before setting off on a six-minute journey. After entering the ride building via an ominous skull-shaped entrance, they are carried up one of two lift hills. A series of special effects were used to create an impression of being in Valhalla itself, including searing and freezing temperatures of 40 degrees and -20 degrees respectively. As well as two large drops (the tallest of which stands at some 80 feet), there’s also a backwards section enabled by the use of two turntables.

Are you excited about the return of Valhalla? Will you be making a trip to Blackpool Pleasure Beach this year? Let us know your thoughts by leaving us a comment below or on our Facebook page.


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