All eyes have been on Thorpe Park in recent months as construction work progresses at lightning speed on Hyperia, which will be the tallest and fastest roller coaster in the UK when it opens in Spring 2024.
After a recent visit to Blackpool Pleasure Beach it got me thinking, yes Hyperia will take the UK height record from The Big One but will it ever become the icon that The Big One is and in my heart will continue to be even after Hyperia opens in 2024?
Let's explore further...
The Big One was manufactured by Arrow Dynamics and opened at Blackpool Pleasure Beach in May 1994. At the time it's iconic structure was the tallest, fastest and steepest steel rollercoaster in the world.
Being recorded as a height of 235ft (above Sea level, 213ft above ground level) it looks on paper to only be shy of the upcoming Hyperia at Thorpe Park by 1ft. However, Blackpool Pleasure Beach records their roller coasters above sea level and Hyperia's 236ft height is measured from ground level.
Hyperia will actually be 23ft taller than The Big One which is the height of an average 2 storey house in the UK and I am sure it will feel like a mile taller as riders navigate the steep lift hill.
Hyperia is being manufactured by MACK Rides and when it opens in 2024 it is expected to be a very fast, thrilling and smooth ride. The roller coaster will have the latest lap bar only restraints. This modern seat design (as seen below from MACK Rides official website) is within the highest safety category (class 5) but doesn't use the older style over the shoulder restraints meaning riders will have maximum freedom when experiencing this new roller coaster. The restraints will be similar to ICON at Blackpool Pleasure Beach which was also manufactured by MACK Rides and opened in 2018.
It is true that the ride experience will not be comparable between the 30 year old hyper coaster, The Big One which uses traditional lap bar restraints and a seat belt and has no inversions and the brand new hyper coaster, Hyperia which will have 2 inversions including an Immelmann and a unique one-of-a-kind inversion taking riders upside down as they come straight out of an outerbanked turn. Riders are also in for plenty of airtime moments.
The thrill of The Big One is all in the first iconic drop which comes as soon as you have crested the lift hill giving you stunning views over Blackpool beach on clear days. There is nothing quite like it.
The view on Hyperia will certainly not have the same wow factor as the location is not coastal at Thorpe Park although there will be a splash down element into the nearby lake which should prove very exciting. Hyperia will certainly be thrilling and smooth as it traverses its 3300 feet of track during its approximately 1 minute journey as can be seen in the POV embedded below.
However, from a recent POV of The Big One at Blackpool Pleasure Beach which has been embedded below, there is nothing quite like the classic sound of the clunking lift hill and being thrown from side to side as you navigate the track on the 5,497 ft, 3 minute legend of a hyper coaster.
All in all, Hyperia is sure to be a fantastic addition to Thorpe Park's and the UK's roller coaster line up and I can't wait to ride it when it opens in Spring 2024.
However, The Big One will always have a special place in my heart as I am sure it will do for all UK roller coaster fans. It won't hold the record for being the tallest in the UK come Spring 2024 but it certainly will still always be the World's first tallest hyper coaster and we hope it will live on to give roller coaster fans the classic experience which can't be had anywhere else in the UK for many more years to come.
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