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Cover Story


The birth of an ICON


An exclusive first look at ICON, the UK’s first double launch coaster, plus a behind-the-scenes Q&A with Maximilian Roeser of Mack Rides


• 100,000 hours of planning


• 16,250,000 million pound investment


• 1,140 metres of track


• 0 to 80-kilometres per hour in just 2.25 seconds


• …And an 82 foot drop


How long has the planning process for ICON been? We started with ICON about three years ago, which was the point at which we started to do the first layouts. The installation itself took less time.


How many people from Mack do you estimate worked on ICON? We employ over 200 people right now – reaching from the storage department to engineering, R&D, sales, painting, track fabrication and so on. A project like this needs the input of nearly everyone. Our layout development team especially had a real challenge with ICON, but they did great work that convinced the Thompson family.


What makes ICON such a unique coaster? Everyone who has seen Blackpool Pleasure Beach knows there are so many coasters and attractions in such a small space that it is a miracle to fit in another launch coaster of this size into the park. We wanted the ride to interact with as many attractions as possible and therefore go right through the columns and the sites of the other rides. The layout itself is highly dynamic as we squeeze many elements together, so there is one curve after another with a quite a high pace. For the UK, this rollercoaster is unique as it has not just one launch after the station but also another mid-track.So just when the train might start to run slower, you get an extra-boost for the rest of the track.


What were the main challenges of the installation of ICON? We had to measure the position of the existing rides very precisely as we really get close to them. The placement of


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the ride needed special laser systems to bring all the existing rides into 3D and to work our way around, beneath and through them. That was definitely the most challenging. The second was the location at the seaside with all the influences like wind, salt water and so on.


What was it like to work with Blackpool Pleasure Beach? The long history of the relationship between Mack and the Thompson family made it really great to work with them. Two family owned companies working together on such a big project is really milestone for both of us. The team at Blackpool did an outstanding job to create this ride and we are fortunate to bring it to life with them.


How do you feel now the ride is almost open, and your hard work and innovation are about to be experienced by roller coaster fans all over the world? The anticipation from all the fans who contact us or post on social media is great to see, especially in the UK. We are certain that ICON will be a huge hit for all the Blackpool and Mack fans out there.The ride quality, together with the unique setting in the midst of a theme park with so many other rides going besides you, is breath-taking.


ICON officially opens to the public at Blackpool Pleasure Beach on Friday, May 25, 2018. We take an in-depth look at this history-making coaster in the Ride Profile, appearing in the July issue of Park World.


JUNE 2018


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