After a somewhat disappointing technical rehearsal stage for the ride Valhalla officially opened to the general public and my oh my what a difference! The UK’s best dark ride has returned and it’s absolutely wonderful! Here’s our Valhalla Brave the Adventure review.
Following a £4 million investment Blackpool Pleasure Beach has officially opened Valhalla after a test technical rehearsal phase.
When we attended a few weeks ago we were scratching our heads as to why the ride was opened in the shape it was in with numerous effects not working and we just had a boat ride in complete darkness for 95% of the entire ride duration. It was a little underwhelming, to say the least.
Fast forward a few weeks and all the effects are working, the audio is booming and guests are taken on an adventure through Valhalla with some effects that will absolutely blow your mind.
I was eager to Valhalla to have those WOW moments back and compared to the old version of the ride I feel as though there are more of them and hopefully the effects stay working and reliable so that it consistently delivers an immersive experience.
From effects such as faux fire which has added to the ride’s new sustainability plans to old school effects that have been brought back from the dead such as the ring of fire is just incredible. Hurtling down a drop at high speed and heading straight into flames is genuinely terrifying before the water extinguishes the flames just before you pass through them.
It’s a heart-in-your-mouth moment and there just isn’t much like it anywhere in the world!
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 – fire, ice and lots of water.
Scratching my head as to why it was opened in its technical rehearsal state I quickly forgot about that and suddenly found myself on my fourth lap of Valhalla embracing the journey.
The first lift hill that sets the scene so beautifully, the faux fire, the new turntable section. It all comes together wonderfully and whilst there are still a few dark spots it’s very minimal and one is done on purpose so that you’re introduced to the old ice room scene.
The ice room scene for me is still the weakest new addition to the ride but it’s much improved on what we saw during the technical rehearsals although if you look to your right, I’m just not a fan of any of that side of the ride. As you gradually turn the corner in the ice room there are some impressive reveals and some great effects as you head towards one of three drops within the ride.
Drops of note include the second and third drop with the original backwards drop now removed. I felt as though the backwards drop had more of an impact as it felt steeper and more frightening going backwards but this has been changed for the reimagining. I think it was done due to the unreliability of the previous turntable so whilst this drop doesn’t pack a punch as much anymore there’s still a surprise for you at the bottom. Get smiling as the first drop is where the ride cameras are for your on-ride photo to collect after you get off the ride.
Readers must note that you will absolutely GET SOAKED and there is nothing you can do about it. Waves will be hitting you left right and centre at some stages and some of the effects will purposely leave you drenched. It’s the perfect summer ride but even on a cooler day just get a poncho strapped on and away you go.
Valhalla Brave the Adventure has set the benchmark for dark rides in the United Kingdom since it opened in June 2000 and no other UK experience has even come close since. Once again that ride has catapulted back to the top of the list putting The Curse at Alton Manor at Alton Towers firmly in second place for best 2023 dark rides.
Adam Slevin has crafted something special and new, The Notable Stranger has composed a soundtrack that catapults the ride into a more modern feeling experience and the BPB team has managed to get this ride open against all odds.
It’s truly something special and something that everyone at Blackpool Pleasure Beach can be proud to be a part of.
Valhalla Brave the Adventure is the UK’s best dark ride, there are no two ways about it. You are now boarding a Viking longboat and are journeying through the afterlife and you feel as though you’re there and fully immersed.
Even after multiple rides the journey still feels fresh and new and I just hope the ride stays at the quality it currently resides in right now.
Over the years the old version of Valhalla slowly had effects stop working never to return and I only hope that this doesn’t happen here. The UK has a dark ride that can compete with overseas rides and it’s crazy that a ride built in 2000 and modernised is still the ONLY dark ride in the UK that can compete on a world stage.
The park also yesterday released a brand new trailer for the ride and compared to the first one they released it’s night and day. The first trailer felt very cheap and was worrying to a lot of people if this was a reflection of the quality of the ride.
It seems as though feedback (and there was a lot of it to see) was taken onboard and this brand-new trailer superbly captures some wonderful moments within the ride and teases just enough to make you eagerly want to check it out. You can check out the Valhalla Brave the Adventure trailer below:
Valhalla Brave the Adventure at Blackpool Pleasure Beach will get you soaked but you’ll immediately want to go around again as you brave this insanely immersive adventure all over again.