Theme park fans today reacted with shock after Blackpool Pleasure Beach closed and dismantled a ride which has been popular at the attraction for six decades.
Pleasure Beach bosses revealed that the Wild Mouse, which has been in operation since 1958, has been permanently closed.
In addition, the facade of the former Trauma Tower has been removed to make way for “future exciting developments”.
A Pleasure Beach statement said: “After very careful consideration and planning, our current winter work programme has seen the permanent closure and dismantling of the Wild Mouse and the removal of the facade of the former Trauma Tower attractions. This will create an area for future exciting developments.
“Blackpool Pleasure Beach is a constantly evolving amusement park and has been for the past 122 years. The changes it has seen over the years are what has made it the great park it is today. This, coupled with a relatively small amount of space, means that in order to progress and look to the future we occasionally need to alter the landscape of the park to make way for future developments.”
The Wild Mouse was a Wooden roller coaster. Opened in 1958, it was one of only four remaining wooden Wild Mouse coasters left in the world.
Begun in 1955, both the design and construction of the Wild Mouse was done entirely in-house by the Pleasure Beach. Designed by Frank Wright and opened in 1958 it was the first major ride to be built at the Pleasure Beach since the Second World War. It was the smallest of the “adult” rides at the Pleasure Beach.
Roller coaster enthusiast Chris Allcock posted on Facebook: “Really poor of the park to remove such a classic ride, showing no respect for its history. It was my favourite ride in the park too. Loved the thing and how out of control it was. Still can’t wait to have a go on Icon, but a shame I can’t get back on the Wild Mouse again.
Genna Miller added: “Gutted...beyond gutted. One of the reasons I love the Pleasure Beach so much is due to its heritage and history. Its being slowly chipped away at. I agree progress does need to be made, but not at expense of the character of the Pleasure Beach which has made it what it is.”
And Ryan Beet said: “Well that’s just ruined my day. I was really looking forward to ride it again this year. At least I’ve actually been on it. But seriously why remove it? It’s such a rare ride.”
Gordon McNab said: “The wild mouse was a fantastic roller coaster. I know the park has to change to progress but ripping out a classic ride without warning is a sore one for people to take. I loved the ride and I know a lot of people feel the same way.”
Meanwhile, mre than 100 tonnes of metal have already been hoisted into position, reaching heights of up to 27 metres, as building continues at the pleasure Beach on Icon, the UK’s first double-launch rollercoaster.
The £16.25m attraction will send visitors to the park on a two-and-a-half minute ride across just over 1km of track. They will experience the same level of acceleration felt by a Formula 1 driver, and reach heights of almost 90ft – with drops of up to 82ft.