Big Dipper (Pleasure Beach Resort)

Roller coaster in the United Kingdom
Watch the on-ride POV
Big Dipper
Pleasure Beach Resort
Location Blackpool, Lancashire, England, UK
Coordinates 53°47′26″N 3°03′24″W / 53.790536°N 3.056619°W / 53.790536; -3.056619
Status Operating since 23rd August 1923
Cost £25,000
Rider height 117 cm minimum
Builder William Strickler
Designer / calculations John A. Miller
Type Wooden
Track layout Out and Back
Propulsion Chain lift hill
Height 18.3 metres
Length 1005.8 metres
Inversions 0
Duration 2:30
Rolling stock
Manufacturer Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters
Riders per train 24

Big Dipper is a wooden out and back roller coaster at Pleasure Beach Resort in Blackpool, England, UK.


Big Dipper with Big One in the background

The ride was first built in August 1923 by John A. Miller but was extended in 1936[1] by Charlie Paige and Joe Emberton; adding arches over the south entrance of the park and additional drops.

On 25 June 1975, a fire started in the engine room which destroyed the room and a nearby amusement arcade. This was the second time the Big Dipper had been on fire, the first was in 1952.[2]

In 1994, teacher Richard Rodriguez rode the Big Dipper for 529 hours. He later exceeded his own record, starting from June 18, 1998 he spent over 700 hours riding the Big Dipper while raising money for diabetes research as Rodriguez is a diabetic himself.[3] Rodriguez has been riding the Big Dipper since as early as 1979, when he spent 12 hours riding it non-stop.[4]

To raise money for Give Kids The World, Rodriguez beat his own record, spending 2,000 hours riding the Big Dipper in 2000. During these record attempts Rodriguez was allowed only five minutes break for every hour riding the roller coaster and thus he ate and slept while riding.[5]

The ride was added to the National Heritage list on the 19th of April 2017 as a Grade II listed building.[6]

On the August 23rd 2023, Big Dipper Turned 100 Years Old and had an event for its Centenary. Andy Hygate, Head of Operations at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, described the Grade II listed structure as "very special". Andy Hygate Also Said That "Amusement parks change and adapt but you hold on to those things that are magical and special. It's the history that's attached to it."[7]



Colour scheme

Unpainted track and white supports.


2 trains with 3 cars per train. In each car, riders are arranged 2 across in 4 rows, for a total of 24 riders per train.


  1. "Blackpool: New Features". The Guardian.
  2. "Dipper damaged by fire". The Guardian.
  3. Rollercoaster record hits new heights - BBC News
  4. "Photograph". The Morning News.
  5. Record-breaking teacher on a roll - BBC News
  6. "The Big Dipper". Historic England. 2017-04-19. Retrieved 2022-08-26.
  7. "Blackpool Pleasure Beach's Big Dipper rollercoaster turns 100". BBC. 2023-08-23. Retrieved 2023-08-23.

External links

Articles on Pleasure Beach Resort