Wild Mouse at Pleasure Beach, Blackpool was one of the last surviving wooden Wild Mouse roller coasters in the world. Opened in 1958, it was the park’s first major ride since the end of the second world war and remained notorious until its final season at the park in 2017.
Despite its unimpressive statistics, the ride was one of the most intense in the UK. Crammed into a small footprint on the Northern end of the park, the coaster was often discounted by casual park fans as nothing more than a kiddie ride – but they quickly realised the error in their assumption as they navigated its impossibly tight layout.
The Wild Mouse was built in house by the Pleasure Beach staff and originally had two ‘levels’. Originally, after climbing the swift lift hill the cars would proceed immediately into the S-bends. In the 1960s the track was extended to include a large first drop and high level turnaround. After navigating the new track the cars then proceeded through the S-bends (the original start point).
Steel wild mouse coasters have sprung up in many parks across the UK and the world but they are unable to capture the ferocity of their wooden counterparts. The aggressive turns and compact layout of the wooden rides is somewhat neutered on a steel coaster.
The two seater cars featured only a seatbelt. This restraint mechanism really emphasised all the sudden direction changes as your body was thrown around in the vehicle. The ride provided huge ‘airtime’ as you crest the double dips in the centre of the layout.
In 2017, the ride’s run came to an end as it became increasingly difficult to keep the ride operating without significant modification. The decision was made to demolish it and it joined the Fun House and Virginia Reel as attractions hugely missed by park history aficionados.
It wasn’t just a Wild Mouse, it was the wildest of them all.