When I first heard about the i360 being built, I was like a lot of local residents, opposed to it. Since seeing it go up I had slowly come around to the idea. Yesterday afternoon at around 4.30pm I decided to surprise Lyla with a trip on Brightons latest tourist attraction . I just told her we were doing something special. I do this now and again, she always enjoys the surprises. We walked down the front to the ticket office which is located on the seafront on Kingsway, you can’t miss the i360 itself! We queued for about five minutes to reach the desks to collect our tickets. As a local resident I am entitled to annual membership for £1 which gives me half price tickets each time I visit. The offer is available to anyone living in BN1, BN2, BN3 or BN41. To apply for membership you need a utility bill that was issued in the last three months and photo ID. The application was very straight forward, I gave a phone number, email address and we had our photos taken for the ID cards. The membership was valid immediately so our tickets were £7.50 (adult) and £5.00 (child under 16). Normal price tickets are £15.00 per adult and £7.50 per child. If you are not a local resident you can still get a small discount by purchasing your tickets online £13.50 (adults) and (£6.50) for children. You can purchase your tickets here I360
Once we had purchased our tickets we queued for security very briefly, in fact we pretty much walked straight up to the door. Security was not far off airport security. Our bags were searched and we were both checked with electromagnetic security wands. All the staff were polite. We were then asked to stand against a wall for the standard ‘cheese fest’ tourist photo where our images were to be projected onto a predetermined image of the attraction. I didn’t purchase these so I am unsure of the prices involved.
We were then ushered into the main area where there were British Airways deck chairs scattered around to sit on whilst you waited behind the barrier for your scheduled flight to take place. Our flight was at 5.20pm which was the next available flight. The pod looks impressive below. One of my personal favourite features is the mirrored bottom. As the pod retreats skyward it creates a fantastic reflection of the surrounding area, without it I don’t think it would be as impressive.
Whilst we were waiting I got talking to the member of staff who was responsible for opening and closing the barrier and using a clicker people counter I presume to make sure the correct amount of people passed through. He was one of the most genuine, helpful members of staff I’ve ever met and is a credit to the organisation. Once we went through the barrier we all waited for the pod to arrive back up at our level (it drops passengers off underneath) and for the doors to open. This is the only area where I consider there could be an improvement. Because there are only one set of double doors to that side of the pod, everyone just pushed forward, some more aggressively than others. I think this will always happen so some sort of zig zag queuing system in place might alleviate the problem. It may be that as they have just opened they have something to combat this already in future plans, but currently I didn’t think it quite worked.
Once inside the pod there was plenty of room to move around to different viewing areas to maximise your experience even though I believe the pod was full to capacity. Inside it was comfortably air-conditioned and there were seating areas if you need them. You could purchase a sparkling drink and relax and enjoy the view. The pod moved very slowly and so smoothly you hardly noticed it happen. Both myself and Lyla thoroughly enjoyed the experience. We saw fantastic views of Brighton from every direction. Well worth a visit.