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So what do we make of this? As well as the postponed 'World of David Walliams' featuring 'Gangsta Granny: The Ride' opening this season, Alton Towers have rented three classic fairground rides they ar

I mean, at least Merlin is finally using their bizarre ass marketing for something that kind of works?!!? I get that it's a bunch of temporary carnival rides but at this point I'll take it!

I think they're trying to make the best out of a bad situation - partly of their own doing as they seem to have got rid of all their support rides. The choice of rides seems pretty crappy so well done

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It's been a long time since I was at Alton, but while Nemesis didn't really impress me, the park blew me away. The Houdini-in-the-castle was amazingly well done, and the theming they did with all of their rides makes it a top five park to me. Nemesis was the only thing that didn't hold up for me, perhaps because I was hearing about it for about 10 years before I got there being one of the best rides in the world. It's hard to live up to that billing.

 

Ditto, the park was great! We loved the Hex thing in the castle, was absolutely brilliantly executed! We walked through the gardens, did some smaller rides for my kids. The log flume was very long and fun! Overall a truly great day at a wonderful theme park. Can't wait to get back and ride the Smiler and a few other things we missed.

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^For the last time, there is no "World's First" element. It's a "World's First" roller coaster, meaning it's the first to have 14 inversions in a single circuit. They never truly confirmed an original element, and even if they did, it would most likely be the interlocking Batwing and Cobra Roll.

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The ride looks great and the theme is so creative, but where is the "washing machine" world's first element?

 

P.S. Thanks so much for the pictures.

 

Here's your washing machine, or dryer, as the case may be:

 

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^For the last time, there is no "World's First" element. It's a "World's First" roller coaster, meaning it's the first to have 14 inversions in a single circuit. They never truly confirmed an original element, and even if they did, it would most likely be the interlocking Batwing and Cobra Roll.

Well in the television ad there was a scene that looked just like the washing machine element.

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The ride looks great and the theme is so creative, but where is the "washing machine" world's first element?

 

P.S. Thanks so much for the pictures.

 

Here's your washing machine, or dryer, as the case may be:

 

 

Nope, that's a washing machine. In the UK we don't tend to go for top-loading models, they're extremely rare here.

 

Also, I don't think this video has been posted yet which has some excellent footage from opening day:

 

 

All credit to Alton Towers Memories.

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Right, some bad news today.

 

According to both TowersStreet and TowersTimes, Alton Towers have just evacuated the X-Sector part of the park and the Smiler will not be opening today due to technical issues.

 

Both are reporting that a train has stalled on the batwing and valleyed during testing this morning.

 

They've probably closed x-sector so they can get the crane in to remove the train, not a very good sign.

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I presume it must be an issue with the trim brakes on the first bunny hop, as it was absolutely flying round on Sunday. That was apparently the reason why it stalled in the same place the week before last.

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I'm removing ALL posts regarding illegal filming of coasters. Please read our rules, DO NOT POST VIDEOS WHERE PEOPLE ARE BREAKING THE RULES!!!

 

Instead, here is an "official" POV that was sent to us for our use from Capital FM:

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Full disclosure - I have NOT been following the construction of The Smiler. (Sorry, just had so many other things going on the past few months and haven't had the time...)

 

I just watched the POV for the first time when I uploaded it to our YouTube channel...

 

Although I have not ridden The Smiler, and won't be commenting on what the actual ride experience is like, I do have a couple of random thoughts from watching the video (and after looking at Neil's photos)...

 

- I think the ride looks great! The theming and surrounding area looks "fun" (I guess it should be as it needs to put a smile on your face, right?)

 

- I personally really like the Gerstlauer Euro-fighter style ride, so this looks cool to me.

 

- I really hope those restraints aren't as rough as they look. (Heard mixed reports) I know that the back seat of Mystery Mine and Saw can be BRUTAL! Let's see how this ride ages.

 

- Here's my big comment - I had no idea until I watched the POV that this was just two multi-looping coasters glued together. While it's impressive that a ride goes upside down 14 times, and I find that interesting, I kinda think having a ride with two lift hills and almost an equal amount of inversions for each coaster part, is sort of a cop-out. Not saying that couldn't be fun or anything. It's just that I think for me personally, I'd be more impressed with a ride that goes upside down 14 times on it's own energy with one lift hill. Intamin has proved then can do it 10 times, and a Chinese knock-off company is going to do it 11 times.

 

Ride manufacturers have been doing 7 and 8 inversion coasters since the late 80s/early 90s, so putting two of them back to back doesn't seem like impressive technology to me.

 

Maybe even a launch instead of the 2nd lift might have been a bit more impressive to me because that would have not allowed you to take a breather between sections, but as it is now there is almost a 1 minute break between hitting the brakes of the first coaster and cresting the lift of the second.

 

I've done ERT sessions on Viper at Six Flags Magic Mountain where they only stop the train in the station, quickly check restraints, and then send us out again. I don't think our break was much longer than that. Can I count that as a 14-inversion coaster? Because it seems to me that's not much different than what The Smiler is doing.

 

I so badly want to be impressed with Alton Towers latest coaster offerings, because they are home to one my favorite coasters in the world, Nemesis. But it just seems that lately their attempts have been too focused on doing a "world's first" or "world's only" that they forget they need to make a ride that's impressive.

 

Thirteen, IMO, was a roller skater with a frog hopper drop billed as the most terrifying ride you'll ever experience. What a joke.

Rita is probably the weakest of the Intamin launched coasters I've been on

Sonic Spinball is fun, but how did their sister park, Chessington, get the better of these two rides?

Air is the weakest of all the B&M flyers, sure they were first, but it's also the worst.

Oblivion was fun when it first was introduced, but now is kind of a disappointment compared to all the other much longer, more intense Dive Machines.

 

Personally, I think Smiler *looks* (I'll reserve full opinions after riding) to be the best coaster they've installed in over 10 years, but I'm still a bit bummed that it is just two normal multi-looping roller coasters glued together to make one long 14-inversion coaster. That, IMO is a cop-out. Could still be a GREAT ride, but it's a cop-out.

 

--Robb

Edited by robbalvey
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- I think the ride looks great! The theming and surrounding area looks "fun" (I guess it should be as it needs to put a smile on your face, right?)

 

Couldn't agree more. The theming of the ride is great for Alton. The marmaliser (spider) is brilliant, albeit mainly for the off-ride perspective as you don't notice it at all from onride. The queue is one big cage maze and you do feel a bit down in the dumps sort of thing as you are below the ride and below everything going on above. But the overal theme and style is really nicely done.

 

- I really hope those restraints aren't as rough as they look. (Heard mixed reports) I know that the back seat of Mystery Mine and Saw can be BRUTAL! Let's see how this ride ages.

 

I didn't have any issues with the restraints whatsoever. I hate Saw as it just beat me up everytime I rode it but didn't have that problem here as I was expecting. Maybe I braced myself in preparation and that dismissed it but it didn't feel rough apart from one sudden and surprising jolt when the train exits the cobra roll.

 

And yes, it does feel like 2 multi loopers glued together, but I guess the upside of this is that (when it's right) the dueling action looks immense offride and adds something to the onride perspective too. A launch would have been great though.

 

I too think Alton have only been focused on "World's First" or record breaking strategies for it's last few coasters. Air, as I stated in one of my previous posts, I enjoy as it does give you the sensation of flight but is much much weaker compared to the newer flyer variety such as Sky Scrapper but I get that it was a prototype and didn;t ahve intensity as it's main goal.

 

Rita, never really been a fan but I do love the pop of airtime at the top of the first hill.

 

13, I like but it was themed and marketed totally wrong.

 

Spinball, What can I say, Chessington got the better end of the deal! I think most people say this!

 

Smiler is a nice ride, to me it won't beat Nemesis but it's a good solid ride that will do well for Alton. It rides ok (for now) however I expect it to be as rough as hell in several years! It looks fabulous of ride and it's great to take photos of.

 

Just my two cents.

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You know it's funny I thought the same thing when I watched the video! I was like hmmm two coasters disguised as one. either way I'm game to ride! So Rob what's the chance of a TPR trip stopping at Alton Towers next year? If so count me in! Also does this mean we can count The Smiler as two credits? lol!

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You know it's funny I thought the same thing when I watched the video! I was like hmmm two coasters disguised as one. either way I'm game to ride! So Rob what's the chance of a TPR trip stopping at Alton Towers next year? If so count me in! Also does this mean we can count The Smiler as two credits? lol!

Our 2014 Europe trip is going to be Scandi, so it probably won't be until 2015 when we next get to the UK.

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You know it's funny I thought the same thing when I watched the video! I was like hmmm two coasters disguised as one. either way I'm game to ride! So Rob what's the chance of a TPR trip stopping at Alton Towers next year? If so count me in! Also does this mean we can count The Smiler as two credits? lol!

Our 2014 Europe trip is going to be Scandi, so it probably won't be until 2015 when we next get to the UK.

 

'SW8' will probably be be finished by this time 2015. So there could be another major addition for TPR to ride! Assuming they carry on with the norm and build a major coaster every two years or so. Quite possible SW8 will be a water based attraction though to replace The Flume.

 

Should be interesting to see how Smiler rides in two years too. It would be a shame if it just became another rough Eurofighter.

 

I agree entirely with the comments on the coasters at AT. I've been thinking it for a while. Since Nemesis really, it seems they've had quite a few misses. Th13teen being a huge white elephant, Air and Oblivion ageing and despite being excellent nostalgic coasters - it's hard not to compare them to better rides of their kind. With regards to the Smilers fourteen inversions, and two lift hills, I can forgive them for cheating a little with the break in the middle, as with the footprint for the ride being so limited, I doubt it would be possible to fit that many inversions in that space with just one lift hill (as AT cant build a bigger one due to height limit.).

 

Still looking forward to actually riding Smiler in two weeks, taking a few photos and giving my two cents. Can't argue with the pics already though that its easy on the eye!

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I don't think comparing your ERT on Viper to what The Smiler does is very accurate. The Smiler has 14 seperate inversions. Riding Viper with "less" time between circuits than the second lift of The Smiler does not suddenly make it a 14 inversion coaster. And plus, with the height restrictions that Alton Towers has, it would be very difficult to complete 14 inversions with one lift hill.

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I don't think comparing your ERT on Viper to what The Smiler does is very accurate.

You're an idiot if you actually thought I was being serious.

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if alton was ever to get a multi inverting coaster then it would realistically have to be 2 lift hills, (altho a lauch may have also sufficed) The planning restrictions mean that they are forced to stay below the treeline, which would make it very difficult to get anything more in. I've not watched the pov yet as i'm waiting til i ride it in a week or 2 for my first experience. Looking at the park as a whole it already has a fantastic invert, a launched coaster, flying coaster, 13 and mine train, a multi inverting ride makes most sense as the latest addition and rather build 2 separate coasters why not combine them both into one and cram it into a fun space scoring a record.

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Every ride at Alton is a compromise. Height restrictions, visual sightline restrictions, noise restrictions, I don't know of any other park that has so much to contend with restriction wise.

 

Nemesis is a gem, noting more to be said about it. Air probably gives the best flying sensation of any flying rollercoaster even though it is a bit tame. Rita wasn't a SW.... say no more.... Th13teen is an good (but short) family coaster that wasbadly marketed and oblivion is a one trick pony, but does that trick better than any other dive machine, even if it isnt as complete a ride as other dive machines.

 

The Smiler is a great ride. I was lucky enough to ride it on the second day of opening. The inversions are an onslaught and the creativity behind them is immense as well. I believe that at least 8 of the 14 inversions are interlocking, combining that with the trains duelling makes for an amazing experience with flashes of yellow flying by beneath you whilst you are inverted.

 

Pacing wise, the vertical lift kills it, not helped on both lifts by Gerstlauer's use of a chain dog delaying gratification whilst the trains wait to be engaged on the lift hill, however, the change of pace is a slight reprise from the multi inversions I do thing a block break and launch would have served this purpose better.

 

The Smiler is one of the best looking coaster out there, no photos do it justice, the tangle of tri-rail is a masterpiece with the themeing element entwined at the centre, it fits and is quite possible the best themeing on a rollercoaster that isn't at a Disney park.

 

Ride highlights for me are the twin diveloops and the airtime hills. The comparisson with Nemesis that has been drawn is that Nemmis is a G-force machine, whereas The Smiler toys with zero G and hangtime. It is probably the most 'complete' coaster in Alton if not the UK. It has themeatic progression and pacing which fits its individual sections even if the sections are slightly disjointed.

 

Sorry for the long post

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