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Alton Towers Discussion Thread

p. 235: Nemesis Reborn announced for Spring 2024!

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Hey everyone, just got back from AT and the smiler still has issues. It was down whilst they put a new train on full of water filled dummies, which were testing whilst the other trains were carrying people all day. I guess ride ops are to blame, surely a new train (it was new, still had cellophane covering) should have been bedded in out of hours


What I got from that is, it's running but only three trains and one being bedded in, this correct ?



Three trains running with guests, one train (brand new) running with dummies.

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I'm gonna be fair about the whole thing. I hate you all...and the coaster, just because there's no physical washing machine involved.


What if it rains...........


Clearly the queue and lower portions of the ride will flood to create a true washing machine experience.


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Tweet saying it stuck on lift hill (2)




Yes, I'm sure that it's dreadfully important for the whole world to be aware of this the moment it happens.

Edited by cfc
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^ Yeah, why not putting up a site for Theme Park Toilet Wait Times...


Fun aside: Smiler seems to be stopping on the lift(s) quite often - thought coaster tech would be beyond that by now. At least I haven't heard anything like this from any other coaster recently...

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Got to ride Smiler on Saturday and it's a fun ride but nothing special tbh. The best bit by far is the bunny hops - airtime heaven!. We had an ERS on Nemesis in the morning 8-9 and the park recommended we headed over to Smiler straight after which we did. We were in the queue from 9.10am and they opened it at 11.40. We rode about 10 mins after it opened. The staff running it were making sure every train was going out full which was great to see. (Shame we couldn't say the same about Oblivion)

Smiler has quite a bit of power and speed even tho it looked very slow during testing. It was fun but for me there were too many inversions one after the other and it was a bit disorientating. I found the last two inversions painful as I am short I sit quite low in the restraints so I got a nice whack in my jaw going through them. The general public seem to love it and I think it will do well for them even with all the problems they have had so far. I think it ran all day Saturday without stopping. (The q was a good 3 hours all day)


The biggest surprise for my hubby and I was thirteen. Having not ridden it before Saturday we were expecting it to be quite bad however it is actually a great fun family ride and the drop was quite a surprise as I was expecting a much shorter drop than it gave. If Alton had marketed that for what it is then rather than how they did I think more people would of been happier with it. Lots of kids were coming off smiling and laughing which was great to see


Overall we had a good day, it was busy due to the weather but we enjoyed ourselves which was the main thing. For those with young children, we can highly recommend the parent share that Alton run - the staff were great in guest services.

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The biggest surprise for my hubby and I was thirteen. Having not ridden it before Saturday we were expecting it to be quite bad however it is actually a great fun family ride and the drop was quite a surprise as I was expecting a much shorter drop than it gave. If Alton had marketed that for what it is then rather than how they did I think more people would of been happier with it. Lots of kids were coming off smiling and laughing which was great to see.


Totally agree with you! I never bought into all of the hype on the ride and didn't follow construction like crazy. When I rode it, I loved it! Thought it was a perfect junior to full size ride that was unique and different.


Everyone who bought into the typical Merlin craziness was very disappointed.

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Oh dear, has stalled again.


According to some sources the problem is with the computer system and that the trim breaks on the airtime hill leading to the batwing are being needlessly applied.

Am going later this week so hopefully they can get the problem sorted by then.

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At least they are selling fast passes now if you want to avoid the 3 hour lines:


Fastrack isn't normally introduced for a brand new ride until later on in the season, much like Thirteen when it opened in 2010. However, the sheer popularity of The Smiler [which has lead to three hour queues and the ride having to close at 8pm on some days] has seen the introduction of Fastrack for the ride.


With regards to the Fastrack, TowersTimes have approached Liz Greenwood at the Resort, who has had this to say:


"We have introduced very limited numbers of Fastracks for The Smiler to help us manage the queue line more effectively – ie, by opening the Fastrack line we can take some people out of the overflow area. We’re very much reviewing it on a daily basis to ensure we get the balance right."


At present, only a certain amount of Fastracks for The Smiler are being sold each hour, so they sell out very quickly![which has lead to three hour queues and the ride having to close at 8pm on some days] has seen the introduction of Fastrack for the ride.


News Source: Tower Times

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If there's one thing you can bet your beautifully-designed-pyramid-laden-King/Queen [God save her and all that]-free-dollar bill on - it's that when when push comes to shove in an ever-changing world, us British types will always back you lot up. We've proven to be loyal friends - and we hardly ever burn the White House down. But when it comes down to whether or not The Smiler should have had a launch instead of a second lift hill or is indeed two coasters joined together, then the very same values of freedom of speech, democracy and all-too-familiar nah-nah-nah-'how dare you say this', 'but, we iz like not havin car park coasterz' rear their all-too democratic heads. How dare both of us countries have freedom of speech, a certain parent/far-more successful child rivalry and a mutual respect that encompasses everything anyone of us could ever say to each other on a geek forum? Enough of that - let us talk about The Smiler.


It starts with a left-turn drop straight out of the station into a heartline roll that is strangely smooth and fluent, yet lacks the surprise and fun of SAW. A brief pause at the base of lift hill one accompanied by piped laugher that's a little too loud for comfort and you're swiftly on your way up a lift hill that feels far higher than an Alton Towers ride should be, that offers what is quite simply the most breathtakingly beautiful view - albeit a brief one. Then, you're upside down. Then again, again, again, again (maybe again and maybe again), through a little hill, a batwing that feels a little slower than it should be (great hang-time, awful wait time should it ever stall for a fourth time on this element), another corkscrew and into a break run.


Moving forward, you pause at the base of a vertical lift hill. It's at this point you realise that the ride is a lot more intense than you'd expected (not Intimdator 305 intense - but just far more intense than you'd expect). It wasn't altogether comfortable and before you know it, you're travelling up a vertical lift hill. Whilst you can't but feel that a launch would have worked better (think Cheetah Hunt on Steroids), there's a part of you that is grateful for this interlude. You might think back on how wank Black Hole now seems, but you might just (like me) move your head backwards and look on poor Oblivion - now a mere support ride and enjoy the break, whilst also thinking that something far better could and should have been placed here (think Anubis's launch).


Before you can think 'don't look down', a far more intense second half grabs you, drags you through three inversions and into a hard airtime hill that raises riders' hair, but fails to raise stomachs, then you're down into the pit into the cobra roll and - oh fook - you realise that Gerstlauer still haven't got it right. The exit and the following corkscrew are awful - neither thrilling nor fun. Just not nice. Then there's a final heartline thing and back to the station.


In summary - and I'm going to be hated for saying this. It really is two coasters stitched together. However - and somehow - it works. Whilst I would have preferred a launch in the place of the second lift hill - the breather really does add something. You can't truly get it until you ride it. It's an intense ride. It's very disorientating. It's freaky queuing just feet below a ride doing multiple inversions at 50+mph. But like many other rides - such as Dragon's Fury at Chessington - when you place and judge it in the park it was designed to live in, it really works. It's fun too, though it's one of those rides where the front row seat offers a more intense, smoother ride.


It's no Nemesis. But let's face it - Nemesis - a ride that's still considered the finest B&M after nearly 20 years, is always going to take some beating.


In short: great, fun, intense, disorientating. In long: Marmaliser isn't even noticed whilst riding. Launch instead of second lift hill would have worked, uncomfortable finale.


Here are a few pics...





















































Thanks. Keep Smiling!

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After a lot of anticipation and a long time waiting, I finally arrived at the Towers today and can now add my thoughts on The Smiler! Being Fathers day, I invited my old man along to join in the fun. To make it extra special, my other half who's never been before (She's Texan and been living over here for a year!) - came along as well and we had a perfect day.


Arriving at the park we went straight over to X-Sector and I got my first look at The Smiler. Wow... I could not believe how good it looked. Better than the pictures for sure. The catchy, wacky theme tune was playing and all of the effects on 'The Marmaliser' were operating. It looks brilliant! Joining the queue we were told we had a 2 hour wait, and we finally started moving through the line and into the X-Sector where the music started to get louder and the screams could be heard.


The queue itself is bearable and fun. I found myself looking overhead at the cars racing round the track, and at points within metres of my head. It's intimidating and exciting at the same time. You get a great view of peoples reactions and there's some excellent photo opportunities. (Hoping to take a good camera next time!). The music is very loud, and you constantly hear people singing the laughing tune, which is quite catchy I'll admit. Upon entering the indoor part of the queue line, you are now surrounded by '3D' images and hypnotising visuals. A new sinister soundtrack was playing which was a nice change. The effects were a nice touch and very well executed.


Upon entering the station you are greeted with a large 'white' room. To put it bluntly. It's very basic and warehouse like. It reminded me of being in a hospital or at the dentist. Especially with the large lights and lamps that overlooked the cars and turned on just before one was dispatched into the darkness.


I asked the ride attendant politely if we could ride the front row and he smiled and gave a quick thumbs up! We took our seats and I was smiling already. You are staring at a black hole, with smoke filling it slowly. As we are dispatched, the large lamps lit up our seats, smoke sprayed down in front of us and we rolled forward into the first drop. It was excellent! You head straight into a barrel roll and get a little bit of hang time. Caught me off guard and left me quite disorientated! Everyone in the car was already laughing, added by the noisy laughing theme which was playing yet again!


Heading up the first lift hill you get a great view of the Towers. The first drop comes along quickly and before you know it you're heading into an inverted drop which was magnificent. I've never experienced those forces before! It's extremely hard to put into words how it felt. It was like airtime whilst being upside down! Now this is where it gets hazy.... I can not believe how INSANE and fun this ride was. I really did not know what the hell was going on or where I was. All I can explain from the 'first half' of the ride, is that it's very smooth, and the bunny hop was great and came out of nowhere. Everyone in the car was laughing and as the ride came to a stop, we all earned a much needed breather.


I found the break in the middle of the ride came at the right time. I was feeling 'Marmalised' (dizzy, disorientated and a slight case of WTF just happened!?) - so I had time to catch my breath just before we headed into the vertical lift hill. This seemed to scare the hell out of a lot of people! ...


Into the second half of the ride, the drop is great, again, and you're suddenly being thrown about in all directions yet again. Looking down at a line full of staring faces. Into the 'airtime hill', I experienced a serious 'WHAT THE ...." moment. You head over it with such speed that you leave your stomach at the top of it. Sprayed with a blast of water at the crest of the hill was a little refreshing if not amusing. But I have to rate this as one of my favourite moments and part of any roller-coaster I've ever been on. Love it.


Now coming out of the cobra roll, is my only fault with the ride. This inversion was just lethal. I knew to brace for it but a few people I was with said they banged their head. Not good at all. You could watch it off ride at how much it 'jolts' and catches people off guard. Hopefully they'll sort this out one day, I know the Gerstlauer engineers have already pinpointed this as a problem and for the good of The Smiler I hope something can be done as it was not an enjoyable experience! ... Loved the last two, tight, barrel rolls though! Nice bit of hang time on the last inversion.


Exiting the ride you are greeted with more hypnotic and confusing effects. The exit corridor was some sort of illusion that I had to double check was real before I walked through it! Nice effect. The long corridor through to the shop was nice with strobe lights, that laughing tune playing and visuals surrounding you. I was still smiling.


Overall. It's a winner from me. The comment that sticks in my head was from the old man... "That was the best roller-coaster I've ever been on!". Which made me Smile.


I give it a 9/10. Only thing keeping it from being a ten is that painful inversion coming out the cobra-roll. I can't fault it otherwise. I wanted to experience a range of forces on it and that's what I got. I experienced a force on the drop I've never felt before, I hit a couple of bits of airtime including insane bunny hop goodness - and at the end I felt like my mind didn't know where it was. It was very surreal.


I really can understand how it gets mixed reviews as it's not everyones cup of tea to spend half the ride upside down but I was blown away. Awesome!


I thought I'd share some pics. Apologies for the lack of quality, I only had my Galaxy S3 on me today.


The little cousin was smiling already! He loved it!


Entering the main queue area. Quite a sight!


The Marmaliser - looks quite the thing.


I thought I'd share this image as it shows how 'caged in' some parts of the line are. Here you see the knot element through the mesh.


Apologies for the lighting but I thought it made it look quite sinister!



Some excellent photo points. Great ride!


Standard Alton Towers garden pic ^^


Bonus Ripsaw pic! Still as fun as ever!


Thanks for reading.

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Ditto - it's a very photogeneic ride!


Loved it, but have got serious bruises on my shoulders from four rides over the last two days.


I wonder if there's any remote chance of Alton converting the trains to lapbars in the off-season if roughness is an issue now.

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