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The Smiler - your thoughts?


Active Member
Finally managed to get on The Smiler! Right...

I've always looked at The Smiler to be Altons answer to 'Colossus', but this isn't the case, I think The Smiler is a really great coaster. Visually, the layout looks insane, watching the trains duel each other around the track is a huge delight to me, the controvercial 'Spider' structure is actually a unique yet bizarre theming element and the industrial look of the area, whilst bland, fits nicely! The station exterior however, could look a lot better. Inside the station looks pretty cool actually, I found staring into the 3D 'illusions' a nice way to pass time.

The ride experience itself I really enjoyed, I didn't find it rough, just a little shakey in places. The indoor section, while it wasn't particularly needed, was a nice brief warm-up before the insanity. The twisting drops actually remind me of Nemesis' drop and corkscrew element, you pick up some surprising speed before plummeting through inversion after inversion. I was worried I'd have to hold back the vomit on this one too, but it was more pleasurable than nauseating. I felt some rather intense forces at the bottom of elements, not on the same calibre as Nemesis, but enough to pull my head towards the floor. And the air-time hills were a pleasant surprise!

It does have its flaws however. The restraints are one of the biggest problems, nothing worse than being pinned into your seat on a coaster, I felt really restricted in comparison to Nemesis/Oblivions restraints, it killed all potential air-time/hang-time throughout the layout. Yeah, it could've really benefitted with a bit of slack on the restraints. I also found the layout extremely repetetive, the second half felt nearly identical to the first half, a different drop would've been nice! But really, thats all I have negative to say about it!

To me, this is Alton Towers saying '**** you' to everyone who thinks Nemesis, Oblivion, Air and Rita are short, and to a certain extent, us enthusiasts who think they haven't built a decent Rollercoaster since 2002. Seriously though, this is the best addition to the park since then! Give us wood next Alton!



Active Member
I've still not been on it, but several non-enthusiast friends have been in the last few weeks and are raving about it. All say it's the best ride at the park, that's it's smooth, and that they like the fact it's long. A hit!
I wasn't all that impressed with The Smiler. I cannot understand how people are calling it a Nemesis or Air beater! It really doesn't beat much in my book.

No real great forces on The Smiler, drops are ruined by the corkscrews, you don't get much time to gather your senses between the inversions, one lovely bit of airtime after the 3rd inversion after the second drop when you go through the mist, and the last inline was nice and fast but other than that i have to say i was a little disappointed.

There really is nothing else to compare it to, no good sitting it next to Colossus as they are just completely different rides, and nothing like any Eurofighters I've ridden. I think it may have been a more pleasant ride with a Eurofighter car instead of what they have here.

However its a pleasure to look at and watch from in the queue, and like i said that airtime hill was very, very nice


New Member
It is by far one of the most impressive things to look at, but you really have to stand near it to get how massive but compact it is, the ride however is very different, it feels forceless and rough, especially on the last 3 inversions, and then the theme music...god help me!

but after some thought, the ride is OK, it just needs a bit of TLC over the closed season, maybe get some new track (bit extreme?) for the last few inversions :)


in-case this has not been posted before:

http://riderater.co.uk/2013/further-bol ... on-towers/

27th Oct:

The reported loss of a further bolt from Alton Tower’s Smiler rollercoaster closed the ride for part of Sunday.

Workers using a mobile elevated work platform were seen fitting and torquing a replacement bolt to the ride’s first drop.

It re-opened after 3pm on Sunday, with no comment regarding the issue made from the park.

In July this year, a gap appeared in the track when a bolt sheared and fell to the ground, forcing the closure of the ride for several days.

It is not clear precisely how the latest bolt loss occurred, but the section of track affected is above the toilet block at the entrance to the X Sector area of the theme park.

Photographers from the TowersStreet website have posted an image of damage to roof tiles, directly beneath the affected section of track.

The Gerstlauer-manufactured ride has been dogged by engineering problems since the construction phase, with the ride opening over two months late and facing a series of closures throughout this season.


Active Member
I rode it again yesterday, but it had a delayed opening as they tested the ride a lot of times with water dummies. I don't know what the problem was.

The ride hasn't changed at all from a few months ago. The first half is fantastic, with great pacing throughout, but as soon as it crests the vertical lift hill it's just a neck-bashingly horrible experience.

I can't understand how anybody rates it above Nemesis and Oblivion.


Well-Known Member
I see it has made the news again today;

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-st ... e-24794468

BBC said:
A new £18m rollercoaster at Alton Towers has closed after a wheel fell off and hit someone on the ride

To keep a bit more OT, I rode it for the first time twice last weekend (before the GF meetup) - second row left end seat then front row right end seat - and enjoyed both rides - it was fun, not painful for me at all, enjoyed it a lot.

Clearly not even close to a Nemesis-beater, but miles better than that one-trick pony Oblivion and the gentle snoozefest that is Air.

Chap behind me in the SRQ was proudly boasting that he had ridden it 215 times - I guess we all show our goony-ness in different ways!


david morton said:
Chap behind me in the SRQ was proudly boasting that he had ridden it 215 times - I guess we all show our goony-ness in different ways!
I'm in no hurry to ride it again as loads of inversions is not my type of fun coaster, nice to watch the cars duel in the "Staffordshire Knot" inversions though.


From CoasterForce
Staff member
Social Media Team
^ I've not heard any reports about any breakdowns. I did hear that it wasn't working on opening day.

Then again, nobody seems to be talking about Smiler at all. Even Smiler searches/hits on CF have dropped to their lowest, whereas Nemesis and Swarm still get a fair few. I don't think it ever earnt a place in our goony hearts.


Active Member
^ Speaks volumes about Gerstlaurer in my opinion. You can bet that this wouldn't be the case if Smiler were a B&M.


Well-Known Member
It is odd isn't it. Like how many teething problems it had and now NOTHING? I suspect it's fallen off the radar a it and stuff has happened. That, or, what the hell did they do over winter?


I saw this interview with John Wardley where he said the Smiler was originally going to be a B&M Stand Up. I don't think it would of had 14 inversions if this plan was chosen.


Credit Whore 2016
cjbrandy said:
I don't think it would of had 14 inversions if this plan was chosen.
Change 'I don't think it would have had 14 inversions if this plan was chosen' to 'This wouldn't have happened if this plan was chosen'. :lol:

Has anyone actually ridden it yet this season to know if it's running any better?


/\I have! My first ride was smooth and awesome but my second ride was really rattly and I just wanted it to end. I think some trains are better than others. Also it didn't break down once and all the bolts and wheels stayed in place although my second ride made some scary creaking noises.


I didn't get to ride it last year and I sat on the back row and outer right seat for both rides which were probably on different trains.


Active Member
Does England mark their trains like we do in the US? For example A, B, and C trains? or 1, 2, 3?


Well-Known Member
bmac said:
Does England mark their trains like we do in the US? For example A, B, and C trains? or 1, 2, 3?
Numbers, I don't think I've ever seen A, B and C trains. But over here some only coasters only run one anyway *cough Colossus *cough :p