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The Smiler - your thoughts?

bmac

Active Member
Quite a few coasters in the US have their trains marked by letter, so I'm just curious how things are done over there since I've never been. Seems it wouldn't be hard to diagnose which trains are giving bad rides after a few cycles around in different trains in the same day.

For example two separate laps around Bizarro at Great Adventure could tell you that the A-train is awful since the B and C trains run smoothly. Or that a coaster is just awful since none of the trains give good rides (hi Gwazi).
 

furie

SBOPD
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
The name the trains on Smiler specifically.

They're called: Smiley, Ouchy, **** y, **** me and what a pile of **** **** ;)
 
^LOL

Apparently it's train number 5 (I think) which has the biggest issue with roughness. I can't say I've ever actually had a bad ride on the Smiler...
 

sparky2u

Member
cjbrandy said:
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.
It would of taken up all of X-Sector area then head towards Sonic Pinball to fit the inversions for a stand-up.
 

cjbrandy

Member
/\ I forgot to mention that he said it would have been in the area where the mine train is. I think its called Katanga canyon. If it was going to be a B&M it should have been a floorless! The U.K already has a stand up (Shockwave) and stand ups don't usually get good reviews from enthusiasts.
 

Martyn B

Well-Known Member
Sorry to dig up an old topic, but I visited the Towers last week and I wanted to share some thoughts.

The Smiler was actually really good! I rode it twice last year (once per visit, both 2 hour queues) and I found it pretty average, but it was running really well last week. The drop out of the station was really bumpy but the rest was fine (aside from the pull out of the first main drop and cobra roll). I still love the theme and music, it really does create a fantastic atmosphere.

On another note, the operations were top notch around the entire park! It was dead with the likes of Smiler and Nemesis etc all being walk on, yet everything was run on full capacity! It really did make for an awesome day, and I even enjoyed the burger I had in their new Burger Kitchen restaurant.

Only real downside to the day was the state of the Dark Forest. It's only just dawned on me just how badly laid out the area is, that scaffolding structure under Rita seems to be getting bigger and the theming is all tacky plastic ****.
 

Howie

Active Member
Same here.
I was there on Tuesday and yes, Smiler was running really well. Had 3 goes last year, thought it was pretty cool but hadn't made my mind up fully. After 3 goes on this visit I consider myself 'corrected' - I think it's awesome! Bit of jolt at the top of inversion 12, but not as bad as I remember and overall pretty darn smooth, front or back.
You know what?
I think I may even sneak this ride into my top 10, which effectively nudges i305 into 11th place. I like it that much. How's that for controversial?
 

Jake

Well-Known Member
I was too distracted by the STENCH coming from the restraints to store any memories of the actual cred itself.
 

cjbrandy

Member
Jake said:
I was too distracted by the STENCH coming from the restraints to store any memories of the actual cred itself.
I thought it was just me who noticed this. It's **** nasty. I think it's caused by sweat from people's ears rubbing onto the sides of the restraints.
 

DelPiero

Well-Known Member
Rode it again yesterday, definitely developed a crappy rattle all the way round. Cobra roll is still awful and trims on the airtime hills.... Blatantly doesn't need them as was closer to stalling than usual on one of the inversions.
Very meh ride.
 

Joey

Well-Known Member
Ian said:
^ 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.
Yeah, it's weird isn't it?

On the one hand, Smiler has a really successful branding, but it's just not "legendary". Maybe it just needs more time.

In John Wardley's bio, he finishes with something along the lines of "we set out to better Nemesis and we did" re: Smiler and I wanna be like do you really believe that? Really?
 

Darren B

Active Member
So I managed my second ride on the Smiler today, first ride was last year just after it opened. My thoughts after first riding it was that it was rather mediocre, nothing awful happening, but at the same time I wasn't too impressed either. I was looking forward to it today to see how it rides. My thought;

IT WAS **** ING DREADFUL!

How has a ride that's barely 18 months old become some so rough, and developed such a bad rattle?

From start to finish this coaster was just the pits! The elements are taken awkwardly, the airtime hills are trimmed to hell and it's just as a whole extremely nauseating. And why John Wardley said it was better than Nemesis, I don't know. He must have had a knife pressed to his neck by Jihadi John, there's no other explanation.

Then there's the restraints - FOUL! DISGUSTING! VILE! If I was asked to guess what Margaret Thatcher's growler would smell like after running a half marathon, I'd point them towards the Smiler's restraints. This has to be sorted out, EVERYONE in ears shot was moaning about the smell.

Infact, after the train returned to the station EVERYONE was moaning about the ride. Too rough some said, many complained about their neck hurting (no doubt from the exit of the cobra roll). "I feel sick" 2 children were telling their dad. Only 2 women sat at the from seemed to have enjoyed themselves. Mind you, they were two 40+ women dolled up like 18 years olds - no doubt they're accustomed to a 'rough ride'.

As a whole I'm extremely disappointed with the Smiler. It's taken over the crown as the worst steel coaster in the UK for me. Utterly disgusting!

On a more positive note, Nemesis was running like **** off a shovel today! Amazing stuff. That's how you do a coaster properly.
 

cjbrandy

Member
Darren B said:
How has a ride that's barely 18 months old become some so rough, and developed such a bad rattle?
If it's bad at 18 months, what will it be like in 18 years :shock: . It certainly won't be doing as well as the B&Ms.

And why John Wardley said it was better than Nemesis, I don't know. He must have had a knife pressed to his neck by Jihadi John, there's no other explanation.
Lol, I'm fairly sure he just said it for the marketing of the ride.

Then there's the restraints - FOUL! DISGUSTING! VILE! If I was asked to guess what Margaret Thatcher's growler would smell like after running a half marathon, I'd point them towards the Smiler's restraints. This has to be sorted out, EVERYONE in ears shot was moaning about the smell.
I remember this! Many people complained about it. I think it's caused by sweat from peoples ears?

Infact, after the train returned to the station EVERYONE was moaning about the ride. Too rough some said, many complained about their neck hurting (no doubt from the exit of the cobra roll). "I feel sick" 2 children were telling their dad. Only 2 women sat at the from seemed to have enjoyed themselves. Mind you, they were two 40+ women dolled up like 18 years olds - no doubt they're accustomed to a 'rough ride'.
Now you mention it, I did notice that when Nemesis, Oblivion and Air hit the brakes, everyone was happy and saying how good it was but when The Smiler hit the brakes, all I heard was moans of "that really hurt" and "I feel sick".

As a whole I'm extremely disappointed with the Smiler. It's taken over the crown as the worst steel coaster in the UK for me. Utterly disgusting!
You won't be saying that if you ride Infusion on the back row :) .
 

owentaylor121

Active Member
You don't expect a ride of that quality at a park like Alton Towers, Merlin have the money to fix the problems with the trains and track, find it terrible that a company with so much money will let new rides go to ****!
 

Jake

Well-Known Member
I don't understand why they stink so much and other, very similar rides aren't as bad.

Air's are pretty skank as well but the ride is 12 years old, plus the restraints are more spongy and touch you for the whole ride, so it's a bit more understandable.

Either way it's a huge issue which needs to be addressed.
 

MouseAT

Active Member
I had a surprisingly smooth front row ride at the weekend, which raised it from vile to meh. I can finally see why some people might actually like it when it's running well, but it still didn't really seem to do anything, and I've had more bad rides on it than I have good ones.
 

Crazycoaster

Active Member
Jake said:
I don't understand why they stink so much and other, very similar rides aren't as bad.

Air's are pretty skank as well but the ride is 12 years old, plus the restraints are more spongy and touch you for the whole ride, so it's a bit more understandable.

Either way it's a huge issue which needs to be addressed.
The Swarm and N:I restraints stunk the other day as well, in the same way. Is it something they're doing recently in their cleaning process/lack of cleaning process? =/
 

Darren B

Active Member
Crazycoaster said:
Jake said:
I don't understand why they stink so much and other, very similar rides aren't as bad.

Air's are pretty skank as well but the ride is 12 years old, plus the restraints are more spongy and touch you for the whole ride, so it's a bit more understandable.

Either way it's a huge issue which needs to be addressed.
The Swarm and N:I restraints stunk the other day as well, in the same way. Is it something they're doing recently in their cleaning process/lack of cleaning process? =/
Swarms do sometimes whiff a little, but nowhere near as bad as Smiler. NI's won't ever smell like that due to the materials used.
 
I went on it on Tuesday and totally agree, the restraints are disgusting, and have been for some time! It's odd because Saw's restraints must be the same, yet they don't smell anywhere near as bad. Also it would appear every train has developed the nasty rattle now. I must have rode about 5 times, and every single turn was rattly and rough. Now I still enjoy the layout, as it's very varied in terms of inversions and gives some good hang time, but dear god they need to turn the trims off on the airtime hills!
 

CookieCoasters

Active Member
I think there must be at least one train that hasn't developed a rattle yet because when I rode it in August, there was no rattle.

I enjoyed my ride on it this year much better than last years rides, but I probably just got lucky.
 
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