After many months of speculating what the ‘world beating’ element of The Smiler could be, further rumours and bits of information point towards the now heavily speculated inversion count of The Smiler to be the world beating element that Alton Towers touted for the new ride – but how many exactly?
On Friday (15th March) Jordan – one of our community members – noticed a ‘premium design’ Smiler mug, which appears to heavily feature looping inversions as part of its design – no less than 14 down its handle in fact. The mug, which was available for purchase in the Alton Towers Hotel gift shop, shortly got pulled from sale on Friday night, and was not available at other merchandise outlets on Saturday too. Coincidence in the design maybe – but it is strange how the mug is suddenly no longer available to purchase, especially given as the world beating element remains a secret too.
Today one of our eagle eyed members, Rollercoasters4Life, spotted that a German theme park fan-site appears to have a quote from a Merlin Trade Account Manager from the ITB 2013 (International Tourism Exchange) show spilling the facts of the ride, including supposedly 15 inversions. Other facts about the ride included a ride time of 2 mins 45 seconds, a highest drop of 30m, a top speed of 85 kph and a track length of 1,170m. Sadly there is still no exact firm evidence other than what they have reported, which of course could easily be fabricated if someone so wished.
A ride with more than 11 inversions would of course mean that Alton Towers would have the highest number of inversions on a single ride in the world, with ‘Journey to the Stars‘ due to be open this year in China with 11 inversions, and current record holders ‘Colossus‘ of Thorpe Park and the aptly named ‘10 Inversion Roller Coaster‘ also of China having both 10 inversions.
An additional 14 inversion ride would also move Alton Towers from its current 18th place in the world inversions chart for all parks (with only 6 inversions) up to joint 4th place with Carowinds of North California, USA with 20 inversions in total in the park.
Of course – nobody still truly knows what the world beating element will be, and the speculation and rumour goes on as Alton Towers have kept tight-lipped about it so far. With the building plans submitted to the council known to be different to the actual building work, we could be waiting until official word arrives or even open day to find out for sure.
We’ll of course keep you up to date with the latest though. If you would like to join in the speculation and mystery, jump into our discussion forums for all of the latest. And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook or Twitter for all of the latest news.