John Wardley is a ride designer who has helped to create some of the most memorable ride experiences in the UK: from Nemesis, Air and Oblivion, to The Swarm and many other attractions in wider Europe such as Dragon Khan at Port Aventura. Although his role in creating attractions has become less in recent years, he has still played a key part in the creation of the latest ride to be built in the UK – The Smiler.
Earlier this morning John Wardley was on air at Bolton FM radio station talking about The Smiler, and here’s what he had to say:
“[When talking about Nemesis, Air and Oblivion] Well our new ride is going to beat those.
It’s called The Smiler, it opens in May, and if you think Nemesis is big, this is about twice the size of it. Whereas rollercoasters in the past have just played around with your body, this ‘marmalises’ you and it plays around with your mind.
There are 5 mind manipulating elements that play around with you on the ride, so it’s more than just a physical rollercoaster.
What we have managed to do is pack more ride per metre of space than any rollercoaster in the world. [the ride] takes you up 2 lifts (of which one is vertical), there is a 30m drop, all sorts of inversions and on top of that various effects that actually disoreintate you so it’s mental experience as well as a physical experience.
For more information you can visit the Alton Towers website, which will tell you all the details, except for one detail which we are keeping secret until the ride opens. It is a world-first and has never been done before and you are going to need to go to Alton Towers to see just what that is.”
You can listen to the interview with John Wardley on Bolton FM approximately 3/4 through the show.