As its been a VERY busy week, we thought we’d offer a comprehensive news round-up to make sure you haven’t missed any of the exciting Smiler developments that have happened.
After an initially anticipated March launch was pushed to May, bringing much disappointment to all, there began wild speculation over when exactly the new investment would be ready for its advocates. Alton Towers finally announced via a Facebook cover photo change and a Twitter update (on Wednesday 8th May) that The Smiler will open on Thursday 23rd May! A mid-week opening could signal that the park wish to have a few ‘quiet days’ to ensure smooth operational running before the weekend and half-term arrive with, hopefully, large crowds.
Track Completion and Amendments
The track was completed on Wednesday 24th of April, much to the delight of Alton Towers, Gerstlauer and enthusiasts everywhere! The final piece was fitted into place, and caught on camera:
Some modifications were required after track completion, with a visible gap between a support and the track (spotted here by community member Rob on 2nd May) needing to be rectified:
Following track completion came the addition of the ride cars, spotted being craned onto the track also on 2nd May by Rob:
Minor changes have been made to the track to ensure the ride is as smooth as possible, as seen by the grinding that has been taking place in recent days (with painting expected soon!). Image courtesy of Rob, 8th May:
Smile.Always – viral Youtube videos and Twitter
No marketing campaign these days is complete without a slice of viral publicity to generate some interest, and The Smiler is no exception. Two twitter accounts appeared in the form of two psychology students, Trisha White and Danny Holden, who were investigating the mysterious Miles Cedars and his cult.
Their investigations and tweets combined to culminate in a series of videos showing their encounter with Miles Cedars, plus their discoveries and the aftermath.
Smile. Always – Part 1 (published May 2nd by ATR)
Smile. Always – Part 2 (published May 3rd by ATR)
Smile. Always – Part 3 (published May 8th by ATR)
These videos later appeared on the official Alton Towers YouTube channel and were tweeted by the Alton Towers account with hints that there were clues within the clips that would relate to the videos page of the official Smiler site. A fourth video is expected to reveal the final clue, at which point one lucky winner who guesses all four clues correctly could win a VIP experience to ride The Smiler. Smile Scared? Don’t Look Down? Get Corrected?
Lots of discussion is taking place within the TowersStreet Community about what those clues could be – have any thoughts? Let us know over in our Smiler Marketing Discussion on the forum.
World Record Confirmed
After many months of speculation, marketing buzz and chatter, Alton Towers finally confirmed on May 9th that the World’s First element of the ride would be it’s colossal and record breaking 14 inversions.
The Guinness World Record adjudicators were on site to present The Smiler with a certificate (seen below) to confirm that the 14 inversions are the most of any roller coaster in the world.Guinness World Record for most inversions on a roller coaster – The Smiler. Image courtesy of Daily Mail.
Prior to The Smiler, the official record stood at 10 (held by Colossus at Thorpe Park), and though an 11 inversion ride is currently under construction in China (to open in 2013) The Smiler beats them all with it’s impressive 14 inversions.
With the ride preparation moving into its final stages the marketing team are giving the ride a real push, and this week a very impressive lighting setup was utilised to create some rather captivating images (images courtesy of Associated Press/Alton Towers Resort):
Not only was the lighting used to create the images above, but also a small teaser video of the ride was linked by the official Alton Towers YouTube Channel on Friday 10th May.
So far ITV’s Daybreak have subjected their weather presenter Laura Tobin to be an advocate for The Smiler on Friday 10th May, with Alton Towers YouTube channel posting the on-ride video for the second half of the ride. A full on-ride video was posted on Vimeo by an ITV producer a few hours later.
Blue Peter have also been spotted on park and we expect to see a great report from them soon!
You’ve made it!
Phew! Hopefully you’re a smiling advocate, and are now up to date with all The Smiler news.