After weeks of speculation, Alton Towers’ new-for-2013 roller coaster called The Smiler will not open until May. This confirms earlier rumours of a delayed opening.
As we previously reported, things over the past few weeks have been moving very slowly in regards to The Smiler. A few weeks ago, the countdown clock was removed from the Alton Towers website and since then construction of the ride has moved very slowly. Since reporting that information, the country has been gripped by cold weather and this has probably slowed construction even further. As well as this, the park’s official call centres have gradually been sounding less confident about a March opening.
Today’s news has been released by Alton Towers’ Press Office. In a quote from the resort, regarding the ‘creepy sheep’ viral marketing campaign, they have said “We wanted to create some mystery around the name of our new world first rollercoaster, The Smiler. We’ve managed to baffle the nation and hopefully made a few people smile. The Smiler will be our biggest and most thrilling attraction the Resort has ever seen and we can’t wait for guests to join us in May and experience it for themselves.”
The last line of the quote confirms that The Smiler, which is described as being “an all-knowing controlling force that will make riders compliant until they become a smiling advocate,” will not open until May.
What this means for those who have already booked park tickets and hotel rooms expecting the ride to be open is unclear. We also do not know if there will be an official opening date or if the park will trial some soft openings across the month.
UPDATE (15:37 – 21/01/13): Forum user MattH has been in contact with the Resort in regards to the opening date. They had the following response:
“Thank you for contacting the Alton Towers Resort regarding our exciting new ride for 2013.
We expect The Smiler, our fabulous new ride, to be fully open in May with previews to be confirmed in April.
As is always the case with huge developments like The Smiler we never really have a firm opening date. Of course we aim for the start of the season or Easter, but we are dependent on so many factors to achieve this – external suppliers and weather being the two main elements that can go wrong. This development started very well, but a combination of the sheer volume of rain that fell during the second half of last year and recent low temperatures and snowfall has caused a delay that we can’t recover. It’s disappointing of course but our main aim is to ensure the ride is finished to standard so we can open it confidently.
Please be advised that your tickets will be valid for a future date when the ride is in operation. Please see our website for details.
Guest Services Manager”
To discuss this news, why not pop over to our lively Talk forums, where hundreds of like-minded individuals are already debating the issue! Plus, don’t forget you can keep up to date with all the latest from Alton Towers on our Facebook and Twitter.