The resort is now a hive of activity as seasonal staff have now returned, and last minute preparations are taking place to get the park ready for opening on 16th March. Unfortunately though, we still have a few months to go until The Smiler’s delayed opening in May. That said, there’s plenty going on the whet your appetite for the resort’s newest ride. If you’ve not been able to keep up with things on TowersStreet News and our Facebook page, here’s a roundup of what you’ve missed!
The construction area has been reduced and block paving which was removed to allow for plant access is in the process of being relaid. In the background on the left, you can also see Oblivion’s newly painted track. Now a deep grey similar to The Smiler, it’s a stark contrast to the light grey colour seen in recent years, which we think you will all agree looks 100% better!
As well as the above update from UK Rides, Alton Towers themselves have posted a series of pictures today, taken from Oblivion’s lift hill.
These pictures not only show the progression of the ride’s inversions being built, but also show us the freshly repainted Oblivion too:
For the rest of the images, head on over to the Alton Towers Facebook page to see how construction is hosting up!
Over on our forums, TowersStreet Talk member Nemesis94 has created a brilliant recreation based on what we know about the ride so far. Initially created shortly after the initial plans for the ride were submitted, Nemesis94 has worked hard to constantly update his recreation based on the progress seen on the ground.
One thing we know many of you won’t have missed, is the long awaited release of The Smiler game. Released on iOS and Android platforms, the game has reached the top 20 free games on the iTunes Store. The game involves moving the on-screen joystick to balance the ride car as it travels around the ride circuit. Points are awarded depending on the number of ‘marmalised’ riders, which can then be spent on a series of upgrades to improve the ride, or for extra chances to win on the ‘Wheel of Win’, a spin the wheel feature to win free tickets, hotel stays and even a behind the scenes tour! You can check out our previous news article for even more game images.
A new press release was also published on Monday giving a little more information on how The Smiler will play with a rider’s mind, as well as ‘putting the body through its paces’ as other more traditional roller coasters do. The release explains the 5 ‘mind manipulations’ which will feature on the ride:
- The Inoculator (A jab of happiness as you pass by stage one of the Marmalisation process)
- The Tickler (Aims to tickle you until you cant resist smiling)
- The Flasher (A giant flashing device, blinding you as you hurtle underneath the leg)
- The Giggler (Infectious, intoxicating laughing gas)
- The Hypnotiser (Has the power to disorientate, mesmerise and disrupt your self-awareness)
The 5 mind manipulations are shown in The Smiler game as upgrades to ‘The Marmaliser’, the imposing spider style structure which straddles the ride itself.
Ride consultant John Wardley, said to be retiring following his work on The Smiler said:
“We know people get a thrill when they ride roller-coasters, but in order to heighten that feeling of excitement we needed to design a roller-coaster that also incorporates a variety of mental cues. The Smiler will be different from other traditional coasters in that it will combine intense physical effects to put the body through its paces, along with the unique mental elements to mess with the mind. After riding the coaster they will have experienced full mind and body marmalisation.”
Stick with TowersStreet
As 16th March fast approaches and The Smiler construction continues, we’ll be bringing you the latest news on all things Alton Towers here on our website. If you can’t make our theme park opening day meet up, make sure you like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter as we bring you live updates from the park. Last but not least, don’t forget our Talk Forums are a hive of activity, with plenty of speculation and discussion on The Smiler, the resort as a whole and on theme parks across the globe!