It’s been a busy day here at TowersStreet with the name for Alton Towers’ new ride for 2013 revealed to be The Smiler. We’ve been keeping track of all the major events of the day so that you can sit back, relax and digest everything that you might have missed.
The Big Reveal
As we reported earlier today, the 2013 ride at Alton Towers has officially been named The Smiler. The news was broken by the national newspaper ‘The Metro’ and followed on from our exclusive reveal of posters that had been put up in London yesterday. The reveal of the name topped off a week of enthusiast speculation and discussion over what the ride, previously codenamed Secret Weapon 7 (SW7) would end up being called.
Alton Towers also launched a series of website updates today. Firstly, the existing ‘2013’ mini-site was updated with some concept art and a new header to coincide with the reveal of the name:
Shortly after this, the full mini-site was leaked (and promptly removed) by Alton Towers. This site, which has since gone live, gives us an interesting insight into the story and theme behind the ride.
The site was originally split into the following different sections: The Ride, The Game, Latest News and The Lexicon. With ‘The Lexicon’ looking like it would provide key elements of the story surrounding the ride. However, since the site has officially gone live, this section has been removed and now the webpage is split into: The Ride, The Game, Latest News and Facebook. The sections contain the following information:
The Ride section of the website does not give much away. It shows the concept art which can be seen above, alongside some construction images and some facts about the ride – which were already publicly known and are available on our mini-site. The phrase used in the park’s earlier press release is also stated here which describes The Smiler as “an all-knowing controlling force that will make riders compliant until they become a smiling advocate.”
This section of the site introduces an iOS and Android app that will be available for tablets and smartphones. It will feature a full, 3D recreation of the ride’s layout and points towards being some form of simulator where you control the ride cars. The app will also include extras as “if you visit the Alton Towers Resort, [you can] unlock hidden content using Augmented Reality technology, with access to additional images, videos and secret upgrades for the game.”
In the Latest News section of the site, all the news relating to The Smiler has been archived and will be updated for future reference. Everything from the spray paint faces during last season to the ‘creepy sheep’ stunt is there.
Calling the ride The Smiler has split opinions of both enthusiasts and members of the general public. Many people like the name, whilst others are disappointed. Here are some of the polarised thoughts on Twitter, from people who have used the hashtag #thesmiler:
#thesmiler at Alton Towers looks so awesome! I’ve become an advocate, I don’t know what that means but it sounds good 😉
— Gregory Smith (@Greginator1995) January 21, 2013
Okay, i’m loving the marketing campaign and i’m really looking forward to the coaster but, come on guys, #thesmiler? really?
— lucy (@lucy2344) January 21, 2013
— Abi J ★ (@abigailjones1x) January 21, 2013
So Alton Towers new rollercoaster has been named ‘The Smiler’. Weirdest rollercoaster name ever #thesmiler
— Matt Ellwood (@Matt_Ellwood) January 21, 2013
Of course, we love hearing what you think of the name and our busy Talk Forums are always open for you to tell us what you think!
World First or World Beating?
The marketing for the ride has been rather confused over the past few months, and this confusion continued today. In previous advertising, the ride was frequently referred to as ‘world beating’ but with today’s name reveal, the marketing seems to have shifted again to ‘world’s first’. What this could mean is purely speculation, but it will be interesting to see what the park have planned for this very secretive ride.
Delayed until May
Some more news to surprisingly break today was that the opening of the ride has been delayed until May. We reported in a news article that the park have set the opening of The Smiler back by up to two months. The park are currently saying the delays are down to poor weather during this winter and the latter half of the 2012 season.
Currently the park are aiming for the ride to be “fully open” in May with previews “to be confirmed” in April. They also state that “tickets will be valid for a future date when the ride is in operation.”
We will be updating our website with as much information as possible whenever any more news breaks. You can keep up to date by following us on Facebook or Twitter or by checking out our The Smiler pages and mini-site.
Don’t forget that our Talk forums are full of like-minded individuals ready to discuss all today’s events, so why not jump in and share your thoughts!