Incident on The Smiler 02/06/2015

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micksalt

TS Member
Very interesting that they're running one with dummies, one without. Having said that, when the Smiler first opened, despite the trains being nominally identical, there were some that rode better than others.
 

Hat

TS Member
Does anyone think it will be open for fireworks

I have never been on smiler but was hoping to ride this year, what is the vertical lift hill like, do you feel like your lifting out your seat, are you well hold in ? I have a phobia of heights.
 

BarryZola

TS Member
I have never been on smiler but was hoping to ride this year, what is the vertical lift hill like, do you feel like your lifting out your seat, are you well hold in ? I have a phobia of heights.

The lift hill is fine. You're basically just resting on your back and are well held in. I'm not a fan of heights myself and it's absolutely fine. It's more fun than scary to be honest. You'll enjoy it :)
 

xylyx

TS Member
The vertical lift is an odd sensation, you've just been through, I think, 7 inversions so your head is spinning, then with little ceremony you're climbing into the sky. My brain always goes fuzzy when going up the vertical lift :) you're held in really well, there is no give in the restraints, but I always feel like I'm sliding out of my seat into the shoulders of the harness. The heights thing will be tested on the first lift, if you get through that you'll be fine as it's just straight up, all you see is sky till you crest the hill. :)
 

RoyJess

TS Member
Hi I'm back from a two day trip at the scare fest and been witness to the morning testing.

It will definitely not open during the Scarefest out of respect and obviously the media will have a field day having a horror crash ride open during the Scarefest.

There is a slim chance that it could open after the Scarefest before the end of the season, but don't build your hopes up.
 

Rob

TS Team
Favourite Ride
Steel Vengeance
I've given up all hope of it opening again this season now, it's still possible but very unlikely. A pity as it is clear that they wanted to have it open again this season.

The media still aren't letting this go though. You may have seen yesterday that as part of all the deals being done with China at the minute, Merlin announced a deal to build a Legoland park in Shanghai along with other attractions. That is of course a newsworthy story and the likes of the BBC reported just that. Enter the Daily 'I wish death upon anyone associated with this paper' Mirror who also report the story, but twist it to make out that Merlin (or "under-fire Alton Towers bosses as they call them) have agreed this deal to boost falling UK profits. Cue an article that is full of re-hashed news, quotes and photos from The Smiler incident all which has nothing to do with the Legoland Shangai deal. Pathetic.

I am seriously worried for the future of Alton Towers right now.

:)
 

Tom

TS Member
The recovery process will begin next season when the ride reopens at the start of the season. The papers will report it but ultimately very few of the general public visit before Easter, and by the time the summer comes people will have begun to have moved on. 2016 will be a recovery year, but if the major investment comes in 2017 then it will drag things back up to some sort of normality I'm sure.
 

BarryZola

TS Member
I am seriously worried for the future of Alton Towers right now.

:)

It would have been best if they would have opened it by now to get the major mudslinging out of the way RE: The Smiler. Then they should be getting another major ride in ASAP to take any of the lasting attention away from the accident and provide another reason for the general public to want to attend (it's all gone a bit quiet on a new ride). Ah well, if it all goes t**s up and Towers is run into the ground at least someone like the National Trust could take over the estate and people may be able to explore the house for more than around 6 weeks a year (including the bits that are only deemed safe enough to be opened when Scarefest is on or for its props storage - strange that is).
 

Jonathan

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Helix <3
I suspect that some of the cuts cuts seem to be stemming from the Smiler's incident, and the decrease in guest numbers as a result of that. I really hope that things pick up next season - a new ride of some description would be ideal. Even if it's only a half-decent flat ride, it should help to draw a few guests back to the park
 

Rob

TS Team
Favourite Ride
Steel Vengeance
The recovery process will begin next season when the ride reopens at the start of the season. The papers will report it but ultimately very few of the general public visit before Easter, and by the time the summer comes people will have begun to have moved on. 2016 will be a recovery year, but if the major investment comes in 2017 then it will drag things back up to some sort of normality I'm sure.

That is the problem, the major investment is not coming in 2017. Heide-Park has been given the Alton Towers 2017 money.

The impact this season on Alton Towers has been worse than we could have ever imagined; there's almost no chance of them hitting 2 million visitors this year. The cuts to ride availability and F&B over Scarefest are like none ever seen before. An evening during the first week of Scarefest is never likely to be a busy time of the year but I have never seen so few people in the park, between 8pm and 9pm there can't have been more than a few hundred people in the park. Both Nemeisis and Air were on one train yet most the the bays remained empty. It felt like we shouldn't have been in the park, it really was a ghost town.

Merlin have a big decision to make in how they approach the 2016 season. Do they take their typical approach and make cuts which worsens the overall experience for guests that do go and risk losing repeat visitors? Or do they invest to attract people again?

:)
 

RoyJess

TS Member
But, how do you know definitively that it hasn't been removed already?

The staff are very tight lipped about this, but not all ;) It might have been removed at the start of this week with more than just water bottles on the ride before the guest are allowed in ;)

I'm saying no more
 

BarryZola

TS Member
The staff are very tight lipped about this, but not all ;) It might have been removed at the start of this week with more than just water bottles on the ride before the guest are allowed in ;)

I'm saying no more

So basically, you don't know when it was removed and are just relying on hearsay at best. For all we know the order could have been lifted ages ago and the reason it hasn't opened yet COULD be entirely down to Alton dragging their feet. Just wanted to clear that up as I still havn't seen any definitive evidence that the order has still been in place in recent times. Apologies if I seem slightly abrupt but it gets annoying when people keep throwing this prohibition order thing around with no real knowledge of how long it lasted for or even if it is still in place. Also, I really wouldn't rely on anything the staff on the ground say as various things have been said by staff members and people in the know in recent months which have proven not to be true.
 

Tom

TS Member
That is the problem, the major investment is not coming in 2017. Heide-Park has been given the Alton Towers 2017 money.
:)

I missed the revelation of this, unless people are interpreting the presentation a few months ago as not showing Alton Towers on the major investment column for 2017? I saw that, but I also recall the statements from Varney that the investment strategy for Alton Towers wasn't going to be changed.

I think postponing the investment would be flawed, as a major new addition is needed now more than ever to draw people back. UNLESS you are going to offload or close the park down of course.

So basically, you don't know when it was removed and are just relying on hearsay at best. For all we know the order could have been lifted ages ago and the reason it hasn't opened yet COULD be entirely down to Alton dragging their feet. Just wanted to clear that up as I still havn't seen any definitive evidence that the order has still been in place in recent times. Apologies if I seem slightly abrupt but it gets annoying when people keep throwing this prohibition order thing around with no real knowledge of how long it lasted for or even if it is still in place. Also, I really wouldn't rely on anything the staff on the ground say as various things have been said by staff members and people in the know in recent months which have proven not to be true.
As of last Friday it was still in effect.

"The notice is still in effect until such time Alton Towers have told us they have complied." - HSE, Friday
 
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