I have to tread carefully with the information that I was told on my visit to Alton last week Tuesday and Wednesday. I did sort of post on here last week with what was apparently going on, but now I'm going to tell you what I know. I've no concrete prof, but I do feel that even if the Smiler don't open before the end of the season, I do feel this is a positive step.
On Tuesday I arrived at the gates first thing and was the first waiting by the turnstiles. I ask a staff member what was the reason why the prohibitive order still in place. "Was it due to the fact that the HSE have not yet been out to inspect the ride or was it due to the fact that they have and decline to have it removed?" The response was that the HSE have recently been out to inspect it and Alton Towers were waiting for them to come back with an answer. They said that no one knew for sure when that will happen.
We were let in about 9.45 am and I headed straight for Oblivion for my first ride. As I walked around the top end of the toilet block just outside the X sector, I could see The Smiler being tested. Also standing just outside the X sector was staff members watching the testing (I've don't recognize the staff members). It was here that I discovered that staff members have been riding the Smiler that morning. So my first question was, "how come the staff are allowed to ride the Smiler if the prohibition order is still in place?"
The reply was it was removed Monday morning and they said that the ride has been handed over to Alton Towers. As I was now excited, I ask if it will be open that day and they said no it's been ordered to do so many numbers of hours worth of testing (including the staff members riding it) before it can open to the public. This was ordered by Alton Towers internal Health and Safety team, not to be confused with the HSE.
I then entered the X sector where I got talking to another member of staff who once knew what I knew confirmed that Alton Towers have made it very clear that the ride will not re open for the scarefest due to the press will be all over it with "Horror crash ride opens for scarefest".
Will it open for the fireworks, well they didn't know that and would like to think it would. Again, will it open as the press could be all over that with "the Smiler opens with a bang for the fireworks".
I can also confirm that the Smiler was testing for most of the morning Wednesday as well.