The Smiler - General Discussion

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Scott, 11th Jun 2013.

  1. Danny

    Danny Gugu Rides’ Number 1 Fan

    Messages:
    4,285
    Likes Received:
    9,159
    Location:
    Manchester
    Favourite Ride:
    Unknown - Parque dos Elefantes
    I've been hesitant to ride The Smiler for a number of years now, and would happily skip it on a day without any remorse for missing it at the end. I realise now this has nothing to do with the ride itself, but the utter misery of wasting any more hours of my life in that concrete cesspit. It is one of the vilest queue lines for any major coasters I've experienced, if not, the worst.
     
    Nerdsticks and Vik like this.
  2. HermanTheGerman

    HermanTheGerman TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    202
    A 5th train would be great, but they'd need to really streamline the operation of the ride to make it work. Prepare for a very geeky post!

    Looking at the runtime and a POV to account for blocks etc., it looks like The Smiler is capable of dispatching about every 50 seconds. A tight but achievable time frame if the conditions are right. (This would also be about right for a train to clear Lift 1 as the one in front engages with Lift 2 as it did occasionally in 2013, so we know its possible)

    For that to happen, you'd have one vehicle in the station, the next one (around 50 seconds in front of it) would be on Lift 1 crest, then 50 secs in front of that (base of Lift 2), 50 secs in front of that (Cobra Roll exit). Suddenly, with only four vehicles, there's none waiting to enter the station once the first vehicle has dispatched. Hence the 5th one is needed. Sure it'll stack a little bit, but it's better to have one vehicle stacked for thirty seconds and be able to always have one loading, than it is to have none stacking but a break in between vehicles returning to the station.

    Obviously that's accounting for 50 seconds to be a consistent dispatch time which it wouldn't be (given station hold ups are inevitable on all rides), but for periods when they are able to stick to it, the benefits of a 5th train would certainly be felt.

    Minimal holdups in the station are the key to achieving this. Fixing the dispatch gate issues, double batching guests in the air gates, and of course a pre-station baggage hold.
     
    Matt N and jon81uk like this.
  3. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    7,455
    Likes Received:
    5,867
    Location:
    Forest of Dean
    Favourite Ride:
    Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
    According to Gerstlauer, the ride can achieve up to 1,200 riders per hour on 5 trains, which would probably be up there as one of Alton’s higher throughputs; certainly higher than what something like Rita achieves, for example. Does Smiler achieve anywhere near 1200pph at the moment, out of interest? 1200pph would lead to dispatches around every 48 seconds, which roughly matches what @HermanTheGerman said above about the minimum dispatch interval.

    I think it would work quite well if Smiler had a separate offload area, like Rita has, so that trains were spending less time in the station. When the ride is running 4 or 5 trains, you often see trains just sat there completely stationary just behind the train being loaded. If the ride had separate offload, then this waiting train behind could instead be unloaded, speeding the whole process up. I think Gerst may actually have designed it to have this feature, but for some reason, Alton didn’t implement it.
     
  4. HermanTheGerman

    HermanTheGerman TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    202
    The Smiler will never get 1,200pph. That would be the absolute theoretical maximum, sending each train as soon as it possibly can every single time, which is extremely unrealistic when guests are involved.

    I should clarify that the ~50 second dispatch time in my post above is an ideal maximum, and certainly not something to be expected as realistic for each dispatch every hour. Dispatches times in the realm between 50 and 60 seconds is not that far fetched though.

    ot: The Smiler probably gets around 650-700pph these days. Rita will be slightly better.
     
    AstroDan and Matt N like this.
  5. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    7,455
    Likes Received:
    5,867
    Location:
    Forest of Dean
    Favourite Ride:
    Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
    So your desired throughput for Smiler would be between 960 riders per hour (based on 60 second dispatches) and 1,152 riders per hour (based on 50 second dispatches?

    I guess if you had the ideal circumstances (baggage storage away from station, prompt boarding, prompt checking etc.), you might just about hit 1,200 riders per hour. But those ideal circumstances are pretty rare, I’d imagine.
     
  6. tayspru

    tayspru TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    417
    Likes Received:
    641
    For that matter why *isn’t* there an offload ? I suspect they forgot that they needed space for the stairs , but surely they could extend the back wall of the station to accommodate for this ?
     
    Skyscraper likes this.
  7. Skyscraper

    Skyscraper TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    5,286
    Likes Received:
    3,492
    Location:
    Sheffield
    Favourite Ride:
    Nemesis
    Yeah I've always wondered that, because the station actually fits two trains in.
     
  8. Ethan

    Ethan TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    1,880
    Likes Received:
    1,050
    Went to the park for a few hours today and got a couple rides on the smiler. Honestly don't know what people are on about with the queue supposedly moving slower. It seemed quick to me and certainly no slower than normal
     
  9. Thameslink Rail

    Thameslink Rail TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    1,704
    Likes Received:
    1,735
    Favourite Ride:
    The Smiler
    A lot of that will be because you went on a weekday so there will be far fewer Fast track and RAP users.
     
    jon81uk and Ethan like this.
  10. spinba11

    spinba11 TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    1,680
    Likes Received:
    1,142
    Does lift 2 still bang when a train is going over the top? It doesn’t need a separate off load platform.
     
  11. Alsty

    Alsty TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    2,467
    Likes Received:
    6,279
    Location:
    West Sussex
    Favourite Ride:
    Shambhala
    How do you know your experience was the same as theirs..? :rolleyes:
     
    pluk, Burbs, Connor98 and 5 others like this.
  12. tayspru

    tayspru TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    417
    Likes Received:
    641
    The queue should be managed in a way that it moves consistently regardless of what day a guest is able to visit. Just because you are able to visit on weekdays doesn’t mean others can. Visit on a weekend and report back
     
    Skyscraper likes this.
  13. Ethan

    Ethan TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    1,880
    Likes Received:
    1,050
    Yes but it's obviously going to take longer at weekends and people should expect that surely

    I never said it was. I just can't understand how there can be such a difference between weekdays a weekends. There's clearly way too many people on fastrack and RAP at weekends, which needs to be sorted. They shouldn't really be selling fastrack at all currently but RAP frustrates me more, way too lenient these days with that service
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 5th May 2021
  14. tayspru

    tayspru TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    417
    Likes Received:
    641
    Yea people expect longer waits as there are more guests on park . What shouldn’t happen is that the main queue move more slowly due to poor operations and oversold fasttrack (obviously fasttrack doesn’t sell on weekdays)
     
    Ethan likes this.
  15. James

    James TS Founding Member

    Messages:
    3,966
    Likes Received:
    2,732
    Location:
    S.Wales
    The original plans for the queue weren't great, however far better than what we ended up with. If the ride had the plaza and jetty for off-riders to be able to view the ride, I think the ride/area would have felt far nicer than it does now. Personally I find the Rita queue to be the worst on park, The Smiler comes in at close second.

    At least Wicker Man brought an enjoyable queuing experience.

    [​IMG]
     
    Skyscraper likes this.
  16. Ethan

    Ethan TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    1,880
    Likes Received:
    1,050
    I think the smilers is the best as being under the ride is such a unique and fascinating perspective that you rarely get on coasters. I don't find it too bad when it comes to claustrophobic spaces. It does certainly need a clean and sprucing up
     
  17. Poisson

    Poisson TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    3,700
    Likes Received:
    1,863
    Location:
    Behind You
    Favourite Ride:
    The Giant Squid
    That's still horrid. It all falls apart on Towers' love of that bloody toilet block. If that was gone an open queue would be so much easier. to construct around the pit.
     
    MaxPower likes this.
  18. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    1,539
    Likes Received:
    3,553
    The original plan for the Smiler plaza and queue looked much better, but never made any sense. The entire layout would have needed to be raised higher than what was eventually built to make it possible. Was that the original intention, or was there just a major mistake in the planning?
     
    jon81uk likes this.
  19. AT86

    AT86 TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    2,361
    Likes Received:
    6,430
    I thought the original plans for the plaza were scrapped once the major issues with the ground works were found. I believe the original plan wasn’t for it to be a hideous concrete pit, but when the whole thing started sliding down the hill they had to come up with a new solution.
     
    MattyH likes this.
  20. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    1,539
    Likes Received:
    3,553
    Yes but the layout of the track makes the plan on the scheme look impossible, even before ground problems. The base of the batwing is right in the way of where the level path was planned to go out the back, and the winding ramp down from the current entrance would clash with the base of the loop in that area.

    Otherwise it would have been way better to create a plaza and get all those good views of the ride while being able to freely walk around, and landscape the pit properly!
     
    jon81uk likes this.

Share This Page