The Smiler - General Discussion

Ian

TS Team
Favourite Ride
Dizz, Bobby’s Yarn Land 🧶
Are you referring to the rails themselves? If so, yes, they do look a little yellow at some points. It seems to be where the wheels have worn away the paint down to the undercoat and bare metal. Rust has then got onto it making some patches look yellow/orange.

Oddly though I noticed when looking at the ride in person there are some points where it's white, some where it's yellow, and some where it's orange. It's almost as if some pieces of track had different treatment and undercoats to others...

If you look around the corkscrew before the vertical lift though where the track goes along the Giggler leg you can really see the mess it's made having the water mist sprayed on it through the year, mixed with the rust which has been splashed around the track during early tests after the ride has been stood through the closed season.
 

McKillmore

TS Member
James said:
It seems like they just re-enforced the top half of the site and left everything else... the trains should be sorted really. If you're a first time rider and end up with a bad train it doesn't leave a great impression.

Well last sunday was my first time on the Smiler and I must have had a rough train. It certainly wasn't pleasant and put me off going on it again. I'm not all that clued up on coaster lore but surely such a new ride should be smoother? It's a pity because take away the roughness and I think it's a good ride.

How can you tell the train numbers?
For example; if train 1 is apparently the smoothest, how can I increase my chances of getting on that one as opposed to train 5? I don't want to wait in a queue for an hour and end up with a bone shaker again.
 

JAMMYD778

TS Member
McKillmore said:
How can you tell the train numbers?
For example; if train 1 is apparently the smoothest, how can I increase my chances of getting on that one as opposed to train 5? I don't want to wait in a queue for an hour and end up with a bone shaker again.

The train numbers are located on the front of each train on the central steel beam and are always two numbers separated with a decimal point. The first number is the train number. However unfortunately, it is highly unlikely that you will be able to choose the train you ride in as it's more or less just pot luck.
 

James

TS Founding Member
Rode The Smiler a few times last weekend. It's still a great ride. Although I did end up with the 'bad' train and the rattling is really irritating. My shoulders didn't appreciate the roughness either. Not enjoyable at all! If they fix that then I would say this is my favourite ride on park (maybe on par with Nemesis). The other trains rode better though and the experience was far more enjoyable.

Last year I only rode The Smiler once and that was with Fastrack, so I never got to experience the whole queue. After doing so last weekend... erm, I hope whoever designed that gets sacked! The most pointless queue design ever. I can't even describe it as a cattlepen, it's more of a labyrinth. Maybe it fits into the theme in a way although I hope this kind of design is avoided with SW8.

The concrete station is still fugly too.

It was interesting listening to other peoples' views around park of The Smiler. With non-enthusiasts there does seem to be a slight divide between Nemesis and The Smiler although most guests seem to prefer The Smiler because it's a longer ride with more going on. I'm personally stuck in the middle. Smiler is good for length (one thing the UK has always lacked with coasters - The Ultimate aside) although it's rattling and hit or miss beatings put it a little behind the intensity and excitement of Nemesis.
 

Mark-Cal

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Shambala
There seemed to be the usual reliability issues on Tuesday, leading to some far longer than necessary queues at certain points in the day, not helped by having to shunt one of the trains onto the outside siding at one point where it sat for the rest of the day.
There was a funny incident in the station while I was waiting to board, some scrawny chav was shouting at the staff member on the exit platform over something while waiting for the restraints to be released, I'm not sure what it was about, I was four back from the airgates and it's not exactly quiet in there.

He was shouting that he was "seriously going to do him" when he got off the ride, which in itself was quite amusing considering he was still fully restrained by the OTSR's.

While he continued to rant the operator in the booth kept the train locked down and must have called security because less than a minute later the door to the fire exit opened and two blokes in Alton Towers Security clothing walked through, one was a really big guy but his mate was massive, his biceps where bigger than my chest !

I've never seen a hard man chav shut up so quickly in my life, the biggest of the two "helped him from the ride" had a quick word and then disappeared with him out the fire exit never to be seen again to the cheers of people in the queue line, all in the space of a minute !

I've always assumed there are security staff at the Towers, and I guess they like to stay behind the scenes when possible but it's nice to know they're quickly on the scene when needed.,
 

delta79

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Nemesis, Air
Some times it good to have security watching but not seen. At a place like Alton Towers, this is good as it does not remove from the fun of the visit.

However, the pop up security style, that you mentioned reminds Guest and staff that they are safe, with help just a min or two away.

I would love to see the folder called Process for chav shouting abuse whist lock in ride restrains. ;D
 

Benzin

TS Member
The best level of security is the unseen one...

Having lots of visible ones (such at say, Thorpe, and Towers on particular days), can be really off-putting in some cases...
 

Mark-Cal

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Shambala
I have to agree, it rather spoils the escapism of a theme park if you're tripping over security guards all the time.
In seven visits this year already it's the first time I've even noticed them, and believe me the guy who came to sort out the bother on The Smiler wasn't the sort of person you would easily miss ! :eek:
 

djtruefitt

TS Team
You do see security at Towers but very varely on a normal day, you of course see them alot more around scarefest and fireworks (and Easter Sunday :p). Compared to Thorpe where there is always a high level of security.

Anyway I was on park on Tuesday and did the Smiler a few times, at the start of the day it was only running four trains, then half way through the day for some reason a train was taken off and left on the transfer track above the indoor queue line.

Train 2 was by far the worse train, I ended up on it 3 times and it was horrible, certainly my worse rides ever on the Smiler. Even going up both lift hills there was a lot of rattling and vibrating. Then going around the round its really hurt from it.t nice at all, my shoulders really hurt from it. Later on I had train 1 and that was much smoother.
 

nemesis1994

TS Member
Favourite Ride
The Smiler just above Nemesis
According to ride count the smiler has been closed for at least two hours and all the queues have stayed the same has it broken down or is my computer playing up on ride count? :S
 

Rob

TS Team
Favourite Ride
Steel Vengeance
A point regarding The Smiler from Sunday. I'm not sure which one it was but one of the trains sounded horrendous on the track. It was rattling around like a broken shopping trolley, making some very strange and abnormal noises at certain points on the track. The other three trains that were running sounded as normal. Something definitely isn't right.

:)
 

rightbackgranty

TS Member
Rob said:
A point regarding The Smiler from Sunday. I'm not sure which one it was but one of the trains sounded horrendous on the track. It was rattling around like a broken shopping trolley, making some very strange and abnormal noises at certain points on the track. The other three trains that were running sounded as normal. Something definitely isn't right.

:)

I noted this too. It was a "frictiony" sound in my opinion - sounded like the trains wheels rubbing against some part of the train. It didn't seem to be affecting performance but didn't sound great.

Train 2 was very smooth on Sunday though, quite comfortable!
 

James

TS Founding Member
I think one of the trains sounded like that last week too. On my visit at the end of April one of them sounded very much like a 'broken trolley'. Sounded like it was at breaking point - not the greatest sound to hear when you're going around the track!
 

Rob

TS Team
Favourite Ride
Steel Vengeance
It does sound concerning, I wouldn't be surprised if it did put people off.

I rode train 1 which seemed to be ok. I do think that the ride is developing new jolts though, it seems to throw you around a lot more than when it opened. Although there were no rough vibrations it was for me an uncomfortble ride.

:)
 

Tim

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Air / Blue Fire
I also noticed this train too just after James visited. I rode it a few times sitting above the wheel which seemed to be causing the problem and it was a significantly rougher ride. Really couldn't enjoy the experience so I ended up going around again (thankfully there was no queue at this point) just so I could properly enjoy the ride.

That's my main gripe against The Smiler, it's a lottery as to if you get a good ride or not. I'd love to rate the ride higher as a good run truly is fantastic and I love the concept but the above is not acceptable for such a major new ride.

And don't even get me started on the horrendous queue and general quality of the finished product.
 

Dave

TS Founding Member
Interesting point about the smiler and saw, we rode Karachi at Tripsdrill on the TS junket trip. And despite it being a Gerst it was fairly smooth (had one mild jolt). Yet Saw is intolerable and Smiler is starting to develop a lot of roughness.

Curious that in both cases the rides groundwork was done by TG Cruise....

.... Hmmmmm
 
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