Alton Towers - The Smiler!

Monday, 3 June 2013

I am super excited because today I went to Alton Towers Resort Park (A theme park for those of you who don't know) it was my first time going and I was apprehensive about how busy it would be despite being a Monday and during school time because of the huge press 'The Smiler' Roller Coaster had been given as the first of its kind and a world record holder for having 14 loops or 'upside-down bits'

We first ran to Nemesis, Nemesis Sub-Terra, Air and Ripsaw. Of that bunch my favorite was Air. I literally felt like I was flying, your body goes parallel to the floor so that you can strike your best Superman pose, it was really oddly relaxing and smooth.

Then we took the cable car to the Dark Forest where we went on Rita, Th13teen and Oblivion. My favourite of that bunch was thirteen because it was so unexpected, I had no idea what was going to happen and it was the most surprising and unusual, plus the queue was decorated with creepy things to set the mood.

Then, since we'd got all the main ones done and it was only 2pm we decided to go to The Smiler to see how long the queue was and whether we were prepared to wait. We nipped into Hex on the way just because it looked interesting (it wasn't) and then grabbed lunch and joined The Smiler queue. The first part that was slightly off putting is that we had to queue just to get into the main queue. Nonetheless we were told we'd be waiting three hours but we ended up waiting about an hour and 45 minutes, The Smiler's presence is very overpowering since there is such a lot of track, it's really the longest roller coaster I've been on, I think it comes out to around 2 and a half minutes. There's also a huge circular screen in the center of the track playing weird images of cartoon lambs hopping, and all other random and confusing things. Since we had a lot of time to kill we were able to see all the different aspects of the track and even count the fourteen loops.
There was an area that constantly chugged out steam, an area that blasted bright lights in your eyes, an area that had giant yellow dusters rotating in front of you, an area with swirling circular optical illusions. There's probably other aspects to it, but I can't remember too clearly. While queuing there was the persistent 'Smiler' tune which was like a haunting child nursery rhyme being played over and over.

Just before you get seated you go into a dark room with lights and optical illusions projected on the walls, it was fun but I started to feel a bit suffocated after a while.

Each cart sits a fair few people which always makes me feel safer than going in rows of two or four. The start is great and unexpected but I can't recall any straight track, it is just one loop after another after another after another, there is hardly time to catch your breath between, which is probably the whole idea. As for all the different aspects (steam, lights etc) I can genuinely say I didn't notice them, so for me that aspect is gimmicky. I had my eyes open the whole time but it's so quick that they don't have the hypnotizing affect that they promise. There's a little break half way around the track that I thought was the end but then you see a wall inscription saying 'Half way' then it takes a whole new aggressive turn with harsher loops, I did a little damage to my neck even though I braced my head against the back of the seat so it is pretty rough and I came off feeling thoroughly sick and not sue which way is up and which is down.

I did enjoy it, I'm glad that I queued for it and I would go on it again it's just a shame that there is really no hypnotizing element to it whatsoever, despite the attention to detail.


Post a Comment