The Smiler

Alton Towers has promised that its new The Smiler roller coaster will "marmalise" riders, with the attraction set to feature a record-breaking number of inversions.

Analysis of the recently-released The Smiler: The Game, along with aerial photos posted to fansite Towers Times, suggest that the coaster will feature at least 14 inversions. This would comfortably smash the current record of 10, held by Colossus at sister park Thorpe Park.

Alton Towers is executing a major marketing campaign for the Smiler ahead of its expected debut in May, roping in scientists from New Scientist magazine to comment on the psychological effects of the ride. It has promised 5 "Mind Manipulations", which are detailed below:

  • The Inoculator - a jab of happiness as you pass by stage one of the Marmalisation process
  • The Tickler - aims to tickle you until you cant resist smiling
  • The Flasher - a giant flashing device, blinding you as you hurtle underneath the leg
  • The Giggler - infectious, intoxicating laughing gas
  • The Hypnotiser - has the power to disorientate, mesmerize and disrupt your self-awareness

Legendary designer John Wardley, who is due to retire after completing work on The Smiler, commented: "We know people get a thrill when they ride roller coasters, but in order to heighten that feeling of excitement we needed to design a roller coaster that also incorporates a variety of mental cues. The Smiler will be different from other traditional coasters in that it will combine intense physical effects to put the body through its paces, along with the unique mental elements to mess with the mind. After riding the coaster they will have experienced full mind and body marmalisation.”

The Smiler, which had previously been known by its codename of "SW7", is currently under construction at a cost of some £18 million. Its circuit will feature two lift hills, and will be located alongside the existing Oblivion roller coaster in the X-Sector area.

The plot and theming of The Smiler is designed to tie in with The Sanctuary, the horror maze that debuted at the Scarefest 2012 Halloween events. To compensate for the absence of The Smiler in March and April, the park has confirmed that it will bring back the maze for the start of the new season.

For more details of Alton Towers' new addition for 2013, see Theme Park Tourist's detailed breakdown of The Smiler plans.

You can keep up to date with the latest confirmed and rumored opening dates for new attractions through Theme Park Tourist's "New Attraction Watch" section, and by signing up for our weekly newsletter.


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