The Smiler has started its life with a lot of down time. It's first season has been very unpredictable with maintenance being under taken or que lines being evacuated half way through the day. Hopefully 2014 will be a better year and problems will be ironed out. I suspect a lot of work will be done during closed season. My best advice is to get to The Smiler first, it is worth the que wait if the ride does close later in the day. Hopefully this won't be an issue in 2014.
The ride is a spectacle to watch and you get some great views in the que line as the trains race past your head. The indoor part of the que is quite an experience before you reach the clinical white station. Throughout the Smiler theme is overkill but this is not a bad thing. It all adds to a rich, involved experience. You can play The Smiler game on your smart phone, tablet or computer and scan images in the que to unlock further elements.
The ride is a record breaking 14 inversions and one that lasts a considerable time. It has a great bit of air time and the G force is fairly strong in places. You might feel slightly dizzy coming off the ride and it is little wonder with all the inversions. When leaving The Smiler, the exit is made to confuse you with an optical illusion that may make you feel more dizzy than you are.
I'm sure the ride will make the grumpiest person smile and want to ride it again.
I did feel the second half of the ride a little bumpy but not in an uncomfortable way. I do wonder if this will get worse with age and become similar to Saw The Ride.
Alton Towers now has a great addition to it ride portfolio, a thrilling compact extravaganza that will keep you smiling. Top ten excitement but doesn't beat Nemesis in my opinion. Lots of merchandise to take home and a two separate photos combined in the on ride photo.
Thrill seekers now have more reason to visit the park. This isn't a family ride but teenage thrill seeker will test themselves on The Smiler.