The Smiler – Open at Last

By Michael Mander

Following much anticipation, The Smiler at Alton Towers Resort opened to members of the public on Friday.

The ride, which is the first in the world with 14 inversions, is themed around the Ministry of Joy, and is an experiment to produce ‘smiling advocates’.


The Smiler is Alton Towers' latest ride
Riders can finally enjoy the ride

The lift hill broke down during the press event on the 22nd May, leaving journalists and celebrities (including Tinchy Strider) stuck on the ride. Many were left disappointed when the ride failed to meet its 23rd May opening due to ‘teething problems’.

The resort also raised controversy following its decision not to pull a television advertisement for The Smiler – despite the fact it was not functioning. The resort did, however, compensate anyone who had booked tickets or a hotel stay specifically to ride The Smiler.

The problems were fixed early Friday morning – and the ride was fully functional by 12:00. AltonTowers made the announcement on its Twitter feed and their website. On its opening day, The Smiler attracted queues of up to 3 hours long, with many eager to ‘get corrected’.


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