The Smiler Leaves Many Frowning

Many visitors flocked to the guest services (photo credit: TowersStreet)
By Michael Mander
 

Alton Towers’ have announced that The Smiler is experiencing technical difficulties, leaving many visitors disappointed and frustrated

The world’s first 14-looping roller coaster seems to be doing more bad than good for the Staffordshire theme park.

The Smiler, which missed its scheduled opening day twice, stopped midway around the track during testing this morning. The ride, which is believed to have stalled, has lead to an evacuation of X-Sector, meaning guests will be unable to ride Oblivon, Submission and Enterprise.

Alton Towers confirmed on their Twitter feed that the ride would be closed all day due to technical reasons, but intend to open the ride as soon as possible.

A spokesperson told Airgates: “Due to technical issues during the usual daily pre-opening checks, The Smiler is regrettably closed at the present time.”

“Whilst the majority of new rollercoasters experience issues to some degree when they first open, the difference with The Smiler is the complexity of these as it employs such cutting edge technology.”

“We are always looking to push the boundaries of ride technology to make ride experiences even more exciting for our visitors.”

“We know it’s frustrating, for us just as much as for our guests, and our focus now is on resolving these as quickly as possible so we can get the ride re-open.”

 

The Smiler stopped midway through the ride, and X-Sector had to be evacuated (photo credit: TowersTimes)

The Smiler stopped midway through the ride, and X-Sector had to be evacuated (photo credit: TowersTimes)

The breakdown of The Smiler, Alton Towers headline ride, has caused ripple effects elsewhere in the park, with TH13TEEN’s queue times piling up to 90 minutes.

Many visitors are also frustrated, saying that Alton Towers should never have opened the ride if it wasn’t fully tested. An Alton Towers spokesperson responded to this: “No amount of planning or pre-programming of the ride can prevent [technical issues]. The Smiler is an extremely complex ride.”

Following the breakdown, visitors flocked to guest services to vent their anger at the situation.

When asked what guest services could do to compensate visitors, an Alton Towers spokesperson told Airgates: “We are revalidating tickets so if people came specifically to ride The Smiler, they will be able to come back on another day free of charge.”

Many visitors flocked to the guest services (photo credit: TowersStreet)

Many visitors flocked to the guest services (photo credit: TowersStreet)

Update: the ride stalled again on the morning of the 10th June.

 

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About: Michael Mander

I mainly cover Thorpe Park, Alton Towers, Adventure Island, Paramount London and other attractions in the south of England. Contact me at: Michael@Airgates.co.uk

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