REVIEW: Blur the line between illusion and reality with Alton Towers’ new ride The Smiler

Thrill-seekers have every reason to smile about Alton Towers’ awesome new ride.

Wednesday, 31st July 2013, 11:50 am
The Smiler.

The Smiler really does tick all the boxes – it makes you grin, it makes you scream and it leaves you desperate for more rollercoaster action.

I’d be absolutely amazed if anyone’s not ridden the hit attraction at the Staffordshire theme park and thought ‘wow, just wow’.

At first glance, the titanic ride – which has the equivalent of ten football pitches of track – looks like a jumble of metal with pieces twisting and bending in all sorts of directions.

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The man behind the mechanical masterpiece, John Wardley, said he deliberately designed it to “mess with the minds” of riders.

After reading up on all the hype, daredevils from team DT boarded the £18m rollercoaster very excitedly – and just a smidgeon nervously.

Not for the faint-hearted, The Smiler boasts a record-breaking 14 – yes, 14 – loops.

Thankfully none of us had had a big breakfast...

It reaches intense speeds of almost 60mph and includes a heart-stopping vertical climb and drops of 60 metres.

But that’s not all – the marmalising attraction features a series of psychological effects including hypnotic spinning wheels and blinding lights designed to blur the line between illusion and reality.

It even sprays something – laughing gas, according to the Alton Towers’ website – right in your face.

The Smiler really does live up to its promise of messing with your mind – most of the time you don’t know if you’re coming or going during the three-minute thriller – but blimey is it great fun.

We left absolutely pumped with adrenaline – and a bit wobbly! – and desperate to enjoy the buzz of The Smiler again.

The ride, which was built on the site previously occupied by the Black Hole, has shot straight to the top of the list of greats at the popular theme park – joining a whole host of much-loved classics like Nemesis, Oblivion and Rita.

It can be difficult to pass the time over the long school holidays – but Alton Towers offers the perfect family day.

So go on and treat yourself and the kids to some rollercoaster fun.

Honestly, you won’t stop smiling...

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