Alton Towers is at it again. The UK park based in Staffordshire, England is about to unleash another “secret weapon” on Brits with The Smiler. While the park’s last ride, Thirteen had a supernatural theme, this time they’re billing The Smiler as the world’s most terrifying roller coaster thanks to its psychological elements. The first of which will be a pre-lift hill vortex tunnel that will invert riders a number of times. Thanks to this, the ride will be able to boast a record-setting number of inversions.
Next, riders will face several traditional loops while encountering a number of themed-elements like over-sized hypodermic needles and hypnotic swirls meant to disorient riders. The mind marmaliser will be an odd spider-like centerpiece for the ride.
As always, Alton Towers has been busy building awareness of the new ride. The park’s signature brand of off-season hype (remember the rumored age restriction for Thirteen?) has been used to promote The Smiler as well. The ride’s cool logo has branded on sheep and projected on buildings across the UK including Big Ben.
All the hype and record-setting aside, it’s undeniable that there’s nothing quite like The Smiler’s unique rotating element. Plus, the other large Gerstlauer loopers like SAW -The Ride and Takabisha have been well-reviewed. While I haven’t seen an official POV video, I’d probably consider The Smiler the best-looking new roller coaster to open this year outside of the U.S. This coaster should have a lot going for it. I’m looking forward to reviews in the coming months.