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The Smiler © Alton Towers
© Alton Towers

Thursday, January 24, 2013 | This article is listed in the sections Magazine and Amusement parks.

"The Smiler" at Alton Towers

The Smiler © Alton Towers
© Alton Towers
The British division of Merlin Entertainment is already known for its bizarre publicity stunts – remembering the state the crash dummies were in after testing on the roller coaster "The Swarm” or the prohibition to put hands up while riding roller coasters to crack down on unsavoury armpit odour. With the currently running marketing campaign for Alton Towers' new "Secret Weapon”, scheduled to open this season, the English have excelled themselves.

"The Smiler", name of the upcoming attraction, links to the mysterious logo of the conventionalized smiley with hypnotic eyes. According to own statements, some hundred sheep were marked around the country with this very same symbol. Moreover, an image film was posted summarising sites where the ride's smiling logo had been cropping up all over London, including the Big Ben. Eagle eyed social network users have been sharing photos of where it has been spotted in less than no time. It can be assumed that Merlin Entertainment is again trying to appear in the English media by using extraordinary pictures in order to enhance the new attraction's level of awareness.

"The Smiler” will be a new roller coaster in typical Gerstlauer Eurofighter design, most probably themed to the history of scientific experiments with people at the beginning of the past century. A record-breaking coaster in terms of length, height or speed is obviously out of reach, give Alton Towers' extreme height restrictions. But it wouldn't be necessary anyway. The highest drop will amount to 30 metres, and the maximum speed of approximately 85 kilometres per hour is all one can ask for – although the track length of almost 1,200 metres will know how to score. "The Smiler" is supposed to have a 165 seconds ride duration, looping elements included, and its trains will seat 16 passengers each.

The park's ninth roller coaster is surely going to be one of the most interesting new attractions in 2013 in Europe, particularly as the €20 million structure is said to boast impressive features, if the rumours are true. From the moment when the ride is ceremonially inaugurated in May, it is up to the visitors whether or not to experience "The Smiler" with a broad grin.

Mysterious symbols all over London

© parkscout/MV/AF

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