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 © Alton Towers
© Alton Towers

Thursday, June 06, 2013 | This article is listed in the sections Amusement parks and Magazine.

The Smiler launch

 © Alton Towers
© Alton Towers
The Smiler in the evening
The patience of those who were dying to get a ride on Alton Towers' newest attraction The Smiler has been truly put to the test over the last weeks. Past Friday was the long anticipated day when the record-breaking 14-loop roller coaster was finally launched.

Delay due to "unforeseen teething problems"

Initially, the expected opening of the 21 million EUR thrill machine, codenamed Secret Weapon 7, was anticipated to be in March, accurately at the start of the 2013 season, but this could not be achieved because of construction delays. Then the ride was scheduled to open on 23rd May, as announced in January. When the track was completed on 24th April, everything seemed to be in perfect order, but during a media event for the steel coaster in mid-May, one train was stranded halfway up the first lift hill, so that a few of the journalists were trapped. Following this incident, the opening date has had to be put back again. Particularly those who had booked advance tickets for that day were annoyed by the delayed opening. Alton Towers poured oil on troubled waters by allowing them to change their tickets, free of charge – a fast and simple solution.

The question of the "unforeseen teething problems" still remains unanswered, leaving much room for speculations. Whatever the reasons might have been, hardly anybody expected the technical problems could be fixed that soon. The opening on 31st May surprised a lot of people and put a smile on the face of those dying to get a ride on this Gerstlauer Eurofighter coaster at the same time. In any case, many visitors were spotted with a broad grin on their faces that day.

Offride video of "The Smiler"

© parkscout/AF


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