The Smiler, Alton Towers, UK

The vertical life on The Smiler

The vertical lift on The Smiler

Speed 2/5

Surprise factor 5/5

Fear factor 3/5

Vertigo factor 2/5

Overall 5/5

MY VERDICT

The Smiler… OMG, EPIC! Upside-down 14 times – wheee, fun! The great thing about The Smiler is that it’s not too fast, so you can see what’s coming – all the more frightening, mwa ha ha. That’s better than getting messed up like you do with Nemesis where it all goes too fast for you to take it in. The Smiler is quite long and that’s good – and quite unusual.

There are rumours about The Smiler having laughing gas on it, but that’s not true – trust me because I’ve been on it. The ‘mind manipulations’ are really just thematic extras and not so much part of the ride. The vertical lift (my first one) was amazing and weird.

Seeing the ride as you walk towards it, it’s easy to see why it’s the most expensive ever built in the UK.

STATS

Launched 31 May 2013

Cost £18 million

Duration 2 mins 45 secs

Maximum speed 53mph (85kph)

Maximum height 22 metres

Maximum drop 30 metres

G force 4.5

Inversions 14

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