** UPDATE – 24th May 2013 – 1.30pm **
Notices on the official Alton Towers website and around the park have been updated today to inform guests that The Smiler will not open on Saturday 25th May.
It is has been reported by our members that X-Sector has been completely closed off making Oblivion, Enterprise and Submission unavailable to all guests. A large crane has appeared on the site suggesting that further construction work is being carried out on The Smiler.
Adverts for The Smiler continue to be broadcast on all major TV channels and networks but with the park refusing to commit to an opening date, we would advise anyone who has planned or is planning a trip Alton Towers within the next 7 days, specifically with the intention of riding The Smiler, to rearrange your trip for a later date.
Exactly when The Smiler will open is anyone’s guess at this point.
** UPDATE – 23rd May 2013 – 1:45pm **
The TowersTimes team continue to report updates from the park via our Live Blog and Facebook page. There are notices around the park and the official Alton Towers website has been updated to inform visitors that The Smiler will not open on Friday 24th May.
Speculation on our forums has begun on whether The Smiler will open at the weekend on Saturday. Unfortunately the park have still not confirmed any new opening date, and seem to be playing it on a day-by-day basis.
We will keep you updated.
** UPDATE – 22nd May 2013 – 9:00pm **
Despite some confused rumours circulating after the below news story was posted today, we can confirm 100% that The Smiler will not be opening tomorrow (the 23rd May). You may still visit the park if you wish as all other rides an attractions will continue to operate as normal but The Smiler will not.
At the present time, Alton Towers have still not confirmed a new opening date. We will keep you updated with any news as we get it.
The original news article as reported on 22-05-2012:
Alton Towers have confirmed that their latest rollercoaster, The Smiler, will not be opening on its scheduled opening date of Thursday 23rd May. This isn’t the first time the ride has missed a planned opening date.
The ride was originally scheduled to open on March 16th. However, it became apparant over the winter months that the ride may not make this deadline and suffered significant delays. When the name of the rollercoaster was revealed, it was also shown that the rides opening date would be pushed back to ‘May 2013’ putting a variety of potential opening dates down on the table.
Finally, on 8th May, TowersTimes reported that The Smiler would be opening on Thursday May 23rd. However, a statement from the Alton Towers Resort says this will no longer happen, quoting from their official Facebook page today:
“Due to unforeseen teething problems, The Smiler will not be open on 23rd May. If you have any immediate questions, please visit the link below for the most up to date information – we will ensure the latest details are posted on this page on a regular basis.
If you are visiting this weekend to ride The Smiler, keep in touch by visiting the link below.
TowersTimes have however recieved news from the park hinting that the coaster may still potentially open on the 23rd:
“Our contacts on park have informed us of the reason for the delay. It turns out that the ride has indeed been signed off by Gerst, and there are no technical issues that we have been made aware of at this time.
The reason for the delay, is that Towers are now still waiting on the health and safety executives, to sign off on the fire exits, evacuation procedures, and all manner of other H&S paperwork/risk assessments.
Some workers were still under the impression that it should still open on time tomorrow. This suggests that Towers are playing it safe and stating that it won’t open, in the event that there are unforeseen circumstances.”
A further update from team members currently at the park suggested that not all staff are aware of the situation, causing further confusion:
“Update from TowersTimes at Alton Towers Resort… Half the staff are saying The Smiler is defiantly opening tomorrow, and the website is wrong! Others are saying its not going to open due to Health & Safety not signing it off.“
At the moment, the park have not made any further statements and have not confirmed a future opening date.
We would remind everyone not to get your hopes up, as Alton Towers would not have made the decision to announce its closure tomorrow unless they have genuine concerns that it won’t be cleared in time.
Our recommendation is to go tomorrow anyway and expect it to be closed, and if it does open it will be a bonus.