Alton Towers’ latest rollercoaster, The Smiler, opened over a week ago. With the immense amount of positive reviews clearly outweighing the negative, The Smiler has been a massive hit with guests of the resort. It was therefore only going to be a short amount of time before Fastrack was introduced for the ride.
Fastrack isn’t normally introduced for a brand new ride until later on in the season, much like Thirteen when it opened in 2010. However, the sheer popularity of The Smiler [which has led to three hour queues and the ride having to close at 8pm on some days] has seen the introduction of Fastrack for the ride.
With regards to the Fastrack, TowersTimes have approached Liz Greenwood, Alton Towers Resort’s Corporate Communications Manager, who kindly informed us of the following:
“We have introduced very limited numbers of Fastracks for The Smiler to help us manage the queue line more effectively – ie, by opening the Fastrack line we can take some people out of the overflow area. We’re very much reviewing it on a daily basis to ensure we get the balance right.”
At present, only a certain amount of Fastracks for The Smiler are being sold each hour, so they sell out very quickly!
In other news however, The Smiler has stalled yet again, this time for the third occasion. On both previous occasions, a train has ‘valleyed’ on the batwing element of the ride circuit. The last stall, which occurred last week, saw an unweighted train stop in the centre, and had to be removed by a crane. There was speculation that the lack of weight caused the train to be stopped. It was also noted that the yellow wheel covers were removed from all trains after this incident. Thankfully, The Smiler opened the next day.
The latest stalling of the ride vehicle occurred again in the batwing element, though in this instance weighted dummies were being used. It is believed that the rides computer system caused the trim brakes on the first airtime hill to be applied unnecessarily, causing the vehicle to come to a halt. A crane is currently on site to remove the stalled vehicle, and X Sector will remain open to the guests, something which hasn’t happened on the past two occasions.
Liz Greenwood went on to inform TowersTimes that Alton Towers are working closely with Gerstlauer in order to rectify the problem. We will have information regarding The Smiler opening again as soon as we get it.