The Smiler, The Alton Towers Resort’s new rollercoaster, is continuing to experience issues preventing it from opening as planned.

Originally planned to open in March, the ride suffered considerable setbacks during the construction phase which resulted in the official opening of the ride being pushed back to May 23rd. Earlier today, TowersTimes uncovered information about both the original delay as well as details on some of the more recent developments.

Early Construction:

A contributing factor to the ride’s failure to open in March appears to be issues with the groundwork during the early part of the construction. The HSE’s website states the following:

“Failure to provide trench supports, box’s or battering to ensure that the sewer pipe trench (or part of it) did not collapse.”


“Failure to provide supports or battering to ensure that the faces of sections of the main excavation (or part of it) at the site of the new ride did not collapse.”


As reported on TowersTimes earlier this year, the ride continued to experience issues during the final part of construction with various supports and pieces of track not fitting together as planned. However work continued swiftly and it looked as though the ride was all set to make its debut at a media event on May 17th followed by a grand opening on May 23rd.

Media Event Failure:

‘I’m hugely disappointed I never got to go on it. It’s called The Smiler and I was sitting there thinking what is there to smile about.”
Global Superstar – Tinchy Stryder


“It’s a shame I didn’t get to go on it but I’m glad I was late because OMG if I’d have been stuck on it, I would have freaked out.”
Renowned Popstar – Jessica Wright.

The Smiler experienced technical issues during the media event, leaving journalists and celebrities alike stranded on the lift hill. The Mirror and The Daily Mail covered the events with some unflattering headlines the following day. These can be found by following the links below.

However, The Alton Towers Resort continued to advertise the ride would open as planned on May 23rd with nightly testing taking place and various journalists being filmed riding it regularly.

However, The Alton Towers Resort continued to advertise the ride would open as planned on May 23rd, but with less than 20 hours to go before the ride’s intended opening on May 23rd, The Alton Towers Resort announced the ride was suffering ‘teething problems’ and would not be opening that day. TowersTimes was at the resort for this day and we have considerable coverage via our Facebook as well as our new TowersTimes Live feature. Our updates show the ride’s surrounding area and queueline is still under construction and staff training is still taking place. The ride has not been seen running during regular opening hours.

After-Hours Incident:

TowersTimes understands that between the park closing on Thursday 23rd May and opening on Friday 24th, a further technical issue occurred during the ride’s testing. This resulted in X Sector being closed to the public for the entire day so work could continue in preparing the ride for opening.

No details have been released by The Alton Towers Resort and references to the ride’s opening date have now been removed from the official website. Due to the ongoing issues with the ride we suggest that if you are planning to visit solely to ride The Smiler, you should consult the official Alton Towers Resort website for further information on the ride’s opening.

TowersTimes will continue to bring you more details as and when we hear them. Our Facebook page and community forum are great places to check for updates during this time.


TowersTimes aims to bring you the latest news, as it happens and in our effort to deliver events as they unfold, TowersTimes apologises for any inferences that may have been construed due to the original articles’ wording. We aim to work with the resort to bring you the very latest on this ground-breaking and exciting ride.