Alton Towers, a theme park located in Staffordshire, England, home to the record breaking Smiler was where I went yesterday as part of a school trip and let’s just say: I plucked the courage to go onto Smiler – the world record breaking rollercoaster with 14 loops!
The tension sure builds up as you face the blinding lights and haunting music as you enter towards the ride. As you queue, you see the grin on all of the riders over and over again due to the ‘laughing gas’ which is supposed to make you smile as you ride (though it didn’t seem to work on me!). The 14 loops right in front of you view suddenly re-enforces your mind – this is a record breaking ride so it isn’t gonna be sweet and nice.
To be honest, the wait before the ride is the most haunting. Your mind plays tricks on you (which is intended). The screens are projecting mind-blowing visions of how you’ll feel on the ride as you feel the nerves and it really is creepy.
But the actual ride is amazing.
I think it’s simply made to look more overwhelming than it actually is. Once the initial fear has gone and you’re on the ride, the adrenaline rush is great! I didn’t feel as if I was passing 14 loops, which is surprising to think has happened after you’re off. The ride lasts 160 seconds, though the time passes quite quickly. The tension is truly built as you rise vertically, only to face a L-O-N-G drop down at speeds of upto 85km/hour. To be honest, that fearful feeling, as well as the intense adrenaline rush only seems to be felt on the ride. Unlike other rides, I had forgotten the feeling of it. Though, apparently there were a lot of ‘psychological effects’ influenced on the ride and before it.
My verdict: Definitely a ride to visit if you’re brave and a true adrenaline junkie! You won’t regret it!