Smiling at The Smiler – An Alton Towers Review

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Guest post by Superbreak’s Marketing Services Exec, Catherine Trueman…


With a few days away from the Superbreak office, Staffordshire was the chosen destination for a short break with the family and Alton Towers was at the top of the attraction agenda. Staying at a relaxing country lodge just a few miles away, Alton Towers was an ideal spot to enjoy a full day of thrills. With rides running from 10am till 9pm during the Half-term Halloween Scarefest, I was prepared for some long queues! Not to miss a trick (or treat), I headed for the Single Rider Queue which is perfect if you’re not in a large group. Once everybody from the main queue has been loaded onto a roller coaster, the assistants check for empty seats, they then let Single Riders through to fill the spaces. I found you only end up a couple of carriages behind your friends and family and queuing in this way split my waiting time in half for most rides.

Being an adrenalin junkie I couldn’t wait any longer to experience Alton Towers’ new ride for 2013 – The Smiler – so that’s where I headed first. After half an hour of watching others scream their hearts out I had my chance to experience The Smiler’s mind manipulations and series of twisted psychological effects… “You belong to The Smiler” or so they say? My verdict – it’s up there with the best! For someone that usually has their hands in the air like they just don’t care, I had to hold on for dear life – getting a little nervous as one of the lifts is completely vertical! You are catapulted through corkscrews, mind-blowing twists and turns. The ‘world’s first’ 14 looper was incredibly disorientating! Staggering off the ride I had many more thrills to come…

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Having been to Alton Towers quite a few times before I knew what to expect with the likes of Rita, Oblivion, Thi3teen, and Nemesis. However, this year I got to ride Air in the front row seat and ‘feel the exhilaration of being weightless’. For hard-core fans, I recommend waiting that extra five or so minutes to appreciate the rides from the front row; especially for the incredible Rita Queen of Speed! Who wouldn’t want to be catapulted from 0-100km/ph in 2.5 seconds?

Overall I had a fabulously fun day and was grinning like a Cheshire Cat for every ‘smile for the camera’ moment. Having the park open till late meant that I could make the most of not only the high-octane rides, but those that offer a little more light-hearted fun. I prepared to Duel with the ghosts and ghouls in gloomy wood, climbed aboard the Runaway Mine Train and made a splash on the Congo River Rapids (with hilarious consequences!).  I do agree there’s something for everyone at Alton Towers Theme Park.

Alton Towers opens for a new season in March 2014. Our tickets for next year will be on sale soon!

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