The Smiler is a steel roller coaster, manufactured by Gerstlauer and located at Alton Towers in Staffordshire, United Kingdom. It has taken the record for the most inversions on any roller coaster in the World, with 14. The Smiler opened on 31 May 2013, after a number of delays, and has since suffered a number of technical issues and breakdowns.
The Smiler features two lift hills, the first being a conventional sloped lift hill and the second a vertical lift hill. The original plans showed a minimum of eight inversions in the outdoor section, including a unique intertwined cobra roll and batwing, a sea serpent roll and two diving loops. However, as of the release of the trailer for The Smiler game on 21 February 2013, photographs and images of the game have shown six further inversions, including two inverted drops (after both the first and second lift hills), a heartline roll found in the dark ride section, a corkscrew after the batwing element and two corkscrews following the cobra roll prior to the end of the ride. This would take the total number of ride inversions to 14, three more than any other coaster in the world. There are also 3 large pieces of theming around the ride and immediate area. The roller coaster also extends the pedestrianised space within X-Sector by including a new plaza below the ride.
A key feature of the ride is the large spider-like structure with a height of around 15 meters. Called ‘The Marmaliser,’ it has 5 legs, each with a distinct function to manipulate riders into smiling. The roller coaster itself is intertwined within the structure, which in turn interacts with the riders to enhance the experience.
Type: Steel - Infinity Coaster
Lift/launch system: 2
Height: 72 ft (22 m)
Length: 1,170 m (3,840 ft)
Speed; 85 km/h (53 mph)
Height restriction: 140 cm (4 ft 7 in)
Trains: 5 trains with 4 cars. Riders are arranged 4 across in a single row for a total of 16 riders per train.