Hey, you know that new awesome rollercoaster that’s all over the ad breaks at the moment. You know, the one we featured on Sick Chirpse a couple of weeks back. Well it’s not actually working yet.
Park-goers who made the trip over the bank holiday weekend on the assumption they’d be riding it “because the TV said so” were in for a nasty shock when they discovered the ride was in fact closed indefinitely for testing. If you bothered to look on their website before going you’d of actually found this out but no doubt many didn’t and were suitably pissed off when they got there.
Now I’m sure Alton Towers (to an extent) have budgets/marketing schedules that they must follow, but running a round-the-clock TV campaign for your new ride when your new ride isn’t actually open is a pretty sneaky move, dare I say.
On arrival to the park you are greeted with a sign that says something along the lines of: “A million apologies but due to unforeseen teething problems The Smiler will not be open today… there are still over 50 other fantastic attractions to be enjoyed”. It’s basically one of those annoyingly chirpy PR pieces that tries to sugarcoat the massive dollop of shit you are actually being served.
You are then handed a map of the park plastered in promotional imagery for The Smiler; the front page features a picture of Cherie Blair riding it which makes you even more angry that it’s closed as any ride endorsed by an ex-PM’s wife must be bloody good…
Confusingly, there are loads of kids walking around in Smiler T-Shirts/caps that I can only assume their parents have been badgered into buying them so they shut up moaning about the ride closure as if it is somehow their fault.
Then you see the ride and it does actually look pretty damn impressive. Bummer.
To be fair, you can’t really open a rollercoaster if it is not completely finished. If you’ve seen Final Destination 3 then unintentionally hilarious as the opening scene may be if it actually happened the backlash would be somewhat worse than what AT are currently experiencing for overshooting the launch date.
So, has the anticipated ‘Smiler’ launch been handled as well as it could be given the circumstances… or have Alton Towers kind of screwed this up a bit?
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