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MakoMania
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Re: The Smiler - General Discussion

Sat Mar 10, 2018 4:51 pm

^The Universal Orlando system is really bad in my opinion, I much prefer this even though baggage hold was better.
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Re: The Smiler - General Discussion

Sat Mar 10, 2018 4:53 pm

I don't understand the point of there being no SRQ when there is no loss of staff member for ride batching. It doesn't take much more effort! Trains are being sent with countless amounts of empty seats. Sort yourselves out Towers :roll:
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Dan
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Re: The Smiler - General Discussion

Sat Mar 10, 2018 5:03 pm

Smiler313 wrote:
I don't understand the point of there being no SRQ when there is no loss of staff member for ride batching. It doesn't take much more effort! Trains are being sent with countless amounts of empty seats. Sort yourselves out Towers :roll:


There is still a staff member batching people onto the ride. With the removal of the baggage hold and SRQ, they must have figured out a system to lose those 2 (or 3) staff members.

I imagine RAP and FT will go up the old SRQ line and main queue will remain as normal.
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Dan
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Re: The Smiler - General Discussion

Sat Mar 10, 2018 7:07 pm

Apologies for the double post, but TowersStreet have posted a series of photos around the operational changes on The Smiler for the coming season.

As has already been discussed, the baggage hold has been removed and replaced by a cage on the station platform. The Fastrack queue has also changed route, it now enters via the old Single Rider entrance and goes through the fire exit at the bottom of the stairs leading up to the station. There has been an additional fence installed at the bottom of the stairs, presumably confirming there will no longer be a member of staff at the merge point.

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Re: The Smiler - General Discussion

Sat Mar 10, 2018 7:14 pm

It looks a mess. I'm really not impressed with how The Smiler looks now. It looks so tired and it looks like it is in need of some serious TLC. The double door entrance looks bad but I suppose this is the only way they can overcome the fire exit problem and barrier routes. Please Alton, spend a little money improving the theming!
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Re: The Smiler - General Discussion

Sat Mar 10, 2018 7:15 pm

The Smiler needs a lot of time and money spending on it!
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Dan
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Re: The Smiler - General Discussion

Sat Mar 10, 2018 7:29 pm

I don’t know about anyone else, but the worst thing for me out of all these changes (aside from the SRQ removal) is the truly awful job they’ve done of blocking the windows to the old baggage hold.

Maybe it’s not yet fully painted and will be made to blend in more before next Saturday. I can only hope :-k
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Re: The Smiler - General Discussion

Sat Mar 10, 2018 7:33 pm

That is part of the problem. It looks so bad but the double doors doesn't do the ride any justice either!!
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Re: The Smiler - General Discussion

Sat Mar 10, 2018 7:41 pm

Who would be behind all the changes about SRQ and Baggage Holds? Apart from Merlin, would it be like Operations Director?
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Re: The Smiler - General Discussion

Sat Mar 10, 2018 7:44 pm

The Smiler will look pretty out of place with the brand image if the resort continue to invest in Wicker Man style attractions. 

I've love to see some sort of minor redesign like with Duel and Rita in the future. 
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Dan
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Re: The Smiler - General Discussion

Sat Mar 10, 2018 7:48 pm

Smiler313 wrote:
Who would be behind all the changes about SRQ and Baggage Holds? Apart from Merlin, would it be like Operations Director?


It all depends on the Operating Budget the park gets given by Merlin.

Essentially, Merlin say to the parks “you’re getting X amount of money to operate your attractions for the entire season” and the park has to decide how best to use it.
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Re: The Smiler - General Discussion

Sat Mar 10, 2018 8:03 pm

Thanks Dan for that information, it makes things a bit clearer. Maybe Merlin need to change the ratio of how much they give parks for their operations.
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Re: The Smiler - General Discussion

Sat Mar 10, 2018 10:07 pm

Until they see a drop off in NPS score (or whatever metric Merlin use) that is DIRECTLY linked to ride operations/staffing/opening times don't expect much to change. 

I agree through that Alton Towers needs a higher operational budget especially as they run a pretty unique site compared to the other Merlin parks. The accountants/shareholders won't see it like that of course, they'll look at say Thorpe and say 'Well, Thorpe works with £xM a year. Why can't you?'
 
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Re: The Smiler - General Discussion

Sat Mar 10, 2018 11:06 pm

Honestly, what a mess.

As far as SRQ is concerned, it's not something I would have ever used, but for people who did need it, it's a shame to see it go. It's more how badly implemented these changes are that I dislike. I agree with Dan, the new boards blocking the baggage hold look horrible, as does the yellow thing blocking the old doorway. Then of course there is the peeling paint, rubbish on the station floor... :cry:
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Re: The Smiler - General Discussion

Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:34 am

Seen people nick stuff at Towers before, on Nemesis which runs two trains, The Smiler runs 3-5. People will take phones etc on the ride more things will fall out of pockets hands/etc and some people simply won't want to risk it. Pretty sure I've seen the same stuff happen on Oblivion. If a whole family goes on, with no bag holder and see this they'll be annoyed.

The team at Towers are hard working and genuinely care, but Merlin as a company don't, in my opinion, so it's hard to blame Towers staff for things like this, but security is an issue and the baggage holds were probably the best solution to this, or even the ones used on Mack coasters would be more cost effective over time.

The whole ride as an experience is probably the one in the worst state on park, and it's been around for 5 years.
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MakoMania
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Re: The Smiler - General Discussion

Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:49 am

I always store valuables in zip pockets, only thing in my bag usually is bottles of water :lol
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Re: The Smiler - General Discussion

Sun Mar 11, 2018 3:20 pm

I do too myself, mainly my phone and wallet, but when people are bringing bags which are expensive and have expensive stuff in them, they're left a target. Do people really want to leave £50+ handbags on a ride which has 3+ trains? The baggage holds were probably the best solution. Just seems like a bad place for cutting costs to me
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Re: The Smiler - General Discussion

Wed Mar 21, 2018 5:38 pm

There seems to be a slight update to the Smiler's page on the AT website. I personally like the new style of it.
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Re: The Smiler - General Discussion

Wed Mar 21, 2018 5:43 pm

What's changed, I don't see any changes?
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Re: The Smiler - General Discussion

Wed Mar 21, 2018 5:49 pm

Robert.W wrote:
What's changed, I don't see any changes?

On second look, I realised it's actually been like that for a while, I forgot that it is different from all the other ride pages.
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