NOTE: I have redesigned Bubbleworks with The Smiler’s theme of unusual, life correction. Most elements have been adapted from the original, 1990 Bubbleworks. I have not included Vampire into this redesign- I shall leave that to decide what happens… Area and queue
Guests enter the area through today’s Baravian arch- but its walls are metallic, referencing X-Sector. The loud music represents both village and facility- amongst the talk and clatter there is the occasional, psychotic laugh. To the left, guests can see the mighty façade of Doctor Kelman’s Smileworks. Up, high on the wall, sits the logo. The walls are a murky yellow, with hints of white. Guests enter up the grand step and immediately fork left (as there is a wall ahead, with Smiler faces plastered all over it). The queue is virtually the same as it is today, but towards the end (roughly where the current merge point is), sits a similar room to The Smiler’s Correction Block. On occasion, bubbles shoot out from the corners of the room.Station- Clinic (Baravian Town)
Guests exit the Correction Block via a black, yellow and white curtain. The room smells strongly of a Doctor’s Surgery; the white tiles across the walls are somewhat dirty; the soundtrack is un-nerving but not in-your-face. The theme retains Bubbleworks’s melody, but breaks into The Smiler’s as well. Ministry Propaganda replaces the old fizzy-pop advertisements on the bridge, like “a smile a day keeps the doctor away”, “See life with a new fizz”, and “Book a visit to Smileworks- we guarantee you’ll leave happy”. Across the bridges are yellow bar fencing. Guests then climb aboard their boat- some of them are white, some of them are black, and some of them are yellow.
Scene one- Kelman’s Office (Burp’s office)
This scene is very similar to the original. Guests float through Kelman’s office- to the left, an animatronic Kelman sits behind a desk, saying “Welcome to my correctional facility; en-JOY your trip! Remember life’s formula- Marmalisation + You = Smiling Advocates!” The walls are the same as the station. The “bad ideas” bin is over flowing- the top one has a Sanctuary logo hidden in there. There are more posters on the wall. To the right, is a shelf with VHS tapes- resembling the ones seen in Smile. Always. Scene two- The Inoculator (Mama Melons)
After passing through the office, guests enter a room where the fluids of The Inoculator’s needles are being extracted. Ahead are the many pipes, with yellow liquids racing through them. Smileheads chase each other around with needles (in what was the “Orange Squash Court”). The cow is being milked for its marmalising juices- its eyes are spinning screw top illusions.Scene three- The Giggler (Laughing Gas)
This scene is very similar to the original design. Large pipes (with Smiler faces plastered over them) leak out infectious giggle gas, in the form of yellow smoke. The room is dimly lit, but the occasional strobe breaks the darkness. Kelman stands opposite the pipes, giggling uncontrollably.Scene four- Depression Chamber (Pressure room)
Instead of continuing the stages of Marmalisation, the boats enter the “Depression Chamber”. The music sounds as if it is being hummed by a depressed man. In here, everything is coloured black and white. Smileheads are seen sitting exams, whilst the Correction-Boffins oversee. Arrows on machines point to “very sad” instead of “overly happy”. The Angry Bubble is now a Smiler face, as if it’s time to get corrected again.Scene five- Tickle Test (Fruit Spa)
The music calms down as guests prepare for The Tickler. At the end of the room, the giant, swirling, tickling brush hangs. Before the boats pass under this, they see other Smileheads being tickled, and finding the experience both joying and relaxing. Guests finally pass under the brush, which lowers and makes a very loud noise. The brush is wet, giving an extra giggle to guests.Scene six- Space (Crater-ade)
In this small, simple scene, a Smilehead sits on a rocket. The rocket is plastered in Smiler faces. He shouts out “Spread the joy, share the love! Smiles in space!”Scene seven- Preparation for the wider world (Hic-cups)
In here, the Correction-Boffins are testing the Smileheads to see if they are 100% marmalised. A Smilehead is launched sky-high, like a fairground “test your strength” game. He flies to the top, and hits “Correction Perfection”. More Smileheads are seen, bouncing up and down on chairs. They are strapped to them via straightjackets, and are laughing maniacally. A corner, before even more Smileheads are seen getting clean… Whilst spinning about rapidly in washing machines! The boats then go through a small strobe section (this is The Flasher, whilst the original is “decontamination”)Scene eight- Hypnotic, Classical Fun (Fairground)
The boats float into one of the more… Unusual scenes of the attraction. Ahead are signs, advertising things like “The Joy-Tester- see how happy you are”. Instead of drinks-bottles flying about, Smiler trains fly over airtime hills (as in the actual coaster). The backdrop of this set piece is designed to look like the rest of the coaster. Opposite this, a “Challenge The Smiler” stall is seen, with Smileheads (perfectly) throwing balls into the pots. This is achieved by a cannon inside the Smilehead model firing the ball- the pot has a hole so that it can go back to the Smilehead. Kelman can be seen at the end of the room, riding a bike. The wheels have spirals on them (acting as The Hypnotiser). He booms:
“Here, I am disposing of failed advocates… Sending them into Oblivion!”
True to his message, advocates can be seen to his right, falling down into a large hole (this effect is like the one from Harry Potter, where the sweets fall from the mouth and into the pot infinitely.Scene nine- Into Joy (Ascending)
The lift takes place in a large trommel tunnel, with Smiler faces, and symbols of the five marmalising stages, plastered all over its walls. Kelman can be heard, one final time:
“This is it- out of depression and into joy! Prepare for an insight of life after correction…”Scene ten- Life after correction (Fountain Finale)
The boats drop into the finale. As with all incarnations, large fountains arch overhead. These ones, however, are lit strictly by yellow. Instead of mirrors at the far end of the room, there is a large screen, like The Marmaliser’s. Towards the end (where the fireworks are now) is a Smiler face, with spinning eyes. Where the logo is now, it says “Process Complete”.Exit
The exit path is very similar to The Smiler’s. Flashing lights and optical illusions lead the way to the shop. The shop is rather unusual- with Bubble machines, warped mirrors, and the all-important Shop TV (I’d like to point out that I’ve only included the shop because the real attraction has it- I never leave my guests in a shop!).
This was a really good fun but hard project to work on. Believe it or not, work on this began about a year ago, where a friend and I combined two rides and talked about what would happen. Eventually I got into dark-ride designing, and “Smiler Sewers” (as it was known then) was taken seriously. I’d like to say thanks to Dan and Sam for helping me out with some early feedback and solving a few issues I had with it, and my friend Ben for saying “Merge Bubbleworks anddddd… Smiler”. My next project should hopefully be out before the Summer Sizzler event (I know it’s a long time, but this is no easy task). Early ideas suggest that this might be a really special one, but who knows what could happen…
Until next time!