What is “marmalising”? Alton Towers knows and they are betting on it being the next phase in themed coasters to drive their visitors to happy madness with The Smiler.
In a press release from Alton Towers they state that, “Not only will the ride involve plunging 30-metre drops, hurtling speeds of up to 85km per hour and extreme turns, but The Smiler will feature twisted psychological effects to mess with riders’ mind”. What does that mean? Well, the current specs for the physical assault have been listed above, however the mental assaults however are harder to pin down. Alton Towers have stated that the riders will go through 5 “Mind Manipulations” as follows:
- The Inoculator (A jab of happiness as you pass by stage one of the Marmalisation process)
- The Tickler (Aims to tickle you until you cant resist smiling)
- The Flasher (A giant flashing device, blinding you as you hurtle underneath the leg)
- The Giggler (Infectious, intoxicating laughing gas)
- The Hypnotiser (Has the power to disorientate, mesmerize and disrupt your self-awareness)
What do any of these mean exactly? The closest report we have is another statement released by Alton Towers
, stating,”Riders will be subjected to five mind manipulations including jabbing needles, blinding lights and optical illusions, to maximise the fear factor”.
John Wardley, a ride consultant at Alton Towers Resort
, commented: “We know people get a thrill when they ride roller-coasters, but in order to heighten that feeling of excitement we needed to design a roller-coaster that also incorporates a variety of mental cues. The Smiler will be different from other traditional coasters in that it will combine intense physical effects to put the body through its paces, along with the unique mental elements to mess with the mind. After riding the coaster they will have experienced full mind and body marmalisation.”
Further reports lean toward a so called study in understanding fear as a key factor to the uniqueness of this ride. How much of this so called mental and physical pain and introspection will actually be used and how much is just media hype remains to be seen. Will we actually be blinded or jabbed with needles… probably not, thankfully. However you look at it though, The Smiler does look quite dastardly and seems set to scramble it’s rider’s brains, hopefully in a good way.
We are hoping it is as well themed as it seems poised to be and not just another straight forward coaster with a backstory.