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The Smiler vs Colossus; which of the UK’s inversion record breakers do you prefer?

The Smiler or Colossus?


  • Total voters
    33

Matt N

Strata Poster
Hi guys. The UK has had 2 coasters to have broken the inversion record; Colossus and The Smiler. The Smiler is the current inversion record holder and has been since 2013, with 14 inversions, whereas Colossus was Smiler’s predecessor, with its 10 inversions holding the record from 2002 to 2013 (albeit jointly with its numerous clones for a number of those years). While these coasters are very different ride types (Gerstlauer Infinity and Intamin Multi Inversion Coaster, respectively), they both held the inversion record and effectively had the same purpose when being designed; invert riders as many times as possible. But which of these two coasters do you personally prefer?

I’ll get the ball rolling with my opinion.

If I’m being honest, I’m not hugely in love with either, but my vote goes to The Smiler any day of the week. It might not be my favourite coaster, but I think the layout is very original, with some great bits in it, and doesn’t feel repetitive. If you’re into that sort of thing, the ride is also absolutely relentless, and always feels interesting! My last ride on it also wasn’t too bad in terms of roughness, although I think the raw intensity of it does make my head spin a bit, which I’m not personally too keen on; I think I’m just growing less keen on the type of coaster Smiler is.

Colossus is a coaster I’ll admit I’m not keen on at all, and was genuinely quite unpleasant on my last ride. It’s a pretty rough coaster and has some of my least favourite trains/restraints of any coaster I’ve done, and roughness and restraints aside, my last ride made me realise that while I think the first half, airtimeless hill aside, would ride quite well with more roomy trains and less headbanging, I do not like that second half at all; while the last, faster heartline roll at the very end is actually OK, those 4 heartline rolls in a row made me a bit nauseous and are just generally rather unpleasant to experience, in my opinion (I was holding on waiting for them to end as opposed to enjoying them). It’s a shame, as I’ll admit that as someone who likes uniformity, Colossus’ row of heartline rolls is possibly one of the most satisfying coaster elements to look at for me!

But which coaster out of The Smiler and Colossus do you prefer?
 

Thecoasterrus

Mega Poster
Definitely The Smiler. More unique and while I don't care about records, when a coaster is based on inversions it is fairly justified by it's record breaking status.

Colossus is a hit and miss for me, it has never been a high ranker for me, nor is it my favourite coaster at Thorpe. I have had mixed opinions on it over the years, I don't get down to Thorpe that much, but each time I do I feel quite a significant change in how the ride is running, some visits it has been riding horrible, other visits it has been my third favourite ride there.

I will add that Flamingo Land's coaster could beat both, if the ride is smooth and if you get decent airtime on the hill after the loop, plus the feeling of doing those heartline rolls will be alot more exciting without OTSR's

Sent from my SM-A217F using Tapatalk
 
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zazobo

Hyper Poster
If you'd asked me a couple of weeks ago I would have said Colossus all the way, however on my last trip to Towers just a week or so ago, I had a STONKINGLY GOOD ride on The Smiler. Helped by the fact we scored a front row, which I've not managed for years and years but also it wasn't doing its usual headbanging horribleness, nor was I stapled by the end of the ride. It was smooth, floaty in places and lots of loopy fun.

Good on you The Smiler.
 

Matt N

Strata Poster
If you'd asked me a couple of weeks ago I would have said Colossus all the way, however on my last trip to Towers just a week or so ago, I had a STONKINGLY GOOD ride on The Smiler. Helped by the fact we scored a front row, which I've not managed for years and years but also it wasn't doing its usual headbanging horribleness, nor was I stapled by the end of the ride. It was smooth, floaty in places and lots of loopy fun.

Good on you The Smiler.
That sounds great; I hope it’s running like that for my next visit at the start of September! In fairness, I scored front in June and it wasn’t too bad at all then either… I just think that type of coaster is appealing to me less these days.
 

Hutch

Strata Poster
I had one ride on each within a day of each other, and I definitely enjoyed Colossus more than Smiler. Though I think it all came down to expectations. Was expecting torture on Colossus, but it turned out to be fine, and I actually enjoyed all the heartline rolls. Smiler was more uncomfortable and just not that fun.

But to be honest if I were to ride both of them again now, I don't know what I'd prefer. Don't see myself liking either of them.
 

Will

Strata Poster
They're both rough, but Colossus doesn't leave me feeling nearly as awful as Smiler does.
It's actually quite a long time since I've ridden either - not been to Thorpe since 2015 and mainly use Smiler to draw queues away from my preferred attractions :)
 

Matt N

Strata Poster
About Colossus; for those of you who were around and old/big enough to be able to ride it in 2002, was it as rough/uncomfortable as it is now when it opened, or has that just developed with age?

On a side note, Colossus’ unique train design is apparently completely unique to Colossus; even the likes of Monte Makaya (the ride Colossus was based off of) doesn’t actually have the same trains, interestingly… I wonder why Tussauds went for the trains Colossus has?
 

nadroJ

CF Legend
I feel like the 'Colossus is rough' thing came as more of a 'trend' for me than actually thinking it for myself? Certainly it's not the most comfortable coaster, especially towards the back, but I'd rather ride it over say, Infusion or Hero. It's far from the roughest in the UK and certainly enjoyable in some ways. The final inline twists are always fun in my opinion, and Serena and I had a great ride on it...last Fright Nights I want to say?

I actually think The Smiler is kind of great? The only reason I don't ride it more is because it always has a hideous queue that I don't want to deal with, but I've had many a fab run on The Smiler, most notably last Oktoberfest where we enjoyed a sunset ride in the evening.

Out of the two I'd choose The Smiler but I don't hate Colossus either.
 

Matt N

Strata Poster
I feel like the 'Colossus is rough' thing came as more of a 'trend' for me than actually thinking it for myself? Certainly it's not the most comfortable coaster, especially towards the back, but I'd rather ride it over say, Infusion or Hero. It's far from the roughest in the UK and certainly enjoyable in some ways. The final inline twists are always fun in my opinion, and Serena and I had a great ride on it...last Fright Nights I want to say?

I actually think The Smiler is kind of great? The only reason I don't ride it more is because it always has a hideous queue that I don't want to deal with, but I've had many a fab run on The Smiler, most notably last Oktoberfest where we enjoyed a sunset ride in the evening.

Out of the two I'd choose The Smiler but I don't hate Colossus either.
Fair enough! I'll agree that riding Infusion did net me an ever-so-slightly higher level of appreciation for Colossus, as it's one of only two coasters I've ever done that's made Colossus look comparatively not too bad, the other being Grand National, although that one's a different kind of rough...

And I'll also admit that in spite of it not being my favourite coaster, Smiler wasn't bad at all last time I rode it! (Although I should preface that by saying I was sat in the front)
 

Matt N

Strata Poster
My other main issue with Colossus compared to Smiler is the cars/restraints. At least Smiler has cars I can get into easily and fairly comfortable OTSRs.

Colossus' cars are possibly some of my least favourite coaster cars anywhere, if I'm being completely honest. Last time I rode, I actually got in the front of a car, which was perfectly adequate for room, but the back of a car has little to no room for me; I could barely squeeze into the back of a car last time I rode (I could just about get my knees behind the seat in front). The restraints are also uncomfortably tight, which I only noticed on my last ride; they really ruin the ride for me as well as the roughness, and Colossus is the only ride where I've ever found the restraints incredibly tight on my thighs, to an extent where I go round thinking "gosh, this harness is uncomfortably tight". Does anybody else find that?

To give you some perspective; I'm not particularly tall, and I have what my dad describes as "the build of a HB pencil", so I'm not especially big in any dimension. I can certainly imagine Colossus being very painful/uncomfortable for the tall or those with any semblance of a bigger build!

Am I the only one who finds those cars tight?
P.S. Sorry for double posting!
 

bladeboy

Roller Poster
The trains on Colossus are indeed appalling. I however find the front worse. The floor slopes upwards at the front of the trains and this makes it more difficult to close the restraint for me. I’ve never had an issue with any coaster but last time I went to Thorpe the operators had to give my restraint a very good push. I was lucky but many weren’t - several people had to give up and disembark.
 

MouseAT

Hyper Poster
Give me Colossus any day. As far as I'm concerned, it's superior in every way. I prefer the atmosphere, the setting, the soundtrack, and the ride experience. It's not the most comfortable ride, but I always have fun riding it, and if you catch it one one of those rare days where it's really motoring, it can actually be a damn good ride.

Smiler may as well not be there. As a multi looper, it's one of the worst. It's just horribly bland in the way it meanders around, inverting, and it used to be unpleasantly rough in the final stages of the ride. I've not ridden it in years, but I can't imagine it's got any better with time.
 

Hixee

Flojector
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Social Media Team
I prefer Smiler over Colossus, in the same way that I prefer being kicked in the shin over being poked in the eye.

I don't actually hate either of them, and I do appreciate what they've done for their respective parks, but truthfully if they both closed tomorrow I wouldn't spare them a second's more thought.
 

JoshC.

Giga Poster
Despite numerous visits to both parks over the last few years, I haven't ridden either if them since around 2017. Neither are enjoyable rides for me.

Colossus' restraints and roughness in the first half makes it unappealing.
Smiler is very headbanging for me, and the layout from a ride experience perspective is too samey.

I do, however, really enjoy the quad roll on Colossus, and like Smiler's style.

Ultimately, given a choice, I'd rather ride Colossus over Smiler. But neither is preferable.

Like Hixee, I appreciate the rides in their own right and their individual significance for their respective parks (plus Smiler's dense amount of track in a small location). But given I don't ride either any more, I wouldn't lose any sleep if it was announced either ride was being shut tomorrow to be replaced by a new thing.
 

Hixee

Flojector
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Social Media Team
Like Hixee, I appreciate the rides in their own right and their individual significance for their respective parks (plus Smiler's dense amount of track in a small location). But given I don't ride either any more, I wouldn't lose any sleep if it was announced either ride was being shut tomorrow to be replaced by a new thing.
To be honest, I'd have settled at this.
 

HeartlineCoaster

Giga Poster
Last ride I had on Smiler with the duelling action was 95% amazing. I feel like the layout of the ride justifies the occasional moment of brutality and it's a worthy record holder.

Colossus feels lazy, is now heavily cloned and even lap bars don't really help it along much. But I don't dislike it.
 

Nick13

Roller Poster
About Colossus; for those of you who were around and old/big enough to be able to ride it in 2002, was it as rough/uncomfortable as it is now when it opened, or has that just developed with age?

On a side note, Colossus’ unique train design is apparently completely unique to Colossus; even the likes of Monte Makaya (the ride Colossus was based off of) doesn’t actually have the same trains, interestingly… I wonder why Tussauds went for the trains Colossus has?

I am old enough to have ridden Colossus on its opening weekend and it certainly wasn’t at all rough or uncomfortable back then in 2002! I posted somewhere in another thread a while back (can’t remember where), but when it first opened the restraints were different & a lot less bulky. So much so that some people were able to stick their legs outside of the train mid-ride, which I believe is why we have the current restraints keeping your legs firmly pinned to the floor!

The ride looked great back then, and one of the best parts was the heartline rolls hanging you over the lake, before it was infilled further for the saw alive pathway.

Colossus was the first coaster I followed obsessively during its construction in 2001 and got me hooked on this hobby, so always a special one for me but Smiler beats it hands down these days.
 
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