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Ranking The Merlin Parks
JoshuaA posted a topic in General DiscussionSo due to boredom I have decided to make a thread to rank the Merlin Parks. This will be by recent investments and just how each park fall in the hierarchy. I think this will be a lot harder than Cedar Fair and Six Flags as Merlin is pretty even with their parks tbh. I'm gonna be ranking all of the abroad parks but I will lump the Legoland's into one category because ranking them individually would take a while. A Tier: Alton Towers Easily the most loved Merlin Park. When this park receives a coaster, its usually very high quality and unique. They usually have good in between years to boot, with constant money being thrown into their hotels, the resort, and into their family and kiddie offering. This year's addition is a real good example of a solid intermediate investment and Wickerman back in 2018 was an amazing investment for the park. This park is only behind Legoland in attendance in the UK, and with that you can expect a great new coaster here soon. B Tier: Legolands (all of 'em) These parks are absolutely everywhere. There is 9 currently, and more are coming. They are really a strong point for Merlin, they draw in a lot of families and must make the company a stupid amount of money. They have a simple but fun IP, and they usually receive a fair amount of investment to keep the masses of families coming in. These usually are not coasters, but if you look at Legoland Windsor's investments in the past 10 years its surprisingly respectable. A bunch of brilliant medium sized investments that give the park a pretty decent lineup of dark rides. As stated, Legoland Windsor has the highest attendance in the UK, these parks bring in the crowds. C tier: Gardaland I was going back and forward for this placement, but then I saw Gardaland's attendance and nearly spat out my coffee. I think this park gets kinda overlooked due to its shaky coaster lineup, but Gardaland drew in 2.9 million people in 2018. That is a incredible amount in comparison to other Merlin Parks. The park hasn't received a big coaster since 2015, though the additions certainly haven't been bad either and I could see this getting some good investment in the future. No wonder the park decided to add 2 B&M's to this place with gate figures like that.. Heide Park: This park has had decent investment in the past decade, actually pretty much ditto to Gardaland. Other than that they revived their Intamin pre-fab woodie, so that was cool I guess. I think with Colossus back this park is very ready to continue to compete with Hansa down the road. Though it is lower than Gardaland due to its attendance not being as impressive. D Tier: Chessington: Chessington have had a decent enough past 5 years or so to keep them out of rock bottom. Now this park just generally is a smaller park and I think is seen as such by Merlin. Recently they have been improving their old rides (bar Tomb Blaster) and dragging them into the modern era. Tiger Rock is a fun redo of Dragon Falls, and Gruffalo is much better than Bubbleworks was in its final years. They received a mini log flume this year, and next year they are replacing the problematic Rameses with a fun looking drop tower. Overall Merlin seems to be interested in keeping this park decent and fresh enough. Even if its just with small rethemes or small additions. Either way its a much better position to be in that the park below it. F Tier: Thorpe Park: If I made this list in 2012, this would be A Tier. Every investment they have gotten since then has lead this park to its current state. What has the park done since 2012? Added a huge failed mess of a dark ride, added another room to it that sometimes works as a good finale? Lost their best family ride in Loggers, lost their second best family ride in X by converting it to something scary which now means their mild Vekoma coaster is now back to low ridership.. Basically a whole lot of nothing. And the park seems really like the last in the queue for any major investment in the future. It is a shame as the park has a pretty relaxed location when it comes to permits, and the park has a fair amount of space they could utilise if they wanted to. But this park I think will remain the park that receives small investments that fail in the long-haul (Black Mirror next yay!) Anyway feel free to rank the parks, I'm interested to see what people's opinions are. I think Merlin parks are actually quite hard to rank tbh, as investment wise they kinda spread out their money. Like Thorpe is at the bottom of my list but that could change big time in 5 years.