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2019 Season

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Something I've also just noticed which I honestly cannot believe hasn't been picked up yet is Thorpe Park & Alton Towers are no longer offering a 2-day ticket for their parks for the 2019 season according to their FAQs, which I find astonishing and incredibly naughty money-wise. Here is your proof lads:

https://support.thorpepark.com/hc/en-us/articles/360001150291-Do-you-offer-a-2-day-ticket-
https://support.altontowers.com/hc/en-us/articles/360000657131-Can-I-buy-a-2-day-ticket-

 

And to confuse things even more, Chessington and Legoland DO still offer 2-day tickets:

https://support.legoland.co.uk/hc/en-us/articles/360000918932-Do-you-offer-a-2-day-ticket-

https://www.chessington.com/plan/faq/360001631191/do-you-offer-a-2-day-ticket.aspx

This is clearly an incentive for people to get a season pass and one might argue "oh, but for £55 you can get a season pass instead for a little bit more and get unlimited access all year with it", but do remember that for families who can only afford to visit somewhere like Alton Towers once a year (e.g. - my family), going from a 2-day ticket price of approximately £40 each to £55 minimum is quite a substantial increase wouldn't you say? A family of 4 could be paying as much as £50 more in tickets alone for a 2-day weekend now.

 

This doesn't sound fair at all to me...

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11 hours ago, Marhelorpe said:

Something I've also just noticed which I honestly cannot believe hasn't been picked up yet is Thorpe Park & Alton Towers are no longer offering a 2-day ticket for their parks for the 2019 season according to their FAQs, which I find astonishing and incredibly naughty money-wise. Here is your proof lads:

This is clearly an incentive for people to get a season pass and one might argue "oh, but for £55 you can get a season pass instead for a little bit more and get unlimited access all year with it", but do remember that for families who can only afford to visit somewhere like Alton Towers once a year (e.g. - my family), going from a 2-day ticket price of approximately £40 each to £55 minimum is quite a substantial increase wouldn't you say? A family of 4 could be paying as much as £50 more in tickets alone for a 2-day weekend now.

 

This doesn't sound fair at all to me...

hmmm, interesting

 

Two day tickets were rarely advertised, you always had to hunt round for them (even on Chessington and Legoland's sites, it's not exactly easy to find them!). So I assume this is something they've slowly worked towards - "oh look, we are barely selling 2 day tickets, why bother offering them at all. Especially when the APs are so cheap"

 

I don't think removing the option is the best way to go. I don't know what the prices were for Thorpe - presumably the £40 number you say is when booked in advance, choosing the specific days, etc etc? Maybe the better way to go would have been to just increase the price to make the season pass a more lucrative deal than making it the only deal?

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8 hours ago, JoshC. said:

Two day tickets were rarely advertised, you always had to hunt round for them (even on Chessington and Legoland's sites, it's not exactly easy to find them!). So I assume this is something they've slowly worked towards - "oh look, we are barely selling 2 day tickets, why bother offering them at all. Especially when the APs are so cheap"

 

I don't think removing the option is the best way to go. I don't know what the prices were for Thorpe - presumably the £40 number you say is when booked in advance, choosing the specific days, etc etc? Maybe the better way to go would have been to just increase the price to make the season pass a more lucrative deal than making it the only deal?

Even if they were not the most popular ticket option for guests, removing them entirely is not a solution, it only creates a new problem. Yep, that £40 quote was the average child/adult price for a 2-day ticket last year I remember.

 

For Thorpe, I can kinda let them off this given I presume the majority of their guests only visit for 1 day anyway. But Alton Towers though? Really? That'a a 2-day park minimum for families.

 

There should in my view still be an option for a 2-day park ticket as some people simply do not want to be tied to an annual pass, they just want a single weekend together at a park for the year, that's it.

 

This to me seems like an easy way for Merlin to push people into buying their season pass instead to gain more money, nothing more but that.

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10 minutes ago, Marhelorpe said:

This to me seems like an easy way for Merlin to push people into buying their season pass instead to gain more money, nothing more but that.

Exactly why they’ve done it, some get drawn in by the tag “pay for a day come back all year” they think it’s a great offer, which it is if you are going to hammer it.

 

Plus Varney gets to boast about how many new sales they’ve made and then spout the on average our pass holders spend XXX in our world.

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2 hours ago, JoshC. said:

hmmm, interesting

 

Two day tickets were rarely advertised, you always had to hunt round for them (even on Chessington and Legoland's sites, it's not exactly easy to find them!). So I assume this is something they've slowly worked towards - "oh look, we are barely selling 2 day tickets, why bother offering them at all. Especially when the APs are so cheap"

 

I don't think removing the option is the best way to go. I don't know what the prices were for Thorpe - presumably the £40 number you say is when booked in advance, choosing the specific days, etc etc? Maybe the better way to go would have been to just increase the price to make the season pass a more lucrative deal than making it the only deal?

I'm not sure if they were available to purchase online, but I remember "bounce backs" being heavily advertised at Thorpe back in 2008-11ish; it might have been as you were exiting the park rather than on the way in though.

 

Same with the "Towers 2 ticket" (think it was called that), I think they may have even offered the choice between returning the next day or any day for the remainder of the season at a higher price.

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1 hour ago, Coaster said:

I'm not sure if they were available to purchase online, but I remember "bounce backs" being heavily advertised at Thorpe back in 2008-11ish; it might have been as you were exiting the park rather than on the way in though.

 

Same with the "Towers 2 ticket" (think it was called that), I think they may have even offered the choice between returning the next day or any day for the remainder of the season at a higher price.

The idea of the BounceBacks was that when you were on park, if you enjoyed the park, you could get a ticket to come back for a significantly reduced rate. At it's heights, prices were £1 to return the day after, £6-8 to return on a non-FN date and £15 to return on a FN date. I believe you could pick it up from a Fastrack place.

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This is the proposed location of thew retirement home: https://www.google.com/maps/place/Cemex+House,+Coldharbour+Ln,+Egham+TW20+8TD/@51.4083884,-0.5216377,534m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x48767721c5ad4327:0x761f1c38214c6e0a!8m2!3d51.4096667!4d-0.5208182

 

It's very close to a major back of house service road used by the park, as well as the island behind Stealth/Swarm which will probably have a new coaster put on it the next 20 years (hopefully..)

 

It has been discussed since last summer, and is clearly a bad idea given it's proximity to the park and it's service roads. I wouldn't be keen to live there; why would people needing a retirement home want to?

 

Quotes from Thorpe's representative taken from their letter of objection letter to the council...

 

Quote

We also note that Merlin met the applicant in the initial stages of the application and has been seeking a further meeting to discuss the issues raised in this letter. While Merlin very rarely comments on applications and always seeks to take a positive and direct approach to engagement with local landowners/developers to overcome potential issues, their concerns about the significance of these proposals for Thorpe Park’s future mean it must protect its position.

Quote

It is therefore concluded that the proposals do not comply with national policy or guidance, nor are they considered to align with RBC’s emerging Local Plan. The evidence submitted in support of the application appears insufficient and ultimately down-plays the significance of the noise impacts and associated effects. We therefore consider that the applications should be rejected as a departure from planning policy.

 

It further mentions that the noise assessment carried out by those planning the retirement home (which says the noise levels would be fine) were carried out improperly, and probably understate the amount of standard noise. That could cause major issues if the development went ahead.

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**WORLDS FIRST RETIREMENT HOME DEDICATED TO THEME PARKS AND SCREAMING**

 

Seems an odd first for Merlin if you ask me.

 

Residential developments don’t go well near them parks though, especially in the U.K.

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Having looked at Trip Advisor reviews etc. a clear trend between M£rlin and non-M£rlin parks is present with non-M£rlin parks doing much better in reviews even when things like ride breakdowns occur at both parks. Obviously, I'd like to see Thorpe Park, in particular, to break free of this negative spiral and launch itself up into a positive one (this may take a few years though as there's A LOT that needs sorting out). Merlin itself also needs someone fresh to take the reigns because its current strategy isn't cutting it anymore.

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I really hope not. How many times can the park make the same mistake. Regardless of what guest feedback says people do not want a park that is just full of scare attractions and mazes all year round. They don't have a clue what the guests want because they dont know what guests they want. 

 

Pick a target market and commit to it. Either go down the family route and resort to the basics or stick with millennials and change everything to do with the parks tone. Get people in who understand the millennial demographic and give them free reign. The more I analyse the park the clearer it becomes that the last few years they have been going with millennials from the view point of a 45+ year old. It is with no surprise that it hasnt worked.

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I believe it just hasn't been updated properly / is serving as a placeholder.

 

After all, if the maze opens at 3pm and the park closes between 5-6pm, that's only a couple of hours of operation. Seems pretty pointless, surely.

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While pointless it really would not surprise me at this point. Since DBGT the park finds new and creative ways of finding more and more stupid things to do. 

 

It will be interesting to watch the 2019 season play out with the new director. However with the lack of planning permission for 2020 and no development for 2019 my outlook for the next few years is bleak. The Eurozone and the UK economy is not looking good and a fair amount of Merlin's money comes from it. You then have Legoland in New York that is constantly being hit with lawsuits and looks set to be over budget and delayed. Not to mention brand new theme parks never tend to do very well at first. Merlin's 2019 annual report in a couple of weeks will make for a very interesting read.

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It seems like nothing major will be happening for 2019. Who knows for 2020? 

The Swarm's planning permission was released 4/02/11 (or exactly 2 weeks and 8 years from today). This will imply Project 2020 potentially wasn't a roller coaster OR the ride's construction has been scrapped for now (maybe in favour of replacing Loggers?).

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