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RobF

Merlin Entertainments

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Are you saying an event that goes on for a stunning 2 weeks is the main reason Merlin are building an eye there. :lol:

Yes...Merlin putting investment into something for a quick return? NEVER! :o

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In case anyone cares, here's some planning stuff for it...http://planning.weymouth.gov.uk/WAM/findCaseFile.do?appNumber=11/00512/FUL&appType=Planning&action=SearchNotice photo op, pre-show and the fact that it's one of them ordinary Observation Towers...

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Since Merlin are constantly expanding their portfolio at a unbelievably high rate (for better or worse opinion), I think it's time to collate all of these news bits and bobs into one little topic...Sooooooooo to begin with, Merlin are hitting up the Japanese market with a Tussauds and a Discovery Centre...http://www.blooloop.com/PressReleases/Merlin-Entertainments-Group-Global-Leisure-Giant-comes-to-Japan/2909So, is it a good thing that Merlin are expanding worldwide at this rate? Or should they be focusing on their current attractions and go for quality over quantity?

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So, is it a good thing that Merlin are expanding worldwide at this rate? Or should they be focusing on their current attractions and go for quality over quantity?

Is it a good thing, No. It's like the old saying goes, "Jack of all trades, master of none." Instead of trying to take over, what it seems the world, they should really make each attraction they currently have, the best it could possibly be.

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An update of the Orlando expansion plan, including the Orlando Eye, Sea-Life and Madame Tussauds... No Dungeons it seems, probably as Orlando has no history aside from theme parks...http://www.wftv.com/news/28815389/detail.html?taf=orlc

A developer wants to replace an abandoned plaza on International Drive with a Ferris wheel, nearly 45 stories high. The new attraction will look like London Eye in the United Kingdom, which is the largest Ferris wheel in the world.The developer and owner of the land said the Ferris wheel being built on I-drive will top that. For the first time, developer Chuck Whittal showed WFTV the renderings of the $100 million project.If the county approves the plan, it will be built on the site of the old Mercado shopping center on International Drive."It's going to be the game changer on I-Drive," said Whittal.The models of the project show a Madame Tussaud's wax museum and an aquarium surrounded by shops and restaurants. In the middle of it all is a 450-foot Ferris wheel designed just like the London Eye, but bigger.The developer said visitors will get a 30-minute ride and an aerial view of all of Orlando.The Ferris wheel doesn't look that large in the model, but when it's finished, it will be taller than the Peabody Hotel on International Drive and the second tallest Ferris wheel in the world.But, WFTV asked Whittal how he plans to compete with the countless attractions already on I-drive."We don't. We're going to out compete. We think what we're doing is unlike anything that's been done on I-Drive," he said.Whittal said he expects 3 million to 4 million visitors a year. WFTV found tourists from the U.K. who are willing to make another trip back to see what the Orlando eye has to offer."That's actually a pretty good idea because you don't have that here at the moment. I've used the (London) Eye a few times, and it's quite fun. The only thing you would be missing, of course, is the view of London," said British tourist Robin Walman.Whittal said the project would bring nearly 1,500 jobs.The County Planning Department is expected to approve the plans on Wednesday. The only concern officials had is parking, they said. The developer said a free garage will be built.

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Just to go back a bit to the Blackpool Tower Regeneration. I am in Blackpool at the moment and to be honest am not so happy about this whole seperate attractions within the tower business. I'll Explain. The tower used to cost about £25 a person for entry, and that included everything, trips to the top, the 3D cinema and the ballroom. Now you have to pay for each attraction seperately. It cost us £12.50 each just for access to the Ballroom and Circus, it was an extra odd £5 for access to the childrens play area jungle jims. The estimated cost for the Dungeon is about £10 and access to the 4D theatre and Blackpool Eye Experience, which I assume is a trip to the top of the tower, is estimated at about £8 per person according to posters around the tower.With these prices it will cost the average person between £30.50 and £35.50 which in my mind is ridiculous.Also as much as I prefer the waxworks in Madame Tussauds Blackpool over what used to be in Louis Tussauds my family and I realised that most of what used to be in there was closed off yet the same price was charged as before, it took us over 2 hours to go through it when it was Louis and less than an hour now that it is Madame Tussauds. Another little niggle I have is the removal of The Asylum towards the exit of it which has now just been closed off and had a wall of the gift shop placed over it as if it was never there. It wasn't one of the scariest horror walkthrough attractions ever but it was a laugh, just sad to see it go.Anyways, rant over, well done to anyone that read the whole thing!

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Swear the Eye and Dungeon aren't open yet... This may explain the price thing, as well as the fact that those attractions will count onto the AP, whilst maybe the ballroom won't? Will only find out for definite when it's all open...

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They arn't open yet but are being advertised. On the adverts there is a prebooking option before august 31st for discounted entry to both attractions, I have added a couple of pounds to both of the prices to get to what the entry without any sort of discount.And yes I agree, when its open we shall find out, was just a bit annoyed about the prices thats all.

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Updates on the Orlando situation...http://www.blooloop.com/ViewNews.aspx?ID=16873

Once it's built, you may walk to it, you may drive to it, but one thing's for sure: "It" won't be called I-Walk Orlando. Developers of an International Drive tourist complex anchored by a giant observation wheel have settled their legal differences with Universal Orlando over the new attraction's original name, which Universal thought was too similar to its CityWalk entertainment district. The new name: I-Drive Live. The $100 million project, on the former Mercado property north of the Orange County Convention Center and south of Sand Lake Road, will feature the Orlando Eye, an observation wheel similar to the London Eye. The 425-foot-high wheel will be flanked by a Madame Tussauds wax museum and a Sea Life aquarium, according to plans submitted recently to Orange County government. All three attractions will be operated by Merlin Entertainments Group, the British company that is also developing Legoland Florida in Winter Haven. Chuck Whittall, president of Unicorp National Developments Inc., part-owner of the development, said his Orlando company is still talking with Orlando-based Ripley Entertainment Inc. about including Ripley's newest concept, an attraction built around Guinness World Records. "We are absolutely going in the direction of a world-class project," said Whittall, whose company is partnering with Circle Entertainment Inc. of New York. "We do believe it's going to be the game changer on I-Drive." I-Drive Live has the approval of the county's development-review committee, subject to certain conditions. Located in the heart of the International Drive tourist district, on a parcel already zoned for commercial development, the project likely faces little opposition. Whittall said the developers have made some progress attracting additional tenants, though no leases have been signed. The company has signed letters of intent with a steak restaurant, an Italian eatery, a Key West style-seafood restaurant, a country-and-western bar, an ice-cream store and a wine bar, he said. "We are having robust success with leasing, and we have many, many, many tenants in negotiations," he said. The development is on 19 acres about a mile north of the convention center. The site, once home to the Mercado shopping-and-dining complex, has been vacant for years; the Mercado was torn down in 2007 to make way for a new project that never materialized. According to the plans submitted to Orange County, the first phase of I-Drive Live will include the Orlando Eye, the aquarium and the wax museum, as well as some retail and restaurant space. Future phases would include more commercial space, a tourist-information center, a parking garage and two hotels. Whittall said the hotels would be themed, such as those in Las Vegas.

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Full opening....http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-14743747Calling everything that is a little bit high an 'eye' really gets on my tits. Otherwise, it's got to be good. Was a run down mess when I visited a few years back, I look forward to seeing the improvements for myself.

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Hmm, I'm sure the Tower will look great after a big investment on it but the new costs for the attractions? It seems to me that they are milking the public for everything they have and not just covering the their costs.... I respect that Merlin are a business and the whole idea of a business is to make profit, but you need to also give the public a good deal in return and not milk them dry..... Merlin risk many people not returning, once they realise this.....Chris.

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Going East now it seems... Rather unmined resources atm so potential is around...

Merlin Entertainments Group (‘Merlin’), Europe’s leading and the world’s second largest visitor attraction operator, has identified Asia Pacific as an important new development region for future LEGOLAND Park developments. It has identified a number of potential sites for further investigation, and today announced principal agreements have been reached with the regional government and key potential private investors in Korea, opening the way to more detailed negotiations.The development of the LEGOLAND Park offer is a key part of Merlin’s strategic growth plans. The latest news comes as Merlin prepares to open its 5th LEGOLAND Park - LEGOLAND Florida – in just 6 weeks. LEGOLAND Malaysia, the company’s 6th LEGOLAND Park, is already under construction and due to open in Autumn 2012.Work will now begin on detailed planning related to the potential new site which is in Chuncheon City in Gangwon province, Korea, approximately 60km from the capital of Seoul. It is envisaged that funding would be a combination of local resources combined with direct investment from Merlin; and the location is in an area where the local authority is already committed to major investment in tourism and commercial developments. It is also well connected with roads, rail and infrastructure. More than that, it is in a spectacular natural setting, providing an opportunity to create the first ever LEGOLAND Park on its own Island in a lake.“We are very excited to have reached this agreement in Korea, which illustrates the strength of the LEGOLAND brand, and of Merlin’s business model across the globe”, said John Jakobsen, Merlin Entertainments’ Managing Director LEGOLAND Parks. “The Asia Pacific region provides a great opportunity for Merlin’s continued development across our brands, but particularly LEGOLAND. Over the next several months we look forward to working with our potential partners and investors in Korea to take the project to a stage where we can put it forward to the Merlin Board for investment approval. “Merlin also already has nine ‘midway ‘attractions in the Asia Pacific region - in Hong Kong; Shanghai; Bangkok; and, following an acquisition earlier this year - six in Australia and New Zealand. New midway developments have also recently been announced in Tokyo (LEGOLAND Discovery Centre); and Sydney (Madame Tussauds).

Source

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Merlin's coming after Blackpool first it seems...

Pleasure Beach Blackpool and Merlin Entertainments are delighted to announce the launch of a new Blackpool Resort Pass, allowing visitors to experience the best attractions Blackpool has to offer for one great price of £49. The Blackpool Resort Pass includes a Pleasure Beach Unlimited Ride Wristband, entry to The Blackpool Tower Eye with 4D Cinema, The Blackpool Tower Dungeon and Sea Life Blackpool. That’s an amazing saving of up to £23.80.

Source MeThat is insanely good value and rather surprising to say the least... Merlin to be in charge of Blackpool in the next few years?

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I think Merlin are looking at having a 3rd 'Level' to their Annual-Pass which includes more stuff on top of the Premium. It was a question on THIS survey.

And one of the perks they are looking to add is unlimited fasttrack until 2pm. If this happens it will mean even more people using the already oversold amounts of fasttrack.

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I JUST got a premium annual pass and they're already trying to UP that?? They're so greedy for money now, they can feck off. How about a decent benefit for existing holders, rather than then trying to think of yet another way to squeeze money from me or new customers? Fastrack is already a complete nightmare and a number one guest complaint so go on, add to the chaos Merlin...do it and add to the ****ty reputaion it already has.

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That unlimited fastpass thing would be absolute chaos, serious chaos. I joined in the survey and said the best thing about the current AP's is the affordability. So lets hope ey -_-

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