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Merlin Entertainments


RobF
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  • 2 months later...
  • 5 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...

Merlin have suspended new pass sales along with renewals, effective today.


Probably a mixture of new pass products / Covid uncertainty.

 

https://www.merlinannualpass.co.uk/compare-passes/renewal-passes


 

Quote

We have made the decision to temporarily remove all Annual Passes and Membership products from sale from the 24th September 2020. 

Following your helpful feedback from our recent customer survey, we are currently revising and updating our Merlin Annual Pass product line-up to ensure all our Passholders have the best possible experience and great value at our attractions.

Please be reassured this does not affect current Passholders in any way and you can continue to use your pass to visit our attractions. Please remember that to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 our attractions are currently operating at reduced capacities. Therefore, pre-booked tickets are required to visit all our attractions to help us adhere to strict social-distancing measures to keep us all safe.

We are aware that some Passholders have not been able to book their preferred slots for our attractions and have taken a number of steps to address this, including adding availability for Passholders and creating afternoon passes. Please be considerate of the Passholders community and only book slots for times when you definitely intend to visit.

We will share updates on our social media channels and website as soon as passes go back on sale.

 

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They put out a survey a week or so ago asking for opinions on passes with different perks/limitations so wouldn't surprise me if they completely change the types of passes they offer.


This included things things like weekday only passes, can only visit certain attractions such as 3 of the theme parks, after 2pm only passes,  different amounts of discount + family and friend offers.

 

Will be interesting to see what they come up with. Definitely seems they are slowly taking away some of the perks 

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To be honest, regardless of what they say, if it was truly because of the issues with people not being able to pre book dates, then they would have removed passes sooner. And they wouldn't have removed the £1 booking fee either.

 

Whether because of Covid or not, I expect they're planning on changing the structure of the passes. Would fully expect to see the cost of what was a Premium pass increase and be rebranded, and perhaps see cheaper options with further limitations. 

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The prospect of a Merlin pass restructuring is imminent, especially given the covid situation where much growth and earnings have been lost.

 

We could easily see passes introduced which only enable selected days, times, attractions and perks introduced. With the VIP removed for the foreseeable it’s not impossible to see the Premium botched up as the top offering. 
 

Expect more up-charges especially for events I would say.

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I know times are rough, though I do find this a bit of dramatic move. Sure the park passes had slight pricing issues, and sure pre-booking was a pain in the bum due to how limited they were, but completely ceasing their current offering honestly is a bit of a knee jerk reaction IMO.

IMO they should of bumped up prices on the standard passes by a bit, they are currently stupidly priced. And then perhaps allowed a few more slots for MAP on quieter days, especially when the park was unlikely to reach capacity and it when it wouldn't really affect their profits.

 

Honestly I see this becoming overtly complicated, just like Six Flags's membership and the million tiers it offers. I'd rather the park pull a Cedar Fair, have a bit higher prices, but not have a million editions of passes, tiers, and perks, and restrictions.

 

Also the afternoon slots they are introducing, why? Unless you live nearby its utterly useless and a stupid idea.

 

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I was quite surprised that they have suspended sales of MAPs.  Yes the current MAPs are great value when you look at the attractions that you can access, free parking, 20% discount etc (with premium).  I hope they don’t bring out a ton of options because I am incapable of making decisions 😂. I could potentially see them dividing the passes to southern/northern attractions possibly.  Years ago (2002) when the parks were owned by Tussauds I had an off peak 2 park pass (for Chessie and Thorpe) - still have it somewhere 👀.  It was £35 at the time and obviously only for use on off peak days but it worked out great for me at the time due to my working hours.

 

I think whatever they do, people will be cheesed off.  I totally understand that they have lost a lot of revenue this season due to covid but I just hope that they don’t make the new passes ridiculously expensive and with naff perks

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  • 1 month later...

Merlin announced a new budget, date restricted pass called “Merlin Discovery Pass”

 

A weekday pass for all UK attractions but massive exclusions, no weekends or school holidays and usual fireworks, Halloween dates. Also no parking or any discounts.

 

Standard and Premium passes are now officially no longer and replacement products will be announced.

 

https://www.merlinannualpass.co.uk/

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Hard to know how to react to this given we don't know what the replacements for Standard and Premium are (especially given the survey they had a couple of months back, where most options didn't sound good).

 

In principle though, offering this is good idea and does open up more options for some people. And it does mean that we should expect to see all the park open every day during season again (which has been reflected in the already released Thorpe and Towers opening times for 2021). Obviously that's a double-edged sword in that it could lead to other issues, but that's for another topic...

 

Interested to see what the other two offerings are.

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  • 2 weeks later...

As predicted Gold & Platinum passes have launched

 

https://www.merlinannualpass.co.uk/compare-passes/new-passes

 

prebook info as well, discovery & gold” AP can pre book 3 visits per attraction at a time and platinum can prebook 6 visits per attraction.

 

”Our new pre-book system will allow Passholders to change the date of their booking or suspend the booking until they are ready to choose another date. Once bookings have been changed or suspended the ticket allocation will automatically reset, becoming available for other Passholders.”

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There are so many independently owned theme parks and visitor attractions in the UK that offer a much better experience than Merlin's, I used to see things differently, but nowadays I just have no interest in the MAP even without this latest price increase.

 

Why not support the parks and businesses that really need it, and visit somewhere different next year?  I can't see the logic behind giving Merlin another £200+ for the same old stuff every year?

Of course, it's different if you still enjoy Merlin's offering, but those who don't, why pay more for a MAP when there are so many other options?

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