Jump to content

Merlin Entertainments


Recommended Posts

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.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 753
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Ha no, that goes without saying they didn't do it on purpose, no one was suggesting that.   It's the same people who havn't learnt from their mistakes of the past and have seemingly proven t

Investors are starting to become worried that underwhelming economic performance is not due to current market conditions and is more to do with the quality of the attractions. In April when the latest

I just read that Varney proclaimed that "Merlin create the best themed accommodation in the world, unrivalled by any other amusement or park operator."   One can only assume that the news in

Posted Images

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

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 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/

Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, MattyMoo said:

There's no physical card for this pass, it's saved on your phone - does this mean you now have to wear your phone on your lanyard all day to prove you are not just a normal standard guest and one of the elite?

 

 

Heh.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 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.”

Link to post
Share on other sites

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?

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, MattyMoo said:

The MAP group are kicking off big time about the price hike, but let's be honest here - the passes have been too cheap for too long. MAPpers typically won't use F&B on park, where Merlin make that precious and needed revenue and margin. 

MAP people confuse me. I can understand as a business you need to make a product viable. People use terms like money hungry and greedy - does anyone really know how much it costs to run a theme park? 

 

Also, I think MAP has been a thing for so long people never look at just booking day tickets. A comment on the group was something like "that's a 60% increase and we would have to go 3 times every months to towers as we live up north"  surely use your common sense and think a pre-book day ticket works better for you then! 

 

You don't NEED a pass to visit a park, if it's too expensive, just buy day tickets - with COVID they had better availability than passholder anyway! 

 

Entertaining to watch all the comments though..... that's my Monday entertainment sorted! 

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Coaster said:

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?

 

This is EXACTLY what gets on my last nerve.

 

So many people hark on about them in a negative way endlessly...yet still pump money into them.

 

May I ask what exactly that achieves?? Do people really think the higher ups give a hoot about a couple of complaints from people who are STILL giving them their money??. They are a business so naturally money and profit comes first.

 

The reason I chucked my pass in was because I genuinely am tired of this company and how they have ran Thorpe virtually past the point of no return and am fed up of the absolute cash grabbing we are seeing with upcharging left right and centre, the multi pass tiers and not being able to walk 10 feet in their attractions without someone trying to shove products down your throat as if you are in the Marrakech Medina.

 

The other reason I gave up is because the ONLY way you get change out of a company is to hit them where it hurts and that is the pocket. Yes little old Martin not renewing his pass is not going to achieve much, but if others who like myself who apparently have had enough had that train of thought as opposed to bitching and moaning about stuff whilst pouring money into their bank account, MAYBE a change of sorts could happen.

 

Gets on my absolute nerves.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Coaster said:

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?

Okay so for people in the midlands/the north of the country, yes there is a fair amount of other options. Lightwater Valley, Flamingo, BPB, and a couple more. But down here in the south east its kind of the only option for parks. The only park down here is Paultons, which is nearly two hours away from me, and a 3 hour train journey. Paultons is a great park, but not quite something that I could go to year round for thrills as great as it looks. Thorpe Park, Chessie, and Legoland are my nearest parks. Besides Paultons the only other option I really have is Brighton Pier for a spinning mouse and a Pinfari looper.

 

Merlin around the London and surrounding areas kind of own the monopoly on theme parks. I would totally visit BPB more if it wasn't 4 and a half hours away. And the only merlin park I actually like is 4

hours away (Alton). If there was a big non Merlin park that had some great coasters I would totally ditch Merlin, but sadly if you want good coasters Thorpe is really the only option for people here.. 

 

I don't think Merlin are all bad as well, Six Flags do a lot of things WAY worse. But its not quite as well ran as a Cedar Fair park. If Thorpe wasn't such a mess I would have a better outlook on the chain, Chessie and Alton are both respectable IMO. Even if a little rough around the edges.

These passes are kind of bad, I do think the park should compensate for charging more for less. Even if its just 30 minutes exclusive rides on one ride. I also think for people like me, what are my options? Paultons is a good two hours away from me, there isn't a huge amount of options. Unless I wanna fly, which is hard at the moment. So yeah..

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, JoshuaA said:

Okay so for people in the midlands/the north of the country, yes there is a fair amount of other options. Lightwater Valley, Flamingo, BPB, and a couple more. But down here in the south east its kind of the only option for parks. The only park down here is Paultons, which is nearly two hours away from me, and a 3 hour train journey. Paultons is a great park, but not quite something that I could go to year round for thrills as great as it looks. Thorpe Park, Chessie, and Legoland are my nearest parks. Besides Paultons the only other option I really have is Brighton Pier for a spinning mouse and a Pinfari looper.

 

Merlin around the London and surrounding areas kind of own the monopoly on theme parks. I would totally visit BPB more if it wasn't 4 and a half hours away. And the only merlin park I actually like is 4

hours away (Alton). If there was a big non Merlin park that had some great coasters I would totally ditch Merlin, but sadly if you want good coasters Thorpe is really the only option for people here.. 

 

I don't think Merlin are all bad as well, Six Flags do a lot of things WAY worse. But its not quite as well ran as a Cedar Fair park. If Thorpe wasn't such a mess I would have a better outlook on the chain, Chessie and Alton are both respectable IMO. Even if a little rough around the edges.

These passes are kind of bad, I do think the park should compensate for charging more for less. Even if its just 30 minutes exclusive rides on one ride. I also think for people like me, what are my options? Paultons is a good two hours away from me, there isn't a huge amount of options. Unless I wanna fly, which is hard at the moment. So yeah..

 

I understand the location thing, Thorpe Park and Chessington are the easiest parks for me to get to, but I'd much rather drive further and visit different non-Merlin parks because I find the whole experience much more enjoyable and rewarding.

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Coaster said:

 

I understand the location thing, Thorpe Park and Chessington are the easiest parks for me to get to, but I'd much rather drive further and visit different non-Merlin parks because I find the whole experience much more enjoyable and rewarding.

This is fair, though I understand why people would be critical and still visit the Merlin Parks. If you're not in the north, then basically its Merlin or drive to the other side of the country lol. I also don't get too much of the hate anyway, Merlin have their faults, some big downfalls, though they are not the worst thing in the world. They sure do have an annoying obsession with worlds firsts, Thorpe Park is pretty neglected, but they do treat Chessie and Alton pretty well, and their Legoland properties are usually well kept and well invested in.

 

There is many parks ran worse, look at Six Flags parks. Portaventura, I feel like people are overly harsh sometimes. Including myself. Merlin do a lot of things right. Though it would be nice to have some independent parks down here.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, JoshuaA said:

This is fair, though I understand why people would be critical and still visit the Merlin Parks. If you're not in the north, then basically its Merlin or drive to the other side of the country lol. I also don't get too much of the hate anyway, Merlin have their faults, some big downfalls, though they are not the worst thing in the world. They sure do have an annoying obsession with worlds firsts, Thorpe Park is pretty neglected, but they do treat Chessie and Alton pretty well, and their Legoland properties are usually well kept and well invested in.

 

There is many parks ran worse, look at Six Flags parks. Portaventura, I feel like people are overly harsh sometimes. Including myself. Merlin do a lot of things right. Though it would be nice to have some independent parks down here.

 

Yeah I can see why people still get a pass, but it's frustrating to see those who are angry about the price increase still pay money to Merlin instead of supporting independent parks.  (I do include myself in this, I used to own a MAP but this year was the first year in a while without a Merlin pass for me and I haven't missed it).

 

In relation to the standard of the parks, I really don't get much enjoyment visiting them anymore; Chessington's Howl'o'ween was a good effort this year, but Alton Towers felt pretty flat and tired on my visit.  Thorpe, the less said the better, I didn't visit this year.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes prices went up but themed experiences and attractions don't come cheap? Hopefully this will push more money into the pipelines and release extra Capex from Merlin for the attractions.

 

I think most people have misunderstood how much value the Annual pass used to bring at the very low pricepoints when an AP for just one of the other non Merlin parks was within £30 of sale price.

At the new prices I still think that value is there, when say if the Swarm for example was the only ride in the location of TP and they charged £10-£20 as a oneshot, like the rollercoaster on the Vegas strip for example, I would still pay for it, even if it was a one and done attraction. Remember attractions arn't cheap too, Wickerman 16 million, Swarm 18 million, yet there letting me have unlimited rides on millions of pounds of hardware and creative knowledge for the cost of around 4 day trips at £60 each.

 

For example I like the idea of going to Thorpe or Chessington to see the new attractions and events, when they come maybe 4 times a year, and then still being able to go to London for a daytrip and get into the 'tourist traps' without having to pay any extra is just great value still in my opinion.

 

If were looking at the price monthly, when released of the pass at around THE £20 -£30 mark well thats still cheaper than my gym membership and something I would be willing to pay.  

 

Perhaps this may be a good move for getting more people to go on day trips rather than be passholders however that may hurt midway, my hope being that the parks are able to generate more income to get the love and attention they deserve.

 

 

Lets also be honest the MAP group are never going to be happy. Most of the issues they generate themselves, take RAP for instance, without the MAP group awareness of that product offering and how to get in even cheaper with a carer pass wouldn't of created the demand we see today. Note cattle pen queue lines for RAP registration. 

 

I hope TBH that Merlin go further and ban outside food and those Titan bags from being allowed into the park. Instead have a picnic spot outside the gates by the carpark. 

 

I will probably end up signing up for the monthly pass when it becomes available as I enjoy visiting the parks and still think that any cost sub £300 yearly is worthwhile for me and I am sure that we will see trade deals and sales reducing the prices further.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The changes are a mixed bag and perhaps not surprising or expected, especially given the substantial increases.

 

On one note it now costs significantly more for the same product, unless one goes for the basic pass. However it could be argued that despite it’s numerous flaws, the MAP in it’s original form offered cheap and remarkable value. 
 

The intention may well to reduce the number of pass holders whilst making more money for the company. Whether we see more of this towards investments at existing attractions, remains to be seen. 
 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

*looks over at America and see the Busch/seaworld parks has an 11 park pass with no exclusions, free parking, one free quick queue pass a day and multiple tickets for other guests cheaper than the Platinum MAP

 

Lets see now in regards to new attractions between last year to this year now.

 

Busch/Seaworld - Iron Gwazi,Pantheon,Texas Stingray, Ice breaker, Emperor.

 

Merlin - Gangster Granny, Croc Drop, Black Mirror.

 

Yeah the UK deffo got the better end of the deal lads!!  

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Martin Doyle said:

*looks over at America and see the Busch/seaworld parks has an 11 park pass with no exclusions, free parking, one free quick queue pass a day and multiple tickets for other guests cheaper than the Platinum MAP

 

Lets see now in regards to new attractions between last year to this year now.

 

Busch/Seaworld - Iron Gwazi,Pantheon,Texas Stingray, Ice breaker, Emperor.

 

Merlin - Gangster Granny, Croc Drop, Black Mirror.

 

Yeah the UK deffo got the better end of the deal lads!!  


The parks you compare them with are huge tourist traps attracting millions of guests from around the world each year, sat conveniently close to some of the most popular theme parks in the world, that’s where their big bucks will be made rather than how it is here in the uk where the Merlin parks are catered for a very different type of visitor.

 

For the passes I think it’s been a long time coming, of course I don’t want to pay more for a pass but even at the new price points it still offers great value for money for how much I use the pass each year.

 

Merlin sort of created an issue for them selves in my opinion by making passes so cheap for so long, don’t get me wrong I know Merlin have their problems and are far from perfect, but even throughout their worse years we’ve still seen continued and frequent investments in the Merlin parks (although maybe not Thorpe!)

 

There’s no denying Merlin have a monopoly, whilst the smaller independent parks are constantly and maybe not far from giving Merlin a run for their money (I’m mainly thinking paultons here).
 

But what people are saying is right, if you don’t feel you get value from it then it’s not for you, but that’s like everything in life too!

Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Martin Doyle said:

*looks over at America and see the Busch/seaworld parks has an 11 park pass with no exclusions, free parking, one free quick queue pass a day and multiple tickets for other guests cheaper than the Platinum MAP

 

Lets see now in regards to new attractions between last year to this year now.

 

Busch/Seaworld - Iron Gwazi,Pantheon,Texas Stingray, Ice breaker, Emperor.

 

Merlin - Gangster Granny, Croc Drop, Black Mirror.

 

Yeah the UK deffo got the better end of the deal lads!!  

Seaworld/Busch are their own mess. The reason the prices are so cheap and they have so many additions is that the company are frantically trying to change their image and the point of their parks post Blackfish. The current additions they are doing is unsustainable, RMC and B&M both demanded payments earlier this year. They are a company that are adding these coasters as a last ditch effort, the prices reflect that. I have heard the parks aren't performing as well as they should be, so Seaworld/Busch are the last company Merlin should aspire to be. They have good parks, but business wise they are a mess. 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Mark9 said:

MaP owners are hilarious. They seem to think loyalty is owning an annual pass. The reality is the 'sell em cheap, pack em in;' worked pre covid but with this year, that philosophy backfired.

 

Nailed it. Expect to see more events that encourage you to buy food and drink and add-ons such as Oktoberfest and paid-for mazes at Thorpe, I reckon - which I don't mind, personally. Oktoberfest at Alton Towers was an absolute breath of fresh air this year, thoroughly impressed.

Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Martin Doyle said:

*looks over at America and see the Busch/seaworld parks has an 11 park pass with no exclusions, free parking, one free quick queue pass a day and multiple tickets for other guests cheaper than the Platinum MAP

 

Lets see now in regards to new attractions between last year to this year now.

 

Busch/Seaworld - Iron Gwazi,Pantheon,Texas Stingray, Ice breaker, Emperor.

 

Merlin - Gangster Granny, Croc Drop, Black Mirror.

 

Yeah the UK deffo got the better end of the deal lads!!  

image.thumb.png.ee265bdfc072235555a1d63bbcdd3374.png

image.png.f3e8981e7acb390d7fd73b7ccfe59c7c.png

 

#FAKE NEWS

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.


×
×
  • Create New...