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RobF

Merlin Entertainments

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Still, the surveys Merlin do must count for something when talking to the mass market... Considering the experiences available at Blackpool, Spain and Florida, it's no surprise the masses don't think highly of wooden coasters...

What are you talking about? Apart from the accident at BPB, the wooden coasters there are brilliant and you see a lot of smiling faces coming off them. I can't comment on Spain or Florida.

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I'm seriously contemplating the VIP pass - purely for the unlimited fast-track everywhere I go! That alone is worth a fortune! Imagine being at Alton with Smiler's queue at 4 hours, Nemesis at 2, Air at 2 etc.... Now imagine that the £500 you stumped up is suddenly worth it in that one trip alone.

Plus, I'm planning on travelling a few times over the year, so Gardaland and Heide Park suddenly become accessible.

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Well if you are going to be going over there a lot then go for it if that is what you want, I certainly buying one but then I won't be able to access all the perks a VIP pass would give me so I'm sticking with premium as it works best for me. In the case of fastrack I agree for smiler but I can only remember nemesis queue being that big when Alton towers live was on, all of the times I went it was 30- minutes but again if you can get all out of the pass from what it is offering to you, go for it, still steep a price though.

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What are you talking about? Apart from the accident at BPB, the wooden coasters there are brilliant and you see a lot of smiling faces coming off them. I can't comment on Spain or Florida.

The ones at Blackpool are still 'rough' and are seen as retro rides in amongst the more modern (and often seen as better in the public eye) steel coasters...

It's not hard to understand why the gp don't have a great consideration towards wooden coasters as having a place in the modern industry here... To say that it's easy to market one is simply wrong, regardless if they are enjoyed in the north or not, because they are part of the nostalgic essence Blackpool has in the UK... Then when the experience of modern wooden coasters are commonly Gwazi and Stampida, it makes sense people are wary of them...

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Its a shame thats the case when newer woodies like the German woodies (Wodan, Mammut, Colossos) and Megafobia all have had really good reps but have remained in the shadows as far as the GP, I can assure anyone if those were ridden more instead of the more commonly ridden Gwazi and Stampida, the GP might change their views abit. Mind you I do agree they are hard to sell to the GP. They go up and down and are made of wood doesn't usually do it for them these days, but in the case of looping woodies a la Outlaw run even though it is almightily received in the US they would be too dangerous in the public eye which is a shame.

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The ones at Blackpool are still 'rough' and are seen as retro rides in amongst the more modern (and often seen as better in the public eye) steel coasters...

It's not hard to understand why the gp don't have a great consideration towards wooden coasters as having a place in the modern industry here... To say that it's easy to market one is simply wrong, regardless if they are enjoyed in the north or not, because they are part of the nostalgic essence Blackpool has in the UK... Then when the experience of modern wooden coasters are commonly Gwazi and Stampida, it makes sense people are wary of them...

Then the answer for Thorpe is build a good one!

I have actually heard a lot of good things about Stampida, and I reckon that I'd like it because I like coasters with a bit of force to them - what's the point of a coaster where you don't even feel like you've been on a ride?

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Then the answer for Thorpe is build a good one!

I have actually heard a lot of good things about Stampida, and I reckon that I'd like it because I like coasters with a bit of force to them - what's the point of a coaster where you don't even feel like you've been on a ride?

KumbaK trains are the reason why nobody actually likes stampida, I'm told its like getting kicked in the chest and that doesn't sound pleasant.

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Then the answer for Thorpe is build a good one!

I have actually heard a lot of good things about Stampida, and I reckon that I'd like it because I like coasters with a bit of force to them - what's the point of a coaster where you don't even feel like you've been on a ride?

Ah yes, because the last time Thorpe built a good coaster (from an enthusiast point of view) that had a limited gimmick that didn't pique the public interest worked? Swarm's poor reception will make a traditional wooden coaster even more unlikely...

And yes, nothing wrong with a ride that makes you feel like you've been on it (Wild Mouse and Ultimate fit the bill), but there's an enjoyment threshold that Stampida passes by because Kumbak are just terrible at life... Still smoother than Baco but still, it's not a fun ride...

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VIP passes would be worth it if a stay in the Hotels where Free Flights to all international Parks where free and your whole Group Benefits in all the perks

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"Documents submitted with the planning application show that the new attraction is expected to draw 600,000-700,000 visitors a year, with a capacity of 400 visitors an hour based on groups of 40 visitors entering the tour every six minutes.The tour will include 10 shows/rooms each lasting approximately six minutes, including a simulator ride in the Rotunda room. "

They've found something to do with Vengeance then?!

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Well, part of it anyway, I don't think it's technically owned by anyone but after years of having so many different attractions and very few staying permanently (bar really, the Aquarium and Namco long term), I wouldn't be surprised if Lambeth Council will be happy to take more of Merlin's money...

As for what it could be, the only brand that isn't there atm Midway wise is a Discovery Centre... Whether that's a viable concept due to being near Legoland (even though this will be sold towards day tourists in the centre, which is fair enough, the others are) is arguable, but unless Merlin are using their imaginations for a completely new brand then that's my bet...

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Sounds a very interesting project so far.

Judging from the planned 4D bus ride, I strongly doubt it will be a Legoland Discovery centre, plus also there's the one in Manchester, there are many places likely to get one before London and also concept sounds very different as well.

I expect the theme for this experience will have some sort of theme related to London, due to the proposed bus ride as I'm not sure what other themes it could really sustain with the prominent use of a bus, travel experience, action adventure, those are the only ones that come to mind.

Despite the claims for a world first, I'm fairly concerned with the plans of actors and experiences, this could have a lot of similarities with the dungeons and not be original, seeing every other existing attraction in the area owned by Merlin, delivering a completely different experience. But I guess we'll have to wait until more of these plans unfold.

By the way things are going, I think southbank street and County hall may as well be renamed Merlin street and Merlin hall ;).

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London Bridge Experience rip off?

Probably will be some London history themed attraction then looking at that... Like the idea of a London Bus Ride...

EDIT - Someone discovered that Merlin have been involved in the trademark of "Shakespeare's England"... Could be the theme... If so, it'll rake it in...

http://www.ipo.gov.uk/tmcase/Results/1/UK00003010777

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London Bridge Experience rip off?

Sounds about right, the new 'worlds first' not even being a London's first.

'Shakespeare's England' sounds like it would be quite awful to me. I don't think they had big red buses in his time either, so that would make no sense.

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Depends on the finished product, the 'bus' could easily be a 'horse driven carriage' or some such nonsense...

Without any further details (or actual confirmation), can't tell... Assuming it's a deal with the Shakespeare lot then it'll probably be good, because it'll have to be...

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New Drinks Capsule conditions, sourced from Merlin's FB:

Overview

We’ve just made some magical improvements to the Merlin Annual Pass drinks capsule. You can now buy this this year’s Merlin Annual Pass drinks capsule for just £1.99 from Chessington, LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort, THORPE PARK, Warwick Castle and Alton Towers Resort. And once you have it, you can refill it as much as you like for just 75p per refill.

Why on earth have we done this?

Glad you asked (no, seriously). Three amazingly good reasons, actually. First, we wanted to make sure that Passholders and Members get the best possible value from the drinks capsule. So first we did some customer research. This told us how frequently the average capsule is refilled each year. Then our boffin wizards crunched some numbers and did some other clever things and the result is this new capsule, which based on this research will give you better value over the year.

Second, following the customer research we’ve also made the capsules a little smaller to make sure your drinks stay fresher and fizzier for longer. And for those of you who brought up fizzy vs non-fizzy drinks – read on.

Third, we wanted to stick it to the wasps, pure and simple. In previous years we’ve had a problem with drinks being thrown away and in warm weather this causes a problem with wasps which, we are committed to beating. On the new Merlin Annual Pass quenchers you’ll now notice an ‘anti-wasp’ message, asking you not to pour unwanted drink onto the ground. Instead, we’ll happily empty it and rinse it for you between refills. Clean capsules, fewer wasps, what’s not to like?

Can you only use it for fizzy drinks?

Funny you should mention that. Some customers told us that not all of you want to drink fizzy drinks. So as part of these magical improvements, we’ve added a non-fizzy-soft-drink option when you refill your quencher. You’ll be able to find these unfizzy refills at designated refill stations throughout all of our UK theme parks.

Is this magically brilliant new capsule available only to Merlin Annual Passholders, or can Merlin Members get them too?

Delighted you love it so much already! Both Merlin Annual Passholders and Merlin Members can buy this, as you call it, ‘magically brilliant new capsule’.

Why do you think this is better for Passholders & Members?

We’re always trying to improve your experience as Passholders and Merlin Members. These improvements have been prompted by customers telling us how they use their capsules, and asking us to make particular improvements. As a result, these changes should give you better value over the course of the year; and keep fizzy drinks fizzy for longer; and let you choose non-fizzy refills; and involve magic (which is nice); AND disappoint wasps (which is nicer still).

Finally, we really want you to have a brilliant time as Merlin Annual Passholders and Members. Remember, theme park season is just around the corner (honest) and we hope that you find yourself sharing some amazing experiences with your family and friends so that this year becomes not just exceptional, or merely memorable, but extraordinary. Spellbinding, even.

Small Print

  • Capsules are valid until 31st December 2014.
  • Lost or damaged capsules cannot be replaced
  • You must show a valid Merlin Annual Pass or Merlin Membership Card to purchase the 75p refill
  • The Merlin Annual Pass & Membership Capsule price (£1.99) and refill price (75p) are subject to change without warning.
  • Capsules and refills are subject to availability
  • Any Passholders with 2013 Merlin Annual Pass capsules linked to their current pass expiry will continue to receive free refills until their pass expires.

Not a fan.

-The whole point of the quencher, to me, was you paid a one of fee, and got unlimited drinks.

-Quenchers are meant to be easy and convenient. Having to muster out 75p from my wallet every time I want a refill, or having to deal with 25p change every time I pay with a quid, doesn't spell convenience to me. These days I don't really have that my change to hand, mainly paying with card and what-not.

-Smaller capsules = boo. I never had a problem with my drink 'not staying fresh'.

For me, this will likely end up costing more than the £16 flat rate from last year. I made 12-14 trips to Merlin parks last season, and would usually get 4 refills each time (average guestimate there of course). That's £3.50 a trip under the new rules, so working out at about £48 roughly. Eurgh. Thinking about it, I may not even bother with a capsule this year then.

Just trying to work this. If people are going to end up saving money (according to Merlin's research), then that means people were buying a capsule, and fill it up less than 18 times in the year. Dunno how reasonable that sounds to be honest.

So yeah, bad thing for me personally; will have to see if I end up actually buying a capsule this year then... Quite possibly this has been done to enforce stricter fair usage policies...

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I'm not that impressed.

I think it was better when you just paid £16 each year for a capsule and could refill as much as you wanted during the whole day.

Also with the old capsules, It was very helpful on a number of trips last season when I was short on cash and could just rehydrate by getting it filled up.

With the slightly smaller capsule and 75p filling fee (per top up), I can't see me usi g this more than twice a day. That's if I even decide to purchase a new one.

Bad move IMO, don't fix something that wasn't really broken.

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Awful move, I am not at all impressed by this. Having bought passes in the sales, we were mislead and they have obviously released these details just after the sale has ended so that it wouldn't affect sales!

It's almost lying, telling customers they are going to get something whilst they buy the passes, then changing it behind their backs whilst they are doing so!

As well as this, I've noticed that perks have become stricter, with the previous (20% off all food outlets and shops) now being (discounted food and beverages). This probably means that it'll be less than 10%, and no more discounted merchandise!

As a loyal MAP holder I am disgusted by this, I didn't like Merlin as a company before but I've had enough now.

On another (bad) note, prices for MAP's have now been increased, with a Standard now being £159 and a Premium being £199. Ridiculous.

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Oh **** off Merlin. If you've got to get rid of the great deal because it costs you too much (it doesn't, although they could see the free refills as a missed opportunity, but they certainly don't make a loss on the less than a penny refill) then do it, but don't try telling us they are 'magical improvements'.

Make things worse, tell us they are better, yeah, I'm sure no one will notice. Tools.

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