What's new

Merlin announce no more free parking for Annual Pass holders

jokerman

Active Member
The premium pass is like the old pass, just more expensive. I'm willing to bet it's the same price that the regular pass would be if it still had the other perks. I bet loads of people wouldn't be complaining the same way if the Premium pass was just called the standard pass.
 

Steven

Active Member
I would moan but I cannot really. Merlin have been good to me. But I have to say this as Merlin have been right bastards to me and other people. At times. This I think is going a bit far but the thing is inflation is a big factor as well and running costs etc.

With all my bad experiences this year though I did confront them with all the problems I was having and it was resolved in a long time. But eventually they did offer a £75 premium pass gift voucher to say sorry for all the problems I had this year.

So like I said I have no valid cause on this though I STRONGLY think ALL car parking should be free at "pay to enter" attractions.
 

rickydoodle

New Member
Ben said:
Yeah, it's all very good saying "oh, the Premium Pass is cheaper now so that's OK", but, it's still MORE than renewing should be, and it's now just THE SAME as the old standard pass...

And you can keep your Blackpool attractions and shove them up your arse, Merlin.
I don't understand th is notion that the pass should remain the same price and shouldn't develop as a product.

Adding the Blackpool attractions is a very smart move if you plot the existing Merlin attractions on a map (get it?) but yeah...anyway - it's very South centred so bringing some Northern attractions is a good idea in my view.

It's changed, it costs more, it's still good value - get over it.
 

furie

SBOPD
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
With the new Blackpool attractions, it actually kind of makes more sense for us poor Northerners. Up until now, we've only had Alton, Warwick and the Brum Sea Life close by (family_furie that is, not all Northerners).

Okay, I'm not saying the Blackpool stuff is great, but we did the "Tower Experience" in 2006 and it was alright actually. Got us off the dirty streets and away from the drunks for a couple of hours at the very least (serves us right for going to Blackpool I guess :p ).

So in terms of value, there's less of a North/South divide now. The shandy drinkers can have Thorpe and the London Eye, and the flat-cap brigade have Alton and Blackpool Tower (almost an even match I'm sure ;) ).
 

Mysterious Sue

Well-Known Member
I agree with Furie - the Blackpool additions make a lot of sense and widen Merlin's franchise in the North.

I'm not sure I ever drink shandy though dear! :roll:
 

Ben

Social Media Team
Social Media Team
But, I've NO interest in the attractions whatsoever... That's my problem. They lump you with attractions not everyone wants but EVERYONE has to pay for...

They REALLY need to start with a pick and mix sort of system, or at least a park only pass.
 

Mysterious Sue

Well-Known Member
I think you can with just the London attractions. There's a big hut outside the Eye which sells combos of London attraction passes.

I guess lumping everything together is a way to justify higher prices on their APs, because they know that otherwise, too many people would just buy the theme park only version, and they would loose profit
 

Ben

Social Media Team
Social Media Team
But then they also risk losing people's buisness because they're too expensive now because of things people don't care about, it's a double-edged sword.
 

nadroJ

Well-Known Member
 

furie

SBOPD
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Ben said:
But, I've NO interest in the attractions whatsoever... That's my problem. They lump you with attractions not everyone wants but EVERYONE has to pay for...

They REALLY need to start with a pick and mix sort of system, or at least a park only pass.

I've never had any real interest in the inner London attractions though. I've used my pass once for MT and The Eye on the same day... 4 years ago.

I've NEVER used my pass for a Sea Life either and can't see it happening.

Likewise, I've not really got much interest in Thorpe or the Manchester Lego centre.

I do like having Alton and Warwick Castle though. I think I even went to Warwick more this year than I did to Alton!

So yeah, pick and mix may be the best idea, but I like the flexibility. I have nipped into Thorpe when passing, on a whim. Blackpool is only half an hour from my folks, so we could do a quick trip up to do the tower when we're staying over one weekend. Just a few hours to do it as a day trip. We may not, but it's good to have the flexibility.

It still all works out cheaper than a standard price Pleasure Beach season pass ;)
 

Mysterious Sue

Well-Known Member
Like I said earlier - I think people are pissed at the underhandedness of it all. If they had just increased the price of the pass and kept it simple, yes there would have been complaints, but not this huge backlash!

Merlin think people are idiots, and won't work out that it's basically forcing you to buy a premium pass. I feel sorry for them if they are making a loss, and if they justifiably said, look we've invested a lot in our parks over the last few years and we are raising prices accordingly, I for one would just accept it and get over it.

Also, it's their most loyal of customers that this affects the most - those who will be racking up charges of hundreds of pounds a year in parking fees!
 

Ian

From CoasterForce
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Social Media Team
I've sat and worked it out.

If the renewal/upgrade price to a Premium Pass is no more than £100, and I don't buy any crap in the shops/take my own food, then it won't cost me any more than last year.

It's still think forcing people to pay for parking or upgrade to a more expensive pass when it's been free since year dot, with no added security or car park improvements, is scandalous.

But that's capitalism for you <3.

That's the last I have to say on this matter.
 

Ben

Social Media Team
Social Media Team
^The renewal price from standard to premium is £129 Ian, it was announced on Facebook :p
 

rickydoodle

New Member
Mysterious Sue said:
Ian said:
If...I don't buy any crap in the shops/take my own food, then it won't cost me any more than last year.
but we shouldn't be forced to do this - it ruins the experience completely!
Hmm - I don't think anyone is being forced to do anything. The price associated with any product, no matter what it is will rise. Running costs for any business rise over time - it's being passed on to the customer.
 

gavin

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Social Media Team
^Yes, but you're missing the point.

Instead of just increasing the cost of the pass, which people would moan about but get over soon enough, they're effectively forcing people to buy the premium pass. It's not a premium product; it's the old product with a fancier name, with the old product becoming pretty much obsolete for the majority of people who have them.

It amounts to a hefty price increase, yes. It's just the s**tty way they've gone about doing it.
 

peep

Well-Known Member
Ian said:
with no added security or car park improvements, is scandalous.

Chessington and (I think) Thorpe are improving their car park situation. Chessington re-did their main car park this year and further improvements are being made over the closed season (mainly adding barriers etc for the parking charge malarkey. I heard rumours ages ago (like, early Summer) that the grass car park may get tarmacked too which would be awesome if it happens.
 

MouseAT

Active Member
furie said:
I read on TTF that Merlin made 180 million€ operational profit. So the company is in good shape as far as "charge per customer" goes.

However, after loans and interest repayments, they showed a final accounting loss of 55 million€

So the investment they put in (yes, 13 was shocking) isn't being paid off by day to day running.

So what you're basically saying is that irresponsible borrowing and spending way beyond their means has landed them with massive debts, so they expect us paying customers to pay significantly more to bail them out of the mess they've got themselves into.

Hmm, where have I seen THAT before?
 

rickydoodle

New Member
gavin said:
^Yes, but you're missing the point.

Instead of just increasing the cost of the pass, which people would moan about but get over soon enough, they're effectively forcing people to buy the premium pass. It's not a premium product; it's the old product with a fancier name, with the old product becoming pretty much obsolete for the majority of people who have them.

It amounts to a hefty price increase, yes. It's just the s**tty way they've gone about doing it.
I agree the underhandedness of it all sucks.

The standard pass is still a valid product for a family who are out of the country two weeks in August yet still plan to hit the parks once a year, head to Blackpool for the Illuminations and Sea Life over the winter. But I agree, it's not a great option for coaster enthusiasts - but I still think the AP scheme overall, is good value.

As I said elsewhere, the best thing they could have done is replaced both products with a new two tier system (Gold/Silver for instance), instead of messing with a very popular product.
 
Top