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Merlin Entertainments on BBC watchdog

sawalive

New Member
Merlin were on watchdog tonight about there car parking charges, Merlin claim the charge is to encourage people to travel by other means of transport!

I think thats just rubbish coming out of Merlins mouth, its incredibly hard to go to a theme park with other means of transport besides a car, Plus places like alton towers are next to impossible to get a bus to alton EASILY!
Your views?
 

furie

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Yeah, load of poo.

If it really was, then their website would have lots of information about the charges and be pushing public transport and the charges to make people choose the train/bus option.

Of course, it fails due to the fact that it's so exceptionally tough to get to Alton on public transport. It's hours from Stafford, and we're less than 20 miles away (there may be direct buses in high season actually, but even then they're well over an hour).

I'd love to get a large bit of land close by and run a park and ride system to Alton :)

As with all things, I don't like the charges, but it's the lies I hate. Have the balls to stand up and say to your guests "this is perfectly acceptable park revenue". If guests don't feel that way and stop coming, then it isn't acceptable and they will change it. Lying about it is disrespectful to your customers, who actually aren't as stupid as you think.
 

nadroJ

Well-Known Member
Yes Merlin, because it's VERY practical for a family with young kids to get the BUS up to Alton from somewhere 2 hours away, very practical indeed.

Morons.
 

marc

Well-Known Member
Every park in Europe charges, as do the ones I have been to in the States sorry but it is here to stay. Yes I do not agree with the Thorpe one due to the state of the car park, gravel and lack of lights, but its just tough luck.

If people go to AI they pay to park, same goes for Blackpool etc.

But what I did notice at Chessie was there was no sign that you had to pay until you got to the actual park gates, so for me that was bad notice.
 

furie

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In the back car park at Chessington (the unlit grass field ;) ) it had signs all over about it. Must just be the posh-knob exclusive front car park they don't mention it :p
 

jokerman

Active Member
I don't mind paying to park as long as the price of tickets reflects the change. Of course this won't happen, so I am a little bit annoyed, but would be less so if Merlin grew a pair and just told everyone that they wanted more money from us all.
 

marc

Well-Known Member
Tbh Furie I was not really looking, but nothing jumped out at me so if someone is looking for the park like I was then they would miss it like I did.
 

Ben

Social Media Team
Social Media Team
marc said:
Every park in Europe charges, as do the ones I have been to in the States sorry but it is here to stay.
THIS.

It's SO obscenely rare to find any parks outside this country that don't charge, so why do we kick up SUCH a fuss about the ones here charging? And places like cinemas often charge, so...?

Oh, and Blackpool charge.
 

Nemesis Inferno

Well-Known Member
Cos we're British and love a good moan...

I LOVED the outraged guy in the segment as well... Like every little thing we get charged for these days was a terrible thing and this is all why Diana died...
 

nealbie

Well-Known Member
Rick Wakeman? Get some culture Benin. :p

That awkward moment when a load of coaster enthusiasts spooge over a 30 second segment on Merlin appearing on the tele.......... :roll:
 
and this is all why Diana died...
What did I miss? Is Thorpe's new ride to be called 'the Paris tunnel?!?'

Anyhoo. I don't have a problem paying to park. I do object to being told that it's all for love though.
 

Infernus

Member
Just caught this earlier, and it makes me laugh how people complain over a £2 charge, when parks like Disney can charge upto $15 per day, just to park, then even more money just to get in..
 
If I'm not mistaken, I paid almost as much for a bottle of pop in DLRP as the merlin parking fee. Oh and Disney don't charge for fastrack, so obviously they're much cheaper... :lol:
 

marc

Well-Known Member
nealbie said:
Rick Wakeman? Get some culture Benin. :p

That awkward moment when a load of coaster enthusiasts spooge over a 30 second segment on Merlin appearing on the tele.......... :roll:
That awkward moment when we are not allowed to talk about it on a theme park web site :roll: :)
 

Mike

Active Member
Alton Towers "express parking" is now £16, which is up £6 from just 2 years ago.
THAT's ridiculous, and the people who are willing to pay it are even more so! :p
 

nealbie

Well-Known Member
marc said:
nealbie said:
Rick Wakeman? Get some culture Benin. :p

That awkward moment when a load of coaster enthusiasts spooge over a 30 second segment on Merlin appearing on the tele.......... :roll:
That awkward moment when we are not allowed to talk about it on a theme park web site :roll: :)
You're perfectly entitled to talk about it you silly sod. :lol:

Reiterating what others have said, this is nothing new (especially for Alton who've charged for the car park for almost a decade now) - it's just not: 'British'. The concept of hidden extras, whilst now commonplace, remains offensive and alien to us on the whole.
 

Hixee

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Now things have changed slightly for me being at Uni because I pretty much do have to rely on public transport to get anywhere from Sheffield. Getting to Alton isn't particularly difficult, and not that expensive really. £8.90 return train to Uttoxeter, then £4.50 (return) on the Alton Towers Bus from Uttoxeter train station to the park.

So it's not unmanageable, but can rely on a several different things all timing up perfectly. I still think £6 to park is a bit much though. £2 at Chessie? Fine. Why £6 at Alton? It's not like the car park is any better...
 

Joey

Well-Known Member
I didn't see the show, but I think charging what little parking they do is more than reasonable. Parks all over the world charge in places were public transport just doesn't exist, and they charge a lot more too.

But it's disgusting to use the excuse they want people to go by public transport. If that was the case, Alton would have the lowest parking charge because it is unreasonably difficult to get to on public transport.

And I do think it's disgusting to charge £150 for an annual pass and not include parking.

Parking prices are not an issue, it's the cost of the entry and annual pass that is a joke. You have to go a SERIOUS number of times to make the annual pass price worth it, because one should assume you could always find a bogof buddy, that's 10 park visits a year and when you think that's more than once a month because they are only open March-October you realise that even most of us lot don't go this much. In fact, if it hadn't been for that £72 day and I'd had no Tesco Vouchers, I'd not have the pass. And as for the premium pass, I cannot for the life of me see how they justify it.
 

Mark

Well-Known Member
My only issue with the parking charge is actually at Thorpe. I think they have a nerve to charge for an unlit, gravel field. I have seen it damage peoples cars. If you are going to charge for parking facilities then at least make sure they are of a resonable standard.

In general, I think that charging for parking is fine, everywhere else all over the world does these days. Perhaps they do need to be a bit more upfront about it though rather then hiding behind the encouragement of public transport which is just a load of PR Spin.

As mentioned, Alton is nigh on impossible to get to in reasonable time using public transport.

But Thorpe, I can't see how charging for parking is an encouragement to use public transport. Especially in our case. We would have to get an all day travelcard (at just over £20), plus we would have to pay the extra few quid between Feltham and Staines and then get off the train to pay for a bus that THEY want people to use. (How much is it these days?) The added few quid soons outweighs the cost of parking so am I encouraged to get the train down instead... Nope. Thats my lunch paid for perhaps?

Chessington however, is an option with public transport. Considering it is within the travelcard Zones and is an easy walk between station and park.

Above all (and Phil got it perfectly), Merlin just need to stop playing the moral high ground card and be upfront about their charges. It makes them money etc.
 
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