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WTF Merlin?

Can't sell fast track if there's no queue!

And by the time you've got a tech down (because of ^) to add/remove a train, the queue will have changed, so they'd be chasing their tail all day adding and removing trains to match the queue
This🔝 . I was at AT on Saturday and the queue times on the app were exaggerated by at least 20 minutes all day. Some of this can be attributed to the difficulties in estimating queues with social distancing however the fact that there were selling fast track had to have an impact the times shown.
 

Nicky Borrill

Active Member
This🔝 . I was at AT on Saturday and the queue times on the app were exaggerated by at least 20 minutes all day. Some of this can be attributed to the difficulties in estimating queues with social distancing however the fact that there were selling fast track had to have an impact the times shown.
They’re not selling fast track :/ At least that’s what we were told Monday, and all of the fast track queues are closed...

They are providing RAP though.

Edit: Just double checked and still they’re not selling fast track, it’s not been available since opening day... I’m guessing you saw the RAP queue and mistook it for FT?
 

JammyH

Member
They’re not selling fast track :/ At least that’s what we were told Monday, and all of the fast track queues are closed...

They are providing RAP though.

Edit: Just double checked and still they’re not selling fast track, it’s not been available since opening day... I’m guessing you saw the RAP queue and mistook it for FT?
Fastrack is operating at Thorpe park for hotel guests, VIP merlin pass holders and anyone who pre-booked fastrack tickets before lockdown....

I don’t know about towers though.
 

Nicky Borrill

Active Member
Fastrack is operating at Thorpe park for hotel guests, VIP merlin pass holders and anyone who pre-booked fastrack tickets before lockdown....

I don’t know about towers though.
The queues were closed, not available online... And VIP passes ended last year...

Can see why Thorpe have to honour hotel guests though, the rooms were advertised with fast track as a major factor 🙈😂

Not the case at Towers, no fast track sold with rooms. :)
 
They’re not selling fast track :/ At least that’s what we were told Monday, and all of the fast track queues are closed...

They are providing RAP though.

Edit: Just double checked and still they’re not selling fast track, it’s not been available since opening day... I’m guessing you saw the RAP queue and mistook it for FT?
Possibly but it looked like fast track with the little passport things that got marked off by the ride op.
 

Nicky Borrill

Active Member
Possibly but it looked like fast track with the little passport things that got marked off by the ride op.
That’s RAP for those with disabilities... The passport is signed with a time... It’s supposed to mean that they still wait as long as you between rides, but don’t actually have to stand in the queue :)
 
That’s RAP for those with disabilities... The passport is signed with a time... It’s supposed to mean that they still wait as long as you between rides, but don’t actually have to stand in the queue :)
Ah like a virtual queue for those who struggle with the logistics of waiting in a physical queue?
 
I just tried to book to go to to AT before the end of the year with the pre book for my annual pass and they were all sold out. Fair enough I thought only limited amount allowed in and I've left it late, bit disappointing for the kids (and me!!) but this is all a bit weird this year so I get it. However I was just able to book tickets for the weekend if I was willing to pay the entrance fee!!

WTF Merlin!!!
 

Nicky Borrill

Active Member
I just tried to book to go to to AT before the end of the year with the pre book for my annual pass and they were all sold out. Fair enough I thought only limited amount allowed in and I've left it late, bit disappointing for the kids (and me!!) but this is all a bit weird this year so I get it. However I was just able to book tickets for the weekend if I was willing to pay the entrance fee!!

WTF Merlin!!!
It’s been like this since they reopened.

Obviously they need to sell as many day tickets as possible, with the requirement to prebook, if they released all tickets to passholders immediately, the limited capacity would be swallowed up by passholders immediately.

The good news is that many tickets that remain unsold (if they do remain unsold) are released to passholders closer to the time, so keep checking.
 
It’s been like this since they reopened.

Obviously they need to sell as many day tickets as possible, with the requirement to prebook, if they released all tickets to passholders immediately, the limited capacity would be swallowed up by passholders immediately.

The good news is that many tickets that remain unsold (if they do remain unsold) are released to passholders closer to the time, so keep checking.
But they have my money. It's not like I'm getting in for free. Not treating customers fairly nor looking after their loyal ones.
 

Peet

Member
I just tried to book to go to to AT before the end of the year with the pre book for my annual pass and they were all sold out. Fair enough I thought only limited amount allowed in and I've left it late, bit disappointing for the kids (and me!!) but this is all a bit weird this year so I get it. However I was just able to book tickets for the weekend if I was willing to pay the entrance fee!!

WTF Merlin!!!
I normally stick up for Merlin but this is outrageous. I had a MAP for 10+ years and the perks gradually got reduced every year, but this really does take it to a new low, I feel for you. I hope you have given them some stern feedback!
 

JoshC.

Active Member
The main issue is that Merlin have built a rod for their own back.

For years, they've pushed Merlin Annual Passes, as well as park-specific Season and Annual passes, down everyone's throats for years. They have a high on the gate price, and make the passes look as lucrative as possible. I've no idea what the numbers would be like, but it wouldn't be a surprise if a huge percentage of visitors are Annual passholders.

But they're backed into a corner at the moment. With capacity limited at the parks, they don't want to risk having huge proportions of people turn up, not spend money to get in, and spend minimal money when through the gates (passholders traditionally spend less, especially if it's their second or more visit). Because all that means is they're making less, or perhaps even losing, money. And at a time when they were closed for 4 months, that's not good.

If they hadn't so aggressively pushed passes over the last few years, and had less people out there with passes, it wouldn't be a problem. But as it stands, it is.

The problem is further highlighted now because passholders don't have a pre book fee. At first, you had to pay £1 to pre book a ticket (it was effectively a way to deter people from booking and not showing up), but that's been dropped as of a couple of weeks ago. Not that the £1 fee stopped people no showing anyways..


The trouble is, what can they do? They've got this problem of huge numbers of passholders who will likely want to book, and not wanting to give away too many spaces to them. They can, as they are doing, release more close to the date if they haven't sold out, but that doesn't solve the problem. And, as much as I hate the pre booking and planning months in advance, I understand the want to limit numbers.

In my opinion, Merlin should be extending passes for longer. I believe they system they had is that you get 5 extra months added to the pass, not including closed season. So if your pass ran out in April, it was extended to September. If it runs out in October, they extended it to August (ignore close season, then add 5 months from start of season in March). (?)

The trouble is, everyone has been affected by the booking issues since parks reopened, and even if you get that extension, you might not have been able to visit parks. So you get frustrated and lose faith. I'd have thought giving everyone an extension until mid-2021 would have been a solid idea, as you have more of a chance of things being closer to a sense of normality and help keep customers happy. Sure, you don't make as many sales of new passes / renewals, but you make up for that in people still visiting the parks, spending money, and get the big hit in 2021.
 
The demand for Towers must be quite high.
I had no problem booking 3 days season pass entry for BPB last week (Thursday, Friday and Saturday) on Wednesday evening. Saturday was pretty busy.

But as has been hinted at the season passes for Merlin parks are pretty damn cheap too and I think they probably had a huge wave of uptake in the last few years with the monthly payment programmes too for Merlin passes (I was quite tempted to get one). £12 per month to go to Thorpe or Towers and other parks & sealife etc whenever you want with free parking and friends/family discount seems like a steal.

I guess the reality is Merlin cannot actually fulfil the demand I guess at those kind of prices with reduced capacity AND people heavily restricted doing anything else right now (travelling abroad & watching shows/concerts which they normally probably would be doing partly).
 
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Another reason I'd assume MAP tickets will be limited is because of The Sun Savers tickets.

They're completely free tickets, I've booked them in for Towers and Thorpe for the coming weeks.

Not ideal for gate revenue with the limited capacity.
 

Nicky Borrill

Active Member
Merlin also gave us July to September on our passes completely free... As compensation for these measures, let’s not forget that. So Nobody was paying for an annual pass from March until September.

Pre paid passes got the extension to cover this, monthly got the payment holiday... Yet we could still use our passes through July and August.

So I personally had several completely free visits.

I have also adapted my usual impulsive habits and started planning ahead, I’ve pre booked at least one Merlin park for every remaining week of the season.

Hence I’m more than happy. These are crazy times, businesses have had to adapt, So I’ll adapt with them.
 

Will

Active Member
For obvious reasons, I'm sceptical about Scarefest (or Fright Nights, for that matter) being able to operate in any kind of worthwhile capacity this year.
Since the virus looks like ruining the high point of the theme park calendar as well, I've booked for the end of the week in order to get at least SOME night riding in!

Whilst, researching, I came across this on TS. I died a little inside and proceeded to miss 90s Tussauds marketing.
 

Nicky Borrill

Active Member
Not necessarily a WTF moment... But nowhere more suitable for it.

Merlin have completely removed their annual passes from sale.

They may be replaced with options recently shown in a customer survey, including a very good value midweek pass... Which would suit me to the ground :)

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