UK theme parks from another point of view!

 
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Colossus
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Re: 2012 ticket price is £42

Wed Jan 18, 2012 3:57 pm

Would I be happier paying a little extra if it meant all the stuff that we moaned about got done, Yes, if that makes me in the minority, than so be it, but if the stuff we would love to see get done, is not getting done with the current pricing structure, I am not sure if it will ever get done.


Completely agree with you there.

On my travels around the world visiting theme parks, I dont mind paying full gate price or a high gate price, if the attractions, entertainment and general upkeep are all fantastic.  Did I begrudge paying approx £140 for a 5 day Disney Land California Park hopper pass.  When I got in the parks, I could see where my money had gone and therefore it wasnt a factor

As Ian said, there is loads of stuff what needs to be done at Alton AND the Hotels, but unless the number of offers are reduced they are not going to have the budget to do any of it.
Last edited by Colossus on Wed Jan 18, 2012 3:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Voke
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Re: 2012 ticket price is £42

Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:22 pm

RustyRider wrote:
Why have they taken enterprise and submission from the ultimate/platinum fastrack, and then hiked up the price?!

I know they've added sub-terra to the line up, but I can't see the justification of putting the price up when two flats have been taken away?


Both Enterprise and Submission have been taken from the 2012 ride line-up complete to allow a little bit more space, access and ease to the construction of SW7, which will be happening this year. We fully expect them to return refurbished and given a general clean-up for the 2013 season. And as for the price rise, it was pretty imminent, but I do think Sub-Terra, -which will likely to get very long queues during the 2012 season- justifies the price hike.

It's all business!
 
themealgang
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Re: 2012 ticket price is £42

Wed Jan 18, 2012 6:05 pm

The entrance fee increase really is quite naughty; and the February half term price is hardly appealing either.

I think it is quite astonishing that Merlin can rip customers off, charging a whopping £42 to visit on the day. Its almost like penalising them for not having a computer, or to be bothered to book online! I have the same rant every year, but the BOGOF tokens are almost becoming worthless, and it has now got the the stage where Merlin are ripping customers off. Not impressive stuff at all; I can remember the days the entrance fee increased to £36 and I was shocked. To say that in 2012 would be an understatement.
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BigAl
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Re: 2012 ticket price is £42

Wed Jan 18, 2012 6:17 pm

That's why I love my Premium MAP! :D
 
AstroDan

Re: 2012 ticket price is £42

Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:11 pm

I can remember the day it went over £30!

That was shock enough in itself!

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BIan
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Re: 2012 ticket price is £42

Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:31 pm

And yet everyone seems to think the Birthday Bash at £40 is okay?

Ian
 
AshleeK
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Re: 2012 ticket price is £42

Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:18 am

I don't mind the price now being £42. Like a lot of people have said, Alton Towers should be a premium attraction. But my worry is that sooner or later the price will go over £50, which is a hell of a lot of moneys :/
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Crofty

Re: 2012 ticket price is £42

Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:39 am

Prices will eventually go over £50, just like you will eventually pay £2 for a loaf of bread. It's just inflation. I'm fine really with inflation related price rises, it's the second wave of price rises that come before summer that leaves a sour taste.
Regarding the first bogoffs. They had them in 1994. In those days they were on cereal boxes and you didn't get a voucher just with 1 box, you had to collect a voucher from 4/5 boxes and stick them on a card to claim your bogoff. I'm not sure if they had them before 1994, I wouldn't remember.

:D :D
 
mathmos
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Re: 2012 ticket price is £42

Thu Jan 19, 2012 6:01 pm

Crofty wrote:
Prices will eventually go over £50, just like you will eventually pay £2 for a loaf of bread. It's just inflation. I'm fine really with inflation related price rises, it's the second wave of price rises that come before summer that leaves a sour taste.
Regarding the first bogoffs. They had them in 1994. In those days they were on cereal boxes and you didn't get a voucher just with 1 box, you had to collect a voucher from 4/5 boxes and stick them on a card to claim your bogoff. I'm not sure if they had them before 1994, I wouldn't remember.

:D :D

You say you personally are fine with paying the price rise but do you think the general public will be prepared to pay £50+ in the near future?
The general public aren't enthusiasts, they just enjoy a day out at a theme park and like everything else to do with leisure they expect value for money.
When people have thier own homes to pay for, families and children, bills on top, plus food prices that are constantly rising all the time and pay rises (that are on freeze almost everywhere due to the Recession and will be for some time) .
Looking at the outlook for the leisure industry It doesn't take Sherlock to predict they are in for very tough times in terms of getting visitors through the gates sadly....
Last edited by mathmos on Thu Jan 19, 2012 6:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
thefatone
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Re: 2012 ticket price is £42

Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:03 pm

It won't be the near future - it'll be a few years down the line (probably like 5). Things would've changed, and that price will be extremely acceptable.

Everything goes up, inflation. I'm sure we'll be paying something like £1.50 per litre of fuel then (probably more). It's unacceptable now, but it'll feel exactly the same price wise as it does to us now.
 
mathmos
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Re: 2012 ticket price is £42

Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:25 pm

thefatone wrote:
It won't be the near future - it'll be a few years down the line (probably like 5). Things would've changed, and that price will be extremely acceptable.

Everything goes up, inflation. I'm sure we'll be paying something like £1.50 per litre of fuel then (probably more). It's unacceptable now, but it'll feel exactly the same price wise as it does to us now.

Still misses out the point that if the park continues to lose visitor numbers and the prices need to keep increasing to overcome the losses it won't be in line with inflation at all.
If the park loses another huge chunk of visitors like it did last year on a regular basis and the investments that they are putting in (Sub Terra) for example aren't enough to generate interest in visiting, a slow decline will surely come from that...
Prices are going up on everything at an alarming rate (way above inflation already) and if the Euro collapses and has a snowball effect we could see pretty shocking things happen.
 
AstroDan

Re: 2012 ticket price is £42

Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:27 pm

I expect £50 a ticket by 2016.

Alton Towers tend to rise prices by around £2.50 every year, which actually is often more than inflation.

However, nobody is going to pay £50.00 because it's a rip off. So, unless you have a voucher, you simply wouldn't go.

I have to say, it's a pity that you can't just have an "impulse" day at the park... everything these days has to be pre-booked or vouchere-d to get a decent price.
 
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aru
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Re: 2012 ticket price is £42

Fri Jan 20, 2012 12:14 pm

Nick Varney on the radio trying to justify ticket prices: http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/ne ... 682391.stm
 
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James
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Re: 2012 ticket price is £42

Fri Jan 20, 2012 12:41 pm

'Trying' being the operative word there. :P
 
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garyh
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Re: 2012 ticket price is £42

Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:20 pm

Why should Alton be a "premium" product?  Compared to the likes of Disney parks, its hardly Premium is it?  Sure, its the nicest of the bunch in the UK but its not premium.  By saying it should be premium are we implying that only those who drive posh cars, and earn in excess of £50,000 a year should be able to visit? 

Its no wonder admissions are down, and they will be down a lot this year.  Read the tripadvisor reviews, everyone slates the parking charge.  People complaining of the queues and the price they paid to get in.  Stop looking at AT from an enthusiast point of view and look at it from the point of view of the Joe Bloggs family with 2.4 children. 

Are they really going to be wanting to pay £500+ for a day in alton towers and a night in the hotel?  Erm, no.  If AT wants to increase visitor numbers then start charging sensible prices.  The hotels are way overpriced for what they are, £20 pp to eat in Splash buffet is extortionate, the waterpark is expensive for what it is, and the theme park isnt open long enough, nor has enough rides to soak up the queues in the summer.  As for then expecting people to pay £6 just to visit, its a joke.  You say that the majority of people would split this charge by those in the car, but I can hardly see a dad turing around and asking his young sons to cough up £2 each from their pocket money.

Altons main visitor group are families and they are in great danger of loosing this group.  I remember that AT once lost a lot of its customers as it was seen as a "teenage" resort.  The Haunted House and RMT were developed to start countering this arguement, and it worked.  If they are not careful, families will not be able to visit the park and once again the main customer base will be teenagers, mostly on school trips, organised coach trips, or groups who can afford annual passes. 

But then look at all the Merlin attractions, unless you have a MAP, and if you were average Joe Bloggs family, they are all expensive.  I was amazed on my recent visit to London how a trip for 2 on the London Eye with Fastpass was just shy of £50!!! 
 
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Sam
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Re: 2012 ticket price is £42

Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:23 pm

The West End show/football match argument is an absolute crock. Basically saying for the same price (around £40/50) you get an entire day's entertainment, whereas at a show/football you only get 90 minutes or so. Actually, if you just included all the time spent actually on rides, it wouldn't top more than half hour, maybe an hour if you see a show. At a park like Disney or Europa, you could make a better claim that just walking around the park or the queues constitute an experience, whereas at Towers... not so much.

Also LOL @ "nobody's being strongarmed" to buy extra stuff. "PHOTO GUYS, PHOTO????? QUENCHER GUYS? WANNA PLAY A GAME GUYS??? PLEASE PLAY A GAME!"
 
thefatone
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Re: 2012 ticket price is £42

Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:48 pm

It's done so it looks premium - but affordable so you can buy it. It's an easy simple way of boosting peoples feelings about themselves, feeling higher in status. Makes them happier, makes them willing to talk about it and most of all makes them spend that money. It's plain and simple business psychology which all businesses do (think tesco finest range or Jack Wills).. and works well if they've done it correctly.

I agree with some things, the whole upcharge on lockers, upcharge on parking and upselling ruins the whole business psychology. But other things I don't argue about. The hotels are costly because they become fully booked - they use same system as a travelodge does. Towers doesn't get queues in summer - infact first few weeks of 7pm summers are the quietest and nicest days to visit all season.

People need to remember that the business is branded and marketing predominantly as a once a year type attraction. They try and make it so you save up to go there, and splash out as a holiday alternative. Like disney, just with less budget and inspiration. Hence majority of the pricing and premium related stuff.
 
Dormiens-Dave

Re: 2012 ticket price is £42

Fri Jan 20, 2012 2:21 pm

Where is this idea Towers are losing guests from? They havnt had such healthy guest figures in years 2,750,000 in a year with no new attraction is huge compared to the mid 2000's
 
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HAJiME
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Re: 2012 ticket price is £42

Fri Jan 20, 2012 4:33 pm

£42 is a lot for one day at an attraction. There is no denying that. It's too much.

£21 isn't, though. And that really is the crux of the matter. BOGOFs are so commonplace that quoting "£42" as the entrance fee just isn't a true representation of the price.

I think the voucher culture we have in the UK is great, to be honest. It works in everyone's favour. Parks basically run a continual advertising campaign to make people believe they can get tickets really cheap and rip off the unprepared fools, and those of us with a brain see it as the entrance fee being a good value £21.

Compare that to say the USA, where vouchers are far harder to come by, and actually you see that our ticket prices are really quite reasonable. The US is renowned for being cheap, but actually their entertainments are pretty expensive comparatively. Busch Gardens Williamsburg is a park I'd say is comparable to Alton in terms of market and what they offer. It is $66.99 (£43) for a day ticket. And when you think American's earn far less than we do, you realise that we really don't have it that bad. Finding coupons in the US is difficult, BOGOFS just don't exist and the best you're going to get is $15 off from a grocery store. And then of course you have to pay the $15 (I think?) parking.

The obvious exception is Six Flags, which have a season pass valid at all their parks for less than one day at Busch, but then you have to go to Six Flags, and some would argue they should pay you for that.

Many of the premium parks in the US are similarly overpriced. When I went in 2010, Hershey Park was $50 which I thought was really high considering the cost of other goods in the US, and Dollywood this Christmas was $60... Baring in mind if it's too cold the coasters don't run and all their water rides are closed that time of year.

We've been lucky to avoid parking charges for so long, too. At the US $15-20 is standard for that.

But still, £40+ is a LOT for one day at any park. Too much. But the reality is that it's actually more like £20, which is good value.

I have more of an issue with Chessington's Entrance fee, where even the BOGOF price fails to be good value.
Last edited by HAJiME on Fri Jan 20, 2012 4:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
mathmos
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Re: 2012 ticket price is £42

Fri Jan 20, 2012 6:19 pm

Dormiens-Dave wrote:
Where is this idea Towers are losing guests from? They havnt had such healthy guest figures in years 2,750,000 in a year with no new attraction is huge compared to the mid 2000's

Alton Towers had it's worst year attendance wise last year, 300.000 people down on previous years from what I have read.
I am suprised you havn't already read this on the forum  on the Enterprise/Submission SBNO topic....
Last edited by mathmos on Fri Jan 20, 2012 6:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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