I personal think Merlin have done wonders for the park, just looking at the days of Spinball & Rita to the days of Thirteen & Sub-Terra is clear to see Merlin are doing a fine job! and making Alton look like it was back in the 90's.
Alton has still got that "magic" people are always on about, their is no other place where you can be relax in one part and fearing the unknown in the other, thats magic for me!
Your joking right? All Merlin have done to the park is make it one of the biggest money grabbing attractions in the UK. They introduced the car parking charge, the express parking charge, the other extra charges here and there sich as debit card booking fees on the internet, Merlin havent injected any magic into the park at all, back in the 80's and early 90's was when there was magic, before Merlin owned it, and in particular before Tussuads took it over, they were the magic days.
All the park is about now is emptying the pockets of anyone who enters!!! Unless.... hmm.... thats the magic, the magic of entering with money, and leaving wondering where the heck it all went!