It seems Merlin have forgotten we are in a RECESSION!!!!!
I don't really get this comment...the only reason why general members of the public are bothered about a recession is because we have less money to spend on ourselves....why is this? Have our wages decreased? No. The answer is that everything is more expensive! Everyone is charging more and more for services and products! No-one is reducing prices, they are increasing their profit through other, more underhand schemes which prey on peoples fascination with 'recession'.
Alton Towers pricing strategies are by no means unique to the attraction, Merlin, or the industry - it's a very common style of pricing. It's a mixture of loss-leading and high-lowing, two pricing strategies which are very popular.
It works by
a) making Alton Towers look like a premium attraction; when shopping at a supermarket most people would go for the £5 item at half price over the £2.50 item at full price - high price equals high quality in most consumers mind, think about British snobbery towards Aldi despite the fact that the chain continually wins awards for the quality of their products. Another (pretty weird but well known) example is John West Tuna....are those 'barrels' of tuna ever not on offer??
b) it also means that guests feel like they have got a bargain at the gates, so will feel like they have money to spare for F&B, merchandise, etc.