Firstly, how many parks did Tussauds ever abandon? And what makes Merlin so much better than Tussauds anyway? :?
Secondly, Chessington's rise in attendence last year was due to Sealife which, in Chessington terms, was a very, very big investment. This year, there has been little investment and attendance at Chessington has gone down again.
Well maybe abandon was the wrong word choice, but I'd definately say they lost all care with Alton and Chessington between 2004 and 2007 whilst they were developing their love child Thorpe.
Sometimes Merlin are given too much credit, and other times not enough. I'd definately say Merlin are one thousand times better than Tussauds, even if it's not immediately visable. The parks have become a much much better place to work in, and budgets significantly improved.
I wouldn't say the reason behind Chessington's surge of guests last year was totally down to the Sea Life, but yes it helped. I think it was a combination of that, the economic recession and the new marketing campaign that the park set out on last year. And yes, absolutely, you're right, in terms of Chessington investments, the Sea Life centre was quite significant, although I was talking in terms of Merlin (and Tussauds) projects as a whole.
I don't quite understand what points you are trying to make. I was purely commenting that there doesn't need to be any concerns about Chessington's future, Merlin and the park know exactly where they're going, and they're really gonna go for it over the next several years.
Don't blink; not even for a second, blink and you're dead.