UK theme parks from another point of view!

 
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Michelle
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Wed Jun 18, 2014 1:23 pm

I've not heard of any problems from other members but I would imagine you will be fine if you've been told by Merlin themselves. Maybe to cover yourself you could email them so it's in writing? That way you won't need to worry about it :-)
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Aidan Lowe
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Wed Jun 18, 2014 3:38 pm

Funds sorted, now just gotta cross my fingers a rep picks up the other end before all the VIP Merlin Annual passes go.

Going tomorrow to Towers and according to their FAQ the passes can be picked up the next day at your "home" attraction, so hopefully tomorrow I'll have my VIP badge :-) wish me luck!
 
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Dom
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Fri Jun 20, 2014 2:34 pm

If I wanted to but fast track for someone, do you get discount with a Merlin annual pass?
 
Lee
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Fri Jun 20, 2014 3:19 pm

Dom wrote:
If I wanted to but fast track for someone, do you get discount with a Merlin annual pass?


Premium and standard is a simple no, Dom. They're weirdly very strict about it too.

VIP may be a slightly different scenario. You might be able to negotiate something, but there's no promises. As VIP is so new, it'll be interesting to see how it goes.
 
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Danny
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Fri Jun 20, 2014 3:38 pm

I've just got off the phone to the VIP annual pass booking line. I was querying about 4 passes. As it's been pointed out on TT the VIP pack comes with two golden tickets which allows the owner two experiences, either themselves and a friend, or both can be used at different attractions. When asked what sort of experiences (although I had a rough idea) he told me that even they didn't know what they all were, and that an official list of experiences would be released later on this year.
Then I asked him how fast these are selling, in case a decision would have had to be made quick. However he told me they have only just sold half of the passes available, so clearly these aren't selling out as well as hoped. Then I asked about the unlimited fast tracks. These are only for the UK parks, not for all parks globally which I think is bad.
When asked about offers and deals available to VIP holders he didn't seem to know much so not all my questions were answered. Little bit disappointed by how little information he could give me on these considering they are a dedicated phone line for them.

£1600 for a family of four I think is an incredible amount, and certainly not worth it for the perks you get. Especially when, if only one person in the family owns one, either that person cannot get the most out of his pass, or he may as we'll go alone as his family won't get the use of FT etc;
 
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hursty
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Fri Jun 20, 2014 4:54 pm

DannyG wrote:
As it's been pointed out on TT the VIP pack comes with two golden tickets which allows the owner two experiences, either themselves and a friend, or both can be used at different attractions. When asked what sort of experiences (although I had a rough idea) he told me that even they didn't know what they all were, and that an official list of experiences would be released later on this year.


There are some initial ones here: http://merlinannualpass.co.uk/vip-golden-ticket.aspx

  • Champagne Experience London Eye (South)
  • Giraffe feeding at Chessington World of Adventures Resort (limited availability)
  • Behind the Scenes Tour SEA LIFE

It's possible we may get additional tickets at other times in the year.

It would seem that whilst a lot of work has gone into the pass, the nitty gritty has yet to be worked out.
The pass is issued by Merlin, but the benifits have to be sorted out with individual parks, so expect differences amounts of engagement.

We're seeking as much clarification as we can with Merlin and the parks.
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Aidan Lowe
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Fri Jun 20, 2014 8:57 pm

They don't seem to be selling too fast as its quite a steep price which is only set to go up next year given this is an introductory price.

As for the whole experience with buying a V.I.P pass I'm a little disappointed in Merlin and how in my case my purchase was handled.

I phoned Wednesday at 6pm, took me 20 mins to get through, gave him all my details everything was sorted and we said our goodbyes. Never received a confirmation e-mail or the phone call back and the money was not deducted from my account (even as I write this message). It was only today when I was on the hotline did my post come and got a congratulatory letter from Merlin confirming my VIP pass. But I'm going Alton Towers tomorrow with my letter from Merlin in hopes I'll get in otherwise I'll be red faced, the phone call I'm expecting should give me further instructions on how to use my pass straight away until the packages are sent out next week.

As for the V.I.P experiences I have heard that for places like AT there may be some lift hill walks (smiler, blivvy maybe), not exactly exciting but its an experience most won't have so that is a nice little perk to have included.

I was at AT Thursday and a father and his family who bought 4 managed to get in and were each given an unlimited fast track wristband and they did 6 rides of The Smiler while people were waiting 100 mins :D, that's why I bought mine.
 
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Fri Jun 20, 2014 9:13 pm

I arranged collection for TP and they were supposed to call on Thursday and it wasn't until i tweeted them that they rung me, but other than that i've had no issues with mine and they have been really helpful. If anything they have been more than i expected. I got my letter today and was all excited.
 
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Sat Jun 21, 2014 3:28 pm

AT phoned me on Thursday after buying the passes in Wed night.
They gave me a mobile number to ring when I arrived at the park. I was met at the entrance and taken through to the box office where my pass was printed. Also given a wristband for fast pass entry valid for that day. On future visits you simply visit the box office to collect a new wristband.
Really easy process. Currently in the park doing lots of rides. Also nice parking right outside rather getting the monorail.
 
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awsomelycoolboy
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Sat Jun 21, 2014 6:08 pm

So... That VIP Merlin Annual pass, comes with unlimited fast track for all uk parks? If so. Would DEFINATLEY worth it in the long run
 
pob
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Sat Jun 21, 2014 6:59 pm

Yes - all uk parks. There is even a VIP entrance at Madame tussuards and fast track at London Eye.
 
nuttyslack
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Sat Jun 21, 2014 7:24 pm

my brother and I picked our VIP passes today, why wait two hours for smiler when you can have 5 goes in less than an hour. Although some of the drinks refill counters the staff didnt know that VIP holders got free refills. On Rita once they saw the VIP wristband they asked if we had a wonderful day, never had that before on a ride, on thirteen the ride op asked if we wanted front row seats dont know if that was straight to the front or not as we declined. Perhaps the perks for the passes will increase as the staff are better informed about them. Better to get there early for priority parking as its can fill up quick, its alot easier to exit from as well, which should be good for halloween and the fireworks events.
 
Aidan Lowe
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Sat Jun 21, 2014 8:04 pm

Picked up my VIP card today and got a wristband.

Did:

Nemesis (Front Row) x 6
Air (FR) x 3
Ripsaw x 4
Smiler x 8 (5 of those FR thanks to a kind guy, asked me where I wanted to go)
Blivvy x 5
Rita (FR) x 1
Th13teen x 1

Overall a good day, seeing as we should get a wristband per visit it is very nice indeed considering how busy sunny saturday's are.
 
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Dom
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Sat Jun 21, 2014 8:31 pm

Everyone saying they get Front Row so does that mean it comes as part of the VIP pass or just you were lucky
 
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lewis97
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Sat Jun 21, 2014 8:32 pm

Across the attractions staff have been instructed to offer things, such as Front Row, to VIP Pass Holders.
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Sat Jun 21, 2014 8:34 pm

So even at Thorpe? Thats actually really cool
 
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lewis97
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Sat Jun 21, 2014 8:37 pm

Yes, obviously it's up to the park to embrace the VIP system but there have been attraction-wide suggestions of additonal perks to spontaneously offer VIP Pass Holders.
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Sat Jun 21, 2014 8:38 pm

Another quick questions. Does this go for just the VIP holder or does it include others in the group, because it would be a bit awkward if only the VIP holder got offered front row and someone else they are with didn't. If that makes sense
 
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Sat Jun 21, 2014 8:42 pm

I can't say for definite, but I'm sure staff woud be happy to co-operate as long as it's a reasonable size group.
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Sun Jun 22, 2014 3:38 pm

I think that was me that Mabalzitch metioned as being there with the family on Thursday,

Yes AT was fantastic, and the VIP Pass allowed a great deal of rides to be done

Also used it on Saturday at Thorpe to see how it managed on a busy day there, results were not so good, nobodys fault but got plagued with Tech shutdowns and Puke cleanups that really slowed down the day.

For me (and my family) its the combination of benefits that make the VIP Pass such a good deal.

1: The Fasttrack of course, I have never bought one before but really lusted after one and getting on time after time, now I can scratch that itch whenever I want

Living close to AT I tend to make about 30 visits a year. So even if the value of the unlimited fastrack only comes into play on a percentage of those visits its already great value.

+ I like to go to the park in the morning then the pool at the waterpark in the afternoon, this pass saves £12 a pop or £75 a year for a waterpark pass as its included.

The drinks, That new capsule was a bugbear to me, filling 4 times a day at 75p a pop was looking to be over £90 a year. Now thats free as well

Parking. The Express parking saves the slog on the Monosnail, and being able to go back to the car easily for the lunch bag or anything you need is a bonus.

The 2 Free anytime tickets will be useful as the kids can bring friends from time to time with no hassle.

Our yearly breakdown is on average

30 Alton Towers
7ish Thorpe Park

So the real saver over the premium passes there is the Fasttrack

Waterpark, up to now maybe 10 times a year but most likely more now its included.

The London Attractions maybe 2 times a year each, although will probably use the river cruise now its included as a place for a lunch break

Yes the pass is a large chunk of change, but as a family we tend to be out and about 3 days a week letting off steam due to our work pattern.

Will be interesting to see what else is added in the future,

Some people we have spoken to have been told that the Extra Halloween items will be included on the pass, but we wait to see,

So far I would say its going to be worth much more at AT rather than Thorpe, but thats just down to the way the fasttrack is oversold at thorpe.

But a very happy camper so far with it. And the way the staff have dealt with everything.

Having a rest today, then back off to AT Monday, Park in the Morning Waterpark in Afternoon

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