UK theme parks from another point of view!

 
Paul_richard
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Sun Jul 20, 2014 11:03 pm

I think the two friends passes need refining for next year (if they continue with VIP) either charge £550 and allow those friends to be a VIP for the day or allow you to redeem your golden ticket to upgrade that person to VIP.

Of course that's part of Merlin's objective with the passes, four of you have got them and you take a few friends then of course your going to be inclined to buy a fastrack so you can all ride together.
 
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jon18uk
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:25 am

V to the I to the P wrote:
Tbh the 2 free friends thing is a waste of time. You cannot take 2 friends with you for a day out. You can give 2 friends free entry and that's about it. As they are not going to get fast track with their pass. So you all walk in together then they spend 2 hours in the queue for smiler while you do 10 rides round the rest of the park. So you will never see each other. Apart from meeting up for lunch maybe. So they either spend £92 on an unlimited fast track for the day or you spend the day apart. Takes the shine off inviting friends with you for the day ! Oh yes fancy coming to AT with us for the day but we won't actually see you all day. I wouldn't mind giving up a golden ticket for a friend to get a day fast track.


Or if you are a good friend you wait in the queue with them as their company is worth a day out together? If you have VIP pass you can visit anytime and use fasttrack, but you can only use the 2 friend passes once, is it not more worthwhile to have a day out with friends than repeat riding coasters you've already ridden on other days?

Although I agree with Paul it would be nicer if the golden tickets were for a free day of platinum fasttrack (so friends pay entry but can fast track with you).
 
stageshoot
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:08 am

jon18uk wrote:
V to the I to the P wrote:
Although I agree with Paul it would be nicer if the golden tickets were for a free day of platinum fasttrack (so friends pay entry but can fast track with you).


Email them and suggest they add it as one of the golden ticket options. The more people do it the more likely they are to listen
 
thedman31
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:14 am

I think everyone seems to agree that the situation regarding the two guests isn't ideal and should be looked at. Another alternative is that the free passes for entry could be used as many times as you liked, or maybe up to a limit (8?) that way you could sign in family members and go to several attractions with them. I'm not that fussed about fast pass for them but it would be good to do a couple of different things with them.
 
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:30 am

Monday morning at AT

Rita. Thirteen. Air.

All now fastrack entrance only. Ride staff Saying advised by management that VIP pass holders be directed to fastrack entrance

So it seems there is some clarification going out to staff. Even it is a pain on rides like Rita where the fastrack joins the main queue so far back..
 
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hursty
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Mon Jul 21, 2014 12:14 pm

V to the I to the P wrote:
Not really sure why the disabled are allowed to get straight on. No one forces them to go to a theme park it's a choice. Why should an able bodied person wait in a queue for 2 hours and a disabled person not have to wait ? Shoot me down if you wish, but that's my opinion. I'm aware of the logistics of getting a wheel chair around some of the queuing lines, but Besides that why the priority ?


DannyG wrote:
...So I believe that people with disabilities should get priority. I think it's a nice thing Alton Towers do, and allows people, who may struggle to go to places such as theme parks, a fantastic day out just like every other guest.


What you need to remember is how the disabled pass actually works.
The idea is reduce the amount of time standing in a queue, rather that reduce the amount of time waiting.

As such those that qualify for a disabled access pass have a card that is signed by a staff member giving the next time the pass can be used. This is supposed to be the current queue waiting time.
So if you use the pass on the Smiler they will write the time you can next use the pass - if the queue is and hour when you ride at 11.45, they will write 12.45 on the card. As such you still technically wait the 'same' amount of time, it's just the difference between waiting in the queue line or elsewhere.

When the wristbands are seen by staff on the loading stations, they will also be directed to a specific row - on most rides it's the last row. This is determined by the order of evacuation from the ride should a breakdown occur. Most rides have lift hills and as such it is the back row that is evacuated first.
Those that benefit from the disabled access passes do therefore have to endure the rougher back-row riding as well as missing a lot of front row enjoyment.
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Paul_richard
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:23 pm

stageshoot wrote:
Monday morning at AT

Rita. Thirteen. Air.

All now fastrack entrance only. Ride staff Saying advised by management that VIP pass holders be directed to fastrack entrance

So it seems there is some clarification going out to staff. Even it is a pain on rides like Rita where the fastrack joins the main queue so far back..


Whilst it's good to see some form of procedure it'll be interesting to see if this is reported every visit. And what happens regarding front row seating, are they making you queue in the front row lines as well?
 
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:31 pm

Paul_richard wrote:
stageshoot wrote:
Monday morning at AT

Rita. Thirteen. Air.

All now fastrack entrance only. Ride staff Saying advised by management that VIP pass holders be directed to fastrack entrance

So it seems there is some clarification going out to staff. Even it is a pain on rides like Rita where the fastrack joins the main queue so far back..


Whilst it's good to see some form of procedure it'll be interesting to see if this is reported every visit. And what happens regarding front row seating, are they making you queue in the front row lines as well?


I did not ask about front row.

The ironic thing is I went back to rita an hour later and on entering the fastrack queue was directed by a staff member to use the exit instead when she saw thw vip lanyard. This is doing my head in a bit now there really is no consistency !!!!!!

Anyway off to the waterpark for a swim now. At least nothing confusing there !!,
 
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:36 pm

Went in the park on Sunday and the fast track queue was closed so went to exit and was told that I could use the exit when the fast track queue is closed but not when it is open. But on the Saturday te fast tack queue was open but we used the exit anyway and had no problems. The staff in Intamin, oops I mean Dark Forest are deffinatley the best at giving the VIP treatment. I can not fault them in any way.
 
Paul_richard
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:58 pm

stageshoot wrote:
Paul_richard wrote:
stageshoot wrote:
Monday morning at AT

Rita. Thirteen. Air.

All now fastrack entrance only. Ride staff Saying advised by management that VIP pass holders be directed to fastrack entrance

So it seems there is some clarification going out to staff. Even it is a pain on rides like Rita where the fastrack joins the main queue so far back..


Whilst it's good to see some form of procedure it'll be interesting to see if this is reported every visit. And what happens regarding front row seating, are they making you queue in the front row lines as well?


I did not ask about front row.

The ironic thing is I went back to rita an hour later and on entering the fastrack queue was directed by a staff member to use the exit instead when she saw thw vip lanyard. This is doing my head in a bit now there really is no consistency !!!!!!

Anyway off to the waterpark for a swim now. At least nothing confusing there !!,


I knew you'd reply back saying you had conflicting information! I suspect it's misinformation given how glowing the VIP experience was from day 1 at Alton. They probably told to balance exit queuing and fastrack

Haha waits for you to tell us the water park staff told you that you got in the pool at wrong end for VIP, or that your using too much pool area ](*,)
 
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Mark-Cal
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Mon Jul 21, 2014 3:37 pm

Yup, we were told the same thing on Rita today - use the Fasttrack entrance, at least once the Fasttrack lane was open.
Not the end of the world, it's still only 10-15 minutes wait from where the Fasttrack merges, at least we know now.

Really appreciated the passes today, the park was rammed with schoolkids and all queue lines were full, the Rita fasttrack lane was even spilling out of the entrance at one point so it's nice to go in, grab a good few rides and leave early without any stress.
 
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Mon Jul 21, 2014 5:03 pm

Has anyone tried to use the VIP pass on Depth Charge at Thorpe Park?

Before purchasing our passes, we did ask about any rides that did not operate FastTrack, and were advised that for those rides we should go to the ride exit instead.

Depth Charge is a classic example of this - but also for obvious reasons does not have a ride exit! I cannot imagine barging my way through the queue and waving my wrist band around at customers will do the job. I just wondered if you could speak to one of the staff collecting the boats and the bottom and ask them to escort you up the line?

Cheers
 
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Danny
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Mon Jul 21, 2014 5:23 pm

Omg I think guests would be even more annoyed if you barged past with your boat under ya arm :lol
 
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hursty
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Mon Jul 21, 2014 5:39 pm

markfranklin wrote:
Before purchasing our passes, we did ask about any rides that did not operate FastTrack, and were advised that for those rides we should go to the ride exit instead.


This appears to be one of the statements that has been explained differently to people over time.
There has been contradictory information on those rides without fastrack in place.
Sometimes the explanation is to use the ride exit, another explanation given is that there is no VIP fastrack for rides where there is no fastrack offered to the general public - such that if you can't buy a fastrack for it on park, you can't do it with VIP.
This has been used to deny people the chance to use their pass in CBeebies Land.

For Thorpe, that'll probably mean: The Swarm, SAW, Stealth, Storm Surge, Nemesis Inferno, Colossus, Samurai, Vortex, Rush, X, Loggers Leap, Tidal Wave, Rumba Rapids, Flying Fish and Detonator.

This is in addition general confusion as to the ongoing fastrack entrance or exit information.
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Mon Jul 21, 2014 5:40 pm


Haha waits for you to tell us the water park staff told you that you got in the pool at wrong end for VIP, or that your using too much pool area ](*,)


NAH!!! Water Park staff are top notch. Arrived at 1.45pm given an all day wristband so did not have to worry about the split sessions during the day.

Brilliant place to chill out after a session in the park. And the hour between the 2 sessions when it's only all day wristbands in there is bliss
 
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Mon Jul 21, 2014 5:41 pm

Certainly need a brave person to walk up there on their own! It'll be one try on my next visit.
 
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Hazard
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Tue Jul 22, 2014 12:14 am

The fast track thing is getting ridiculous now to the point where I probably won't even renew next year if the fast track queues are ridiculously long.

Also when I visited AT recently with two friends who used the pass, we were allowed fast track on the log flumes and rapids but given that you have the logs/rapids to yourself and not shared it makes sense for them to do that, obviously if people were made to share then I could understand them wanting people to queue up.
 
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Tue Jul 22, 2014 12:54 am

Hazard wrote:
The fast track thing is getting ridiculous now to the point where I probably won't even renew next year if the fast track queues are ridiculously long.


I think a few people are expecting too much from their VIP "status" :? Please tell me what the difference is between our fast track and any other fast track purchased on the day at the box office, they all get in the queue line where we do, simple as.

I've made 8 trips to AT so far with my pass the majority of days had constant 40-70 minute queues, if I had got a ticket for say £23 friends & family, £16 express and £92 all day fast track I would of spent £1048, I bought an annual pass with all those privileges for £500. I've had my money's worth of trips already and more and it's not even been a month yet.
 
Paul_richard
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Tue Jul 22, 2014 1:17 am

It's not that people are expecting too much from the VIP status, it's the conflicting information people are getting.

Take yesterday as an example, stageshoot's trip to Alton Towers. He was told by staff at Rita not to use the exit (despite other trips being told to do so) then later he goes back for another ride and he uses the fastrack queue and the staff tell him he's to use the exit as he's a VIP. That then causes a problem when you next ride as you would go to the exit as that's what you been told to do in the past.

It's those issues which are causing the negative comments, there is no consistency to what the procedures are.
 
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Hazard
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Tue Jul 22, 2014 1:28 am

Mabalzich wrote:
Hazard wrote:
The fast track thing is getting ridiculous now to the point where I probably won't even renew next year if the fast track queues are ridiculously long.


I think a few people are expecting too much from their VIP "status" :? Please tell me what the difference is between our fast track and any other fast track purchased on the day at the box office, they all get in the queue line where we do, simple as.

I've made 8 trips to AT so far with my pass the majority of days had constant 40-70 minute queues, if I had got a ticket for say £23 friends & family, £16 express and £92 all day fast track I would of spent £1048, I bought an annual pass with all those privileges for £500. I've had my money's worth of trips already and more and it's not even been a month yet.


I don't mind waiting in queues but when the parks fast queues are not really fast track (such as Nemeses) then it kind of defeats the object, I would say the same if the pass was purchased on the actual day. I think The Smiler is the only ride at Alton Towers where the fast track queue is actually fairly quick, Thirteen/Rita is quite a fair bit back and don't get me started on Nemeses. I'm not expecting to jump on at exits but for the fast track queues to be reviewed and perhaps amended.

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