UK theme parks from another point of view!

 
Paul_richard
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Sun Aug 03, 2014 10:41 pm

I reckon we saw around 30 VIP holders at Legoland today, including a group of 6 adults with VIP passes - I've never seen a large amount before, just the odd 3 or 4 at Thorpe Park.

Good to see Thorpe Park appear to be giving the VIP wristband out on most trips now, maybe for next year they can include on the card it's self unlimited refills, that way if you get a member of staff who doesn't know all you need to do is show your card (did email it to VIP after our first disastrous Thorpe Park)

What's people's experience of Chessington been?
 
Momoffour
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Mon Aug 04, 2014 12:17 am

We are a family of 6 :) and we all wear lanyards ha. Love the passes

Seen a great vip review on the merlin FB page so made me mega excited for going to thorpe park and chessington and legoland in 2 weeks.

I thought my daughter at 4yo might be the youngest with a VIP pass and then saw on the FB page someone mentioned his 3yo had the VIP pass too !

Loved the review above about legoland as we are hoping to do 2 days there so really pleased they care about VIP pass holders and go extra mile. Can't believe someone said they saw 30 VIP people in one day. What's the etiquette. Say hello? I would !!! Legoland Manchester and sealife Manchester had only seen us lot (twice!) since they were issued. Don't think they would cope with 30. They were flustered enough coping with what to do with us :)
 
Momoffour
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Mon Aug 04, 2014 12:35 am

I also wish someone would set up a Facebook group for all the VIP pass holders to comment and post pictures in :D
 
Paul_richard
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Mon Aug 04, 2014 1:12 am

[list=][/list]
Momoffour wrote:
We are a family of 6 :) and we all wear lanyards ha. Love the passes

Seen a great vip review on the merlin FB page so made me mega excited for going to thorpe park and chessington and legoland in 2 weeks.

I thought my daughter at 4yo might be the youngest with a VIP pass and then saw on the FB page someone mentioned his 3yo had the VIP pass too !

Loved the review above about legoland as we are hoping to do 2 days there so really pleased they care about VIP pass holders and go extra mile. Can't believe someone said they saw 30 VIP people in one day. What's the etiquette. Say hello? I would !!! Legoland Manchester and sealife Manchester had only seen us lot (twice!) since they were issued. Don't think they would cope with 30. They were flustered enough coping with what to do with us :)


Hi!

Meant to say in post Legoland Windsor. We saw a few on the boat school, they seem to let VIP's go round again (we enjoyed it, the guy just said "again?" So off we went. By far the largest set of VIP's we saw yesterday was strangely at the train exit gate.

Usually we acknowledge other VIP'S, at Thorpe Park we've chatted to people. The most common thing people say is how they couldn't go back to the old days of queuing! Certainly from our trip yesterday I'd of never waited 60+ mins for Atlantis ride, but with VIP we go on every ride. Squid surfer was my highlight! The way that Legoland have embraced VIP also means that every ride is at most 5mins wait to get on, apart from Atlantis (couldn't find the exit to queue there so joined Qbot) The VIP experience there will really surprise you.

If VIP passes carry on with nothing removed from our perks then we'd buy again which I expect is what Merlin want to hear, they know once you get accustomed to unlimited fastrack that you'll value it when it comes to renewal.

Haha that's funny about Manchester, the staff appear to remember you at different parks as well. Thorpe Park we usually see the same staff due to the times we go, "weren't you hear the other day?" Yesterday on the log ride we went on it three times and the guy getting you off joked they'll keep a boat ready for us. I'll have to read up that Chessington review but glad to hear it was positive.

Thanks
 
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Michelle
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Mon Aug 04, 2014 9:24 am

Paul_richard wrote:
including a group of 6 adults with VIP passes - I've never seen a large amount before, just the odd 3 or 4 at Thorpe Park.



Was this Sunday early afternoon? May well have been me, Adz, Lee, hursty, Luce and Ladyofthelake as we were at Legoland half the day yesterday :-)
As for how to greet people, we tried to say hi / smile at other VIPs all day-could do with establishing a code of conduct haha!
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stageshoot
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Mon Aug 04, 2014 9:41 am

Momoffour wrote:
I also wish someone would set up a Facebook group for all the VIP pass holders to comment and post pictures in :D


There you go, might be a good place to exchange VIP Pass info tips and meets etc.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/merlinvip/
 
Paul_richard
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Mon Aug 04, 2014 10:05 am

Michelle wrote:
Paul_richard wrote:
including a group of 6 adults with VIP passes - I've never seen a large amount before, just the odd 3 or 4 at Thorpe Park.



Was this Sunday early afternoon? May well have been me, Adz, Lee, hursty, Luce and Ladyofthelake as we were at Legoland half the day yesterday :-)
As for how to greet people, we tried to say hi / smile at other VIPs all day-could do with establishing a code of conduct haha!


Hi,

Yeah it was about 1ish at the exit gate at Orient expedition, we were just getting off. Was the first time I'd seen that many VIP's together! We smiled at you all too haha.

Was a great VIP experience wasn't it?
 
markfranklin
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Mon Aug 04, 2014 12:35 pm

I've made a couple of short VIP trips to Chessington recently, and a full day at Legoland Windsor yesterday - so I can add to Paul's excellent trip notes.

My main gripe has been the arrivals process. Despite doing the online booking each time, they didn't appear to know we were coming:

Chessington 1 - both VIP spaces in the car park were occupied by one huge works van, so we found another space. Left waiting in the hotel for 20 minutes until someone showed up with the wristbands.

Chessington 2 - no spaces at all in the hotel, went to the main car park and went to the main entrance gate. About a 10 minute wait for the wristbands.

Legoland - chap at the car park entrance radioed that VIPs were here, and told us to go to Car Park "A" sign, where we waited for about 15 minutes until I got fed up and went to the main gate to chase them up.

I will drop the team an email as I think this element of the procedure could be tidied up. For example, once you have done the online form, it would be good to get an email back saying the request has been received / the park have been notified and will be expecting you. Also especially for Chessington, whether there will be a space available in the hotel car park (don't mind if there isn't... just would like to know!).

However once we were in Legoland - WOW!

Amazing VIP experience, I fully agree with Paul. My daughter (7) has just graduated to liking the Dragon, so we bypassed the 45 minute queue and got straight on. She wanted to go again, so up we went, and bang, straight on again. On the third time round, there was a queue of about 6 people with Q-Bots, and the staff member plucked us out and told us to move to the front (i.e. bypassing the Q-Bot customers). Felt rather special, but could feel angry eyes burning in to the back of my head.

We went on about seven times in all, in about 30 minutes or so, all told. Incredible. And then with the smaller one (Dragon's Apprentice), we went on a couple of times. The guy was arguing with a Q-Bot customer who had got the time slightly wrong, and they were turned away, as we meanwhile swanned on waving the wristbands.

On the Longboat Invader, here we scored as well, because there did not seem to be a Q-Bot entrance at all. So we appeared at the ride exit and got straight on (assume that Q-Bot customer have no choice but to use the regular queue line).

We did Driving School and Boating School quite a few times. On most of the rides, staff were noticing the VIPs and asking where we would like to sit, etc. Absolutely 100% top marks for the staff there - they made us feel so much more special than all-day-Fast Track customers.

On most recent summer trips to Legoland, we've just walked around a lot, queued for 45 minutes once, and gone home. Yesterday was an outstanding day. We were there right up until closing time at 7pm, went on countless rides, and had a absolute blast. As we were leaving, we overheard a girl saying to her Mum that there were lots of things they didn't get round to doing, and the Mum replied, "well, it's just the ridiculous queues".
 
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Mon Aug 04, 2014 1:52 pm

Glad to hear positive comments about Legoland and Chessington, planning a visit to both next week,

Ref the contact after filling out the online form, Thorpe seem spot on with that and have phoned us shortly after filling out the form each time. AT dont bother now but thats more due to the fact we almost live there than at home, so there is no need. So dont Chessington or Legoland phone to confirm after you have sent ther online form??

Re treatment above and beyond, was on the River Rapids at AT on Sunday, and there was a long queue, as we came back into the station and went to get off, the Staff member said, "Oh come on surely you want to go around again..." And shooed away a family who had been sent forward to board the ring. Felt a bit embarssed about it and like you say dagger eyes in the back, but it was a nice bit of treatment and something above and beyond
 
markfranklin
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Mon Aug 04, 2014 2:14 pm

No, Chessington (4 visits) / Legoland (1 visit) have not phoned after filling out the form.

Does it have to be quite a way in advance? E.g. if you were to decide at 10am to go at 2pm that day, would it be enough time.... or at the weekend.. etc.?

I shall certainly drop them a note anyhow.

Cheers
 
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Mon Aug 04, 2014 2:54 pm

stageshoot wrote:

Re treatment above and beyond, was on the River Rapids at AT on Sunday, and there was a long queue, as we came back into the station and went to get off, the Staff member said, "Oh come on surely you want to go around again..." And shooed away a family who had been sent forward to board the ring. Felt a bit embarssed about it and like you say dagger eyes in the back, but it was a nice bit of treatment and something above and beyond


When we went on the rapids during the summer sizzler, one of our group joking asked about staying on and she said, "we can't say no to you guys". The rapids do try to do their best for VIP as do dark forest.
 
Paul_richard
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Mon Aug 04, 2014 3:41 pm

markfranklin wrote:
No, Chessington (4 visits) / Legoland (1 visit) have not phoned after filling out the form.

Does it have to be quite a way in advance? E.g. if you were to decide at 10am to go at 2pm that day, would it be enough time.... or at the weekend.. etc.?

I shall certainly drop them a note anyhow.

Cheers


Same here, Legoland no call or confirmation but when the priority parking staff radioed ahead, he gave our surname and we could hear the person on the other end had our details so it didn't appear they weren't aware of our trip.

I booked Wednesday or Thursday last week.

We were that impressed with Legoland that we've decided to go again this Sunday, we totally missed out the model village so going to do that first this time round and then hit the rides.

Legoland is a must for any VIP holder, you won't be disappointed!
 
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Luce
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Mon Aug 04, 2014 5:18 pm

I was very impressed with all three Southern parks over the weekend and they really made you feel welcome. There was the nice touch of when a passing staff member saw you had a VIP pass, they'd ask if you were having a good day and at Thorpe Park they asked what ride we wanted to go on first and were led straight onto it.

I'm looking forward to going again :)
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Mon Aug 04, 2014 5:57 pm

I'm quite surprised at the amount of VIP pass holders who think workers asking how your day is etc; is a perk. On every single visit to parks workers ask me how my day has been, what rides have I done, my favourites etc; and I'm not even a normal pass holder. I think it's just them being nice.
Even if it was a perk, wouldn't you think that's just totally fake? They've seen your pass, so then they come and speak to you. It's almost part of their job to interact with guests.
 
Aidan Lowe
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Mon Aug 04, 2014 7:07 pm

It is just them being polite yea, I hardly imagine they really care about your response either so keep it short and sweet.
Last edited by Aidan Lowe on Mon Aug 04, 2014 7:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Mark-Cal
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Mon Aug 04, 2014 7:16 pm

Usually, I suppose that's true, but I have had a fair few genuine conversations with park staff who actually want to go out of their way to show interest in our opinions.

The guy doing the left/right batching on Air the other day held the line for us when he saw our passes and wanted to know how much use we were getting from them, what we'd paid and how many times a month we visited.
He was then really apologetic about the queue length and offered to ring up and get us in via the exit but we told him we were quite happy to stand in line.

That's probably the major plus point to these passes, they take all the urgency and rushing about out of our visits now, we can arrive late, get a good few rides in and leave early when we aren't fussed about spending all day in the park.
 
Lordmajestic01
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Mon Aug 04, 2014 8:10 pm

As I received 12 months on my pass as opposed to the usual extra 7 days, I sent Merlin an email and received a reply earlier saying they would issue 6 new VIP passes with the extra 7 days included.

Now that's customer service!
 
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Tue Aug 05, 2014 1:59 am

So do you have 6 VIP un-used now then? :S I'm confused how you got 6 passes for one mistake on one pass
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Lee
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:02 am

TheSmilerMan wrote:
So do you have 6 VIP un-used now then? :S I'm confused how you got 6 passes for one mistake on one pass


Presumably the new passes will be 12 months plus one week, as they're supposed to be issued. The old passes will be revoked and replaced on the system with the newer issued ones.
 
thedman31
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Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:38 am

I'm probably going to be picking up my pass on Friday.

I remember something about having to bring a passport photo but is there anything else that I will need?

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