UK theme parks from another point of view!

 
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AltonOperator
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Re: Merlin General Discussion

Sun Apr 21, 2019 12:22 pm

I think to brand it as a midway attraction it has to be replicable? Warwick castle certainly can't be built in any city Merlin fancies!

I did enjoy great Yarmouth. Even just looking at joyland and pleasure beach was plenty interesting. One of the highlights was finding a small window in the building on the south pier that gave great viewing of the backside of the bowling alley. Fascinating! We also found a lovely old penny arcade and the model village where john wardley quit working after he was told to cut the grass with scissors :lol
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Re: Merlin General Discussion

Sun Apr 21, 2019 5:30 pm

Justin wrote:
I'm actually visiting next Saturday,  but I'll only go in the SeaLife centre as I have my pass. To be fair, it isn't a bad SeaLife, but it's probably one of the oldest and now smallest! I can remember a time when they had fish in the window and water used to splash up the glass.

When the Pleasure Beach is open too, then you can make more of the day, especially when you visit Joyland and Pleasure Beach.

Yarmouth is undergoing major investment with the Entertainment complex at Pleasure Beach, and hopefully in the future we will see other Merlin attractions added.

You will have to let me know what you think of the Sealife in it's current state.  If you look carefully, some of the aquariums have ended up like the bagging drop off at Alton, they have been boarded up  :lol , the black box exhibit at the end has been turned into a kids activity area.  Lot of the interesting fish have gone and been replaced with boring fish.  Conga eels have gone. 

Talking about the Pleasure Beach complex, well the go-carts have been moved along a few feet to make the Pleasure Beach smaller to accommodate the Premier Inn and Beefeater that they are building. 
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Swarm Chris
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Re: Merlin General Discussion

Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:24 pm

There have been changes to the management structure within Merlin Entertainments.

Fiona Eastwood will move from her role as Managing Director, Resort Theme Parks to become Managing Director of Midway leveraging her three years as Global Marketing Director for the Operating Group. Ian Crabbe, currently Divisional Director, Alton Towers Resort, will assume responsibility for Resort Theme Parks. With over 20 years’ experience at Merlin, Ian has recently overseen the management of both Alton Towers and Thorpe Park.

In addition, Merlin has created two new senior management roles to support the delivery of strategic initiatives and executional excellence across the three Operating Groups. Putnam Shin, currently Divisional Director, Midway Asia will be appointed Resort Development Director, and Hywel Mathias, Divisional Director, Midway London will become Midway Development Director.


Interesting that they've created new positions of Development Director at both Resort and Midway divisions. Although given the last company update saying they were considering Midway themed hotels, could Development Director really mean Hotel Creation Director?
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lewis97
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Re: Merlin General Discussion

Tue Apr 30, 2019 6:19 pm

Swarm Chris wrote:
Interesting that they've created new positions of Development Director at both Resort and Midway divisions. Although given the last company update saying they were considering Midway themed hotels, could Development Director really mean Hotel Creation Director?


Wait... did it? I thought that was just our April Fools...?
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Re: Merlin General Discussion

Tue Apr 30, 2019 6:23 pm

lewis97 wrote:
Wait... did it? I thought that was just our April Fools...?


It did... :lol

The operator of Legoland and Alton Towers is to step up the expansion of its theme parks into short-break destinations by adding accommodation and is considering themed hotels in cities where it operates “clusters” of attractions.
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Re: Merlin General Discussion

Tue Apr 30, 2019 6:29 pm

This is why we need to be careful about what we post on here ... You never know what they'll take seriously :lol
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AltonOperator
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Re: Merlin General Discussion

Fri May 03, 2019 8:49 pm

We think we are probably the world leader in themed accommodation

Nick Varney said that. Has he heard of Disney?
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Robert.W
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Re: Merlin General Discussion

Fri May 03, 2019 11:01 pm

Mr Varney is absolutely deluded. Vinyls. Are. Not. Theming.
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Re: Merlin General Discussion

Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:05 pm

Yeah they are pretty well off Disney. Even the lower end Disney Hotels provide a smoother and better experience.
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Morgan
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Re: Merlin General Discussion

Fri Jun 21, 2019 6:33 pm

With the introduction of the new Legoland VIP Pass (offering similar benefits to the now extinct VIP MAP), could we be seeing more individual park VIP Passes?
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Re: Merlin General Discussion

Fri Jun 21, 2019 10:52 pm

I do wonder if Merlin are trialing a few possible options with passes. Thorpe have been offering a season fastrack pass for £400 this year, and now Legoland are offering this £650 VIP membership. It makes me think that maybe Merlin are trying to see if there is an audience for either individual park VIP passes, or high value add ons like the season long fastrack.

Personaly, I think the Legoland VIP membership has been priced far too high at £650. Whilst you do have that fastrack access, the cost will make the pass prohibitive for most - especially when you consider Legoland's target market is young families, and that it will only be valid during the March - November main season. It would have been better priced between £300-£400. For comparison, DisneyLand Paris' top tier Infinity Annual Pass costs £401 at today's exchange rate and includes preferred parking, an enhanced discount at retail outlets, larger discounts on hotel rooms, dedicated park entrance, a photopass, and a few more things - plus, the key thing is it can be used 365 days a year.

My concern is that we wil start to see individual park VIP Memberships, all priced at a similar level to Legoland. That means if you wanted to have one for say Towers and Thorpe you'd be looking at £1300!! I'm afraid this cost just isn't justifiable in any way.
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Swarm Chris
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Re: Merlin General Discussion

Sat Jun 22, 2019 7:11 am

Whilst I somewhat expect the other parks to come up with their own versions of these types of passes, I get the feeling these are the parks trialing things more than Merlin.

Legoland are already doing far more ticket offerings than any of the other parks, with lifetime passes, tiered fastrack and a host of VIP experiences. It makes me think they're just set up to be more reactionary and have been able to quickly come up with something.

Thorpe have been offering the fastrack ticket for almost a year now, but outside of forum posts, very little has been done to publicise it - even to Thorpe's own staff. The terms and conditions are still essentially the response to an email I sent last year, and whilst they got a box of new cards printed for it this year, it just doesn't seem to be doing much at the moment.

Meanwhile Merlin Annual Pass are publicly stating a VIP style pass replacement may be coming, with their own 'register your interest' page. Although I wouldn't expect to see anything from this until next season.

In terms of costing, I suspect Merlin already have a very good idea of the marketable rate for this type of park wide premium pass, just from the length of the waiting list for the old VIP pass. I get the feeling that it was significantly long, so from a business perspective they clearly left money on the table. However, I agree that bolting together several park versions from a customer perspective wouldn't be overly great in feeling and I suspect would have far fewer takers than an all attraction pass. A significant part of the Merlin passes are their ability to be used in a lot of places, so a higher price can be somewhat justified with all the available options, which wouldn't be a factor for single site passes.
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Re: Merlin General Discussion

Fri Jun 28, 2019 7:53 am

As reported by TowersTimes News this morning, Merlin Entertainments are to be taken over by an investment group whose interests include Lego. At a cost of £4.8bn, investors Kirkbi Invest hope to use their wealth of money and experience "to realise the company's potential to grow".

TowersTimes News will have more information later today.
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Re: Merlin General Discussion - New Owners agreed in £4.8bn deal

Fri Jun 28, 2019 7:58 am

I'm reading this morning the entire Merlin group has agreed a £4.8 billion takeover deal. Kirkbi Invest says it has the money and experience to "realise the company's potential to grow".

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-48797245

What do you think this will mean for AT and the other UK based attractions in the short and long term?

Interesting news either way...
 
Last edited by Dan on Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Re: Merlin General Discussion - New Owners agreed in £4.8bn deal

Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:53 am

I'm pessimistic, the family only have motivation to make the Lego parks have maximum investment to help keep the prestige of Lego . Everything else? Maximum profit for minimal spending, there's no brand for the other Merlin parks whose image needs protecting.

I don't actually mind theme parks wringing money out of you for unique experiences (wand fitting, light saber building). Those kinds of immersive experiences require insane spending though and I don't see them taking the risk.

Be very worried if the non Lego parks get their own subsidery. That screams asset stripping or selling off.
 
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Re: Merlin General Discussion - New Owners agreed in £4.8bn deal

Fri Jun 28, 2019 6:57 pm

obviously this is a good move for Lego, and the Lego Parks, but there is alt more to Merlin than the Lego Parks, ALOT more. I struggle to believe Lego is really looking to get into the global tourist attraction business, anymore than what is Lego branded. What does Lego want with any of the Dungeons or any of the Eyes?

Cant say I would be a bit shocked if there is some form of split between the Lego Lands and the other Merlin Entertainment attractions. 
 
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Re: Merlin General Discussion - New Owners agreed in £4.8bn deal

Fri Jun 28, 2019 7:21 pm

As reported by TowersTimes News, Merlin Entertainments announced that they have agreed the terms of a £4.8bn offer for the company from a group of investors which include LEGO owners KIRKBI Invest.

Do you think this is a positive development for Merlin Entertainments?
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Re: Merlin General Discussion - New Owners agreed in £4.8bn deal

Fri Jun 28, 2019 7:51 pm

Depends what they can bring to the table - I hope the non-Lego parks still retain their own identity, I mean, a Lego themed area to replace CCL would be great, but Alton Towers is still Alton Towers and future lands/Secret Weapons still need to have their own original theme 
 
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Re: Merlin General Discussion - New Owners agreed in £4.8bn deal

Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:51 pm

GregH94 wrote:
Depends what they can bring to the table - I hope the non-Lego parks still retain their own identity, I mean, a Lego themed area to replace CCL would be great, but Alton Towers is still Alton Towers and future lands/Secret Weapons still need to have their own original theme 

If Lego wanted a second loaction in the UK, would they not just open one? how is having a mini Lego Land inside Alton Towers better for them? sure its their profit now, but I am forced back to the earlier question, how does Lego benefit from owning non Lego branded tourist attractions? 
 
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Re: Merlin General Discussion - New Owners agreed in £4.8bn deal

Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:54 pm

Is Merlin going to be absorbed into the KIRKBI brand, or will it still be called Merlin?
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