Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Danny, 20th Nov 2019.
Is the sun free tickets promotion still going ahead?
That's not how contracts work, by its very definition it is an agreement between both parties.
They may have been zero contracted with some sort of expected hours which are not being honoured, but if you are contracted to work and be paid X amount of hours then you are paid that or you are made redundant.
From the FAQ on Alton's website:
I have booked Theme Park tickets for a date between 21st March and 25th April, can I get a refund? (Includes promotional tickets, tickets purchased from www.altontowers.com and via any authorised 3rd party sellers)
If you have booked a ticket to visit Alton Towers between 21st March and 25th April your ticket will be valid for use on any date during the 2020 season (excluding Fireworks events on 6th, 7th and 8th November). No action is required and you do not need to contact us to arrange your future visit, simply arrive at the Theme Park and present your unused ticket(s) that show the original date (between 21st March and 25th April 2020) at our admissions windows and the team will revalidate your tickets for entry that date.
So yes they would still be valid for another day in the season prior to fireworks
I’m not sure what kind of contract Merlin’s frontline staff are on. I’m also not an expert on employment law.
For those at the theme parks doing seasonal positions, I suspect they can have their contracts changed at the drop of a hat. There’s a standard 3 month probationary period where staff can be terminated without any disciplinary process. Either way, I don’t think people in their first three months of a seasonal contract have much legal protection.
Yes, correct. However if you're given new terms of employment, and have the option to accept them, or reject them and be terminated, you have little choice in the matter.
You dont get real rights until 2 years into your employment.
That is still the basic rule isnt it?
I’ve also never heard of an employee at a UK theme park being in a union. These people aren’t exactly going to be getting top legal advice.
Last week we had the excitement of Legoland and Chessington opening for the new season. We also had the will they/won’t they open saga. Most of the drama will now be happening behind the scenes.
For theme park staff it will be a worrying time. Particularly for those on the frontline. Some of them will be students, live at home with their parents etc, but for those of them where it’s their profession and all they’ve got, it’s a scary time. Most of them will be renting rather than with mortgages. A lot of them won’t have any savings and live hand to mouth. I’m not clear what the provision is for zero-hour contract staff, but if it’s based on their recent employment, then staff at the beginning of the theme park season aren’t in a good position.
For the parks it’s not clear how deeply they will be affected. Some of the biggest parks that were closest to opening were the last to delay their opening. I nearly posted a jokey comment about M&Ds delaying their opening before Merlin did.
To give a serious answer, this might well be because parks right on the cusp of opening had already committed money to stocking units with perishable food, buying advertising space etc, whereas smaller parks not due to open for another few weeks were in a better position to slam on the brakes. As this goes on, all the parks are going to be heavily impacted.
A big question on the minds of the industry, is what happens when this lifts? The parks could get really busy with everyone wanting to go out and have fun, particularly if we get good weather over the summer (let’s pray. The industry’s due some luck). Though the big parks don’t have much spare capacity in the peak season and those with accommodation probably don’t have any there. We know some of the large parks have really long queues in the summer anyway, so it might not be easy for them to just have a really busy summer to make up for it.
If the social distancing is lifted, but we don’t have a vaccine or a cure, many people might still want to stay away from theme parks. If a lot of people are hit hard financially, then discretionary spending like theme parks can be the first to go, although a day out is cheaper than a holiday.
I'd guess that theme parks will benefit once social distancing is lifted if the attitudes before they shut the pubs, clubs etc are anything to go by (a lot of pubs were apparently rammed on Friday night). After being cooped up in their houses for a long period of time, potentially alone, people will naturally want to blow off some steam and gather with family or friends, and a theme park visit is arguably the perfect way to do that!
As for the financial hit, the government seems to be doing everything in its power to minimise this, so hopefully people will still want to go out and spend money on leisure & tourism.
whoop !! all the late night summer* openings to come
To an extent yes, but it may also provide an even bigger headache for parks moving forward. Whilst the 'lockdown' of the leisure industry will be lifted in time, the concept of social distancing is likely to be something the world will have to cope with for a considerably longer period. For parks, especially over the Summer and peak period of fireworks/Scarefest that presents a massive headache. Cattle pen queue lines in attractions and food outlets, packed pre show rooms, close proximity to other guests on the rides and the sheer number of people on park on busy days all present challenges.
So with the above comes the possibility of parks having to look into substantially amending their operations probably at least into next year if they do reopen. Off the top of my head, here's a few challenges they may have to cope with:
Lower spend per guest due to many suffering a drop in disposable income
Parks potentially having to lower their overall capacity reducing revenue
Events such as Scarefest potentially having to ensure social distancing is observed. Could scare mazes operate under this scenario?
Unfortunately there's no switch to flick where things get back to normal with this situation, its very much a long term battle for parks. Until a suitable vaccine is found or a sustainable amount of immunity to this disease is obtained, this will be something that will affect us for some time yet
I wouldnt be opposed to solo runs through the scare mazes
It would provide a Face It Alone-style experience with no extra cost!
Hahahaha hahahaha hahaha
More than anything I'd guess this once and for all will show that VR is not 'the future of theme parks', what with all the close fitting reused facial contact equipment.
I wonder if Thorpe will use this as an excuse to write off DBGT?
I don't know why Alton towers are taking park ticket bookings from 26th April. The park won't be able to open until june at the earliest and the park know this so quite why they bother doing this is beyond me.
To help with cash flow maybe?
Or they are just very optimistic!
It's mainly because the date they will be able to open is largely unknown.
The pandemic is a very quickly changing landscape so no-one can know where we will be in even a week, let alone 12 weeks time - the government is using this figure at the moment as a best possible estimate, but it is by no means a solid timescale.
It is looking increasingly likely for the rest of the year we are going to go into a cycle of extreme lockdowns (i.e. where we are now) and lighter lockdowns (i.e. where we were last week) and during those lighter lockdowns leisure facilities will be able to open in a modified way like Legoland was last week.
Unfortunately we don't know what exactly that cycle is going to look like yet and probably won't for another few weeks at the earliest. We do however know that the current leisure lockdown is going to be reviewed at least on a monthly basis, so at some point around the 16th April the government will look at the situation - at which point if things are looking more certain they may be able to make some firm decisions as to what will happen in May.
The park is likely to use that milestone to extend their closure in a more constructive way. In the unlikely scenario that they are able to re-open at some point in May for example they won't want to have cancelled those bookings in haste.
Merlin have taken my £11.99 membership this morning.
Oops someone at Merlin didn't tell the bank to stop the CPA run in time then...
Looking on the bright side, if most of the theme parks don't open, it should make it easier for the Themed Entertainment Association to come up with their attendance figures.
You’ll apparently not get charged future payments until they open but they won’t refund March
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