2020: General Discussion

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Ethan

TS Member
I wonder if towers will actually increase the opening hours to bring in more guests to try and recover as 10-4 in July is abysmal and shouldn't be a thing in the first place
 

Islander

TS Member
I wonder if towers will actually increase the opening hours to bring in more guests to try and recover as 10-4 in July is abysmal and shouldn't be a thing in the first place
It's not impossible, but would really surprise me, as I wouldn't have thought they'd like the idea of increasing staffing costs (the main driver behind early closures).
 

AT86

TS Member
Those 4pm closures for July were most likely ‘holding’ times and would have been extended closer to the dates as and when the number of school trip bookings became clear.

I would say now that school trips absolutely won’t be happening that they are more likely to stay as 4pm than ever.

Couple that with the fact you have to prebook to enter and numbers will be strictly controlled they won’t really have any need/inclination to extend them.
 

ringo

TS Member
Wouldn’t be surprised if we saw the prebook stay for the future, it let’s them see demand from pass holders which gives them a better idea on staffing / hours etc
 

imanautie

TS Member
Wouldn’t be surprised if we saw the prebook stay for the future, it let’s them see demand from pass holders which gives them a better idea on staffing / hours etc
I would be surprised, even their most resource intensive pass (MAP V.I.P) didn't require prebooks

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AT86

TS Member
I would be surprised, even their most resource intensive pass (MAP V.I.P) didn't require prebooks

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Not all roads lead back to VIP Merlin passes.

I have often been surprised that UK Merlin parks don’t make more use of pre-booking to help them manage costs. Giving proper incentives for people to prebook makes it easier for them to plan staff numbers, stock levels, closing times etc etc. It also ties guests to visit even if the weather turns out to be a bit crap.

I guess Merlin’s huge reliance on 241 vouchers hinders this and has almost made it a cultural norm that you need to turn up at Alton Towers clutching a soap bottle or cereal pack otherwise you are getting ripped off.

Maybe this Covid situation could be a way for Merlin to wean their customers off from this approach and make pre-booking the ‘done thing’ in the future. (With turning up and paying still being an option of course but just reducing that number down a lot).
 

ringo

TS Member
Not all roads lead back to VIP Merlin passes.

I have often been surprised that UK Merlin parks don’t make more use of pre-booking to help them manage costs. Giving proper incentives for people to prebook makes it easier for them to plan staff numbers, stock levels, closing times etc etc. It also ties guests to visit even if the weather turns out to be a bit crap.

I guess Merlin’s huge reliance on 241 vouchers hinders this and has almost made it a cultural norm that you need to turn up at Alton Towers clutching a soap bottle or cereal pack otherwise you are getting ripped off.

Maybe this Covid situation could be a way for Merlin to wean their customers off from this approach and make pre-booking the ‘done thing’ in the future. (With turning up and paying still being an option of course but just reducing that number down a lot).
That was exactly my point, the world is changing and I’m sure Merlin would of liked to have done prebook before but now they’ve got an excuse to do it and keep it.
 

Danny

TS Contributor
Favourite Ride
Steel Vengeance
Merlin has been utilising pre-books in the Midway attractions for years. Their staffing levels however are allocated by the number of guests on a certain day the year before as opposed to a number of pre-books in the days beforehand.

The issue with staffing based on pre-books is if you rota a small quantity of staff based on a minimal number of pre-books, then there's a surge in pre-books the night before, you're then hideously understaffed. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. Was not pleasant.
 

LordOfDarkness

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Nemesis
As someone who’s not been able to receive their season pass yet due to it being collect @ attraction, anyone know how I can go about booking at the season pass rate? And then hopefully collecting my pass there?

Reached out on social media but don’t know if they’re monitoring their accounts at the moment.
 

imanautie

TS Member
As someone who’s not been able to receive their season pass yet due to it being collect @ attraction, anyone know how I can go about booking at the season pass rate? And then hopefully collecting my pass there?

Reached out on social media but don’t know if they’re monitoring their accounts at the moment.
General rule has been 18 zeros and show the pass order confirmation to pre-booked tickets to get a temporary ticket then RBO to get a pass.
I would hazard a guess that it would for the gardens days be a case of show admissions the pass email and pick up a pass on a future visit.

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LordOfDarkness

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Nemesis
General rule has been 18 zeros and show the pass order confirmation to pre-booked tickets to get a temporary ticket then RBO to get a pass.
I would hazard a guess that it would for the gardens days be a case of show admissions the pass email and pick up a pass on a future visit.

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Perfect, thanks.
 

Islander

TS Member
I have often been surprised that UK Merlin parks don’t make more use of pre-booking to help them manage costs. Giving proper incentives for people to prebook makes it easier for them to plan staff numbers, stock levels, closing times etc etc. It also ties guests to visit even if the weather turns out to be a bit crap.
I imagine they rely more heavily on pre-book figures than you'd imagine. A lot of people do already book online in advance - tickets are cheaper (not 241 cheaper of course, but still cheaper), and I suspect there's enough of a percentage of visitors who book in advance to make the figures fairly indicative of final admission numbers each day.
 

Ethan

TS Member
So if towers aren't allowed to operate rides with sand bags and dummies when people are on it, does that mean minimum capacity rides won't be able to reopen when the park opens. That mainly applying to th13teen but also I'm assuming single riders will struggle to get on spinball as most people are in groups of 2s or 4s and if there's 2 others in a car, you won't be able to go on because of distancing.
 

imanautie

TS Member
So if towers aren't allowed to operate rides with sand bags and dummies when people are on it, does that mean minimum capacity rides won't be able to reopen when the park opens. That mainly applying to th13teen but also I'm assuming single riders will struggle to get on spinball as most people are in groups of 2s or 4s and if there's 2 others in a car, you won't be able to go on because of distancing.
Yes and yes I believe.
I also expect issues at other merlin parks such as with TWD: TR and odd numbered groups.


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Mikw

TS Member
With the prebooking does anybody know the latest you can leave it before you have to book? So many of my trips to towers have been decided on only on the night before. I always go on a day when it's cloudy and cool as it's usually quieter.
 

imanautie

TS Member
With the prebooking does anybody know the latest you can leave it before you have to book? So many of my trips to towers have been decided on only on the night before. I always go on a day when it's cloudy and cool as it's usually quieter.
Don't think they set a minimum but a maximum of 7, but demand will probably say book asap.

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