2020: General Discussion

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ringo

TS Member
I realise that there are bigger things to worry about, but this £1 booking fee per visit seems extremely cheeky and must surely breach the annual pass T&Cs.

For some (somewhat overly enthusiastic) people this could ultimately represent an extra £40-50 on top of the cost of an annual pass if it's kept indefinitely. Not insignificant.
I agree the £1 fee for pass holders is cheeky, it’s probably does break the T&C’s as “normal” days of operation aren’t classed as special events.

I suspect this is the reason why they are doing a blanket extension of 5 months and further extension if your pass expires in the closed season.
 
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D4n

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Zadra
@Islander to be fair it is indeed made clear that the additional booking fee will only last until capacity restrictions are eased. Realistically though I'd imagine we're looking at the time-frame taken to produce a vaccine. I suspect some form of restriction on capacity (to avoid 'mass gatherings' will last until then.

Could be wrong though! It's all guesswork I suppose, and I'm being nitpicky. It just seems that it wouldn't be any skin off their backs to offer that £1 back in the form of a discount voucher for food / drink / merchandise. But I appreciate that that's a debate that has already been done to death.
 

jon81uk

TS Member
I wouldn't be surprised if mandatory booking remains for the entire 2020 season, except perhaps September weekdays when it is usually quiet anyway. I think it would only be particularly bad for passholders if the rule remained into 2021.
 

Islander

TS Member
It just seems that it wouldn't be any skin off their backs to offer that £1 back in the form of a discount voucher for food / drink / merchandise. But I appreciate that that's a debate that has already been done to death.
Tbf I do think this would've been a much better idea. In fact I'd up the price to £5, and give it back as an open-dated £5 voucher on arrival. Then has greater strength at dissuading people from booking and not using tickets, doesn't feel as much like an additional charge as (in a way) you're getting the money back, and increases revenue.
 
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Nemesis

Craig

TS Administrator
I wouldn't be surprised if mandatory booking remains for the entire 2020 season, except perhaps September weekdays when it is usually quiet anyway. I think it would only be particularly bad for passholders if the rule remained into 2021.

Mandatory booking won't be switched on and off according to off peak days, that's just asking for trouble if they get warm weather etc.

In addition with people's work/education situation and people not visiting the park earlier in the season, you just can't accurately forecast September days to be dead like previous years. It'll be pre book on every single day until capacity restrictions are lifted wholesale.
 

Steve74

TS Member
Very brave/foolish of them to go full-out publicising a 4th July re-opening. There's no reason to assume that the government won't do what they did with non-essential shops: lead them to believe the restriction will be relaxed 1st June, then with less than a week's notice go "oh, actually, 15th June"...
You're right they're either very brave or they have had some sort of Government assurance that it will be that date. I find it extremely unlike that Merlin would announce all their parks reopening on the 4th July if that was just based on what - we as the public - know. Shops were a bit different - no-one pays upfront to visit a shop like you do a theme park so to me this date has to be more definite. Could be wrong though, time will tell...
 

jon81uk

TS Member
Tbf I do think this would've been a much better idea. In fact I'd up the price to £5, and give it back as an open-dated £5 voucher on arrival. Then has greater strength at dissuading people from booking and not using tickets, doesn't feel as much like an additional charge as (in a way) you're getting the money back, and increases revenue.

I think this has been said about the Fireworks booking fee every year.

I've not been a passholder for years, but I do think the fee should be given back as a voucher, even if its not the full value. Personally I would make it so the voucher must be spent on the day of attendance as that encourages people to turn up on the booked date rather than making multiple bookings and it also encourages use of the voucher rather than saving them all up.
 

Ethan

TS Member
Officially planning to re-open 4th July.



Edit: above is from the Towers website.
https://www.altontowers.com/plan-your-visit/coronavirus/
As expected. I also expected the £1 passholder booking fee based on other parks and what Merlin have done with the gardens. It's understandable tbh as if they have a low capacity, they don't want spaces being wasted if passholders book but just don't turn up. It's to try and prevent that I assume.
 
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Mr Pearse

TS Member
I didn’t renew this year so obviously not a pass holder this season. But I fully support the£1 charge, if I was a pass holder yes I can see why people would be annoyed but it’s understandable. In this current situation what’s the odds a small number of pass holders abuse the system because it’s free to book. The charge is able to help maintain the demand and not let it be abused this season. Obviously when restrictions are lifted I don’t expect them to keep the charge now that would be asking for trouble. In terms of opening date I’ll give them credit for being brave enough and saying 4th July hopefully it will open by then just depends on the situation.
 

imanautie

TS Member
I didn’t renew this year so obviously not a pass holder this season. But I fully support the£1 charge, if I was a pass holder yes I can see why people would be annoyed but it’s understandable. In this current situation what’s the odds a small number of pass holders abuse the system because it’s free to book. The charge is able to help maintain the demand and not let it be abused this season. Obviously when restrictions are lifted I don’t expect them to keep the charge now that would be asking for trouble. In terms of opening date I’ll give them credit for being brave enough and saying 4th July hopefully it will open by then just depends on the situation.
If merlin in effect extend passes beyond the pre-book period then I don't see the issue, in effect people are getting entry for just the cost of the pre-book, not via the pass .

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ringo

TS Member
If merlin in effect extend passes beyond the pre-book period then I don't see the issue, in effect people are getting entry for just the cost of the pre-book, not via the pass .

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Exactly in that situation where the pass is effectively free the £1 fee isn’t a problem.

Thought for you @imanautie if there isn’t Fastrack then would you be expecting a further extension to that pass?
 

imanautie

TS Member
Exactly in that situation where the pass is effectively free the £1 fee isn’t a problem.

Thought for you @imanautie if there isn’t Fastrack then would you be expecting a further extension to that pass?
Depending on how social distancing works that In conjunction with defaulting to aac might mean IL be able to cope with main queue, else I'm screwed due to not being allowed solo rap.

I'm no longer a map VIP, so have to get fastrack the expensive way now

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Looking at the booking site, it seems that general tickets are available from 4th July, yet there seems to be no mention of annual pass holders.

I expect that pass holders will be required to advance book for the park in the same way that they will for the gardens, yet there’s no option for this. Does anyone know if there’s a way of doing this? Or will it be a case of pass holders having to wait? If this is the case, then there’s every chance that tickets could be sold out the closer we get to 4th July.
 

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
I think they said that they’re releasing booking slots closer to the time (I think they said a week in advance?)
 

Skyscraper

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Nemesis
That's just the gardens which is starting this week, not the park itself.

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That's what I meant. There was some confusion as to whether the passholder gardens tickets were on sale yet.

There is a long list of FAQs on the page as well.
 

ringo

TS Member
Website is having issues when you try to buy...
“a mind boggling moment” translation someone ***** up

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