How would you cope if they cancelled the passes?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by rob666, 16th Jan 2021.

  1. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

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    On our Rick's advice, I've amused myself on and off all day reading forums from "over the water" about the cancelling of the Disneyland annual pass...many Disney freaks seem to think it is the end of the world, others looking forward to a whole new era of less crowded pathways and fewer "entitled" AP owners lording it around the castle...getting rid of the "mall crowd" and countless vloggers clogging up the park. An AP being cheaper than a childminder in the school holidays.

    The cancellation is clearly Covid related, but many have argued that Disney have wanted to go down this road for some time to increase overall income without increasing numbers on the park.

    I don't have a Towers pass, I've only had one Merlin Platinum, but I have been known to use my BPB passes rather a lot...because I am "local" I make a point of regular, brief visits, roughly weekly for a few hours at a time.

    I often discuss "Scrap the wristbands...they ruin the fun and make the park too crowded and the queues are not as quick...bring back pay per ride", with my tongue just a little in cheek.

    But what if Merlin...second only to Disney remember...followed Disney's lead, and decided to scrap passes, either just AT, or all passes including the Merlin ones.

    Overcrowding scrapped overnight, midweek closures more common off peak, overcrowding at Lego/Chessington becoming a thing of the past apart from very peak days.

    It may be a way out of the current lack of investment in a lot of the parks...they might increase revenue overall, they would need new attractions to pull the punters in.

    Probably not going to happen, but it is closed season, so we need something (apart from the B and C words) to chat about.

    I might resort to learning to pole vault, to get over the wall into the Beach, or take my "commando" half spade to King Ina's rocks, and dig a tunnel under the fence round the back of the hotels.

    How would you cope?
     
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    Posted 16th Jan 2021
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  2. delta79

    delta79 TowersStreet Member

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    I would not afford alton without a pass. That would be the only time myself and my daughter getting a break from the strains of life, and quality time together gone.

    For merlin and alton towers they would loose a lot of dedicated enthusiasts that feed back truthfully and stand in their corner when there is problems.

    Sent from my SM-A217F using Tapatalk
     
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    Posted 16th Jan 2021
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  3. DistortAMG

    DistortAMG TowersStreet Member

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    Genuinely curious about when Enthusiasts have stood in Merlins corner to where there has been any meaningful impact?
     
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  4. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    There's little to no chance of this happening, Alton just need to get passes down to manageable levels, which is the aim this year.

    If there weren't passes, I would have to find a new hobby.



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    Posted 17th Jan 2021
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  5. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    These days, it would make little difference to me really - in fact it would likely save me some cash! I have the Merlin monthly thing and in the last two years I think I've had three, perhaps four, Merlin visits.

    For a long time, the value in having a pass for me has been flexibility, rather than volume and with Covid pre-booking, that has all but dried up.
     
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    Posted 17th Jan 2021
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  6. pluk

    pluk TowersStreet Member

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    Geography and life circumstance mean I haven't had an AP for a number of years and now visit the parks very infrequently, doesn't stop me being interested and enthusiastic about theme parks and rides, and the times I do get to visit are more special.
     
    Posted 17th Jan 2021
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  7. Tim

    Tim TowersStreet Member

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    Technically Merlin did announce the scrapping of passes at the end of last year. Only they announced there would be a replacement at the same time. As expected when the new passes were revealed the price was clearly set to disincentivize the pass. I think the only real difference between what Merlin and Disney have done is that Disney could of put their pass up to $1,000 and people still would have been buying it so cancelling them all together was the only real solution.

    Personaly I used to love having a Merlin pass and can understand why as a local no longer having that option would be upsetting. If my local park was Disney or Europa I'd deffinetley want to wander in for a few hours each week for no extra charge. I probably wouldn't even go on any rides, just take in the atmosphere for a bit. However it's been a long time since any park in Britain has scratched that itch, so I haven't owned a pass since 2014, and don't feel I've missed out in the slightest.

    I used to watch a few vloggers that regularly visited Disneyland. I imagine this news is the death note for them as their channels have already been silent for most of this year. This is probably where most of the vocal outcry is coming from.
     
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    Posted 17th Jan 2021
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  8. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    I had a pass from about 2001 to 2013 but just decided we were slightly bored of the parks. I now go to Alton Towers once a year for fireworks and have a great day. I did the park so much with a pass that I don’t mind skipping some rides so we can concentrate on the newer coasters (last trip we prioritised Wickerman). I miss the spontaneity of wondering into the aquarium when we were just on the South Bank, but it wasn’t worth over £150 a year anymore.

    I don’t see Merlin or Disney completely getting rid of pass holders, but both would benefit from having less of them, particularly Disneyland California and Chessington (who would have thought we’d mention those two parks together)
     
    Posted 17th Jan 2021
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  9. Mr Pearse

    Mr Pearse TowersStreet Member

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    Since moving to Wales I haven’t bothered to renew my merlin pass as it’s not practical for me personally due to distance. I have kept my Blackpool pass due to getting more value for money. I usually spend a week in Blackpool prior to pandemic atleast 3/4 times a year and spend every day I’m there at the pleasure beach. If they scrapped the passes then obviously it will annoying but just means less trips to Blackpool.
     
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    Posted 17th Jan 2021
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  10. John_P

    John_P TowersStreet Member

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    Think if they scrapped passes I'd be more annoyed about losing the discount on food/drink and merchandise than actual access to the parks.
     
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  11. Poisson

    Poisson TowersStreet Member

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    I hammer my pass so it'd be a great shame to lose out
     
  12. D4n

    D4n TowersStreet Member

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    Honestly wouldn't care. It might even work out better for me, in honesty.

    I've always been of the opinion that I'd rather spend my theme park money on semi-regular trips to a variety of theme parks at home and abroad.

    Unfortunately those that I usually visit with would rather hammer the same old parks week in and week out. So eventually I always end up buying one and doing this myself for the social side of things.

    If the passes were cancelled I might be more successful in convincing these same people to head to different parks more often, fulfilling my wish.

    If my local park was Disneyland or Europa Park then I'm sure I'd feel differently.
     
  13. Poisson

    Poisson TowersStreet Member

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    Probably a big reason I do hammer mine. AT is pretty central and Thorpe can be tagged on whenever I head down south for something (last year came home from holiday via it)
     
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  14. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

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    As above for me completely at Blackpool.
    In order...
    Company, setting, rides, beer, food, exercise.
    It would hurt me personally very hard,
    Won't happen here though, just thought it a fun topic.
    Bring back the ride tickets, fiver each, or a fifty for a hundred quid.
     
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  15. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    Indeed, as above. For me, I have been part of the TT/TS communities for 16 years now, and have made many good friends. Meeting them in a common environment such as Alton is crucial to my mental wellbeing.

    :)
     
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  16. imanautie

    imanautie TowersStreet Member

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    I probably wouldn't.
    I'm not kidding when I say a large amount of my personal development as an autistic can be directly attributed to visiting the parks a lot.
     
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  17. Benjsh

    Benjsh TowersStreet Member

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    I think the Merlin annual passes are too cheap personally, especially if you get them on sale.

    You only have to go to 3 attractions over a year to get your money back and I'd imagine most pass holders have way more than 3 trips to their parks. I reckon a lot have triple that if not more.

    As I live in the North West a pass to me makes little sense given 3 of the main parks are 200 miles away for us.
     
  18. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    Its more than that, Alton Towers is about £34 for a single entry, I forget what the special offer prices for annual passes were but it was something like £120-150 for a standard pass I think. So you need at least four or five visits to a theme park (Sea Life and Dungeons are cheaper) to get the money back on a standard pass.

    I do agree they were still too cheap particularly when buying three at a time to get the "family" price, the new passes at £219 are a more sensible price meaning you need at least six theme park visits to break even (Alton Towers is now £38 at weekends). Although that pass excludes some dates so is harder to make the most of it anyway. But I would expect most passholders will try to visit at least six times across all the parks.

    The £50 season pass is the main one that was no longer sustainable, it helped get the numbers back up following attendance drops due to the Smiler incident, but its no longer needed. £100-120 is more sensible for a single park pass (four weekend visits to cover the cost).
     
  19. Dave

    Dave TS Founding Member

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    It would depend whether it came with an entire change to the ticketing structure. We all know that the gate price is inflated to help justify some of the offers and the annual pass prices. If the gate price dropped to around £22-25 (which is close to what they get on average anyway) I wouldn’t be overly bothered.

    Maybe they could replace it with a frequent attender discount or something?

    If they kept the existing pricing structure then I would miss the pass.
     
  20. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    Your estimate is way too low for what non-passholders are paying, online price is £34 off-peak and £38 peak, with a gate price of £53 (was £58 before VAT changes), so those with a 2for1 are paying around £26.50, but I think the "gate price" will go up this year if they keep offering 2for1s.

    Realistically I think the actual gate price is the online price of £34-38 and I think that's a reasonable price for the park most of the time.
     

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