Merlin Annual Pass

jon81uk

TS Member
The original passes may have been cheap but they was affordable that what’s the main selling point I can’t see any massive changes in these passes right now so I can fully understand why people are so angry on social media. I reckon now it will come down to how much they charge on monthly passes to see how bad next year could be.

I think monthly is just the annual cost divided by 12.

But if people don't think the new price is value for money they can not buy one. There is a difference between affordable and cheap.
 

Funcone

TS Member
Value’s quite subjective. One way of looking at it is to compare the cost to other parks. For a lot of people it will also depend on how often they use their pass. The more you use it, the better value it feels. You could take the cost of the pass and divide it by the number of attractions you visit. Or you could work out how much it’d have cost to visit each attraction individually and what the saving is. At a lot of parks the average pass holder doesn’t visit as often as you might think. You get some people who go every week, but they’re certainly not the norm.

The value proposition has changed and some people won’t renew. They might switch to a pass for one park. They might pay individually for each attraction that they visit. They might do something else altogether. Given that the passes are now a lot more expensive, they won’t need to sell as many to make the same revenue, and if the individual park passes are rising as well, they might not lose that much money if people downgrade to an individual park pass.
 

delta79

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Nemesis, Air
Unless the share price is hit by the backlash, the new passes offering will not change.
One good news article pointing out the loss of customers over this change would shake the share price.

Sent from my SM-A217F using Tapatalk
 

Rick

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Crux
I think that is why many people are complaining on Facebook.

It is a big jump as at with the extra £20 off each pass for buying three or more it worked out £139 to renew a premium pass. Now its £229 and no discount for buying multiples for a family. So yes its now costing £90 more per pass to renew.
But for what is offered I think its more that the old price was cheap instead of the new one being extortionate.
Affordable, but perhaps not sustainable - no one other than Merlin to blame for that, though.

Season passes should be in the mix for any attendance, but Merlin made them so accessible it got to the point where it felt like 8 out of 10 people were wandering around with those ridiculous lanyards.

Unless the share price is hit by the backlash, the new passes offering will not change.
One good news article pointing out the loss of customers over this change would shake the share price.
Keep up, old son.
 

AT86

TS Member
There seems to be a lot of emotion linked to Merlin passes. Not necessarily on here, but in general on social media.

Best to just take a step back and work out for your circumstances if you still get good value from the new prices and pass benefits. Value to one family is different to that of another.

If you visit Merlin attractions once a month for example - what would you do instead of that, and how much would that cost. Cinema? Football match? National Trust? Holiday to Spain?

If the maths don’t stack up, don’t plump for the Merlin passes. Merlin won’t care if you don’t, just as any other company wouldn’t. If pass sales suddenly drop and they don’t hit targets they will have to make changes. But I would be surprised.
 

DavidRock

TS Member
Well I've had the Membership twice now....

Once in the 1st run which was a few years ago. (Once this was cancelled by Merlin they gave me 6 months free and then discount on full pass).

Also got the Membership now on the day it came out. Will be interesting to see what they do with the price as its currently £11.99 if it goes to £20 monthly then may have to think about cutting it off. £15 mark may persuade me to keep it.

Both me and my wife have memberships so let's see what happens.
 

Dave

TS Founding Member
There seems to be a lot of emotion linked to Merlin passes. Not necessarily on here, but in general on social media.

Best to just take a step back and work out for your circumstances if you still get good value from the new prices and pass benefits. Value to one family is different to that of another.

If you visit Merlin attractions once a month for example - what would you do instead of that, and how much would that cost. Cinema? Football match? National Trust? Holiday to Spain?

If the maths don’t stack up, don’t plump for the Merlin passes. Merlin won’t care if you don’t, just as any other company wouldn’t. If pass sales suddenly drop and they don’t hit targets they will have to make changes. But I would be surprised.

I think Merlin are seriously considering a change to their business model. It seems the focus is on take per head rather than high numbers. Assuming they improve the quality of the product (which with the events this year might not be completely out of the question) then this would be better for everyone. So long as guest spend doesn’t decrease I don’t this they will mind a drop in the number of pass holders:

The MAP model does favour cheap and cheerful over quality.
 

Swarm Chris

TS Member
If I've understood the MAP Twitter account correctly, they're going to allow those who are on an existing type monthly pass to remain on that pass type after the minimum term has finished, if they choose to. Alternatively they can move to the presumably Gold and Platinum monthly pass types when they appear.



So, they'll have:
  1. Discovery Pass
  2. Gold Pass
  3. Platinum Pass
  4. Gold Monthly Pass
  5. Platinum Monthly Pass
  6. Standard Monthly Pass
  7. Premium Monthly Pass
  8. I'll Pass Thanks Pass
 

AT86

TS Member
I think Merlin are seriously considering a change to their business model. It seems the focus is on take per head rather than high numbers. Assuming they improve the quality of the product (which with the events this year might not be completely out of the question) then this would be better for everyone. So long as guest spend doesn’t decrease I don’t this they will mind a drop in the number of pass holders:

The MAP model does favour cheap and cheerful over quality.

Personally I am all for this. I’d rather visit a great theme park once a year than visit an average one 3 times a year.
 

RoyJess

TS Member
I personally think the passes over the previous few years have been very cheap, good value. The price hasn't really increased that much in line with inflation over the years. I think the pandemic has highlighted that change was needed and things could be done differently to their current model.

I've no problem with the price structure providing that the service provided is in line with what they are charging. If they are going to charge a premium, then they need to give a premium service, the attractions need to be kept in pristine condition, keep the queue waiting times to a minimum.

The only thing that will force me to purchase the Platinum Pass is the fact that it includes the fireworks dates. The other pass appear to not allow you entry on these dates.

This past year has been the most expensive or least value for our MAP as we were unable to use them due to covid. In this current climate, I personally won't be splashing out on any season pass, regardless whether its a MAP or a Zoo pass until this pandemic is over and covid restrictions have been lifted.

I know it has been a difficult year for everyone including businesses, but I will still have to consider do I really want to be a customer of any company that had failed to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that their regular loyal seasonal paying passholders to either have access to their attractions or to have suspended the passes or offer a full/partial refund.
 

jon81uk

TS Member
Value’s quite subjective. One way of looking at it is to compare the cost to other parks. For a lot of people it will also depend on how often they use their pass. The more you use it, the better value it feels. You could take the cost of the pass and divide it by the number of attractions you visit. Or you could work out how much it’d have cost to visit each attraction individually and what the saving is. At a lot of parks the average pass holder doesn’t visit as often as you might think. You get some people who go every week, but they’re certainly not the norm.

This is important, I bet a lot of the passholders complaining probably don't actually use the passes as much as they think and if they work out how much they actually visit, some passholders may find they are better off without.
 

jon81uk

TS Member
If I've understood the MAP Twitter account correctly, they're going to allow those who are on an existing type monthly pass to remain on that pass type after the minimum term has finished, if they choose to. Alternatively they can move to the presumably Gold and Platinum monthly pass types when they appear.



So, they'll have:
  1. Discovery Pass
  2. Gold Pass
  3. Platinum Pass
  4. Gold Monthly Pass
  5. Platinum Monthly Pass
  6. Standard Monthly Pass
  7. Premium Monthly Pass
  8. I'll Pass Thanks Pass


They were still selling annual passes until September so you can add standard and premium annual passes in general to the list. But even those on monthly will reach the year at some point.
 

Coaster

TS Member
Compared to other parks the MAP is still a bargain price.

Blackpool are currently charging £189 for a season pass!

Paulton aren't currently selling new passes but a renewal is £159.

Whereas a Merlin renewal with no blackout dates (platinum) is £229, so for £70 more than Paulton you get four theme parks and dozens of other attractions. Put that way the price is a bargain.

Blackpool's season pass sale price for 2021 was £85, Merlin's sale price is £239 for the equivalent all-inclusive pass.

Other than Blackpool, are there really that many other options in the UK? Especially for those who live south of the Midlands.

Paultons Park is a quality product for younger families but there is not much else for the older family/thrill markets.

I'd say that there are plenty of options; Oakwood, Great Yarmouth, Fantasy Island, Adventure Island, Drayton (albeit less so these days) all offer something different.

I appreciate the convenience of the Merlin pass, but honestly, I've not missed it at all this year, I found that I wasn't getting much enjoyment from visiting those same parks over and over when the general experience is so much better at independently owned parks.
 

Craig

TS Administrator
Unless the share price is hit by the backlash, the new passes offering will not change.
One good news article pointing out the loss of customers over this change would shake the share price.

Don't forget Merlin are now a private company. There's no share price to shake

The initial intention of the passes was to increase guest numbers and encourage people to spend more. Sell them cheap and have people spend more time at the resort, using accommodation more, buying food and drink more as they see a perceived value from the pass being so cheap that it's worth splashing out.

As a public company, increasing visitor numbers became a key metric of "success", and it seems revenue per guest became a secondary factor. Passes got cheaper and cheaper, and like the myriad of 2 for 1 offers, the product they were selling became increasingly unviable at that price. Then in rolls private investors, and of course Covid and now it's more essential thanks to lower guest capacity that they squeeze more money out of each guest.

A pass-holding family turning up with tin foil wrapped sandwiches and not paying for parking makes them nothing. Quite literally, nothing. That's not sustainable in the long term. Yes, it's extremely harsh for families who are trying to have a day out with the kids, but Merlin are a business after-all, and with increasing costs from higher wages etc, something had to give.
 

Rick

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Crux
Blackpool's season pass sale price for 2021 was £85, Merlin's sale price is £239 for the equivalent all-inclusive pass.
Right ... £85 for the Pleasure Beach, with the Merlin pass you get four theme parks. Say you want access to three of them, depending on the ages in your family. That's £79 per park, but in practice it is far less because said pass also includes all the Midways and the like too.

If you want an Alton Pass, they're £53.

Comparing the cost of the Pleasure Beach pass vs. the Merlin pass really undermines what the Merlin pass is and doesn't represent any sort of equivalence, which arguably is what Merlin have done pricing it so low in previous years.
 

Coaster

TS Member
Right ... £85 for the Pleasure Beach, with the Merlin pass you get four theme parks. Say you want access to three of them, depending on the ages in your family. That's £79 per park, but in practice it is far less because said pass also includes all the Midways and the like too.

If you want an Alton Pass, they're £53.

Comparing the cost of the Pleasure Beach vs. the Merlin pass really undermines what the Merlin pass is, which arguably is what Merlin have done pricing it so low in previous years.
I wasn't making the comparison between a BPB and a Merlin pass, I was purely correcting the poster I responded to that the equivalent (sale price) BPB pass was not £189.

Once the Merlin sale ends, a platinum pass will cost £300. The issue I was getting at was the comparison between BPB's full price to Merlin's sale price.
 
Top