Trip Advisor

Discussion in 'European Parks and Attractions' started by Thameslink Rail, 5th Aug 2020.

  1. Thameslink Rail

    Thameslink Rail TowersStreet Member

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    Starting this topic as Thorpe Park started going off topic and I think this is an interesting discussion to have.
    In recent years, smaller parks have started to beat larger parks in Trip Advisor's rankings.
    Is this because:
    They aren't run by large companies?
    Smaller parks are easier to manage?
    I would be interested to know what other people think.
     
    Last edited: 5th Aug 2020
    skyscraper likes this.
    Posted 5th Aug 2020
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  2. ringo

    ringo TowersStreet Member

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    Smaller parks care about the customer, they rely on positive experiences and usually if you have a genuine issue they will work to resolve it unlike the bigger parks who will say the right words / throw Fastrack at you to get you out.
     
    Posted 5th Aug 2020
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  3. Thameslink Rail

    Thameslink Rail TowersStreet Member

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    I wish TripAdvisor scores equated to more guests as I would love to see the likes of Milky Way and Sundown Adventureland lead the UK theme park industry!
     
    Themeparksandy1981 likes this.
    Posted 5th Aug 2020
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  4. Danny

    Danny Leicester Melvin Rong

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    What I also find funny is that the smaller parks don't pester you to fill out Trip Advisor reviews. Merlin went through a phase of brainwashing staff to ask every customer that they so much as had a positive "hello" from to fill out a Trip Advisor review. Staff incentives were a huge part of this, so it's good to see the smaller parks leading the way.
     
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    Posted 5th Aug 2020
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  5. AT86

    AT86 TowersStreet Member

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    One thing I often think about trip advisor reviews is that they very much depend on people’s expectation going into an attraction versus what they actually get.

    Merlin are very much about the shiny marketing, the big wow images and amazing tag lines etc. It raises expectations and people are expecting an amazing day out. Then reality comes in and often it isn’t quite as good as guests were expecting, and a lower scoring review will follow.

    Going into a smaller park your expectations would potentially be lower, and you are pleasantly surprised at Paultons for example at what is there and the quality, and therefore leave a better review.
     
    Posted 5th Aug 2020
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  6. John_P

    John_P TowersStreet Member

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    Always felt with sites like that people are always more likely to give feedback if they've had a bad experience.

    The smaller parks are clearly better at offering people an excellent experience and value for money so people feed back that as well.

    If you go to Towers or Thorpe and have an OK day you don't see the point to report this experience at all.
     
    Posted 5th Aug 2020
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  7. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    Posted 5th Aug 2020
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  8. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Many of the Florida parks succeed in getting high TripAdvisor ratings; both Islands of Adventure and Magic Kingdom have previously had the highest rating of any theme park in the world!
     
    Posted 5th Aug 2020
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  9. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    If you go with the full theme park and water park category in Florida then Discovery Cove "wins" but what is really interesting to me is it doesn't appear in the list of either best theme parks or water parks in the world! It seems to slip by and doesn't exist in either category for the travellers choice awards.
    https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/TravelersChoice-Attractions-cAmusementParks-g1
    https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/TravelersChoice-Attractions-cWaterParks-g1
     
    Matt N likes this.
    Posted 5th Aug 2020
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  10. venny

    venny TowersStreet Member

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    There’s definitely something in how high the price point is set as well. If you tell people a product is worth a high price, even if they then pay a discounted price (see Merlin’s BOGOF strategy), their expectations are that the product should be worth the original price.

    That discount model by stealth manipulates expectations. Combine that with the glossy marketing and you have set a sky high expectation for what could generously be described as a mediocre product.
     
    Themepark-newbie, jon81uk and AT86 like this.
    Posted 6th Aug 2020
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  11. Benjsh

    Benjsh TowersStreet Member

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    Even though I'm a big Disney fan and love their parks, I have never loved the Magic Kingdom personally. Don't get me wrong it's still good and I will ALWAYS visit during a trip to Florida but it's by far the busiest Theme Park in the world. It's just too busy for me.

    Hopefully their new recent additions and the ones coming up will help to spread the crowds a bit.
     
    Posted 6th Aug 2020
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  12. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    (getting a bit off topic)

    Unfortunately the addition of Tron to the Magic Kingdom may actually make the crowds worse as it attracts more people to the park.

    Hopefully the Epcot overhaul will help spread crowds to the other parks better, but it sounds like a lot of that has now been cancelled (other than Ratatouille which is basically finished and GotG) due to the economic crash.

    I think Legoland almost lives up to it and has the brand awareness to charge a higher price.
    But yes it would seem a better product if Merlin got away from the BOGOFs, just make it £35 (the online price) or £55 for a season pass and have done with it. Their product is worth £35 I think when compared with other activities.
    But then discounting has always been part of theme park tickets across the board, its just different places discount in other ways. Disney offers "free dining and 14 days for the price of 7 and $50 gift card" to UK guests who book a stay in Florida. I think the UK parks would be better off looking at ways to add value to the hotel stay (such as free dinner) as a discount instead of just cutting the entry price. As you say, discounting entry makes your product look bad value, offering extras such as free meals gives an incentive to book without devaluing the overall product.
     
    Posted 6th Aug 2020
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  13. Orange Ribena

    Orange Ribena TowersStreet Member

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    I can recount experiences with lots of Disney cast members at Paris and Tokyo but I don't even recall a single conversation with anyone at AT and actually encountered a snooty few people at Chessington. I've got more positive to say about the staff at BLP recently as they are really trying hard to deal with some right dunder heads causing issues. I saw a woman next to me mask off and not holding on the Derby Racers....she was 60 if she was a day. Behaving like this infront of her grand child. I would have laughed if she had fell off.
     
    ThisGuy likes this.
    Posted 7th Aug 2020
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  14. djtruefitt

    djtruefitt TS Site Team Team Member

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    I think it’s what people expect when they go to a park, and then what they get when they are there.

    you go to a merlin or large park expecting an amazing day, great rides, good food, clean tidy park,etc. You might not always get that.
    You go to a little small park probably expecting it to be a bit old and unloved, maybe bad food, etc. Then it turns out it’s actually not that way and you have a better day than expected.

    i guess people might be more likely to fill in a tripadvisor from a small independent park as well to help them along, compared to a big multinational park.
     
    RoyJess likes this.

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