UK Merlin park guest figures through the years

Discussion in 'European Parks and Attractions' started by AT86, 17th May 2021.

  1. Tom

    Tom TowersStreet Member

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    Thirteen was marketed sensationally, despite the criticism. It was hugely effective in drawing people in.
     
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  2. pluk

    pluk TowersStreet Member

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    I was thinking the same. Years when something big opens that year generally has possitive figures with the marketing impact, probably more telling us the subsequent year. If year 2 dips below year -1 that is likely an indication people weren't impressed.
    Oblivion had the ride time vs queue time issue, and let's face it whatever followed Nemesis might seem a bit underwhelming, numbers fall.
    Thirteen is mismarketed and doesn't hit the thrill its marketed on, numbers fall.
    Storm Surge at Thorpe is awful in every way, the same pattern.
     
  3. John

    John TowersStreet Member

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    I'll always remember the six-word Oblivion review from someone in my class at school:

    "I queued three hours for THAT?!"
     
  4. Heidi

    Heidi TowersStreet Member

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    Ah I hadn't considered this probably because I don't quite remember the Thirteen marketing in comparison to the Smiler marketing which was still quite intense, with spray painting sheep and projecting the logo onto parliament, etc
     
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  5. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

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    That was just PR stunt though, neither actually happened. The projection was a photoshop job apparently and the sheep probably just a favour off a farmer next door. Although yeah I remember Thirteen and Smiler about the same level and same tactics.

    I dont know if Thirteen's promo actually made much difference outside enthusiasts, or if they just timed stuff right that year. They were riding off the back of a lot renewed interest in the park with Merlin's initial rebrand/investment. Thorpe Park also had a peak around that time so maybe people were just really into theme parks post recession
     
    Last edited: 22nd May 2021
  6. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    I think an interesting thing to point out is that Derren Brown’s Ghost Train actually spawned a fair increase in attendance at Thorpe in the year it opened.

    So it would appear that DBGT might have been more of a success than it’s often given credit for… maybe Thorpe’s future is in dark rides and immersive attractions as opposed to roller coasters?

    I also find it interesting how Chessington has had a pretty substantial rise in guest figures since Merlin took over, in spite of not too much seemingly happening. Towards the end of the Tussauds era, the park was hovering at around 1 million guests or slightly below, but since Merlin’s takeover, the park seems to have had quite a substantial attendance boost (easily 50%). I wonder why Merlin’s presence gave Chessington such a big rise?

    Furthermore, I’m very intrigued to see that Thorpe is (or was in 2019) now the least visited Merlin park in the country, and its attendance is now back down to where it was in the early 2000s, when Colossus and Nemesis Inferno first opened. I wonder why that could be?

    Is there any way that these numbers can be whittled down to finer figures (e.g. hundreds of thousands)?
     
    Last edited: 22nd May 2021
  7. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    I think they pushed annual passes far more than Tussauds did. Also by adding in Sea Life and Legoland the annual pass looked a fantastic deal to anyone living in that area as you had three theme parks and all the London attractions close by.
     
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  8. Heidi

    Heidi TowersStreet Member

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    After looking into it turns out I was wrong about the parliament thing I must have got confused, but the sheep definitely happened. I was just making the point that from my memory there was lots of promotion of the smiler, which I remember more so than the promo for thirteen simply because I was older and had more of an interest in AT by that point.
     
  9. John_P

    John_P TowersStreet Member

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    The Smiler had loads of viral marketing, I remember in Manchester they had a load of posters up that was just the smiler logo. And that was early 2013.
     
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  10. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Something I’ve only just noticed; I’m not sure if I’m reading the graph right, but did Chessington’s guest figures actually decrease the year Vampire/Transylvania opened?
     
    Posted 1st Jun 2021
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  11. Tom

    Tom TowersStreet Member

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    Seemingly so, but you would have to say it appears to have played a major part in almost doubling attendances the following 5 years.
     
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    Posted 1st Jun 2021
    #31

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