What changes to operations should we expect post Covid-19?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Croftybaby, 31st Mar 2020.

  1. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    Whilst their system isn't perfect (as you cannot renew), Europa-Park have limited their pass holders to 3 x use per month.
     
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  2. Swarm Chris

    Swarm Chris TowersStreet Member

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    My preference would have been to suspended all passes until normal operations could resume again. Providing options to refund for those who wanted, and a sweetener of say a few months bonus to try and encourage people to not refund.

    Pay for a day, come back for a year, is great for raising attendance, as are the MAPs. But it's absolutely the wrong strategy when you'll easily hit capacity, and you need all the money you can get to make up for lost months. By doing day ticket only, they could even have actually limited attendance, provided a better experience, and maybe even have made more money.

    Sadly Merlin went full Merlin, and did a high profile annual pass sale instead.
     
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  3. spinba11

    spinba11 TowersStreet Member

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    I do, because I’ve seen people going quite a few times since it opened but I’ve been once and am unable to go now till September.
     
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  4. imanautie

    imanautie TowersStreet Member

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    Right but they have literally paid for that.
     
  5. Alsty

    Alsty TowersStreet Member

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    Merlin school of economics:
    • Passholders... already got their money
    • Non-passholders... £££ :hearteyes:
    It probably would've helped if they hadn't given every Tom, Dick and Harry a season ticket for jack-all.
     
  6. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    To be fair, we’ve had no issues booking reservations with our MAPs; if you want a reservation, just go onto the website a few weeks or so before you want to go. We managed to get 3rd September fairly recently (my parents have Standard MAPs, so they can’t get in during August; only my Premium can get in during August, so we just didn’t go), so reservations are available if you just book strategically far enough in advance.

    We’ve already been once to Alton Towers and once to Thorpe Park, so there are reservations there if you go on and book early enough. We reserved both of these days pretty much as soon as it was confirmed that parks were reopening in July, however, so I’d definitely advise getting on there early.

    With regards to queue times, we often found they were overstated. For example, Wicker Man was listed as 100 and we queued 35. Some other rides also had more palatable queue times; nothing in FV ever got too long.
     
  7. evilcod

    evilcod TowersStreet Member

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    I find it difficult to plan weeks in advance with the family but that's just how it is, my issue is that I shouldn't have to, they have space on Saturday, they would let me buy a ticket for then but not use my pass.
     
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  8. RoyJess

    RoyJess TowersStreet Member

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    I've said this before, it's not just a MAP problem, we have the same with our Zoo passes. Even thought Jess and I are still shielding, if we were to venture out, all our passes are useless including our zoo passes.

    I feel that we should be entitled to either a refund, pause our passes until all this is all over or offer us a voucher which we can add to our new pass when we renew.

    Can we some how all form an organisation or petition together for us pass holders that have lost out due to covid? Nor just MAP holders, all pass holder for all attractions.
     
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  9. spinba11

    spinba11 TowersStreet Member

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    We can try. I doubt it will do anything.
     
  10. Thameslink Rail

    Thameslink Rail TowersStreet Member

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    AstroDan succeeded with Fantagate so hopefully he can succeed again.
     
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  11. spinba11

    spinba11 TowersStreet Member

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    Well I’m happy to try.
     
  12. James

    James TS Founding Member

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    I agree that the £1 cost should be higher at £5, to prevent any abusers of the system. Obviously as things stand, if you face having a customer paying £1 vs a customer paying £30, you're going with the customer paying £30.

    I think the best option, and a good middle ground, is to offer an optional pass freeze. Give pass holders the option of continuing to use their pass for 2020 (knowing they have to prebook/no guaranteed entry), or temporarily freeze their pass until 2021.
     
  13. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    They really should have integrated passes into the pre-booking a lot more. Set the charge at £5 or £10 but somehow make it refundable, even if just food vouchers. and/or restrict it so passholders can only book one or two days at a time so people can't book multiple dates and decide which to use once the weather is known.
     
  14. imanautie

    imanautie TowersStreet Member

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    Which I'm absolutely 100% sure is something they could setup with accesso, all it would take is having admissions staff scan the pre-book with an accesso scanner to trigger the "passholder has turned up" flow (I'm unsure if skidata posts back to accesso)
     
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  15. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    Oh and Disney have had similar issues where they have prioritised regular tickets over passholders, I think they have the opposite issue to the UK Merlin parks where the people who have travelled and booked hotels will complain more if unable to book and use their tickets, but passholders are more local.
    But due to the demand not being what they expected more tickets are now being allocated to passholders by Disney https://www.wdwmagic.com/other/annu...uding-disneys-hollywood-studios-in-august.htm
    But Universal Studios in Orlando haven't really done pre-book only due to the low crowds.

    The "staycation" in the UK has really helped our parks, but in Florida of course they are reliant on people travelling from other states.

    But as AstroDan said, I think a lot of passholders that feel locked out by Merlin may not renew for next year. Which may or may not be a good thing. If the parks can continue getting people to come for £34 they could do better than signing up thousands of passholders.
     
    Last edited: 18th Aug 2020
  16. BarryZola

    BarryZola TowersStreet Member

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    As it stands, there's no way I renew next year. Only way this changes is if the system is changed to make it easier for a passholder to attend or if there is a big reduction in the price of a Merlin pass.
     
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  17. AT86

    AT86 TowersStreet Member

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    Heads up - It looks like some extra Passholder tickets for this weekend and next have gone up online, I suspect they won’t last long though.

    If it helps anyone.
     
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  18. RicketyCricket

    RicketyCricket TowersStreet Member

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    I'd imagine Sun Savers ticket holders have taken up a lot of potential MAP spaces.
     
  19. pluk

    pluk TowersStreet Member

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    It's obvious that having a passholder / ticketholder split is going to be necessary to opperate at anything that isn't a massive loss. As I posted to some Karen losing her mind on Paultons Facebook...

    When they sold you that ticket, which amounts to a hugely discounted rate per visit, did they know there'd be a global pandemic and they'd have to drop their guest numbers hugely per day?
    No
    Would the place fill up with only passholders if they could book without restriction?
    Yes
    Will they make any money if the only people visiting a passholders?
    No
    Can they stay open if they don't make any money?
    No

    Where Merlin seem to be going wrong comes from the sheer number of passholders they have due to their dreadful discounted pricing structure, compounded by no apparent effort to manage the situation. If you couldn't rebook until your first booking had happened there'd be a steady spread of demand. If you lost access for a month for not turning up for a booking people would stop wasting spaces. These simple things seem like too much effort for them though.
     
    Last edited: 20th Aug 2020
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  20. D4n

    D4n TowersStreet Member

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    If the problem is having too many pass holders though then:
    - Why did they run a sale of MAPs throughout the month of July?
    - Why are they still advertising 'pay once and come back all year'season passes?

    These are not the actions of a company trying to reduce the number of guests getting in at a 'discounted rate' as you put it.
     
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