Theme parks can be very costly to visit if you don’t shop around. Here at TowersStreet we give you a run-down on how to save money on your trip to the resort…
Online Ticket Prices
Alton Towers offer an online booking service which offers discounts on the “on the gate” price. The further in advance you book, the more you’ll save. If you’re a student, Alton Towers has a partnership with StudentBeans which will offer cheaper tickets if you have an account with them.
The resort now operate a pricing policy based on how busy the park will be. On off peak days outside the school holidays and on weekdays, you’re likely to find extensive discounts. If you’re visiting with a toddler, look out for parent and toddler tickets, which offer entry for a parent and a toddle at a low price. These are often available on weekdays, and tickets for further children can be added for a further small charge.
Vouchers, coupons and discounts
The most common offers available are for ‘2 for 1’ deals, also known as buy one get one free (BOGOF). These can make a serious saving on your visit, and are often one of the cheapest ways to visit the park.
One important thing to remember is that such offers only apply to the standard on the day price. Any other discounts are excluded, and online prices are not applicable.
If you have a discount site provided by your employer (BT, NHS and Tesco to name a few), it’s worth checking whether you have access to discounted Alton Towers tickets. They’re often available for a few pounds less than the main website price.
Our forum is a handy source of the latest ticket offers, and members will often post about the newest offers and discounts, make sure to check it out!
Alton Towers Annual Pass
The Alton Towers Annual Pass allows unlimited access to the park on the majority of normal operating days, and includes parking. There are around 20 exclusion days on the pass including some peak days during school holidays, Halloween weekend and Fireworks dates.
On the plus side, you can usually pay an additional charge to visit on these days. The pass is around £100 lower than a Merlin Gold Annual Pass, so even if you attend a few of these peak dates you can still save money.
Buying tickets from online auctions or touts
Free entry and other promotions
Occasionally Alton Towers may offer free entry if you meet certain criteria, for example if you bring a gnome or come dressed as a pirate as they have done in the past! Keep an eye on the Alton Towers Facebook page or TowersStreet News for details of these promotions, as they can be a great way to visit the park at little or no expense.
If you are planning on visiting Alton Towers and other Merlin parks a few times in the year then you may wish to consider a Merlin Annual Pass. There are now 4 tiers of Annual Pass, Discover, Silver, Gold and Platnum. The Discovery Pass gives you around 200 dates to visit on off peak days, right up to Platinum which has no exclusion dates except for paid events. Annual Pass benefits include:
- Up to 20% discount off all non franchised food, drink, and souvenirs (Silver Pass and above)
- Discounted stays at Resort accommodation
- Free parking (Gold pass and above)
A full list of all perks is available on the Merlin Annual Pass website.
Annual Passes can be purchased both online and at the park, as with normal tickets. Should you wish to purchase your pass at Alton Towers after paying for entry, this fee will be deducted from the total cost of the pass.
The Merlin Annual Pass is valid at all UK based attractions owned by Merlin Entertainments including Thorpe Park, Chessington World of Adventures, The Dungeons, SEALIFE centres, and the London Eye to name a few. For more information on the pricing and benefits structures of the passes, see the Merlin Annual Pass website. Remember to choose the location you buy your pass from carefully, because if your card is lost or stolen you will need to return to the issuing attraction for a replacement (so pick one close to home!).
Merlin Pass Monthly Membership
If you’re not a fan of the large upfront cost of a Merlin Annual Pass, you can now pay monthly and still get the same benefits as annual passholders. There’s a small upfront joining fee, and after that a monthly payment for a minimum period of 12 months.