“Not about the guest experience any more”

I saw your article ‘How Merlin’s parks might change after flotation’ and I was wondering what you’d like to see changed next season in our theme parks.

I do think they could change a lot but like you said in your article I believe that more charges could be brought in and admission prices could reach £50. Perhaps they’ll cut back on staffing levels in order to save them money yet at the same time see visitor numbers reduce as it will be too expensive for many people. For me I don’t think it is about the guest experience any more – I think it is all about seeing how much money they make.

None of the Merlin parks are getting big investments next season which will be good. Alton Towers has trouble opening new investments on time and should be banned from undertaking projects that they think they are not capable of.

Chessington have started to respond to their Trip Advisor reviews but will they actually listen and make the necessary improvements? I hope they will but you haven’t been so don’t know on what they could do better. My advice is that if you want to keep hold of your money then DON’T visit theme parks. They are a total money grabber and will leave you completely out of pocket. Why are they still so busy? Because of the hundreds of BOGOF offers on sale. And Merlin Annual Passes too for those big theme park fans. But for everyone else they are a very expensive day out and theme parks are trying to get as much money out of people. I hope for the best especially for Chessington as they’ve not had a good season and need a good winter period to make improvements. The Smiler also needs to have work done to improve it’s reliability.

Laura Mitchell

2 comments

  1. Ben Cooper says:

    I do hope that the theme parks don’t put up the entry prices as I do feel it excludes people especially familys.especially entrance fee, food costs, drink costs, car parking, etc and it can easily come to nearly £300 – 400 for the whole family. I do feel it time that theme parks look at this a bit more because I know from a lot of people I know that this does greatly put them off going.

    Although as you have mentioned there are lots of vouchers and some people do believe you only pay for the rides but you do pay for the experience and the theming.

    In regards to Alton towers they normally in my experience does one year for thrill seekers and one year for the family.

  2. Editor says:

    Thank you for your letter Laura. I think that the parks may nudge up to £49.99 – as Thorpe Park have done for their Fright Nights – and hold back next year. £50 is quite significant in the public psyche, but it will have to come sooner or later under the BOGOF approach to marketing. Alton Towers seems to be going for the family market next year, which it feels it has lost a lot of to Drayton Manor since the introduction of Thomas Land there.