In Brief

In-brief updates of UK theme park stories reaching our news desk.

10 March 2019

  • Merlin Entertainments chief executive Nick Varney has confirmed an increase in UK attraction bookings so far this year. He told the Financial Times: “The benefit for us of a weak pound is that Brits stay at home and foreigners come.”

23 February 2019

  • A Zamperla Disk’O ride is being erected at the M&Ds theme park in Scotland, which will a new addition to the park for 2019.

20 February 2019

  • Dreamland Margate will remove its £5 admission charge between 6 April and 24 May this year.
  • Pleasurewood Hills has announced that the Rattlesnake rollercoaster will re-open this season.

15 February 2019

  • Alton Towers has removed the Nemesis Sub-Terra and Twirling Toadstool rides from its website listings. The park has confirmed that both rides will not operate this season, while confirming their longer-term futures.

13 February 2019

  • Alton Towers is auctioning off 37 items from the former Charlie and the Chocolate Factory ride. Proceeds from the sale will be split between the Merlin’s Magic Wand and the Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s charities. Link: eBay

6 February 2019

  • Initial plans for the Flamingo Land Coast project in Scarborough have been submitted to the local authorities. The concept includes a rollercoaster and 60-metre drop tower. Read more at BBC News.

23 January 2019

  • Holders of the Premium Merlin Annual Pass will not be exempt from the £7.50 (£5 in advance) admission charge for the Alton Towers Dungeon, opening on 23 March.

21 January 2019

  • Alton Towers’ on-the-day admission price has increased by £1 to £56 for the 2019 season.

18 December 2018

  • Alton Towers has been refused a reduction in its £4 million business rates bill for the second time. Read more at This is Money.

4 November 2018

  • LED screens similar to queue time displays have been uncovered at the entrance to the former Nemesis Sub-Terra ride at Alton Towers. The park has not announced any future plans for the building since it was utilised for the Project 42 scare maze during this year’s Scarefest event.

20 October 2018

9 September 2018

  • Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s Valhalla has won Best Water Ride at the Golden Ticket Awards 2018, held by US publication Amusement Today.
  • The Big Top scare maze will not return for this year’s Fright Nights events at Thorpe Park. However, a number of its former characters will appear in a Big Top: Showtime scare area, which will be located inside the park’s welcome dome.

2 September 2018

  • Virtual reality headsets are partially back in use on Alton Towers’ Galactica rollercoaster, following a period of this week where they were withdrawn to boost the ride’s capacity. Each of the ride’s trains are currently being segregated between VR and non-VR options.

6 August 2018

  • Bidding on the ‘Mousey’ car from Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s dismantled Wild Mouse rollercoaster finished at £4,800.

2 August 2018

  • Shares in Merlin Entertainments closed down 3.6% today following an announcement of a 6.5% fall in profits for the first half of this year. The company however reported that revenue from its theme park operations had increased by almost 10% in the same period, noting a “continued recovery” at Alton Towers.

30 June 2018

  • Merlin Entertainments has submitted a UK trademark application for ‘Stargazing Pods’.

7 May 2018

  • Flamingo Land has submitted a planning permission application to build a £30 million resort on the banks of Loch Lomond in Scotland. Daily Record

23 January 2018

  • Thorpe Park will open Derren Brown’s Ghost Train and other “actor-led” attractions at midday during the 2018 season.
  • The Loggers Leap flume ride will also remain closed throughout this year.

13 January 2018

  • Drayton Manor has removed its cable car ride, including all supports.

7 January 2018

  • Alton Towers has launched a £55 season pass for the 2018 season. It will allow early ride time, but excludes peak summer weekends, Scarefest, Fireworks and discounts on purchases.