Government blamed as theme park prices rise

Tiger Rock, Chessington World of Adventures

The British government has been blamed for rises in theme park prices as coronavirus-related support came to an end on Friday.

Prices at the UK’s most expensive theme parks have risen by up to 9.6% since the start of the year.

A temporary cut in value added tax (VAT) ends this month, with the rate returning to 20% from its previous 12.5%.

Merlin Entertainments chief executive Nick Varney criticised the ending of support measures in the Financial Times newspaper.

He said that the ending of relief schemes “made a mockery of the sector’s hard-fought recovery and wrenching defeat from the jaws of victory”.

Merlin’s Alton Towers remains the UK’s most expensive theme park, where its on-the-day admission cost rose from £62 to £65 on Friday.

Chessington World of Adventures, also owned by Merlin, made the sharpest rise admission cost, increasing from £52 to £57 for same-day access.

Meanwhile, Flamingo Land has replaced Paultons Park to become become the most expensive independent British theme park, with its £49 gate price.