“ A pass that allows unlimited entry to selected theme parks and zoos in the UK for 1 year. „
As a great fan of theme parks and extreme thrills, I was constantly going off to theme parks, and moaning of them excessively charging for their tickets. Just to clarify, one day tickets for most theme parks are around £40; quite a lot of money, if you decide to go a lot.
So I consented to purchasing a Merlin Annual Pass (though it costs the heavy sum of £144 now bear in mind that it gives you entry for a whole. year.) and was thoroughly pleased with it as not only was I able to go whenever I wanted without charge, but I was able to only spend half days inside them and not feel bad for wasting money! It also gave me 20% of purchases which helped out a lot seeing as theme park eating out, souvenirs and ride photos are so ridiculously over priced these days.
For an extra £35 (less than a standard one day entry ticket) I was able to upgrade my Merlin Annual Pass to a premium one, which allowed me to have a restriction-free entry into all the attractions which accept it. This meant that I was able to go to Thorpe Park Fright Nights without the £5 extra fee and all the queues; ALSO I am able to go to ALL the attractions in the month of August. On top of that, I was able to make use of the free parking, which was great because you know how horrendously high parking fees are nowadays!
I was also able to use my pass for a photography project on the London Eye, turning up again and again to get different shots of London at different times of the day. Normally, this would've cost me at least a hundred pounds, but with a Merlin Annual Pass it was all free!
A Merlin Annual Pass lets you into: Alton Towers Resort, Chessington World of Adventures, LEGOLAND Discovery Center, Legoland Windsor, EDF Energy London Eye, Madame Tussauds, SEA LIFE centers and sanctuaries, the Blackpool Tower, THORPE PARK and Warwick Castle. As you can see, a wide range of attractions to choose from, and your spare time will never be boring again!
A brilliant buy for me, and I will definitely be renewing my pass when the time comes!
What is a Merlin Annual Pass:
Its a Card which you buy and gets you in to the merlin companies attractions throughout the UK.
What attractions does it include:
Alton Tower, Chessington world of adventures, Thorpe Park, LegoLand, London eye, London Dunegeons, Madam tussards London, Blackpool Pool Towers and Tussards, Warwick Castle, Sealife centres located throughout the uk.
How much does it cost:
Current price of standard pass is: £156 individual or £117 each for family of 3,4, or 5.
Current Price of Premier Pass is: £192 individual or £144 each for family of 3,4 or 5.
Always keep an eye out for deals especially at the beginning of the year, when i first started buying my annual pass i got 50% off.
They are easy to purchase online or at any of the attractions above.
What are the extra benefits of the card:
20% of in Shops and Dining at the attractions.
Unlimited Drinks refill bottle (Priced at £16) use this all year.
20% of entry at alton towers water park
50% of several international attractions (see website)
London eye passholder perks
Early ride at alton towers.
buy one get one free on select park games.
Discount at legoland hotel, alton towers hotel and chessington hotel.
you can buy tickets for other family and friends at around 50% discount.
Partner perks are changing all the time so please check out any extras online.
Free parking for (premier members.)
Standard merlin pass holders have the following restrictions but premier members can use the attractions as follows:
Standard Merlin Annual Passes do not include:
August entry to London attractions
Entry to The EDF Energy London Eye, Madame Tussauds London, the London Dungeon and the SEA LIFE London Aquarium during August
Entry to the London Dungeon from 29 to 31 October
Entry to the EDF Energy London Eye on 14 February, 27 - 31 July or 29 to 31 October
Entry to Fright Nights and other events at THORPE PARK without a fee
For Standard Passholders, a £5 event fee may apply
Entry to The Castle Dungeon and Merlin - The Dragon Tower at Warwick Castle
My personal expeience of the card it very postitive, we have been getting the merlin annual pass for the last 3 years and have got our moneys worth throughout the year. I always keep an eye out for offers for renewals and just the last month got 35% discount on family renewal price which worked out at £76 each. I went to most of the attractions last year and having the card resulted in fast tracking through, which is great expecially at madam tussards which always had queues miles long.
Last week we went to Chessington world of adventures and had a great time, saved £7.80 on dinning and saved £5 approx in the shops plus saving on normally admission. You can get back the price you pay for your card in around 3 to 4 visits.
More details can be discovered at their website: http://www.merlinannualpass.co.uk/
If you have any questions please message me.
We have had Merlin Annual Passes for 2 years now. My Mum bought them for us as a Christmas present a couple of years back and then when she saw how much we used them and enjoyed them she decided to do the same for Christmas last year. At the moment we have 4 standard Merlin passes.
==What are Merlin Annual Passes?==
Merlin Annual Passes give you entry into 29 of the UK's top attractions including Alton Towers, Chessington World of Adventure, Legoland, Thorpe Park, Sealife Centres, The London, Edinburgh and York Dungeons, The Legoland Discovery Centre, Warwick Castle, Madame Tussauds and The London Eye. In addition to this, this year various attractions are being added to the pass including The Blackpool Tower, The Blackpool Tower Dungeons and Madame Tussauds Dungeons, Blackpool.
By having a pass you usually get 20% off in attractions shops and restaurants. They also have various other perks including money saving offers from other companies such as Rainforest Cafe and RAC and also money saving offers on short breaks at Alton Towers and Chessington.
You can also buy an Unlimited Drinks Capsule, which I believe is £16 this year which allows you to have unlimited refills of soft drinks throughout the year. This is great if you plan on visiting more than a few times. We usually refill it at least 5 or 6 times on a day visit.
If you buy a premium pass, you get additional perks such as August entry to the London attractions (this is not available with standard passes), free parking at the attractions and entry to special events at attractions such as Fright Night at Thorpe Park.
==Why did we only buy Standard Passes?==
When we got our passes, free parking was still available with these passes at all of the attractions. Parking can be expensive (£6 at Alton Towers) and as we are unlikely to use the London attractions during August we decided that the standard passes would be fine for our needs.
==Obtaining a pass==
You can obtain a pass in numerous ways including buying them online, buying them in person at the attractions or using Tesco Clubcard vouchers to purchase one. Whichever way you purchase one you will need to visit an attraction to actually get your pass as you will need your photo on it (however in some cases you can send away a passport sized photo and they will do it that way).
==Using your pass==
We have never had a problem using our passes, either for obtaining entry to attractions or getting discounts in shops and restaurants.
==How have we found them?==
We used our passes much more last year than we have this year simply because me and my partner have been a lot more busy with work this year. However, we have absolutely loved having these passes as we have visited places that there is no way we could have afforded on a regular basis without them.
I cant remember exact figures of how many times we have visited each attraction using our passes but I know that during our first year we visited Alton Towers about 8 times, Chessington at least 3 times, Legoland 2 or 3 times, Thorpe Park once and Sealife centres twice. We could have used them a lot more but because we dont live particularly close to any of the attractions (it is over an hours drive to our nearest one) we often prefer to go for a weekend so additional costs are obviously involved.
==Are you treated any differently?==
As soon as you get into the attractions, you are treated exactly the same as other guests apart from the obvious perks such as 20% off in shops and restaurants. At Alton Towers you do get early ride time from 9am which is brilliant as it means you can get on the busier rides before other people are let in.
In the first year of our membership I was really happy with the passes but second year a lot of the perks have been taken away and are now only available to premium passholders (eg. entry to the dungeons at Warwick castle). I could upgrade but its £30 per person and as me, my partner, my step-daugher and my niece all have one it would cost £120 and at the moment I just dont have that sort of money.
There has been some confusion over the change in terms for the standard and premium passes. For example, we have old style standard passes which allows us free parking but on a couple of occasions we have had to explain this to staff, also even though we bought the passes when you were allowed in Warwick Castle dungeons, the staff have since told us we can no longer do this.
99% of the staff at attractions are absolutely brilliant. They are polite and friendly and are always keen to ask how your day is going (especially at Alton Towers).
I have only had to contact customer services once after we visited Thorpe Park on a passholder preview day and it was absolutely terrible. I was not happy with the response I recieved. I got a letter with my name spelt wrong which was obviously copied and pasted due to the amount of complaints they had received and half of my questions weren't answered. As an apology they offered me 50% off at a restaurant of my choice within 3 or 4 weeks, as I wasn't planning on visiting within that time and had clearly stated in the letter that I had serious reservations about visiting again I didnt use it.
==How much are the passes?==
Currently a standard pass is £140.40 for an individual. A premium pass is £167.40. There are discounts for family passes and you can use Tesco Clubcard vouchers to buy them which I would recommend.
If you are thinking about getting one, I would recommend the premium pass just because for £27.00 more you will get free parking which as long as you are visiting somewhere more than 5 or 6 times throughout the year will pay for itself. I think Alton Towers have the highest priced parking costing £6, the other attractions range between £2 and £5.
==Would I recommend it?==
Yes, we have had a great time using our passes and if you are likely to visit these attractions throughout the year then they are definitely worth the money.
For more information please visit http://www.merlinannualpass.co.uk/
The Merlin annual pass gives you 12 months free entry to the U.K.'s top attractions. These include:
Alton Towers theme park
Chessington World of Adventures
Sea life centres
I first decided to purchase an annual pass three years ago at Thorpe Park and I have renewed it every year since. The annual pass can be purchased online for £120. With just 3 visits a year to any of the above attractions, you will have got your moneys worth. With the Merlin pass, you also get 20% off in the souvenir shops at the attractions and also 20% off their restaurants.
In my opinion the Merlin pass is definitely worth the money. As I live in London, many of the attractions are nearby. This allows me to go and use the annual pass around once every fortnight, so I am getting fantastic value for my money. However, if the attractions are some distance away from you, you may want to consider how many times you will use your merlin pass and if you will get your moneys worth.
If you are considering getting an annual pass, I would suggest doing so online at Tesco's, where you can get an annual pass for £37.50 in clubcard vouchers.
With the Merlin pass, there is one small catch which I unfortunately experienced. In August, I turned up at the London eye at 4pm. I was told that I could not use the Annual Merlin pass after 3pm during August and from 26th December- 31st December.
Getting a Merlin pass was one of the best things I ever done! Sometimes on a Saturday morning I can just wake up and decide to go and make use of the annual pass and I usually have a fantastic time. If you live nearby one of the attractions, I would highly recommend getting a Merlin pass for the above reason.
Thanks for reading
I have been reading up on the Merlin Annual Passes for quite some time now because in the new year me and my boyfriend are going to purchase two of them!
So, What are Merlin Annual Passes?
Merlin annual passes allow unlimited access to selected theme parks and zoos in the UK for 1 year. The places you can go to are:
Alton Towers Resort
Chessington World of Adventures & Zoo
Madame Tussauds London
SEA LIFE Centres/Sanctuaries
Not only do you get unlimited access into the above attractions, there are more benefits.
At Alton Towers you can get Unlimited entry, Entry to The Alton Towers Resort Halloween Scarefest event, Early Ride Time on selected rides, Annual Pass holders get to enter the theme park 1 hour before the general public at 9.00am, free standard car parking at Alton Towers Resort, 20% off Stays at The Alton Towers Hotel or Splash Landings Hotel, 20% off The Alton Towers Water park, Alternatively up to 10% off an Alton Towers Waterpark Annual Pass for existing pass holders, 20% off at Extraordinary Golf and 20% off eating and shopping at Alton Towers.
If this isn't enough, other attractions offer their benefits too!!
If you buy online:
An adult pass for a year is £120 and for a renewal it is £100. This is not bad at all. It is great if you will definitely use it because you will save lots of money.
*Not too expensive
I think this is a great buy and would make a great Christmas present for those who are tricky to buy for! I like them because they offer unlimited access so you can go as many times as you like!