Sunday, 16 February 2014

The Great Merlin Debate

We have had Annual Melin passes for the past 3 years and we really enjoy the perks with it. It kind of pays
for itself within a few trips and often within the summer months we visit a Merlin attraction once a week. When it came to the time of the year to renew the passes we deliberated for a long time and decided that we wouldnt renew our passes as they dont expire untill August and we would wait and see how the Merlin attractions work for us this year.

Last summer we were very disappointed as Tilly was finally tall enough for the runaway train in Chessington and When the site opened for the season last year we eagerly attended with Tilly using her brand new Merlin pass to find that the runaway train would be closed untill August! we went to the park a dozen times in the summer, but the runaway train never opened for the whole season! If we had known that the ride she wanted to go on the most would be out of order all summer, then we would of thought twice about buying a 3 year old a pass!

One benefit with having the Merlin Pass was that we could buy a drinks capsule for £16 and get free refills all year. We would refill the flask about 5 times a day at the theme parks, so this was great value for us.

This year Merlin have taken it upon themselves to offer a different 'magical improvement'

We’ve just made some magical improvements to the Merlin Annual Pass drinks capsule. You can now buy this this year’s Merlin Annual Pass drinks capsule for just £1.99 from Chessington World of Adventures Resort, LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort, THORPE PARK, Warwick Castle and Alton Towers Resort. And once you have it, you can refill it as much as you like for just 75p per 
Taken from Merlins Facebook page 

At first look, you see the £1.99 but then its quick to  add up that if you go to refill your drink 5 times through the day that is £3.75 for drinks. Go to the theme parks 12 times over the season and it will cost you £45 for drinks over the season and will cost you more if you get more drinks!! how the hell is this a magical improvement? It means alot more money added to a family day out and it is something we as a family cannot afford. I am sure i am not the only pass holder angry at this new 'improvement' and it could even cause families to become dehydrated on  hot days at the theme parks. 

The queues for drinks in the theme parks are diabolical anyway and often after you have queued for 10 minutes you find the coke is flat or has run out. So can you imagine the queues when everyone has to find 75p to pay for their drink. Also the flasks are smaller, meaning less drink in the bottle and queuing more than before to refill the drink! How is this customer service and child friendly? Merlin have got this one very wrong indeed and more people are going to take their own drinks into the park, creating rubbish, meaning more staff are needed to keep the parks clean. if people are bringing their own drinks in then they are likely to bring their own picnic too, meaning less money spent on food - or they will go for lunch in a buffet place, where the drink is included and fill up their drinks bottle there instead.

We have made the decision not to renew our pass once these passes run out, so Merlin have lost the revenue of 5 family members in my household alone! Our passes last untill August, so our £16 drinks capsule runs out then. We wont miss out on the attractions as we will find BOGOF vouchers and go instead - probably getting better deals than being a member!

Merlin have well and truley screwed their members over!!

Add this page Say NO To Merlin Pass Drinks Capsule Price Increase on facebook and have your say about the 'Magical improvement' 

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