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Old 9 Nov 21, 09:39 AM  
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miked1e
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Merlin Annual Pass - Black Friday

Who is an annual pass holder?

Thinking of getting Gold/Platinum passes for 2022, but trying to work out whether worth it!

We would likely do a trip like recent October half term ie 2 nights at Legoland and a visit to Warwick Castle on the way down.

Expect we would also do Warwick Castle in the summer, maybe Cbeebies land at Alton Towers, Lego and Sealife centers in Manchester / Blackpool and also possibly a visit to London and any attractions there.

Trying to add this up for 2 adults, 1 child and 1 infant:

Legoland break - GB£ 145
Warwick Castle (x2) - GB£ 90
Disc center - GB£ 90
Alton Towers - GB£ 105
London - GB£ 150

Based on above visits, I guess would just about pay for 3 x Gold passes..

Is there anything I am missing?

Do food/retail discounts add up to much?

I guess I will not need a pass for DS who will turn 1 next August? He will be free for all attractions?

We are in Liverpool so the main attractions I guess are 2+ hours away and probably why we have never considered the pass as will not be using every month for example.

Thinking we could plan a few weekends away next year based on this (I know it costs more for the breaks), but with a lego mad DS and no holidays planned other than Disney in May and Center Parcs in Feb, it would get us exploring the UK attractions more.

Thanks in advance...
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Old 10 Nov 21, 05:04 PM  
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pompeyboy
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You've clearly given it a lot of thought and probably only you and the family can decide if you will get good value from having one.

We had one several years ago now and certainly got our moneys worth but we are only an hour or so from TP, LL and Chessington so could pop up for a few hours during the week, I was on 12 hour shifts with 2 or 3 rest days during the week, so could avoid busier weekends.

We activated ours in July so got 2 part summers out of it cant remember how many days out we had and probably 3 stays in the Stoke area for AT.

The free parking saves a bit too as well as the 20% off food and as you need 3 tickets it would probably work out well as a lot of the offers are bogof which is great for even numbered groups but less so when you have to buy an odd one at full price.

We let ours expire after the year as we did feel a bit "theme parked out" but as I said we really enjoyed the freedom to just go.
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Old 10 Nov 21, 05:39 PM  
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ScoopsAhoy
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We have been premium passholders for 9 years now and this is our last year (expire end of dec).
We have loved having passes and our dd has grown up at merlin parks!
We lived 40 mins from Legoland, Chessington and Thorpe and a 25 min tube ride to the London attractions so they were excellent value for us and they paid for themselves very quickly!
We always had a weekend at Alton towers once or twice a year too.
I have to say I donít think the passes are as good value as they used to be which is one of the reasons we wonít be renewing.
To get the perks we used to youíd have to get the more expensive platinum pass as it doesnít have any exclusion dates.
We used to get fireworks for free and now theyíre extra,the Christmas event used to be £20 for passholders with a Santa visit with gift and a free hot drink and cookie and now the £15 just gets you entry and itís extra for your child to see Santa and get a gift and you have to pay just to accompany your child in to see Santa on top of that!
Also have to pre book your visits on their pass holder hub now which took out the spontaneity as we used to just like popping in for the afternoon etc..
Theyíre just some of our reasons but like I say, we have been passholders for a long time so have seen how much has been taken away from us and made an up charge but those who havenít had the perks canít really miss them I suppose ?
Your ds wonít need one till 3 but if he reaches a certain height then Legoland will require you to pay for him.
The height should be on their site.

Edited at 12:04 PM.
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Old 10 Nov 21, 08:48 PM  
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halloweenbaby2
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I'm currently weighing up wether to buy them too as we are a family 2A 2C.
Up until the pandemic we had the passes for about 4ys and it was fantastic. We live in Birmingham so we visited Alton Towers the most however Warwick Castle is only about 20 mins away but that isn't a site we'd go to unless they had other events on at the same time.
Chessington was also a fave and Blackpool has lots to do too which made for some great weekends away. Legoland we visited once and that was enough. Its the only place I refuse to go back to as the ques are really bad and que jumping is rife!
I wasn't to impressed with how Merlin handled the remaining time left on our cards during lock down. However, we've missed our theme parks and realised how much we used the passes.
The passes aren't as good a value as they used to be but for us they save us a fortune whilst making lots of family memories.
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Old 11 Nov 21, 08:18 AM  
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ScoopsAhoy
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ď I wasn't to impressed with how Merlin handled the remaining time left on our cards during lock down.Ē
Ah see, I was quite happy with that as our passes were meant to run out in March but are now valid till New Yearís Eve so itís technically given us another year where we wouldnít have had them.
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Old 11 Nov 21, 08:20 AM  
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DisneyBerry
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We became first time pass holders in September. Partly as we planned to do Legoland and London in half term just gone. We live about 2 hours away from Alton Towers and about an hour from Blackpool and Manchester.

In three months we have been to Alton Towers twice, Legoland twice, Chessington, London Eye, Madame Tussaudís and Shreks Adventure. Before the end of the year we will also add in LDC and Sealife Manchester, Sealife London, LDC Birmingham and Sealife Birmingham.

Weíve enjoyed ourselves so far, especially having missed our theme park fixes (flight of the sky lion in Legoland is incredible). Itís unlikely we would have done those places without the passes, but tend to look what we can do with them when we get chance.

As for discounts we tend to take our own food and drink in buying things only occasionally. Itís 20% on food and drink and general souvenirs, the prices donít seem too bad to me. Our best discount has been Lego which is 10% off. There really discounts you can get outside the parks too with agreements made with restaurants etc.
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Old 11 Nov 21, 08:36 AM  
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ScoopsAhoy
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Originally Posted by DisneyBerry View Post
We became first time pass holders in September. Partly as we planned to do Legoland and London in half term just gone. We live about 2 hours away from Alton Towers and about an hour from Blackpool and Manchester.

In three months we have been to Alton Towers twice, Legoland twice, Chessington, London Eye, Madame Tussaudís and Shreks Adventure. Before the end of the year we will also add in LDC and Sealife Manchester, Sealife London, LDC Birmingham and Sealife Birmingham.

Weíve enjoyed ourselves so far, especially having missed our theme park fixes (flight of the sky lion in Legoland is incredible). Itís unlikely we would have done those places without the passes, but tend to look what we can do with them when we get chance.

As for discounts we tend to take our own food and drink in buying things only occasionally. Itís 20% on food and drink and general souvenirs, the prices donít seem too bad to me. Our best discount has been Lego which is 10% off. There really discounts you can get outside the parks too with agreements made with restaurants etc.
A little tip in regards to buying Lego at legoland, we always check on Amazon first while there before buying as sometimes itís a lot cheaper even with the 10% off.
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Old 12 Nov 21, 11:45 AM  
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miked1e
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Thank you very much...

Can i ask is the main difference between Gold and Platinum the blackout days?

We would not be using during any of the gold blackout days.

What are the share the fun vouchers and possible more discounts with platinum?
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Old 12 Nov 21, 12:03 PM  
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ScoopsAhoy
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Originally Posted by miked1e View Post
Thank you very much...

Can i ask is the main difference between Gold and Platinum the blackout days?

We would not be using during any of the gold blackout days.

What are the share the fun vouchers and possible more discounts with platinum?
Yes and like you say, share the fun is also now only with platinum which means you can take people with you for a low amount who arenít passholders.
Used to be £5 but think itís gone up now.
Think you may get more off paid for events and more money off the experiences like the coaster climbs and giraffe feed etc.. but Iím not totally sure on that as we have the old premium passes still.
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