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Will Merlin Attractions In The UK Remove The Merlin Annual Pass Reservation System?

Ever since Merlin Attractions in the UK reopened to the public in July 2020, Merlin Annual Passholders have been required to pre-book a reservation in order to gain entry into each attraction. This measure was introduced as part of the new range of Coronavirus Safety Measures that were implemented at Merlin Attractions. Upon launching this new system in July 2020, the system proved to be quite hard to gain a reservation for the theme parks causing frustrations amongst Passholders. The system did get upgraded in 2021 to allow for passholders to have more available reservations. However, the big question amongst Passholders is, "Will Merlin Attractions In The UK Remove The Merlin Annual Pass Reservation System?".

Image ©Merlin Entertainments

There are many factors that need to be considered before concluding a final answer, all of which are discussed below.

New Merlin Annual Pass Range

In December 2020, Merlin Annual Pass announced that they would be launching an all new range of Annual Passes to replace the former Standard and Premium Passes. The new passes include: Discovery, Gold and Platinum Passes, which all offer different perks based on your budget. With this new range, some of the benefits were changed based on feedback gained from a survey that was sent to Merlin Passholders. However, one of the stand out additions to the new perks was that the main selling feature that Merlin were using for the new passes was the amount of pre-book reservations that you could hold at one time, per attraction. Discovery and Gold Passholders can pre-book up to 3 reservations per attraction at any one time, where as Platinum Passholders can pre-book up to 6 reservations per attraction at any one time. It is worth noting that Merlin Annual Pass wouldn't have listed these as 'perks' if the system wasn't going to be sticking around for some time, and especially that this is being listed as a benefit of buying a Merlin Annual Pass.

Image ©Merlin Entertainments

Better Management For Merlin Entertainments

From the perspective of Merlin, they have introduced this new system as a 'Coronavirus Safety Measure', however, with most restrictions being lifted in the theme parks, this is one of the only remaining meassures left in place. In addition, by making all guests (including Merlin Annual Passholders) pre-book their tickets and not selling any on the day, this helps them to better manage the theme parks as Merlin knows exactly how many guests will be coming to each attraction per day. This allows them to plan for the amount of staff that they will need to cover the guests that are visiting on a given day, as well as plan for the amount of food, drink and merchandise that needs to be ordered for the theme parks, and to plan for maintenance that needs to take place in a time where not too many guests will be visiting the attraction. As a result, on Merlin's end of things, it helps them to better manage their operations to reduce any unwanted costs for the business on staffing and food/drink that is not needed.

Image ©Theme Park Media Group

Summing up everything that has been discussed, it is likely that Merlin Entertainments won't be removing the need for Merlin Annual Passholders to pre-book their visit with a reservation anytime soon, mainly due to the fact that this is being used as a main selling point of the new Merlin Annual Pass range, as well as the better operational view-point from Merlin Entertainments. However, most Merlin Annual Passholders want this system to be removed so that they have the freedom to visit when the want to, instead of having to plan in advance of when to visit. It is worth noting that this is all predictions made by our team and this could change within the coming months.


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