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Merlin Annual Passes – Are they worth it?

(32 Posts)
btfly2 Mon 24-Apr-17 23:41:10

Posted for traffic here.

Is a good value for money? I'm not sure about it yet. I'm quite tempted to buy the pass but I would like to hear your experience. Thanks!

elessar Tue 25-Apr-17 00:11:14

It's all relative.

They're excellent value if you live within easy reach of a few attractions and will go on a regular basis. If you'd go to them very infrequently then they're probably not great value for money.

A family one works out at around £110pp in the sale - so it will moreorless pay for itself with 4 theme park visits in a year. If you're likely to do more than this, plus get in some visits to the midway attractions then it's definitely worthwhile.

AnathemaPulsifer Tue 25-Apr-17 00:19:55

I think one year of merlin passes, preferably on a year where you're not planning on going away much, is brilliant value if you live near London and possibly if you live near Alton Towers. We had a wonderful year when my kids chose passes instead of a short break one half term. Do all the theme parks to death and really get your money's worth. The London Dungeon is seriously scary though - be warned!

btfly2 Tue 25-Apr-17 01:23:36

Thank you! Brilliant info smile

BollardDodger Tue 25-Apr-17 07:23:06

Yes, brilliant value if you live or are going somewhere within reach of a few of them. Can make a cheaper holiday if going somewhere with one (we live in London and went to Blackpool a few years ago).
Only trouble is we started renewing every year and got bored with going to Legoland & Chessington all the time, so ended up not using them!

Daisy03 Tue 25-Apr-17 07:24:21

Totally worth it particularly if you live in the south east

Babbaganush Tue 25-Apr-17 07:54:51

We are quiet a way from the main attractions but still got great value from the passes. We made a point of using them as much as we could by booking cheap travel lodges well in advance and had lots of 1 and 2 night stays away. We had a great few days in Blackpool visiting The Tower / Circus / Madam Tussauds / Dungeon and trips to Alton Towers / Legoland / Chessington / Thorpe Park. The Sealife centres were also good.
We had them for two years when DH was doing a job that was very flexible so we were able to make the most of inset days and long weekends.

Babbaganush Tue 25-Apr-17 07:55:34

Quite !!!

TeenAndTween Tue 25-Apr-17 08:35:46

With annual passes we won't renew, we try not to buy them in eg March as then you only get one season's benefit. Instead we try to buy them later e.g. June so they run until end May the following year (assuming they aren't calendar year ones), so we get to use them over 2 seasons.

hibbledobble Tue 25-Apr-17 08:39:21

Yes they are, but as others have said, only if you're going to go lots (but why wouldn't you once you have the passes?)

AnathemaPulsifer Tue 25-Apr-17 18:08:52

Yes, we did same as teenandtween and bought in May/June so that we got two years out of it - the theme parks are shut in winter so you get a break.

It's lovely to be able to pop in places for half a day and not always have to stay for the whole day.

Juanbablo Tue 25-Apr-17 18:22:01

We were lucky enough to win a family merlin pass this year and we have used them at Legoland and all the London attractions so far. If you think about it, a family pass is around £600 in total. A family trip on the London eye is over £100 so you definitely get your money's worth. And we found that we didn't have to queue at all with the passes.

Darbs76 Tue 25-Apr-17 18:26:24

Yes I'm 30mins from chessington, 45 Thorpe park and 1hr legoland plus of course the London eye a short train ride. You do get better value for money if live nearby but if on holiday down south it's still probably cheaper for the pass than paying on gate for all. You can use tesco club card vouchers to pay too

RandomMess Tue 25-Apr-17 18:29:01

We used them loads as were local to Chessington/Thorpe/LEGOLAND and bought passes using Tesco Clubcard vouchers. We used to buy in the summer and then leave 5 weeks in between renewals each time. Sadly they are not such value anymore - have to pay for parking, more popular etc.

SomewhatIdiosyncratic Tue 25-Apr-17 18:33:54

We looked into it when we were going to London. Alton Towers, a Sea Life Centre and Warwick Castle are fairly accessible, but to break even would have required a conscious effort. Maybe more worthwhile when the DCs are older and have a greater range of rides to be of interest.

I'll stick with the comparatively bargainous NT family card for now.

SwimmingMom Tue 25-Apr-17 18:34:10

We used this when I was pregnant with DD2. I knew fun days out would be difficult with the little one so made the most of it before she came along. DD1 & I went to most of the London attractions more than once. Definitely worth it- but we are in London so it was only travel (me) & food costs which we had to budget.

Blankscreen Tue 25-Apr-17 18:35:11

We've got them this year as I think they are worth it but not every year as you'll be bored. Possibly every other year.

krisskross Tue 25-Apr-17 18:39:22

when is the sale that someone up thread mentioned please?

EricNorthmanIsMine Tue 25-Apr-17 18:42:15

krisskross the sale is on every year just after Christmas... i have a feeling they had a Summer Sale last year too but not seen anything about offers at the moment

spanieleyes Tue 25-Apr-17 19:19:59

When my children were young we lived near Legoland and had annual passes It was great. In addition to whole day visits, we would pop into the park for an hour after school or for a couple of hours on a summer's evening during the holidays. We certainly had our money's worth!

BastardBloodAndSand Tue 25-Apr-17 19:24:39

They are for me.

We only buy one for ds and Merlin give 2 free carers passes (( which let's face it they aren't obliged to do )) we renew in the sale each year so get a full year of attractions for all of us for something like £129. We probably save more with our discounts (( 20% off in shops and hotels, plus RAC discounts, kids eat free in hard rock cafe etc, some service station shop and a few others )) than we spend on the Bleddy passes.

Has to be said I think Merlin do treat disabled customers very well which counts for a lot these days.

BastardBloodAndSand Tue 25-Apr-17 19:25:55

There's a pass sale coming up, join the.merlin annual pass Facebook group it will all be on there. It's usually May or June.

FlouncingInTheRain Tue 25-Apr-17 19:26:40

We had them a few years ago and again this year. We went to London for a few days at Feb half term, Alton Towers three times so far, Blackpool tower, sealife etc. We're going to Legoland in our schools odd extra week off after May half term.

For us it works well because DS1 is Autistic and we never know how days out will pan out. We've done things like go to the zoo (£100+ day out) to have a complete meltdown one of us dash round with the younger two and all leave within an hour.

Norma27 Wed 26-Apr-17 07:42:35

I love my merlin passes. They are the best thing i buy all year! Renewed mine in Feb and so far done Legoland twice, chessington 3 times, thorpe park, shrek, London eye, couple of sealifes and warwick castle twice. Off to london again tomorrow and Alton Towers friday. Also have a weekend booked in Blackpool and will do many more trips this year!

btfly2 Wed 26-Apr-17 23:36:01

Thank you for all the replies. I will definitely get our passes soon. I wonder which one do you recommend? I think I'll go for the premium one if that means you can avoid the queues and go ahead using the priority pass. I don't get what's the difference though between priority pass and fast track or Q-bot...?
Are the parks open during the winter time like Christmas? Thanks! I think I'm going to be a fan of the Merlin annual pass!

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