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Merlin Pass & Parking; Your Queries Answered

December 16th, 2010 / Alton Towers, Chessington World of Adventure, Legoland Windsor, Thorpe Park / 5 Comments »

The Merlin Pass will no longer offer free parking plus there are new restrictions on use at Legoland.  See how the Merlin Pass changes will impact on YOU:

Will I continue to receive free parking with my Merlin Pass?

All current passholders will continue to receive free parking for the duration of their current Merlin Pass.

Will I receive free parking with a new Merlin Pass?

No this free parking perk will no longer be available to new Merlin passholders who renew after 3 January 2011- you will have to pay the standard parking charges as stipulated at each visitor attraction.

Alton Towers Oblivion bears

Alton Towers Oblivion bears

If I renew my Merlin Pass, will I receive free parking?

If you renew your Merlin Pass before the 3 January 2011, you will be under the old terms and conditions and will not have to pay for parking for the duration of your pass.

If you renew your pass after this date, the  free parking perk will not be available.

I have a Tesco clubcard token that I have yet to redeem for a Merlin Pass.  Will I get free parking with this new Merlin Pass?

If you redeem your Tesco Merlin voucher/s before the 3 January 2011, you will be under the old terms and conditions and will receive free parking.  If you redeem your Tesco Merlin voucher/s after this date, you are under the new terms and conditions and will have to pay for parking.

Once you have redeemed your Tesco Clubcard vouchers for a standard Merlin Pass, you do have the option to upgrade to a Premium Pass for £30 cash per person and this will give you free parking.

I have a Tesco Clubcard Token that I have yet to redeem for a Merlin Pass & my current Merlin Pass does not expire until, (for example), May 2011.  Will I receive free parking?

If you wait to redeem your Tesco Clubcard Token until May, you will not be eligible for free parking.

However, Merlin have said that if you can redeem your Tesco Clubcard Token prior to 3 January they will renew your Merlin Pass and add on the remaining time left on your current Merlin Pass.  To do this you must return your current pass and confirmation/voucher by special delivery, (they will not accept responsibility for undelivered mail), to Merlin  and MUST reach them before 3 January. Please post to:

Merlin Annual Pass Team

2011 Processing

Merlin Business Support

Silverglade

Leatherhead Road

Chessington

Surrey, KT9 2QL

Thorpe Park for Fright Nights

Saw, the Ride at Thorpe Park

I have bought a Capital FM £80 Merlin Pass Voucher- will I receive free parking?

It depends when you redeem your Merlin Pass Voucher. If you redeem your voucher before the 3 January 2011, you will be under the old terms and conditions and will receive free parking.

If you redeem your  voucher after this date, you are under the new terms and conditions and will have to pay for parking.

More details on this offer at Merlin Pass Capital FM £80 Discounted Offer.

I have an existing Merlin Pass; can I upgrade now to a Premim Merlin Pass?

Yes, existing Merlin Passholders can upgrade to a Premium Pass at any time in the year for £30 per person and this lasts for the duration of their current Merlin Pass.

Can I use Tesco clubcard vouchers to purchase a Premium Merlin Pass?

Whilst Premium Merlin Passes are NOT currently available under the clubcard scheme, you can use your Tesco Merlin vouchers and upgrade to a Premium Pass for £30 per person.

Will the Alton Towers Theme Park and Waterpark Annual Pass include free parking?

Towerstimes are reporting that Alton Towers will be introducing a premium pass for £99 per person that will include free parking.

How else can I regain my free parking perk?

By purchasing or upgrading to a Premium Merlin Pass.

A Premium Merlin Pass gives your free parking and does not have any restrictions upon use.  However there are rumours that the free parking perk for the Premium Merlin Pass may only be for 2011?  We await further clarification on this matter.

So why not just to switch to a Premium Merlin Pass?

In a word…money!  For a new customer an individual Premium Merlin Pass would put you back £175.

Merlin are allowing customers to upgrade their standard to a Premium Merlin Pass for £30 per person for the duration of their existing Merlin Pass.

Alternatively, existing passholders can renew to an individual premium Merlin Pass for £129.60.  This deal is running throughout 2011 for existing passholders.  For families of 3, 4 or 5 you can renew to a family Premium Merlin Pass for  £93.60 PER PERSON.

One thing to keep in mind is there have always been plenty of deals around on standard Merlin Passes, (Capital FM are currently offering standard Merlin Passes for £80).

Alton Towers

Remnants of the Corkscrew at Alton Towers

So is an upgrade to a Premium Merlin Pass worth it?

Well if you can redeem your Merlin Pass Voucher/clubcard token before the 3 January without loosing months on your pass – this will give you the free parking for the duration of your new pass, (but still restrictions on use.)

If you can send in your Merlin Pass to have it extended by the length of the new voucher before 3 January – you too will have the free parking perk for the duration of your new pass, (but restrictions on use.)

Otherwise you will need to consider the following;

  • cost implications of purchasing a Merlin Premium Pass
  • parking charges at each attraction
  • how many attractions you plan to visit during the year
  • how many times you plan to visit each attraction during the year
  • how you plan to travel to each attraction.


We DO KNOW that a Premium Merlin Pass will cost you £175 for new customers.

We DO NOW KNOW renewal and upgrade costs for both a Merlin and Premim Merlin Pass.

We DO KNOW that you are in for some pretty hefty parking charges if you stick with a Merlin Pass.

We DO NOT KNOW if the free parking perk will continue with the Premium Merlin Pass after 2011 or the renewal rates for subsequent Premium Passes.

If like me, you have managed to get hold of Merlin Pass for around £75, WE DO KNOW you are looking at a hefty increase in subs to the Premium Pass.

In a nutshell, it’s planning out your itinerary for the year ….and then it’s doing the maths!!

If one person in our party has a Merlin Pass under the old terms and conditions or a Merlin Premium Pass -will we all gain free parking?

Yes as long as he/she is with you in the car, you will gain free parking.  However this is not the case for restrictions on use.

Will Blackpool Attractions to be included within the Merlin Pass in future?

Yes, Blackpool attractions will be added during the year but with some restrictions.  Those to be added will be;

  • The Blackpool Tower Eye with 4D Cinema (Observation deck at the top of the tower.) Opens Sept 2011
  • The Blackpool Tower Circus.  Opens Sept 2011
  • Jungle Jims (Children’s indoor play area.)  Opens Sept 2011
  • The Blackpool Tower Ballroom.  Opens Sept 2011
  • The Blackpool Dungeon.  Opens September/October 2011
  • Madame Tussauds Blackpool.  Opens April 2011


What other changes are coming into force with the new Merlin Passes?

2011 Merlin Passes will also see the following changes;

  • No entry to Legoland, Windsor before 2pm during the month of August.
  • No entry to the Blackpool Tower attractions from 22nd – 30th October.

If we haven’t covered your query, let us know and we’ll see what we can do!

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Comments

  1. Hi, I think this is accidentally misleading – you cannot use Tesco vouchers to upgrade a standard Merlin Pass to a Premium pass. Ive checked with both Tesco Clubcard and Merlin. You can use clubcard points to purchase a standard pass and then upgrade to a premium for £30 cash!

    • Thank for getting in touch with your thoughts on this matter. Whilst there was no intention to mislead, having re-read the article, I take your point that it was perhaps unclear that the £30 charge is for cash rather than clubcard vouchers. I have therefore re-worded the article and hopefully that makes matters clearer for all concerned.

    • Thanks for getting in touch with us regarding this matter. Whilst there was no intention to mislead, having re-read the article, I take your point that perhaps it was unclear that the upgrade to a Merlin Premium Pass would cost an additional £30 cash per person rather an additional expense in clubcard vouchers. I have therefore re-worded the article to ensure this is clearer to all.

  2. Hi if I buy the Capital Merlin Pass tomorrow can I upgrade it into Premium one for Ł30?
    Thanks

    • Thanks for your query and it is one I raised with the Merlin Annual Pass Team before Christmas. My query to them was;
      ‘If those purchasing a Capital FM Merlin Pass for £80, redeem it before 3 January, will they retain the free parking perk?’
      Their reply was ‘yes that is correct or you can buy the voucher now and pay £30pp when collecting your pass to upgrade to a Premium Pass.’