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WTF Merlin?

rob666

Member
Perhaps a theme park as big as Alton Towers should organise a regular public service to the park, through one of the local operators, and offer a subsidy for the service...for the benefit of customers and staff.
Especially so when the car parking charge is (theoretically) used to encourage customers to utilise more sustainable forms of transport to the facility.
 

NeoXIII

Best Newcomer 2016
Perhaps a theme park as big as Alton Towers should organise a regular public service to the park, through one of the local operators, and offer a subsidy for the service...for the benefit of customers and staff.
Especially so when the car parking charge is (theoretically) used to encourage customers to utilise more sustainable forms of transport to the facility.
I think it used to be like that, AT had their own bus service that would go to bigger towns around the resort. I imagine that the lack of customers was the reason they shut down the service for good.
Just a hunch though.
 

EndlessWire

New Member
But they do have a clear link to both first and nottsderby on the "directions" page..
Yes, below the unequivocal statement that "There is also a daily X52 bus service that runs from Nottingham and Derby". Daily means at least once per day. They also give only one exception for the First route, saying they operate departures from Stoke amd Uttoxeter "except Sundays". Given that there are no other exceptions there or on the Travel Updates section, I don't think it's unreasonable to read that on their website, be assured by it and plan on firming up the details nearer the time. They have incorrect information on their website which could (and indeed has) screw up plans for arriving there.
 

caffeine_demon

Well-Known Member
Lets just face it -= the bus service to alton towers is a joke! I used the alton towers own bus a few times - think they stopped that about 10 years ago

Oh - and the x32 did run on sundays this year!!, the X52 was weekdays only - obviously noone visits a theme park on a weekend, do they?
 

Luca B

New Member
I know this strays away from what the bulk of the conversation in this thread, but I believe the Merlin’s focus should be in Thorpe, as they don’t have the strict regulations of Alton and it is easily accessible. I believe that Thorpe should make it a park focussed on rides and not theming. They can still have themed rides, but theming should definitely not be the focus. If they get good investment, with many large, world class coasters and also good family rides, it could become one of the best parks in Europe.
 
I know this strays away from what the bulk of the conversation in this thread, but I believe the Merlin’s focus should be in Thorpe, as they don’t have the strict regulations of Alton and it is easily accessible. I believe that Thorpe should make it a park focussed on rides and not theming. They can still have themed rides, but theming should definitely not be the focus. If they get good investment, with many large, world class coasters and also good family rides, it could become one of the best parks in Europe.
Yeah Thorpe has absolutely huge potential considering the location.

London is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the whole world and Heathrow one of the busiest airports. Could be worth blowing the budget on working with the airport and foreign tour operators. Obviously they're aware of this and have staff in place to promote the attraction, I'm just speculating.

Ite very rare you see non-brits at Thorpe. Time to target the huge groups of Chinese tourists that descend on London on a daily basis?
 

lachlan

Member
Yeah Thorpe has absolutely huge potential considering the location.

London is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the whole world and Heathrow one of the busiest airports. Could be worth blowing the budget on working with the airport and foreign tour operators. Obviously they're aware of this and have staff in place to promote the attraction, I'm just speculating.

Ite very rare you see non-brits at Thorpe. Time to target the huge groups of Chinese tourists that descend on London on a daily basis?
Considering its in London, Thorpe appears very hard to get to without a car. Maybe this puts tourists off? How many people rent a car in London?
 

Will

Active Member
^
I'm not sure I agree with that - you can walk it from Staines or Chertsey if you know what you're doing and, as unpleasant as they undeniably are, the shuttle buses from Staines are difficult to miss.

As for Thorpe, I think they've given up rides, theming and... theme parks in general for the time being - reality TV and internet memes are apparently where it's at at present o_O
 
One train from Waterloo and a shuttle bus isn't too difficult tbf.

Perhaps a direct bus service from Victoria coach station would be better.
 

Chris Brown

Mr CoasterForce 2016
Staff member
Social Media Team
Yeah Thorpe has absolutely huge potential considering the location.

London is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the whole world and Heathrow one of the busiest airports. Could be worth blowing the budget on working with the airport and foreign tour operators. Obviously they're aware of this and have staff in place to promote the attraction, I'm just speculating.

Ite very rare you see non-brits at Thorpe. Time to target the huge groups of Chinese tourists that descend on London on a daily basis?
Not convinced by this at all, whilst Thorpe Park is considered to be in London its over an hour from Waterloo either in car or via public transport, which actually makes it pretty inaccessible for your average tourist, especially when compared with all of the other more traditional tourist attractions that are easily accessible by the tube or buses.

Tourists don't go to London for Themeparks, Thorpe would have to convince tourists to take a day out of their busy schedule (the average stay in London is 4 days) which would likely mean them sacrificing something they'd already planned to do. Grona, Liseberg and Tivoli do it well because the parks are in the city's, you can walk to them and the parks have a reputation built by years of satisfied customers and excellent Trip Advisor reviews. The parks have embedded themselves within the city's top tourist attractions and will continuously attract the customers.

Even Phantasialand struggle to capitalise on Colognes tourism, a quick look on Trip Advisor and the park is nowhere to be seen on the City's top attractions. That was only a 25 minute taxi journey from the city center. Long of the short, tourists love convenience (they're on holiday after all) and Thorpe just isnt convenient enough to justify a trip from central London.

This is excluding the fact its just not a very good themepark
 
Not convinced by this at all, whilst Thorpe Park is considered to be in London its over an hour from Waterloo either in car or via public transport, which actually makes it pretty inaccessible for your average tourist, especially when compared with all of the other more traditional tourist attractions that are easily accessible by the tube or buses.

Tourists don't go to London for Themeparks, Thorpe would have to convince tourists to take a day out of their busy schedule (the average stay in London is 4 days) which would likely mean them sacrificing something they'd already planned to do. Grona, Liseberg and Tivoli do it well because the parks are in the city's, you can walk to them and the parks have a reputation built by years of satisfied customers and excellent Trip Advisor reviews. The parks have embedded themselves within the city's top tourist attractions and will continuously attract the customers.

Even Phantasialand struggle to capitalise on Colognes tourism, a quick look on Trip Advisor and the park is nowhere to be seen on the City's top attractions. That was only a 25 minute taxi journey from the city center. Long of the short, tourists love convenience (they're on holiday after all) and Thorpe just isnt convenient enough to justify a trip from central London.

This is excluding the fact its just not a very good themepark
*But* perhaps Thorpe could look into ways to make it more convenient for tourists? It's only what, 10 miles from one of the world's busiest airports?

Appreciate it's difficult as London is also arguably the best city in the world and absolutely littered with centrally located tourist attractions/historic landmarks.

Ah, I was looking at travel from Heathrow airport, sorry!
Yep it's a ball-ache from Heathrow! 2 buses to Staines then a shuttle bus I believe.
 

Chris Brown

Mr CoasterForce 2016
Staff member
Social Media Team
*But* perhaps Thorpe could look into ways to make it more convenient for tourists? It's only what, 10 miles from one of the world's busiest airports?

Appreciate it's difficult as London is also arguably the best city in the world and absolutely littered with centrally located tourist attractions/historic landmarks.



Yep it's a ball-ache from Heathrow! 2 buses to Staines then a shuttle bus I believe.
Yeah they definitely could, but short of moving the park closer to central London there isn’t a huge amount they can do. Utilising Heathrow is tricky as the majority of tourists focus on getting to their accommodation once they’ve landed. It’s on the Piccadilly line so goes straight into London. If you were Thorpe how would you aim to make it easier for tourists @FistedColossus ? I guess some kinda ticket deal with Merlins London attractions could work?
 
Yeah they definitely could, but short of moving the park closer to central London there isn’t a huge amount they can do. Utilising Heathrow is tricky as the majority of tourists focus on getting to their accommodation once they’ve landed. It’s on the Piccadilly line so goes straight into London. If you were Thorpe how would you aim to make it easier for tourists @FistedColossus ? I guess some kinda ticket deal with Merlins London attractions could work?
Flyers/posters/ads all over the airport and maybe a sponsored information desk. You're correct many people land at Heathrow with a pre booked itinerary, but it could be beneficial to sweep up those with a spare day or two, and for more frequent visitors.

Push coach trips with foreign tour operators etc.

Saw and The Walking Dead are two of the world's biggest horror franchises, and horror fans are very passionate - maybe somehow push these attractions specifically to the international visitors as part of a package?

They're probably limited in terms of cross promoting with the London attractions as it's a separate division within Merlin.

Again, I'm aware Merlin have experienced trade and marketing teams who know what they're doing, but I want to see coach loads of chinese tourists dammit!
 
Yep it's a ball-ache from Heathrow! 2 buses to Staines then a shuttle bus I believe.
There's a direct bus from Terminal 5 to Staines which takes 15 minutes and the shuttle takes another 10 minutes to get to Thorpe Park, but - yeah, from Heathrow Central it's still going to take you the best part of an hour.
 

shawnoc

Member
Why would you advertise Thorpe Park at Heathrow. We don’t want to put off tourists coming back. They would visit one and get mental scars from all the chavs.
 

Fluorineer

Member
Why would you advertise Thorpe Park at Heathrow. We don’t want to put off tourists coming back. They would visit one and get mental scars from all the chavs.
The ship of an enjoyable journey as already sailed as soon as you have landed in Heathrow.
 

Ben

Social Media Team
Social Media Team
It’s pretty much the exact same journey to get to the Harry Potter Studios and that gets enough foreign visitors - it’s not the public transport that puts people off.

I imagine Merlin want the London visitors to stay at the London midways - they’re much more of a goldmine anyway.
 
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