What's new

Park Closing Times - Summer


Strata Poster
So, it just popped up in the Smiler topic that Alton close at 6.00pm during all of Summer which surprised me and a few others so just wanted to get a quick comparison of a few parks up first...



Alton Towers - 6.00pm
Thorpe Park - 7.00pm
CWOA - 6.00pm
Flamingo Land - 4.00/5.00/6.00pm dependent on seasonal conditions (wtf!)
Lightwater Valley - Between 4.30pm-6.00pm dependent on visitor numbers
Blackpool Pleasure Beach - 8.00pm
Drayton Manor - No earlier than 5.00pm


Port Aventura - Midnight
Parque Warner - Midnight except Saturdays which is 1.00am
Parque de Attraciones - Midnight


Parc Asterix - 6.00pm
Bagatelle - 5.30pm - 7.30pm dependent on something, can't translate ha


Heide Park - 6.00pm
Hansa Park - 6.00pm


Walibi Holland - First Half - 8.00pm with the exception of three days at 11.00pm - second half, 6.00pm
Toverland - 8.00pm first half of August, 6.00pm second half

OK thats enough for now because I've already disproved what I thought haha. So as you can see it's only really Spain that take advantage of the summer hours with midnight/1.00am closing times with the rest of Europe varying between 6-8pm.

Why do you think UK + other parks are reluctant to go beyond the 'traditional' hours? Is it due to restrictions on employment law (working hours/days meaning restricted staffing?) or do we just not trust the typical British weather?

I can see why Spain do it, it's a touristy country, but wouldn't Alton Towers consider themselves enough of a tourist attraction in the UK to also benefit?

Obviously these parks will have logical reasons why they don't offer extended opening hours in the Summer, I want to know them.

I left Disneyland Paris out of the above list for obvious reasons.

Actually we'll include it - they close at 11.00pm - this is quite an anomaly though...


Strata Poster


Save money by closing earlier, pinching as much as they can until they start to see an effect on visitor numbers and income.


Strata Poster
Re: RE: Park Closing Times - Summer

All parks (virtually) in the US close 10pm at the earliest over summer, many going to midnight on the weekends. Yet, most don't open until 10 (besides Disney) which means they basically require two shifts in the day.

Could it be that in Europe they want to stick to a primarily single crew for a day, with your obvious breakers and management being in earlier/later making them be the only people with two shifts? Makes no sense for the short hours to me.


Mega Poster
I'll like to see Merlin close their parks at 10pm during the summer months as 5pm or 6pm is way too early.

I was very happy Port Aventura closed at 12pm, as the Q lines from 10pm were a walk on & great fun riding coasters in the dark.


CF Legend
I'd personally LOVE to have the parks in the UK open later, but having seen how empty the park was by 8 o'clock every day at Thorpe, whilst working there, I can see why it's dropped back to 7 there.

It's definitely a public culture thing here in the UK more than anything else. Remember, this is Merlin, if the money was there they'd do it!


Strata Poster
Italian parks close at 11 pm in high season (at least Gardaland an Mirabilandia). I think it is all up to style of living in certain countries. For example, in Mediterranean people usually stay up late (Spaniards are usually having dinner at 11pm-12pm, whereas in non Mediterranean countries you simpli won't find a restaurant that is open that late...)
But I agree with you, it's kind of annoying leaving the park in high season at daylight.


Hyper Poster
Park hours are based on attendance. Clearly analysts have shown that the park is not profitable after that point and therefore there is no need to stay open.


Giga Poster
What's interesting is that Gardaland, another Merlin Park has extremely relaxed hours as Tilyslo noted, which can sometimes continue onto the next day due to temperature. I've been about four times and the park never closed before 11 and I vividly remember doing my last lap of Raptor at about 12 O'Clock.

We'll see about Drayton as I'm going there tomorrow :--)

Surely Alton could do a summer Nights deal? They could do with some positive publicity at the moment to compensate for Smiler.

But hang on....

Thorpe Park Facebook said:
Beat the traffic. We've extended the opening hours in August so you can grab a drink, stay on the beach and whirl around Vortex until 9pm!

(Not including ‪#‎SummerNights‬ or Ministry of Sound)


Giga Poster
^ So is it just vortex that opens that late then? I would assume not as that would seem pretty pointless, but you never know :)


Strata Poster
^ The logic I think behind Thorpe opening up some of the park for a bit longer than the rest is to ease conjestion around the park and get people still eating/drinking in the park to squeeze a few more pennies out of guests. Personally, if I wasn't always so rushed at the end of the park day to get home (or didn't have people collecting me/other people wanting to get home whom I traveled with), I'd probably stay and relax and enjoy a drink at a park at the end of the day.

I think the points I'm going to make have been pointed out already, but a number of factors:

1) Visitors, visitor numbers and visitor culture - in the UK especially, theme parks are seen as a family occasion. I'm sure they're considered that elsewhere, but aside from groups of teenagers who venture to parks socially, the market for theme parks in the UK are families. Families are more likely to head home early as kids are tired and there's a long drive back.

2) Public transport (or lack of it), driving hours and location of parks - Public transport in the UK is good, but only during daylight hours. Most parks don't have good public transport links, or if they do, they end early. Many parks are in the arse end of nowhere, or at least far from major towns and cities. Think Alton - it's location (and the fact it's scrapped public transport mean it's a nightmare to get to) is quite central in the country, but that still can mean drives of 1 or 2 hours for people living in the Midlands or just outside and 3 or 4 hours+ for some visitors living as far away as London, even longer for people living further away. Visitors leave early as the day starts early getting to the park and by 4 they're shattered (back to point about families too).

3) Weather - British summer's are known to be ****. On the rare days that there is decent weather, many parks do extend their opening hours on the day by about 30 mins or an hour. Adventure Island often stays open until midnight during the summer on good days. Good weather means people stay longer. ****, wet weather (especially if it starts between 3-5pm) drives people off park and the park empties.

4) Money - Merlin are money-grabbing bastards making cuts everywhere they can. This point explains itself.

Yeah, sucks to be the UK. I'm sure the same factors apply elsewhere where park closing is early (can't really speak for many other countries).